Historical News items of Lincoln County Pioneers                         Submitted by  Barbara Curtis


Page 2...........News items listed chronologically......by date.......



The Cheney Free Press, November 12,1897

   THEODORE J. SIMPSON died at the home of MRS. S. D. MEAD, Saturday evening, Nov. 6, 1897, at 9:30 o'clock.  The cause of his death was pneumonia.  Kind hands ministered to his wants during his last hours and did all that could be done.  *



   After an illness of several weeks' duration, JAMES M. GRINSTEAD departed this life, Wednesday evening, Nov 16, 1897.

   Mr. Grinstead was born at Munfordville, Ky., April 29, 1813.  He removed to Washington in 1874 from Missouri settling at Dayton.  In 1882 he dame to Cheney where he has since resided.  Temperate and a consistent member of the Christian church, Mr. Grinstead was a model citizen whose familiar form will be sadly missed by his neighbors and friends.  Of the eight children only two are in this state.  Miss R. S. GRINSTEAD has been in constant attendance at his bedside during his last illness, leaving a good position at Spokane in order to do so.  The other daughter is Mrs. FRANK CHALENOR of Palouse City who has been here during a portion of the father's illness.  She has been notified of the death and is expected to be in attendance at the funeral.  The funeral services will be at the late residence this morning at 11 o'clock, REV. W. ORCHARD HAYS officiating.  The remains will be shipped to Dayton and there interred beside his wife who was buried 17 years ago the 9th of this month.  *


The Lincoln County Times, Davenport, Washington, October 7,1898

...We learn that E. E. PLOUGH, late of Harrington, has purchased a hardware establishment at Pullman and will locate in that city.  We regret exceedingly that Mr. Plough has decided upon leaving Lincoln county.  He was an enterprising business man and a valuable citizen, and that is the kind of peo0ple we do not like to see leave us.  However we trust he will meet with unlimited success in his new field.

...J. E. ROBINSON, of Moscow, was in town Friday last, and while here paid up for his paper, it being ten years in arrearage.  Mr. Robinson is of the right kind of stuff.  After forgetting from year to year to pay the printer---and there were some years during the good old democratic days when he could not have paid had he thought of it--he walked up to the desk and pungled without a kick.

...The family of REV. CREAL, pastor of the M. C. church have recently joined him from Kansas.  The reverend gentleman is very much taken with his new western home, and speaks in the most flowing terms of the superiority of this state over Kansas.

...S. McLEAN was stepping high Monday and carrying around a smile that indicated great mental happiness. It was learned that the hilarious appearance was due to the arrival of another son in the household.  The new scion of the house of McLean was a bouncer, weighting thirteen pounds.  Mother and child are doing nicely.

...J. F. MILLIKEN, aged 53 years, died at his home in Gresham district last night from heart disease and apoplexy of the brain.  The deceased was a member of the G. A. R. Davenport post, and was highly respected in this vicinity.  The funeral will be held from the Gresham church tomorrow (Saturday) at 2 o'clock.  The deceased leaves a wife and four children to mourn his loss, all of which have the sympathy of the entire community--Sprague Times.*


Sprague, Lincoln County, Wash. 

The Sprague Times, Friday, November 23, 1900

   CAPTAIN JOHN B. MCGOURIN of Edwall an old and respected citizen of this county died last Friday and was buried in the Catholic cemetery of this city Monday.  The captain was well known here and the news of his death called forth many expressions of sorrow.  He was one of the first commissioners of this county and has always taken an active part in public affairs.

   The Adams County News of Ritzville says:" Mr. M. S. HAIR went to Sprague today where his wife is stopping and schooling the boys.  Mr. Hair could not get a house in Ritzville and was compelled to go to Sprague for school facilities and where empty houses are plentiful"  We are glad to welcome Mrs. Hair and family to Sprague but if the editor of the News thinks empty houses are plentiful in Sprague , he is away off his canoodleum.


The Creston News, August 19,1904

   J. H. DUNHAM met with an accident in Spokane a few days ago which has laid him up for the time being.  He suffered the fracture of his collar-bone and dislocation of a shoulder. The accident happened while he and another party were on their way to see a fire.  They had walked over to the north side of the river where they started to cross the street.  As they turned on to the crossing a heavy delivery wagon dashed by striking Jim, throwing him down and passing over him with the result stated.  He was considerably bruised and shaken up otherwise, but these were the only serious injuries sustained. His mother, MRS. E. DUNHAM, went down Saturday to se him, and DR. DUNHAM followed Sunday, returning Monday evening, leaving him resting comfortably.  His wife was there with him.   Jim had intended to go to work on the Great Northern road but will lose a few weeks time while recovering. *



   The little child of Mr. and Mrs. A. L. BYERS died Monday morning after a lingering illness dating from its birth.  The trouble was a weakness of the digestive system, resulting in failure to assimilate its food.  It was about four and a half months old.  The funeral occurred Tuesday forenoon from the home of the parents, interment being in the Creston cemetery.  REV. J. H. HOPE conducted the religious services. The family has the sympathy of the community in the death of their little one.

                    We lay thee in thy silent tomb, Sweet blossom of a day;

                    We just began to view they bloom,  When thou wert called away.

                    At length released from all his pain, Our darling went to sleep.

                    Now calm and peaceful his repose, While Christ his soul doth keep.   *


The Creston News, November 3,1905

   Mr. W. A. WHITE, the Lewiston fruit buyer, who handled the bulk of the Orchard Valley product this year, announces his intention to build a storage warehouse here for the better handling of the fruits of this section.  Mr. White states that the building will be 50x150 in size and entirely frost-proof.  This will make it possible to take care of the large amount of fruit produced in favorable years without the inconvenience and loss that so often occur during the shipping season for want of such provision.  The same building will also be used for the storage of the local supply of fruit boxes etc. needed by the growers, and which they so frequently have trouble and delay in getting when needed.  Mr. White has bought the box factory heretofore run by C. C. WATERS, at Peach and will move the machinery away.  Mr. Waters has been handicapped in various ways in running the little factory in competition with he big ones, and has not had the facilities for putting the best class of work, or all the kinds needed, on the local market.  It is well recognized that the kind and quality of package used has much to do with the selling of fruits to the best advantage.    Mr. White is another man who was considerably surprised in coming here the first time at the extent of the fruit industry in the Valley.  He offers to contract for next year's output of fruits on the basis of the prices paid this year for everything except peaches, but we believe no contracts have been signed.  With the storage facilities proposed to be supplied, the importance of Creston as a market for a considerably extended fruit growing territory will no doubt be recognized and advantage taken.  


News note:

  W. A. White, who had been here for several weeks superintending the packing and shipping of Orchard Valley fruit, which he purchased on the trees, left Tuesday morning for Lewiston, Idaho. * 


The Sprague Advocate, Oct 31,1913

   On Tuesday FERDE BRISLAWN sold his tailoring, pressing and cleaning establishment to C. M. GRANT who has been working for him for the past year.  The business is a prosperous and growing one and has been built up largely by Mr. Brislawn's popularity in business.

   Mr. Grant is an experienced man in the business and will doubtless keep it up to its present high standard.



Basket ball has commenced in earnest at the High School and it begins to look as if Sprague would have a crack quintet again this year.  Three of last years team are back: SHANAHAN at center, F. HOFFMAN, guard and L. ROBINSON forward.  Vacancies are left at forward and guard positions by graduation last spring but there is much new material with which to fill the suits...at present enough for three full teams  and competition for places on the first team is very keen.   

WALTER HOFFMAN, FRANK CANNON, "SHORTY" GRESHAM, JAMES CAMPBELL and CLAUDE BRISLAWN are showing up especially strong and some of the old players will be forced to show why they should be kept on the team.  KENNETH MELVILLE is out of the game with a broken nose.*


The Lincoln County Times, Davenport, Wash., Friday, November 28, 1913

 "Remember, on December 24, at midnight, we will close our doors in Davenport for the last time"

   With the above notice in his advertisement in another column of the Times, G. K. BIRGE, who has been engaged in the jewelry business in Davenport for 23 years, announces his retirement from business here, and in his departure Davenport will lose a pioneer business man who has been ever ready to work for the upbuilding of the city.  He has served as mayor of Davenport for two terms and as a member of the council for ten years, is one who has endured the hardships of the Big Bend as a new country and done his share in making it  the substantial, prosperous section of the state it is.

Goes To Thompson Falls, Mont.

   Upon closing the doors of his store here after his three months' sale, Mr. Birge will ship the greater portion of the fine stock to Thompson Falls, Montana, where he recently rented a store building and will place Wm A. DARLING, present manager of the store....Mr. Birge will take part of his stock to his store in Hunters, Washington, near where he has a rich orchard tract and where he will make his home.  Mr. Birge informs us that Thompson Falls is a prosperous little city, in a practically new country, with a permanent population of about five hundred which is at present augmented by a force of 200 constructing a large dam and power site in the Clarks Fork river.  This construction force will soon be double in size and will remain so for the three years it is estimated it will require to complete the construction work.  And at that time the owner of the townsite contemplates retaining the big crew to operate a big sawmill to be erected at the dam to saw up the millions of feet of lumber in the timber on the mountain to the south and west of town.

Came Here From Sprague

   Mr. Birge is a native of New York, attending the Genesee normal school, engaging in the mercantile business and finally learning the jewelry trade there before coming west to Pomeroy, where he engaged in the cattle business for three year, then coming to Sprague and from there to Davenport.  He was the bottom round of the ladder when he started in business here, sharing a store building with a drug store, and has steadily been gaining ground until now, when he has decided to depart, he is one of the prosperous business men of the county.

Was Justice of the Peace

   Mr. Birge married in 1892 and now has a half dozen children with boys large enough to look after the farm when he is away.  In the same year he was appointed justice of the peace in this city, holding for two year, during which time he started fifty coupled on the road to matrimony.  In 1891 he served the city as mayor and was councilman for 10 years.  He is a member of a great many fraternal orders and will be missed in their work.

   Thompson Falls Report

   The Sanders County Ledger, published in Thompson Falls, Montana, had the following article in last week's issue regarding Mr. Birge's coming there:   " G. K. BIRGE, proprietor of the Davenport Jewelry company of Davenport, Wash., was a visitor here the first of the week and completed arrangements to establish a complete jewelry store here.  He has rented one side of the HARRIOTT building from GEORGE L. SORENSON, who has a lease on the entire room and will occupy the remaining side with his drug stock.  Mr. Birge will be unable to move his stock here until after the holidays, but will at that time ship in a complete line of such goods as are found in an upstanding jewelry store.  He will not remain here himself but will leave in charge his partner, W. A. DARLING, who is now manager of the Davenport store.  Mr. Birge informs us that Mr. Darling is a graduate, licensed optician, an experienced jeweler, engraver, watch maker and repairer.  The new firm will be welcome here and without a doubt will receive the support of the town's people and do a nice business from the start" *


The Lincoln County Times,  Feb 15, 1917

   26 horses and mules were sold for $3,600 at a public auction conducted by D. C. KEITH at the Lacy barn, Wednesday afternoon.  Stock owners from various parts of the county had animals up for sale, but the bidding was low and many sold their stoc later at private sale or took it back home with them.   $490 paid for a span of mules brought as good a figure as was paid during the auction. As the result of the sale, the treasury of the local Red Cross was enriched by $166.  A. A. RUTTER, representing the Davenport Horse company donated the first horse to be auctioned for the benefit of the Red Cross.  J. B. SAMIS purchased the animal for $35 and resold it again last night to Rutter for $50.  Both sums totaling $85, were turned over to the Red Cross.

   A pinto cayuse, donated by SANDY KEITH, had a hard time finding an owner willing to keep him.  The animal was sold and resold eight times before it was finally led away home to Mr. LOGSDON, son of A. L. LOGSDON.  The animal was put up for auction for the benefit of the Red Cross and was bought first by J. W. PHILLLIPS for $15.  He refused to keep the animal and offered it to be re-auctioned.  It was resold to J. J. WILLIAMS for $12.50 and he also returned the animal to be resold.  G. S. TURNER was awarded the animal next for $12.50.  Turner returned the horse and J. W. FOX won it for $11.  Again it was put up for sale and after paying $10 for the animal, G. M. WILSON of the Wilson stock farm said he could not use the animal, so returned it again to be re-auctioned.  J. R. CANFIELD, a wealthy retired farmer of Davenport, who recently erected a $5,000 residence, but no accommodations for a "calico" cayuse, followed the example of those before him by offering the animal to be sold to some one else.  Canfield paid $10 for the animal, the price for which it was finally bought by young LOGSDON, after raising $81 for the Red Cross.

   J. A. COX of Creston brought fifty head of stock to be sold, but only disposed of two.  After the auction he offered to buy those back for the price paid and pay the purchaser five dollars extra for each horse.  The new owner realized his bargain and refused the offer.  J. B. PERSHALL was also among those who sold horses Wednesday. The following were among those from other parts of the county buying or selling at the auction: M. BUCK of Spokane; NILS NELSON of Creston; GLEN KINER of Wilbur; G. G. GUHLKE of Edwall; E. M. MAHRT of Wilbur; OSCAR CARSTENS of Reardan; GEORGE A. KITTS of Harrington.* 


The Lincoln County Times, November 23, 1917

   BERT BAXTER, son of Mrs. MARTHA BAXTER, was killed while loading logs on a car for the Coats Driving and Boom Co., at Tillamook Oregon, according to a letter received this week by Mrs. Baxter from a representative of the company.  One of the logs slipped while it was being loaded, struck another log on teh car ahead and before young Baxter could get out of the way, caught him on the left shoulder, pinning him to the ground and killing him instantly.

   The representative of the company, in the letter to the mother, had the following to say about the young man: 

   "Bert had been working for us for some time and we thought a great deal of him.  We had always found him thoroughly reliable and a very conscientious worker.  We regret the accident as much as you do for we never had a better associate in the woods. *


The Sprague Advocate, Thursday, July 9, 1925   

   SYLVA IRBY, 10 year old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. CARROL E. IRBY of Lind was severely burned about the hip, back and arms at the Sprague Lake resort late Saturday night when her dress became ignited as she and other children were burning sparklers and shooting fire crackers.  When her dress burst into flames she took fright and started to run out into the park, apparently in an aimless direction.  Several men gave pursuit drawing off their coats as they ran.  The first two to reach here were ARCHIE HUGHES and D. D. SIEMENS both of Lind and they smothered the flames.  Her parents were located and she was rushed to town and the wounds dressed by DR. BITTNER and while painful they should not prove serious.*


Davenport Times-Tribune January 3, 1935 

   The new officers of Lincoln county, elected at the general election November 6, will take over their duties at noon, Monday, January 14.  The new officers include Assessor C. V.  FISHER, who will become county treasurer, H. A. THOMPSON, who will become county assessor, and W. B. ARMSTRONG, who will become commissioner from district No. 2.  All are democrats.  Mr. Fisher states that he will retain GUY G. GIBSON, present treasurer, as one of his deputies, but has not decided as yet on the remainder of his office force.  Mr. Thompson has not announced the name of his deputy as yet.  *


Davenport Times-Tribune January 3, 1935   

   ROBERT GAY, age 18, of Prosser, a Washington State college student, was drowned in the Yakima river, Friday, afternoon, when his boat capsized three miles below Prosser.  The young man, a son of ROBERT E. GAY, Prosser newspaperman, former superintendent of schools at Harrington and later a newspaper publisher at Harrington for many years, was born at Harrington, and spent his boyhood there.  The body was recovered from the river at 1:15 p.m. Sunday by a man with a gaff hook in 10 feet of water.  Young Gay and WALTON LaFLEUR, a newspaper employee at Prosser, left that city Friday morning in a canoe on a camping trip.  The boat capsized in rapids after hitting a rock.  The men clung to an inflated inner tube but LaFleur finally struck out for the north river bank, barely making the shore.  Gay was last seen by LaFleur clinging to the tube.  The body was recovered about 150 yards from where Gay was last seen by his companion.  The body, through well preserved, bore evidence of Gay's struggle, both top buckles of his overshoes being unfastened.  A strong swimmer, the young man, anticipating cold weather, had clothed himself in two heavy shirts and two suits of underwear, which undoubtedly handicapped him in his attempt to swim ashore.  The young man was a graduate of the Prosser high school and was a freshman at the state college, majoring in geology and mining there.*


Davenport Times-Tribune January 3, 1935   

...The records of W. W. DOWNIE, registrar of vital statistics here, show that there were 29 births recorded in Davenport during 1934, as compared with 33 during 1933.  There were 18 boys and 11 girls born in this district.  There were 31 deaths recorded here during the year as compared with 15 during 1933.  The death during 1934 included 29 adults and two children, and the deaths also included 16 men and 15 women.  There were 207 marriage licenses issued by the Lincoln county auditor during 1934, the largest total in the history of the office.  In 1933 there were 192 marriage licenses issued here. There were 174 licenses issued during 1932, 144 in 1931 and 115 in 1930.

                               For more Pioneer News  see PAGES 1 and 3 and.....


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