The Decorah Nespapers
August 20, 2018
Burr Oak baseball team
Mary McCabe submitted this vintage picture of a baseball team in the Burr Oak community. Can anyone identify the people in the photo, or the date the picture was taken? Submit any information to the newspaper office – c/o Roz Weis.
  • Jack Rabbit jumps through window of Hayek’s truck

        EIGHTY YEARS AGO: FRONT PAGE NEWS FROM 1938: A jack rabbit jumped through the windshield of Adoph Hayek’s truck the other day while he was hauling his cream route for the Calmar Creamery. The rabbit died on impact, and Mr. Hayek received minor cuts to his face from flying splinters of glass.

    …A total of 105 student applications have been received at the Luther College business office – 45 girls and 60 boys. This is the largest number on record at this date.

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  • Nesheim opens business called the Green Parrot
        EIGHTY YEARS AGO: Bertha Nesheim has opened a business called the new Green Parrot Tea Room on State Road (old Highway 52 and now College Drive). The advertisement from 1938 reads: “You are cordially invited to visit the finest eating place in this territory.” The new Green Parrot boasted a private dining room for special parties. Opening day was mid-July, 1938.
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  • Tallest corn reported at Luther College farm

       EIGHTY YEARS AGO: The tallest corn reported this summer is on the Luther College farm at the outskirts of town. The corn has reached the height of nearly four feet in early July. Harry Wohlford planted the corn back on May 12. He is on the Luther farm staff. Farm manager is Karl Hanson of the college business department.

    …The Ole Natvig farm over at Protivin was destroyed in a fire recently.

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  • Gaylord Noyce’s kite takes home top honors

        EIGHTY YEARS AGO: Gaylord Noyce won a prize for the best flying kite at the contest conducted by the local recreation leaders at the city park last week. His kite was a large arched type of unusual design, having no tail. For about an hour many local youngsters raced along the hilltop trying to get their homemade kites off the ground.

    …A crowd of 7,000 was reported at Niagara Cave during the 4th of  July holiday.

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  • Council turns down idea for community building

       EIGHTY YEARS AGO: There will be no community building for Decorah. The City Council has voted to not take advantage of an offer of $36,000 toward construction of a community building here. The offer came from the Public Works Administration.

    …Bern Witzke, attendant at the Gross Oil Company station on West Water Street, knows just how it feels to have a piano thrown at him and still live to tell the tale. As it happened, Everett Gross was buying a new piano and Mr. Witzke was helping in transporting the old instrument away in a pickup truck. 

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  • Robert Kessel rides bike to Iowa City
     EIGHTY YEARS AGO: FRONT PAGE NEWS: Robert Kessel, age 20, of Decorah, got on his bicycle last Friday noon and started off for a trip all the way to Iowa City. He rode until dark Friday evening, and spent the night at the West Union tourist camp. He arrived in Iowa City around 4 p.m. on Saturday. He was traveling to attend the state DeMolay Convention. He later plans to ride his trusty bicycle all the way to Kansas City for the National Convention.
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  • Sande, proprietor of Sande’s, purchases stores at Locust
       EIGHTY YEARS AGO: Alder Sande, proprietor of Sande’s Café in Decorah, has recently purchased the Hattie Ruffridge General Store and Filling Station at Locust. He will secure the services of a store manager and operate the business in the near future. The store has always enjoyed a fine business.
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  • Baby reunion planned at local hospital

      EIGHTY YEARS AGO: A baby reunion is being conducted at the local hospital in mid May. The event is for all babies born at the Decorah Hospital since November of 1914.  The number of attendees could be considerable.

    …Shop The Ness Store for these May 1938 bargains: Maxwell House coffee – 28 cents per can; two-pound package of raisins, 15 cents; three rolls of toilet tissue – 13 cents; tobacco – 7 cents per tin.

    …Earl Hines, nationally known colored “King of the Ivories”, is bringing his dance band direct from Chicago for an appearance at the Inwood Ballroom in Spillville next weekend.

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  • Hefty charges made after farm burglary
        EIGHTY YEARS AGO: Some hefty charges have been made stemming from the theft of a calf, clover seed and alfalfa seed from three Winneshiek County farms. The local farmer who has been arrested was reportedly caught red handed in the act. Sheriff Harms and Deputy Sheriff O’Boy have been examining tracks at the scene following the arrest. The thief was reportedly driving an old Model T Ford with rear compartment, where he attempted to hide the 125-pound calf. Locals report the calf was exhausted from the experience.
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  • ­Construction begins on new Roy Carlson home

     EIGHTY YEARS AGO: Clifford Westby, employee of McCall’s Auto Supply, has purchased a residence on Jefferson Street.

    …Construction has started on the new home of Roy Carlson on High Street in West Decorah.

    …The Walter Pfisters have purchased a farm from C.J. Dreyer. The 80-acre farm with many fine buildings is located in Frankville Township.

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  • Decorah mourning death  of legendary Ben Bear
    EIGHTY YEARS AGO: Decorah citizens are mourning the death of a true leader – Ben Bear. A funeral train bearing his body is on its way to Springfield, Ill, for final rites in the shadows of the Tomb of Lincoln.  A vault has been purchased in Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield for the Ben Bear family. He was beloved by all. Mrs. Ben Bear, heartbroken and so ill she could not attend services in Decorah, bravely accompanied the remains of Mr. Bear to his final resting place. His sudden death was on March 22, 1938.
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  • New Decorah telephone directory to have yellow pages

     EIGHTY YEARS AGO: Stop the presses. Front page news – Announcement has been made by L.H. Hurlbut, manager for the Northwestern Bell Telephone Company, that Decorah’s next new telephone directory will contain for the first time, a “yellow” colored page index listing professional firms in the city. The listing will be classified by categories. Distribution may be annually.

    …T.R. Roberts, who has served as superintendent of schools here for the last 17 years, has tendered his resignation.

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  • Training school in playground equipment planned

       EIGHTY YEARS AGO: The government is reportedly planning to send five men to Decorah to take over management of a training school in playground education in the area. The program will stress physical activities, arts and crafts, dramatics and pageantry and social activities.

    …Mrs. Mary Sluka of Fort Atkinson has added candle number 95 to her birthday cake.

    …Canned fruits are in abundance at Jack Sprat Food Stores in the area. Peaches – two large cans for 29 cents; one tall can of milk, 7 cents; and a pint jar of olives – 25 cents.

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  • Sixteen men added to county pension list

        EIGHTY YEARS AGO: Sixteen aged men have been added to the pension list in Winneshiek County. The total on the roll currently is nearly 200. Gavin Hjerleid is the county director of the new Welfare Board that oversees the pension list.

    …A bowling alley made out of ice cream was the unusual birthday table centerpiece in celebration of Mayor George A. Baker’s birthday. The Baker Lumber Company held a small party for him during the afternoon, and gave him the gift. The entire “ice cream alley” was molded in delicious ice cream, scoops of chocolate with tiny thumbholes for the bowling balls and little lighted candles took the place of 10 pins.

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  • Locals urged to take no chances on ‘ice’

       EIGHTY YEARS AGO: Locals are urged to “take no chances on icy pavements.” Get yourself some two-way grip tires with tread that clings to even the slipperiest of streets. Priced at $5.10, the tires are guaranteed against cuts, bruises, blowouts, out-of-line wear and under inflation. Stop at the Handy Man Shop on East Water today to buy a set.

    …Some burglars found time to shatter a window the other day at the filling station over on Highway 52. They gained entrance and took a total of five dollars in small change. That was the extent of their haul. The station is located at 303 Mechanic.

    …The Norske Seiskab won by 30 points in the third and final whist game, which was played between the Norske Seiskab and the Oddfellows the other night. Ten tables were played.

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