County clerk and female employees put out a fire at the County Courthouse in 1943.

MADRAS PIONEER LOGO - The Madras Pioneer looks back over the past 100 years of archives.100 YEARS AGO

July 4, 1918

"Horse chestnuts for munitions." It is a sober headline in the English papers. Hooray for the horse chestnut! But they are not going to shoot it at the Germans, declares the Boston Transcript. The horse chestnut crop is being harvested in England under the orders of the "director of propellant supplies" — direful title! — for use in place of large quantities of grain used in connection with munitions, which grain is hereby released for use as food.

We are not told just how this released grain has been used in the manufacture of munitions. That would be giving away information to the enemy. But in any case, horse chestnuts will do the business, and all England is put at work by government circular collecting them. Collection will be carried out by local committees formed in connection with the schools. It is particularly requested that nuts should not be gathered until they are fully ripe, so unripe nuts are of no value for the purpose.

Let us be glad that a patriotic use has been found for the horse chestnut. Heretofore, it has been available only for the purposes of juvenile ornamentation, or, when carried in the right hand trousers pocket, for adult rheumatism. Not even pigs will eat horse chestnuts. But how many millions of them could easily be gathered in New England! Do you want the New England horse chestnut crop, Mr. Baker? If so, you only have to ask for it.


July 1, 1943

A small fire of undetermined origin caused considerable excitement at the courthouse Tuesday morning when an awning on one of the windows of the clerk's office caught fire and spread to the window frame. It is presumed that the fire was started by a match or cigarette ashes dropped from a window in the second story.

Before the fire was discovered, the awning had completely burned and the flames were consuming the outside window casing. A small fire had started in the grass below the window and it was the crackling of this fire that attracted the attention of Mrs. Nellie Watts, county clerk.

With the dry of fire on her lips, Mrs. Watts dashed out, followed by other women in the building, who demonstrated how well some women can put out a fire. It was necessary to disconnect the garden hose used on the lawn and connect it to a stand pipe nearer the fire. The hose was handled by Miss Alice Maxwell, field representative of the Red Cross of Oregon who happened to be in the courthouse at the time.

Merle Mann of the Thomas service station brought a hose and connected it with the one in use in order that the stream might be brought closer to the fire. In a matter of minutes, the fire was extinguished and the women proved their ability to work in an emergency.

The fire, while not serious, should be a warning to all citizens to watch that carelessly thrown match that might be responsible for serious consequences.


July 4, 1968

Water storage at Wickiup Reservoir Tuesday measured 86,117 acre-feet, Roger Norland, secretary-manager of the North Unit Irrigation District, said. This is the lowest figure for this date since the start of the project operation. The next lowest figure was in 1960, when storage amounted to 101,273 acre feet on July 2.

Said Norland: "This week the reservoir is dropping about 1,500 acre-feet a day. The average for the last five years of water used through July is 34,696 acre-feet. Average August use in the last five years is 28,332 acre-feet.

"After reservoir, river, and canal losses are deducted from today's storage, we are approximately 15,000 acre-feet short of having sufficient water to make the same July and August deliveries as the five-year average. There will probably be some bank storage benefits, and perhaps some other minor flows, but these will not be good enough to keep the heavier users from suffering serious losses.

"Water users are urged to keep in touch with their ditch riders and take advantage of every opportunity to conserve water."


July 1, 1993

The creation of 110 new jobs will be the result of a $760,860 lottery award given to the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs.

The tribes will use the lottery funds to construct water and sanitary sewer improvements to serve its industrial area north of U.S. Highway 26.

The industrial area has been home to the Warm Springs Forest Products Industries Inc., a large log mill, plywood and veneer mill and a small log mill. With the closure of the plywood and veneer plant in December 1991, 96 jobs were lost. In March 1992, WSFPI closed its large log mill, with a loss of 13 additional jobs. The WSFPI continues to operate the small log mill.

The tribes are diversifying their industrial base with the startup of a new company to produce fireproof materials for use in the manufacture of fire doors for the commercial and home building industries. The company, Warm Springs Composite Products, is a joint venture between the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs and Structural Technology Inc.

COMPRO will produce fireproof materials from diatomaceous earth, a naturally occurring material of fossilized diatoms that has remarkable absorbent and insulative qualities.

The material, which has exceptional strength and is lightweight, will be formed to customers' specifications for use in hollow-core fire doors, industrial application, blast furnaces, and many other applications. An investment in the new venture of $1.5 million will be made by the tribes.

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