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News / Life / Clark County Life

This week in Clark County history

By Katie Bush, public historian at the Clark County Historical Museum
Published: November 3, 2023, 6:11am

A weekly look back compiled by the Clark County Historical Museum from The Columbian archives available at columbian.newspapers.com or at the museum.

  • 100 years ago

On Nov. 1, 1923, the Pacific Telephone & Telegraph Company manager, F.W. Sinclair, announced Vancouver saw a “substantial gain in telephones” over the previous month. The addition of nearly 40 phones increased the total number of handsets to 2,380 serviced by the company. Sinclair noted that “the growth supplies an encouraging index of the progress of the city and Clarke county.”

  • 75 years ago

On Nov. 1, 1948, the day before Election Day, local leaders said they expected a “record turn-out,” with 35,000 of 42,000 registered voters casting ballots. Residents were voting not just on “a big general election ballot bearing the names of presidential candidates for eight parties — an all-time record,” but local, county and state issues as well. From a $450,000 sewer bond ($5.6 million in today’s dollars) to a 20-mill school levy, Vancouverites would receive five ballots to fill out. In anticipation of a busy Election Day, banks, city and county offices, as well as the state liquor store and many taverns would close.

  • 50 years ago

Peter S. Ogden Elementary School opened on Nov. 2, 1973. Although not finished, the new building replaced the one destroyed by the April 5, 1972, tornado. Students from Ogden Elementary had been double shifting at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary since the disaster. To inaugurate the new school, “students will raise the old flag that survived the tornado, then raise a new flag.”

  • 25 years ago

After 10 years and $2.2 million, Vancouver dedicated the O.O. Howard House on Officers Row on Oct. 31, 1998. The 90-minute opening ceremony welcomed 250 attendees, who heard John Phillip Sousa marches played by Fort Lewis’ 56th Army Band, a color guard parade, speeches, and a 13-gun salute. Later, visitors toured the three-story structure, built in 1876, and the new “One Place Across Time” exhibit, chronicling the history of the Vancouver Barracks, Hudson’s Bay Company, Pearson Field and the Kaiser Shipyard.