Today in History: ‘Wild Man of Woods’ Goes to Asylum in 1911


    ‘Wild Man of Woods’ Goes to Asylum

During this week in February 1911, a “wild man of woods” was sent to the asylum.

    “After wandering the woods from Tacoma to Castle Rock in flight from imaginary foes, and living as best he could from roots and fishes caught in his wanderings, Gus Lindbery, a demented young man, fell into the hands of Captain J.R. Axtell of the Salvation Army last night and was taken to Chehalis,” The Centralia Daily Chronicle wrote.

    “The demented man, who is young and husky, presented a weird and unkempt appearance when he drifted into the Salvation Army hall. His hair was long, his beard unshaven, his eyes wild and hunted, and his general demeanor terrified in the extreme.

    “The evangelist tried to pacify him and after soothing him and feeding him, was able to sufficiently allay his fears as to get an incoherent statement to the effect that foes were after the fugitive, that he had been chased by heirs to a family estate, and that he had found it necessary to flee from Tacoma to save his life.”

    The man was taken to jail and later sent to the insane asylum.

Market Made 1,800

Pounds of Sausage

120 years ago, in 1891

    A local market was noted for the amount of sausage it made.

    “Probably Centralia does not supply the whole earth with bologna sausage, but she comes very near it, for the Central market has made about 1,800 pounds of it this week,” The Centralia Weekly News reported. “Centralia don’t take a back seat on any proposition.”

CCC Men Improved Park

75 years ago, in 1936

    The Centralia Daily Chronicle reviewed the work that the Civilian Conservation Corps had done at a Toledo area park.

    “During the four six-month periods the 200-man company worked at Lewis and Clark under joint supervision of the National Park Service and the Washington park authorities, it constructed two vehicle bridges, eight equipment houses, one garage, 14 miscellaneous camp buildings, one dam, 2,676 rods of fence, 98 rods of guard rails, .3 mile of power lines, 225 square yards of sewage disposal beds, three sewage disposal tanks, 70 feet of sewer lines, 5.6 miles of telephone lines, one drinking fountain, 6,100 feet of pipe lines, a 3,200-gallon water storage system, two entrance portals, eight table and bench combinations, 23 miscellaneous structural improvements, 17.1 miles of truck roads, .2 mile of park roads, and 2.5 miles of foot trails,” the newspaper wrote.

    “These men also made tree plantings in 24 acres, improved the forest stand in 39 acres, spent 2,060 man-days fighting forest fires, and built 14 miles of fire breaks.”

Miller Is Northwest Champion

50 years ago, in 1961

    Marilyn Miller, 18, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W. Robert Miller, route 2, Chehalis, was crowned the Amateur Athletic Union’s Northwest girl’s junior champion in tumbling and senior women’s champion in free exercise. Her coach at W.F. West was Ron Sullivan.

One-Way Plan Goes Forward

25 years ago, in 1986

    The Centralia City Commission planned to convert Main and Locust streets to a one-way couplet. With the coming of the new Centralia City Council, the commission said the decision could be overturned.

Aadland Celebrates Wilder

10 years ago, in 2001

    For the third year in a row, Carrie Aadland, Centralia, held a Laura Ingalls Wilder birthday party. Aadland made a birthday cake which looked like the house in which the Ingalls family had lived on the prairie.

College Names Landmarks

Five years ago, in 2006

    Two retired Centralia College faculty members were honored by having their names attached to college landmarks. “Wickstrom Theatre” in Corbet Theatre was named for Phillip Wickstrom. “Aadland Esplanande” was named for Gordon Aadland.


    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.