Man Murders Bank President

During this week in January 1912, the attempted robbery of a Centralia bank resulted in the death of the bank president.

"Lawrence Bar, president of the Farmers and Merchants Bank of Centralia, was shot to death shortly after 7 o'clock Saturday evening by a stranger who entered with the intention of robbing the bank," The Chehalis Bee-Nugget reported. "It is the custom of the Centralia banks to be open between 7 and 8 o'clock Saturday evenings. A few minutes after the opening of the bank a young man entered by the front door and went around behind the counter.

"Cashier C. Paul Uhlman was the first man encountered. He was commanded to hold up his hands. Instead of complying, Mr. Uhlman grappled with the robber. President Bar came forward from the side office and also grappled with the man. During the scuffle the robber drew a revolver and shot Mr. Bar through the stomach. Mr. Bar's only words were: ‘I am shot and am dying.'

"Almost immediately Oren Krepps, the porter, who was in the rear of the bank, came forward to assist his employer, and Nels Christensen and Carl Miller, laborers, hearing the shots from the outside, entered and seized the robber."

‘Sweet-Voiced Warbler' Delights Audience

120 years ago, in 1887

The recent concert at the Presbyterian Church was well attended.

"The evening's program opened with an excellent piece of instrumental music by Mrs. O.F. Saindon, followed by an Anthem by the choir, which was applauded," The Lewis County Bee reported. "‘Fly Away Gentle Dove,' sang by Miss Kate Ward, the sweet voiced warbler of Tumwater, was well rendered. Only those who have heard that highly cultivated voice can realize how well it was appreciated by a Chehalis audience. As a result the people of our town are good judges of real merit, and seldom make much demonstration of their delight, yet on several occasions during the evening they showed by their continued applause that they were highly pleased. A performer who gets an applause from a Chehalis audience may rest assured that his work has been well done, and is deserving of praise."

Winning Slogan Earns Beauty Culture Course

75 years ago, in 1937

"If your hair isn't becoming to you - you should be coming to us" was the winning slogan submitted by Miss Elsie White, Centralia. Her prize was a $100 course in "beauty culture," according to Dollie Vincent, proprietor of the Twin City Beauty Academy.

Nesika Bridge Damaged

50 years ago, in 1962

The Nesika Bridge near Riffe was closed because of a weekend accident. The crossbeam of the center span of the bridge was struck by a vehicle.

"It's just lucky the bridge is still standing," said George Stevens, chief bridge engineer for the state.

Hickman Arraigned for Killing Elderly Man

25 years ago, in 1987

Paul D. Hickman, 21, Centralia, was arraigned in Lewis County Superior Court for the first-degree murder of 82-year-old Floyd Derscheid on Dec. 13 in Derscheid's Centralia home.

New Adult Business Prospers

10 years ago, in 2002

Matt Skinner, operator of Paradise Video, a Centralia pornography store, was pleased with his business. He had to increase his inventory in response to the demand.

"We usually get at least 20 customers a day," Skinner said. "Business has been better than I ever expected. I wish I had gotten into adult entertainment years ago.

"It's also been interesting to realize how different adult entertainment is from other forms of retail. You don't have to spend time working to bring people into your store. Word gets around and they find you. So instead of focusing a lot on advertising, I get to put more time into customer service.

Patricia Mason, local citizen, was unhappy with the business.

"That store is within four blocks of three grade schools - Centralia Christian School, Jefferson-Lincoln Elementary, and Washington Elementary," Mason said. "It is just crazy, and I hope people start going to city council meetings to voice their opposition."

Skinner replied, "First of all, no child can tell what kind of a business this is. We have no suggestive signage, posters or outdoor advertising. All we have is a sign that tells people we deal with adult entertainment.

"Stores like this now are starting to sponsor local ball teams and join local chambers of commerce. I plan to do the same."

Shooting Victim Identified

Five years ago, in 2007

Kandice R. Kidrick-Brenner, 20, of Longview-Woodland area, was identified as the woman killed the week prior in a shootout at the home of Gary Greig, Packwood.

When inside Greig's home, she shot him through the ear lobe. Greig returned the fire and killed her. Another person, Bill Elkins, died after being shot in the leg.

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