EIGHTY YEARS AGO: The Ossian High School girls’ basketball team won the right to represent Northeast Iowa in the State Girls’ classic March 9-11 in Des Moines. The people of Ossian are showing their true colors and support their team 100 percent with their continued presence and cheering. Ossian won a big game over Delhi in a thriller – final score 39 to 37, and then the team won a super thriller over Waterville in the very next game. Final score for the game vs. Waterville was 39-37. Then Ossian clinched the tourney with a 53-46 win over Stanley in an almost unbelievable exhibition of fine basketball.

…It will be a gala time here in Decorah May 6 and 7 when Crown Prince Olav and Crown Princess Martha of Norway come for a visit right here in Decorah. Plans are in full swing for a memorable visit by the Royal Couple.

…The Ridgeriders of Ridgeway defeated DeSales of Ossian in a big basketball game the other day, 24-13. In other Ridgeway news, the girls won a game over Chester by a big margin, 26-11. Edna Butz led the Ridgeway scoring parade with 18 points.

…The Alaskan dogs and their two sledsmen which are traveling by foot from Hudson Bay to the New York World’s Fair, stopped off in Calmar last week for about a half an hour. They paraded around the town square and then made a visit to both schools, before continuing on their journey. If none of the folks in Calmar get to attend the World’s Fair, they will have the satisfaction of at least seeing one of the exhibits first hand.


EVENTY YEARS AGO: W.P. Palmer of Michigan is set to arrive here soon to assume the management of the Decorah J.C. Penney Store. He succeeds Thomas Thompson, who has been transferred to the Fairmont, Minn. Store.

…Membership in the Decorah Whisker Club now numbers 255, according to P.L. Kohl, treasurer for the bearded men. They are ardent supporters of the centennial whisker event. Decorah non-shavers have contributed a total of $125 to the local Chamber of Commerce to date.

…The wedding of Richard McKernan and Miss Ruth Barth was Wednesday, Feb. 23, at 9 a.m. at Decorah’s St. Benedict’s Catholic Church. Maid of honor was Miss Rose Courtney of Bluffton. Bridesmaids were Mrs. Orin Anderson, Miss Lila Hagen and Miss LaVonne McKernan. The little flower girl was Miss Sandra McKernan, age 6. Ring bearer for the couple was 7-year-old Lyle Barth. Best man was Jack McCulloch. Ushers were Orin Anderson, Otis Rustad and Tom McKernan. Nearly 60 guests were treated to a reception at the Green Parrot Restaurant at 1 p.m.

…King’s Bus Stop Café has hamburgers for 14 cents each. If you order 10 or more, they are 10 cents each. King’s is open 24 hours of the day.

…Miss Ella Ramsey is the chief operator for the Northwestern Bell Telephone Company here and she was recently recognized as having “The Voice with a Smile” due to her courteous dealings with the public over the telephone wire.


IXTY YEARS AGO: C.J. Welgos and Dr. O.J. Berg have emerged as members of the Decorah Community school District Board of Education following a recent election.

…Some of the principal cast members of the “Oklahoma!” production at the local high school are Richard Amundsen, Margaret Jennisch, Adrian Strand, Ken Steine, Ellen Swenson, Kay Pfister, Joe Bodensteiner, Gary Burreson, Ray Mikesh, Mary Pat Ronan, Jim Womeldorf and Marian Halverson.

…Decorah’s City Council recently got its first look at preliminary sketches of the proposed new city hall from Charles Altfillisch Architectural Firm.

…Plans for the upcoming 1959 Miss Decorah Pageant are in full swing. Jack Duffy, Stan Hanson and Jack Anundsen are pageant organizers.

…This year marks the final season or three senior cheerleaders at Protivin School – Donna Bader, Marlene Prochaska and Elmarie Wagner. Retiring players this season are Clayton Kalishek, Edward Svoboda, Lester Humpal, Alvin Svestka and James Solbolik on the Hawk team; and Carole Kalishek, Lana Anderson and Jane Prochaska on the Hawkette squad.

…Shop Jack and Jill for these bargains from 1959: T-bone steaks for 59 cents per pound; Great Northern dried beans for 10 cents for a two-pound package; and a 2-pound bag of crisp, fresh carrots for 10 cents.


IFTY YEARS AGO: The “glaucomamobile” is stopping in Calmar next week to screen interested persons for glaucoma – the second leading cause of blindness in the U.S.

…Eight local men were inducted as volunteers into the Army Reserve Unit here last week, including: Timothy Breitsprecher, Keith Elsbernd, Richard Engrav, John Tengesdahl, Dennis Johnson, Ron Fettkeler, Douglas Kubtz and Dennis Bahr.

…Koren Library, for more than 45 years the academic hub of Luther College, will soon become the Spiritual Life Center at the college. This change will commence when the college’s new library, “Preus Library”, will be in full use.

…Dick Schuman and Vern Billiet, co-owners of Decorah Tire Service, have bene informed by the Goodyear Tire and Rubber company that they are winners of a contest. They, along with their wives, will receive an all-expense-paid trip to the Riveria Hotel in Palm springs, Calif. For four days.

…Decorah failed to score a point in the State Wrestling Tourney last weekend in Waterloo, with all three of Vikings’ entrants being eliminated in the opening round.

…Decorah City Council has ratified an agreement with Lowell Erdman to perform the engineering on the construction of the Decorah Camp Site.


ORTY YEARS AGO: Decorah families are curling up with Mother Nature in modern underground houses. The home of Jim and Laurel Womeldorf and the home of John and Janann Malanaphy are featured in a newspaper article this month.

…The Turkey Valley girls basketball team was nipped by Waukon in overtime, 79-78, in sectional championship play the other night.

…Internationally renowned artist Cherry Rhodes will help dedicate the new Luther College organ this month. The Rost Memorial Organ was made possible by a $175,000 gift from Jeanne Preus Rost in honor of her late husband, Lawrence E. Rost.

…Boys ages 7-13 are reminded of Kilties Drum & Bugle Corp tryouts at East Side School on an upcoming Saturday. The Kilties have a strong 48-year tradition here in Decorah.

…The ninth-grade boys’ basketball team finished the season with 13 wins and 3 losses. Team members are Gunnar Schwarz, Dave Tjostem, Pat Davis, Mark Backman, Kim Benda, Todd Marsh, Scott Wuest, Steve Weis, Rob Etteldorf, John Rosendahl, Jim Baker, Paul Eckheart, Dave Tierney, Dave Tweet, Nathan Christenson, Jeff Smallwood and Todd Helgeson (manager). Coach is Jere Vyerberg.

…Winneshiek County Supervisors are considering a proposal to “move” the Ossian. Road to allow for airport runway extensions.

…Debby Marhoul, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Marhoul of Calmar, is being featured on the NBC television “Today Show”. She is being shown in her job as a Mayo Clinic airport representative during the network’s feature story on the Rochester Mayo Clinic.

…Robbie Gloe, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Don Gloe of Decorah, has won the Soil Conservation Service poster contest. He is a student at St. Benedict Catholic School.

…Decorah High School students attending the Iowa Science, Engineering and Humanities Symposium in Iowa City recently were Tom Usgaard, June Melby, Jeff Fitzgerald, Julie Crouch and Amelia Kurth.

…Shop Jack & Jill for these bargains from March of 1979: eight-pack of 18-oz bottles of Pepsi Cola for 69 cents; Charmin Bath Tissue – 45 cents for a multi-roll package; Van Camp’s Pork & Beans, 8 for 99 cents; and caramel rolls from the bakery – six for 79 cents.

…BurgerV is advertising these March specials – three hamburgers for $1; buy one fish sandwich, get one for 25 cents; and any flavor malt for only 39 cents. Stop by today at College Drive and Quarry Street.


HIRTY YEARS AGO: The annual Irish Stew Supper is once again being sponsored by the Ulster Project Committee of Decorah. The fundraiser will feature entertainment by Jon and Beth Rotto and Joanie Cavagnaro. Tickets are $4 for adults and $3 for senior citizens. The funds will go toward hosting six protestant and six Catholic youths here in town this summer.

…Creating roles in the Decorah High School production of “Puss ‘n Boots” are Michelle Brooks as the princess; David Kirkeby as the king; and Sara Jensen as Puss. 

…The theme “Dreams of Norway” has been chosen for this summer’s Nordic Fest.

…A steel bridge estimated at $30,000 in value and owned by Winneshiek County, collapsed the other afternoon after a man driving a milk truck (which was over the weight limits) crossed the bridge on a gravel road in western Winneshiek County.

…Sims T.V. has a new modern big-button fashion telephone priced at $24.95. Also on sale are dual cassette telephone answering machines and lighted wall phones.

…The engagement of Susan Kay Patton and Thomas Robert Usgaard has been announced. They will be married April 22 at Decorah Lutheran Church.

…Now showing at the Viking Theatre: “The Burbs” starring Tom Hanks.

…First place finisher in the Decorah Pool League Competition was “Manny’s Team” from Decorah, with Manny Madrigal, Larry Midthus, Lyle Sharp, Bernie Olson and Kevin Drew. 

…Jail matron at the local jail has been given a salary increase to $5.50 per hour.

…The proposed $2.3 million reconstruction of the Iowa Fish Hatchery at Siewer Springs south of Decorah will be the program topic at this week’s Chamber of Commerce meeting at Mabe’s.


WENTY YEARS AGO: Dave Matthews “wowed” the crowd at a return concert at the Center for Faith and Life at Luther College the other night. He embraced the Luther crowd for more than three hours. His “Live at Luther College” album was recorded at the CFL back in February of 1996 during a Matthews-Reynolds acoustical tour. The CD is expected to sell more than 2 million. The concert sold out, with more than 1,400 tickets sold. Reportedly, some tickets for this most recent concert were “scalped” for more than $500 each.

…The Decorah boys’ basketball team handled Crestwood twice during the regular season with relative ease. But anything can happen once district play rolls around. The Vikes’ preparation for the Cadets paid off, with the Decorah team posting a 63-40 victory – sending the local team into 3A district final against New Hampton at Luther College. Standouts for Decorah were Shane Butler, Ben Fisher, Troy Batzler, Steve Numedahl, James Martinson, Ryan Nelson, Kyle Haindfield, Trevor Satrom, Brian Meyer, Evan Nelson, Jared Broghamer and Darius Viet.


EN YEARS AGO: Winneshiek Medical Center is beginning to feel the effects of the economic downtown, with Chief Financial Officer Lynn Lullof explaining that revenues from the Decorah Clinic were down 18 percent in January.

…The Decorah FFA advanced two events to the State FFA Leadership conference. Shelby Cornelius placed first in the FFA creed speaking contest. The Decorah Conduct of Meetings Team (Kilah Hemesath, Adam Sacquitne, Kaitlyn Otteson, Jordan Tietz, Andrew Luzum, Colin Zidlicky, Gayge Sameulson and Dustin Bigler) earned another first place finish and advanced as well.

…Decorah High School Junior Kaia Miller will represent the community during the Iowa High School Boys’ State Basketball Tourney this week. She will be singing the National Anthem at the noon game at Wells Fargo Arena.

…Three local elementary students are among those with winning entries in a statewide art competition now on display in Des Moines. Honorees are Kelby Kobrieger, grade 1: Rachel Hudson, grade 2; and Sonja Hoyland, grade 2. Their teacher at John Cline Elementary School is Carol Gaustad.