The Sou'wester
of the Pacific County Historical Society and Museum
Winter 1999, Volume XXXIV Number 4
Last modified on January 2nd, 2008 / Contact the Museum / Web editing done by Brian Davis at
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A Quarterly Publication of Pacific County Historical Society and Museum
A Non-Profit Organization
Annual membership fees (includes membership and Sou'wester subscription)
$20.00 single
$25.00 family
$50.00 corporate
$50.00 contributing
$100.00 benefactor
Address:  P.O. Box P; South Bend, WA  98586

     Pacific County Historical Society welcomes articles relating to Pacific County.  Materials accepted for publication may be edited.  Entire contents copyright 1999 by Pacific County Historical Society.  All rights reserved.  Second class postage paid at South Bend, Washington.

PUB. No. ISSN-0038-4984
Ruth McCausland and Joan Mann, Editors
Printed by Midway Printery, Long Beach, Washington

Our Cover
     We are grateful to artist Robert McCausland for his fine map of Pacific County, locating the individuals featured in this last issue of the 20th Century.  Bob's sketches have added a great deal to The Sou'wester during the past ten years.  Thank you, Bob!
(listed in chronological order, according to birthdates)
  1. A.C. LITTLE, Raymond, founder of Raymond, 1859-1932 ...................... page 4
  2. F.A. HAZELTINE, South Bend, newspaperman, 1867-1938 ..................... page 6
  3. JOSEPH GEORGE, Bay Center, boat builder, 1868-1942 ......................... page 8
  4. JOE KNOWLES, Seaview, artist, 1869-1942 ........................................... page 9
  5. OSCAR WIRKKALA, Naselle, logger, inventor, 1880-1959 ...................... page 11
  6. D.J. CROWLEY, Long Beach, cranberry research, 1889-1078 .................. page 13
  7. HELEN DAVIS, South Bend, composer of official state song, 1905-1992 ... page 14
  8. MARY FUJITA, South Bend, Walville, Hiroshima survivor, 1908 .............. page 16
  9. JULIUS FURFORD, North Cove, cranberry farmer, inventor, 1908 ........... page 18
  10. WILLARD ESPY, Oysterville, writer, 1910-1999 ..................................... page 20
  11. VALLEY HIGH'S 1936 State Basketball Championship Team ................... page 21
  12. BOB BUSH, Willapa Valley, war hero, 1926 ............................................ page 23
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Twelve Memorable Stories of the 20th Century in Pacific County
by Doug Allen

Editor's Note:  For the final issue of The Sou'wester in this century, the Editors have chosen a series of articles by Doug Allen, whose Introduction will explain how this came about.

Doug Allen taught American History, U.S. Government, and Anthropology at Renton and Lindbergh high schools from 1966 to 1992.  His article about Raymond's 1935 Timber League baseball champions appeared in the Fall, 1996, issue of The Sou'wester.  His first book The Thirteen Swedes, about the Naselle-based Smith Creek Logging Company, 1932-1945, is due out before the end of 1999.

     Several months ago I proposed an idea to the editors of the Sou'wester, for the last issue of the 20th century.  It was to write twelve brief stories, recognizing achievements and events of the past one hundred years.
     The primary criterion was to select subjects limited to one or more defining achievements or experiences, setting an individual, or event, apart from others, adding to the prestige or humanity of Pacific County.  Other criteria include the selection of subjects from the various parts of the county, and of both sexes.  The latter is not as easy as it sounds, since this century has seen many battlefields concerning the fight to end sexual and racial discrimination.  As we need to be reminded, it has been history, not herstory.
     This is a sort of "hall of fame" idea, and is limited to this writer's limited network of information.  As I immediately discovered, it was not going to be a collaborative effort, but one I would have to do myself.  Thus, I took the responsibility for the choice of topics, and did the research, with some assistance by co-editor Ruth McCausland for the Julius Furford story.
     Although some of the chosen subjects were born in the 19th century, all but one lived the majority of their lives in the 20th century, and all of their highlighted deeds were accomplished this past century.  Consequently, the subjects you find here, regardless of slights to others, are the responsibility of the writer and not the Pacific County Historical Society.
     There were several deserving individuals who could have been included, but for one reason or another were not.  To name a few:  L.V. Raymond, George Reizner, Terry Pettus, Ruth Dixon, Dan Louderback, Bob Bailey, Ben Cheney, Eli Rockey, Amy Walker, Charles Doupé, the Wiegardt family, and others.  It's also difficult to place into historical perspective more youthful candidates, whose accomplishments would represent the last two decades of the century.  Their stories may possibly be more suited to the next century.  There are many other excellent subjects, but, again, the list was limited to the knowledge and information of this writer, and to the space available in this Particular issue.
     Previous Sou'wester articles by Larry Weathers and Bob Bailey were borrowed from.  Interviews and discussions with Mary and Gene Fujita, Elaine Alexander, Bob Bailey, Bob Bush, Ben Wirkkala, Jean Hazeltine Shaudys, and Margaret Wirkkala Kallio were a necessary process of the project.  The Ilwaco Heritage Museum library was a great source of information for the Joe Knowles and Willard Espy stories.  Bruce Weilepp provided valuable PCHS information.  And finally, Joan Mann and Ruth McCausland are to be lauded for the work they have done for the publication of the Sou'wester
Doug Allen, September, 1999
Doug Allen
919 5th Avenue, #1
Kirkland, WA 98033
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Alexander C. Little, Raymond, 1859-1932
     A.C. Little is recognized as the person most responsible for the founding of Raymond.  In mid-1902, he joined L.V. Raymond and others to plan the new Siler sawmill and his own 1903 plant, the West Coast Veneer and Manufacturing Company.  The West Coast plant soon faltered, was sold, and in 1905 became the Willapa Lumber Company sawmill, a predecessor to the present day Weyerhaeuser mill.
     Little, who was born in Charles City, Iowa in 1859, came to Washington state in 1889, the year of statehood.  He became mayor of Aberdeen in 1894 and was the campaign manager for John R. Rogers in his 1896 race for governor of the state.  Rogers won, and as a reward for the successful campaign, Little was appointed the State Fisheries Commissioner.  A rising star in the state's Democratic Party, he managed Rogers' successful bid for reelection in 1900.  When Rogers died in 1903, A.C. had already decided to throw his energies into the development of the new lumbering town on the Willapa River.
     Blocked from building a new sawmill in South Bend (the Northern Pacific Railway owned the available river front properties in South Bend), Jacob Siler and Winfield Cram were encouraged by Little and L.V. Raymond to build at the mouth of the South Fork.  Once the first mills were established in this area, a Willapa Harbor Pilot (South Bend) news item of September, 1903 raised lighthearted conjecture on the new town's name:  Would it be Cramtown, Silerville, Raymond, or Littleton?  On November 17, 1905 it was noted in another Pilot report that five sawmills, three shingle mills, and a box factory were operating in Raymond.  In two short years the little town on the tide flats had become a major lumbering and shipping port.
     One of Little's coups was to bring in H.C. Heermans to establish a water system for the new city.  Heermans, who never lived in Raymond, had done the same job in Hoquiam and Olympia, and was an influential partner who stayed in the background during the wondrous expansion of Raymond in its first two decades of existence.
     The driving force behind the town's early growth was the Raymond Land and Development Company.  Its leaders and employees included Little, L.V. Raymond, Martin C. Welsh, Winfield Cram, John T. Welsh, J.B. Duryea, Claude House, Sr., and Heermans.  Little was named the group's first manager.
     The mills' water supply was at first donated to prospective owners, with the town platted around the industrial sites.  The free water offer wasn't shared with later owners.  In 1907, a city government was organized, with a seven member council and Little as

L.V. Raymond, _____, A.C. Little, Floyd Lewis,
_____.  May, 1914.
                   PCHS 9-7-70-2.2
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mayor.  Except for a short period, he remained mayor until his departure in 1918.
     From its inception, the town was wide open, with saloons, dance halls, and brothels.  Even though South Bend had its own bawdy houses, it didn't take South Bend leaders too long to work up a long drawn out, bitter relationship with Little and his naughty town.
     A.C. was always in the middle of any fight.  Confrontational by nature, the Democrat was a natural enemy of F.A. Hazeltine, the staunch Republican newspaperman from South Bend.  The Little - Hazeltine battles were epic in proportion to the local fights of today, and are probably at the root of present day issues between the two towns.
     First, there was the battle between the power companies and the control over the electric street car.  Then there was Hazeltine arid South Bend's desire to attract the Milwaukee Road railroad terminus that Little successfully helped negotiate for Raymond.  Little publicly thumbed his nose at South Bend following that victory.
     There were battles over county and state funding of the 1913 boulevard construction between South Bend and Raymond.  Little had insisted the money be spent on a new road between Raymond and Chehalis, rather than from Raymond to South Bend.  South Bend won that battle.  Next, some local critics accused Hazeltine's politics of losing the World War I shipyard site to Raymond, which Little lorded over his rival.
     Finally, there was the closure of the saloons in Raymond and South Bend, an early start to the state's prohibition laws.  Hazeltine and his temperance allies won this battle.  F.A. was an avowed Prohibitionist and moralist who annoyed a lot of people, while Little supported the saloon operators of Raymond's infamous First Street.  He also annoyed a lot of people.
     The two men were involved in a war of words for years.  While Little operated his short-lived newspaper, the Raymond Review, F.A. referred to it as the "Reprint," a moniker it probably deserved.  A.C. referred to Hazeltine as a "Yellow Knocker," accusing the Journal publisher of "yellow journalism," and much more.
     Little left Raymond in 1918, at the town's pinnacle of industrial growth, heights never again to be seen on the harbor.  His departure was muddled in charges of city debt, something with which Raymond is well acquainted.  The former Raymond mayor and his wife went to Yelm for a year before moving to Los Angeles in 1919.  In 1920 Mrs. Little reported that her husband's health was failing and that he suffered from mental stress.
     Whatever the illness, a veil of mystery shrouded the facts.  From success and power, to disappointment and illness, the Littles chose to maintain some dignity from afar.  The man who had held distinguished offices, as well as being the founder of Raymond, died in Los Angeles in early May, 1932.
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F.A. Hazeltine, South Bend, 1867-1938
     No one in Pacific County captured the public's attention more vividly than F.A. Hazeltine, the inveterate publisher and senior editor of the South Bend Journal, from 1891 until the 1930s.  Although his son Ezra served as the managing editor the last years of F.A.'s life, the elder Hazeltine was well recognized for his community and national service.
     Frederick A. Hazeltine arrived in South Bend in 1891, joining the Journal as a partner of A.C.A. (Alphabet) Perkes, who himself had taken control of the paper the year before.  Visibly, South Bend was in the midst of its 1890s expansion, but beneath the surface a faltering national economy had begun to undermine the boom.  On July 21, 1891, Hazeltine purchased the business and maintained sole control until 1923, when his son, Ezra, became a partner.
     F.A. was born in Warren, Pennsylvania in 1867.  After graduating from Oberlin College in 1889, he traveled to South America, where, as a correspondent for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, he sent frontline reports back to the U.S. from the scene of the Argentine Republic revolution.  During that year he also visited other South American countries.  Later, he wrote a book entitled A Year of South American Travel, which was published by Lippincott.
     When F.A. returned to the U.S. in 1890 he went west to Spokane, where he worked for the Spokane Chronicle.  The following year he came to Pacific County and South Bend.  On another trip to South America, F. A. resumed an acquaintance with Amy Wood, the daughter of the Rev. Dr. and Mrs. T. B. Wood.  He was the American consul and a missionary leader of Argentina.  Amy and F.A. were married in Callao, Peru in 1895.  They were to have four children; Lelia, Ezra, Ellen, and Carolita.
     Besides being the owner and editor of the Journal, F.A. was an active political and community leader in South Bend and Pacific County during the first third of the century.  He was a lifelong member of the Republican party and served for a time as a member of the party's state central committee.  In 1908 he was appointed to the position of regent at the University of Washington, a post he held for sixteen years.
     In 1918, following an example set by his father, F.A. committed his energies to the national YMCA organization.  When the United States entered World War I, he enlisted in the wartime YMCA Service.  He was 51 years old at the time.  After a brief stay at Camp (Fort) Lewis, F.A. served for a year near Dijon, France, with a regiment of the U.S. Sixth Division.  During his time overseas, Amy Hazeltine filled in as editor of the Journal.
     In the early 1920s, following his YMCA service, the lifetime prohibitionist joined

Frederick Archibald Hazeltine
         Jean Hazeltine Shaudys
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the Federal Prohibition Service as a general agent.  Although he was awarded a highly placed position as a divisional and regional chief, his zealous approach to the job taxed his health and personal finances.  F.A. regularly used his own salary to supplement enforcement funds budgeted to his office.  As a divisional chief, he served in districts throughout the nation, including Florida, Pennsylvania, northern New Jersey, southern California, and the Pacific Northwest.
     After stepping down from the divisional chief's post, F.A. was asked to take on the job of senior investigator.  In the new position, Amy accompanied her husband as his non-salaried assistant.  The appointment required extensive travel, and they visited a majority of the western states, including Washington, Oregon, Arizona, New Mexico, and parts of Texas, Utah, and Colorado.
     Beginning in 1923, son Ezra was the driving force of the South Bend Journal.  After F.A. returned from his years of prohibition work, the younger Hazeltine capably maintained his position as editor of the newspaper, with his father as overseer and senior editor.  Following Mrs. Hazeltine's death in 1936, F.A. spent the last years in poor health.  Along with his personal loss, the demise of the Republican party during the Roosevelt years and the repeal of the national prohibition amendment were both bitter pills to swallow for the lifelong Republican.
     Under the direction of both father and son, the Journal continued to epitomize the philosophy of conservative politics and was the Pacific County spokesman of the Republican party.  This tradition continued throughout Ezra Hazeltine's tenure as editor and publisher of the Journal.
     When F.A. died in 1938, an outpouring of words honored the man who, for almost fifty years, had been a leading citizen of South Bend and Pacific County.  For those who study local history, there is no doubt that the South Bend Journal was a small town weekly of the highest quality.  In life, however, F.A. was a public man who left little neutral ground, who had his detractors, as well as his admirers.  He especially locked horns with the rival county newspapers, attorney John T. Welsh, and A.C. Little, Raymond's founder.  (See the A.C. Little story [page 4] for a small view of F.A.'s battles with the early Raymond mayor.)
     The following words which describe F.A. are a combination of both his eulogy and ones sallied about while he was living.  They are:  Editor, community leader, writer, patriot, publisher, lecturer, traveler, reformer, conservative, churchman, trustworthy (person), Sunday school teacher, prohibitionist, law enforcement advocate, and father.  His mortal enemies would add:  obstinate (man), moralist, agitator, blackmailer, and slanderer.
     Above all, he was a battler.
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Joseph George, Bay Center, 1868-1945
     Joseph George was a boat builder who was seldom without work.  He was well known for the distinctive products that came out of his Bay Center shop and many of the finest trollers along this part of the northwest coast were either built by him or modeled after designs he developed.
     Josie, as he was best known, was born at Wilsonville, near Bay Center, in 1868.  (Another source suggests 1871.)  His parents were George and Margaret Squamaup (also written as Squanap or Skamock), both of royal Chinook blood.  Some people called Josie's father Squanaps George.  George Squamaup attempted to flatten Josie's head in the old way of denoting rank, but Margaret, Josie's mother, loosened the bindings at every opportunity so that her son wouldn't be noticeably deformed.
     As a youngster, Josie went to school with the Wilson children in a small wood frame building near Olsen's store and the old Bay Center jail.  School didn't appeal to the boy and he dreamed of being a boat builder.  Rebuffed at first by those he asked for help, Josie would row a canoe across the Palix River and hang around anyone working on a boat.  Later, when asked about his skills, Josie would laugh and say "I teamed how to work with wood when my mother would send me to my room.  I would take a piece of wood and a knife I hid in my room and whittle and carve toy boats."
     Josie started boat building with his father, teaming how to construct and repair all types of vessels for use on the bay.  There was a ready market and father and son sold their boats as fast as they could build them, always improving their skills.
     Josie opened his own shop in Bay Center after gas engines began to be used.  His first job was a boat for A. J. Horne.  He had learned to be thorough; he drew the plans, made the model, and figured the materials down to the last inch of lumber and the exact number of nails and screws.
     In 1942, past the age of seventy, Josie moved to the Skokomish reservation near Hood Canal, where he established another boat shop.  He returned to Bay Center, in 1945, to construct the NANCY JEAN for the Holmes brothers' Pacific Oyster Company.  It was here that he was stricken while he worked on the oyster dredge.  He was taken to the Cushman Hospital in Tacoma, where, on Sunday, July 22, 1945, he died after undergoing an operation.
     Although Dan Louderback's prolific output of watercraft cannot be matched on Willapa Bay, Josie George's legacy is that of a Chinook boy who lived at a time of great change.  He grew up in two worlds; one the traditional Indian way of life, and the other the life of a highly skilled boat builder for mostly Caucasian fishermen.  His journey had begun by whittling toy canoes and constructing canoes and early sailboats, continued with the building of steam and gasoline powered vessels, and finally ended with the diesel engine era.
     Josie's work represented a superb craftsmanship and included the CONDOR II and many other vessels, such as double-ender crabber / salmon trotters of beautiful dimensions.

Joseph George.
 -photo from grandson
      Melvin G. George
      PCHS #1999.53.1
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Some were still in operation during the last two decades of the century.  Dorwin Fosse, retired South Bend boat builder, acknowledged that his father and mentor, John Fosse, learned his skills from Josie George.  There were many others.

Joe Knowles, Seaview, 1869-1942
     Where some stories deal with the bombastic, and others with war or the power of politics, the story of Joe Knowles is all whimsy.  Although he lived in Seaview the last twenty-five years of his life, and was a truly gifted artist, his real claim to fame was for an event which took place in 1913, in his native state of Maine.
     Joe had been born in the village of Wilton, Maine in 1869, and had left home at the age of thirteen to follow the sea.  After serving a hitch in the Navy, he returned to Maine, where he made a modest living as an artist and a tour guide in the town of Eustis, about fifteen miles north of the present-day ski area, Sugarloaf Mountain.
     He was nearly 44 years old when he hatched the idea that would turn his life around.  Joe succeeded in getting a Harvard physical education professor to sponsor a sixty day survival adventure in the Maine woods.  Next, he convinced the now defunct Boston Post to follow the story.  The Post's public relations man went to work promoting the scheme, writing that Joe would be completely alone and self-sufficient, and that messages would be passed to a reporter on a regular basis.  Out of shape at five feet nine inches and two hundred pounds, Joe would enter the woods naked, to survive by his wits for two months.
     On August 7, 1913, Joe had a final smoke (he loved cigarettes and whiskey) with a small group of well wishers and entered the rainy wilderness near Bear Mountain, north of Eustis, clad only in an athletic supporter and carrying his trusty Boy Scout friction firebox.  Onlookers remembered, "the mosquitoes must have had a field day."
     The Post soon reported that Joe was wearing grass woven leggings and cedar-bark moccasins, and was cooking over a fire.  The paper pushed its news about Woodrow Wilson aside and moved the story to the front page.  Reports said that one day he killed partridges with his homemade bow, the next he did in a bear with his handmade club.  Then he wrestled a deer to death and rolled whitewood-leaf cigarettes to help him relax after a trying day.  The public was eating it up.
     Nearing the end of the sixty days, and afraid he would be arrested in Maine for killing game out of season, Joe announced he would emerge from the woods near Lake Megantic, Quebec.  On October 4,

Joe Knowles in Seaview
       Heritage Museum
                      #4903 1B
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1913, our hero stepped out of the woods, and flagged down a freight train.  Children screamed when they spied the smelly, bearded Joe wearing only a bearskin.  In Megantic, he was met by a brass band, game wardens, and Canadian and American officials.  The "Primitive Man's" first words were:  "Say, is there a cigarette around here?"
     The Post swept Joe away to Boston.  Thousands cheered him in the small towns along the way, including a crowd of 100,000 in Portland, Maine.  On October 9, more than 150,000 Bostonians turned out for the triumphant reception on Boston Common.  A doctor declared that Joe had "a perfect skin," had lost eleven pounds, and had expanded his lung capacity.  Filene's, Boston's downtown department store, gave him the works, including a new wardrobe and a manicure.  The newly proclaimed Primitive Man signed a lucrative contract to join a vaudeville tour and married a woman from Dedham, Massachusetts on stage.  The marriage didn't last.
     A ghost writer helped with his autobiography, Alone In The Wilderness, which sold 300,000 copies, and later he made two movies in California.  Although he had his adoring fans, a growing number of doubters complained that the whole thing was a hoax.  The Post's rival, the Hearst-owned Boston American, combed the region looking for stories that Joe spent nights in a backwoods cabin, playing cards with his cronies.  The Post countered, suing the American for $50,000.  To prove the skeptics wrong, Joe's backers dragged a tired 250 pound bear from Canada to Portland, where he struck the animal a mighty blow and proceeded to skin the hide off of one leg in less than ten minutes.  His detractors were impressed.
     After an aborted attempt to repeat the adventure in 1916, Joe continued to travel around the country on the Keith and Pantages vaudeville circuit.  In 1917 he landed in Portland, Oregon, where he discovered the public was more interested in news of World War I than his 1913 escapades in the Maine woods.  He found a job as a Boy Scout camp director in Seaview, Washington, and sent to San Francisco for his new wife, Edith, to join him on the Long Beach peninsula.  They never left.
     He built a rustic three room cottage out of driftwood and old boards.  The place lacked indoor plumbing, electric lights, and was heated by an old iron wood stove.  An adjoining garage served as his and Edith's artist studio.  Soon there were two other women living with the couple, another artist, Edyth, and Nellie, who had come west to visit and who never left.  The three women and Joe lived in the shack for a number of years.  Later, Edyth mysteriously disappeared, never to be heard of again.
     Nearly always broke, Joe received a $5,000 commission in 1925 from R. A. Long, for a series of murals entitled "The Winning of the West," which were hung in the lobby of the Monticello Hotel in Longview.  They're still there.  He spent the money on a new car; the car salesman was the famous Eddie Rickenbacker.
     In 1933, Joe painted three large murals for the Chicago World's Fair.  He painted portraits of several Oregon governors and worked on a Washington state federal arts project.  His works depicted land and seascapes, and vessels which had been wrecked near the Columbia River.  Some of his best-known works are his fine etchings of Northwest sea and fishing boat scenes, portraits of Native Americans and other local subjects.  At the time of his death in 1942 he was working in water colors and was close to completing a series of paintings of historic naval vessels.
     Joe promoted his own legacy.  He was certainly a good artist, and one would have to admit that his Maine woods adventure was a huge public relations event, true or not.
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Oscar Wirkkala, Naselle, 1880-1959
     Oscar Wirkkala, logger and inventor, was one of 100 people named to the Washington State Historical Society's Centennial Hall of Fame, an honor roll begun in 1981.  The honor acknowledged individuals whose achievements had a significant impact on the development of the state.  Wirkkala leads a list of productive minds in Northwest logging, several from Pacific County.
     With at least 18 U. S. parents, he invented such things as an early high lead logging system, especially adapted to log steep terrain, a choker hook widely used in all logging operations, and a marine propeller that promised to increase speed while reducing fuel consumption.
     Born in Finland in October, 1880, Wirkkala spent the entirety of his life on a quest of practical, creative knowledge.  To make his accomplishments even more unique, he never learned to read and write in English and often required the use of an interpreter to conduct business.
     Although Oscar called Pacific County home for less than two decades, other members of the extended Wirkkala family have lived in the Naselle - Deep River area for the past one hundred years.  Instead, he spent most of his life moving from one logging job to another in Washington and Oregon.
     His father, Abraham, and brother, Andrew, came to America first, working in a Cosmopolis sawmill to earn enough money to send for the rest of the family.  Oscar was the next to come, in 1898, and then his mother, Anna; sister, Elena; and three younger brothers, Matt, Sam, and Alex.
     The family lived and logged in the Naselle - Deep River area from 1899 to 1905.  It was during this time that Oscar developed a skyline logging system.  Despite his critics, this early high lead system proved capable of logging steep slopes previously unattainable, and the small company more than doubled its output of logs.  Along with the aerial logging system, he developed a new choker hook.
     In 1908, Oscar married Johanna Mustola, and the couple had three children, Ellen, Esther, and Joseph.  A year after Johanna's untimely death
in 1913, Oscar married Ida Haverinen, of Kent.  They would have two daughters, Margaret and Elizabeth.  In recent years, Elizabeth served on the board of the Nordic Heritage Museum in Seattle.

Oscar Wirkkala.
      -courtesy Margaret Kallio
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     Soon after their 1914 marriage, Oscar and Ida moved their family to Naselle, where Oscar worked for Peter Brix.  In a paper Brix presented to a Bellingham logging conference during the same year, he stated that the new Wirkkala aerial system would replace ground lead logging and that the donkey engine could do the job of three large machines.
     Three years later Oscar was back in Puget Sound country.  From 1917 to 1929, he and his brother, Alex, logged in King and Whatcom counties.  When Oscar moved on to Glendale, Oregon in 1929, Alex and his family remained at Deming, near Mount Baker.  Alex later moved his family to the Grays River area.
     In 1917 Oscar was issued his first patent, a special four drum donkey engine used in his slackline system.  Other patents were issued on the bull hook, choker hook, and cable knobs.  During these years some of the Wirkkala bull blocks and skyline carriages were manufactured at Willapa Harbor Iron Works in South Bend.
     In 1929, Oscar and Ida returned to Pacific County, where the family lived in Seaview while he worked as the foreman at the Benson Logging Company's Bunker Hill camp in Deep River.  During this time he was involved in the first of several lawsuits concerning patent infringements on the choker hooks.  The suit between Donis Barden and Wirkkala was decided in Oscar's favor several years later.  Barden had been the attorney involved with the patents.
     After daughter Margaret graduated from Ilwaco High School in 1933, the Wirkkalas moved again, to Seattle, where Oscar spent hours making drawings and improvements of bull hooks, carving the models out of rutabagas, as he had long done.  Margaret recalled that her mother limited her father's carving to one room because of the mess.
     Between various logging jobs from the late thirties to America's entry into World War II, Oscar established more patents, including ones for hook and cable connections, cargo handling rigging, and logging rigging.
     When the war began for the U. S., Oscar quit active logging and went to work in Seattle for Young Iron Works, a division of Issacson Iron Works.  During this time he experimented with marine propellers.  Years earlier, Oscar had become interested in boat propellers while visiting a fisherman friend in Ilwaco.  He dove under the friend's boat while it was in motion, to observe the propeller turbulence, and theorized that a notch cut above the blade would allow the water to flow with more efficiency.
     The experimental stages of the propeller design were undertaken in Seattle, with Oscar's son, Joseph, and cousins, Ben and Elbert Wirkkala, and nephew, William, all of Naselle, joining in the new business to help underwrite the venture.  The first manufacturing took place in Astoria in 1950.
     The Wirkkala Propeller, Inc. sales operation and office was moved to Naselle in the early 1950s.  The history of the propeller included testing it in various unlimited hydroplanes, U. S. Coast Guard boats, yachts, with a few sales to Henry Kaiser and other owners of yachts.  Although the business was carried on by the Wirkkala family, its potential was never realized after Oscar's presence was missing.  He died on January 21, 1959.
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D.J. Crowley, Long Beach, 1889-1978
     For over thirty years D.J. (Jim) Crowley was the director of what is now called the Pacific Coast Cranberry Research Foundation / Washington State University, Long Beach.  He was born Daniel James Murray Crowley in Ireland in 1889, and came to America with his parents in 1906.  After serving with the U.S. Army during World War I, he enrolled at Washington State College (now University) in 1919, to study horticulture.
     Jim first came to the peninsula during the summer of 1922 with his wife, Ruth, whom he had met in Pullman.  His job that summer was to assist the local cranberry growers with problems of plant disease.  After receiving his B. S. degree in 1923, he and Ruth returned to Pacific County where he resumed his work with the growers.
     With the help of Percy Sinclair, Ilwaco banker and state senator, the state legislature awarded Washington State College a stipend to establish a Cranberry Investigations Laboratory at Long Beach, with Jim in charge.  Later, the tab would be known as the Cranberry and Blueberry Extension Unit.  He stayed on the job for the next thirty years, until his retirement in 1953.
     Crowley's major contribution to horticulture was in the area of frost injury prevention.  In February, 1929, he wrote a 47 page bulletin for the college, in which he recognized that spraying programs reduced the numbers of insects, weeds, and diseases afflicting the cranberry bogs, but failed to prevent frost injury.  He believed that the peninsula bogs were especially susceptible to this damage, and that it was the major cause of low yields or total crop loss.
     Crowley stated that methods for combating frost, such as the use of smudge pots, were ineffectual.  Smudge pots, with their rising heat, had no effect on low growing cranberry vines.  The report indicated he experimented with various methods of combating frost injury.  Eventually, he submitted a recommendation for the prevention of frost damage during the mid-1930s.  The recommendation was made after successfully experimenting with a sprinkling system he had installed at the station, and was based on what his college physics professor had taught him about water turning into ice and releasing heat.  After having a difficult time convincing the growers that freezing water gives off heat, which protected vines and berries from freezing, his successes at the station finally won them over.
     The result of Crowley's experiment had widespread ramifications, and his contribution

D.J. Crowley "oiling up" for cranberry
spraying 1935.
         -Ilwaco Heritage Museum #4089 1 B
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to agriculture went far beyond Pacific County.  The sprinkler systems became standard equipment for commercial cranberry growers and other fruit growers throughout the world.
     Jim's name has also been honored by a cranberry variety designated Crowley.  The berry originated from a cross of McFarlin and Prolific varieties and was tested and got its start when he made the original selections from 1200 seedlings which ripened earlier than the standard McFarlin variety.  It has consistently out-produced the McFarlin variety but has not become a major vine with the growers.
     Jim Crowley died at the Ocean Beach Hospital in Ilwaco on June 9, 1978, at the age of 88 years.

Helen Davis, South Bend, 1905-1992
     The achievement of being the composer of the official state song may not excite everybody, but no one can argue about the enormous amount of press and interest Helen Davis attracted with her song, "Washington, My Home."
Listen to Washington, My Home
Listen to
My Home
     In April, 2002, the state song was performed at the state Capitol by the Tumwater Girls' Choir, under the direction of Jack Arend, choir director.  This recording provided courtesy of TVW.
This is my country; God gave it to me; I will protect it, Ever keep it free.
Small towns and cities rest here in the sun, Filled with our laughter. Thy will be done.
Washington my home; Where ever I may roam;
This is my land, my native land, Washington, my home.
Our verdant forest green, Caressed by silv'ry stream.
From mountain peak to fields of wheat, Washington, my home.
There's peace you feel and understand. In this, our own beloved land.
We greet the day with head held high, And forward ever is our cry.
We'll happy ever be As people always free.
For you and me a destiny; Washington my home.
 Or the media attention she and her gang of state legislature buddies had a few years later when they beat down an attempt by some jokesters to replace it with the old rock standard, "Louie, Louie." (Which is played during every seventh inning stretch at Seattle Mariner baseball games.)  Helen's cheerful personality and gamesmanship gave Pacific County and the rest of the state a good laugh.
     She was born Helen Nancy Matson in Zanesville, Ohio in November, 1905, and in her formative years the family moved to Denver, Colorado and then to Okanogan County in north central Washington.  During her schooling, Helen had been well versed in the piano, and after graduating from Riverside High School she attended Bellingham Normal School for a short time, to study music.  It was at that time she met and married a young school teacher, Chauncey Davis.
     The young couple moved to Pacific County, where they first lived at Long Beach before moving to South Bend.  Chauncey was the superintendent of the South Bend school district for many years, and Helen balanced her time as a housewife and mother of two boys, composing songs

Helen Davis receives a plaque in 1984 to
commemorate the 25th anniversary of the
adoption of her song "Washington My
Home" as the state song.  Center:  Dori
Halldorson, President, South Bend
Chamber of Commerce.  Right:  Richard 
                                                  PCHS photo
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and musicals, and starting a real estate business.
     The story of Helen's "Washington, My Home" began with her search for a song to highlight the Pacific County Centennial celebration in 1951.  After discarding other choices, Helen took a composition she had done years earlier, called "America, My Home," and changed the title to "Washington, My Home."  Afterwards the tune made the rounds of civic clubs, with various organizations regularly playing it at their functions.
     In 1956 the Washington State Federation of Music Clubs adopted "Washington, My Home" as its official song and promoted it around the state.  Popular acceptance of it as the state anthem influenced state Representative Joe Chytil (R - Chehalis), owner of radio stations KELA (Centralia - Chehalis) and KAPA (Raymond - South Bend), to open and close each broadcast day with the song.
     In 1958, Chytil was encouraged to promote Helen's composition to become the official state song.  With the support of the public and a few fellow legislators, Chytil went to Senator Bob Bailey (D - South Bend) and asked him to sponsor and shepherd the bill through the Senate.  Chytil, a Republican, knew that a Democrat with the stature of Bob Bailey would have a more realistic chance to do the job.  Besides, Bob and Helen were hometown friends.
     Senator Bailey agreed and Senate Bill 151 was co-sponsored with Senators Harry Elway (R - Grays Harbor) and Dale Nordquist (R - Lewis County).  Although skeptics thought the bill would never see the light of day, Senate Bill 151 easily made it out of the Committee on State Government with a 7-0 vote.
     An amazing bit of luck and political dexterity accompanied the passage of the bill, when no riders were attached to it, and also because some theatrics were added the day it was to be sent to the rules committee.  Ordinarily, on the day the entire senate convened, S. B. 151 would have gone to the rules committee for scheduling, to be included with all other bills coming out of the various committees.  On that day, a senator quickly moved to advance to an order of business, to read the committee report of the bill into the record.  Without hesitation, the senator moved that "the senate resolve itself into a committee of the whole for the purpose of receiving further testimony on S. B. 151."  Voilá!  Instead of being buried beneath a huge stack of bills, S. B. 151 was before the senate.
     As if by magic, a piano was quickly wheeled out from the wings.  With every member of the senate present, and with the galleries packed for the annual George Washington Birthday program, the trio of Reverend Don Raisner, South Bend Baptist Church, Mrs. Lila Thomas, Olympia, and Helen Davis at the piano, presented a rousing rendition of "Washington, My Home." 
     The presentation brought down the house, members and public alike.  The senate rules were quickly suspended and the chamber resoundingly passed Senate Bill 151, 49-0.
     The usual reactions of legislative wags were quieted with the lack of opposition and the public's enthusiasm.  The momentum gained in the senate was sufficient to give the bill a big boost in the house, where it was guided through by Representatives Chytil and Chet King, (D - Raymond).  It passed the House on March 8, 1958 by an 81-5 vote and was signed into law by Governor Albert Rosellini.
     "Louie, Louie" didn't have a chance.
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Mary Fujita, Walville and South Bend, 1908-
     On the sunny, warm morning of August 6, 1945, Mary Fujita, formerly of Walville and South Bend, was on a streetcar, returning home from a visit to a dentist's office in downtown Hiroshima, Japan.  She had moved to Japan in 1940, with her husband, Joe, and son, Gene, after Joe had injured his leg in a mishap in South Bend in 1938.
     Joe had been injured in a boat accident, when a fellow worker had slipped and dropped a line holding an engine, crushing his leg.  He spent an entire year in the Riverview Hospital, recovering from the injury.  The Fujitas worried they couldn't financially survive in the U.S. because of Joe's injury, and planned to claim a family home outside their birthplace of Hiroshima.  Gene, who had been born in Centralia in 1928, had seen Japan only briefly, when he was 3 years old.  Joe's brother, Sam, remained in the U.S.
     During World War II, Hiroshima was relatively quiet.  It wasn't a military target of strategic importance, and the city experienced little damage until that fateful August morning.  Gene recalled, "U.S. fighter planes randomly emptied their guns over the city while returning from accompanying bombers on their missions."
     Mary vividly recalls the events of almost fifty-five years ago. "The dentist treated me for an infection and said I didn't have to stay longer."  Upon leaving the office, she boarded a streetcar and sat behind a tall female conductor.  "The streetcar was moving, and a nice breeze came through the door.  She left the door open."  A minute later, at 8:15 a.m., Mary saw one short lightning-like flash and heard a thunderous explosion.
     Mary was blown almost thirty feet out of the open door.  "It became very dark from the dust and debris thrown up by the blast."  Shielded from the flash by the streetcar conductor, and hurled free because of the open door (it kept the windows from shattering into thousands of glass shards), she escaped the searing blast and suffered only scratches "It was very silent for a minute or two, then people began to scream."
     Joe owned an old Harley-Davidson motorcycle, equipped with controls on the handlebars.  Earlier that morning, Joe had given Mary a ride to the dentist's office and then had gone off to take care of errands.  Mary recalls, "I lost my husband and many relatives, I couldn't even find his remains.  I think he was under a building, killed by smoke inhalation or fire."
     Gene, 17, was working with a crew of school mates, stacking sacks of rice about eight blocks from the streetcar his mother had been on.  During the war it was mandatory that teenagers attend school only on weekends while working weekdays for the government and community.  He and some other boys had taken an unauthorized break after their teacher had left the work site.  They had slipped into a shaded bomb shelter, unaware of the impending disaster.  When they saw the flash, the door of the shelter collapsed.
     After Mary had been blown out of the streetcar, she began walking the four miles to her home.  She saw people naked, with their clothes burned off.  Men, women, and children were shredded by flying glass and others were beginning to

Gene and Mary Fujita.
                                Family photo
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die of radiation poisoning.  She heard the moans and screams of people buried under the destroyed buildings.  She tried to move the crushed tile roofing.  "I couldn't move the heavy tiles, they were tied together with wire.  I couldn't help the crying people."
     She encountered a woman lying in the street, unable to move away from an oncoming throng of terrified bum victims.  She went to help the woman, "Come on, stand up, people might step on you."  She took the woman's arm and the skin peeled off in her hand.  Mary then saw that the woman was badly burned."  She said, "Oh, I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to hurt you.  I tried to help you."  The dying woman said, "I have both legs broken and I'm not able to move, so you go ahead."  The mob behind Mary began pushing and she lost sight of the woman.
     Mary wasn't noticeably hurt but she suffered later from radiation sickness.  She said, "I looked at myself and I still had my hair, my eyebrows, my clothes and shoes.  People were so burned and dying all around me.  I felt shame that I was healthy and they were dying.
     Over 90 now, Mary's voice still quivers when she says, "People I knew wouldn't say hello, they just asked how many left in your family?  I would say, just me and my son."  Over seventy thousand people were killed by the single bomb.  Tens of thousands later died of radiation poisoning.
     Gene's experiences were similar to his mother's.  He remembered dying people attempting to walk and slipping on the skin falling off their bodies.  He, too, felt shame that he was healthy while others died all around him.  He attempted to swim across a river, but there were too many floating bodies.  He had to turn back and make his way across twisted bridges, covered with wreckage and burned bodies.  "There were dead people all around me.  You couldn't tell if a person had a face, the bums were horrible.  Both mother and son had miraculously survived, unscathed except for the mental anguish that has never left.  A few weeks after the bomb, when the American troops entered the city, Gene went to work for the occupation forces as an interpreter.  When he returned to the United States in 1948, he lived with his uncle, Sam Fujita, in Moses Lake.  He spent his career in the food industry, retiring about ten years ago in Seattle.
     Mary moved to Seattle in 1950.  Fourteen years ago, on July 6, 1985, a large group of peace activists met at the Seattle Center to observe the fortieth anniversary of the first nuclear explosion in the New Mexico desert.  Mary, 77 at the time, was the president of the Committee of Atom Bomb Survivors in the United States, and one of the main speakers.  This wasn't an easy task for the diminutive former Walville and South Bend resident.  Several years before, she and a close friend, Reverend Ulysses G. Murphy, had been fingerprinted and warned by the F.B.I. not to speak out about nuclear proliferation and the effects of the Hiroshima atom bomb.
     More than half a century later, suspicion still exists in some quarters.  Some people believe the Japanese Americans on the Pacific Coast were incarcerated for their own good.  During the 1940s, rumors ran rampant, and many people believed that Japanese American spies were everywhere, including Willapa Bay.  However, one indisputable fact stands out:  No Japanese American person was ever found to have committed acts of espionage in the United States.
     Today, at 91, Mary remains a forthright person.  Gene has spoken at government hearings in Washington, D. C. several times in the last thirty five years.  Mary and Gene Fujita, and their fellow atomic bomb survivors, remind us all of the reality and horror of nuclear war.
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Julius Furford, North Cove, 1908-
     Along the South Beach area, between Westport and Tokeland, are the communities of Grayland and North Cove.  This is the home of the largest area of cranberry farms in Washington state, many developed by Finnish - American families in the early part of the century.  Sometimes the area is called the Cranberry Coast.
     In 1938, Julius Furford, a son of Norwegian immigrants, purchased his first cranberry bog on Evergreen Road, at the south end of Grayland, just inside the Pacific County line.  Years later, cranberry farmers across the nation would become familiar with the name of Julius Furford.
     Born in Two Harbors, Minnesota in 1908, Julius came to the Grays Harbor area as a youngster, sometime after the First World War.  His parents, Mathias (Matt) Furford and Juliana Olsen, had both emigrated to Minnesota from Furfjord, Norway.  As many Norwegian immigrants had done, Julius' father had taken his American surname from his hometown.  Around 1911, the spelling of the name was changed from Furfjord to Furford.
     Shortly after Julius' sister, Margaret, was born in 1910, the family moved to Astoria, Oregon.  Later, the growing family (eight children) moved to Cowlitz county in Washington state.  After living and working in Ryderwood for a few years, the family moved again, to Hoquiam.
     It was here, on Grays Harbor, that Julius met Irene Kuronen, a friend of his sister, Margaret.  The women had become friends while working at the Harbor Plywood mill in Aberdeen.  Julius and Irene were married on April 28, 1931.  A son, David Ralph Furford, was born the following year.
     To support his young family, Julius worked for several mills during the hard times of the 1930s.  Along with the mill work, he also worked as a fisherman and a crabber on the waters off the coast.  Julius' father, Matt, also was involved in the fishing business, and had developed the "Furford Safety Steel Anchor" for some of the local fishing boats. (It's still manufactured in Seattle and is used primarily in Alaskan waters.)
     In 1938, realizing he needed an investment for the future, Julius purchased his first cranberry bog at Grayland, where he spent much of his time working; pruning, sanding, irrigating, and learning about pest and disease control.  After spending hours at this work, he would then drive the twenty miles to his mill job.  A few years later, he and Irene moved from Evergreen Road to another farm on Smith-Anderson Road.
     Cranberry harvesting was backbreaking work during these years, done in the fall when the weather could be cold and damp.  The vines grow along the ground, and pickers would have to sit or kneel over the plants.  The berries were picked either by hand or scooped into a pronged tool made for that purpose.  It was a slow and tedious process, and the inventive Julius began to search for a way to harvest the berries in a more efficient manner.
     Using his techniques of welding, learned while he worked in the mills, Julius developed a gas-powered harvesting machine during the 1940s.  Operated by a person pushing the machine, improvements were added during the following years.  Eventually, the Furford Picker was patented and began to be manufactured.
     By 1957, the improved machine would pick the berries and prune the vines at the same time.  As the operator moved the Picker across the field, revolving level bars raised the cut berries and vines and dropped them into a burlap bag attached to the machine.  Miniature rails, similar to a railroad, were built out into the bogs.  A small rail
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flatcar ran from strategic points to a storage building.
     As the Furford Picker operated, the bag was filled, then placed on the flatcar.  Another empty bag was attached to the machine.  When the rail car was loaded, it was sent down a track leading to the warehouse, where the berries were separated from the vines.  The berries were placed in huge boxes ready to be picked up by a truck for delivery to the Ocean Spray plant at Markham.  (It should be noted: dry-picked berries are used for the produce market.  Wet-harvest berries are used for juice and sauce.)
     The demand for Furford's invention grew as cranberry farmers learned of the machine.  Eventually, Julius acquired a large building along Highway 105 in North Cove.  He purchased the property from Ocean Spray, who had previously acquired it from a group of local farmers.  The building, which had been used for storage, became the manufacturing plant for the Furford Picker.  The old pavilion in the back now houses the Cranberry Museum, a true experience for all visitors.
     Over five-hundred Furford Pickers have been built, and are used throughout the United States and Canada.  The machines are an integral part of dry-pick cranberry harvests in Washington, Oregon, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, New Jersey, and the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Ontario.

Julius Furford shows an early model of his
cranberry picker - pruner in 1983.  The Daily
World, Grays Harbor, June 19, 1983.
                                                 (R. McCausland)
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Willard Espy, Oysterville, 1910-1999
     To Pacific County and Washington state folks, Willard Espy is the author of the 1977 national best-seller, Oysterville, Roads To Grandpa's Village.  He was a grandson of Oysterville's founder, Robert H. Espy, and though he was never a full-time resident of Pacific County in his adult years, his book Oysterville will remain a major literary tribute to the peninsula and the county.  Today, only his sister, Dale Espy Little, remains of the founder's grandchildren, but the Espy heritage is assured to continue on the peninsula.
     When Espy died in a New York hospital on February 20, 1999, many homages, most notably in the New York Times, were paid to the well known writer who had made Manhattan his longtime home.
     Espy was born in Olympia and raised in Oysterville, the home of his father and grandparents.  In 1930, after graduating from the University of Redlands in California, he traveled to Europe for a year, enrolling at the Sorbonne, in Paris.  When he returned to the United States, he worked at several newspapers during the next decade, before joining the Reader's Digest in 1941.  After quitting the magazine in 1957, he went on to write several books dealing with vocabulary, knowledge, and humor, starting with The Game of Words in 1971.  But to people in Pacific County, Oysterville is what we know best.
     In the Afterword of the book, Espy wrote:
     As I age, however, Oysterville calls more insistently, and I find myself returning there more often.  The village has changed remarkably little; even the goldfinches and sandpipers are back.  God continues His gentle, eternal experimenting with the soft light bathing water, tidegrass, and hills.  The sky behind the rain still shines silver...
     Referring to his grandfather and to his childhood home, he wrote in the Introduction:
     Perhaps, of us all, only Papa was (at home in Oysterville), and Mama much of her life, and we children all our lives; yet, I well remember waking on blustery nights, pulling the quilts higher about my chin, and wondering seriously whether I was not living out a dream in grandpa's village.
     We perched at the end of the known world, and could go no farther without dropping off.  So we simply sat there in the black winter evenings, talking about where we began, and the roads that had brought us in the end to grandpa's village.
     For many readers, Espy may have caught the emotion of traveling back home after wandering away for a few years.  In the eyes of all those who think of the Espy family, Oysterville, and Pacific County, Willard Espy's 1977 book will remain forever a memorable achievement.

Willard R. Espy.
  -photo by Freddy E. Plimpton
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State Champs, Menlo, 1936
     In a March 3, 1999 Seattle Post - Intelligencer article about the new $39 million renovation of the UW's Hec Edmundson Pavilion, the newspaper ranked the top five Hec Ed basketball games in its venerable history. They are:

Willapa Valley High School Champions 1936.      PCHS
  1. 1949 NCAA championship game, Kentucky 46, Oklahoma State 36.
  2. 1952 NCAA championship game, Kansas 80, St. John's 63.
  3. 1975, UW 103, No. 2-ranked UCLA 81 (John Wooden's last game).
  4. 1952, Seattle U. 84, Harlem Globetrotters 81 (Johnny O'Brien scored 43 points).
  5. 1936 state high school championship game, Valley 32, Hoquiam 28.
     In a county where high school sports stories reign supreme, there is one that stands head and shoulders above the rest; the Valley High School State Basketball Champions of 1936.  Movie goers might recall the film "Hoosiers" of a few years ago, starring Gene Hackman.  It was the fictional story of a small town's high school basketball team that overcame obstacles on its way to victory over the big schools in the Indiana state high school basketball tournament.  In fact, Indiana, until just a few years ago, maintained only one high school basketball tournament for all schools, regardless of size.  It was a wondrous spectacle that many fought to preserve.  It was the same in the state of Washington back in 1936.  On March 14, 1936, the Seattle Times reported just before the championship game:
Mayor, call out the riot squads.  Put up the fire ropes at the University of Washington Pavilion and bring in the serpentine ... for little Valley High School, that no one knew existed, is in the finals of the state high school basketball tournament tonight.
For many years the state basketball tournament was held at the University of
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Washington in Seattle.  Although the Seattle schools didn't participate, the rest of the state did, including the big Tacoma and Spokane schools, and the powerhouses from Walla Walla, Yakima, and other small cities.
     During the 1930s, the "B" schools of the state had amazing luck against the big schools, with Prescott, Oakville, Valley, and St. John all reaching the final game in the years between 1935 and 1941.  Only Valley triumphed.  In 1936, Valley had a total of 94 students, far less than the schools they would play in the tournament.
     The Valley starters were Elmer (Bud) Alexander, the center and tallest player at 6-3; Bob Tisdale, a forward and the star of the team at 6 feet; Russell Eyer, a 5-11 forward; Ray Kraus, a guard and the smallest player at 5-8; and Johnny Rosentangle, a 5-10 guard.  Other players were Carl Wiseman, Don Evavold, Joe Drazil, and Al Belmont.  The manager was Eddie Brigham.  The coach was Tom Brim, who had worked at Valley since 1932.  After the championship year he left to teach and coach at Kennewick High School.  His replacement at Valley was Ed Tenoski.
     In 1936, the sixteen team tournament was composed of the usual state powerhouses, but also several smaller schools, including Eatonville, Marquette (Yakima), Dayton, Harrington, and Raymond.  Yes, that's right, Raymond was also in the state tournament that year!  The Gulls were led by their star, the great Matt Pavalunas, who went on to be the sixth man on the University of Oregon's NCAA basketball championship team of 1939.  The only loss the Valley team suffered in 1936 was in an early season game to Raymond.  (1936 was an interesting sports year for Pacific County.  That fall, the annual Washington - Oregon football game in Seattle featured Ed Nowogroski of Raymond as the starting fullback for the Huskies. The starting quarterback for the Ducks was John Reischman of South Bend.)
     The Valley team began the tournament with a stunning upset over Lewis and Clark of Spokane, 43 to 39.  In the second game, they disposed of Walla Walla, a three time state champ which had boasted a 29-0 record.  The score was 34 to 33.  In another breathtaking victory in the third game, Valley dumped Everett High with its 6-8 center, Dick Taylor.  Trailing by as many as nine points in the third quarter, the Vikings stormed back with Bob Tisdale leading the charge.  Valley won the game 32 to 31.  That sent the Vikings to the title game against Hoquiam, who was a state power during those years.  Hoquiam would themselves win a state title a few years later.
     With the Grizzlies leading 24 to 20 with four minutes left in the title game, Ray Kraus scored three successive shots to put his team in the lead.  Hoquiam tied it at 26 all, sending the game into overtime.  In the overtime Kraus and Tisdale scored shots to win the game for the Vikings, 32 to 28.  Low scores weren't unusual in those days, as basketball was much more of a defensive game than it is today.
     Valley had done it; they were the state champs for all the schools in the state of Washington, big and small. Bob Tisdale was named the tournament's most valuable player.  When asked about the little school's success, Bud Alexander said, "Our gym isn't heated.  We had to play fast to keep warm and got into the habit."
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Robert E. Bush, Willapa Valley, 1926-
     In early 1945, during World War II, there were over 11 million men and women in the U.S. armed services. (By comparison, there were 3 million in the military at the height of the Vietnam War). The war was a massive and tumultuous affair, which has dominated the psyche of generations during the second half of the 20th century.

Bob Bush receives the Congressional Medal of Honor from President Truman, September 1945.
                                                                                                                    -courtesy the Bush family
     It's difficult to say something about a particular person who took part in World War II, without remembering those we've personally known who were in the "big one."  Incomplete as it is, the following, is a token tribute to a few of the people from this corner, all of them from the northern part of the county:
Norman Fykerud, Raymond, who died in Belgium during the Battle of the Bulge.  Greg John, Raymond, and now Camano Island, who flew combat missions in B-17s in Europe.  Harley Mullins, Lebam, who helped repair shot up B-17s in England.  Dorwin Fosse, South Bend, who still carries shrapnel from an enemy attack on his ship, a rocket launcher, in the South Pacific.  Paul Willis, Raymond, and now San Diego, who spent the war with top Navy brass plotting the various campaigns of the Pacific war.  The late Lester Johnsen, South Bend, and later Shelton, who was a fighter plane pilot.  Les was shot down over New Guinea, but survived to tell the tale.
     There are countless heroes for us all from that era, many of them family relations, others were acquaintances.  Many of them came home both physically and emotionally scarred, with experiences they were reluctant to talk about it.  One war hero, Bob Bush, is a man who has told us about his war.  In 1945, he was awarded this country's highest military honor, the Congressional Medal of Honor.  He has been honored many times since, most recently in Tom Brokaw's new book, The Greatest Generation.
     In 1943, Bob was a 17 year old Raymond teenager who had boarded with a family in
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Willapa while he attended Valley High School.  That year he quit school to join the Navy.  "I looked around and saw that I was just about the only boy in school.  I wanted to enter the service."  Two years later, on May 2, 1945, the young Marine Corps man took his place in history on a bloody ridge on the island of Okinawa.
     Bob's childhood was spent living at Raymond's Riverview Hospital, also called the Bridge Clinic.  His mother, Stella, was the matron of the hospital, a job she did for 26 years.  Bob recalled, "My Mom raised two kids in the basement rooms of the hospital.  When I reached high school age, I boarded with the Don Vetter family and attended Valley High."
     In 1943, Bob joined the Navy as a medical corpsman.  He spent a year at Farragut, Idaho in boot camp and training, and in 1944, took further training at a field medical school.  In early 1945, he was assigned to G Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Regiment, 1st Marine Division, and boarded a troopship destined for the Pacific waters off New Guinea.
     By April 1, 1945, the young Navy corpsman was a part of the first wave of amphibian assault forces to invade Okinawa.  On May 2, after thirty days of heavy fighting, he was in the middle of an attack on a ridge heavily fortified by Japanese forces.
     Going from one wounded Marine to another, Bob administered medical assistance and encouragement.  He came under heavy fire as he gave blood plasma to a gravely wounded officer.  Using his .45 caliber pistol, he returned the fire into the charging group of Japanese soldiers.
     While he continued to help the wounded Marine, he was hit by three grenades, losing an eye and sustaining serious wounds to his chest, abdomen, and back.  As he continued to return the fire, he used three weapons, emptying his .45, picking up a carbine and then an M- I rifle, expending about 60 rounds of ammunition in all.  He had shot point blank into the enemy position, killing six.
     Bob refused medical aid for himself until the wounded officer was evacuated.  With the enemy force defeated, he walked back to his lines and collapsed from his wounds.  To this day, he claims training and discipline saved his life.
     On May 2, 1945, the end of the war had arrived for the young corpsman. After recuperating in a hospital in Hawaii, Bob was sent home and released from the service.  He married his sweetheart, Wanda Spooner, and they settled in South Bend. He and Wanda spent part of their September, 1945 honeymoon on the lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C., where President Harry Truman personally presented him with the nation's most prestigious award, the Congressional Medal of Honor.
     Back home, Bob rode the local train from South Bend to Menlo to attend classes at Valley High School, where he graduated in 1946.  A few years later, after starting the Bayview Lumber Company lumber yard with Victor Druzianich, Bob went on to become a successful businessman.
     The Bush family has made Olympia their home for many years.  In January, 1999, he lost his wife, Wanda, to cancer.  Still, Bob enjoys his family, his three surviving children, Mick, Rick, and Susan, their spouses, and eight grandchildren.  He is a past president of the national Congressional Medal of Honor Society.
A statue of Bob Bush and a memorial for veterans has been erected in South Bend, at the foot of Willapa Avenue.  Pacific County has continued to show its gratitude to the men and women who valiantly defended the United States during the overseas conflicts of the twentieth century, particularly World War II.

end of file

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