EIGHTY YEARS AGO: Iowa has advanced well into the New Year in fine condition. The facts are that this Hawkeye State of ours is the best, all around commonwealth in all 48 states! Iowa paved 733 miles of primary highway this year and brought our paved roads up to a grand total of 2,319 miles! We have some great corn land. The 35-acre field of E.W. Drake in southern Iowa produced a whopping 101 bushels per acre by weight last year. And Iowa's per capital wealth is $4.260, compared with a per-capital average in the country of $2,940.
...Alfred Gilbertson of this city has taken over the Buick garage here from Woldum Auto and Machine Co.
...A charge of $1.10 is now made for a telephone call of three minutes (station-to-station) from Decorah to Chicago. This is a major discount from the old rate of $1.20.
...Robert Linnevold, Maynard Newhouse, Arlyne Gjevre, Lila Larson, Esther Woldum, Helen Casterton, Ruby Woldum, Dagny Hexom and Vivian Finholt are just a few of the stars of the play "West of Broadway" at the local high school.
...Frank E. Howard, the well-known editor, orator and politician of NE Iowa has been killed by a freight train near his office. He was taken to the hospital in Elma, but never regained consciousness.
...Ed Shima has purchased a building in Frankville. It will be made into a grocery store in early March.
...A.C. Bishop has purchased the Decorah Public Opinion and the building from Harry J. Green for a reported $45,000. Mr. Bishop, his wife, and his young daughter will be moving to Decorah soon. Mr. and Mrs. Bishop also have two sons attending the University of Wisconsin. The new owner of the Decorah paper is the son of the late Senator Bishop of Elkader.
...It was a reported 37 below zero the other night -- This is the word from U.S. weather observer M.D. Whitney of this city.
...WANTED: An honest man to operate a Wards chain store on wheels in Winneshiek County!
...There was a full house at the hospital last week, with 12 patients checked in.
...Adolph Gjevre has rented the store building south of Bergland's Café on Washington Street and he expects to open a first-class grocery store there about Feb. 1.
...FRONT PAGE NEWS -- Mrs. H.A. Prastmark has fallen on Water Street and broken her left leg. She spent New Year's in the Decorah hospital.
...It has been reported that school teaching is no longer just a "woman's job." Men are turning the tables and invading one of the most jealously guarded of womanly professions. This interesting statistic was revealed when the final registration figures from 1929 were released by the Iowa State Teachers College. The figures showed 545 men were enrolled.
SEVENTY YEARS AGO: Luther College has received a $500 donation from the Garner Cowles Foundation of the Des Moines Register and Tribune.
...In the sub-district declamatory contest last month, Irene Finberg and Mary Jane Talle of Decorah were winners. In the dramatic division, Laura Riveland of Ossian and Alta Jean Stockman of Cresco came away the winners.
...The Luther Dean of Women, Miss Arla M. Gredvig, has been married to Eldred J. Nessett, a senior at Luther Theological Seminary.
...Otto Rasmussen, who has been on the Peter Goldberg farm in Hesper for five years, has purchased his own place - the William Ingvolstad farm, also located in Hesper. Rasmussen paid slightly over $56 per acre for the 324-acre farm, which has a full set of buildings in excellent condition.
...Now showing at the Grand Theatre - "Four Wives" starring Claude Rains.
...WANTED: Two men are looking for a furnished apartment in Decorah. Must have a living room, bedroom and bath.
...A visiting priest is instructing all area businesses to remain closed on Sunday, the Sabbath. "The Day Belongs to God" said Archbishop Beckman while on a speaking engagement in Ossian last week.
...Following the trail of the stork from 1939 - a daughter was born to Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd Sharp of Decorah on Dec. 17. A son was born to Mr. and Mrs. Cliff E. Natvig on Dec. 13.
...Two men at Luther College, Mayo Savold and John Kronlokken, have written "Thoughts at Christmas," an anthem used at the Decorah Lutheran Church during regular church services the other morning. Both men are juniors at Luther.
...A grand injustice was done to a Castalia man in recent weeks - when the newspaper published a report about the warrant for his arrest in connection with shooting an eagle. This area man is as innocent as a new-born babe of any intent to violate any law!
...FRONT PAGE NEWS - A grand nativity scene is still situated atop the porch at the E.C. Grant home in West Decorah. The lighted scene is drawing a lot of attention.
...Mary Carol Eittreim sang "All My Heart This Night Rejoices" during the children's service at First Lutheran Church the other evening. Also performing were Leigh Jordahl, Marlys Vick, Helen Halverson, Paul Koenig, Lester Olson, Parnell Rude, Curtis Headington, Olaf Neste and Evelyn Bidne.
...A week or so ago about 40 relatives and friends surprised Arthur Ellingson at his home in honor of his 50th birthday.
SIXTY YEARS AGO: FRONT PAGE NEWS - Mrs. Emily Stortz recently celebrated her 101st birthday, making her Decorah's oldest living resident.
...Here's the headline from a recent issue of the paper - "Lars meets Lars." A photo was taken of Lars Seim of Decorah greeting his nephew, Lars Seim of Stavanger, Norway, when they met here last week for the first time.
...Local students are signing up by the dozens for the annual school bowling tournament sponsored at the Oneota Alleys. The Public Opinion newspaper will award a grand trophy to the winner. Ten girls teams and 10 boys teams will be accepted. There will be continuous bowling in the two-day event.
...Now showing at the Calmar theatre - Betty Grable in "The Beautiful Blonde from Bashful Bend." In modern TECHNICOLOR!
...A local man has been arrested three times with operating a motor vehicle in a state of intoxication. He has earned himself a swift one-year jail term and was promptly taken to the state penitentiary at Fort Madison.
...The Grove Theater in Spring Grove was a complete loss after a fire broke out the other night around 7:20 p.m. It is believed that an overheated furnace may have caused the blaze.
...The new Dry Run Flood Control flood project construction is expected to be completed by Sept. 15, 1950. The work is 39 days ahead of the timed schedule. Work on Twin Bridges is awaiting the end of a bond sale.
...Now showing at the Lyric theatre - "The Steal" starring Robert Mitchum and Jane Greer.
...X-rays taken in Winneshiek County last week revealed 15 new cases of TB. The x-rays of 57 others were just fine, although there was one case that may involve a heart condition.
...A little Festina boy was rushed to the hospital last week after drinking an indefinite amount of distillate.
...Bert Wilcox is the new president of the Silvercrest Golf Club. Clayton Haugen is vice president and Roy Green is secretary.
FIFTY YEARS AGO: Richard Flaskerud of Calmar has been elected to organize a newly-organized radio emergency group in the county. He will band together members of the amateur radio service in the community to perfect arrangements for communication in case of a natural disaster or other emergency.
...The senior class at De Sales School held a "mixer" at the end of the year. Coordinating the celebration were senior president Terry Lensing and vice-president Carl Heying. It was a grand affair and enjoyed by all in attendance.
... ...A modern new medical check-up of newborn babies is being done in the first minute of life! Dr. Virginia Apgar has designed "The Apgar Score" to determine birth defects. The test is given when the baby is 55 seconds old and is completed in about a minute.
FRONT PAGE NEWS - Alert action on the part of Ossian Marshall Rex Ward and some rapid-fire inter-county cooperation by law-enforcement offices has led to the arrest of two on check forgery charges. The men were detained because of some suspicious activity on the city streets of Ossian.
...Jay E. Gillman, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Roger Gillman of Pleasant Hill, has earned an appointment to West Point's U.S. Military Academy. The 17-year-old is an honor student at the Decorah High School.
FORTY YEARS AGO: The pheasant, fox, and squirrel season has officially ended.
...The number of working wives in Winneshiek County is at an all-time high according to a report recently released here. An estimated 47.4 percent of the married women here are now employed outside the home.
...Clifford T. Ellingson of Decorah has now been selling insurance for Bankers Life Insurance Company for 23 years.
...The Protivin Fire Department was called out to a blaze at the Art Bruess Mill a few weeks ago. Only slight damage was reported.
...Among the Camcar industrial trainees who recently "graduated" and are now working at the new local plant include Alan Ellickson, Dale McCormick, Robert Nordheim, Ed Schnuelle, Ralph Milligan, Orlin Hovey, Wayne Schweinefus, Ronald Lukes and Gerald Wiltgen. The group and several others enjoyed a joint Christmas party and graduation party at the Hotel Winneshiek.
...Robert Ellingson, a senior at North Winneshiek has won the "Voice of Democracy" contest at the local VFW.
...From the society pages of days gone by - Mr. and Mrs. Carl Pierce of Decorah recently observed their 60th wedding anniversary. They have three children, Mrs. Clifford (Marjorie) Halse, Merlyn Pierce and Marshall Pierce.
THIRTY YEARS AGO: The year 1979 was a good one for Iowa industry. A total of 176 Iowa industries were expanded, including the Camcar-Textron plant and Rockwell Collins in Decorah. Some 11,336 new jobs were created in the state this year alone!
...Debbie Lynn Swatek of rural Decorah must have felt she was back in the "Old West" Dec. 22 when she was driving east of town. She was on a county road when an entire herd of cattle came out of the ditch and ran over the top of her car as they stampeded to get across the road.
...The Series E Savings Bonds will no longer be sold over the counter at local banks. The U.S. Energy Savings Bonds, Series EE, are going on sale at local banks this week.
...In the wake of the much-publicized gas shortage, some locals are calling for a heavy gasoline tax, as much as 50 cents a gallon! Several concerned residents are worried that a proposed heavy gas tax could push the price of gas to up to $2 per gallon!
TWENTY YEARS AGO: The Decorah Viking wrestling team has won the Starmont meet for the third consecutive year, upsetting No. 3 Waterloo. Stars for Decorah were Adam Christopherson, Don Dohse, Bill Fullhart, Howard Fullhart, Clint Williams, Ryan Kittelson, Jason Stoskopf and Todd Folkedahl.
...Dawn Hovey has recently been crowned 1990 Alternative Iowa Dairy Princess.
...Elaine Sims of Decorah has purchased "Hales Too" women's clothing store. Watch for the grand opening of "Elaine's" in downtown Decorah in the weeks to come.
...Cheryl Novak is the new owner of Spillville's Old World Inn, specializing in good home cooking - Czech style.
...Nor Ski Runs in Decorah would be ready for the season, except for one essential ingredient - snow. A four-inch to six-inch base of snow is needed for the ski hill to open, and that amount of actual snowfall is yet to hit Decorah.
...A brand new Phase 3 plan is being unveiled in the Decorah school system. The school will spend about $120,000 for a variety of projects to support the objectives of the state's Phase 3 project.
TEN YEARS AGO: Jarret Einck of Fort Atkinson has helped design a logo for the NASA Food Technology Commercial Space Center.
...Local residents rang in the new millennium with a blast. Fireworks were shot off in celebration!
...Alan Keyes was in Decorah last week on a campaign stop.
...Youngsters winning the stuffed snowmen from Security Bank were Kenzie Elsbernd, Lindsay Smith, Brittany Krueger, Kylie Skillings, Schanda Roney, Elizabeth Shroyer, Carissa Hesse, Allison Klimesh, Jason Krahmer and Jada VandenBrink.
...The New Minowa Players have issued a casting call for their upcoming production, "Don't Step on My Footprint."
...Rose Frana is retiring after 26 years of dedicated service with A&J Petersburg Agency.
...The annual Decorah Band Carnival once again drew a large crowd to the high school gymnasium over the weekend. Some of the funds will go toward the purchase of a new acoustical shell for the senior high auditorium.
...An open house honoring Dick Horne on his retirement from the Winneshiek County Extension Service is being held later this month.
...Ben Grimstad, a native of Decorah, has returned to begin his career at Security Bank & Trust. As vice president he will work with consumer, real estate and commercial lending, as well as other bank duties. He and his wife, Padrin, have a 7-week-old daughter, Rachel.
...From the society pages of January 2000 - The engagement of Danielle Annette Askelson and First Lt. Thomas Edward Laybourn is announced. The couple will wed in June.
...Paul Rael has stepped down as volleyball coach at South Winenshiek.