Low prices being paid out for wheat in the early 1870s motivated Philomath-area farmers to take action. (Photo by Abhishek Koundle/Pexels via Canva)

Published under the headline, “Co-operation among farmers” in the Jan. 18, 1873 edition of the Corvallis Gazette, a letter to the editor appeared about mid-Willamette Valley farmers wanting to establish an organization in response to poor prices being paid out for crops.

Here is the letter, which was not signed by an individual author and identified only as “Many Farmers.”

Mr. Editor: The above subject has been a topic of general discussion in farming communities for the last six months.

The interest thus developed, culminated, in this locality, in a meeting of farmers held in Philomath precinct, Benton county, on the 11 inst., for the purpose of considering the feasibility of cooperation among farmers in storing, shipping and disposing of their crops.

On motion, E. Hartless was called to the chair, and in a few brief, but well timed, remarks, stated the object of the meeting.

After which a general and very interesting discussion followed; in which many of the intelligent farmers of the neighborhood participated.

It was shown that the farmers of Oregon, especially of the Willamette valley, are, to-day, getting for their staple production — wheat — but little more than one half of its actual value in the market of the world. That wheat worth over $2 per bushel in Liverpool, according to recent quotations, is worth in Portland, Oregon, after deducting the present extortionary charges on freight, at least $1.40 per bus, or $1.10 at Corvallis. Whereas farmers have been forced to sell at 50 to 75 cents per bushel. Thus being robbed of the earnings of their honest toil to the tune of at least 40 per cent of its actual and legitimate value.

In view of the facts in the case it was unanimously
Resolved, That a meeting of the farmers, of Benton county, and those adjoining, be called, to assemble at the Court House at Corvallis, on Saturday, Feb 1st, 1873, for the purpose of organizing a Farmer’s Club, and considering the practicability of combination among farmers in storing, shipping, and disposing of their crops, especially of grain, and for other purposes; and that all farmers be urged to attend said meeting.

It was further
Resolved, That the newspapers of Corvallis be requested to publish the above resolution, with the proceedings of the meeting. MANY FARMERS. (Published Jan. 18, 1873, in the Corvallis Gazette)

125 years ago

Business news: The highest bid offered for the stock and fixtures of the Nichols & Holm store, Philomath, at the sale Saturday was $3,600. The successful bidder was J.W. Ingle, the chief creditor, the other bidders being Bridwell, of Polk county, Sutton, of Portland, and Park Bros., of Philomath. Nichols and Holm are energetic and enterprising young men and this unfortunate blow was not the result of carelessness or misjudgment on their part. They have many friends who hope to see them soon again settle in business. (Published Jan. 21, 1898, in the Corvallis Gazette).

100 years ago

Game to forget: The story of how Albany tee-totally swamped Philomath at the armory on January 19, 1923 will be told for many decades in Albany college history. This will be a true prophecy on many counts, some of the most important are included here.

In the first place the score was 51 to 6. Second, Philomath never shot a field goal, getting all six points by converting six out of 12 free tries. Third, Albany allowed but 12 chance shots and made eight field baskets. Fifth, Henderson took nine shots at the basket and made seven. Sixth, Steincipher played a strong defense game in the initial period, scoring only one field goal but went wild the first five minutes of the second period and scored six more.

To say that the Philomath team “fought gamely, but in vain” would be using one of the stereotyped phrases that are worked to death, but such is almost the case, the determination to score a field basket replaced the determination to hold the score down soon after the second half got under way and all worked toward that end, but poor luck attended the Brethren and the opening in the iron hoop could not be found. (Published Jan. 20, 1923, in the Albany Democrat).

75 years ago

Real estate: The following classified ads appeared under real estate for sale in the Philomath area.

$5,950. IN PHILOMATH, very good five room house on Main street, large lot, wired for range, specious rooms.

$9,950. 59 ACRE FARM, near Philomath, excellent location, good soil, fair house, barn, chicken house, family orchard, all can be cultivated.

4 Unit apartment house in Philomath (100×24) on 3 acres of ground with city water. Rental (4 apts. $80), (cabin apt. $20). Price … $10,000. (Published Jan. 19, 1948, in the Corvallis Gazette-Times).

50 years ago

Community study: A group of students at Philomath Junior-Senior High School may know more about their community than anyone.

For the past 18 weeks, the junior high schoolers — all students of teacher Dave Curran — have been involved in the collection and compilation of facts concerning the residents of the community. Last week, the students prepared maps showing their findings.

The purpose of the project, says Curran, has been to let students become involved in an in-depth study with the local community, using that community as a classroom.

Data obtained by the students included political and religious affiliation, employment location, age and population distribution, residential patterns, previous state residence, national origin, length of residence in community, and other facts.

Upon complete compilation of the data, the students will request an appearance before the Philomath City Council to present their findings. (Published Jan. 22, 1973, in the Corvallis Gazette-Times).

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