Today in History: Sheriff Jails Parmenter in 1911


    During this week in January 1911, Sheriff Urquhart traveled to Bellingham to transport Frank Parmenter to the Lewis County Jail.

    “Parmenter is a Centralia lad who stole a bicycle several months ago, and was given a sentence in the county jail,” The Chehalis Bee-Nugget wrote. “Within a few hours after he was released, he repeated the crime and got away. About July 4 he and some companions were caught going through a house at Roy. In the melee, Parmenter was shot through the foot, but got away again. While in Bellingham, he had been going under the name of Chas. Devlin, and last week telegraphed to a Chehalis bank for $50, signing the name Charles Devlin to the telegram. This led to his being apprehended.”

Masquerade Ball Is Success

120 years ago, in 1891

    The ladies of the St. John Guild at the Knights of Pythias hall held a masquerade social and ball.

    “At 10 o’clock the light fantastic was being tripped to the excellent music rendered by Prof. Haynes, ably assisted by Mrs. Blackstone, who presided at the piano.” The Centralia Weekly News wrote. “There were about twenty maskers in all. The different costumes were neatly arranged and each performed their different parts in a very successful manner and caused such merriment. At 11 o’clock the maskers threw off their masks, and then confusion reigned supreme for a few moments. Dancing was then indulged in until an early hour in the morning, and after the usual greeting indulged in by friends on such occasions, all repaired to their homes feeling that the evening had been pleasantly spent and all were perfectly satisfied. We cannot undertake to dwell upon the merits of the costumes presented, but will say that every masker performed his or her part in a creditable manner, and that some of the costumes were elegant.”

Pioneer Pair

Celebrates 58 Years

75 years ago, in 1936

    Mr. and Mrs. F.M. Stephens, 321 Woodland, Centralia, celebrated their 58th anniversary of their marriage on Lincoln Creek in 1878 by John Dobson, justice of the peace.

    Mrs. Stephens came to Lincoln Creek in the fall of 1869 with his parents who were homesteaders. Mr. Stephens, formerly Matilda Josephine Mayes, lived with her father and stepmother on Lincoln Creek starting in 1865.

Proffitt’s Presented

National Award

50 years ago, in 1961

    Dean Proffitt, manager of the Centralia Proffitt’s Department store, received a certificate for the store being in the “50 Year Club.” The magazine Department Store Economist honored 450 stores throughout the nation for being in business 50 years or more.

Pe Ell Water Is Muddy

25 years ago, in 1986

    When Pe Ell resident Susie Gutsche heard that the town’s water supply would be shut off, she filled her bathtub with water, which was muddy water.

    “Last night you couldn’t have used it, even if you’d boiled it,” said Lee Sexton, who went three miles out of town to get water from a friend’s spring.

    Chevron gas station owner Jerry Swiglo said the water shortage could have had a bigger impact if the firefighters needed water to fight a fire.

Teen’s Wish Comes True

10 years ago, in 2001

    Leslie Duncan, 18-year-old Chehalin who lost her kidneys in a car accident, asked the Make-A-Wish Foundation for a swim spa so she could rebuild her strength for a kidney transplant. The foundation provided her with the spa and community volunteers installed it in her home. Her mother said she was getting stronger for a future transplant.

Students Reach

for One Million Goal

Five years ago, in 2006

    The Grand Mound Elementary School students had a goal to collect one million aluminum tabs. The 500 students had gathered 194,056 so far, all which had been hand counted.


    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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