Sherman County eNews #187


  1. Vest-Up: Rob O’Meara’s Family’s loss leads to life jacket giveaways, July 5

  2. Public Meeting Announcement: Sherman County School District, June 27

  3. Yours for the Making

  4. History Tidbits: A Fatal Cloudburst in July 1916

  5. Links: Things to Think About & Things to Do 

1.Vest-Up: Rob O’Meara’s Family’s loss leads to life jacket giveaways, July 1

CLACKAMAS COUNTY, Ore. (KOIN) — With temperatures nearing or surpassing 100 degrees this weekend, people will head out to the water to cool off.

Rob O’Meara wants to remind people the water is swift, cold and can be dangerous. On July 5, 2013, his daughter Meagan O’Meara-Clark was on a float trip on the Clackamas River when she jumped in for a swim not far from Carver Park. She went under in whirlpool-like water and never came back up. She was 26.

Since that time, her family has been on a mission to educate others about water safety, and they worry about other families on weekends like this.

In some spots along the river, the water temp is still in the 50s. Rob O’Meara said you should know the conditions before you jump in — and wear a life jacket.

On July 1, the O’Meara family is holding their 4th annual Life Jacket Drive at Barton Park and will give away more than 500 life jackets in Meagan’s memory.

“It’s like our heart going out to save somebody else,” Rob told KOIN 6 News. “We just don’t want other parents to have to go through it and other families.”

He’ll never forget that day, he said. Meagan decided to go for one last swim just a few hundred yards from Carver Park.

Rob said he remembers different moments: one minute he believed all would be OK, or maybe she hit her head and crawled somewhere or maybe even got out and walked to somebody’s house. Divers looked for her for 2 days. On the 3rd day they found her body in an area called Kipling Rock in about 15 feet of water. “Maybe if she had been wearing a life jacket that day she would be still here with us,” he said.


>>> To contribute, see GoFundMe

2. Public Meeting Announcement: Sherman County School District, June 27

The Sherman County School District Board of Directors will hold a Special Board Meeting on Tuesday, June 27, 2017 at 11:30 a.m. in the Sherman County School/Public Library meeting room. 


3. Yours for the Making

How much control do you believe you have over what happens to you in life?  Today, let’s discuss how feelings about who is in control can affect end results.

Some people believe they have very little control over what happens to them. When good things occur, they think it is mostly a matter of luck or circumstance. They do not set goals or plan very far ahead, because they believe that how things turn out is beyond their control. Their stress and tension levels are generally very high, and they often feel overwhelmed, helpless and hopeless. Strangely enough, when unpleasant things happen, instead of blaming circumstance or luck, they tend to blame themselves.

Now, the bad news is that how much control we believe we have over our lives is generally a direct result of the way we were treated when we were very young. We assimilated the environment around us, because we didn’t know any different. The good news is that this condition, which is sometimes called “learned helplessness,” does not have to be permanent. You can learn to take charge of your life, and to look at things differently. The fact is, when your attitude changes, the results you get change too.

Yes, that is a fact. The research is there to back it up. Your attitude is learned, and that means that it can be unlearned, and then learned anew.

If you want to develop the ability to control your attitude and your life, you can start by asking your local bookstore to recommend some good books on the subject, online book sales and services can provide suggestions by the page-full, or you could get involved in a reputable personal growth program.

What are you waiting for? Your future is yours for the making. ~The Pacific Institute

4. History Tidbits: A Fatal Cloudburst in July 1916

Sherman County Observer, July 7, 1916

Fatal Cloud Burst.  Loss of Life and Property Caused by Unusual Storm.  For the first time in the history of Sherman county a cloud burst exacted a toll in human lives last Friday night about six o’clock in the Hay canyon section.  There had been threatening weather for more than a week, but no one gave it serious consideration as to possible damage, although it had rained nearly every day for the previous week, a very unusual condition at this time of year.

The storm center was over the farm of John Hastings, where the heaviest property loss occurred.  Mr. Hastings, his daughter Alta and Res Boyce were in the barn at the time the flood lifted the building off its foundations and swept the two last named into a side current and down stream several hundred feet.  Mr. Hastings got upon a hog house and from there to the combe of the barn and was carried to where the other two had gotten from the water.  His loss was close to $2500 consisting of the barn, machinery, horses, and wheat.  The house had about three feet of water on the floor, but not damaged.

In the same canyon with Hastings was Dayton Henrichs who lost small farm buildings, machinery, and chickens.

The main damage was confined to Hay canyon, from the P. C. Axtell farm to its junction with Grass Valley canyon.  In this section the first to suffer damage was Mr. Axtell who lost about 40 hogs, all his chickens, small buildings, and some growing grain. The next was C. C. Callaway farming the W. J. Furnish place, where the barn was carried away, the spring and water system damaged, and machinery, buggy and about 1000 new fence posts were lost.  He had 13 head of horses, mares, colts, and a stallion, engulfed in the flood, without loss. The next was the W.W.M. Co., owning the place farmed by A. F. Fortner, where the house, some stock and machinery was swept away. Mrs. Elizabeth Fortner, mother of A.R., and daughter, Mrs. L.H. Lawrence of New Meadows, Idaho, were in the house at the time of the accident and were carried away with the building.  The daughter was found 4 1/2 miles down stream and the mother 9 miles.  They had packed their trunks and had intended to leave for the coast the day after the storm happened.

From the Fortner place to the end of the canyon no other damage has been reported, but the canyon carried water for quite a while after the main flood had passed, which was estimated to be thirty feet deep at its crest and bank to bank.

J.W. Kunsman, O.T. Burnett and Ray Havener were working on a new road location below Monkland and were camped in the main canyon with the road between their tent and the hillside.  They did not realize the seriousness of their situation when the waters first appeared.  Ray Havener was the first to grasp the situation and he made for the hillside through water that soon took him off his feet and carried him 200 feet down stream before he reached safety.  Mr. Burnett started to follow Havener, first going into the tent after his personal effects, when he started to cross the hillside the slight delay and the goods he was carrying was too much of a handicap and he was carried down stream three miles and found by the searching party next morning.  Mr. Kunsman apparently thought the others were needlessly alarmed and that the waters were from the heavy rain then falling and that a knoll close to the tent would be sufficient protection until the flood passed, but he also was carried away and found the next morning close to where Mr. Burnett lay.

At the J.M. Allen place, 12 miles below the Fortner farm, the water is reported to have raised 15 feet in 15 minutes and at the Herman Christiansen farm, on the south edge of the storm, there were four inches of rain in a straight sided vitrol trough in a very short time. A very narrow escape from the flood was that of Wm. Burres and family who were following Hugh Shull out of Wasco, both driving autos and going up Hay Canyon to their homes.  Mr. Shull was the faster driver and turned out of the canyon just as the water approached and three miles behind Shull was Burres, stopped by the flood as he was driving onto the canyon floor.

Roads in places are washed and a number of bridges wrecked in a section that includes a scope of country extending from the west top of Lone Rock grade eastward to the Neil McDonald farm and north to an apex at Hay canyon warehouses.  In this district the new road completed last year by the county down Hay canyon was ruined and a new road bed will have to be graded in a number of places.

A double funeral service was held at Moro M.E. church Sunday afternoon for Mr. Kunsman and Mr. Burnett and at the same hour at Wasco for Mrs. Fortner and her daughter.

  • T. Burnett was born at Gower, Missouri, November 11, 1877, died June 30, 1916. He joined the Christian church at the age of 21, moving to Moro in October, 1913.  He leaves a wife and two children a boy, Ralph W., age 16 years, and a little girl, Marieta Louise, age 3 years, a father, mother, two brothers and two sisters.
  • W. Kunsman was born in Williams county, Ohio, July 7, 1854, died June 30, 1916. He leaves a mother, a sister, two brothers, three daughters; Miss Mary, Mrs. A.L. Landingham, Mrs. L. Barnum; four sons, James, Harry, Irvin, and Roy.  [John W.]
  • Isabelle Fortner died June 30th, 1916. Her home was at New Meadows, Idaho.  She leaves a husband, one daughter, and three sons; Frank E., Fred R., Archie R.
  • L.H. Lawrence died June 30th, 1916. Her home was at New Meadows, Idaho.  She leaves a husband, father, sister, and three brothers, Frank E., Fred R. and Archie R. Fortner.

5. Links: Things to Think About & Things to Do

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