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Skagit River Journal

of History & Folklore
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Covers from British Columbia to Puget Sound. Counties covered: Skagit, Whatcom, Island, San Juan, Snohomish & BC. An evolving history dedicated to committing random acts of historical kindness
Noel V. Bourasaw, editor (bullet) 810 Central Ave., Sedro-Woolley, Washington, 98284
Home of the Tarheel Stomp (bullet) Mortimer Cook slept here & named the town Bug

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Sedro-Woolley High School sets a record
with two sets of identical twins
as yell leaders in 1948 and genealogy
of Thomas and Osborne families

(Identical twins yell leaders)
Two sets of identical twins as yell leaders at Sedro-Woolley in 1948-49,
from l. to r.: Darrell "Mike" Osborne, Janise Thomas,
Janice Thomas, Delmore "Bill" Osborne.

      A few years ago we found a delightful clipping from the Sedro-Woolley Courier-Times that led us to pose a question to cheerleaders around the country: has any high school — besides Sedro-Woolley in 1948-49, ever selected two sets of identical twins as cheerleaders? So far, the answer is no, but we must admit that we have not yet found an "authority" on the subject.
      You will read the details about the twins below, but first we must thank one of our most loyal readers for connecting us with one of the famous yell leaders. We do not know the drill nowadays, but back in the late '40s at Sedro-Woolley High School and twelve years later when I attended that same school, there was a yell team and a song team with different outfits. One team yelled out inspirational taunts against the rival and praise for our guys. The other team sang songs that lit fires in the hearts of the squads and spectators alike. As usual, I appealed to Cecil and Betty (Osborne) Hittson for more information about the record-setting twins. I should have thought about that long before but one night I literally woke up and exclaimed: "Betty's father was Harry Osborne — they must be cousins!" Sure enough, Betty answered and even better, she set up email communication between us all. Dean Greenstreet also pointed us in the right direction.
      Below, you will find two newspaper stories from 50+ years ago about these amazing twins, an email from one of the surviving twins, and some genealogy and history of the two families involved, plus a bonus anecdote about Henry Harms Dreyer, the wine business and Sauk City. So, sit back and smile. These stories are just plain fun.

Seeing double? Just Sedro-Woolley High School Cubs double-twin yell leaders
Dec. 2, 1948, Courier-Times
      Watching Sedro-Woolley high school yell leaders perform this season makes many a spectator think he is seeing double. And he is. The Cubs' current yell leaders are two sets of twins. The twins are Janise (pronounced JAN-is) and Janice (pronounced Ja-NIECE) Thomas and Darrell (Mike) and Delmore (Bill) Osborne. The novelty of the double twin team more than make up for the fact that none of them led cheers before. All are juniors at the school.
      Janise and Janice are as alike as two long, low whistles and pretty enough to rate them, too, their classmates say. Not long ago Janise was sitting on the davenport looking through a school annual with Janice's boy friend. She (Janise) was kissed on the cheek — by mistake, said the boy friend.
      The girls' parents, Mr. and Mrs. Dewey Thomas, 423 Puget, report that school authorities have assigned the attractive twins to separate rooms ever since they were in the first grade, when they fooled the teacher for a week by trading seats.
      "I still tell Janise what time to come home when it is Janice that is going to the party," said their father, well-known local barber.
      Although Delmore Osborne is a bit heavier than his brother, Darrell, the two can be told apart by their friends only when they are together. Adding to confusion, Darrell goes by Mike, while Delmore likes to be called Bill. The boys are sons of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Osborne, 607 Puget avenue.

Osborne twins now in Army Air Force
Feb. 1, 1951, Courier-Times
      Delmore William Osborne and Darrell Michael Osborne, twin sons of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Frank Osborne, former Sedro-Woolley residents now living at Springfield, Oregon, are now training with the army air force at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas.
      The twins will be remembered here as Bill and Mike Osborne, twin yell leaders at Sedro-Woolley high school. They graduated from the local high school last year. Since moving to Springfield, Delmore has been employed as a truck driver and Darrell as a bookkeeper for Weyerhauser Timber company. They joined the air force earlier this month.
      A sister, Mrs. Lloyd [Patricia] Mosher resides at 930 Bennett street here.

Email from Mike Osborne:
      Our parents, Frank & Helen Osborne, moved to Springfield, Oregon, in 1949. Bill and Mike returned to Sedro-Woolley High in 1950. Upon graduating we both went back to Springfield. I worked for Weyerhaeuser Timber Co. for a year and then enlisted in the USAF for four years. After four years with the USAF, Mike and Bill went back to Springfield again. I lasted there for one more year and hen headed back to California. Bill stayed there and now lives in Eugene, Oregon. I went back to Pittsburg, California, and am still living there. We both got married and I have two children and two grandchildren. Brother Bill has three children and three grandchildren and one great-grandchild. We did live just a block from each other on the same street, Puget Street. I'm very sorry to inform you that both Janise and Janice are deceased. Janise lived in Seattle and Janice lived in Anacortes. That was a fun time in 1949 and 1950. As far as I know we were the only identical set of twins as cheerleaders in 1949.

Genealogy and history of the Thomas and Osborne families
By Noel V. Bourasaw, Skagit River Journal
      If you are a really old-timer, you will recall that Dewey Thomas had a barber's chair in Wilbur Harrison's old barber shop on Metcalf street. Greer Drummond, a relative spring chicken, certainly remembers. He and the late Pinky Robinson used to shine shoes out of that shop along with Will's son, Les. Back in 1933, I think it was, Greer set an all-time record by shining a hundred pair of shoes and boots on the Fourth of July.
      "Fifteen cents apiece, by golly," Greer recalls. "I got that $15 and made plans for have a great old time at the carnival." But alas, he went home to take a nap and woke up on July 5. Later on, Dewey had a barber shop on Ferry street, west of the old Seidell building before the latter burned in December 1949. That was about where the late Al Armstrong's store is today. The liquor store was in the Seidell building back then and that created walk-in traffic for Dewey — location, location, location. We can just imagine old Art Seidell, the Civil War Union veteran, sitting in Dewey's shop and regaling the customers with the story about how his squad provided back-up for the capture of Confederate president Jefferson Davis at the end of the war.
      The Osborne boys had undeniable pioneer roots. Osborne family researcher Jeanie Bond notes that the ancestors of the boys emigrated to the United States before 1753. Their father, Frank Osborne, was born in 1901, the son of William Osborne and Waneta Dreyer, who married in 1898. Waneta was the daughter of Henry Harms and Alma E. (Nash) Dreyer. The Dreyers moved to Washington territory in 1880, where he worked in a logging camp near Mount Vernon. Henry tired of logging after a year and moved his young family — three babies by then — to the Willamette valley in Oregon. They spent only nine months down there and returned to the valley, homesteading in the Sterling area next to Henry Holtcamp. Alma explained the two moves succinctly: "Mosquitoes drove us from Skagit county and Willamette flies drove us back."
      Waneta was born in Napa county, California, in 1879. Born in Prussia, Henry was originally a sailor for England, but he gave that up in 1873 to work in the Napa and Sonoma vineyards that were planted by the famous "Count" Agoston Haraszthy. Stories that he worked for Haraszthy himself are in error because the unfortunate Count was deposed from his wine society in 1866 and moved to Nicaragua. He started a sugar-cane plantation there to make rum and one day in 1869 he tried to cross a stream by straddling a tree limb; he fell off and was gobbled up by an alligator. That reminds me; I need to get to work on a separate wine section since my work in that industry 25 years ago started me in the history business. By the way, in the "small-world" department, the Count was a political exile from Hungary, just as our own Duke Frederick George of Duke's hill was an exile from Bavaria. The Count's first vineyards in America in 1856 were in Wisconsin, where he displayed promotional genius and founded his own town of Haraszthy. But when he left for Sonoma county, California, in 1863, the locals changed the city name to [drum roll . . .] Sauk City.
      As they used to say on radio — there are a million stories in the Naked City.

Story posted on Jan. 16, 2003, last updated Jan. 6, 2008
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This article originally appeared in Issue 12 of our Subscribers-paid Journal online magazine

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