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December 21, 2014
W.S. Bucknell House, circa early 1900s
The old W.S. Bucknell House, also known to locals as “Reed’s Castle,” is pictured at its 210 Winnebago Street location in Decorah in the early 1900s. The law offices of Anderson, Wilmarth, Van Der Maaten, Belay & Fretheim now occupy a modern building in the spot where the historic structure once stood. Ron Ludeking of Decorah shared the information about the historic building, which once housed the local Farm Bureau and Extension offices.
  •  EIGHTY YEARS AGO: The farmers of the Lost Nation School District near Burr Oak took snow removal into their own hands last week and opened up four miles of snow-packed roadway for travel. 
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  • Snowstorm dumps 17 inches in town and nearby areas
    EIGHTY YEARS AGO: A gala Santa Claus Parade, complete with pony and dog show, is commencing this Friday on the streets of Decorah. Of special note: Little Bo-Peep in all her sweetness is coming along with Santa for the special parade. 
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  • 16 women could face loss of work
    EIGHTY YEARS AGO: There is a possibility that up to 16 women will face a loss of work here in the near future. The women are employed in the sewing room conducted by the Emergency Relief forces at the local courthouse. The Board of Supervisors has yet to come to an agreement with the owners of the sewing machines they use to do their work. The women are busy hemming towels, making children’s dresses and doing other sewing for the unemployed persons on local relief rolls. It is hoped a compromise can be reached soon between the supervisors and the sewing machine owners. 
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  • $5,000 a year goes to local school, colleges
         EIGHTY YEARS AGO: More than $5,000 a year is being poured into Decorah, Luther College and the Decorah College for Girls as a result of the activities of the federal government’s Student Emergency Relief program. Thirty-three boys and nine girls are paid $15 a month at 30 cents per hour for the educational work.  The New Deal is helping 2,000 students in 65 colleges nationwide. 
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  • Sheriff Graf nabs a slippery robber
       EIGHTY YEARS AGO: Sheriff M. Graf has nabbed a slippery robber who stole $668.85 over in Dubuque. The police gong rang in Decorah early Monday morning and a short time later the phone in the office of Sheriff Graf rang with the alert. The calls were to notify the local authorities to be on the lookout for the man who robbed a tavern two miles out of Dubuque. When the daily bus arrived in Decorah in the morning, the local police were on hand to meet it. The bus stopped at the Winneshiek Hotel, where Sheriff Graf promptly confronted the suspect. The man gave up the roll of bills and $23 in silver. The thief was taken off to the local jail in quick order. He was described as a “tough egg;” but he was arrested here without any trouble. 
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  • EIGHTY YEARS AGO: There are now plans for a state park for the village of Bluffton. A 100-acre state park, comprising a strip of land up to 200 yards wide along each side the Oneota River for a total distance of one mile, is a strong possibility in the future. 
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  • Fire Department boasts modern, new equipment
     EIGHTY YEARS AGO: If a farm fire should break out in this vicinity, the firefighters here in town will be ready to go. The Fire Department now boasts modern, new pumping equipment for fighting such blazes. According to Theo. Moen, fire chief, the fire-fighting equipment in Decorah has been doubled. A new truck has arrived and is reportedly doing efficient service. 
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  • Frank Germann celebrates 22 years in clothing business
    EIGHTY YEARS AGO: Frank Germann came to Decorah and opened his small clothing store in the Citizens Savings Bank building 21 years ago this month. From the first day he opened doors here, he has been steady, fair, courteous and generous to the public. We applaud him as he begins his 22nd year as Decorah’s outstanding clothier. 
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  • New fire truck is on display Saturday
    EIGHTY YEARS AGO: Decorah’s new fire truck will be on display here Saturday night. The truck will be given a 12-hour test of its pumping equipment at the fairgrounds. 
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  • EIGHTY YEARS AGO: The public schools here in Decorah are badly crowded as enrollment continues to be on the increase. All will agree that the congestion in classrooms is making teachers’ tasks difficult. Space issues have forced some instructors into private residences. The commercial department, for example, is currently offering courses in the C.J. Weiser residence, with the school paying out rent of upwards of $75 per month.



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  • 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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