100 YEARS AGO
July 3, 1919
Tuesday morning, Andrew Morrow closed a contract with Nelson and Pugh, contractors of Bend, for the building of his new home on Nob Hill in this city.
The new residence will be a palatial one for this burg, will be 38-by-40 feet in size, full concrete basement, with hot air heating plant, and large spacious porches. It will be hard finished throughout, electric lighted, and will have modern plumbing, hot and cold water, bath and everything known to the modern plumber.
The contract figure was not made public, but it is understood that the completed residence and accompaniments will stand Mr. Morrow close to $10,000. Work will commence on actual construction as soon as the contractors can assemble the material, which will be but a few days hence.
75 YEARS AGO
June 29, 1944
Flowing through more than 100 miles of river channel, canal and tunnels, water for southern Jefferson County lands will be coursing around the western slope of Juniper Butte in less than a year, ready to be spread over one of the choicest basins in the Northwest, in the Culver area.
But the Deschutes River water that will half circle Juniper Butte after crossing Crooked River is not designed to stop at Culver in the spring of 1945. A lateral will reach to a point near the south city limits of Madras.
Providing arrangements can be made with the district, water in 1945 will be available for the irrigation of Madras lawns, shrubbery and trees, and for the beautification of parks. Inasmuch as the lateral that is to be extended to the near city-limits of Madras will be on the flat above Willow Creek, pressure for the operation of sprinklers will be available.
Under the wartime construction program, only 20,000 acres of the 50,000-acre segregation eventually to be irrigated under the North Unit project will have water in 1945, but this first unit will include most of the district lands south of Willow Creek. Eventually, a high pressure siphon will be constructed across Willow Creek and fields of green will reach north into the Mud Springs area.
The federal irrigation system that is to carry Deschutes water out over the Culver-Metolius basin and north to Madras before the start of the 1945 irrigation season is rapidly taking final shape, and first work within the district boundary has been started, with a dragline in operation southeast of Culver, east of the Dalles-California Highway. Under excavation in this area is the main canal, through which will flow water that will have traveled approximately 120 miles by the time it reaches the bench just south of the main street in Madras.
50 YEARS AGO
July 3, 1969
Almost exactly 51 years before the violent thunderstorm and cloudburst which struck the Madras community last June 9, this area experienced a similar storm … and thereby hang not one but two tales.
The date was June 12, 1918, and the teller of the tales is Mrs. Henry (Julia) Dussault.
Mrs. Dussault (she'll be called Julia from here on in), now a retired employee of the telephone company living in Woodburn, was at her post at the switchboard in Madras on June 12, 1918, when the violent storm struck.
Rain fell in torrents, and lightning repeatedly struck nearby. Julia resolutely stuck to her post, although, as she now recalls, "Hot sparks were shooting out of the switchboard." As the fury of the storm continued unabated, the late William Hannon, concerned for Julia's safety, came to the phone office and begged her to leave.
Julia refused, but as the storm continued, Hannon took matters into his own hands.
He picked her up bodily and carried her across the street to the relative safety of the hotel.
That's one tale. Now here's the second.
As soon as she could, Julia returned to her post at the switchboard. Shortly thereafter, there came a rap at the door. She opened the door to T.W. Larsen, proprietor of a meat market in Madras, who told her simply, "I've just killed my wife."
Then the story came out. Mr. and Mrs. Larsen were returning from a trip to Ashwood in their Model T Ford delivery car when the vehicle turned turtle on the slippery rain-soaked road. Mrs. Larsen was pinned beneath the vehicle. Larsen was also caught under the vehicle, but he managed to extricate himself and seek help.
Here is the story of the Larsen tragedy as it appeared in the June 13, 1918, edition of the Pioneer:
"A fatal automobile accident happened during the height of the electric storm last night in which Mrs. T.W. Larsen, wife of our local meat market proprietor, met almost instant death.
"Mr. and Mr. Larsen had driven to Ashwood in the evening and were returning when the accident occurred. The roads became very slippery and it was with considerable difficulty Mr. Larsen was able to make headway, driving his Ford delivery car in low gear. The parties had become thoroughly drenched with the rain, and it was their desire to get home, and they were making some headway when the car unexpectedly skidded, became unmanageable, and in some manner turned turtle, catching Mrs. Larsen under the end of the seat crushing her life out very quickly. Mr. Larsen was caught in such a manner as not to be seriously injured, but it was with considerable difficulty he was able to extricate himself from his position, which he was, however, able to do, after which in some manner, he was able to remove his wife from under the car, but to no avail since she had already passed away.
"The deceased leaves her husband and four children surviving her."
25 YEARS AGO
June 29, 1994
A 2-year-old baby boy was abandoned at a service station on Highway 97 in Madras late Saturday night, according to the Madras police log.
The child, who is described as being Native American, was given to Oregon Children's Services Division, the police log said.
The child, dressed in blue pajamas, was reported abandoned at Tiger Mart, shortly before midnight on Saturday, June 25.
The person leaving the child at the store could face criminal charges of first-degree criminal mistreatment and reckless endangering, according to the police report.
Children's Services Division could not comment on the case.
An older child, perhaps 3 or 4 years old, was reported abandoned at Tiger Mart earlier in the week.
This child was reported to have been seen walking down Highway 97 alone when police arrived, store officials said.