The Decorah Nespapers
February 21, 2017
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Peter Q. Wolfe shares this photo from an album inherited from Elizabeth (Moellers) Giesing. It was taken around 1890-1900 in the community of Ossian. Elizabeth was the maternal grandmother of Peter’s dad, the late Zeno Wolfe. Families related in the area include the Giesings, Moellers, Timps, Balks, Schrandts, Hagemans and Thuentes. The subjects could possibly be twins, or sisters very close in age and appearance. The photo has stumped the family members working on their family ancestry; and any help with identifications is appreciated. Contact the Roz Weis at the newspaper office with any assistance.
  • Visiting children save local family from fire
        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.
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  • County has 400 miles of hard-surfaced roads

        EIGHTY YEARS AGO: Winneshiek County now has 400 miles of hard-surfaced roads, having added an additional 54 miles last year. Roadwork cost the county $214,000 last year. Improvements are still needed according to local supervisors.

    The Winneshiek County Farm Bureau Male Quartet is to be congratulated as they have captured first place in the male quartet contest at the state Farm Bureau Convention held recently in Des Moines. The local group features Emick Ellickson, tenor; Willard Torgrim, second tenor; Willard Linnevold, baritone; and Arthur Lomen, second bass. Assisting the men were Mrs. Durwood Darling, accompanist; and Miss Clara Hoyt of the Luther music department.

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  • Two bandits running loose in Winneshiek
        EIGHTY YEARS AGO: Two bandits are on the run in these parts. They reportedly operated in two places not far from Decorah last Sunday night. They robbed an oil station over at nearby Mabel, Minn., getting away with two quarts of oil. Next, they held up the Palm Café over at Postville, obtaining about $25 from the owners of the café. Then the bandits stole a car belonging to Forrest Drilling over at Postville. They reportedly are carrying sawed-off shotguns and other arms. Local authorities have been summoned and are on the hunt. More details will be released as they become available.
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  • Large oil-well tower on Bakke farm torn down

       EIGHTY YEARS AGO: That large oil well tower on the Bakke farm about three miles northeast of Decorah, a landmark in this vicinity for the past 14 years, is being torn down. The well is reportedly more than 3,300 feet deep.

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  • Decorah cagers face tough schedule this year
         EIGHTY YEARS AGO:  The Decorah High School basketball players will play a hard schedule again this year. Durwin Bernatz, who played in a few games last year before he was injured, will definitely be available for the team this year. Also returning are Philip (Bud) Bernatz and Eddie Omdahl, Theodore Jacobson, Richard Dinger, John Hove, David Preus, Wendel McConnell, Charles Rosell and Bruce Mallum. Coaching the boys is Al Hancer.
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  • Wansenried a high cheese judge
        EIGHTY YEARS AGO: Herman Wansenried of the Freeport Cheese Factory east of Decorah was one of the high judges in cheese judging at a recent meeting of the coveted organization – The Cheesemakers of Iowa. Oscar Krause and Henry Hoffman of Frankville were also high in the contest.
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  • Pauline Weis earns pilot’s license
        EIGHTY YEARS AGO: FRONT PAGE NEWS: Mrs. Al (Pauline) Weis is the only woman flyer in Northeast Iowa. She made her solo flight the other afternoon and performed creditably. She “took off” and piloted the plane above the city for about 15 minutes, then circled the airport and made a three-point landing. Her husband, a prominent local automobile dealer, also has his pilot’s license. Congratulations to the young local wife and mother, Mrs. Weis, on this remarkable achievement. She had nearly 15 hours of flying time in the books prior to her solo flight. The state newspapers are picking up the story.
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  • Majestic Stove sale at local hardware store
         EIGHTY YEARS AGO: A special Majestic Stove sale is being conducted at the local hardware store (Caley Hardware) this week. Climax of the sale will be on Saturday afternoon, when a Majestic Stove Company demonstrator will bake a cake in the store. Later the cake will be taken out onto the sidewalk, and a heavy plank, wrapped with paper, will be placed atop the cake. 
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  • Lyle Erickson is new corn-husking champ
        EIGHTY YEARS AGO: His expert and speedy husking won Lyle Erickson the title of Winneshiek County Corn Husker Champion earlier this week. Other men competing were Walter Ode, Roy Fleming, Walter Huffey, Eugene Hove, Gotfred Vick, Erick Styve, Walter Peck, Albert Shindelar Jr., Carl Westby, Odin Scholl and Willie Moen. Frankville Township’s Erickson won this first annual Winneshiek County ‘Nubbin Derby’ and a prize of a whopping $30 for tossing 22 ½ bushels of corn into a wagon box in an 80-minute period. 
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  • Luther pageant parade attracts a large crowd
        EIGHTY YEARS AGO: The Luther College Pageant Parade recently attracted crowds. The parade depicted some of the early days of the college. Two full-blooded Winnebago Indians, descendants of early settlers, headed the parade route. Leslie Decorah (Spotted Feather) and John Thunder were the Indians leading the parade, which also featured covered wagons and church floats.
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  • Night prowler rumor has people unnerved

        EIGHTY YEARS AGO: A report of a night prowler in Decorah has folks locking their doors. Local authorities are on the hunt for the ill-famed intruder.

    The big corn-husking contest is being held this week at the Ludwig farm situated 2 ½ miles southwest of Spillville. Watch for the names of the big winners in the coming weeks. A grand prize of a whopping $30 will be awarded to the best husker.

    Buy a pair of Brevette lounging pajamas for 98 cents at Conner-Knight Department Store. The pajamas are the correct garments for those leisure hours for any housewife. Comes in green, yellow and blue.

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  • New sign erected at West Decorah bridge
        EIGHTY YEARS AGO: A metal tablet about two feet square with the outlines of a ship has been erected at the east entrance of the beautiful new West Decorah Bridge, now and hereafter to be called Leif Eirikkson Bridge. The metal plate has been erected at a particularly appropriate time just prior to the Luther College Diamond Jubilee Celebration. The authority for the spelling of Leif Eiriksson is Dr. T. Stabo of Decorah, the Norwegian Voice Consul, and a real authority on the Norwegian language.
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  • Dr. Preus enjoys concert with the king of Norway
       EIGHTY YEARS AGO: Dr. O.J.H. Preus enjoyed a concert with King Haakon of Norway at Trondhjem earlier this summer. The popular king reportedly refused to use an umbrella offered to him by the Luther president. He stated that he didn’t wish to hinder the view of others in the audience. Dr. Preus, who recently returned to Decorah from his trip to Europe, said he was greatly impressed by the concert, which featured Luther students. Dr. Carlo A. Sperati, veteran director of the band, and Dr. Preus who escorted King Haakon to the Castle Yard where the concert was played. The king speaks English fluently, according to Dr. Preus.
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  • Fuller Brush Co. hiring; seeking ambitious men
        EIGHTY YEARS AGO: From the HELP WANTED section of the Decorah Newspaper in 1936: WANTED: Four capable, ambitious men to qualify for positions paying up to $33 per week. Write: Fuller Brush Company.  
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  • Robert Erickson wins prize for his Elks essay

        EIGHTY YEARS AGO: Robert Erickson from Decorah earned second prize for his essay about the Junior Drum and Bugle Corps trip to attend the Elks National Convention in Los Angeles.

    The city of Ossian now has a new fire truck. The truck was purchased for approximately $1,500.

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