Today in History: Tono Growing Rapidly in 1911


    During this week in May 1911, The Centralia Daily Chronicle reported Tono was growing very rapidly.

    “From a little mining town of about 200 souls, Tono, about five miles north of Centralia, is rapidly becoming a city of the fourth class,” the newspaper wrote. “A school house is being built and a half of hundred new homes are already started. The cause is the recent decision of the Harriman system to use the Tono coal for 107 new Mikado engines which will mean a demand for 3,000 tons of coal a day. Two new mines will be opened in addition to the small mine now open, and the town will witness perhaps the most rapid record of growth ever seen in the development of a small interior city of this state.

    “The mines are owned by the Washington Union Coal company, which is connected with the Southern Pacific and the Union Pacific as a link of the Harriman corporate interests. The town of Tono will be a company town, governed municipally by the corporation. No saloons will be permitted and other regulations will be enforced as the place attains its growth. It is expected that the population will jump up to at least 1000 within a year. In view of the proximity to Centralia, the merchants of this city are delighted at the change.”

Miss Roundtree Is Recovering

125 years ago, in 1886

    Miss Mary Roundtree, while traveling from Montesano to her home in Boistfort, came down with a severe attack of pneumonia at Newaukum. She had improved and was able to continue her travel home where she continued to recover.

Chehalis Future Farmers Are the Best

75 years ago, in 1936

    The Chehalis chapter of the Future Farmers of America was ranked as the top chapter at the statewide competition at Pullman.

    Alexander Swantz won first place in public speaking. Ernest Hamilton was elected secretary of the state association. Hamilton also won second place in the animal husbandry judging.

‘Big George Barner’ Is Guest Singer at Mr. Magoo’s

50 years ago, in 1961

    At Mr. Magoo’s, in Centralia, a dance with the Corvettes was announced for Saturday night from 8:30 to midnight. “Big George Barner” was the guest singer.

    Members were charged 75 cents admission and non-members, $1.25. No individuals wearing jeans were allowed at the dance.


    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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