New depot commander welcomed in 1967

Joe Burns of Hermiston Development Corporation (right) shakes hands with the Col. William Whelan, the new commanding officer for the Umatilla Army Depot 50 years ago in 1967 in this Hermiston Herald file photo.

• Hermiston Chamber of Commerce recently completed a membership drive and gained 76 new members. Membership now stands at 315 members. The great thing about this drive was the fact the new and existing members got a education on what the chamber is and what they do.

• Community Pride was shown downtown on Saturday. From the kind words of visiting dignitaries to the proud comments of local residents. Downtown Hermiston received rave reviews at the re-dedication ceremonies last Saturday. Hundreds upon hundreds of people turned out for the day-long festivities that started with the ribbon cutting ceremony at Second and Main Streets. Through the cooperation of Main Street Merchants, the city of Hermiston and the state highway division, what was once a dream has become a reality.

Cracks, hole and flaking asphalt have been replaced by a new street. The street is lined with new sidewalks that are wider, safer and more attractive and includes ramps for handicapped customers and employees. Trees, shrubs and spruced up buildings make downtown an attractive focal point once again. One re-dedication speaker pointed out that as the downtown areas of other communities are allowed to decay, downtown Hermiston has new life. As home for the center of city government, key retail and service businesses, a junior high school, the city’s library and a place for hundreds of local residents to work downtown Hermiston is once again a pleasant place to be.

• Col. William J. Whelan, 45, new commanding officer of the Umatilla Army Depot, arrived to town last Wednesday and immediately took command of the installation. His wife, Gertrude, and son and daughter accompanied him. An Ohioan, Col. Whelan becomes the 13th commander of the UAD since its founding in 1941. His 25-year career as an Army Ordnance Corps officer has taken him to many parts of the world. Colonel and Mrs. Whelan expressed themselves as enthusiastic with the new assignment, noting that they had been in the Pacific Northwest previously at Fort Lewis, Washington, in 1964-65.

• Freddie’s Beauty Salon opened for business Tuesday, July 11, at the new location on East Second Street, in the Coast to Coast annex building south of the US National Bank. The Salon’s previous location was in the Eastside Grocery building at 512 E. Main St. The new home of the salon has an interior decoration done in pink tone with birch paneling. The salon is equipped with new modern compressed hair dryers and features glass showcases for costume jewelry and wig display.

• Wesley Batterson, representative of the Oregon State Game commission, released four sage hens and two males near Cold Springs reservoir this week. Mr. Batterson stated that 15 sage hens were released at the same place last September. The birds have been hand raised near Baker, and banded. According to Mr. Batterson, sage birds feed mostly on grasshoppers and other small insects. Just how well they will prosper in this territory has not been determined.

• To help prevent accidents on the farm, A.M. Thrasher, Pacific Power & Light company manager, has offered the services of company crews to farmers who must cross under the company lines with hay derricks. Thrasher said a request in advance by telephone or mail will bring a PP & L service man who will either raise electric wires to provide safe clearance or will deaden the line until the derrick is clear of overhead wires. The company makes no charge for this service.

Editor’s note: For some unexplained reason, the editions of the Hermiston Herald for 100 years ago this week are not included in the bound copies in our archives. The 100 years ago portion of this feature will return in next week’s edition.

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