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First local soldier dies in World War I in 1918

1918 - The first local victim of World War I, then called The Great War, was James Alva Linn of Estacada, who died at Fort Myers, Virginia, on March 29, 90 years ago.

Another local soldier, Cecil Duke, wrote his parents about surviving a torpedo attack of his troop ship, the Tuscania, on Feb. 5. 'Some of our boys were lost. It was a terrible thing,' wrote Duke, who waited two hours to board a lifeboat, saw some of his shipmates drown when they jumped overboard and survived a five-hour lifeboat trip to the Irish shore.

1928 - Dorothy McCullough Lee, later mayor of Portland, was the only woman candidate for the Legislature from Multnomah County 80 years ago. She believed that 'in as much as a great part of the electorate is composed of women they are entitled to some representation.' She added that women with the necessary experience are equally qualified with men to represent the people.

1938 - H.L. St. Clair, founder of The Gresham Outlook, died 70 years ago. St. Clair, who launched the paper March 3, 1911, was buried with much pomp and ceremony in Gresham. Orphaned at age 6, he worked his way through seminary as a printer, came to Gresham to be a minister, and then returned to the printing career. He secretly enjoyed cigars and publicly championed the sport of horse racing and, The Oregonian announced, raised 'a worthy family of children.'

1948 - Vic Bacon took over management of the Gresham Roller Rink 60 years ago. In Troutdale, Mrs. James Simoni and Mrs. Clarence Parsons made an all-woman trip to Southern California to visit June Sherman. They had no car trouble they said, declaring that they returned home 'with Troutdale air in their tires.'

1958 - Corbett's Reed family was in a fight, literally, with the Oregon Highway Department over the right of way of what is now Interstate 84 through their property at Reed's Landing near Corbett Station 50 years ago. Frank Reed and his son, Francis, were injured in a dispute with a highway contractor's crew when the issue came to blows.

1968 - The biggest commercial building permit in city history was issued 40 years ago for the Gresham Mall shopping center at the corner of Burnside Road and Main Avenue. The $950,000 permit to Hoffman Construction Company was for the first part of the covered mall. (The mall was remodeled and no longer has a cover.)

1978 - Phyllis Fancher was named Gresham's Realtor of the Year 30 years ago. Troutdale General Store clerk Betty Espenel, who liked to gripe about not finding a parking space, got her own designated space in a lot in downtown Troutdale, but refused to park her car there because she didn't want to block the view of the sign.

1988 - Sen. Robert Packwood addressed the Gresham Chamber 20 years ago, speaking against a 'protectionist' trade bill. A headline announced that an apartment boom was on its way in Gresham with 1,000 rental units under construction. And the Library Association of Portland made an offer on a downtown site for a new Gresham library.

1998 - Owners of the Multnomah Greyhound Park asked the city of Wood Village 10 years ago to approve moving some of the park's dog kennels to make room for commercial development on the site. In other change, the first medical office building near Legacy Mount Hood hospital wasn't even finished and builders were planning a second. And Gresham's cranky artist/potter Bennett Welsh Sr. died at the age of 75.

2007 - At this time last year, shots were fired, some of which struck windows at Springwater Trail High School, causing a lockdown at the school. Fifteen-year-old Chad Escobedo, a freshman at Springwater Trail, was taken into custody shortly after the event. Escobedo is serving six years in a juvenile institution.