Pilot Farris downs enemy plane

photo Stan Farris was a member of the Wallowa County Court when this photo was taken during a mule pack trip along the Snake River in September 1966. As a Marine pilot during World War II, Farris was credited with downing an enemy Japanese aircraft before it could complete a suicide mission against U.S. warships (see today's 70 Years Ago section). This photo was provided to the Chieftain by the late Dick Hammond, who led the 1966 pack trip.

100 years ago

July 15, 1915

Heavy rains last week caused some grain in the county to lodge, but the damage was confined to patches in fields here and there. On irrigated land, where the field had been watered just before the rain the grain went down in places. In the hills also winter wheat that was far advanced fell in scattered cases. Heavy barley also suffered a little. The damage is believed to be slight compared with the good done by the rains, particularly to spring grain. All classes of non-irrigated land were in need of moisture, and some winter wheat was showing signs of turning prematurely. The days immediately following the rain were cool and without wind, so the wetting came with a minimum of harm.

Preparations for fighting forest fires in the next two months have been completed by the forest service, the timber owners, farmers and stockmen. Although a heavy rain fell last week in much of the forest, the ground dries quickly and fires will be a possibility soon if the weather is hot. Last year a soaking rain fell on July 7, and the next good rain was September 7. Many small fires broke out during the interim.

In the best ball game of the year, Wallowa defeated Joseph last Sunday 2 to 0. The game was played at Wallowa. This makes Joseph and Wallowa even in results to date this summer. Culver pitched a pretty game for Wallowa and was well supported. Shutt pitched a steady game for Joseph.

The old county high school property was leased last week by the county to the Enterprise district, No. 21, for a period of two years. It is a straight lease, without any strings or conditions to it, and the rent is $80 a month for the nine school months of the year. Two days’ negotiations between the county court and the district directors were necessary to arrive at this conclusion. The directors knew exactly how far they could go, but were not committed to any particular settlement inside of that. They wished to rent the property with an option to buy.

70 years ago

July 12, 1945

A clumsy attempt by a Japanese suicide pilot to ram an American warship helped Marine Captain Stanley Farris, 23, of Enterprise, shoot down his first enemy plane. He intercepted the Japanese dive bomber over the China sea, flying less than 50 feet above the water headed for a ship several thousand yards distant.

The apparent paradox of an inadequate water supply in a land with water running everywhere is again in evidence in Enterprise. Virtual exhaustion of the water in the city reservoir has made it dramatically necessary to drastically restrict the use of water for irrigation. On the north side of Greenwood street flat rate water users are restricted to the use of water for irrigation from 6-9 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, while meter users may irrigate throughout these days.

Results of the farm census taken this spring show that the number of farms in Wallowa county is steadily decreasing while the size of the average farm is mounting.

Modern methods of fighting forest fires by dropping men and equipment from the air right at the scene of the fire were demonstrated to members of the Wallowa National forest staff here Monday. The demonstration was made by a crew who flew here from McCall, Idaho, near Payette lake.

50 years ago

July 15, 1965

Several members of the golf club at Enterprise and other interested citizens and city council members met Tuesday evening at the high school with Ted Hunter of the Farm Home Administration. Mr. Hunter outlined a program whereby the golf club, as a corporation, could obtain a loan from FHA for installation of an irrigation system and grass greens at the local golf course.

With only a few weeks left before the opening of the Wallowa County Fair, knitters and crocheters who plan to use their needle or their hook to win fame by entering the 1965 National Wool Needlework Contest, are urged to let their fingers fly. To be eligible as a contestant, designs must be submitted to the Fair not later than Monday, August 9, with judging of the knitted and crocheted entries scheduled to begin immediately after the Fair has opened. The contest is being jointly sponsored by the National Hand Knitting Yarn Association and the American Wool Council for the third successive year.

25 years ago

July 12, 1990

Circuit Court Judge R. T. ‘Tom’ Gooding is dropping his suit to prevent Wallowa County attorney Ron Schenck from succeeding him as circuit judge for Union and Wallowa counties. The decision for Gooding to dismiss his complaint charging Schenck with violating election laws by making false statements in the campaign leading up to Schenck’s narrow 174-vote victory in the May 28 election, came Tuesday, just a day after an amended complaint had been filed by the plaintiff and in the wake of other legal maneuvering.

The Joseph and Wallowa Lake area is being infiltrated by writers of all genres this week for the Fishtrap Gathering writers’ conference being held Friday through Sunday at the Wallowa Lake Methodist campground.

A group of mushroom pickers in the Memaloose area about a half mile south of the Hat Point lookout reported that someone was shooting at them Monday afternoon.

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