This week in History

Published Jan 12, 2014 at 12:01AM

Compiled by Don Hoiness from archived copies of The Bulletin at the Des Chutes Historical Museum.

100 YEARS AGO

For the week ending

Jan. 11, 1914

Work to start up next week

Starting next week, from 50 to 100 men will be given employment on the Tumalo reservoir work. O. Laurgaard, the project engineer, returned this morning from a meeting of the Desert Land Board, held at Salem yesterday, at which this was authorized. He stated over the telephone that the board had deferred final action on the recommendations of the board of consulting engineers until about February 10, at which time it is expected that the character of the dam to be built will be determined. In the meantime preliminary construction will be carried on. This will be road building, excavation for the foundation and cut-off trench, etc. It will be mostly pick and shovel labor. The crews will work eight hours a day, at $2 or 20 cents an hour. Men desiring employment should apply at the project office in Laidlaw. As soon as the frost is out of the ground 70 or 80 teams will be put on the works, Mr. Laurgaard said.

The board of engineers met in Portland last Saturday and completed its report to be submitted to the land board. Yesterday, however, Heney of the board wired from Umatilla, where he then was, that he had secured additional data of value in connection with the Tumalo project and asked that the board postpone final action until this new data could be put in shape to be submitted.

The first shipment of the steel flume has arrived at Deschutes and is now being hauled to the project by Aune Bros. of Bend, who have the contract. As soon as the ice is off the trestles from which the flume is to be hung the work of putting it up will be started. This will require the employment of about 25 men for a month, Mr. Laurgaard stated.

J.J. Adams is continuing work on his contract but will not have it completed by the end of the month, necessitating a further extension of time to him by the land board.

Arranging big dance

Arrangements are being made by the Tumalo Gun Club for the most elaborate dance ever held in Laidlaw. It is scheduled for Friday evening of this week. The club secretary, A.J. Welton, was in Bend Monday in the interest of the affair.

The dance will be held in the large new hall, the floor of which is ample to accommodate 100 couples comfortably. Elaborate decorations are being arranged, including a hunter’s lodge that will be very attractive. Forrest’s seven-piece orchestra has been engaged to furnish the music. The officials of the club are sparing no expense and pains to make this a very delightful social function. It is the first annual affair to be given by the club, and the intentions are to make it a record breaker. Everyone will be made to feel at home whether they dance or not. Dancing will begin at 8:30.

The Laidlaw ladies, whose reputation for delightful hospitality is firmly established, will provide refreshments for the evening. Elaborate programs have been printed for the dance. The floor manager will be Mr. Welton, assisted by members of the club. As usual, Bend will send down a large delegation.

The Tumalo club intends to put Laidlaw “on the map” in no uncertain terms. It has joined the state shooting league for the tournament to be held this spring and the members are primed for honors.

75 YEARS AGO

For the week ending

Jan. 11, 1939

Benny indicted on smuggling charges

Jack Benny, radio and film comic, was indicted by a federal grand jury today on three charges of smuggling in connection with the alleged purchase of jewels from Albert N. Chaperau, international soldier of fortune.

The comedian, who reportedly earns $12,000 a week, pleaded not guilty to the indictment, which contained a conspiracy count, and was placed on $1000 bail for trial January 24.

Benny was caught in the same toils which last month trapped his radio rival, comedian George Burns who pleaded guilty to smuggling $4,885 worth of diamond-studded trinkets for his wife and partner Gracie Allen.

Chaperau, one-time film figure himself, already faced eight years imprisonment and a $20,000 fine in connection with the smuggling of $1,833 worth of Paris finery for Mrs. Elma N. Lauer, wife of Supreme Court Justice Edgar J. Lauer. Chaperau pleaded guilty to that charge but has yet to be tried on the charges involving Burns and Benny.

Benny had arrived in New York last night by airplane from Los Angeles. He went before the grand jury this afternoon and although he insisted he knew Chaperau “only slightly” and had no information of value for federal authorities, he was nervous. The usual grin on his rotund face was missing, and his hand shook as he wrote autographs for fans in the federal building.

Federal officers had said that Benny bought from $1200 to $2000 worth of smuggled gems from Chaperau for his wife and radio colleague Mary Livingston.

At his arraignment Benny was pale and appeared to be disconcerted by the possibility of being sentenced to six years imprisonment, the maximum penalty on the three counts.

A few hours before the indictment was announced, federal authorities had disclosed that Chaperau, angered because his well-placed “friends” did not come to his aid with bail money, was talking freely about his smuggling activities. They said his disclosures might involve “more than 30 prominent persons.”

50 YEARS AGO

For the week ending

Jan. 11, 1964

Truman still bitter toward Gen. MacArthur

Old animosities don’t seem to fade away.

A reporter asked President Harry S. Truman on his morning walk today if it was true he had buried the hatchet with former President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Truman observed that he and Eisenhower had “never had any differences” between them.

The reporter asked if he was ready to make peace with Gen. Douglas MacArthur, whom Truman recalled as U.N. commander in Korea in 1951. Truman shook his head emphatically to indicate “no.”

He was then asked if he would support the recent suggestion that Gen. MacArthur be raised from a five star general to the unique position of six star general.

“I’d recommend that he be cut down to four stars if I had anything to say about it,” Truman snapped.

Town in Texas makes smoking illegal

Imagine a grown man, law abiding in all respects and with no police record, sneaking a smoke behind locked doors and hunted like a common criminal.

It may be like that in Eastland come Feb. 20.

The city council passed an ordinance Monday that provides a $1000 fine or three years imprisonment for smoking cigarettes, selling cigarettes or giving away cigarettes within the city limits.

When asked Tuesday if the new ordnance could be enforced, Police Chief Ry Laney said “don’t ask me — ask the mayor.”

Mayor Don Pierson said he did not think the town’s six-man force could nab all the smokers in town, but he proposed the Gestapo-like technique of citizen’s arrest as a possible answer.

Under that system, all non-smokers would supposedly turn in smokers when they caught them puffing.

Smokers have until Feb. 20 to ponder the possibility of driving outside the city limits each time they feel like a smoke. That’s the date Mayor Pierson said he expected the ordinance to become effective.

From then on, only tourists who were exempted from the new ordinance, can smoke legally in Eastland.

The whole thing began when the five-man council, which includes three smokers, digested Saturday’s government report on the health hazard involved in smoking.

25 YEARS AGO

For the week ending

Jan. 11, 1989

Cowboy-rancher finds time to publish a book of poetry

“Cows wrote the book on Murphy’s law,” writes Jon Bowerman, working cowboy, rancher and poet.

Bowerman lives with his wife, Candy, and their three daughters on their Lightning B Ranch on the John Day River.

Bowerman’s latest book of poetry, Mustang Bulls and Milk Snakes, was published this year. He also has in print a book of nursery rhymes for children titled Cowkids, Colts and Peanut Butter Bulls.

Bowerman writes about the surprising and often comical things that happen in a working cowboy’s ordinary day. He likes to act out his poetry and is often invited to entertain with his humorous verse at fairs, livestock meetings, schools, weddings and funerals.

Though getting his neck broken in a rodeo accident wasn’t funny, the time spent in the hospital gave him the chance to get started as a cowboy poet.

The theme of his poetry, he says laconically, is “cow business, bucking horses, runaways and wrecks.”

“Cowboy poetry is different from other rhymed verse. You always find action in a cowboy poem. They make very frequent use of words from the cowboy dialect.”

Though working as a cowboy is his personally chosen lifestyle, Bowerman’s Western heritage in Oregon goes back to the 1850s.

“My great-great-grandfather (a mountain man who was friendly with the Indians) was killed in a horse race with Indians,” he notes. “My great-grandfather (Thomas B. Hoover) founded the town of Fossil. My grandfather on my dad’s side (Jay Bowerman) was the governor of Oregon.” Bill Bowerman, Jon’s father, was the track coach at the University of Oregon.

“I got mine (his ranch) in 1979,” Bowerman recalls. “We had a tremendous boom in 1979. It looked like a boom because the market went up real quick. The next thing was in 1980 the interest rate went to 20 percent. A lot of people had their neck stuck out and they were operating on borrowed money and that really killed them.”

In a poem about branding time on a ranch, Bowerman comments on one of the aspects of his lifestyle that isn’t for the queasy.

Guns and needles to vaccinate

Pocket knives to castrate

Crying, choking from the smoke

This ain’t the sport for common folk