The Decorah Nespapers
April 22, 2017
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Taveners Bridge
Taveners Bridge across the Upper Iowa River in West Decorah in the late 1800s or early 1900s. Luther College Main Hall (which was destroyed by fire in 1942) is pictured off in the distance. The bridge was known as the old green bridge on Fifth Avenue, which has since been taken down to make room for a modern bridge. No date is indicated on the picture, which was found in the Decorah Newspapers’ archives.
  • Annual report for Hospital Farm released
         EIGHTY YEARS AGO: The annual report of the Decorah Hospital Farm for the past fiscal year was released last week. Receipts of $10,151 have been tallied. The hospital farm was the property of William Smith, a wealthy retired farmer who willed it to the hospital. He had previously given liberal sums for the establishment and maintenance of the hospital. The farm consists of between 400 and 500 acres, and much of it quite rough. John Schnitzler is the farm tenant today, and the farm is conducted on a 50-50 basis. E.F. Sellman is manager of the farm, and he is to be commended for his fine work.
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  • Frankville voters will decide on school bond

        EIGHTY YEARS AGO: The voters of Independent Country School District No. 6 over at Frankville will soon make their voices heard on a $2,000 bond issue. The purpose is consideration of erection of a brand new school building.

    A new dormitory for women is being proposed on the Luther College campus. The local chamber has pledged $5,000 towards the project.

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  • Rosenthal’s Sons Grocery is celebrating 50 years
        EIGHTY YEARS AGO: F.J. Rosenthal’s Sons Grocery in Decorah is celebrating 50 years in business. The jamboree is being highlighted by a food carnival and amateur radio contest. The event is March 27, 1937. Some of the bargains for local shoppers include three pounds of fresh bananas for 17 cents; a pound of delicious Wilson bacon for 29 cents; and a jar of fancy peanut butter for 19 cents.
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  • DHS debaters do very well at Drake University

       EIGHTY YEARS AGO: Debaters at the local high school scored well at the Drake University meet in Des Moines. Decorah was represented by Justin Nelson, Everett Miller and Philip Jerman. They lost out in the finals to a strong Oelwein team.

    Registration at Luther College is at an all-time high for the year, with the number of students totaling 433.

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  • 25-foot snow drifts hamper rail service

       EIGHTY YEARS AGO: Train service is continuing on a limited basis after a big snowstorm left 25-foot high drifts in the area. It is believed to have been one of the worst storms in Iowa history.

    Huber Hatchery in Protivin is holding a grand opening. The 28,000-capacity hatchery was installed in the former Bouska Garage.

    Bill Lyman is the 155-pound, district wrestling champion. He is the son of C.S. Lyman of Decorah.

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  • $62 for good cows, $165 for quality horses
        EIGHTY YEARS AGO: Prices as high as $62 for good cows and $165 for high-quality horses have been paid at auction sales around these parts this month. Decorah State Bank reports these results after clerking six sales just last week. Top prices for the season were paid at the Bergit Nelson auction. Corn as high as $1 is also reported in this corner of the state.
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  • Quick response to fire at A.T. Holton farm
        EIGHTY YEARS AGO: A rural fire truck was called out to the A.T. Holton farm in Glenwood Township the other morning. The firemen made a quick response, but when they arrived about a mile from the house, the main road had drifted shut, so firemen took a temporary road through a field, which slowed them a bit. The fire started in an upstairs closet from an undetermined origin. Some clothes, including a nice new suit of clothes, were destroyed.
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  • School District completes deal on purchase of land
         EIGHTY YEARS AGO: It’s official. The Decorah Board of Education has completed a deal for the purchase of three and one-half lots north of the present school grounds and bordering on Jefferson Street. Total cost is $600. If the proposed Dry Run flood control program is carried out, these lots will enable the school grounds to be considerably enlarged.
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  • 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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