IGHTY YEARS AGO: A fellow who is a member of a cowboy and trick-shooting vaudeville show was reportedly in the Decorah area the other day. He had stolen four radiator caps from autos parked in and around Ridgeway. He was using the stolen caps in his vaudeville sharp-shooting act. The gent has been fined a hefty $15 in all by the court of Justice of the Peace Harold A. Olson. Radiator caps are typically inexpensive, but these caps cost the thief quite a hefty sum at about $4 each.

…There are now only three Decorah boys remaining in the group of CCC workers here.

…The Decorah Kittenball Men are meeting here this week. The league will consider operating teams once again this season. Kittenball games are traditionally held at the high school grounds, and have annually attracted some large crowds.

…The Inwood in Spillville is opening this weekend. The well-known dance hall opens with the group Thoma and His Ten Princetonians. Admission is 50 cents for the gents and 25 cents for the ladies.

…Golf season here opened in early April at the Oneota Golf Club. There are now 60 members at the local club.

…This month marks the first year anniversary for the bakery operated here in town by Carl Dotseth.

…A fine new lunch counter has been added at Barge’s Café.

…Willis Dirks, Hubert Nelson, Solveig Dorrum, Richard Ellingson, Marion Donald, Carl Dahly, James Dack and Norman Pfister are just a few of the stars of the D.H.S. Operetta “The Maid of Niagara” at the high school later this month.

…A former Decorah man, Melvin Enger, was recently named dean at the Illinois College of Engineering at Urbana, Ill. He was born here back in 1881.


EVENTY YEARS AGO: A speaker at a recent Lutheran Brotherhood meeting has blamed the devil’s liquor for the increase in the number of child delinquency cases in the nation. He was speaking in Decorah on behalf of the “Anti-Saloon League.”

…A Waukon man faces charges of theft and Army desertion after being arrested on the outskirts of town last week. Chief Smithling made the arrest. 

…Farm prices here are rising quickly. Prices are up to about $110 per acre, with continued advances on the horizon according to local agriculture officials.

…The local firemen will be giving Water Street a much-deserved bath this week. Signs will be posted to allow motorists to get their cars off the street.

…In one of the most exciting spelling contests held in years here in town, Thomas Ryan has won the 1944 championship for Winneshiek County country schools. Runner-up was Rita Schwade. Thomas is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Gerald Ryan of Lincoln Township and Rita is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Schwade of Spillville. Lillian Martinek, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Joe Martinek of Decorah, captured third place honors.

…On Easter Sunday some 63 new members were installed into membership at Decorah Lutheran Church.

…Shop Piggly Wiggly in downtown Decorah for these bargains from 1944: 50-pound bag of flour, $1.15; oranges, 47 cents per dozen; one jar of peanut butter: 35 cents.

…There are currently eight Klimesh boys from the Spillville area serving in the branches of the U.S. Armed Services. They are Alvin, Emil, Frank, Stanley, Leonard, Otto, Cyril and Godfrey.


IXTY YEARS AGO: President J.W. Ylvisaker has announced the appointment of Kent Finanger of Wauwatosa, Wis., and David Reque of Redwood Falls, Minn., to the faculty at Luther College as instructors in the physical education program.

…Ann’s Beauty Shop is advertising two Easter specials this week: a haircut, plus shampoo set is only $2; and permanents are offered for $10.

…Now showing at the Decorah Grand Theatre: “Dark Command” starring John Wayne and Walter Pidgeon. Now showing at The Lyric Theatre: “Ma and Pa Kettle at Home” starring Marjorie Main and Percy Killbride.

…Announcement has been made on the front page of the newspaper that Marilyn Monson of the local high school has been selected to attend the All-State Music Camp this summer. She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Clinton Monson of Fifth Avenue, and is a member of the DHS band.

…A rabid fox has attacked a man from Ossian. County Sheriff Pierce Anderson warns residents to be careful of all wild animals. The man from Ossian was fishing in a creek when he was attacked. He was able to kill the fox.

…More than 100 rural eighth grade students and chaperones toured the woolen mills and refrigeration plant at the Amanas in southern Iowa last week. They traveled by bus.


IFTY YEARS AGO: Bob Allen is the new Decorah City Fire Chief.

…The bid for construction of the new airport in Decorah has been won by the capable Fred Carlson Company of this city. Winning bid: $123,966.90.

…Decorah police are investigating a break-in at Thornton’s Feed Store on East Broadway -- $50 was taken from the old crank-type cash register. The business is currently being operated by Andrew Thornton and his son, Glen.

…Following the trail of the stork from 1964: A girl was born April 6 to Mr. and Mrs. Dean Holzer of Decorah; a girl was born April 8 to Mr. and Mrs. Arden Sollien of Decorah; a girl was born April 8 to Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Tangen of Ossian; and a boy was born April 8 to Mr. and Mrs. Einar Thompson of Calmar.

…Tom Gillman, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Roger Gillman of Decorah, and a current student at Drake University, has been accepted into a program to study Russian in the Soviet Union this summer.

…The plan for a merger of the congregations of the Lincoln and Ridgway Lutheran churches has been turned down. The two groups were in agreement that the merger is not to be considered at this time.


ORTY YEARS AGO: Jon Thompson and Tami Anderson, students at Decorah Junior High, are among the young people selling “Smile” candles to benefit Muscular Dystrophy. Candles are $1.50 each, and all money goes to the Muscular Dystrophy Association. The duo recently sold the first candle in the fundraiser to Mayor Vern Iverson.

…The local Sertoma Club has elected new officers. Chairman is Darrell Kester. Other officers are John McCarty, Roger Hamman, Dr. Al Ludeking and Steve Eldridge. Sertoma means “service to mankind.”

…The Decorah Planning Commission has denied a rezoning request for a proposed shopping center on 23 acres of land southwest of Decorah and east of the Camcar plants.

…Five private liberal arts colleges (Luther, Clarke, Loras, University of Dubuque and Upper Iowa) are proposing a plan to offer two-year degrees through Area I Vocational Technical School.

…The Decorah High School girls’ track team has come out victorious in a meet over Postville. Among the stars were Vickie Grainger, setting a new Viking record in the long jump; Cathy Wicks with a first in the 440-yard relay; 800-yard relay and distance medley relay; Mary Akre, tying her own school high jump record.

…Winners of the local “Good Posture Poster contest” were the following fifth and sixth graders: Lori Houlihan, Linda Kimber, Julie Wheelock, Beverly Vrba, Connie Kuhn, Julie Novak, and Judy Mitchell, Debbie Bruening and Kelly Gossman. Judging were Drs. Swella and Ludeking, local chiropractors.


HIRTY YEARS AGO: Forty percent of the farmland in Winneshiek County will be idled this year under the government’s new corn set-aside program.

…The Winneshiek County Sheriff’s Department is currently investigating the burglary of what they are calling “a considerable amount of dynamite by the case.” The theft was at a local commercial explosive storage company in Decorah.

…Kum ‘N Go convenience store on College Drive is observing its first anniversary here.

…Returning girls golf letter winners are Amy Fitzgerald, Amy Dwyer, Angie Carlson, Cheri White and Stacey Lloyd.

…Dave and Brenda Broghamer of Decorah recently attended the Tri-State Breeders Cooperative Conference at Moxie’s in La Crosse, Wis.

…David Haggard is the new superintendent at North Winneshiek School.

…Sondra Pierce of Decorah shares her recipes in this week’s “Creative Cook of the Week”. Among her favorites were the “Oh Henry Bars” and “Home Canned Spaghetti Sauce.”


WENTY YEARS AGO: Editors of Southern Living magazine and Better Homes and Gardens were just a few of those attending a food symposium here in Decorah last week. The event was sponsored by the public relations firm from Kraft General Foods.

…Returning letter winners on the Turkey Valley girls’ golf team are Carol Lensing, Heather Costigan, Kristy Bodensteiner and Jenny Bohr. Returning lettermen on the boys’ team are Nick Speltz, Leon Arens, Gene Kuhn, Dave Smith and Jeno Kuennen.

…A proposed street plan for the city of Decorah may include possible closing of Dug Road permanently to traffic, and opening it up to pedestrians and bicyclists.

…Chuck Ihde has joined the Decorah Police Department.

…Decorah kindergarten classes will be all-day, every-day beginning in the fall. The change is long overdue, according to Clark Goltz, John Cline and West Side Elementary principal. Classes had been previously offered all-day, every-other-day for local kindergarteners.


EN YEARS AGO: Steve Angell of Des Moines is the new Decorah High School varsity girls’ basketball coach. He replaces Randy Iverson, who resigned from the position after this past season.

…The Burr Oak Mercantile has reopened and is now serving breakfast, dinner and supper.

…Sherwin-Williams is now at its permanent home on Short Street. The former downtown Decorah store was destroyed in a 2002 fire.