Milton-Freewater man finds that old news, circa 1934, makes a good read


Jake Redd of Milton-Freewater was readying a house on Birch Street to be relocated a while back when he discovered several issues of the Walla Walla Union from 1934 wrapped around plumbing pipes. Just one more creative way to recycle an old newspaper.

It's fascinating to pore over old newspapers to see what the news du jour was. Jake aims to frame some aspect of the aging, tea-colored, rough-around-the-edges issue. It could be a challenge as it's packed with interesting articles and ads.

Jake's newspapers were published in the middle of the Great Depression. An era when you could buy a pair of women's high-heeled brown and white or black and white spectator pumps for $4.95, silk hose for 69 cents; slacks for $1.25; men's shirts for $1.95; and print and pastel dresses for $3.95 from A.M. Jensen Co., the "Modern-Daylight-Store." And for a meal, rolled prime rib roast of beef was just 22 cents per pound and Klicker's mountain-grown strawberries, were four boxes for 29 cents from Beck & Winans, "The Complete Food Store" at 10 W. Alder St. For ice, phone 35 at Tausick-Kauffman.

You'd also have been encouraged in an advertisement to "Get a lift with a Camel. Let Camels (cigarettes) increase your flow of energy. Worn out ... and then he smoked a Camel!" the ad trumpets. The Lucky Strike cigarettes ad says that brand only uses "the clean center leaves, the mildest, which cost more, and taste better."

A drought in the mid-west was hampering the dairy industry, so 120,000 pounds of butter from Walla Walla was shipped from Spokane in late May 1934 to New York, Boston, Chicago and Minneapolis, another article said. "We make a superior butter from the sweet cream and can, therefore, pay the small premium," said H.W. Burgess, manager of the Walla Walla Dairymen's Association.

In 2009 and 2010, we've been preoccupied by global concerns with H1N1, but on June 5, 1934, Dr. J.E. Vanderpool, Walla Walla County-City health officer, issued a warning to residents to seek immediate treatment for scarlet fever if they exhibit any of the symptoms. Three cases were reported and many were exposed to the disease, the article said. "It is just as easy to start an epidemic of some contagious disease as it is to start a grass fire ..." Vanderpool said.

I suspected for years that Drumheller, Alberta, Canada, had a direct tie with this area. It was supported by an item on page 3 of the June 5, 1934, Union about Francis M. Stubblefield, 52, who was found dead in bed at his family's Stubblefield estate ranch at Drumheller in Alberta. He was a prominent resident of Walla Walla for most of his life, the article said, born in Umatilla County Jan. 10, 1882, and raised in Walla Walla where he attended elementary and high schools. He had been attacked a few days earlier by a bull at the ranch and sustained head and shoulder injuries that didn't seem serious at the time.

But he didn't show up for breakfast and a servant became alarmed. He had been looking after the affairs of the ranch for five years. His wife, Myrtle, son, Francis Stubblefield, sister, Clara Stubblefield, and mother Adeline Stubblefield, survived him in Walla Walla. A daughter, Mrs. Bernard Law, lived in Mexico. His uncle, Joseph L. Stubblefield, founded the Stubblefield home in Walla Walla.

The world was intrigued by the week-old Dionne quintuplets of Ontario, Canada, and an article notes a larger incubator from the Red Cross might save their lives. Their father had signed a contract to exhibit the babies, the article said, without consulting his wife, who was to say the least, dismayed.

One item reported that Milton (Ore.) suffered damage to its cherry crop, with between one-fourth to one-half of the fruit splitting because of a heavy rain.

Mixed in with the local news, is a little piece datelined Springfield, Ill. It notes that the governors of five states officially posted a reward of $5,000 on May 24 for the capture of outlaw John Dillinger. The reward would go to "any one who ‘delivers said John Dillinger' to any sheriff or sheriff's representative" in Illinois, Ohio, Minnesota and Michigan. As a followup, Wikipedia reports that the 31-year-old bank robber was shot and killed by Bureau of Investigation agents on July 22, 1934, as he left the Biograph Theater in Chicago.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt is pictured on page one of the June 5, 1934, Walla Walla Union, "Today's First Newspaper" (as it was a morning paper) with wife Eleanor, his mother, Sarah, and two others. The group is surveying "the complete fighting strength of Uncle Sam's fleet in New York harbor," including the "mighty guns of the Indianapolis."

Other page one stories and headlines include Albert Einstein blaming the U.S. for trouble abroad; "British can't pay war debt;" "Dynamite blast mangles seven" in Norman, Okla.; "President calls drought session/Roosevelt plans relief for farmers in arid states, showers help;" a 21-year-old hatchet slayer admits killing" of his mother and a sibling in Los Angeles; and "Convict slain as 12 escape Southern Pen/Two inmates and one guard wounded in Mississippi Break/11 men are recaptured."

Walla Walla County Traffic Safety Task Force members recently completed their annual booster seat education programs in kindergarten classrooms throughout the county.

The "Buckle Up Helper" program began in Walla Walla County eight years ago. Since then, Task Force volunteers have educated hundreds of kindergarten students on the importance of not only using their booster seats but making sure they are buckled correctly.

This year's program reached approximately 535 children - each of whom were determined to still be in the booster seat range - under age 8 or under 4'9" tall, which follows the requirement of

Washington's current child passenger safety law When moving a child out of a booster seat to the vehicle seat and seat belt, it is still important, even if they have reached age 8 or 4'9" tall, to ensure the lap and shoulder belt fit correctly.

If the child cannot do the following five-step test, they should continue using their booster seat.

Does the child sit with hips all the way back against the auto seat?

Do the child's knees bend comfortably at the edge of the auto seat?

Is the lap belt on the top part of the thighs?

Is the shoulder belt centered on the shoulder and chest?

Can the child stay seated like this for the whole trip?

If you answer "no" to any of these questions, the child needs a booster seat.

Students were also reminded of Washington's additional child passenger law that requires those under 13 years of age to ride in the back seat where it is practical to do so.

The requirement to use a booster seat does not apply to any seating position where there is only a lap belt available and the child weighs more then 40 pounds.

Parents with questions on car seat use may contact the Traffic Safety Task Force at 524-2936.

Amused by a recent Etcetera item about references to Walla Walla in song lyrics and comic strips jogged Superior Court Judge John Lohrmann's memory. A number of years ago, he clipped and saved a B.C. strip by Johnny Hart, a copy of which he sent my way.

I believe it's the character Peter, shown standing beside a rock labeled "INFORMATION," when The Fat Broad asks, "How do I get to Walla Walla?" Peter: "You follow this path till you come to a fork in the road." The Fat Broad: "Yes?..." Peter: "Take the fork." In investigating this strip for more details, and having no luck, I came upon another reference to our town in a B.C. strip mentioned on his Web site: Another fan had clipped a strip that refers to "something about a door-to-door salesman selling back-to-back tape for wall-to-wall carpet in Walla Walla." All I can add is be sure to shop at Daffy Duck's favorite Wishy Washy Washing Machine Company from Walla Walla, Wash.

Raffles, games, silent auctions and a live auction are highlights of the local chapter of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation's 23rd annual fundraising banquet March 27.

Held in the Walla Walla Fairgrounds Community Center, the event will begin with a 4 p.m. happy hour. A dinner prepared by local chef Marty Bray will feature grilled flank steak and chicken Parmesan at 6 p.m.

Attendees can bid on wildlife art, hunting, gardening and fishing equipment, tools, toys and jewelry, said organizer John McKern.

In addition to rifles and other guns, there will be a custom G. Loomis fly rod donated by a local angler; merchandise and gift certificates donated by local businesses and wineries, vacation packages and more.

Tickets range from $60 for an individual membership plus meal, to $350 for a couple sponsor package. Youths 16 and under are $15. Member benefits include a subscription to Bugle - Journal of Elk and the Hunt, decals, invitations to local events, and a Browning hunting kni fe with each new or renewed membership.

Since 1984, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has worked in the United States and Canada to conserve, restore, enhance and promote sound elk management, foster cooperation among federal, state, tribal, and private organizations in wildlife management and habitat conservation and educate members and the public about habitat conservation, the value and ethics of hunting and wildlife management.

With more than 158,000 members, they have protected 5.7 million-plus acres, opened and secured public access to more than 585,000 acres and helped reintroduce elk in states and provincial areas where they had disappeared.

In Washington alone, more than 400 projects totaling nearly 400,000 acres and an investment of over $105 million have been made, John said.

Over $4 million of that investment has been in the Blue Mountains here.

"Come and help our local chapter raise funds for elk and wildlife conservation for our future generations," John said.

For more details or tickets, contact Janey McKern at 509-525-6283.

Berney Elementary has been abuzz with fundraisers for two charities between Feb. 1-12, said Kristen Duede, intervention specialist at the school.

The Coins from Caring Kids drive for Haiti was spearheaded by fourth-graders Tori Matlock, Anna Moore and Kayla Pitzer. Every morning the girls helped kids deposit their coins in a large container at the front office.

"The event was a great success, raising $501.39," Kristen said. Terry Hackney with Blue Mountain Red Cross was expected on March 1 to accept the check at an all-school assembly.

Fifth-graders Hayley Taylor, Ashley Halazon, Lauren Svenson, Sydney Carrara, Natalia Bloom and Cailin Bloom are raising funds for Providence St. Mary Medical Center's breast cancer fund. With the help of parent volunteers Cliff and Marie Taylor, they made Valentine's Day cards that sold for $1 before school and during lunch periods. That benefit brought in $340. Dennis Maughan from Providence St. Mary was also expected to attend the assembly to accept the funds.

"I am very proud of all the hard work that our kids have put in and how generous our students and their families are," Kristen said.

Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at or afternoons at 526-8313.


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