EIGHTY YEARS AGO: The annual New Year's Open House was held for the New Year 1933 and attracted more than 200 members of the Elks lodge. The program included an entertaining acrobatic dance routine by Ethel Barth and Betty Jane Erickson, music by The German Band of nearby Fort Atkinson, under the direction of Waldo Reisner, and songs by Reg Manning and Mit Williams and the Elks Chorus. A bounteous dinner was served. Sam Goetsch was in charge of the event.
... The Decorah City Corporation Tax Rate collected this year will be 10 percent less than the rate in 1932.
...Festina now has a fine new school. St. Mary's Parochial School opened to pupils recently. Cost of the new school building was $45,000. Nick Wagner of Austin, Minn., who also built the new Catholic Church in Cresco, was the builder.
...A local family of 10, the C.S. Weldon family, was made homeless and left with virtually nothing after a terrible farm blaze the other evening. The farm is nine miles north of Decorah. A daring rescue of the Weldon's little baby, Betty Jean, age 2, was made through an upstairs bedroom window.
...Following the trail of the stork from 1933: A baby girl, Lorraine Marion Ida, was born Jan. 2, to Mr. and Mrs. Lester Bigler of Route 7, Decorah.
...New members of the local V.F.W. Drum and Bugle Corps (just joining this week) are: Robert Rasmus, 9; Herbert Fretheim, 11; Floyd Berg, 11; Pershing Emmons, 7; Derwin Bernatz, 13; Gerald Bernatz, 8; Orval Smorstad, 10; Carsten Jacobson, 11; Kenneth Jacobson, 9; and Robert Selland, 11.
...The Skelly Oil Company of America recently developed a new, "all-in-one" gasoline. The Scott Oil Company of Decorah is distributor of the new Skelly product.
...In recognition of winning the Iowa conference football championship this fall, the student body of Luther, the faculty and the Decorah Chamber of Commerce, will honor the team Jan. 4, 1933. Both men and their ladies are invited to the banquet, which is planned at C.K. Preus Gymnasium. Gold footballs, symbolic of the championship, will be presented to 19 lettermen, coaches and manager.
...Burton Faldet, the four-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Oliver Faldet, was awarded a fine Packard Junior 1933 model automobile given away at the Grand Theatre the other evening. Burton says he hopes to become a better auto mechanic than his father.
...A total of 95 marriage applications were filed in Winneshiek County in the year 1932. A new five-day law requires couples to take out applications five days previous to their marriage.
...Miss Frances Lien of Spring Grove married James Ramlo of Hesper Dec. 23 at the Lutheran Church in Spring Grove. A reception followed at the opera house in that community.
...Shop Bridge & Baldwin for these bargains from 1932: hamburger, five pounds for 25 cents; pork roast, five cents per pound; peanut butter, three pounds for 25 cents.
SEVENTY YEARS AGO: The War Board of the county has released new farm machinery and equipment quota figures. There is a scarcity of available machinery and there is increased demand for steel for direct war uses - to build guns, planes, tanks and ships, leaving little for manufacturing of farm machinery.
...The local Coca-Cola Bottling Company is expanding here.
...The Decorah Junior Drum and Bugle Corps will be 10 years old next month.
...Roy Middlebrook has purchased the Otto Volkman 88-acre farm in the western part of the county for $65 per acre. - This from the front page on Dec. 23, 1942.
...Richard Brown has resigned from the funeral business here in Decorah. The capable Harry Steine will fill his position immediately.
...Dr. C.K. Peck, local dentist, has been notified he will report to the Naval training station at San Diego in a few weeks. He will report as a lieutenant in the Naval Reserve. Mrs. Peck and the children will remain in Decorah.
...Following the trail of the stork from 1942: A girl was born Dec. 17 to Mr. and Mrs. Kjerrie Swendson of Decorah; a boy was born Dec. 18 to Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Einck of Ossian; a girl was born Dec. 20 to Mr. and Mrs. Francis Bouska of Fort Atkinson; and a girl was born Dec. 20 to Mr. and Mrs. Arnold Hanson of Decorah.
...Non-Catholics were invited to attend the High Mass at midnight on Christmas Eve at St. Benedict's Catholic Church. Father Nolan was in charge.
...Lance Lillibridge has been promoted to 2nd lieutenant. He is stationed at Fort Sill, Okla., and he will be stationed in Gainsville, Texas, in the near future.
...The Dirks Ice Company expects to start the ice harvest here next week. Twenty-five men will be employed. A good crop of ice may soon be in storage for this year 1943.
...Clayton Haugen, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Gust Haugen, has enlisted in the Army Air Corps this week.
SIXTY YEARS AGO: Following the trail of the stork: Twins (a boy and a girl) were born Dec. 27 to Mr. and Mrs. Alvin Ruen. A daughter was born to Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Woodhouse Dec. 27; and a daughter was born to Mr. and Mrs. Arland Emery Dec. 28.
...WANTED: Manager for an insurance office. Earn $100 per week.
...The Priscilla Shop in downtown Decorah has a new line of furs at its January sale.
...K.H. "Pete" Peterson of Decorah has purchased the Floyd A. Hexom Insurance Agency. The arrangement became effective Jan. 1, 1953.
...Liz Kane of Minneapolis is a new member of the advertising staff at the Decorah Newspapers office.
...Ardith Benson and Marvin Bergan are the new queen and king at the Ridgeway High School homecoming festivities.
...WANTED: Local firm seeks married man for position of responsibility. Earn upwards of $75 per week.
...Now showing at the Lyric: "Million Dollar Mermaid" starring Esther Williams and Victor Mature.
...The annual Polio Kick-off is in Decorah this week. The polio epidemic here was the biggest news story in 1952. A total of 34 cases and two deaths were reported during the last calendar year.
FIFTY YEARS AGO: Craig Newhouse, Loren Leistikow, John Dinger, Jim Ehrie and Reg Wicks helped the Decorah Viking grapplers top Charles City in a mat thriller the other night. Final score, in the victory was 21-19.
...A large crowd was in attendance for the Christmas cantata given at the Friends Church at Hesper recently.
...The high school German class held a holiday party the other night. Jack Anundsen showed slides of Germany and led a discussion for the group. Refreshments included pumpernickel bread, summer sausage and cheese, Berlin pancakes and cranberry lemonade.
...A $1.5 million bond issue in the Howard-Winneshiek School District was defeated in a vote last month. A new district high school in Cresco and an elementary school addition at the school in Lime Springs would have been provided by the funds had the bond issue passed.
...The annual Christmas dance at the Decorah High School, also referred to affectionately as the Fire Ball, was held last week. Candidates for the queen this year are Kathy Omdahl, Helen Tofte and Sue Brooks.
...Russell Kephart of Decorah is the new chairman of the Decorah Chamber Retail Trade Development Committee for 1963.
...New postage rates are going into effect this week. The price to mail a letter rose from 4 cents to 5 cents.
FORTY YEARS AGO: "Dear Santa, I have been a good girl this year. I would like a play refrigerator, sink and a dishwasher. I would also like a Barbie swimming pool set, camper and swing set. Scott, Derek and J.J. have also been good. Love, Tracy Wuest ... Age 4."
...Sandy Christopher, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Darwin Christopher of Bluffton, recently observed her 16th birthday with a solo flight toward a private pilot's license. She is a sophomore at North Winn School.
...Several local youngsters were asked, "What Does Santa do after Christmas?" Here are few of the answers from a few of the students in Mrs. Violet Winger's class at John Cline Elementary School:
... "After Christmas Santa goes in his sleeping room and Mrs. Santa kisses him good night - from Michelle Forde"
... "Santa comes home and tells his wife to get his paper - from Sylvie Roney."
..."Well, I suppose his elfs take the harnesses off the reindeer and Santa goes into the house to get in his big chair and smokes his pipe and goes to sleep - from Bill Bullerman."
...Hamlet Peterson, M.D., of Rochester, Minn., has been elected president of the Luther College Alumni Association.
...The planned intersection of Montgomery Street and Iowa Highway 9 is currently being challenged by a group of Decorah citizens who are appealing to State Highway officials for a safer design.
THIRTY YEARS AGO: Carl Thompson and His Band will perform dance music at the Nordic Lounge at the Cliff House on New Year's Eve.
...Stella Kirby of Decorah has earned an outstanding service award as a patron of the arts in Decorah from Iowa Governor Robert Ray.
A brand new high-low table, completely electric, has been donated to the Physical Therapy Center here in Decorah. Therapist Joyce Johnson said it will surely add to patient comfort during treatment.
...Earn 12.25 percent interest on CDs - tax-deferred.
...The food service staff at Luther College has grown to include a new full-time baker. LaRue Hagen now prepares all breads, pastries and desserts from scratch. The staff has gotten away from the "already prepared" food items to a new "scratch program" on campus.
...Decorah Parks and Recreation Department is now offering ice skating classes on Saturday afternoons during the winter season.
...Amanda Michelle Floy is the first baby of 1983 to be born at the local hospital. Her parents are Michael and Marcia Floy. Earning a long list of prizes from local merchants, she was born Jan. 1 at 11:10 a.m.
TWENTY YEARS AGO: North Winneshiek High School homecoming festivities were held recently. The new queen is Vicki Gossman and the new king is Matt Stortz.
...U.S. Postal Service has been inundated with requests for the new Elvis Presley commemorative 29-cent stamps. The local post office received 16,000 stamps and sold more than 5,000 in the first day alone.
...A Girl Scout retreat was held last week at the U.S. Army Reserve Center here. Participating in the hands-on activities were young Scouts including: Melissa Wilmarth, Emily Trytten, Megan Christensen, Dusti Davis, Megan White, Catherine Bouska and Whitney Timp.
...The Fred Carlson Company of Decorah earned a "Smoothness Award" from the Iowa Department of Transportation for the airport resurfacing project at Forest City.
...Carl Oglesby, a leading '60s student activist and political writer, is presenting a talk at Luther College as part of the school's distinguished lecture series.
TEN YEARS AGO: Grand opening at the Old World Inn, Spillville's newest tourism destination, has been planned for mid-February.
...University of Iowa junior and former Decorah prep Ryan Fulsaas was named the Big Ten Conference wrestler of the week recently.