Today in History: Centralia Has 100 Residences in 1886


    Centralia Has 100 Residences

During this week in May 1886, the Lewis County Bee correspondent reported the growth of Centralia.

    “By actual count we have 100 residences in town all occupied except six, four general merchandise stores, two furniture stores, two drug stores, two millinary stores, three doctors, two lawyers, three church buildings, Baptist, Methodist and Christian, five church organizations, one meat market, one harness shop, one hardware store, one agricultural implement store, one barber shop, one shoe shop, four hotels, two express offices, two carpenter and wagon shops, one livery and feed stable, one steam plaining mill, one steam flouring mill, one water flouring mill, two saw mills, besides the one just burned,” the article read. “The town is steadily improving, six new buildings have been built besides a number that have been repaired.”

Moore Receives

$25 in Bounties

100 years ago, in 1911

    George Moore, Mossyrock, was paid $25 in bounties.

    “The money was paid as a reward for the pelts of 5 wild cats, which Moore killed in the woods near Mossy Rock,” The Centralia Weekly Chronicle wrote.

Russell Celebrates

92nd Birthday

75 years ago, in 1936

    J.S. Russell, resident of Centralia for 47 years and a Union veteran, celebrated his 92nd birthday at his home. The Centralia tent of the Daughters of Union Veterans sponsored the party. Russell was one of a few Grand Army of the Republic members still living in the area.

    “The house was filled with flowers sent by neighbors and the non-engenerian’s scores of friends, and occupying a place of honor was a large birthday cake, made by Mrs. Harry Allen, topped appropriately with a Civil War veteran,” The Centralia Daily Chronicle wrote.

    He was a native of Montrose, Iowa. He and his wife had 10 children; five were still living.

Win Colored Phone

During Fiesta Days

50 years ago, in 1961

    During the annual Centralia Fiesta Days, Pacific Telephone Northwest offered a free colored telephone.

    “Find your number on a telephone in the display windows and win a colored telephone as first prize,” The Daily Chronicle advertisement read. “Three additional prizes will be one long distance call each.”

Ex-Seahawk Attends

College Career Fair

25 years ago, in 1986

    Reggie McKenzie, ex-Seattle Seahawk lineman, attended Centralia College’s first-ever career fair organized by project director Mary Stephenson. About 535 high school juniors from 12 schools attended the fair.

    McKenzie spoke about sports and physical education.

Jarvis Wins Home-Run

Derby at Safeco

10 years ago, in 2001

    Scott Jarvis, 13, Onalaska won the Mariners-Century 21 Junior Home Run Series at Safeco Stadium.

    Jarvis hit the ball over the fence on three of his five swings. A tee had been set up in center field, 60 feet away from the fence.

    A final contest was to be held on June 23, with the winner receiving tickets to the All-Star Home Run Derby, the day before the All-Star game.

    Zac Karch, Adna, won his derby in mid-April, and would also compete on June 23.

Wright Named College Distinguished Alumnus Recipient

Five years ago, in 2006

    John W. Wright, 1962 Centralia College graduate, was named the 2006 Distinguished Alumnus Recipient. Wright was a leading developer of infrared thermal imaging systems. He also helped to develop the GPS system.

    “It was a great place to grow up,” Wright said of the Centralia community. “I learned some good work ethics, of course, went to Centralia College to save up enough money to finish up at U.W.”

    After graduation he began employment with the Boeing Co. on the Minuteman missile project. Later he worked for Texas Instruments, where he was vice president of advance programs.


    From the Files of The Chronicle is compiled by Edna Fund, a Centralian who describes herself as a “history sleuth.” She can be contacted at or at 269-7515.


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