By Roz Weis
By Roz Weis

    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.

…Among the improvements at Luther College this fall are a new track at Nustad Field and a modern, soundproofed practice room at the Music Hall. There is also a new radio station KWLC studio in the tower room on the third floor of the C.K. Preus Gymnasium. Classes start Sept. 15 at Luther.

…The 60th annual Winneshiek County Fair runs Aug. 18-21 here in Decorah. An elaborate revue will be performed nightly at the grandstand. Fair admission is 35 cents. 

…F.E. Chambers, manager at the local Woodward Store, is building a new bungalow near the DeWitt residence on Decorah Avenue.

…Blanche Rosa from near Ossian has returned from a trip to Canada to view the famous Dionne Quintuplets. The famous identical quintuplet sisters are the first known to have survived their birth. Blanche reports the quintuplets (of Callander, Ontario) had long dark curls and were “as human and charming as any four-year-old children”.

…During the month of August, the interior of the Congregational Church is being completely redecorated.

…Mrs. Josie Amundson recently announced her retirement from the Priscilla Shop in town.

…Two South Winneshiek area girls, Louise and Lucille Huber, returned from a few weeks hitch-hiking to interesting points in North Dakota, Nebraska and Iowa – a trip of more than 2,000 miles.  They tell the newspaper that they really enjoyed themselves immensely, and they plan on going again.


EVENTY YEARS AGO: Some of the new teachers joining the Decorah School staff in September include Mary Wordehoff, Helen Huffman, H. Corrine Hellie, Patricia Thompson, Helen Mary Wolfe and Sylvia Sonderland.

…FRONT PAGE NEWS: The Decorah Public Opinion newspaper will become a twice-weekly newspaper starting this month – publishing on Mondays and Thursdays.

…Leonard Miller is opening a self-serve laundry business here at 213 Washington Street. Three washer loads - $1. Three dryer loads – 25 cents.

…Dr. T.A. Hoff of this vicinity has been “knighted” by Norway’s King Haakon. He is the former pastor at First Lutheran Church here.

…The Bergan Brothers of Madison Township threshed 17 acres of oats recently, yielding 76 bushels to the acre.

…A local couple was granted a divorce up at the courthouse last week. The plaintiff charged cruel and inhuman treatment and asked $30 monthly for support for four children.

…The Public Opinion is seeking boys to carry the newspaper twice a week on a regular route and earn good pay.


IXTY YEARS AGO: A young girl drove her car into the front door of the Ron Arnold family home the other day. Mrs. Arnold was feeding her four young children in the kitchen when the house shook from the crash. She stepped out into her hallway and saw the front bumper and grill of an auto in her front door. The young driver said her brakes failed on the steep Terrace Street Hill opposite the Arnold home. No severe injuries were reported.

…Registration for high school pupils in the newly organized South Winneshiek Community School District will be held August 11, 1958. Iowa Governor Loveless will be speaking in Spillville at the end of August.

…TV personality Bill Bailey, his wife and their four children stopped by Maurice Hughes’ café in Northern Minnesota on their vacation recently.

…The Priscilla Shop has the highest quality of women’s apparel in Decorah. Shop now and visit the $1 bargain rack.

…FOR SALE: New 3-bedroom home in West Decorah. Garage is in the basement. Priced at under $13,000.


IFTY YEARS AGO: The Luther League at Big Canoe Lutheran Church is hosting a lawn supper and ice ream social this Saturday night.

…Inducted into the U.S. Armed Forces from Winneshiek County in recent weeks were the following young men: Michael Klimesh, Kenneth Bullerman, Leon Bockman, Dennis Corson, Dave Hagemeier, Alvin Hageman, Donald Lansing, Dean Lensing, Roger Linderbaum, Stephen Thompson, Leslie Thompson, Raymond Lukes, Dale Schutte and Dean Rue.

…Come visit the new Amundson’s Clothing Shop at 130 West Water Street in downtown Decorah. The new shop has name-brand merchandise designed with flair. Alan Amundson is the owner. “Decorah’s Totally New Shop for Men and Boys.”

…The dreaded Dutch elm disease has struck six more trees in town. The recent outbreak is near West Side School neighborhood.

…A Norse Dialect Humor Show was presented to packed houses during this year’s Nordic Fest. Among the performers were Mrs. Ida Sacquitne, Paul Hexom and his sister, Mrs. Ransome Bolson. Standing-room-only crowds were reported.

…Pat Weis and Verna Simenson were the ladies day golf winners at Silvercrest Country Club last Wednesday afternoon.

…A teenage party for Oneota and Silvercrest teenagers and their guests is being held this Friday night at Oneota. The group will dance to records until 10:30 p.m. A light supper will be served.

…Several area couples stopped up at the courthouse in recent weeks to apply for their marriage licenses. Among the soon-to-be married couples were: Reg Wicks and Linda Grinna and also Richard Svenson and Linda Hilton.


ORTY YEARS AGO: Earn up to $18,000 a year as manager of the meat department at one of Decorah’s finest grocery stores.

…Bring your dog to T.L.C. Kennels. $2 per day. Call Bob Crookshank to make an appointment.

…A double birthday party-picnic supper was held July 31 at Will Baker Park for Gordon Rovang and Julie Fulsaas.

…Fifty-two competed in the Nordic Fest Rock Throw competition last week. Winner at 75 pounds was Jay Beard of Decorah. Winner at 50 pounds was Pete Rocksvold of Decorah.

…The Czech Inn Tavern and Restaurant in Spillville is now for sale.

… “Friends” is the name of the group performing this weekend at The Tap Room. Friends plays all your favorite music including disco. Stars are Elea Finholt, Rusty Kephart, Peg Beatty, Neil Hendrickson and Paul Bruemmer.

…The 1978 Winneshiek County Fair begins Aug. 9. Erik Flaskerud is in charge of recruiting teams for the “Almost Anything Goes” games at the fair this year. Grandstand showstopper Tommy Cash will perform one show only. Fumbles, the Magic Clown, is performing on Kids Day. Carnival rides are 3 rides for $1.

…Ruth and Jerry Bruce have been re-elected to head up the county cancer unit this fall.

…Iowa Governor Robert Ray’s wife Billie unveiled the old Ossian Fire Bell at its new resting place in front of the Ossian Community Center last week. The bell is 80 years old and was once part of the City Hall constructed in 1898.


HIRTY YEARS AGO: There’s a new place to socialize in Freeport. Becky and Leroy Messler have opened the newly remodeled Country Store Bar and Grill.

…A costly appeals process regarding the Winneshiek County jail inspection has been averted, thanks to assistance from local attorney Dale Putnam. Putnam urged the county board of supervisors to approve hiring of part-time matrons to fulfill all of the jail’s surveillance needs and the board correctly followed his advice.

...The Winneshiek County Memorial Hospital has hired Collyn Bridges as assistant administrator/chief financial officer. He comes to Decorah from Ames, where he was vice president and chief financial officer at Mary Greeley Medical Center.

…Pat Williams, a fine Decorah prep football star, reports for football practice at the University of Northern Iowa this month. He is the son of Roger and Sally Williams of rural Decorah.

…Larry Huinker, age 32, is Calmar’s youngest mayor. He will serve as mayor for a little more than a year, completing the term of former mayor Gary Teslow, who resigned due to a job transfer to Waukon.


WENTY YEARS AGO: Decorah’s softball team set a school record this summer, claiming a 25th win in a tourney in Coon Rapids. Stars for Decorah’s team were Beth Carolan, Jenni Christopher, Jamie Lemke, Tiffany Loomis and Teri Olson.

…Palisades Park is now closed due to a significant mudslide. 

…Interviews are now under way for a director of the newly renovated Hotel Winneshiek in downtown Decorah. A director may be announced as early as Sept. 1.


EN YEARS AGO: The annual Nordic Fest rock throw drew a record crowd with entrants from 12 different states taking part. Brad Schmidt of St. Lucas was the winner in the 75-pound division, and Decorah’s Tim Knutson topped the field in the 100-pound rock throw. Second place at 100 pounds went to Decorah’s Dan Anderson (the all-time record holder in the event), and Ryan Petersburg, who is formerly of Decorah and now from Webster City, earned third place honors.  Helping organize the rock-throwing event this year were Elliot Christen, Fred Brown, Daryl Landas, Bob Naslund, Dave Luhman, Dick Trytten and Rik Trytten.

…VA Midwest Health Care Network has approved a plan to open a new veterans clinic right here in Decorah next fall.

…Decorah’s Brett Humpal, a senior at Iowa Wesleyan College, is one of the stars in the Prime Time Basketball League headquartered in Iowa this summer. The NCAA-approved men’s summer league is in it 22nd year, and Humpal is making a name for himself in the league and is looking forward to his senior year at Iowa Wesleyan.

…A new energy-efficient banking drive-through facility is now open at Decorah Bank & Trust in downtown Decorah. A two-way video and audio screen is used.