In 1944, a former Madras resident recalls the naming of the city in a letter to the newspaper.

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

February 13, 1919

Catching the scheme of big business from the irrigation scheme across the river, the leading men of the tribe are talking a big plan to build good roads. There are five main lines of roads converging at the Agency and all connect with the Mecca road over which U.S. mail and freight, all produce from our farms, which goes to the markets outside, passenger traffic and dogs must pass.

They are in such condition at present that it is almost impossible to go by any other conveyance than horseback. The plan as outlined so far is to borrow from Uncle Sam about $100,000 on the vast tribal timber holdings, and hard surface approximately 50 miles of these different roads. For this purpose rock crushers will be used and the otherwise waste of rock will be a great factor in valuable improvement.

There is plenty of talent in the tribes to put this scheme over, both in mechanical skill and common labor and the magnitude of it will furnish work to every individual capable of doing fair work. Community effort can do big things when the people have the mind to work. The necessity is great, and necessity is the mother of invention.


February 10, 1944

The following letter is from Bert Doze, executive editor of the Wichita, Kansas Eagle, and tells of an interesting chapter in the history of Madras.

In my desk since September 1942, I have a copy of the Pioneer given to me by Mr. Crawford, a forest ranger, who was in Kansas on shelterbelt work. I had asked for the paper intending to write you the story of how Madras got its name.

In the summer of 1903, I went to Oregon being incited to do so by the urge to find a new country. My uncle, Joshua Hahn, had a store in Culver. He was building one at Willow Creek when I arrived. He asked me to run that store, the first in Madras, located at the south end of the road running north and south, probably at what is now the south end of Main Street.

A petition had been signed for a post office with the name blank and Willow Creek was too long we thought. Either my uncle or myself saw the name "Madras" on a bolt of cloth and suggested it to be the name. But one name clings in memory, that of John Palmane (Palmain or Palmehn), I am not sure of the spelling. He was a bachelor and had a spread of cattle.

A doctor moved in and built an office on the east side of the street. There was an applejack joint across Willow Creek on the north bank. Later a butcher shop appeared on the west side of Main.

Many settlers drove to Madras for water at Palmane's windmill. We had a good well at the back of the store. The Agency (big and little) Plains were being developed for wheat and some of the settlers were Russians, fine folk. In fact, I don't remember anybody among those pioneers who were not fine folks.

I went to the Prineville roundup, where we played baseball. As I recall, a Swede by the name of Olson, a fine young college boy and myself, were the only players at the Prineville event who could pitch curved baseballs. I won the first prize in gold. At that time, I was more of a harum-skarum than now and my feet itched, for it was not until 10 years later that I settled down.

Have been editor of the Evening Eagle here since 1928, prior to that was managing editor of the Morning Eagle and for six years state game and fish warden of Kansas. But never have I been in visiting distance of old Willow Creek and the present county seat town we named for a bolt of cloth.

Someday, I hope to return to Oregon and Madras, sit on the canyon wall to the west, survey the town and think what might have been had I remained.

Respectfully, Bert Doze


February 13, 1969

Most water users in the Crooked and Deschutes watersheds can expect average to above average water supplies next summer according to a report released today by A.J. Webber, state conservationist, Soil Conservation Service, Portland.

January storms brought generous amounts of snow to the upper mountain watersheds. The snow cover is currently 138 percent average. The Hogg Pass Snow Course recorded 42.7 inches of water in the snowpack on Feb. 1. This is the fourth highest measurement on record.

According to the U.S. Weather Bureau, precipitation for the winter period has been 134 percent of average. January was 130 percent of the 1953-67 average.

Soils on the upper watersheds are wetter than usual. They are currently 85 percent of capacity.

Ochoco and Prineville reservoirs currently contain 6,500 acre feet and 93,200 acre feet, respectively. This is 29 and 92 percent of average. The Upper Deschutes Reservoirs, Crane Prairie, Crescent Lake and Wickiup, currently contain a total of 174,100 acre feet compared to an average of 252,000 acre feet.

Percent of 1953-67 average streamflow figures are as follows: Crane Prairie Reservoir total inflow, 117; Crescent at Crescent Lake, 100; Deschutes at Benham Falls, 93; Little Deschutes near La Pine, 105; Squaw Creek near Sisters, 112; Tumalo Creek near Bend, 112; Crooked at Post, 119; Ochoco Reservoir net inflow, 122.

These forecasts assume "average" conditions of temperature and precipitation from now to the end of the forecast period.

Statewide, adequate to above average water supplies will be experienced by Oregon water users this spring and summer. January storms deposited generous amounts of snow on an already above average snowpack. Soil moisture is better than it has been for the past several years. Forecasted streamflow is average to above average in all areas of the state.

For North Unit Irrigation District to receive summer stream flow requirements, above average stream flow is necessary.

Average inflow into Wickiup first 11 days of February has been 951 acre feet. Average inflow into Wickiup for same 11 days in February 1968 was 822 acre feet or 129 acre feet per day more than 1968.


February 11, 1998

A segment of a new fiber-optic cable pipe that eventually will run from Portland to Los Angeles is currently being installed underground in the Madras area.

People driving around Madras may have noticed the work crews installing the orange pipe. Workers at a later date, perhaps this fall, will pull the actual fiber-optic cable through the protective pipe.

A coalition of three telephone service companies are funding the Portland to L.A. cable project. In the Madras area, the work is being done by Underground Specialties Inc., and subcontractor B Fair Contracting.

Underground Specialties is the main contractor for the 230-mile segment from Maupin to Ontario. The majority of the work in the Madras area, along South Adams Drive, for instance, should be done within the next few weeks, said Chris Keski, assistant project manager.

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