A Look Back in Time: Large Crowd Turns Out For Centralia’s 1962 Veterans Day Parade Despite Heavy Rainfall


Crowds showed up to Centralia’s 1962 Veterans Day parade on Saturday, Nov. 10, 1962, despite heavy rain.

“(The) parade Saturday turned out to be one of the best of the traditional events,” The Chronicle reported.

According to American Legion Commander David Lee, there were two big surprises from the parade — that people showed up to watch and people showed up to walk in the parade.

“Sidewalk watchers doubted there would be much of a parade; the paraders doubted there would be many out to see them,” The Chronicle reported.

The parade went as scheduled, even though many participating in the event had no protection from the cold weather and the rain.

According to The Chronicle, an estimated 3,000 to 4,000 spectators watched the procession along Pearl Street and Tower Avenue.

“Watchers were in rain gear, huddled under store marquees and many simply sat in parked cars,” The Chronicle reported.

Out of about 50 entries into the parade, only four failed to show up. Those four apparently failed to appear because of the heavy rainfall, “which did not let up for a moment.”

The reviewing stand was on Main Street by George Washington Park. The sweepstakes winner for the parade was the Olympia Eaglets drill team, “comprised of smartly marching girls” ages 8 to 12. The award for best float went to the Century 21 air show by Bucoda, which was in the Seattle parade over the summer in which it won the top award. The award for senior marching went to the University of Washington Air Force ROTC while the junior marching award went to the Centralia High School girls’ drill team.


Saturday, Nov. 12, 1932

• A fire of unknown origin at the Boegli Meat Market on South Tower Avenue caused about $100 in damage. The fire began around 3:25 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 11. Quick action from the fire department prevented its spread to the neighboring Harmon Jones Grocery.

• The Centralia-Chehalis branch of the Washington Co-Operative Egg and Poultry Association met on the evening of Friday, Nov. 11, in what was one of the group’s largest meetings ever, with an estimated 175 people in attendance. “The crowd enjoyed a ‘trip to the master breeding farm’ of the Washington Co-Op Chick Association, in the form of a series of motion pictures. The seriousness was relieved by a couple of comedies which were enjoyed by old and young alike.”

• The weather forecast for Sunday, Nov. 13, was rainy with a high of 55 degrees. “Fresh southerly winds” were expected.

• According to Chehalis librarian Anna Koontz, a “large collection” of new books had been added to the shelves of the Chehalis public library. The collection included both fiction and nonfiction books.

• Members of the Chehalis High School Girls’ League were preparing to present two short plays on Wednesday, Nov. 16, according to The Chronicle. The plays were to be directed by Louis Pollom and “Miss Walker.” The Chronicle listed Inez Crowell, Edna Christian, Annabel Black, Alice Wood, Bobbie Stinson, Evelyn Galusha and Helen Homlinson as the girls who would be participating in the plays.

• Clyde Harrison and Otis Black were being held in the Lewis County Jail and were faced with potential charges of “drunken driving, drunkenness and petit larceny.” According to Sheriff’s Deputy A.E. Rowswell, the two Chehalis residents were alleged to have stolen two turkeys from W.T. Herriford. The two mens’ car then became stuck in the mud on an old road and they were forced to ask Herriford for help. At the same time, neighbors had witnessed the turkey theft and notified the sheriff’s office, after which Rowswell discovered an “empty liquor jug” in their car.

• Newly elected U.S. representative for Washington’s 3rd Congressional District Martin Smith had fulfilled the advice he received from his mentor 20 years earlier to “go west, practice law and be elected to Congress,” The Chronicle reported. Smith, the first Democrat ever elected to the seat, had just been elected against fellow Hoquiam resident Republican Albert Johnson in the November 1932 general election. Born and raised in Chicago, Smith’s mentor who gave him his advice to head west was James Lewis, a Chicago lawyer from Washington who helped get Democrat Edward Dunnne elected mayor of Chicago before being appointed to a legal position in the city government.


Thursday, Nov. 12, 1942

• Edgar Rackliff had been taken to the state reformatory in Monroe on Thursday, Nov. 12. The 18-year-old had been arrested a week earlier in Chehalis by Chehalis Police Chief Tom Murray. Rackliff had been sentenced to four consecutive sentences of 15 years. He had pleaded guilty to four charges of second-degree burglary.

• According to an Associated Press story published in The Chronicle, Maude Butchick, a divorcee from Seattle, had asked a judge to evict her 19-year-old twins, Pearl and Ruby, from her home and force them to pay her $30 in overdue rent. The judge postponed the case and appointed the twins’ aunt, Tillie Noel, of Kent, as their guardian for the lawsuit. The “tearful twins” said their mother refused to accept $10 each had agreed to pay her when they were given jobs three months earlier.

• C.B. Heading, the superintendent of the Chehalis Water Department, died in a local hospital at the age of 85 following a heart attack on Saturday, Nov. 7. Heading was born on April 18, 1857, in Croton, Iowa, and lived in Chehalis for 32 years.

• Centralia High School was scheduled to hold its annual “Back to School” night on Friday, Nov. 13. The program was to begin at 7:30 p.m. in the school auditorium. The band and girls’ glee club were to perform and a panel of six students was to discuss American education.

• A week-long bond drive by the American Legion had surpassed its goal in Centralia. The Legion had raised $70,986.25 in bonds, significantly surpassing its goal of $50,000. According to J.C. McNiven, the War Savings Chairman for Centralia, the city had raised a total of $1,085,621.40 in bonds since the start of the war.

• The United China Relief drive, an effort to raise money for the Chinese war effort against Japan during World War II, was expected to increase the amount of money raised “considerably” thanks to increased solicitation. A “union church service” was to be sponsored by the committee in charge of the drive on Sunday, Nov. 15. The service, put on jointly by Chehalis’ Methodist, Baptist and Presbyterian churches, would include a showing a movie entitled “Western Front” about the war in China and the need for support.

• A “modern nearly new dwelling” close to Chehalis was listed for $1,700 in The Chronicle. The dwelling included 40 acres and a “good” gravel road.


Wednesday, Nov. 12, 1952

• Two Onalaska residents were injured in a traffic accident when two cars crashed into one another on the Onalaska-Morton highway on the morning of Tuesday, Nov. 11. A total of $700 of damage resulted from the crash.

• Robert Crawford, a 32-year-old logger from Ashford, died suddenly while working in the woods near Randle. According to officers from the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office, Crawford had apparently died from a heart attack. He was not married and had no survivors, according to The Chronicle.

• The total assessed value of Lewis County property for 1953 was reportedly $44,825,199, according to Lewis County Assessor Roy Brown. The figure represented a $2,413,254 increase over the $42,411,945 value for 1952. The highest tax was to be paid by property owners in Chehalis, according to The Chronicle, who were to pay $71.47 per $1,000 worth of assessed value. The second highest tax was in Pe Ell, where residents had to pay $60.26 per $1,000 of assessed property value. In Centralia, property owners were to pay $45.74 per $1,000 in assessed property value for 1953.

• The Napavine School District had approved a special levy proposal to raise $10,700 in the November 1952 general election, according to superintendent A.H. Senne. The levy had required 60% of the vote to be approved and had received about 67%. Senne said the levy meant two new rooms would be added to the grade school building.

• Centralia High School was visited by two Germans on Wednesday, Nov. 12. Helga Rummeld-Tilk, an exchange student at Tacoma’s Stadium High School, and Sigrid Oechelhaeuser, an exchange teacher, answered Centralia students’ questions about Germany during English classes. Additionally, according to The Chronicle, Centralia High School’s German Club was to send a Christmas box to a high school in Augsburg, Germany that was to contain “spiritual and jazz records” as well as decorations used by Americans around Christmas time. National Geographic magazines were also to be included as the Centralia students who had been writing to the students at the school in Germany had found the German students to be “particularly interested in the magazine.”

• A three-bedroom “modern house” just south of Chehalis was listed for $45 a month in rent in The Chronicle. The house was described as including a “full basement.”

• Over 93% of Lewis County’s 1952 tax bill had been paid as of Nov. 12, according to Lewis County Treasurer Harold Quick. Of the county’s $1,813,749 tax bill, $1,692,869 had been paid. The percentage was slightly lower than at the same time in 1951, though the tax bill for 1952 was larger than in 1951 when the tax bill was $1,470,062.


Monday, Nov. 12, 1962

• The opening of elk hunting season was reportedly poor due to rainfall over the weekend of Nov. 10 and 11, 1962. A total of 12 elk had been killed in the area. According to State Game Protector Stan Scott, more than 140 elk hunters were in Lewis County for the opening weekend.

• Two Pe Ell residents received “minor cuts and bruises” in a truck collision near Packwood. Diana Zock, 20, and Donna Zock, 16, both residents of Pe Ell, were driving a pickup truck near Packwood when they were hit by a semi-truck. The driver of the semi-truck was arrested on a negligent driving charge.

• After a rainy weekend, the Twin Cities were met by near freezing temperatures on Monday, Nov. 12. The temperature reached 33 degrees in the morning, the second time in November the temperature had almost dropped below freezing after the temperature reached 33 degrees on Nov. 7, according to The Chronicle. Over the weekend, the Twin Cities saw 1.08 inches of rain.

• A search was underway in Lewis County for Wayne Vincent, a 27-year-old hunter from Renton who was reported lost on Sunday, Nov. 11. The search for Vincent followed the finding of Kenneth Self on Sunday. Self, a 34-year-old from Morton, was the subject of a search that included Morton firemen, sheriff’s deputies and bloodhounds. About 20 men had been searching for Self in 6-inch deep snow before he was found by the firemen.

• A utility pole in Centralia was knocked down by a car on Monday, Nov. 12. The driver, a Chehalis resident, wasn’t injured. The accident took place at the intersection of Alder and Mellen streets at around 8:50 a.m. The driver told police he “must have dozed off.”

• Centralia Police made 50 arrests during October 1962, according to The Chronicle. Of those 50 arrests, a total of 12 were for public drunkenness, the highest of any crime. Additionally, there were 26 accidents involving 50 vehicles during October. Total vehicle damage for October was estimated at $9,586.

• R.D. Pollock, a 79-year-old Centralia resident, died on Sunday, Nov. 11. Pollock was born on April 23, 1883, in Galt, Missouri, and had lived in Centralia for 45 years. He was survived by a son, Lewis Pollock; a brother, R.H. Pollock; and an unnamed grandson.