Thursday, October 28, 2021

1951 Larson Air Force Base Preliminary Plan

Created by the US Air Force.

I included a close up of what was operated by the Air Force railroad. The map is incorrect in saying that the connection to the rest of the national rail network via the Northern Pacific. It should read Milwaukee Road. The connection between the two was made just north of the Moses Lake depot.

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

NP B-60

Image of the car on the railroad car courtesy of Bill Bronsch. View at Coulee City taken by C.B Neihart and is part of my collection.

It's unknown why the B-60 is on the flatcar. It has some wear on it, so it's not new. The view in front of the depot shows the car in better condition.

This view shows the B-60 in front of the Coulee City depot.

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Wilson Creek Grain Elevator Fire-Extra Found Photos

I have no idea who took the first one, but the second is via the Columbia Basin Herald in Moses Lake.

Friday, October 22, 2021

Mansfield Branch Stone Oven

Discovered by a user on Reddit, and posted with their permission.

Located somewhere between Palisades and McCue.

Thursday, October 21, 2021

1910s Hartline Mill

Postcard photo courtesy of Michael Lehmann.

The basic structure of the mill still stands in 2021, in use as storage for Highline Grain.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Stevens Vs Wilson Creek Union Grain & Trading Co

 Stevens v. Wilson Creek Union Grain & T. Co., 145 Wash. 624,

261 Pac. 399 (1927).

Syllabus.145 Wash.

[No. 20775. Department One. November 28, 1927.]





CONVERSION. A warehouseman's failure, on demand, to pay for or

place wheat stored with him institutes a conversion, where

plaintiffs wheat was commingled with that of others under an

agreement that, if sold and shipped out by the warehouseman

without replacing it by other wheat of the same grade, it should

paid for, on demand, at the market price.

[2] SAME (5). In such a case, the warehouseman would be guilty

of a conversion if he had in storage sufficient wheat of his

on at the time of a fire to meet the plaintiff's demand, and

refused to deliver it on demand, but collected insurance thereon

and converted the proceeds to his own use.


MOTION. A general demand for a directed verdict on the whole

case is properly overruled, where there was sufficient evidence

to go to the jury on one of the causes of action.


CONVERSION - REPLACING. Where wheat, held in a warehouse, is

commingled with that of others under an agreement that, if

sold and shipped out by the warehouseman without replacing it by

other wheat of the same grade, it should be paid for, on

demand, at the market price, the fact that a record made of

the amount and made in each bin is kept for the warehouseman's

convenience, does not make each bin a separate entity, to be

refilled on emptying, but the warehouse is the entity upon

the "common mass theory."

[5] TROVER AND CONVERSION (11) - ACTIONS - DEMAND. The sufficiency

of a demand upon a warehouseman for wheat stored, before action

for a conversion, is immaterial where it is admitted that he

would not have complied with any demand.


price of wheat, held and conveyed at a small section, is

properly short by the prices at some properly established

market, and deducting the cost of freight to such market.

1 Reported in 261 Pac. 399.


 Nov. 1927          Opinion Per TOLMAN, J.


Where a warehouseman refuses, on demand, to deliver or pay

for wheat stored with him, he is guilty of a willful

conversion, and the measure of damages is the highest price

shown between the time of the conversion and the

institution of suit.


FAILURE TO DELIVER WHEAT. Under Ram. Comp. Stat., SS 7001, a

warehouseman, having sold and shipped out wheat stored with

him, is entitled to procure and deliver like wheat within

forty-eight hours after demand, and hence is not liable for

conversion until after demand.


Where a farmer repossessed his wheat during a fire in the

warehouse, he cannot claim that the warehouseman converted the

wheat through the collection of insurance standing in his own

name and refused to pay for the damage to the wheat

repossessed by plaintiff; hence it is error to instruct the jury

to allow damages on the theory of a conversion, crediting the

amount actually received by plaintiff on sale of the damaged


Appeal from a judgment of the superior court for

Grant county, Jeffers, J., entered April 9, 1927, upon

the verdict of a jury, rendered in favor of the plaintiff,

in an action in tort. Reversed.

Davis, Heil & Davis, for appellant.

Daniel T. Cross, for respondent.


TOLMAN, J. - Respondent, as plaintiff, brought this

action to recover for the alleged conversion of certain

wheat, deposited by him for storage in the warehouse

of the appellant, located at Stratford, Washington:

The case was tried to a jury, which returned a verdict

in favor of the plaintiff for $2,965.07. From a judgment

on the verdict, the defendant has appealed.

Errors are assigned upon the refusal of the court

to direct a verdict in favor of the appellant and fix the

respondent's recovery at the amount which had been

tendered into court, which was requested at the close

of all the testimony; also, upon certain trial errors

claimed. If the first claim is well taken, that will

dispose of the entire case. If not well taken, the other

assignments must be considered, and if any be sustained,

that will call for a new trial. To determine

the first point, requires a review of the evidence

certain particulars. The appellant is the owner and operator

of a large public grain warehouse at Wilson Creek; and eight

miles west of Wilson Creek, at the station of Stratford

on the Great Northern railroad it, during the

time covered by this transaction, operated a small

grain elevator, with additional space in a warehouse

adjoining. The office of appellant was at all times at

Wilson Creek, where all of its records, including those

of the Stratford house, were kept. During the season

of grain receipts, a man was kept in charge of the

Stratford house for the purpose of receiving and

shipping out grain and the like, but at other seasons

it was inactive and received only something amounting

to watchman's care.

In the Stratford house were a number of bins, and,

as we gather, one there delivering wheat would deposit

it in a receiving hopper, the spout from which

was handled on the interior by the man in charge of

the warehouse, and shifted so as to deposit the grain

in any particular bin which the warehouseman, by

reason of its kind and grade, or the necessities of the

case, might select.

In the fall of 1923, the respondent, a farmer, operating

in the vicinity of Stratford, delivered to appellant's

Stratford house 1,583 bushels and 20 pounds of

bulk hybrid wheat, and 2,425 bushels of bulk turkey

red wheat. All was delivered into the receiving hopper,

and the warehouseman placed the hybrid all in

bin No. 2, except 145 bushels and 20 pounds, which was

delivered directly into a railroad car for shipment;

and, in like manner, the warehouseman directed the

delivery of the turkey red wheat, 1,722 bushels in bin

No. 1, 560 bushels in bin No. 5, and 143, bushels in bin

No. 6. Tickets were issued for each load of wheat as

received, giving the weights, etc., and each ticket

indicated into what bin the wheat represented thereby

had been delivered; but it rather clearly appears that

the information as to the bin was placed on the ticket

primarily to advise the Wilson Creek office, so that

its records might, at all times show, the amount, kind

and grade of wheat in each particular bin, probably

for convenience in directing shipments.

As to the hybrid wheat in bin No. 2. it was known to

respondent that at least one other was, at the same

time, delivering wheat of the same kind and grade,

which was being placed in the same bin and

commingled with his own. Indeed, respondent does not

dispute the appellant's right to commingle in the bins

so as to make a common mass of the same kind and

grade, and it does not appear to be disputed that both

parties understood that, after so depositing, respondent

might, at any time, upon paying warehouse

charges, receive back grain of the same kind and grade

the common mass, or, at his option, at any time

when the market price was satisfactory, he might

denied payment for the grain at the then market, less

proper warehouse charges, thus making a sale to the


[1] Respondent pleads that, of the hybrid wheat,

388 bushels and some pounds were afterwards

returned to him upon his demand; and, from all of the

evidence in the case, the jury might have found that

all of the hybrid wheat from bin No. 2 was shipped

out shortly after respondent made his deliveries,

except 172 bushels and 20 pounds; that, at the time of

such shipment, another was the owner, to some extent,

of the common mass of hybrid wheat in that bin, and

that the warehouse, after that shipment, never had

and received any other hybrid wheat of like grade,

save only a small amount later received from the respondent,

which is figured in the total heretofore

given. It seems apparent that, if the jury did find that

there was never afterwards any substantial quantity

of hybrid wheat of the same grade in the warehouse to

meet respondent's possible demand, and that a demand

was made which was not complied with, a conversion

has taken place.

[2] The situation with reference to the turkey red

wheat is not so clear. There is evidence from which

the jury might have found that bins No. 1 and No. 6

were emptied and their contents shipped out soon

after respondent's deliveries were completed, and long

before the fire hereafter mentioned. There seems to

be, however, no evidence that bin No. 5 was so emptied,

and very little evidence, if any, that there was not at all

times in the Stratford warehouse sufficient turkey red

wheat of the same grade to meet every possible demand by

the respondent.

On October 18, 1925, appellant's elevator and warehouse

at Stratford were destroyed by fire, without

fault on its part, and the wheat contained therein was

destroyed. or damaged. During the fire, respondent

went to the warehouse, asserted his claim to wheat

therein, and was permitted to salvage and take away

1,045 bushels, all of which was turkey red or its

equivalent, apparently, except 18 sacks, which contained

hybrid. It seems to be conceded that this wheat

so salvaged would have been of the grade called for by

respondent's tickets, except only for the damage

caused by the fire. After so salvaging, respondent

sold this wheat for $1,108.51.

One of the very vital points, and one upon which the

record seems to lack something of giving full information,

is, who were the owners of the 9,163 bushels of

wheat admittedly in the warehouse at the time it was

destroyed ? It appears, by the fire adjuster's testimony

and written statement, that some 6,200 bushels

of this amount belonged to other depositors who had

insured, each in his own name, the wheat so deposited.

Respondent states, at page 7 of his brief:

"At the time said fire occurred there was in the

warehouse 9,163 bushels of wheat (Abst. p. 27) of

which said wheat the appellant claimed to be the owner

of 2000 bushels, for which it claimed, and was paid the

insurance, for its loss."

We find nothing in the abstract to support the

statement that appellant, as owner, recovered insurance

upon 2,000 bushels of wheat destroyed in the fire, except

the testimony of respondent himself, which is:

"A. Well I don't know, right there at the warehouse

when he was down there - he was standing there on the

porch and I said 'Aint you got insurance to cover all

of this wheat' and he kind of hesitated and said 'I got

enough' for 2000 bushels' and I said 'aint you got

blanket insurance to cover all of it and he said 'it took

me all day to show him I had 2000 bushels of wheat in

here' - that's about all that was said at that time."

Neither the appellant's manager nor the insurance

adjuster was interrogated upon this subject, though

both were produced as witnesses. It seems strange

that neither party sought to bring out the facts, which

should have been easy to establish.

If appellant had in the warehouse, at the time of the

fire 2,000 bushels of wheat, which would have satisfied

respondents demand, and collected the insurance

thereon and converted it to its own use; it can hardly

claim that wheat to have been respondent's wheat.

Failing, on demand, to deliver to respondent his wheat,

appellant cannot now claim that the wheat insured in

its own-name, upon which it received the insurance

was, when destroyed by fire, respondent's uninsured

wheat. If the facts were as indicated by the quoted

testimony, then undoubtedly there was evidence to

carry the second cause of action to the jury. Without

it, the situation is doubtful, and must depend

somewhat upon whether each bin in the warehouse is an

entity by itself, or whether all of the wheat in the

warehouse was a common mass, from which respondent's

claims might be met.

[3] But without regard to the uncertainty just

mentioned, the motion for an instructed verdict was

not directed separately to each cause of action, and as

there was sufficient evidence to take the first cause of

action to the jury, the motion was, in any event,

properly denied. Since there must be a new trial ordered

on other grounds hereinafter suggested, we deem it

necessary to discuss the law applicable to the second

cause of action.

[4] Respondent proceeds upon the theory that each

bin in the warehouse was a separate entity, complete

in itself, and that a showing of the emptying of any

bin in which his wheat, or a portion thereof, was placed

was sufficient to take the case to the jury on the conversion

of the amount of wheat shown to have been put

into that particular bin. We cannot approve that


First, because in a public warehouse, where, presumably,

wheat is being received and shipped out at

more or less frequent intervals, evidence would be

necessary from which the jury might find that the

particular emptied bin had not been re-filled to the

necessary extent with wheat of the same kind and grade

from which re-filling the depositor's demands might

be met. And, second, under the evidence here and the

"common mass" theory, we think the entity is the

warehouse, and not the particular bin in the warehouse.

In other words, the warehouseman selects the bin for

the convenience and from the necessities of the business,

and may meet the depositor's demand so long as

he delivers the proper kind and grade from any bin in

the warehouse which his convenience or necessity

dictates. We find nothing in the case of Trejbal v.

Packard Farmers Warehouse Co., 124 Wash. 638, 215

Pac. 26, in any wise to the contrary.

It follows that, before there can be a conversion, it

must be made to appear that the warehouseman has

put himself in a position where he-cannot or will not

comply with a lawful and proper demand for delivery.

[5] Some question is here raised as to whether a

proper demand was made by the respondent, but since

it clearly appears, and appellant admits that it would

not have complied with a demand, even if such demand

fully met all of the terms of the statute (SS 7001,

Comp. Stat.), we need not consider that question


[6] We see no error in the admission of evidence

as to market price or value. Market price at a place

like Stratford can only be determined by taking the

price at some properly established market and deducting

therefrom the cost of getting the wheat to that

market; consequently, the prices at other points similarly

situated, where freight rates were the same or

practically so, would enable the jury to arrive at a

correct determination of the market price at Stratford.

Whether the prices given by the witnesses were for

bulk or sacked wheat, differences in freight rates, if

any, and the like, I could all have been brought out and

place before the jury by proper cross-examination.

There being no established market at Stratford, much

must be left to the discretion of the trial court, and we

see no abuse of discretion here.

[7] The measure of damages used by the trial

court was the highest price shown between the time of

the conversion and the institution of the suit. As the

conversion did not take place until the demand was

made, as we shall hereafter see, and as only some sixty

days intervened between the demand and the bringing

of the suit, appellant would not have been helped if

the court had used what it contends is "the better

rule." This is not a case for the application of the

rule applied in Smith Co. v. Hardin, 133 Wash. 194,

233 Pac. 628, and Baumgardner v. Kerr-Gifford Co.,

144 Wash. 206, 257 Pac. 390.

[8, 9] Instruction 2 given to the jury was as follows:

"You are instructed that plaintiff admits that defendant

returned to him or delivered on his order 388

bu. 30 lbs. of hybrid wheat, while defendant contends

that it delivered to plaintiff or his order 583 bu. 10 lbs.

of hybrid wheat and you are therefore instructed that

in the event you should find for the plaintiff herein on

his first cause of action your verdict should be for' the

market value, at the time hereinbefore mentioned, of

the wheat found to be the difference between 1583 bu.

20 lbs., and whatever number of bushels you shall find

by a preponderance of the testimony to have been delivered

to plaintiff or his order *or received by plaintiff

during the fire*.

A similar instruction was given in the second cause

of action. (Instruction 4. )

The court then gave an instruction bearing directly

on the wheat taken by respondent from the warehouse

at the time of the fire, as follows:

"You are instructed that, if you find from the evidence

herein that plaintiff Stevens, during or shortly

after the fire, took certain wheat from the warehouse

at Stratford claiming it as his wheat and thereafter

sold said wheat to the Green Valley Warehouse Co., at

Ephrata, Wash., then and in that event defendant

should be given credit on whatever amount you find is

due plaintiff from defendant, if you find anything due,

under his first or second cause of action, for such sum

as you find plaintiff received for said wheat, on the

other hand should you find that plaintiff's wheat had

been converted by defendant, then and in that event

plaintiff would be entitled to the market value of the

wheat delivered to the Green Valley Warehouse Co., as

it was before the fire, in other words before it was

damaged by the fire if you find it was damaged, and

would not be bound by the price at which the above

wheat was actually sold, unless you should also find

that the price received for said grain was the same as

the market value at the time in these instructions

hereinbefore mentioned."

We do not understand-that there was or could have

been any conversion in law prior to the demand. The

mere emptying of the bin or of the warehouse, l while

important on the question of the destruction of respondent

s wheat by fire, does not establish conversion

without the added showing of demand and refusal.

Even though appellant had swept all of its bins clean,

under the statute (47001, supra, as construed in Patrick

v. Farmers Corporation, 141 Wash. 578, 251 Pac.

872), it was entitled to procure, if it could, and deliver

within forty-eight hours after the demand, wheat in

the amount, kind and grade deposited. Therefore,

while there might have been conversion in fact, there

could have been nothing which the law would regard

as a conversion at the time of the fire. At that time,

respondent, claiming to be the owner of wheat in the

burning warehouse, asserted a right to remove it as his

own, and was permitted to do so. Having so repossessed

himself of his own, he cannot now claim that

it was converted, and the trial court should have

followed the theory of instructions 2 and 4 in

the subsequent one on the subject of the wheat re-taken

by the respondent.

The judgment is reversed and the cause remanded

for a new trial.


JJ. concur.

Monday, October 18, 2021

Grain Doors

I'm posting this scan here so I can find it later. It's a good description of how grain doors were used on area railroads back in the day. 

Credit to Mr. Holbrook for doing the research for this article.

Sunday, October 17, 2021

1896 Ephrata Photo-With A Twist

Common photo, uncommon caption. From the Great Northern "Cascadian" newsletter, March-April 1962 edition. 

The "Cascadian" was put out by employees in the GN Superintendent's office in Seattle. Quite a bit of stuff in the newsletter was tongue-in-cheek or at least had some humor between the lines, which should be evident in the caption.

Scan courtesy of Tom Garrett and newsletter info courtesy of Dave Sprau.

Saturday, October 16, 2021

May 1916 Soap Lake Wreck Pictures

Courtesy of Mike Lehmann.

Mike collects postcards and had found a third view I had not seen, the first one below. Also included is the backside of two of the cards.