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125 Years Ago

1892

COLLEGE: The closing exercises of the winter term of Philomath College will be held next Thursday evening in the town hall. The school is under the conservative rule. (Published March 29, 1892, in the Evening Capital Journal, Salem).

DOCTOR: Dr. Charles of Philomath is about to locate at Yoncalla. (Published March 29, 1892, in the Daily Eugene Guard).

100 Years Ago

1917

DEBATE: The debate held at Philomath Friday evening between Philomath and Ashland resulted in the defeat of Ashland by the vote of two judges. Ashland held the affirmative side of the question of compulsory health insurance in Oregon, while Philomath held the negative. Philomath’s debaters were Miss Erna VonLehe, leader, and Frank Palmer, colleague. Philomath citizens supported the debate by their attendance despite the very disagreeable evening. Professor Castle acted as chairman, and the timekeepers were Professor Glass, of Philomath, and Miss Arnal, of Ashland. Music was furnished by the Philomath Band Orchestra. (Published March 26, 1917, in the Oregonian, Portland).

CREAMERY: The Philomath Creamery Co.,. has passed out of existence and the plant at Philomath is now in the hands of the Albany Creamery Association. The change came as a result of “lack of cooperation on the part of the farmers’ lack of harmony, stagnation of business and unfail competition,” according to the Benton County Review. (Published March 27, 1917, in the Albany Daily Democrat).

DISQUALIFIED: The Oregon High School Debate League, by unanimous vote of its executive committee, has ruled the Philomath High School team ineligible to meet the Silverton High School debaters during the 1917 season because Rev. W.G. Fisher, who had coached the Philomath team, attended the Silverton-Seaside debate and took notes in violation of the bylaws of the league and the rules of good sportsmanship. The league is an organization to determine state scholastic honors in Oregon.

Earl Kilpatrick, director of the extension department of the University of Oregon and secretary of the debate league, said that there was no evidence that Superintendent Roy W. Glass, of the Philomath schools, had any previous knowledge of Rev. Mr. Fisher’s visit to Silverton.

The facts on which the committee based its decision are revealed by the records on file in the office of Secretary Kilpatrick, as follows:

“W.G. Fisher, ex-mayor of Philomath, traveling on a clergy permit, visited the Silverton-Seaside debates at Silverton and took notes on it. There is a bylaw and tradition of the leagues that debates shall not be visited by anyone connected with the debating work of another school. The Silverton people were made suspicious that Philomath was sending a scout to the debate by a telephone message purporting to come from the central girl in Philomath asking if the Silverton-Seaside debate would surely be held that night. It was decided to watch all strangers.

“Fisher’s presence and the fact that he was taking notes was observed and he was asked if he was from Philomath. He denied it and in explaining his presence, represented himself to be a reporter from the Portland papers and a representative of the Associated Press. Superintendent James, of the Silverton schools, was suspicious of a newspaper report of such prominence at such a small debate. … Superintendent James boarded the train with Fisher the next morning and followed him to his destination, which was Philomath.”

Superintendent Glass denied that Fisher had any connection with the team at the time of his visit to Silverton, but admitted that earlier in the season, he had assisted in the coaching. He also said that the debaters frequently met at Mr. Fisher’s house and that Fisher probably had more influence with the debaters than he had. He said that more than once he had to overrule the debaters when they wished to do things Fisher’s way rather than his own. The committee in reaching its decision accepted this statement of facts as admitted by Mr. Glass. The ruling does not bar the Philomath team from further debates, but renders it ineligible to meet Silverton, which will now debates an eastern school for the state championship. (Published March 29, 1917, in the Oregonian, Portland).

REACTION: A mass meeting of citizens was held at Philomath High School last night to express indignation over the ruling of the executive committee of the Oregon High School Debating League, which bars the Philomath team from a debate with Silverton.

The committee based its reason for this ruling on evidence submitted by Silverton to the effect that W.G. Fisher, resident of Philomath, visited Silverton and attended the recent Silverton-Seaside debate in progress there. Philomath produced evidence taken under affidavit that Fisher was in no way connected with the Philomath debating team, nor had been for several months. The team did not know of Fisher’s visit to Silverton nor did Mr. Glass, its coach. The citizens are indignant over what they feel to be unjust insinuation concerning Professor Glass. It is the desire of Coach Glass and the team that no ill feeling be aroused. Residents of Philomath are making thorough investigation of the case. (Published March 30, 1917 in the Oregonian, Portland).

FARMERS: The extremely cold and stormy weather is working great hardship among the farmers in the Philomath locality. Owing to the early frosts, which destroyed the grazing, the farmers were forced to begin feeding earlier, and now find themselves facing a shortage of hay. Many have been buying for months and although there seems to be little difficulty in securing hay, transportation is very difficult. Owing to the continued cold and the condition of green feed, sheepmen are losing many spring lambs. (Published April 1, 1917, in the Oregonian, Portland).

Compiled by Brad Fuqua, Philomath Express.

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