EIGHTY YEARS AGO: The home of Mr. and Mrs. Mel Griffith on Decorah Avenue was ransacked from top to bottom the other night. Entrance was from the front door. It was discovered that a few silver spoons were stolen, and a few pennies from the top of the buffet. Many items were strewn throughout the home. In another burglary in town, Miss Gladys Haugen and Mrs. Ole Evans discovered an intruder in the bedroom of the Evans home on Broadway, near the Decorah hospital. He was a tall, thin man with a green mask. He made his getaway through the back door and ran through a nearby alley.
...The West Side of Decorah is currently isolated due to recent floodwaters. The highest water in many years has covered state Highway 55 and the bridge over the Upper Iowa River. The houses on Goose Island are surrounded. These are the highest flood marks in 58 years, according to Henry Lubke, who resides west of Decorah on Dug Road. According to reports, the families of William Thayer, Jacob Gabrielson, Peter Eggen and August Anderson have moved out. The entire flat is covered with water, with measurements of up to three feet in some areas.
...The banks over at Castalia and Ossian are ready to start operations as soon as consent from the State Banking Department is obtained.
...A local woman has been denied a divorce in a much-publicized court case. She had charged her husband with cruel and inhuman treatment and asked for the sum of $500 in alimony. The judge refused to grant her petition. The courthouse in Decorah was filled with onlookers throughout the trial proceedings.
...Another "dry rally" is in the works here. All local residents are invited to come to hear more about the hopeful continuation of prohibition. The meeting is at the Congregational Church and is interdenominational in nature. A vote in Iowa is expected soon regarding the prohibition debate.
...The number of teachers at schools in Decorah will be reduced from 48 currently to 40 in the next school year. Only one coach will be retained. The banking problem here is cause for alarm for local schools. It is noted that a loan had been arranged so that current Decorah teachers will be paid the salaries due them immediately.
...Fifty-one young men have reported for the track team at Decorah High School. Coach is L.W. Buckton.
...Philip Bernatz, a seventh grader in Decorah, has won the Decorah Spelling Contest. Second place went to Helen Fulsaas, an eighth grader.
...The Decorah School Board has voted to dispense with three teachers. The reason is the current economic condition confronting the community.
...The junior class at Decorah High School is presenting the play "Adam and Eva." Stars are Helen Johnson, Willis Dirks, Durwin Hanson, Madeline Larson, Margorie Kennard, Greta Jones, Davis Coffeen, Thomas Roberts, James Dack and Billy Knowlton.
SEVENTY YEARS AGO: Members of the local women's bowling league donned some outlandish costumes for a bowling meet here the other day. Joining in on the fun were the following local women: Verna Simenson, Pauline Weis, Marlie Baker, Geraldine Hebel, Ruth Renaas, Janet Halverson, Bess Lange, Helene Ronan, Julia Weilbrenner, Evie Pierce and Anne Johnson.
...A baby daughter was born to Mr. and Mrs. Earl Lyon on March 26. Earl and Arla have named her Sherry Arla. Mr. Lyon is now serving in the Navy.
...WANTED: A girl to do housework. Earn up to $10 per week, along with room and board.
...Margaret Mashek and Darlene Tupy were "smart honeys" in the recent county spelling bee. Margaret is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Mashek of Calmar and is in eighth grade at St. Aloysius; and Darlene is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Art Tupy of Jackson. She is in eighth grade at Jackson Country School No. 2.
...Decorah meat prices are lower than most ceiling prices in the state. Ground beef is 28 cents per pound here, and sirloin steak is 38 cents per pound.
...Lillian Goetsch and Arline Gilbertson of Decorah have passed their physical and mental examinations and have been approved for enlistment in the WAVES. They leave for Des Moines this month.
...Two jobless girls from Milwaukee have been promptly placed on a Milwaukee train and sent home. The girls were running about the streets of Decorah making the acquaintances of many young men and boys of the community. It is reported they were causing considerable excitement by their singing and conversations about town. They have been dubbed "the canaries."
...Dave Preus was voted most valuable player on the Luther basketball team this winter.
...While Francis Becvar, age 25, Decorah grocer, was sworn into the U.S. Navy through Selective Service the other day, his wife Betty Jean, age 24, took an oath as an enlisted member of the SPARS.
...Red Skelton's new picture "The Fox" is now showing at The Grand Theatre. The film also stars Ann Rutherford.
...A four-pound daughter was born March 27 to Lt. and Mrs. Herbert (Bud) Natvig at the Decorah hospital. The baby is reportedly going to be in an incubator for some time.
SIXTY YEARS AGO: The grade school in Decorah is now being called a fire hazard. The East Side School condition was debated at a recent meeting of the Decorah Junior Chamber of Commerce. Deliberation continues about housing the kindergarten classroom in the basement of the structure.
...The new Luther Main building will be featured in an upcoming issue of "College and University Business."
...FRONT PAGE NEWS: The opening day of a new business venture was unlucky for Arthur Buntrock of Decorah. He suffered a broken hip while repairing an auto. He has been taken to the hospital in Iowa City, and it is reported he must postpone the opening of his repair shop for about a month.
...The members of the Decorah Vikings squad broke two indoor track records recently. Loren Blumhagen vaulted 11 feet, two inches; and the half-mile relay team of Blumhagen, Ron Martinson, Jack Hanson and Rodney Ellickson broke the school record in 1:40.9.
...The grand opening of "Mabel's Lunch Room, (formerly the B&G Drive In) is April 11. Mr. and Mrs. Earl White are the new owners of Mabel's Lunch. Everyone is invited for free coffee and donuts to celebrate the occasion. Mabel's Lunch is on Leiv Eriksson Drive in Decorah.
FIFTY YEARS AGO: The Burr Oak Bluebells 4-H Club recently met at the Curtiss Marlow home. An informative talk on the proper hanging of clothes was followed by an interesting program on hair brushing.
...The boys 4-H club in Burr Oak, The Builders, met recently at the Vernon Wright home. Delbert Smith led a discussion on manners, after which the members saw a film on courtesy. Demonstrations were given by Greg Wright on "Ladder Safety" and by John Schnitzler on "Pulling Nails."
...An ongoing feasibility study is being held regarding possible uses for the old Post Office here in Decorah. It may be suitable for a government office building if plans continue.
...Approval has been granted for a proposed city campsite north of the city hall in a small grove of trees.
...Groundbreaking on the proposed Luther College "Fieldhouse" physical education building is scheduled April 9, 1963. The structure is planned in the "lower campus" at Luther, and a series of tunnels will be constructed from the "upper campus" for electricity, water and heat.
...Donlon Rexall Drugs is having a grand opening April 5 and 6. Tom, Bob and Joe will be at the drug store at the corner of Water and Winnebago to greet customers. A 19-inch portable TV set will be given away as part of the festivities. Among the grand opening specials, a bottle of Hobart aspirin, 9 cents; a toilet bowl brush for 19 cents; and a bottle of kidney pills for 59 cents. Also on sale, a modern hatbox hair dryer with shoulder strap - $9.
...Dr. O.W. Qualley has resigned his Luther College vice president position. The resignation is effective July 1. He is in his 45th year of service to the college.
...Wonder Bread and Hostess Cakes has moved to a new location on East Broadway.
FORTY YEARS AGO: Students at Decorah High School recently competed at State Speech Contest. Those earning high marks included Keith Sanderson, radio news announcing; David Faldet, after-dinner speaking; Gary Linnevold, expository address; Mona Trytten, dramatic acting; Laurie Olson, interpretative prose; Mary Bruening, dramatic acting; Ellen Dolan, dramatic acting; Joan Viste, oratorical; Connie Noecker, interpretive poetry; Kathy Orvella, oratorical; Kathy Johnson, original oratory; and Julie Holland, expository address.
...Recruiters from The Peace Corps and VISTA programs will be on the Luther campus this weekend.
...Les and Ruth Branhagen of Decorah have sold the popular "Les's Lunch" to Mr. and Mrs. Clair Palmer.
...Stars of the Decorah High School Drama Department musical "My Fair Lady" include Ellen Dolan, in the role of Eliza; Sue Grinna as Mrs. Higgens; Paul Simenson as Colonel Pickering; Fred Schultz as Freddy Eynsford Hill; and Dave Faldet as Henry Higgens.
THIRTY YEARS AGO: Little Ryan and Megan Christenson, children of Lowell and Diane Christensen of Decorah, were just a few of the hundreds of youngsters sneaking a peak at the baby chicks and bunnies on display recently at Security Bank & Trust.
...New Red Smock Bowling League officers are Teresa Bjornsen, Colleen Askelson, Shirley Petersburg andd Aggie Rima.
...Winners of artistic awards from the Decorah Regional Arts Council are these select Decorah High Schoolers: Patty Cook, Joel Carver, Brian Kupferschmidt and Deana Larson. Speech and drama awards went to Bob Usgaard, Dave Rhodes and Jenny Thornton.
...Lar Best is the new band director at Decorah High School. He had 13 years of experience, and will fill the post vacated by retiring Don Allen. He is the current band director at Willow of Quimby School District in Cherokee County.
TWENTY YEARS AGO: The Decorah Community School District can expect a $7,451 payment from the Iowa Trust Fund, which was involved in a securities fraud investigation several years ago.
...Decorah bed and breakfast owners have united to form a new association.
..."Outstanding Performers" at the recent Iowa High School Individual Speech Contest were the following DHS students: Kari Weiss, Sara Donhowe, Josh Raulerson and Erica Downs.
...A new capital campaign is underway at the local hospital. The program is called "Prescription for Progress."
...Now showing at the Viking Theatre: "Hear no Evil" starring Martin Sheen and Marlee Matlin.
...The most recent Pheasants Forever banquet, the seventh in Decorah history, set a record for attendance and raised about $18,000 for expenditures for wildlife habitat projects in the coming year.
...Returning letter winners on the 1993 Turkey Valley boys' golf team are Jeff Koudelka, Jeno Kuennen and Dave Smith. Returning letter winners on the girls' squad are Carol Lensing, Teresa Kurtenbach, Jenny Bohr, Kristy Bodensteiner and Heather Costigan.
TEN YEARS AGO: A new program called "Girls and Computers" is being offered at the local library. Tips on the inner-workings of the computer will be detailed for the girls during five sessions.
...Local teachers are proposing a $200 pay raise in contract negotiations. That would bring the base pay salary to $23,400 per year.
...Dedication is this weekend for the new Center for the Arts on the Luther College campus. The building houses the art and theatre/dance programs at the college.