Hermiston History

As time ran out, the Hermiston bench (left to right) Brandi Lowrance, Lynette Hickey, Erin Hansell, Jamie Shirley and coach Mike Royer celebrated Hermiston’s 55-52 win over Pendleton in 1994.


Feb. 15, 1994

A pick-up truck rested on the bottom of Willow Creek Reservoir outside Heppner.

Oregon State Police and Morrow County Sheriff’s Department personnel were called to the scene. They in turn called Toby Hall.

Hall, 17, of Boardman, is one of Morrow County’s three certified divers and first responders.

The job called for grace under pressure. Inside the truck was the body of an Ione man, who had failed to get out in time.

Hall attached the hook at the end of a wrecker’s winch cable to the bumper of the submerged truck. He then had to close the driver’s side door to prevent the body from falling out. Hall’s ability to keep his cool during a traumatic task was impressive.

Hermiston History

Toby Hall, 17, gets a hand suiting up from his brother Ty before helping retrieve a truck that crashed into the Willow Creek Reservoir in 1994.

“I think he did a fantastic job,” Morrow County Sheriff Roy Drago said.

2) Up to five thousand buyers, sellers and spectators from throughout the United States and Canada are expected at this week’s Hermiston Extravaganza Horse Sale at at the Northwestern Livestock Commission.

Motel rooms and trailer spaces are already in short supply as buyers and sellers prepare to attend the sale.

“We’ve been full-up for the weekend for a long time,” said Angela Lambert, co-owner of the Rest a Bit Motel in Umatilla.


Feb. 13, 1969

Lee Urbaur, Good Shepherd Hospital Administrator, says the architect firm of Wilmsen, Endicott and Greene of Portland has been chosen to draw up plans for the proposed expansion and modernization of the hospital that may run as high as a quarter of a million dollars.

Urbauer says preliminary plans call for an addition to present facilities to accommodate approximately 14 more beds, as well as modernization and enlargement of the rest of the hospital.

The hospital, originally built in 1954, was increased from 30 to 42 bed capacity in an expansion in 1964 and the current addition of 14 beds will bring the total to 56.

2) Members of the school board of Hermiston School District and the teachers’ negotiating committee were deadlocked after nearly four hours of discussion at a special meeting convened at the high school last Monday evening.

The meeting was called because three prior meetings between the teachers and the school district’s salary consulting committee had resulted in an impasse over wages and assigned duties outside the classroom.

Hermiston History

A.F. Rohrman pays off a bet to Marvin Thompson in front of a large pile of snow in the Safeway parking lot in 1969. Rohrman bet Thompson that the snow would all be gone by Feb. 7. It was not.

The teachers group, represented by Matt Doughty, pressed for a salary schedule starting at $6,400 for beginning teachers with an automatic annual 4 percent increment. The school board countered with $6,300 and a variable increment index that is now spread between 2.5 and 5 percent.


Feb. 17, 1944

The past several days have seen considerable basketball in these parts with the high school Bulldogs winning two and losing two in a quartet of contests. Unfortunately, the two losses were in the sub-district playoff with Pendleton and Mac-Hi and consequently eliminated Coach Frank Davidson’s proteges from the running. Unless a late-season contest is scheduled, the Mac Hi game Tuesday ended play for the Bulldogs.

Tuesday night Hermiston was eliminated from further play in the tourney by losing at Mac Hi 41 to 26. The Bulldogs did not show the form displayed against Pendleton the night before and were behind 8 to 27 at half time. The second half found them outscoring the Mac Hi squad 18 to 14 but the lead was too large to overcome. Frank Harkenrider played his best game of the year, leading his teammates with 10 markers and generally playing a fine floor game.

2) A lesson to those who are “stumped” when war time restrictions and priority ratings prove troublesome should visit the Vigirbilt Hatchery where the owners, N.J. Van Skik and Curtin Walls, took matters into their own hands. When they were unable to obtain a new hatcher they decided to build one of their own, with “Van” doing the carpenter work and Mr. Walls the wiring.

Does it work? The apparatus is turning out two hatches of 4,800 birds twice a week with everything is hunky-dory.


Feb. 15, 1919

There are eight little Poland-China pigs out on the ranch of Mr. and Mrs. John McElroy that are fast acquiring knowledge of the food value of milk. These little piggies have everything cheated when it comes to nosing out a good thing.

One day recently the family cow failed to give the usual quota of milk, and from that time the milk flow kept dwindling. It was hard to find a reason for this, but it came a few days ago when Mrs. McElroy had occasion to visit the barnyard lot, for there before her astonished eyes were the eight piggies taking turns getting their dinner from the four teats of old bossie as she placidly lay chewing her quid and playing mother to the bunch of swine.

The mystery of where the cow’s milk was going to was solved, but the joke was so good that the McElroys have decided to let the pigs continue to double shoot the turn and get meals from their own and their adopted mother.

News Editor

Hermiston Herald news editor and reporter covering city government and economic development in Hermiston, Umatilla, Stanfield and Echo.

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