• In pioneer days, Centralia was the halfway stopover point for stagecoaches operating between the Columbia River and Seattle. In 1850, J. G. Cochran, coming from Missouri with a young negro slave named George Washington, filed a donation land claim on the townsite. Later, Cochran freed his slave, adopted him as a son, and in 1852 sold him his claim for $6,000. The new owner built a home and filed a plat for the town of Centerville, offering lots for $10 each, with one lot free to buyers who built houses. Centralia was officially incorporated on February 3, 1886. In 1891, the population, over 1,000, found its mail confused with that of another Centerville in the state, and the name of the town was changed to Centralia. (Washington - A guide to the Evergreen State, WPA American Guide Series, Washington State Historical Society, 1941). The city was the site of the infamous Centralia Massacre (Washington)Centralia Massacre in 1919 and subsequent lynching of International Workers of the World member Wesley Everest on November 11, 1919, where Everest was turned over to the lynch mob by the jail guards, had his teeth smashed with a rifle butt, was castrated, lynched three times in three separate locations, and then his corpse was riddled with bullets before it was disposed of in an unmarked grave. The official coroner's report listed the victim's cause of death as "suicide." The 1940 population of Centralia was 7,414. Longtime National Basketball AssociationNBA player Detlef Schrempf attended Centralia High School as an Student exchange programexchange student from the former West Germany (1980-1981), starring in basketball. Source:

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