The Decorah Nespapers
April 20, 2018
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Luther College Main II
Luther College’s Main II (in top photo) was constructed back in 1890, after a fire destroyed the original Main building on campus in 1889. Main II was consumed in another fire on May 31, 1942. Construction of Main III or New Main began in 1950.
  • ­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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  • 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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