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Talking it Over: Remembering Quincy Pioneer Karl Weber

Woods, Wilfred. "Talking it Over: Remembering Quincy Pioneer Karl Weber." Wenatchee World, 10 March 2011.


For 96 of his 98 years Karl Weber of Quincy lived within a half-mile of where he was born on a Babcock Ridge farm southwest of town. He died the other day, leaving a lifetime of memories of that area.

I met him a number of times at meetings, the last time at the dedication of the old church next to the Reiman-Simmons House.

His parents settled in 1902, one of the earlier families. Like many others, they were Volga Germans who had settled along the Volga River, enticed by Russia’s Tsarina Catherine II in the 17th century. But Russian nationalism in the 19th century resulted in their persecution and immigration in large numbers to this country.

They brought their religion, mainly Lutheran; their language, German; their farming skills; and their culture with them. Eastern Washington was peppered with their towns: Krupp, Ritzville, Odessa, Ruff — and Quincy.

They were thrifty, because times were tough as drought decimated the population of the Big Bend. But the Webers didn’t leave, and Karl came to see the Quincy area flourish when the long-awaited irrigation water finally arrived, thanks to Grand Coulee Dam and the Columbia Basin Project.

Yes, there were other attempts to get water, such as the 1914 state bond issue of $40 million to bring water from Lake Wenatchee to Quincy.

It failed.

There were other Webers active in irrigation affairs. Jake Weber served on the Columbia Basin Commission for years with my father.

Reprinted with permission from the Wenatchee World
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