Looking back

A lineup of cars is seen at the intersection of Klamath Avenue and South Ninth Street in Klamath Falls in this photo taken around 1915. A notation on the photo indicated it was a car club passing through town. Hogback Mountain is seen in the background at right.

100 years ago

Harry Messner, cashier of the Algoma Lumber Company at Algoma, lost the little finger, the third finger, and a portion of the middle finger of his left hand yesterday when a shotgun exploded while hunting. Messner is 26 years-old. He was accompanied on the hunting trip by Henry Rundle. They had but one gun. Rundown had been about to use the weapon but a horse got in the way of his target. When it came Messner’s turn to fire the gun barrel exploded, shattering his hand. He was brought to Klamath Falls for treatment.

The Evening Herald, August 12, 1921

50 years ago

“Where’s the baby?” Where’s the baby?”

The cracking voice kept repeating the question echoed through the halls of Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital Monday.

“Where’s the baby?” it cried again.

Curious PIH staffers rushed to the emergency room from which the voice emanated.

There, on a lofty perch, oblivious to the disturbance he caused, sat an 85 year-old South American parrot.

His owner, who wished to remain unidentified, had brought a friend to the hospital for emergency treatment.

Polly joined them, but found the air conditioning in the hospital not to her liking, and submitted readily to a blanket covering.

The “baby” to which Polly referred, was the Good Samaritan whose friend was in for treatment. Polly was on deck and a member of the family when “baby” made her debut many moons ago.

The Herald and News, September 14, 1971

25 years ago

Ray Braxton had just stepped outside of the South Sixth Street Subway sandwich store with store owner Mike Moore.

“I was saying, ‘Boy, this is quite a little town,’” Braxton chuckled. “And this happens.”

“This” was the Friday robbery at Western Bank, just a parking lot away from Subway, shortly before 11 a.m.

A suspect later identified as Eric Allen Maxwell, 30, Central Point, allegedly entered the bank carrying a container of gasoline and a flare, poured gasoline near the bank entrance and on the counter and demanded cash.

“This girl, Diane, called out and said ‘Call 911. There’s some guy throwing soapy water in the bank,’” recalls Braxton.

“He just shot right out of the bank there. As soon as he busted out the doors, I told Mike, ‘Call 911, its a robbery.’ He tore off his mask. I saw him drop the flare cap so I knew he didn’t have a weapon, so I started chasing him.

“The guy was a real nut. He had all the money in his arm,” explained Brayton. “He ran right by us, and he smelled real bad. He was reeking of gas.”

Brayton, a sign contractor from Portland was meeting with Moore about a new sign, shouted back information on Maxwell’s movements to Moore, who was with 911 on a cellular telephone.

During a quick chase, Maxwell was discarding clothes.

Brayton said he tried to head off Maxwell, although he lost the foot race, Brayton felt rewarded when Maxwell ran toward South Sixth and was apprehended near Supply One.

Klamath Falls police officer John Deese wrestled Maxwell to the ground with the help of an unknown person leaving Supply One.

“I didn’t do anything that anybody else wouldn’t have done,” said Brayton.

The Herald and News, September 8, 1996

10 years ago

In an antique shop somewhere in Wales was a single American dog tag reading “Eldon D. Peterson . . . Klamath Falls, Ore.”

Peterson, who raised a family and owned a gas station in Klamath Falls, died here in 1988. As Army sergeant, Peterson fought across Europe in World War II and lost the metal identification tag somewhere along the way.

His children, Nina Jensen and Andy Peterson, knew nothing of the family relic floating around England until word came from the Klamath County Museum in July.

The museum had received a letter about the dog tag from Quintin Richardson of Stratford-upon-Avon, England.

“Dear Sir/Madam, Whilst traveling in Wales, my mother bought at an antique shop what looks like a dog tag with the name Eldon D. Peterson . . . . Just wondered if you were interested or if the family of above would be,” Richardson wrote.

Museum volunteer Dave Mattos tracked down Andy Peterson, a local accountant and told him of the lost dog tag. It was a quite a shock.

“It’s just fascinating that this little piece of World War II came back to us 65 years later,” Andy said.

Jensen wrote to Richardson about her father’s dog tag. Last month he mailed it across the Atlantic to her.

The Herald and News, September 9, 2011