At about nine o'clock last evening the fire bell sounded an alarm for the second ward and the hoarse notes of the fire whistle soon mingled its sound with the clanging bell.
The fire was located at the new gas plant and was under control before the arrival of the fire company. The compressor pump had been working badly and workmen were repairing this by lantern light.
To more closely examine a pipe from which gas was escaping a lantern was used when the gas ignited causing an explosion and igniting some waste lying near.
The flames were subdued in a few moments but those depending entirely on gas for cooking purposes and those using it for power were badly scared. The burning of this plant would greatly inconvience many people and it is to be hoped that hereafter repairs will be made by natural light.
The citizens of that enterprising town now propose to tear down the old edifice instead of repairing it and to erect a large modern brick building in consonance with the pride of the town and in keeping with the other fine public buildings of the town.
Of course there will be the usual number of kickers against the expense, but fortunately in Marcus, to that it may be assumed that Marcus next year will start its schools in a fine modern building.
75 years ago
Wages of all but seven road men employed by the county were reduced by the board of supervisors who met in regular session at the courthouse Wednesday. Several reports and bonds were approved, a coal contract was let, date of gasoline and road material lettings set and other routine business transacted.
Ten patrolmen who received 35 cents per hour with an average salary of $66 per month last year now will be allowed 30 cents per hour. Five bridge laborers whose wage was 25 cents per hour with an average monthly salary of $52.50 were hired at the same scale. A bridge foreman and mechanic were rehired on the same basis of 40 cents per hour. Two Colemen drivers and one dynamite and truck man are to receive 25 cents an hour, a five cent reduction from last year. Caterpillar and utility man and the elevator grade and utility man each were reduced from $120 to $100 per month.
Letting for 95,000 gallons of gasoline was set for 1:00 p.m.
Schedule of assessors' salaries with reduction from $15 to $100 per individual was approved by the board of supervisors Wednesday. Reduction is based on the salaries of 1931, the last year real estate was assessed. The new amounts were set by assessors subject to the board's approval at the annual meeting Tuesday.
Present salary of each assessor and comparison with that of two years ago includes Afton, Cedar, Cherokee, Diamond, Grand Meadow, Liberty, Pilot, Rock, Spring, Silver, Tilden and Willow townships each $120, 1931 $160; Amherst. Marcus, Pitcher and Sheriden townships each $115; 1931 $155.
Cherokee city $340, 1931 $450; Marcus $150, 1931 $200; Aurelia $100, 1931 $130; Quimby $60, 1931 $85; Washta $65, 1931 $85; Meriden and Cleghorn each $55, 1931 $70 each; Larrabee $45, 1931 $60.
Chief W. I, Nelson has received a check from A. H. Miller for distribution to the firemen who fought a blaze for several hours at the Miller home December 13.
The department appreciates contributions from individuals at whose homes considerable time if spent in extinguishing a fire, the chief stated, although none is required and never expected when the householder is of slight means.
50 years ago
Ice-skating on the new city swimming pool is forbidden because of the danger involved.
Mayor George Rapson said ice is being kept thawed at the center of the deep end to prevent damage to pool walls by expansion and contraction of ice.
The mayor stressed that the site is not practical as a skating area and there is no supervision.
"It is definitely not to be used for skating and is an unsafe place for youngsters to play."
The annual Farm Bureau membership drive for Cherokee County will kick off Monday, January 20 with a noon dinner meeting at the V.F.W. Hall.
Quota for 1958 has been announced by John Noble, FB fieldman, as 1,350. Membership during 1957 numbered 1,304.
Nobel said some 820 members already have signed up to date for the ensuing year.
Guest speaker for the kickoff session is to be Dale Nelson, director of field service for Iowa Farm Bureau. Nelson was formerly regional supervisor for Northwest Iowa and is well known in this area.
Frank E. Dreyer of Afton Township is chairman for the 1958 membership campaign. Working with him will be drive captains in each township, who will be assisted by 10 or 12 workers.
Captains in various townships are as follows: Spring, Lyle Fell; Cedar, Lowell Gano; Liberty, Keith Ohlson; Marcus, Avery Ames; Amherst, Weldon Ohlendorf; Cherokee, Harry Chapman; Afton, Lowell Peterson.
Also: Pilot, Jerry Peterson; Pitcher, Keith Walker; Rock, Jack Foresman; Tilden, Clifford Ferrin; Grand Meadow, Roderick Waller; Willow, Neil Warner; Silver, Wilbert Michelson; Diamond, Henry Buenger.
Heavy fog moved to Timesland early Monday and was reported by the Iowa Highway Patrol to cover the entire state.
The fog, humid air and gray skies, followed nearly two weeks of bright, sunny days and moderate winter temperatures.
High readings from Friday through Sunday were 52, 45 and 48. Lows for the three-day period were 22, 32, 34.
Traces of precipitation were recorded for the Cherokee vicinity early Monday morning.
25 years ago
Water line repairs to a section of West Bluff Street began Monday after the sixth water line break in the last four weeks, according to City Administrator Gil Bremicker.
The series of breaks and water supply interruption--termed "A pain" by one resident--may be caused by reaction of the iron water line with the surrounding soils, Bremicker said.
To remedy the situation, plastic pipe is being installed as a replacement. Work is expected to be completed by Thursday, he said.
Six homes on the north side of West Bluff Street between Ninth Street and the swimming pool are affected.
In the meantime, a temporary water line behind the homes is providing water, Bremicker said.
Carolyn Steig, 800 W. Bluff St., said her water service is back to normal after the temporary line was installed.
However, those residents affected must keep tap water running to prevent the line from freezing.
Stieg said the water is not being metered, so residents will not be billed for the extra water usage.
The last interruption, Steig said, was last Friday, when the homes were without water from about 6 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Steig said she coped with the loss of water by keeping extra water in the refrigerator and also in the bathtub.
At its Jan. 3 meeting, the Cherokee City Council ordered the line replaced by about 900 feet of the eight-inch plastic pipe.
The cost of the repairs will run from $8,000 to $10,000, and will be paid from the city's water fund.
As it is considered maintenance of the water system, the repairs will be done at no cost to the property owners.
While the West Bluff Street problems began shortly after the Dec. 15 malfunction of the city water control site on North First Street, Bremicker said he could not with any certainty link the two.
Similar soil-reaction problems in Cherokee have affected water pipes near the armory building and on Park Avenue, Bremicker said.
The second annual Swing Choir-Jazz Band Contest, sponsored by the Iowa High School Music Association, will be held Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Washington High School.
Competing in the contest will be area Class A and Class C jazz bands and swing choirs. The WHS Young Singers will perform at 11:50 a.m. and the school jazz band will compete at about 3:30 p.m. The Meriden-Cleghorn jazz band will perform at 8 a.m., with the school's swing choir competing at 9 a.m.
The public is invited to attend. No admission will be charged.