By Roz Weis
By Roz Weis

    EIGHTY YEARS AGO:  Three neighbor children, the offspring of Mr. and Mrs. Sam Lietsch, are being given credit for saving a local family from burning to death in a fire. The visiting neighbors alerted Mr. and Mrs. Leo Funk and their two children about the fire, which started about five o’clock the other morning. The blaze completely destroyed the Funk home and most of its contents. The Lietsch children are light sleepers, staying overnight in a strange home, and they were awakened by the smell of smoke. The visiting children had great difficulty waking the Funk family, but were soon successful and all were able to escape without injury. A defective chimney is the cause of the blaze. The loss is considerable.

John C. Hexom, prominent pioneer shoe merchant of Decorah, is celebrating his 50th year in business. Only one other merchant in Decorah, Ben Bear, well known as Decorah’s square dealing clothier, exceeds Mr. Hexom in business years here.

Dewey Tatro and Cliff Ryan have arrived home from a trip to Texas with a new airplane. A Waco cabin plane recently used as a factory demonstrator.

The film “College Holiday” starring Jack Benny, George, Burns, Gracie Allen and Martha Raye is now showing at The Grand Theatre.

Melbourne Faldet, age 18, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Nels Faldet of Canoe, has been a patient in the Decorah Hospital for a week, recovering from a broken right leg above the knee. He broke his leg in a fall while skiing down the Big Canoe Hill. His father operates the Big Canoe General Store.


EVENTY YEARS AGO: The Mott Company Store has been sold to E.R. Wimmer of Sigourney. Mrs. Walter Mott and Miss Anna Mott have operated the store since the death of their father, Walter Mott. The Mott location has been a dry goods store site since 1860.

Twenty-five relatives, friends and neighbors surprised Mr. and Mrs. I. Flak of Hesper the other Friday night to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary.

Mrs. Clifford Dawley gave birth to a six-pound son, Wayne Theodore, the other day without the presence of a doctor. The Dawleys were marooned in the snowstorm at the Arthur Smith farm home, and they were unable to reach the hospital for the baby’s birth. Dr. Lester Larson, who was unable to reach the Smith home to offer his assistance, gave the tips for the delivery via telephone.

Several people from the Calmar area attended the mid-winter dance at Oneota Golf and Country Club the other evening, and were unable to get home due to drifted roads on Highway 52. Mr. and Mrs. Don Meyer, Mrs. Kenneth Meyer, Dr. and Mrs. G.C. Bolier, Clarence Brom and Delores Balik were stalled on the highway from 11 at night until 7 the next morning. At that time the snowplow came through to open the roads.

Two Decorah girls have taken a white veil. Rosemary Jewell, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. C.E. Jewell of Decorah, and Beatrice Amundson, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Gilbert Amundson of Decorah, were among 10 girls who took the white veil of a novice and were welcomed into the congregation of Sisters of Mercy, Cedar Rapids.

Following the trail of the stork from January, 1947: A girl was born Jan. 31 to Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Sersland, Decorah; a boy was born Feb. 1 to Mr. and Mrs. Myles Cronin, Decorah; a son was born Feb. 2 to Mr. and Mrs. Erlin Lomen, Decorah; and a son was born Feb. 3 to Mr. and Mrs. Orville Tollefson, Decorah.


IXTY YEARS AGO: Mothers of this area will soon “March on Polio.” The volunteers will visit homes asking for donations to fight against polio. During the single evening canvass of the area, the “Marching Mothers” will attempt to visit all homes with lighted porch lights.

Mardell Gerleman of Calmar scored 24 points in a recent Calmar High School victory over Ridgeway.

Ole Christopherson recently celebrated his 100th birthday. He was one of the first employees of Calmar Manufacturing Company, and worked at the firm for 50 years.

Now showing at the Grand Theatre: “Teenage Rebel” starring Ginger Rogers. Coming soon: “These Wilder Years” starring James Cagney and Barbara Stanwyck.

Youngsters from the Burr Oak Village School were in town early this month buying items for the Junior Red Cross gift boxes to be sent to Europe. Some of the students shopping in the Decorah area were Lynnette Hovden, Delbert Smith, Jackie Hovden, Marian Houdek and Harlynn Hovden. Their teachers are Jaerdis Olson and Lillian Dickman.


IFTY YEARS AGO: Federal Land Bank is marking its 50th year. A party was held at First Lutheran Church the other night to commemorate the milestone.

Decorah High School was only two points away from first place last night at the Oelwein conference wrestling meet. Individual champions for Decorah were Dennis Knutson, Jerry Krambeer, Lee Thompson and John Wilkes. Larry Poock, coach of the wrestlers, called the meet the closest contest in the history of the conference, as six teams battled for all the marbles. Charles City had 69 points and Decorah and Waverly each had 67 points.

Mark Carroll, the infant son of Mr. and Mrs. Burton Gavle, was baptized Jan. 29 at the Canoe Ridge Lutheran Church.

DOG N SUDS drive-in restaurants are looking for someone to open a location here. Only $10,000 minimum cash required to join the nation’s No. 1 drive-in team. Call today.


ORTY YEARS AGO: Red’s Polka Band and Country Cousins will be performing at McCabe’s Supper Club in Burr Oak next weekend. Steak special: Texas-sized steak, salad bar and Texas toast for $4.95.

A controversial proposal allowing Aase Haugen Home to lease bed space in the unused portion of the Winneshiek County Memorial Hospital to meet increased needs for nursing care fell through last week.

Triplet cows were born on the Darrel Bruening farm Jan. 21. Local vet Don Moore said he has not seen a triplet birth in dairy cattle in his 32 years of practice.

From the society pages of 1977: Lisa Cote and David Lien exchanged wedding vows Dec. 30 at the United Methodist Church in Decorah. The bride was attended by Mary Cote, Marilyn Iverson and Lori Reichow, and by Kirsten Roverud as flower girl. The groom’s attendants were Alan Reichow, Paul Cote, Luke Cote, Kerry Anderson, Rusty Miller and George Loomis. Mrs. Lien will receive her degree in home economics education from Iowa State in May and will seek a teaching job.

The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) is reportedly opposed to raising the speed limit to 65 miles per hour on interstate highways. The current limit is 55 mph.

Scenic Hawkeye Stages of Decorah has announced that it has dropped its bus route to Postville and its route between Mason City and Rochester, Minn. The Postville line had been running twice a day and served Ossian, Castalia, Postville and Clermont.


HIRTY YEARS AGO: Local Police are investigating the theft of checks from Vanberia gift shop.

Martha Huinker of rural Decorah is the featured “creative cook” in Roz Weis’s weekly cooking column in the newspaper. She shares some favorite recipes, such as Milk Dud Dessert, Golden Nugget Cauliflower and Porkette Burgers.

Iowa’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has completed plans for a new trout-raising facility in Decorah. Construction on that new Siewers Spring trout hatchery could begin as early as June.

Now showing at the Viking Theatre: “The Golden Child” starring Eddie Murphy and “Heartbreak Ridge” starring Clint Eastwood.

Ruby’s Colonial Kitchen in downtown Decorah will host a smelt fry – all you can eat - $5.95.


WENTY YEARS AGO: Homecoming at North Winneshiek High School was last weekend. King and queen this year are Andrew Hansen and Wendy Tweten.

Now showing at the Viking Theatre: “Michael” starring John Travolta and Andie MacDowell; and “Ghosts of Mississippi” starring Alec Baldwin and Whoopi Goldberg.

Drs. Meehan, Leeper and Schwartz Family Eye Care has a new office at 805 Montgomery, located on the Winneshiek County Memorial Hospital campus. An open house is Jan. 28 to celebrate the grand opening.

The Vienna Choir Boys will perform at Luther College as part of the Center Stage Series in February.

Decorah Viking girls’ basketball team celebrated a huge 54-53 victory over Crestwood the other night. Beth Huinker, a junior, scored the game-winning basket with 14 seconds remaining on the clock. The win moved the 3A No. 6 Decorah girls to 11-1 on the season.


EN YEARS AGO: Peggy Sue Diericks is the new director for the Northeast Iowa Community Based Dairy Foundation.

Jordan Bruess, age 13, of Waucoma, donated hair from a recent haircut to the Locks of Love. She has made donations three separate times.

Regina Brohammer of Decorah is celebrating her 99th birthday on Groundhog Day, Feb. 2, 2007. She is at home at Eastern Star Assisted Living in Decorah.

The state rated No. 2 Decorah Viking girls posted another victory the other night – this time in overtime over No. 8 Xavier.

Julie Meirick and Friends recently contributed more than $500 to the Winneshiek Medical Center’s First Time Mammogram Fund. Funds were raised at a concert at Decorah’s Pyramid Plaza.

New National Honor Society inductees at Decorah High School are Ethan Bjelland, Beth Bockman, Chelsea Humpal, Mallory Broderick, Carol Weis, Peter Kraus, Chris Krammen, Josie Boyle, Elizabeth Craw, Nicole Betteridge, Jessica Capeda, Jacob Edwards, Hannah Dambek, Kate Mansfield, Teresa Procter, Laura Reutlinger, Jaci Wilkinson, Jilian Teslow, Page Wettach, Stephanie Elsbernd, Lisa Homstad, Sarah Nelson, Kathryn Quandahl and Sara Martin.

Decorah’s newest bakery is William’s on Water Street. Pastry chef is Bill Nintemann.

The Decorah girls basketball team is now ranked No. 1 in Class 3A by the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union. The Vikings are 17-0 overall and 8-0 in Northeast Iowa Conference.

Eric Bunge of Decorah has returned to Commonweal Theatre Company in Lanesboro, Minn., as managing director.