Shenanigans in August 1913

Late August on the Harbor is usually the warmest and most languid time of year. It marks the end of summer with shorter days and cooler evenings. Here are a number of tales from the pages of the Aberdeen Herald reflecting the shenanigans that took place in the days of yore.

GOOD BEAR STORY FROM HOQUIAM — Big Bear is Reported to Have Ran Race with Auto on Polson Road – The wise editor always shudders at what purports to be a of fishing or bear hunt. He recognizes the unexplainable fact that the most truthful citizen, in the ordinary walks of life, becomes excited with a big catch of fish or an adventure with a bear to the extent that, for a few days at least, he is apt to be in a state of unconscious exaggeration. But, once and in a while they are true, and are really good stories.

With this preface, the Herald prints the following, from the Hoquiam Washingtonian of Sunday, in full confidence that if it was not based upon facts it would never have “got by” the astute editor of our esteemed contemporary:

While going about twenty-five miles an hour Thursday night in an automobile, a party composed of Mr. and Mrs. Peter Klein, Miss Clara Benson, and Mike Lawless, met a bear weighing according to the eyewitnesses about 700 pounds, along the old railroad grade which connects this city with the Polson Logging Camps.

The bear, a huge one, was terrified by the lights of the auto as it came around a curve in the road, and reared up on its haunches then turned around, and ran ahead on the road. Mr. Bear ran for about a half mile but the pace was too severe and when the railroad grade was struck, he rolled off the grade into the underbrush.

Those in the auto were having the time of their lives, except Miss Benson, who when she heard the bear “woof-woof”, started things by screaming.

The vicinity in which the bear was seen is about 14 miles out from town, and is about the same spot at which Allen Kellogg, a local bear hunter had one of his dogs considerably torn up about a week ago. A few of the local hunters are now laying plans to get the big fellow. — Aberdeen Herald, August 19, 1913

GETS PRISON TERM — Judge Ben Sheeks sentenced P. Lyon, arrested for stealing watches from Thomas the jeweler, to from one to fifteen years in the penitentiary, Friday morning. Lyon pleaded guilty to the charge. There was a bad record, it is said, back of him, in other towns. — Aberdeen Herald, August 19, 1913

COMMITS SUICIDE BY DROWNING — Chris Husby, aged 32 years, a logger in the employ of the Grays Harbor Logging Company for the past four years, committed suicide by drowning at 11:45 a.m. Saturday in the Wishkah River between the Heron Street and Northern Pacific railway bridges. The body was recovered about 1 p.m. by Chief of Police William Seaman and Officer Robert Smith, who worked steadily in the search after news of the suicide reached police headquarters.

Husby talked with Frank Burrows in the office of the logging company for two hours Saturday morning and was melancholy as a result of several days’ drinking. Mr. Husby declared he was going to work that afternoon. On leaving the office, Husby went directly to the dock opposite the Northern Pacific Bridge pier and jumped off.

Deceased was well known and popular on the Harbor. He was of good physique and was in the prime of life. The funeral took place this afternoon, services being held at the Whiteside chapel and Rev. Ross, of Hoquiam, officiating. — Aberdeen Herald, August 19, 1913

WAGON HIT BY AUTO; OCCUPANTS ESCAPE — An automobile driven by Vivian Luce, son of L.L. Luce, ran into and partly demolished a wagon driven by Otis Chabot of Moclips and containing Mrs. Chabot and some household goods, Saturday night at the corner of Fifth and I Streets, Hoquiam. Young Luce was turning the corner and before his headlights had revealed the buggy, his machine ran it down.

Quickly applying the brakes the car was brought to a stop, but skidded along the slippery pavement and hit the wagon, breaking the shafts and tipping the occupants out on the street, according to his story. Mr. and Mrs. Chabot were thrown to the pavement but regained their feet quickly. Their injury was slight. — Aberdeen Herald, August 19, 1913

CASCARA BARK — WANTED — The season will soon open for peeling Cascara bark. See me or write me for prices and general information in regard to contracts for coming season. I will assist you in securing your stumpage and pay you the highest market price, when delivered. Arthur W. Isaacs, 216 South H St., Aberdeen. — Aberdeen Herald, August 19, 1913

ARSON IS CHARGED — Judge Phillips’ court was been occupied all of yesterday afternoon and this morning in a preliminary examination of Mr. and Mrs. Peter Pytula, Polish ranchers living seven miles up the Wishkah River, and who were arrested Tuesday, on a charge of arson.

A large number of Polish witnesses are in attendance, and the use of an interpreter makes the case go slow. It appears that the Pytulas and another family owned and occupied the house jointly, and, it is alleged that having quarreled, the Pytulas set fire to the house in order to secure the insurance money and settle their business dispute in that manner. — Aberdeen Herald, August 22, 1913

GREEK ARRESTED FOR STEALING DIAMONDS — (Montesano) — Nick Pappas, a Greek, was arrested here at 5 o’clock Sunday afternoon by Sheriff Mathews as he was about to get out of an automobile and board an eastbound train. Pappas is charged with the theft of two diamonds, one worth $400, from Fred Straub of Hoquiam, and another one worth $140, which he had sold to an Aberdeen pawnbroker.

Pappas is a sort of leader with the Greeks on the Harbor and was buying the diamonds on the installment plan. The installments had not yet been completely paid. — Aberdeen Herald, August 22, 1913

STRUCK BY MOTOR CAR — Mike Revella, a watchman at the Western Mill, is at the Grays Harbor Hospital suffering from severe injuries sustained Monday afternoon, when he was struck by the Northern Pacific motor car. Revella was crossing the railroad near the mill when he saw a train approaching and stepped upon the other track to avoid it. The motor car was on that track going in the opposite direction from that of the train. His shoulder was fractured, his hip dislocated and he was severely bruised. Revella resided with his wife and daughter at 104 South Division Street. — Aberdeen Herald, August 22, 1913

ACCIDENTALLY SHOT — Well Known Hoquiam Merchant is Shot in Knee by His Son, at Point Granville Tuesday – Henry Levi, of the firm of Levi & Bear, was accidentally shot in the knee Tuesday and while the wound is fortunately slight, he had a narrow escape from serious injury.

With J.S. McKee and Melbourne Levi, his son, the merchant was on the way to the Hoh oil fiends for an outing. While waiting at Point Granville for a boat to take the party to the Hoh River, Mr. McKee took occasion to clean an automatic pistol which he had along. He had removed the magazine from the pistol and Melbourne Levi, thinking the weapon unloaded, was examining it when a cartridge which had remained in the barrel exploded, the ball entering Mr. Levi’s right leg near the knee.

Fortunately no bone was encountered by the bullet and only a flesh wound was inflicted. Mr. Levi was taken to Moclips by wagon and returned to this city by train that evening. No serious results are expected to result from the accident. — Aberdeen Herald, August 22, 1913

Roy Vataja is the son of Finnish immigrants and looks forward to the rain and wind descending on the Harbor with all its fury to clean the air and streets of pollen and dust.