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September 23, 2014
Decorah Lutheran Church - 1951
Colleen Orwoll of Decorah shares this vintage picture from the cover of a brochure for a Decorah Lutheran Church Confirmation Reunion (1911-1951). The event was hosted at the church July 8, 1951. The class roll included the names of the following: Otis Alm, Clarence Anderson, Alice Austad, Julia Bolson, Julia Carlson Busness, Dena Gaustad Bucknell, Charlotte Gullickson Johnson, Christian Hoeg, Victor Hoeg, Helof Holm, Anna Honsey Martin, Clarence Hovey, William Jaeger, Gerhard Johnson, Magnus Johnson, Olga Johnson Needham Freda Josvanger, Charlotte Larson Hexom, Joseph Lee, Nelda Nelson, Arnold Nesheim, Gerda Oakland Boreen, Gladys Olson, Irene Ostrem Munger, Robert Quandahl, Nicholas Samuelson, Melvin Sattre, Mabel Steine Austin, Phoebe Sorenson Headington, Walter Sorenson, Elmer Tollefson, Stella Ulen Dain and Konrad Vick. A new, modern parish hall and church were later constructed at the site, with dedication of the new church back in 1961.
  • St. Lucas man fined for under-sized bass
        EIGHTY YEARS AGO: It cost Edward Klemmer of St. Lucas about $33.25 for having nine under-sized bass in his possession when he was stopped along the Turkey River between Spillville and Fort Atkinson by Game Warden George Kaufman of Lansing. This fine included court costs assessed by George E. Cooney of Fort Atkinson, justice of the peace. When the fisherman saw the game warden he promptly dropped the fish, which he had been carrying on a stringer, in the grass and marched right along to the warden, all the while denying having possessed the fish in question. The St. Lucas man also had no valid fishing license. It is reported that the warden may have been more lenient had the culprit “come clean” immediately. 
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  • Church people of this area want to help drought victims
    EIGHTY YEARS AGO: The church people of this area and other territories know they are blessed with rain and good crops; and they are urging the government and Red Cross to continue to raise funds for relief in the severely drought-stricken areas of the Dakotas and in parts of Nebraska and Missouri. 
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  • Erosion causing a tremendous loss of soil
    EIGHTY YEARS AGO: A tremendous loss of soil is reported in this area through erosion. Thirty four tons of soil per acre were lost in one year on un-terraced rolling land according to a spokesman here last week. 
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  • New uniforms expected for the VFW drum, bugle corps

    EIGHTY YEARS AGO: The snappy new uniforms for the VFW Boys Drum and Bugle Corps are scheduled to arrive this week. 

    …The Happy Hustlers 4-H Club met last week at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Vine. A delightful program entitled “Ode to Posture” was presented to the club members by Loretta Anderson.


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  • Co-ed decision for Luther is deferred


    IGHTY YEARS AGO: A much-anticipated decision on co-education at Luther College has been deferred. After two full days and nights of meetings, the board members of the Norwegian Lutheran Church of America were unable to recommend a single plan of action for the proposal. A series of speeches held during the board gathering revealed that there is considerable division of opinion on the matter of co-education. Debate continues. In other news, the Decorah College for Girls has voted to make no change in operation of the college for the coming school year. Dr. Ottar Tinglum has presided over the college for the past few years and will continue in his position.

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  • DHS earns another scholastic accolade
        EIGHTY YEARS AGO: The highest of scholastic honors has once again been won by Decorah High School, placing third in competition with all Class A high schools in the state. Miss Olga Strandvold, the capable daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Georg Strandvold, had the unusual distinction of placing first in the World History examinations. Samie Meyer was fifth in English literature and Elmer Bredesen took seventh in American Literature. A splendid record indeed. 
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  • Bluffton’s McCaffrey wins ‘big egg’ contest
        EIGHTY YEARS AGO: Leonard McCaffrey of Bluffton Township beat Hans Williams and Carl Gulbranson of Madison Township for the “Biggest Egg” challenge here in town. The winning egg weighed 4 ½ ounces. The prize egg is proudly displayed in the window of the newspaper office for all to see. 
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  • Total of 73 students graduate from DHS
    EIGHTY YEARS AGO: A grand total of 73 students will graduate from the Decorah High School this weekend. The class of accomplished seniors will be honored at exercises at the C.K. Preus gymnasium at Luther College. 
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  • Relief program in Winneshiek curtailed
    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. 
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  • Controversial new liquor store opening
    EIGHTY YEARS AGO: That controversial new liquor store opening soon will be located in the Hutchinson building on Main Street. It is just across the street from and just east of the post office. Currently it is a grocery store. Manager is to be P.P. Nockels of this city. 
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  • Trick shooter steals radiator caps for show


    EIGHTY 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.


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  • U.S. Highway 55 will become U.S. Highway 52

    EIGHTY YEARS AGO: United States Highway 55, that paved road which has brought so much auto traffic to and throughout this city, is shortly to have its number changed. It will hereafter be known to all as “The New U.S. Highway 52.” The length of the highway will be greatly increased, to extend from the Canadian border in North Dakota clear to the Atlantic coast at Charleston, South Carolina.

    …Ben Bear has a new line of Easter suits for the handsome gent in the household. The new 1934 Worsteds, Tweeds and Twists are really something to see. Priced at $21.45.

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  • Looks like Decorah will get a state liquor store

    EIGHTY YEARS AGO: It's official. The city of Decorah may well be one of the first 26 Iowa communities to get an “official” state liquor store later this year.

    …The David Hexoms recently celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary on St. Patrick’s Day. They have 10 children.

    …Mrs. J.J. Blodgett was the latest winner of the Silver Cup trophy in the local bridge tournament at the Hotel Winneshiek. Mrs. Mary Updegraff Reed directed the tournament, which commenced over the past few months.

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  • Temperance policy of Iowa Liquor Commission
    EIGHTY YEARS AGO: Temperance is to be the policy of the Iowa Liquor Commission. President indications are that it may be well into the late summer before hard liquor will be available in Decorah. Only a few large cities will be the first to have state liquor stores. Just how and where they will be located has not yet been revealed. Debate about the evil liquor continues. 
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  • Honesty demonstrated at Decorah High School


    EIGHTY YEARS AGO: From the Decorah Dynamo school newspaper: “A rare case of honesty was reported at the school the other day when Catherine Schrubbe walked into Mr. Peterson’s office and laid down a dime saying, “Here, I found this in the hall, Mr. Peterson.” Now, if everybody in the school lived up to this same code we might get back some of those things that we have lost.”

    …The sad news received here in Decorah is official. The news is that Doctor Svebakken’s widow, Mrs. Otto Svebakken of Decorah, has died. She had reportedly been recovering quite nicely from the injuries she sustained in that recent accident in Florida. The same accident had earlier claimed the life of her husband, Decorah’s well-known physician. However, it is reported that she passed away suddenly last week. It is probable that both Dr. and Mrs. Svebakken will be buried over at Waukon in upcoming weeks.

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