A Look Back in Time: Accident-Prone Mayor Thrown Against Fence Following Car Accident in 1932


Toledo Mayor P.E. Ferrier was of the opinion that he’d had enough accidents in March 1932 to last quite a while.

“The mayor, who has been hobbling about on crutches since he sprained his ankle last week, was the victim of a second mishap Wednesday that damaged his car more than it did himself,” reported The Chronicle.

Ferrier had gone with his son on some assessor’s work in Cowlitz Prairie when he parked his car off the pavement in front of James Allison’s home.

That’s when another vehicle was forced off the highway near the home, putting the mayor and his vehicle at risk.

Ferrier was leaning against his vehicle when the sidelined automobile barreled toward him, smashing into the mayor’s car. Thrown against the fence, Ferrier got away without injury, but both vehicles were badly damaged.

Another motorist, who’d witnessed the accident, sped off in pursuit of the vehicle that had run the now crashed car off the highway.

Yet before this Good Samaritan could catch up with the troublemaking vehicle, the pursuing man’s car burst into flames.


March 12, 1932:

• There was a disagreement between Chehalis Mayor John West and Kina Bower, the woman in charge of the area’s welfare headquarters. Bower alleged that West wouldn’t request a sanction of more than 25 barrels of flour from the American Red Cross for the impoverished people in Chehalis, while the Centralia welfare folks requested 300 barrels. West did not want to put too much of a burden on the Red Cross office in San Francisco, where the flour was coming from, but he corrected Bower by explaining that he didn’t want to ask for more than 35 barrels — not 25 — to make sure that the greater need seen in Centralia would be met.

• The Red Cross announced that the victims of car accidents between Tenino and Centralia were entitled to first aid supplies, which would soon be available at a place called Twin Gates. The center, under sponsorship by C.C. Bluhm, was set to be on duty 24 hours a day.

• The Centralia High School honor roll for the first six weeks of the second semester in 1932 recognized 70 students. Fourteen of them held at least four A grades. Eugene Allen, Bessie Bell, Rollin Boylan, Glenna Brunton, Dale Crown, Dorwin Cunningham, Elizabeth Ebert, Mary Ann Hawes, Thelma Mattson, Ruth Poore, Frances Thomas and Clifford Wasson were listed among those who scored the highest.

• Centralians who failed to secure licenses for their dogs were set to be prosecuted in March 1932. Chief of Police J.C. Kriebel announced that the laws on unlicensed canines were set to be strictly enforced and even appointed W.M. French as the city’s resident dog catcher. A $2 fine was set to unlicensed male or spayed female dogs, while the possession of an unspayed female dog would bear the penalty of $4.

• Jacob E. Gates, then 59, a 20-year Centralia resident, died March 11, 1932. Gates had lived in the Seminary Hill district and was survived by his wife and four children.


March 12, 1942:

• The Twin Cities’ State Guard Company L Fourth Washington Infantry underwent its first inspection by ranking members of the guard. Major R.L. Jackson and Major Clarence B. Shain performed the inspection. “Captain George Stephens, company commander, said the preliminary report of the officers indicated they were well pleased with the unit and the progress it has made,” reported The Chronicle.

• Robert and Earl Vallee filed an aggregate $7,075 damages lawsuit against D.J. Trathen, who’d allegedly left his truck parked illegally at an intersection on Jefferson Street, eliciting the Vallees to hit the parked vehicle from behind, injuring both men.

• A merchant’s event called the “1942 Spring Opening” was set to hit Centralia’s downtown district, where local stores could bring out their latest fashions for residents of the Twin Cities and the region at large to shop through.

• An early resident of Chehalis, Albert Stevens, then a resident of Seattle, died in March 1942. Stevens was the brother of the late Walter Stevens and was survived by his other brother and a sister. The Stevenses lived in Chehalis for several years.

• A 1935 Chevrolet Standard Coupe was listed in The Chronicle for a sale price of $275 by Chehalis resident Herman Schwarz. The listing advertised five new tires and tubes.

• A group of businessmen raised funds for the Bearcats basketball team to travel to Seattle to view the state championship. The “purpose of the trip is to repay the boys for the splendid showing made by the Bearcats in their recent basketball season,” reported The Chronicle.


March 12, 1952:

• After a stirring election, Centralia was set to have a new mayor, who would take office on June 2, 1952. Claude W. Warren, a longtime Centralia businessman, beat out incumbent Mayor George Scherer in the city’s 1952 general election by 326 votes. In addition, Paul Bigelow defeated George Doran by 173 votes for the position of public works commissioner.

• The Chehalis School District was set to auction off its old senior high school building, which was located on the corner of Market and East Main Street, at 10 a.m. on March 29, 1952. Floyd E. Helm, clerk of the district’s board of directors, announced the sale.

• Florence Kennicott, Lewis County superintendent of schools, announced that Mossyrock and Napavine were the winners in the second round of the county’s spelling bee tournament.

• Fritz O. Rindahl, of Winlock, and William E. Randahl, of Napavine, enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps for a period of three years.

• Mr. and Mrs. H.E. Randall, of 1111 South Buckner St. in Centralia, “left for an air trip to Hawaii, where they will see their son, Dean Randall, 22, serving in a navy air transport unit,” reported The Chronicle.

• The Fox Theatre was set to show two movies on March 12, 1953. “Star Lift” was scheduled for 7 p.m. and 10:17 p.m., while “Fort Osage,” was showing at 9:05 p.m.