A Look Back in Time: Centralia Tops Lewis County Liquor Revenue List in Year Sales Surpassed $800,000

Compiled by Daniel Warn / [email protected]

Liquor sales in Lewis County totaled $801,608 during the reporting year of October 1, 1950 through September 30, 1951.

The report is the 18th annual report produced by the state liquor board since the end of alcohol prohibition in the United States.

The Centralians turned out to be the biggest drinkers, with an impressive total of $259,081 in sales and a net profit of $73,632.

The Chehalins weren’t ready to get drunk under the table with comparable sales of $247,703, which brought in a net profit of $71,015.

However, given their relatively small population size, it was Lewis County’s small communities that were the real stars of the drinking world after Prohibition.

Morton, for his part, had sales of $125,146, about half of what was tallied in each of the Twin Cities.

A little more cautious, but still enough to have a good time, Winlock drank up to $73,156 in liquor sales, Toledo drank $35,318 of the mighty liquid, Packwood drinkers managed to make sales of $33,835 and Pe Ell was down $27,156.

The report also contained Tenino’s considerable sales tally of $46,079 and Oakville’s more conservative $17,388.

When sales tax proceeds were distributed, $147,854 was split between the Lewis County, Tenino and Oakville communities of South Thurston also receiving a portion of the proceeds.

May 14, 1932:

• Final arguments in the ongoing CC&C Railroad receivership lawsuit, where the railroad hoped to increase its receivership with an extension, were scheduled for the following Thursday. RW Sweet, the railroad engineer, Reid Hubbard, secretary-treasurer of the Eastern Railway and Lumber Company, and Joshua Green, a Seattle capitalist, all testified at a May 13, 1932 hearing to weigh in on the Case in Lewis County. Superior Court in view of the closing arguments the following week.

• Senior Judge William J. Steinert sentenced 19-year-old Leslie Barret to five to 12 years in state prison for the manslaughter of Barret’s mother, who was killed during an illegal drinking binge.

• Herbert Moore, 24, of Chehalis, was taken to the Lewis County Jail by Sheriff JA Blankenship and Deputy JD Compton on a charge of forgery. The case was in conjunction with the same charges brought against Kenneth Beckwith.

• Tenders were opened on May 14, 1932, for the construction of a new Masonic Temple on Main Street in Chehalis. There were 10 bids, and the lowest of them was $10,492.

• Morton businessmen, led by Morton Lions chairman James Welch, appeared at a meeting of the area’s chamber of commerce the previous Tuesday to push for a YMCA to be built there. intersection of Pacific Highways and National Park.

• Jack Boussum, 17, escaped from Chehalis State Training School, injuring his foot as he tried to escape. He was later arrested and sat in a prison cell in Seattle on May 14, 1932.

• John Markham has become the sixth person to put his hat in the ring for the primary election of a new Lewis County commissioner. The primary was scheduled for September.

• A man lowered the rent from his house rental listing apparently because the place might be haunted by a recent death. His classified advert read: ‘For Rent – The person who rented my house a week ago was killed in an accident, so I’ll rent cheap.’ Or, he just wanted to take it off the market.

May 14, 1942:

• Work was nearing completion on the 20-precinct-wide Chehalis war bond campaign, which began in the weeks after the United States entered World War II. After knocking on doors at one last fundraiser – in the week leading up to the May 14, 1942, publication date, residents were able to add $25,977 in one week to bring the fundraising total to a total of $468,736.15. Transportation for the week was a 60% increase from previous weeks.

• The number of Lewis County residents who registered for sugar cards for wartime sugar rationing before May 14, 1942, reached 38,513.

• An art exhibit at Centralia High School was scheduled for the following Friday. Works by “students of crafts, fine arts, photography and home economics” were to be displayed, The Chronicle reported.

• Members of the graduating class of Centralia Junior College were hosted at the Centralia Kiwanis Club luncheon the previous Wednesday. At the meeting, Claud Warren was elected vice-president of the club, after the expiry of the mandate of Carl Laudenbach. He also enlisted in the army.

• John Denhof, 82, a pioneer resident of Chehalis circa 1890, died the previous Tuesday after a three-month illness. Denhof was one of the city’s first carpenters and contractors and was responsible for the construction of the first city hall.

• The Centralia High School sluggers defeated Napavine High School 14-0 in a non-league game. The Tigers scored their 14 runs on 15 hits.

• A five-piece living room set featuring items including, but not limited to, a bedroom set, armchair, and ottoman was priced at $59.95 in The Chronicle’s classifieds section.

May 14, 1952:

• Bids for the Logan District Sewer Line Project in a Centralia Local Improvement District have been opened, with the lowest bid being $41,350. The city estimated the cost at $50,000 and expected to negotiate a total cost of approximately $48,000.

• “Two sneaky thieves were reported by Centralia police on Wednesday, one at Carter’s Tire Service station at South Tower Avenue and the other at Hackett Drug Company, 217 North Tower Avenue,” the Chronicle reported. The cash drawers of the establishments have been invaded.

• Chehalis’ dentist, Dr. JD Walker, was to be named the new president of the 1,200-member body of the Washington Dental Association.

• A new crossing signal was to be installed at the crossing just north of Centralia on Waunch Prairie. State Representative AS Cory had been pushing for the traffic safety measure since the previous year.

• ‘Cheaper by the dozen’ inspiration Dr. Lillian Gilbreth, famous mother of 12, spoke at the Chehalis Chamber of Commerce the previous Tuesday.

• The Boy Scouts’ long-awaited circus party was scheduled to coincide with the unveiling of a model Statue of Liberty the following Saturday on Cascade Field in Chehalis.

• Demolishers have been set up to demolish the old Chehalis High School, which was built in 1909.


“A Look Back in Time” appears in every Saturday edition of The Chronicle. Clips of newsreels were reviewed at the Lewis County Historical Museum.

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