25 YEARS AGO

Aug. 16, 1994

Arlin Phillips and his diving crew at Northwest Metal Fabricators found a surprise in the Columbia River last week.

Diver Kevin Brown discovered a safe, containing some dissolved paper, a key and 27 cents in change, a few feet from an irrigation intake east of Hat Rock State Park.

“It looked like someone had thrown it off the pump station,” Phillips said.

The safe, its door removed, had in it a 1990 penny.

Hermiston Police Chief Grant Asher said the most recent safe heist he recalls happened in 1987, when a “big José of a safe” was stolen out of the Hermiston Tri-Cinemas.

This safe, a “Century Supreme,” was small by comparison. Phillips said it was of the type found in a home or small business.

50 YEARS AGO

Aug. 14, 1969

A total of 17,500 persons passed through the gates at the Umatilla County Fair, surpassing all previous records, based on unofficial figures by John Cermak, ticket sales department head. An official tally is yet to be made.

This was greater than anticipated and considerably greater than the 16,000 attendance a year ago. Cermak said his figures included paid attendance as well as those entering the gates on passes.

Fair manager Bob Cooper, president of the fair board, was jubilant over the success of the fair, as were other officials. Warm, pleasant weather prevailed, without a sign of rain. The evenings, when the Junior Rodeo was held, were particularly balmy.

2) Robert Shannon, chief of police at John Day, has been appointed new police chief for Hermiston succeeding Robert Adams, who resigned July 1.

City recorder Mathilda Russell related that Shannon, 38, had previously served with the Oregon State Police from 1955 to 1964, part of that time with the Pendleton office.

75 YEARS AGO

Aug. 17, 1944

A Pendleton boy, young Eugene Fiedler, 15 years of age, was instantly killed on the Oregon Trail highway near milepost 200 last Friday morning when he was run over by a passing motor vehicle as he lay asleep on the edge of the highway.

Chief of police B.J. Nation and state policeman Don McConnell were called to the scene immediately. The fatal automobile did not stop and to date no clues have been picked up.

The following story has been reconstructed. Eugene and his brother, Aaron, 16, had been visiting at Kennewick and were hitch-hiking home. They became tired after leaving Hermiston and decided to stop for a rest. Apparently they fell asleep with Eugene lying partly on the highway. Sometime later the latter was run over by some vehicle but his brother was not awakened and did not discover what happened until he tried to awaken his brother sometime later.

Police are of the opinion that the passing motorist might not be aware of the accident as numerous pieces of slab wood were on the highway and he might have thought he struck one of those.

100 YEARS AGO

Aug. 16, 1919

The Hermiston Fire Department members are not such a bad lot of fellows, and really deserve a banquet or at least a few bouquets handed to them for the valiant service done Wednesday evening by getting out and obliterating the chuck holes and smoothing the portions of the city streets on Gladys Avenue and First Street.

A few couplings of the hose onto hydrants, plenty of water, and ingenuity with shovels on the part of the fire laddies did the trick that vanquished declivities in those places which have been the cause of auto drivers and teamsters many times within the past two months voicing sentiments in language that would not look well in print.

2) Col. J.F. McNaught is justly termed the alfalfa kind of Eastern Oregon, and it is now conceded that this honor should be extended to cover all western states where this kind of hay is grown, for be it known that it has been said by experts that he undoubtedly has the best alfalfa ranch in the whole United States.

That would seem to be so when it is taken into consideration that the hay harvested from the big ranch of 228 acres here this season will run between 1,100 and 1,200 tons, with 20 acres of it new seeding at that.

News Editor

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

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