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Would-be farmers flock to Jefferson County in winter of 1944, agreeing to buy land.

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

February 20, 1919

Last Monday afternoon at the hour of three forty-five, a crowd of solemn-faced individuals gathered at the back door of the sheriff's office to attend the funeral of John Barleycorn, 10 of which had been peacefully resting in the sheriff's vault for several months, since the cache was located by Sheriff Wood out Lamonta way last fall.

At the sheriff's office, a procession was formed, headed by Ort Jackson, whose Ford truck toted the bier; the pallbearers were Sheriff Holcomb, Judge Boyce, Commissioners Chitwood and Tellefson, Mayor Pilbett and District Attorney Boylan; these were followed by a miscellaneous gathering of more or less interested individuals who followed the bearer of the bier to the vacant lot east of the courthouse where interment was made by absorption, the sheriff augering holes in the bier kegs and allowing the contents to gurgle to the thirsty ground.

Before the ceremony was ended, numerous additions to the assemblage were noted, while yet others kept close tab from nearby doors and windows to see that bier was properly interred.

Those who claim to be competent to judge of such matters say that only two of the kegs contained the real article and that the other eight were phony, holding nothing more spirited than water. Evidently the bootlegger who peddled these goods carried two brands, one to show his customers and the other to sell.

Souvenirs of the occasion, consisting of a keg each, were gathered in the following: Commissioner Chitwood, Sheriff Holcomb, Clerk Percival, Assessor Arney, Treasurer Barnett, Attorney Boylan, Councilman Culp, Chas. Ortman, J. E. Chestnut and Ort Jackson.

75 YEARS AGO

February 17, 1944

Land buyers have been flocking into Jefferson County of late and much land has been optioned, that being a word that has been used to describe the action taken, but it is more an agreement to buy, nearly always being made with a down payment to bind the agreement. Mostly, the farmers selling have reserved the right to put in and harvest next year's crop, the transaction being closed when the water arrives and the new owners, most of whom are real irrigation farmers, think the time is propitious to take over their new holdings.

Represented in last week's sales were 700 acres of land, which will bring close to 6,000 acres the land sold in the county. Between 12 and 15 would-be land buyers converged on Madras on Sunday and Monday and have been looking over prospective places with a view to buying. The First National Bank was just about taken over by these fellows on Monday.

50 YEARS AGO

February 20, 1969

A resolution adopted by the Madras-Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce in December protesting a freight rate penalty proposed by the Southern Pacific Railroad on southbound shipments of Central Oregon potatoes not moved in Pacific Fruit Express refrigerated cars, which helped move the state Public Utilities Commission to suspend any rate increase until June 23, 1969, was followed Monday by a call for area potato industry representatives at a March 4 preliminary meeting in Redmond with two representatives of the Oregon State Public Utilities Commission. Purpose of the meet is to discuss those concerns about the substance and agenda of a formal Public Utilities Commission hearing on the matter scheduled in Portland March 13.

The issue arose last December when Southern Pacific announced a rate increase. Jay Macy said at the time that the freight rates on potatoes from Central Oregon to California, New Mexico and Arizona points are already higher than those shipments originating in Idaho and he said the SP proposal would tack on from 17 to 30 cents per hundred-weight additional, depending on the destination.

25 YEARS AGO

February 17, 1994

A major downtown enhancement has been needed in Madras for years, and now, with a grant on the table to pay for 83 percent of the project, is the time to act.

That's generally how supporters feel about the $1 million downtown enhancement-transportation modification plan. However, reasons Dr. Carlos Kemper and Chamber Director Rob Fuller have worked in support of the project run deeper than just having grant money to do it.

"It's mandatory for Madras to move forward," said Fuller. "We can't afford not to be progressive" while competition for businesses and consumers in Central Oregon continues to tighten.

"(The downtown enhancement) is not just about downtown merchants," Kemper added. "It's about Jefferson County, the quality of people, about who we are and what we stand for."

Over the past few weeks, Kemper and Fuller have promoted the project to service clubs, organizations and groups as a great plan to beautify the downtown corridor, draw more people downtown to shop, to increase safety for pedestrians, and to prepare Madras for the next century.

As leaders of the proponents of the project, they've had to argue against some of what the public has found to be negatives with the project — namely 5-foot bike lanes on both Fourth and Fifth streets, intersection flares and reduced auto travel lanes.

"People are missing the point by zeroing in on the bike paths, sidewalks (extensions) and ignoring 10 years down the road," said Kemper.

Ten years down the road, bike lanes on Fourth and Fifth streets (State Highway 97 and 26) may be mandated by the state. The Americans with Disabilities Act may mandate a major sidewalk project.

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