EIGHTY YEARS AGO: Paving is being urged on the Locust Road, which has the heaviest traffic of any road in all of Winneshiek County. Carrying more than 1,000 vehicles a day, this road just cannot stand up unless it is paved. This was surely the resounding sentiment of the men “in the know” during a meeting at the courthouse last week. Debate continues.

…Among the extensive reconditioning work done on the Luther Campus this past summer, is refinishing of the gymnasium floor at the C.K. Preus gym. The dirt floor in the basement, which is used for early spring baseball practice, also is being reconditioned. Work also is being done to the tennis courts in a fine, first-class manner.

…Rural schools of Winneshiek County will open for the 9-month term on Aug. 28.

…More than 100 locals have signed up to go by train to the Chicago Cubs-Cincinnati baseball game in September. Plans are that the train will be called the “Winneshiek Cornhusker Special.” A figure of $10 per person has been established for those wanting to make the trip. This fee includes train transportation from Decorah to Chicago (and back again), tickets for box seats at the game, and a turkey dinner.

…Decorah Journal’s “Picture-of-the-Week” winner was Mabel Ness, who won $1 for her picture of her cousin Clifford Haugen, who lives on the Pole Line Road.

…Ben Bear’s has a special running the rest of the month on dress shoes for $1.95 and dress shirts for 98 cents. A new lot of men’s pajamas just arrived in the store, priced from 75 cents to 98 cents.

…Miss Angela Karnik has just returned home after a. 10-day vacation out West. She saw Cheyenne, Wyo., Great Salt Lake, Utah, Estes Park, Pike’s Peak and Colorado Springs, along with other points of interest through seven states. She will now resume her teaching post in Jackson Township, District No. 2, as school opens there on Aug. 28, 1939.

…Decorah will have some new teachers when school opens Sept. 5. Gerald Isenberger of Decorah a graduate of DHS and Luther College, will teach biology at the local high school. Miss Genevieve Henry will teach home economics; and Miss Louise Jones will be the high school art instructor.


EVENTY YEARS AGO: Gordon Ellingson, the 8-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Gilbert Ellingson of Decorah, is getting along better at the University Hospital in Iowa City. He sustained burns in an accident while at play in April and his first successful skin grafts were made this month. Blood donors are still needed, as he was just given two more pints of blood last week to help save his life. He has received 10 pints of blood in the last three weeks.

…Ethel Vatthauer of the Lincoln Sunflowers 4-H Club at Ridgway has captured first prize in the girls’ 4-H style revue at the county fair here. Second place went to Arlys Orvella of the Springfield Bluebirds; and third place went to Edna Schnitzler of the Bluffton Bluebells an.

…Robert Borseth, a member of the Madison Hustlers 4-H Club has captured the prize for exhibiting the Grand Champion Baby Beef at the 1949 Winneshiek County Fair. Other champions in other classes were Roy Fulsaas of the Madison Hustlers; Eugene Schwabe of the Turkey Valley Go Getters; Leonard Tietz of the Springfield Choreboys; Maynard Hovden of the Ridgeway Ramblers; and Thomas Ryan of the Ridgeway Ramblers.

…That top baby beef for 1949 brought Robert Borseth a whopping $426.80 at the fair auction last week. The 970-pound animal was bought by the Decorah State Bank for $44 per hundredweight.


IXTY YEARS AGO: An official with the Iowa Department of Public Safety was in town last week, citing the need for an increase in the number of men on the police force here. The safety department recommends a force of nine policemen for a city the size of Decorah, and currently Decorah has five full-time policemen, and one part-timer.

…The Winneshiek County Fair begins here this week, and the thunder of horses’ hooves taking the final turn and into the homestretch will be heard again at the fairground track. The future of horseracing here looks promising – at least during the county fair this year.

…FRONT PAGE NEWS: Another rattlesnake bit the dust, this by a pair of women who were fishing near Bluffton. Mrs. Loretta Maroushek and Pauline Phillips killed the rattler with nine rattles with some clubs.

...Winners of the Oneota Pee Wee Golf Tourney here last week were Jaimie Hinz, Pat Henely, Gordon Berg, Tim Lynch, Larry Lynch, Steve Pierce, Gary Haugen, Burr Sproatt, Gary Oyloe, Steve Meyer, Ronald Henely and Mike Henely. Earning honors in the girl’s pee wee division were Patsy 

Wheatman, Kathy Lillibridge and Chris Henely.

…Following the trail of the stork back in 1959: A girl was born Aug. 1 to Mr. and Mrs. John Helms, Decorah; a girl was born Aug. 18 to Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Jacobson, Decorah; and a girl was born Aug. 17 to Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Elsbernd of Calmar.

…HELP WANTED: The right ambitious young man could earn up to $20 or more per day. Steady year ‘round work with no layoffs. Stop by for an interview with a representative from a national company at his room at the Hotel Winneshiek this weekend.

…Following is a chatty news bit from Decorah: Mr. and Mrs. Walter Koch and Bobby visited Sunday at the home of the Jerome Eincks. Frank Bernatz went to Dubuque last week to serve on the Federal Jury. Mr. and Mrs. A.W. Butler and family returned from a vacation trip to North Dakota and Minnesota.

…The Pleasant Pushers 4-H Club met Aug. 11 at the Wallace Nordheim home. Kenneth Nordheim gave a talk on “How to Earnotch a Pig” and George Pfister gave a demonstration on “How to Splice a Rope”.

…From the society pages of 1959: Bruce Owen, the infant son of Mr. and Mrs. Owen Storlie, was baptized Aug. 2 at the Lutheran Church. He was born July 12.

…It was a strange sight indeed. Mrs. Wm. Leonhart and Mrs. Elsie Harriot from over near Bluffton saw a doe deer with two fawns while they were looking out towards the barn the other day. This was an unusual sight in this area.

…Shop Jack & Jill Food Market for these bargains: two-pound package of wieners, 29 cents; frying chickens, 27 cents per pound; Miracle Whip salad dressing, 49 cents per quart; and a bushel of fresh peaches for $2.49.  Cake mixes are always four for $1 through the month of August.


IFTY YEARS AGO: Steve Arneson, Dennis Rude, Mark Rude and Larry Wilson all earned blue ribbons in the Dairy Herd show open to FFA members at the Winneshiek County Fair Aug. 14.

…A poll by Wallace’s Farmer Magazine indicates 64 percent of Iowa farm people tentatively approve of the job President Richard Nixon is doing. However, most farmers in Iowa who were interviewed said they were uncertain how to rate the job for Secretary of Agriculture Clifford Hardin.

…The dreaded Dutch Elm Disease is tightening its grip here with more than 160 suspicious trees now being tested through the Luther College Laboratory under the direction of Kenneth Reeves.

…Decorah Kilties Drum and Bugle Corps members are holding their second annual Pop Bottle Pickup fundraiser.

…FRONT PAGE NEWS HEADLINES from 1969: “Seek Killers for Murder at Ossian.” A search for a group of killers is under way in Ossian and a $50 reward is offered for the arrest and conviction of the killers who “murdered” Night Marshal Fidelis Schmitt’s FRONT LAWN. Someone poured herbicide all over the lawn a few weeks ago, and it’s now turned brown and he must remove a layer of turf and soil for new grass to grow over the next three years.

…Curt Carpenter of Decorah is the new secretary-treasurer of Interstate Power company’s Century Club.

…Florence Johnson and Elsie Cutting recently attended the Mode O’Day merchant dinner and style show at the Highland Inn in St. Paul, Minn.


ORTY YEARS AGO: Decorah High School Viking Pitcher Lon Olejniczak was named to the All-Northeast District Baseball Team; and Matt Thayer, catcher for the Vikings, was selected to the second team.

…Winners of the Pee Wee Golf Tourney at Silvercrest Golf and Country Club are Michelle Gipp, Emily Gloe, Wendy Dotzenrod, Nikki Cotton, Pat Williams, Tony Poock, Richard Blauer, Clint Williams, Robbie Gloe and Mitch Gipp. 

…McCabe’s Supper Club at Burr Oak has a Monday and Tuesday night Lobster Special for $8.95.

…LOST: Near Mabe’s Pizza, a four-tooth partial plate. $25 reward is being offered.

…Registration is this week at Decorah Schools. A four-week meal ticket is $10 – 50 cents for single meal tickets. Registration fees are $12 for junior high and senior high schoolers; and $4 for elementary students.

…FRONT PAGE NEWS from August of 1979: Decorah Medical Associates is hosting an open house in their new clinic building near the local hospital, and the public is invited. Locals will want to meet the new physician – Dr. Kevin Sand, a native of Decorah and the son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Sand. He and his wife Leslie are residing at 907 Ridgewood Drive. He joins the practice with Dr. David W. Wright, Dr. James A. Bullard, Dr. Terry F. Dynes and Dr. Max Quaas.


HIRTY YEARS AGO: Luther College recently received a $50,000 bequest from Velma Renaas, from the estate of her late husband, Alvin S. Renaas, who worked his entire career at Decorah State Bank.

…The proposed name change for Northeast Iowa Technical Institute (NITI) in Calmar passed the first reading during a board meeting last week. The anticipated new name is Northeast Iowa Technical Community College.

…An alleged molestation of a young Decorah girl early last week is still under investigation by the Decorah Police Department. The police are pursuing several leads in the case, but had no further comment.

…Shop The Family Store in downtown Decorah for these bargains from 1989: fresh cantaloupe, 89 cents each; PBR, $2.99 per 12-pack cans; and Bush’s baked beans, 39 cents per can.

…Domino’s Pizza at 302 West Water Street has a big special – A large pepperoni pizza with double cheese for $5 on Thursdays only.


WENTY YEARS AGO: A total of 50 condominiums could be built in an area south of the Decorah Greenhouse if a site plan for Riverwalk Condominiums its approved here. Seven acres could be developed, with access from Mound Street. Debate continues.

…The east section of Heivly Street is now open as construction on North Alley continues. The $380,000 project involved placing electrical wires underground and improving the parking design in North Alley. The changes could add 11 parking spaces.

…Protivin plays host to the 21st annual Czech Days celebration the weekend of Aug. 20-22. “Buck Hollow” and “Marc Frana Band” will perform. A tractor pull, Czech food demonstrations, cakewalk, volleyball and softball tourneys are planned.


EN YEARS AGO: Decorah’s Bob Hunt recounts his World War II submarine experiences in a new book titled “We Were Pirates: A Torpedoman’s Pacific War.” The book is a collaboration between Hunt and Former Luther College Professor Robert Schultz and James Shell. Schultz is a former neighbor of Hunt’s, and Shell helped organize the memoirs of WWII veteran Hunt, who served on 12 war patrols as a crewman on the USS Tambor submarine in the Western Pacific.

…In memory – Judge Joseph C. Keefe passed away Aug. 3, 2009, at the age of 82.

…From the society pages of 2009: Dr. John and Carol Baker celebrated 50 years of marriage Aug. 14.