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Olympic track and field gold medalist Billy Mills visits Warm Springs, Madras in 1994.

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

July 24, 1919

Strange guests have registered at the Fisher Hotel, but none so strange, or so odd as the one who made his appearance last Tuesday evening, a week. Indeed, James Cook little realized the disturbance his pet porcupine would cause if released from his prison when he gave it freedom.

All unsuspecting, Mr. Porcupine lumbered down the alley and out on the Main Street, and then, trouble loomed ahead in the persons of Beany Sellers and Gil Robinson, armed with clubs. His dull brain worked slowly, but in due time it told him that an open street in Madras offered no protection to a porcupine.

At that moment gleams of light blazed out from the lobby of the Fisher Hotel. Only for a moment were his eyes dazzled. Quickly he rolled up the back steps until he reached the top floor, only to find himself still pursued! Ah! Ha! A glint of hope! An open door! He grasped the situation much more quickly than a porcupine usually does. In he tumbled and rolled under the bed in the remotest corner.

On came his enemies, by this time aided by the rightful occupant of the room. Being prodded out of his refuge, he lunged madly down the stairs and landed in a sorrowful heap in the lobby.

But fate again was kind to him. Did he see alright? Yes, it was the protecting skirts of our landlady standing near the desk. What a refuge? Swiftly he billowed toward them, but at his first movement in that direction, the owner of the skirts emitted a wild scream and throwing both hands in the air, ran toward the dining room, burst open the doors, rushed in and closed them behind her,.

His one remaining hope was to clamber under the desk. There were three baskets sat with open arms. He fell into one. His feet sank down as if he were stepping into sand. Slowly he drew forth his right front foot. Why! It was all yellow and sticky. He took out his other feet one at a time and found them all the same as the first. Then tried to get out, but at each step, something went crush, crush and his footing was unsteady.

Although he took steps enough in number and speed to be far from the reach of his pursuers, he never moved an inch, for each movement caused him to roll back into his former position. Finally, he was dragged out — and some say that the guests staying there went without their customary breakfast eggs next morning.

75 YEARS AGO

July 20, 1944

Warm Springs post office, according to Postmaster C.F. See, was advanced to a third-class rating commencing with the fiscal year, July 1.

This post office has been in the See family since 1895, when W.H. See, who also operated a store at the Agency, was postmaster. Until the Warm Springs Lumber commenced operations on the Deschutes about three miles south of the Agency, Warm Springs office served mainly employees of the government and the Indians located on the reservation; during this period, much of the mail was franked and the volume of mail passing through the office brought about no increase in rating. With the coming of the mill, the volume of business was increased and the office benefited accordingly.

Mail for this office was first brought by a Star carrier from The Dalles via Wapanitia and delivered tri-weekly by a horse-drawn vehicle. The trip was made over the Mutton Mountain and the Warm Springs river crossed just below the Hot Springs over the old bridge, which still is in use; in the winter months, due to the extremely bad roads, it was necessary to carry mail on horseback, while during the summer months a horse-drawn vehicle was used.

Three teams of horses were used, one for each trip, and even with a fresh team, the trip required long hours over the mountain roads, and it was often necessary for the carrier to halt his team and remove the accumulation of sticky dobie from the wheels of his vehicle before he could make further progress.

Ed Campbell for a number of years had the contract for delivering mail and employed Gillis Dizney. Mail was transferred to the agency proper over the old ferry located at the present site of Cowls Orchard, and was operated by Ed Campbell or some member of his family. This route from Wapinitia was a link in the Star route to Prineville, which was also served from The Dalles.

The arrival of the mail, which was the main connecting link with the outside world, was an important event during these early days. The mail carrier often carried large amounts of money, and this was usually in gold.

The See store at this time was the clearing house for money transactions and checks for employees were cashed, as well as considerable government business transacted, and all exchange was carried on in coin of the realm, since banking facilities were not available.

Mail was brought in over this route until July 1, 1902, when it was discontinued and brought in from Hay Creek, a point on the Shaniko-Prineville Star route. The agency was served over this route for two years or more and was then routed from Grizzly and served the LaMonta, Haystack and a portion of the Madras country.

In 1905, when the rural route of the Madras post office was established, the routing of this mail to the agency was again changed and brought from Hesiler, a point of near the C.M. Kennedy Ranch on Hay Creek. Warm Springs at this time was served from the Madras post office.

In 1911, with the building of the Oregon Trunk up the Deschutes Canyon, another routing was necessitated, and mail was supplied to the agency from the Mecca post office. Mecca, at the foot of the old Mecca grade, with a post office and two stores, was erased from the map when the Oregon Trunk was abandoned about 20 years ago.

A new routing was necessary and a Star route was established from the Gateway post office located on the railroad and mail was brought to the agency over the old Mecca grade, although a portion of the time, the Campbell grade, which was an easier road to travel, was used by the carrier.

One of the first carriers on this route to use an automobile was the late Jerry Bruna, who drove an old Star during the summer months, but in the winter reverted to his team and hack; John Henry was the last contractor to operate from Gateway and delivered mail by automobile.

When the Warm Springs highway was built to the agency in 1938, a Star route was established from Madras post office over this new highway. The present contractor, Gillis Dizney, now makes the trip of 15 miles to the agency over a paved highway, with no difficulty and the time it takes is negligible.

He still remembers the old days, when it was necessary to stop his team and shovel an accumulation of sticky mud from his vehicle in order to proceed, and when it required hours rather than minutes to deliver his load of mail to the agency.

50 YEARS AGO

July 24, 1969

Jefferson County has been keeping relatively free from communicable disease, the summary prepared by the Oregon State Board of Health for the week ending July 12, reveals.

For that period one new case of influenza was the extent of the Jefferson County report.

Great emphasis has been placed of late on rubella (or German measles), because of the danger of birth defects if the malady is contracted by an expectant mother. The state board's summary shows that there has not been a case of rubella reported so far this year in Jefferson County.

MADRAS PIONEER FILE PHOTO - Olympic gold medalist Billy Mills attends youth track meet at Madras High School in July 1994.25 YEARS AGO

July 20, 1994

Olympic gold medalist and U.S. Track and Field Hall of Famer Billy Mills spoke to youngsters during a youth track meet held last week at Madras High School.

United States track legend Billy Mills, winner of a gold medal in the 1964 Olympics, was in Jefferson County last week to share his message for a successful life with children and adults alike.

Mills made a presentation at the Warm Springs Community Center, where hundreds of people came to hear him speak, and later walked around the Madras High School track with participants of a youth track meet, sponsored by the Warm Springs Recreational Department.

Mills came to Jefferson County as a guest of the recreation department, after meeting several members of a local women's basketball team at a national tournament.


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