B-24 bomber crash site found

Chieftain archivesEnterprise Lions members and other Lions officials Included in this 1935 photo taken at the Enterprise Golf Course are, from left, Tom Ratcliff, Ira Snyder, Ben Taylor, International Director Ed Shay, District Governor Ted Gillenwater, and Dave Reavis. Ratcliff, a car salesman at the time, supplied the car, which was already an antique in 1935.

100 Years Ago

Sept. 2, 1915

Last Sunday was the hottest day of the season in eastern Oregon. The thermometer ranged at 100 or over in the lowland districts generally, and in the uplands of this county it ran up to 94, the maximum at Enterprise. Sunday night was very warm in the lower altitudes, but here it was delightfully cool, with the freshness of the mountain climate.

The great flywheel of the East Oregon company’s sawmill was placed in position yesterday. This was something of an event, and many from town went to the plant to see how the job was done. The wheel is 18 feet in diameter, with a 47-inch face and weighs 30 tons. It came in two sections.

Mrs. J. N. Anderson of Whiskey Creek killed a coyote last Wednesday morning after she and the family dog had fought the animal for some time. Mrs. Anderson and daughter Leota were home alone over night. In the morning Mrs. Anderson went to the spring to get the milk for breakfast. The spring is a short distance from the house and on the creek bank. As she reached the spring the coyote came up the creek to within two rods of her. Seeing the woman, the animal turned, went up the other side of the creek and then crossed back and approached the gate of the yard. Mrs. Anderson called dog, and at sight of it the coyote started down the creek, having made a complete circuit of Mrs. Anderson. The two animals met beside the creek and as they fought Mrs. Anderson called to Leota to bring a gun. There was only one shell, and in her excitement Mrs. Anderson discharged this accidentally. She then sent Leota for an axe and followed the coyote, which was trying to get away, and killed it.

70 Years Ago

Aug. 30, 1945

The Wallowa National Forest had its first serious fire of the 1945 season the past weekend when a “sleeper” lightning blaze swept over about 640 acres on the Cow Creek water shed Friday night and Saturday morning. The fire was spotted shortly before 4 o’clock Friday evening. Jack Titus and other local fire fighting cooperators and a crew of forest service men under the direction of ranger Grady Miller were on the spot in a few hours. A call was also sent to the Payette, Idaho National forest and planes from McCall brought over four parachute fire fighting jumpers Friday evening and another ten Saturday morning. By 8 or 9 o’clock Saturday morning the fire had been checked, but crews still worked on to keep it under control, the last man not leaving the scene until yesterday.

The B-24 bomber reported down Saturday night somewhere in the mountains in this vicinity was found about 4 o’clock Monday afternoon near Alpine spring some seven miles southeast of Langdon lake on the Tollgate road. Eleven members of the crew and four other army personnel were killed. The plane was en route from Sioux City, Iowa, to Walla Walla when the crash occurred. Another plane making the trip and flying somewhat above the plane that crashed saw the accident and radioed the information to army headquarters.

Endorsement of the state park at the head of Wallowa lake proposed to the state highway commission was made at a meeting of Joseph Commercial club held Monday evening at the Sweet shop. Opinion was unanimously in favor of the action.

A report from the state game commission reveals that there is no harmful pollution of the Wallowa river as the result of the dumping of small quantities of whey from the local cheese factory into the Wallowa river.

50 Years Ago

Sept. 2, 1965

Walter James Witten, 50, La Grande, was found dead last Thursday morning, ending a three-day search for the man in the Cook Creek area northeast of Enterprise. Witten had been the object of a search led by Sheriff Mark Marks in which 30–40 persons participated. Witten reportedly went to the Cook Creek area on Sunday to inspect a proposed trail job. When he did not return to his home at Perry near La Grande by Monday evening he was reported to the Union County Sheriff’s office as missing and the search was formed.

Wallowa County will be one of 57 counties in Oregon and Washington to share in the receipts of the National Forests in fiscal year 1965. About $21 million, an all-time high, is being paid to these counties with the Wallowa county share being $102,976.33.

Twenty-three school board members representing six of the seven district school boards in Wallowa county met Monday evening at Enterprise High School to discuss county-wide school issues. Only the Flora district was not represented at the county school board association meeting. Consolidation of the Omaha and Joseph districts was discussed.

At a recent conference conducted by the State Department of Education, called for the purpose of acquainting school administrators with the provisions of the Federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act, it was revealed that, according to the requirements stated in the Act, Wallowa County Schools will receive little, if any, benefit from this source.

25 Years Ago

Aug. 30, 1990

Noted experts in a wide range of disciplines shed new light on old issues about natural resource management from an unusual vantage point last week during a tour of bug killed timber, burn areas, and other points of interest.

Electricity to a new dormitory complex at Wallowa Lake was ordered shut off last week after state and county officials discovered the facility was built without necessary zoning or building permits.

The mayor of Lostine had to personally call Bend to be counted in the recent 1990 census,so it’s easy to see why he’s skeptical of the preliminary figures released by the U.S. Census Bureau last week. They show Lostine’s population has shrunk from 250 to 173 in 10 years. “I can count 17 new people without leaving my easy chair,” mayor George Gwinn said Tuesday. He admits that some people may have moved away (“but not many”) or died, but can’t see how the city could have lost so many residents.

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