A Look Back in Time: Candidate for President in Self-Coined Political Party Visits Centralia in February 1932; Two-Headed Calf Born


Candidate for President In Self-Coined Political Party Visits Centralia in Feb. 1932

George Edward Steward, then 40, sought a presidential nomination by the self-coined “Whip Party” and traveled to Centralia on Feb. 19, 1932, to garner support for his campaign.

Steward, an Oregon salesman, was “the first presidential candidate to visit Centralia in many years,” reported The Daily Chronicle. “He ought to win it as, so far as he knows, he is the only member of the party.”

The origin of the “Whip Party” name was shrouded in mystery, with Steward only giving a vague account of what the branding really meant.

“They have whips in congress,” he told The Daily Chronicle at the time. “We’re just using the name until we get a better one. I am just standing as the candidate for president until we have a national convention. Then I won’t accept the nomination unless such a man as Hiram D. Baker will serve as my vice president.”

Steward claimed he would “draft into service” Borah La Follette, a man with surname Brisbane, a priest named Cox and a certain Congressman McFadden into his cabinet. Then General Pershin was in the running for the secretary of war position.

“I do not choose to run for the presidency, because I can win in a walk,” Steward told The Daily Chronicle at the time. “I am 40 years of age and have never done anything to brag about. I have a home and a mortgage. I have a fine car and no gas. I have one suit of clothes, and thank God for it. (I) owe money I can’t pay. And I’m not a politician.”


Feb. 19, 1932:

• The Boy Scouts of Centralia held a court of honor Feb. 18, 1939, where earned merit badges were presented. John Gavin received badges for personal health and first aid; August Newman received a badge for first aid to animals; Albert Troxel received badges for cooking and handicraft; James Leslie received a badge for handicraft; and Walter Johnson received badges for art and book binding. Johnson also took an examination for advancement to the rank of first class, which he passed.

• Judge W.A. Reynolds made “an important political announcement” that he would not again be a candidate for Lewis County Superior Court in the following September election, reported The Daily Chronicle. Reynolds completed a 16-year stretch in the position — four consecutive terms — ending in 1932. He had been the oldest attorney in the region, having relocated to Chehalis 50 years prior.

• Ida May Hartman, then 66, died on Feb. 18, 1932, at her 583 Ohio Ave. home. Hartman had been a resident of Lewis County for 40 years, a “pioneer resident of the county,” reported The Daily Chronicle. She was born in Springfield, Illinois. Funeral services were set to occur at the Fissel Funeral Home at 3 p.m. the following Sunday, with internment arranged at Mountain View Cemetery.

• Pioneers of Centralia — characterized as those who’d lived in the city for at least 40 years — were invited to a potluck at 12:30 p.m. the following Monday at the WCTU Temple. The event was sponsored by the Centralia Pioneer Association in observance of the George Washington Bicentennial. Rides for transportation to the event were being offered by Centralia Pioneers Myrtle Cotrill, John Benedict and William Mitchell.

• Roy E. Spencer, then 21, was arrested at the home of his mother during the evening of Feb. 18, 1932, by a U.S. immigration officer and was subsequently transported to Seattle on a federal charge after allegedly having illegally entered the country by way of Canada.

• Out of every tax dollar spent in Lewis County; 52.16 cents went to education; 17.98 cents went to roads; 9.64 cents went to cities; 12.98 cents went to county expenses; 1.73 cents went to compensation for veterans, 0.37 cents went to soldiers and sailors; 0.85 cents went to the Southwest Washington Fair; 2.43 cents went to the state for general purposes; and 0.01 cents went to the capitol building. In all, $1,793,962.73 were collected.

• During the winter basketball season at the high school level, Mineral’s record was 5-0; Onalaska’s record was 4-1; Mossyrock’s record was 2-3; Morton’s record was 1-4 and Randle’s record was 1-5.


Feb. 19, 1942:

• Centralian Frank Jamon Chambers, then 73, a retired grocer, died in February 1942. Chambers had been a Vader resident for 30 years before relocating to Centralia two years prior to his death.

• Chehalis residents Oswald Madsock and Lucy Dunnaway — 64 and 65, respectively — both died in February 1942. Madsock had only been ill briefly, while Dunnaway had suffered from “a lingering illness.”

• Instructors from the University of Washington and Washington State College visited Centralia Junior College to ensure its classes were up-to-snuff to carry transfer credits to the higher levels of state education.

• Kenneth Lean, who lived on Route 2 in Centralia, was named as a “youth most valuable to war production” by the National Youth Administration (NYA). “Kenneth was first assigned to the defense training project at the sheet metal shop at the fairgrounds in November 1941,” Everett Capener, the NYA district supervisor, told The Daily Chronicle at the time. “(He came) with a determination to gain the knowledge necessary for employment in defense industries. He had quickly learned the operation of various machines and, together with his various personal qualities and quality of workmanship, has won the award.”

• Local high school basketball standings in February 1942 showed Chehalis, Vancouver and Kelso all with a record of 7-2; Longview with the record of 4-5; Castle Rock with a record of 3-8; Camas with a record of 2-6; and Centralia with the record of 2-7.


Feb. 19, 1952:

• The Daily Chronicle’s eighth-annual Garden School was set to hit the region March 4 through March 7, 1952. “The four-day event, which is open to the general public at no cost, will again be held on two-day shifts in the Twin Cities,” The Daily Chronicle reported. The first two days were set to be held in Chehalis, while the second two days were scheduled for Centralia in The Daily Chronilce’s auditorium. “Plans for the annual school are completed and they indicated it will be the most outstanding yet held, with each program being carefully selected and arranged to hold the interest of the home gardener.”

• A car crash outside of Chehalis instantly killed Olympia man John Holland, then 64, and critically injured his wife. Holland’s death was reported as the third traffic fatality in Lewis County up to that time in 1952.

• About 1,500 members of the Lewis-Pacific Dairymen's association and their families were awarded an aggregate $347,000 in annual dividends.

• Dee E. Devlin, then 32, of Centralia, was the defendant in damages suits totaling $119,000 after killing two women with his pick-up truck north of Centralia the year prior. The two lawsuits were filed by Robert G. Granger, husband of one of the victims.

• The Fox Theatre was showing “The Model and the Marriage Broker” at 7:11 p.m. and 10:24 p.m. and “Pals of the Golden West,” at 8:54 p.m. on Feb. 19, 1952.

• High school basketball league standings in February 1952 showed Mossyrock in the lead, followed by Toledo, Onalaska, Morton, Winlock and Randle in the eastern division. For the western division, Toutle Lake was in the lead, followed by Ryderwood, Napavine, Boistfort, Pe Ell and Adna. Rochester was in the lead for the northern division, followed by Tenino, State School, Oakville and Rainier. Standings were reported in descending order.


A Look Back in Time will appear in every Saturday edition of The Chronicle.