EIGHTY YEARS AGO: On orders from Des Moines, the relief program in Winneshiek County has been curtailed. State officials hope to steer workers off relief rolls and show them how to contract for work with private individuals. One proposal calls for a maximum of $28 relief per month per family. “The needy are encouraged to take care of themselves as part of the new stricter limitations,” said one official.

…Local merchants are offering residents free tickets to the first Luther baseball game of the season. Luther will take on a Big Ten university opponent – namely Northwestern University of Evanston, Ill. This game is true to spark the interest of baseball lovers from across the state. A pep parade will be held prior to the game in the business section of the city. The Des Moines Register is even sending their big plane in for the mid-May game.

…C.A. Hendrickson, a 54-year-old resident at the Aase Haugen Old People’s Home, has some of the finest examples of wood carving ever viewed locally.  Mr. Hendrickson is a master in design and detail. He entered Aase Haugen Home at the young age of 33. He was only the second man to enter the home; Iver Brandt being the first.

…A committee of faculty members at Luther College is asking for admission of girls to Luther College. The committee members are offering strong refutation of recent arguments in opposition of the controversial coeducation proposal. Debate continues.

…Led by Nels Boe, hard-hitting southpaw, the West Side Junior High team slugged out a big victory over the East Side team the other day.


EVENTY YEARS AGO: From the opinion pages of 1944: “Bob Hope’s Jokes Need Laundering.” A loyal reader writes: “Bob Hope’s popular radio gags, which for years have been clean and wholesome, have suddenly become off-color and require some laundering.” 

…Fourteen local youths are now on probation after an outbreak of juvenile delinquency here.

…From the society pages of 1944: Mr. and Mrs. Elton Bradley were married April 2 at the Ossian Lutheran Church. Mrs. Bradley is the former Kathreen Gunderson of Ossian.

…Mrs. Jack Swartzhoff and baby were honored with a shower the other day at the home of Herman Swartzhoff at Locust.

…The number of cases of the dreaded diphtheria in the county is up markedly. Children who have not been immunized should have this new protection. 

…Fifty-five have left the county to join the Army and Navy forces. Among them are Roland Lillegraven, Paul Arneson, Lester Sampson and Harold Martinson, all of Decorah.

…The John Deere store here in Decorah has been sold to Semor Tofte and Leo Bruening.


IXTY YEARS AGO: Conditions at the local jail could be improved. A report from a grand jury reprimanded the county board of supervisors for the conditions at the jail. Need for new cots for sleeping and other improvements were noted. According to the official report, baling wire had been used to repair bare springs on the current cots. And many cots had no mattresses whatsoever.

…Jerry Reichow of Decorah has been named Coach Evashevski’s most improved player following the State University of Iowa spring football drills.

…Linda Cronin, James Zweibohmer, David Courtney, Lawrence Keefe, Marvin Pankow and Patricia Karnik were among the locals receiving their first communion at St. Benedict’s earlier this month.

…Following the trail of the stork from 1964: A girl was born May 15 to Mr. and Mrs. William Schrandt of Fort Atkinson; a son was born May 15 to Mr. and Mrs. Myron Behm of Decorah; a daughter was born May 16 to Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Ulring of Decorah; and a son was born May 17 to Mr. and Mrs. Greg Heying of Castalia.

…The week of May 16-22 is being observed as RURAL MAILBOX IMPROVEMENT WEEK. Take heed local farmers.


IFTY YEARS AGO: The first-ever Decorah Beef Week was a big success.

…Rabies shots have been given to 44 more dogs in the area. Fee for the service is $1.50. A recent outbreak of rabies in the county has alerted locals to have their dogs vaccinated.

…Mrs. Norman Lee purchased the first of a new $75 Series E Savings Bond bearing the portrait of the late President John F. Kennedy. Her husband is the county savings bond chairman.

…Honor students have been announced at Luther College. Among the honorees are the following Decorah students: Stephen Kloster, Ruth Magelssen, James Matter, Sherman Neste and Judith Oelke.

…It’s official. The Luren Singers will sing at the World’s Fair in New York City this summer during a tour of Eastern states. The singers and their wives will also take in Niagara Falls on their way home.

…Miss Sharon Kay Leuenberger of Fort Atkinson is among the 14 Iowa farm girls named semi-finalists in the annual “Iowa’s Favorite Farmers’ Daughter” contest.

…The Decorah girls’ golf team has won the district golf meet title and they now advance to state competition. Stars for Decorah are Vergene Simenson, Kay Lillibridge and Patsy Wheatman.


ORTY YEARS AGO: Need money for home improvements, a new car or personal items? See Wayne Thomas for financing at Security Bank and Trust.

…A salary dispute has erupted at South Winneshiek Schools. Teachers voted to lock up their 1974-75 contracts in a gesture of unity. Base salary is $7,050 annually. A special school board meeting is planned in an effort to meet a compromise.

…Theme for the Decorah junior-senior prom this month was “You Are The Sunshine of My Life.” The event was held in the school gymnasium, with an early morning breakfast served at the local Elks Lodge. Among the students at the grand march were Jan Halverson and her escort David Schweizer. The George Krumm Orchestra once again provided dance music for the affair.

…Robin Sacquitne is one of eight freshmen to make the John F. Kennedy College women’s softball team.

…Earning badges at a recent Cub Scout Pack 91 ceremony were the following: Paul Bunge, Bobcat Badge; Joel Carver, Paul Bunge, Curt Haats and David Chapman, Wolfe Badges; Luke Cote, Danny Finanger, Terry Hilberg, Robbie Etteldorf and Steve Topping, Bear Badges; and Gregg Moothart, Danny Finanger, David Chapman, Paul Bunge and Robbie Etteldorf; earning the badge of the Gold Arrow.


HIRTY YEARS AGO: The Town and Country Garden Club recently donated memorial trees on Ohio Street in memory of Beth Usgaard, Bess McKernan and Mildred McIntosh.

…National Merit Scholarship honorees from this area are Beth Ylvisaker and Andrew Craft.

… “Up Where We Belong” was the theme for the 1984 junior-senior prom at Decorah High School. Among the prom-goers pictured in the newspaper were Shegun Pointer and Amy Fitzgerald (sporting matching white tuxedoes), and Kim Koch and her escort Scott Swehla.

…A modern, state-of-the-art fetal monitor was recently added to the O.B. department at the local hospital. The donation was from the hospital auxiliary.

…Decorah’s first ever “After Prom Party” was a huge success according to organizers and prom-goers alike. Billed as “an alcohol-free alternative to drinking parties,” the party was sponsored by Community Recreation Education Workshop (CREW) and the Decorah Parks and Recreation Department. “Casino Night at the Elks” was the theme.

…Jacalyn Broghammer, Ben Hippen, Linda Olson and Beth Ylvisaker were valedictorians at Decorah High School this year. Salutatorians were Mark Borseth, Beth Carlson and Melinda Hanzlik. Rounding out the top 10 academically were Julie Suhr, Thomas Fenelon and Doreen Huinker.


WENTY YEARS AGO: There is a special significance to the 1994 Nordic Fest medal, which bears the likeness of Grant Woldum of Decorah. This year’s medal will be the last created by the gentile Woldum, who is retiring after designing every Nordic Fest medal since 1971.

…Irving Eittreim, former DHS math teacher, is the keynote speaker at this year’s Decorah commencement. The class graduation total is 145.

…Iowa Governor Terry Branstad spoke at Luther College the other day. He faces Congressman Fred Grandy in the June primary.


EN YEARS AGO: The 389th Bravo Company B reservists are back home after a year in Iraq. Members of the unit were welcomed home with a ceremony at Luther College and a parade in downtown Decorah.

…The new addition and remodeled classrooms at Sunflower Child Care and Preschool are now complete.

…Edna Stromseth was honored recently on her 90th birthday.

…Kyrie Jorgenson led the Decorah/North Winn girls’ soccer team by scoring the team’s only goal against Independence the other afternoon.

…Iowa’s First Lady Christie Vilsack and children’s author Lori Erickson visited Ridgeway last week to talk with elementary students there.