The Decorah Nespapers
February 24, 2018
Blacksmith shop
George Teff operated the blacksmith shop in the Winneshiek County village of Quandahl back in the early 1900s. This photo is from the Decorah Newspapers archives. No other information is listed on the picture.
  • Three stores burn in major fire in Ridgeway
         EIGHTY YEARS AGO: Three stores have burned in a blaze in Ridgeway. Gunhus Hardware, the Ed Hovden Grocery Store and the R. Godden Restaurant were all destroyed in the fire. Estimated loss is upwards of $22,500. The capable Decorah and Cresco Fire Departments battled the flames. It is reported that fully a fourth of the business section of the town was lost. The heaviest loss was that of H.C. Gunhus who had one of the largest and most complete lines of hardware, harness, stoves and supplies in all of northeast Iowa.
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  • Rickels new Chamber president

        EIGHTY YEARS AGO: A unanimous vote has made J.H. Rickels the new president of the Chamber of Commerce here in Decorah. O.H. Grangaard is to serve as the vice president for the coming year.

    …The infantile paralysis benefit dance will be Saturday night. Dance music will be played by Herb Gross and His Kentucky Homers. Admission is 40 cents at Matter’s.

    …A new shipment of suits for the high schoo

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  • Fire causes damage at Monson Motor Co.

        EIGHTY YEARS AGO: Fire of unknown origin caused $3,000 in damages at Monson Motor Company. The capable Clint Monson reminds local customers … “Tell the World We Are Still Open for Business as Usual.”

    …Resources of the bank over at Ridgeway are over half a million – according to a report from Bank President Magnus.

    …The State Highway Department has installed modern, lighted 12-inch triangular signs on the cab of all snow removal and storm fighting equipment. The triangles on the front of each vehicle have four amber lights with two red lights on the top.

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  • Men on relief can’t purchase any beer

        EIGHTY YEARS AGO: The Winneshiek County Board of Supervisors has been working on a proposed program whereby the men on the relief rolls will be banned from purchasing beer in local beer parlors.

    …The Kepple Shoe Store has been sold to A.F. Weihs, formerly the assistant manager at the JC Penney Store in Waverly.

    …Dog licenses in Decorah are increasing from $1 to $3 in the county. The increase was due to the number of domestic animal claims in the city last year.

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  • Luther hosts its popular holiday ‘mixer’
        EIGHTY YEARS AGO: It’s that time of year. The popular Christmas “mixer” is planned at Luther College over the holidays. The young people will enjoy a delicious meal of lutefisk and lefse. The boys and girls will sing some carols and take part in various other Christmas traditions. The highlight is always the faculty taking time to entertain the student body in the Luther gym.
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  • County taxes down $11,000 from a year ago

        EIGHTY YEARS AGO: Taxes to be collected in Winneshiek County next year will amount to about $442,923. This is reportedly $11,000 less than those taxes collected a year ago.

    …Ira Rima, well-known and respected citizen and retired police officer of Decorah, has passed away from pneumonia. He was age 73.

    …The public is invited to eat chicken this Sunday at Plymouth Rock’s St. Agnes Catholic Church. Bingo will be played in the afternoon.

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  • Lutheran pastors concerned about consumption of alcohol

     EIGHTY YEARS AGO: A meeting of the Decorah Circuit of Lutheran Pastors was held here recently and the group passed a resolution stating: “Viewing with alarm the use of alcohol and the evil drunkenness that follows...We are convinced that so-called respectable drinking is irresponsible, and that the drinker is setting a bad example for young folks to follow.

    ...Stay away from “the devil’s brew,” This is the name of the campaign underway for the young people of our community who are urged to repent and refrain from using it.

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  • Once again Decorah streets will feature Christmas ‘roping’

       EIGHTY YEARS AGO: As usual, the streets of the business district will once again be hung with Christmas evergreen roping similar to that used in recent years. The decorations are traditionally placed immediately AFTER THANKSGIVING.

    …J.C. McArthur is going to open a basement bargain store here early next month.

    …The William Plunkett farm near Hesper, which includes 180 acres, has sold for $6,900.

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  • White gopher trapped on Peter Ulen farm

    EIGHTY YEARS AGO: A white gopher was trapped out at the Peter Ulen farm west of Luther College.

    …A pheasant has crashed through the window of a residence on the city’s east side.

    …The H. Engebertson Implement Company has quit implement sales. The Farmers Implement Company will now sell a line of John Deere farm implements and do repairs here at the Engebertson building at 509 West Water Street. The opening of the business is Dec. 1, 1937.

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  • A ‘covered wagon’ house trailer
          EIGHTY YEARS AGO: Julius Rosenthal of this city has purchased a modern “covered wagon” house trailer and a new 1938 Buick Special sedan. The new Buick is certain to give unlimited pleasure to the owner. The trailer has twin beds, a stove and an ice box, and it even has electric brakes.
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  • Decorah Schools payroll will be in excess of $60,000
       EIGHTY YEARS AGO: The payroll of the Decorah Public Schools this year for nearly all employees, will be in excess of $60,000. Education is indeed the city’s largest industry by a considerable margin. And, it is also interesting to note that a still larger educational payroll is that of Decorah’s own Luther College, which will total more than $80,000 this year paid to about 60 employees. The annual budget at Luther College is reported as $185,000.
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  • Mrs. F. Gossman best corn husker in county
        EIGHTY YEARS AGO: Mrs. F. Gossman is the best woman corn husker in all of Winneshiek County. Her winning husking talents were exhibited during the annual contest here last week. She husked 400 pounds of corn in 30 minutes. Nearly 4,000 turned out to witness the event, held in conjunction with the men’s contest at the Wenthold Bros. Farm. George Westby, a young Glenwood Township farmer, was the winning corn husker in the men’s division. He husked 1,681 pounds of corn in 80 minutes. Roy Fleming of Bluffton was a close second place. Westby will travel on to the state competition in Oskaloosa.
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  • Group seeking county husking championship

        EIGHTY YEARS AGO: The following gentlemen have joined the aspiring corn huskers to seek the county husking championship at the Wenthold Brothers farm south of Decorah later this month: Carsten Teslow, Willie Barth, Harold Sersland, Ralph Taylor, Eric Styve and Roman Kuenen of Fort Atkinson. Four women also have entered their names into the separate contest for women. There is still time to enter the contest, which is always a real crowd-pleaser.

    …Al Weis of Decorah is the newly elected president of a new bowling league here in town. Cliff Natvig is the secretary and J. Norman Lee is league treasurer.

    …Dr. H.T. Opsahl has been named the new commander at the Helof Holm VFW Post here.

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  • 450 students report to class at Luther

        EIGHTY YEARS AGO: An enrollment of 450 students is reported at Luther College. Classes began in mid September. The number of freshmen exceeds 150 and more than 50 of those frosh are girls.

    …To lose $643 and then recover it within a couple hours was experienced by E.J. Stahl of Decorah, traveling representative of the Swift & Co. meat packers. Mr. Stahl’s wallet flew out of the car he was driving onto the middle of Highway No. 9.

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  • Burglar breaks into City Meat Market
        EIGHTY YEARS AGO: When John Bollinger, proprietor of the City Meat Market on West Water Street stepped up to the cash register at the store the other morning to make change for County Supervisor Henry Lubke, he found only two pennies left in the drawer. This was of great interest and alarm, as there had been in the neighborhood of six or seven dollars in silver there previously. The discovery met with a thorough investigation by Mr. Bollinger, who soon discovered the shop had been entered by a burglar during the night. The thief entered from the upstairs through the lower sausage room. Besides the money stolen, he reports a big chunk of summer sausage and dried beef are also missing. This will no doubt keep the prowler well fed.
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