100 Years Ago

March 30, 1921

Pendleton banks will honor the memory of Levi Ankeny tomorrow. The First National Bank will be closed all day and the American National and the Inland Empire bank will close at noon out of respect for the late financier who had been connected with the banking business here since 1882. His funeral will be held in Walla Walla tomorrow from the family home. Friends and business associates of Senator Ankeny are strong in praise of many admirable qualities he possessed. It is said that during the hard times of 1893 he was extremely lenient with those in his debt and that many now successful farmers owe their escape from bankruptcy largely to aid provided by Mr. Ankeny at that time.

50 Years Ago

March 30, 1971

A do-it-yourself program of improvements is under way at the Umatilla County Jail. Sheriff’s Deputies Gilbert Pettys and Jack Campbell have donated use of the welding outfits for the project. The improvements are following recommendations made by a team from the Oregon Corrections Division after the county jail was shaken by a riot in January. Improved security is the first goal. A new door allowing better vision is being cut into the lockup area; steel screen is being welded over cell bars, windows are being covered with steel mesh and sheets of steel in some cases; a new individual locking system is being installed on some cells. The mesh will prevent prisoners from reaching into the narrow corridor to grab jailers and from throwing large objects from their cells into the corridors. It will prevent prisoners from reaching cell locks, too.

25 Years Ago

March 30, 1996

The Umatilla County Jail in Pendleton is in sad shape. The ceiling tiles are stained, falling apart, and, in some places, gone completely. Brick walls are cracked. Windows, formerly a conduit for contraband, had to be sealed. Sinks don’t turn off. “The aging jail suffers from design problems,” said Alan Humphrey, the Sheriff’s Department chief deputy. “The labyrinthian facility is a twisting collection of narrow hallways connecting barracks-style living quarters holding up to a dozen prisoners each. Most of the jail is on the third floor of the Umatilla County Courthouse.” One living area, however, is on the second floor, connected to the rest of the jail only by an elevator. Humphrey said the elevator can be a formidable obstacle if a corrections deputy has to respond to a dire crisis in another part of the facility. The jail is just too small, he said. To make room for an increasing flow of violent offenders, the jail has had to release those convicted of lesser felonies.

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