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Pages of the Past

120 Years Ago

Aug. 17, 1894

Word was received Wednesday by Thos. Armstrong, that Herman Richau, who was sent to the asylum for the insane at Steilacoom, on the 20th of last month, had killed himself that morning by cutting his throat with a penknife. No details of the affair were sent. Mr. Richau was for many years a resident of this place, where he was engaged in the tailoring business. He removed to Aberdeen a couple of years ago, continuing in the same business. We gave an account of his unfortunate delusions at the time he was sent to the asylum. He leaves a wife with fur children. N.W. Bush, of Aberdeen, went to Steilacoom yesterday after the remains. The funeral will be held in Aberdeen tomorrow morning, and the remains brought to Montesano by special boat for interment by the A.O.U.W., of which order the deceased was a member.

100 Years Ago

Aug. 14, 1914

F.L. Nethery narrowly escaped serious injury last Saturday while out hunting. The dogs had treed a wild cat and one of the men in the party shot and wounded the beast in the neck. It jumped out of the tree and in falling through the brush was thrown by a vine maple farther than the hunters expected it to go and struck Mr. Nethery. One of the beast’s claws cut a deep gash over the left eye, which was the only injury of any consequence. The dogs caught the cat and quickly finished it. Three cats were taken on the hunt. The animals had been killing sheep on a ranch on Carstairs prairie.

75 Years Ago

Aug. 17, 1939

The following story was reprinted from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:

The city of Elma sees a ghost.

Unless some new industry can be found within the very near future to keep its corporate body and soul together, the city of Elma fears it will become a ghost town. Elma intends to find that industry before it’s too late.

Elma is not a ghost town yet — far from it! — and Elma is desperately determined not to become one. But logging and sawmill activities that originally brought the city into being are fast receding. Many Grays Harbor mills currently are sawing logs that were cut in Oregon, rafted on the Columbia to Kelso, and there put on railroad cars.

They tell you at Elma that Grays Harbor is pretty well cut over; that the big trees are steadily numbering fewer; that Elma is tackling a problem which, in time, will become the problem of many another Western Washington community.

50 Years Ago

Aug. 13, 1964

For the fourth consecutive year, Cecil Johnston of Montesano won the sweepstakes award at the 10th annual Puget Sound sheltered garden show in the Loyal Heights field house, Seattle, this month.

His award was in the tuberous begonia division, in which he had won five blue ribbons.

Johnston has been growing begonias at his home here for more than 12 years. He has competed in the Seattle show for seven years, winning many awards. The show is sponsored by the Seattle branch of the American Begonia Society and the Seattle parks department.

25 Years Ago

Aug. 17, 1989

For the third year in a row, attendance at the Grays Harbor County Fair has climbed. Fair officials said this week that some 42,590 people passed through the gates this year, which is 10,595 more than the number recorded in 1988.

10 Years Ago

Aug. 12, 2004

A judge will decide within a week whether there are sufficient grounds to allow the recall of three members of the Montesano City Council.

A hearing has been set for Aug. 19 in Grays Harbor Superior Court before Judge David Foscue.

No one at the city or county can remember a recall election making it to the ballot in the past 30 years, and they’re virtually certain there’s never been a recall of a public official in Montesano.

The judge must decide on the “sufficiency” of allegations that councilmen Greg Ballew, Walt Bussard and Bud Owen had reason to believe they were violating council policy and the state Open Public Meetings Act when they continued to hold Public Safety Committee meetings without posting proper notice so that members of the public and media could attend.

Prosecutor Stew Menefee said the person or persons filing the recall petition do not have to prove the charges. Rather, the judge will decide that if the council members met as alleged, whether those meetings would have been in violation of council policy and the Open Public Meetings Act.