Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Adams County Makes the News - Council Leader #26

The Adams County Leader
Published Every Friday by the Council Publishing Company. 
Eighty-nine per cent of the stock of the above company
is owned by F.H. Michaelson.
F. H. Michaelson Editor and Manager

September 5, 1919

As a result of the disastrous fire season this summer, and as further precaution against the starting of other fires, the secretary of agriculture has for the month of September extended a regulation, heretofore applying only in California, making it unlawful to build a camp fire in the national forests of Idaho and Washington without a permit from a forest officer.  Violation of the order subjects an offender to a fine of up to $5,000 or ten months in a tomb of reflection, or both.

September 5, 1919

On Sunday a local fisherman caught a carp in the Weiser River below town, probably the first fish of that species ever taken up from the river in these parts.  It is presumed that the water scarcity of the lower country has caused the carp to follow the riverbed upwards in the hope of finding a wet spot; or, mayhap, the one caught had been trailing Sunday’s excursion train with intent to steal bait from the amateur anglers thereon.

July 4, 1919

While fishing in the Weiser River just below town last Sunday, Pat Adams caught a salmon trout that weighed eight pounds, the biggest reported this season.  He used light tackle and spent about an hour at the task of landing the beauty.  While the job was a good one, it was really rather mean of Pat because he knew that the publisher of this prevaricator was wading the river from Fruitvale down in order to get that fish cornered near the bridge so we would not need to carry it all the way.  Just when we had the trout hungry and tired, Pat dropped down to the bridge and grabbed it on a fly hook.

December 19, 1919

There will be a school bond election at Council tomorrow, Saturday, afternoon.  It is up to the people of District No. 25 to DO SOMETHING.  What are you going to do?

Since practically all citizens are familiar with the unmodern condition of Council school buildings and their inadequacy to the community’s present and prospective needs, we venture into no discussion of the subject farther than to suggest that each citizen take an interest in the election at least to the extent of voting his, or her, convictions.  We have sufficient faith in the intelligence and intent of our neighbors to believe that their combined judgment, whatever individual preference may be, will be sound if an approximately full vote is recorded. 

That Council must, in justice to itself, improve the physical facilities of its schools goes without saying.  We suggest that if there are persons who are in doubt as to the merit of the plans proposed, they go direct to the office of the Clerk of the Board and ask to see the plans and specifications.  Any conclusion based upon random street rumor may later prove to have been poorly founded.  Hence, neighbor, if you are willing to assist in providing adequate school quarters for your children, get out and record your convictions.  If you consider school equipment a needless luxury, you will be privileged to vote in the negative.

March 21, 1919

I am going to recount an incident that occurred here more than twenty years ago, and I trust it will tend to make those who criticize our roads and transportation facilities more appreciative and contented with what we now have.

In the good old days of long ago, before the advent of the railroad, we were under the necessity of transporting all our goods and machinery form Weiser by wagon, a distance of sixty miles; and such roads!  No bridges, no grading, and in the spring, no bottom to any of it.  Always at about this time of year, it became the painful duty of someone to go after a load of freight; and you can imagine what kind of sport it would be.

The time of which I speak was an exceedingly rainy year, and in March the roads were in such condition as would mire a “saddle blanket.”  It was while this state of affairs was on that Frank Shelton, now at Bear, Idaho, pulled into the Valley.  Frank was a teamster and freighter, and a good one; and although he had no load, he had nevertheless dragged the axle all the way from Weiser.  His opinion of the roads registered zero, and he decided to express himself, and further stated that there was no team of four horses in the Valley that could pull one ton without getting stuck and requiring assistance to get out of the thousand and one mud holes. 

This notorious explosion of Frank’s was made in the one little store that Council then boasted of, owned by John O. Peters and Isaac McMahan.  The official freighter for Peters & McMahan was Olaf Sorenson, who was known as the best teamster in the country, and who owned a four-horse team that would pull anything loose at one end.  Peters stated that he was satisfied that Sorenson could bring a ton through; Shelton thought differently and said he would bet one hundred dollars that no four-horse team could do it.  Peters’ faith in Sorenson was such that he at once “plunked down” the one hundred dollars and the bet was on. 

Next day they started for Weiser—Isaac McCMahan, Olaf Sorenson, Frank Shelton and a few others, to see the fun.  Shelton insisted that the lines be taken from Sorenson and given to McCMahan, although McCMahan was unacquainted with the team, but it was finally arranged that he would drive.  Now, “Mack” was to pull one ton from Weiser to Council and was not to take more than three pulls in any one place.  Well, you should have seen the fun!  If ever a team covered itself with glory, it was on this occasion.  The roads were almost impassable; time and again both axles were dragging in mud and it would look like it was all off; but after three days of heart-breaking work “Mack” made it thorough and won the bet.  I doubt if any other team in the county could have done it.

Such were the conditions then.  Compare them to those of today.  Nevertheless, we all had good times—going to dances and spelling schools—and did not think much of it.

M. P. Gifford

compiled by Eberle Umbach


  1. Another fabulous collection. Thanks

  2. Hi Alan: & thanks--we so much appreciate your support of this series!


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