Umatilla County, Oregon 1922
Located in the heart of Umatilla County's chief industry--wheat raising- -Athena is situated midway between Pendleton and Walla Walla on the hard surfaced state highway. It has a population of 627 as given by the last census enumeration and strictly speaking is a "home" town in every sense of the word, being endowed with all essentials necessary for meriting the term.
No climate is more healthful than that of the foothills of the Blue Mountains and no water more pure than that which flows from their springs. The records of Athena physicians disclose the fact that for thirty years past there has not been one case of either typhoid or malaria here but that the patient contracted it in some other locality. Athena's municipal water system comes from springs by gravity flow into a concrete reservoir and is supplemented by a pumping system, used for emergency purposes only.
The streets of Athena are broad and clean and there are more paved blocks to be found here than in any other town of like population in the state. For permanent street improvements $80,000 has been expended in the past two years. The residence streets are parked, with the appearance of a cool, shady grove. Her homes are for the most part modern, and well-kept lawns attest to the pride the average resident takes in beautifying his premises.
There is more "school spirit" to the square inch in Athena than can be found anywhere, population considered. One of the best appointed buildings in the county, a live board of directors, an efficient faculty and studious pupils blend as a whole in putting Athena in the front rank of the accredited schools of the state. Included in the construction of this splendid high school building is a gymnasium, library and auditorium.
City Park embraces five and one-half acres of land in the south part of the city. It is well shaded and is skirted on one side by Wild Horse Creek, making it a most inviting place to while away the hours in summer. Free camping grounds are maintained by the city in a portion of the park.
Five religious denominations are represented in Athena-Methodist, Episcopal, Christian, Baptist and Catholic.
Social conditions are all that could be desired. The people are hospitable and of entertaining inclination. Women's clubs flourish in the community and there are local lodges of all the leading secret orders. The American Legion is also represented here.
The commercial interests of Athena are headed by the Athena Commercial Club, which has well furnished and commodious quarters.
Surrounded by thousands of acres of the most fertile wheat land on the Pacific Slope, it naturally follows that the principal industry here would be the manufacture of flour and mill stuffs. A large flour mill operates on a 24-hour-a-day basis 365 days a year, giving employment to twenty-five men. This mill has a capacity of 500 barrels of flour per day, consumes in the process of grinding approximately 600,000 bushels of wheat per year, handles 2,000,000 pounds of barley and distributes 200,000 grain bags to the wheat raisers.
Delivered at the Athena warehouses each year are approximately 450,000 bushels of grain. The farmers own and operate a modern concrete elevator of 101,000 bushels capacity for bulk wheat and in addition a warehouse of 50,000-sack capacity for sacked grain. In addition there is a chop mill of twenty tons capacity daily.
The financial pulse of a community throbs through the strength of its banking institutions and from them the arteries of trade and commerce are to be gauged. The First National Bank of Athena was established in 1891. Its present capital stock is $50,000 and it carries a surplus fund of $60,000,with deposits of $624,642. The Athena State Bank opened for business in January, 1920, with a capital stock of $25,000 and a surplus of $5,000, and it now has resources over the $100,000 mark.
The O.-W. R. & N. and the Northern Pacific railroads serve this community and compete for freight and passenger traffic, affording excellent shipping and transportation facilities.
The entire main street of Athena is paved, with no poles or wires overhead. Athena has a large lumber yard, five garages, a department store, a dry goods store, two groceries, two restaurants, a meat market, two banks, a harness shop, a hardware and implement store, two theatres, a weekly newspaper, two blacksmiths, a paint store, a furniture and undertaking parlor, one hotel, a laundry, a drug store, a jewelry store, a branch library and three barber shops.
Athena is truly a prosperous, clean and progressive town, filled with contented citizens living in modern homes and proud of their home town.
Athena State Bank
Athena has many homes like this one
Main Street Scene
Public School Preston-Schaffer Mill
First National Bank
Farmer's Grain Elevator
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