100 Years Ago

From the East Oregonian

Jan. 7, 1921

With a thrust of a dagger into his own heart, George Francis, known to Round-Up followers as “Long George,” recently brought a highly dramatic end to a rather dramatic life. Francis had dragged his injured body a mile through snow and at a temperature of 20 degrees below zero toward civilization in hopes of receiving aid for a broken leg when the pain and cold finally crazed him and caused him to draw the knife that ended his life. Francis drove his automobile off a precipitous cliff while en route to Havre, Montana. In the killing cold and far from habitation, he began the grim fight against death. A red trail in the snow told the dramatic story to persons who found his body. Francis had once been convicted and sentenced to prison in Montana for horse stealing. He hid out in the mountains for 18 months and never was brought in to serve his time. In by-gone years he brought relay strings to Round-Ups where he performed.

50 Years Ago

From the East Oregonian

Jan. 7, 1971

Three prisoners at the Umatilla County Jail are on a hunger strike, refusing the bread they are offered, Sheriff Roy Johnson said. Nine prisoners at the jail were placed on diets of bread and water following a riot in which the prisoners severely damaged jail facilities. Chief Deputy Bill McPherson said the bread and water will continue to be offered to the men staging the hunger strike. Johnson commented that over the years there has been a great change in the type of prisoners handled here and at the state penitentiary. Prisoners are younger and tend to be more hostile toward jailers. “The old convicts weren’t like that,” he said. “They regarded the jail as their home while they were in it and didn’t want it torn apart.” The number of prisoners handled at the Umatilla County Jail has increased steadily over the years, taxing jail facilities. Umatilla County Judge C.E. Lassen after the riot said he will launch an investigation of the need for an improved jail here.

25 Years Ago

From the East Oregonian

Jan. 7, 1996

The on-ramp to the bustling information-rich Internet has just become more affordable thanks to a local company of computer entrepreneurs. Oregon Trail Internet, founded by Steve Winterton and his wife, Carrie, promises on-line gabbers all the chatting they want — and researchers a myriad of information at their fingertips — at just $25 per month. “Pendleton needs this,” said Winterton, a U.S. Forest Service telecommunication specialist who plunged around $40,000 into the new venture with the help of 10 investors. Each has a share of the home-grown company. In the past, local residents could either plug in to national services such as America On Line or tap public Internet access through the state’s COMPASS system. Oregon Trail Internet founders considered national services too expensive and filled with “frivolous features” and the state’s system ponderous and limited. Customers will also be able to have home pages created for them by the company to be posted in the cyberspace marketplace known as the World Wide Web. None of the company’s founders believe the Internet is simply a fad.

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