In the presence of more than 100 prominent citizens of Jackson County, and with the governor, Oswald West, gracing the occasion with his presence and enthusiastic support, the ceremony of "turning the first shovelful of earth" to mark the commencement of actual work on Oregon's first section of the Pacific Highway was conducted under most auspicious circumstances yesterday afternooon, to the foot of the new Siskiyou grade. To Mr. Samuel Hill, of Maryhill, Wash., was accorded the honors of the day in recognition of his years of energetic efforts on behalf of good roads and the example he has set in building the miles of model paved highways traversing his 7,000-acre estate outlooking the Columbia River at Maryhill.
The affair was arranged by the county court and their efforts and those of Benj. C. Sheldon, to whom they turned over the task of "committee in charge," a most successful occasion must be credited.
The sensation of the day was Governor West's reference to the attempt of certain disgruntled contractors to "get" State Highway Commissioner Bowlby and County Judge Tou Velle by making it appear through false entries on their books that Judge Tou Velle had used his position to secure automobile tires for his own use at greatly reduced prices. "We know at Salem of these dastardly attempts agains the reputation of your public officials before we heard of them from Jackson County," declared Governor West in his speech, "and I want to say now and here that I shall make it my business to see this affair shall be brought before the proper authorities for rigid investigation. We have known of the attitude of these crooks for over a year. As soon as it was known that Oregon was to have a state highway commissioner, they tried to dictate his appointment, and they tried to oust the man they did not want."