100 years ago
The first graduation exercises for county graduates was most successful and will be long remembered not only by the graduates but by the large audience which heard the splendid exercises. The Fish orchestra discoursed pleasing music entertaining the audience while for some reason it was kept waiting beyond the opening hour.
County Superintendent Miss Logan presented the diplomas and in connection gave a very sensible address. She emphasized the fact that this was only the first step in gaining an education, and that the young people had the advantage through rearing on the farm of having obtained habits of industry and through outdoor life beautiful bodies, which gave them a splendid equipment for the future. She hoped that they would press forward to higher educational attainments that they might in the future be leaders in communities in which they might locate and be that most desirable quantity in a republic, good citizens. Prof Maus followed along the same line of thought and hoped that the graduates might next year be welcomed into some of the high schools of the county. Speaking of the men who had received distinction he said they were often alluded to as men of genius and the only genius they possessed was the genius for hard continued work and he illustrated his thought by illusions to Webster, Lincoln and Edison. The fact had been noted that the responsibility early placed upon the farm child developed these qualities of industry and sense of responsibility and concentration which made of them the best students. He referred to the fact that the time had past when the uneducated could attain success of wealth which had come to one farmer who years ago settled on Iowa farms for which he paid only a nominal sum and had grown wealthy by increase in value of lands. Now, the sons of these were confronted by the problem of $100 land and this must increase to $200 land and education along special times was necessary for success. This is an age of specialists along every line and a good education was the basis on which the specialists must build. He, therefore, hoped the bright young people before him might press on to a higher education and he thought it the duty as well as the best investment a parent could make for his child to see that he obtained this education.
Jos. Montgomery thirty-eight years ago bought his first land in Cherokee county being 80 acres in section 7 and 40 acres in section 8, Spring township and paying four dollars per acre for it. He kept it two years and sold it for sixteen dollars per acre. Two years ago he bought for cash this same land at seventy dollars per acre and was recently offered about ninety dollars but will not sell even at one-hundred dollars per acre. This example well illustrates the marvelous increases in land values in this county and they are bound to go still higher. Mr. Montgomery has been a subscriber of the Times since the beginning and keeps posted in county matters.
75 years ago
Transforming the entire park south of Cherokee and the fields and garden plots along its banks east of the city into ponds of considerable depth and covering the roads at three locations, the Little Sioux river went on its most violent rampage of many years Sunday. During the night, however, the waters, receded about a foot and a half.
Early Sunday morning East Main street road was covered with water two feet deep for several hundred feet. Receding slowly, no damage was done except in a short strip where a rut and a deep hole were worn. Flags were erected early in the day as warning. Lights and two watchmen protected motorists during the night. By 2:30 a.m. Monday the road was clear and two yards of cinders placed in the worn places. Considerable traffic crossed the strip about 1 o'clock, keeping Roy Lathrop and Harrison Fisher busy directing drivers to escape the hole of a foot and a half depth. The bridge and road just north of highway No. 5 were submerged making them impassable.
Tourist cabins lifted only rakish roofs and a few plots of high ground formed islands in the park Sunday. West of the overflow bridge water was four feet deep, according to markers on the trees. The chute-the-chute became a water slide and the swings offered only watery seats. Current was of such strength near the overflow bridge as to cause a deep roar. Waters had receded about a foot and a half by Monday morning.
Many residents of the city considered this flood the worst since the disastrous one of 1891.
Old timers were reminded of the calamity which occurred June 24 of that year. The entire valley was inundated, waters carrying away houses, barns, stock and property of all kinds. About 100 families were forced to flee during the night, 75 losing their homes and other their household goods. No lives were lost.
Interesting phases and the rapid development of amateur wireless communication were presented to the Rotary Club at its Monday luncheon by R. N. Kjerland, owner of Cherokee's only wireless station. Mr. Kjerland explained that there are now 30,000 amateur wireless stations in the United States besides thousands more in other parts of the world, and that these are used only for experimental and non-commercial purposes. His own station has had direct communication with hundreds of similar stations in United States, Mexico and Canada and has been heard as far away as New Zealand.
Instances were cited in which amateur operators and stations had been very helpful in the transmission and reception of messages over long distances, including the maintenance of communication with polar expeditions. One message dispatched from Mr. Kjerland's station was delivered promptly to the addressee in Honolulu.
An exhibition of complete wireless equipment constructed by Cherokee amateurs attracted much attention and added to the interest of the demonstration.
50 years ago
Residents of the Cherokee area are reminded of two big events being staged on Easter weekend by the Chamber of Commerce.
Some 1,500 Timesland youngsters up through 12 years of age are expected to take part in the sixth annual Easter Egg Hung here Saturday morning.
The eager search for the prize numbered eggs will get underway at 10 a.m. tomorrow in Wescott Park just south of the city.
Candy treats have been prepared for all participants in addition to some 300 merchandise and cash prizes for lucky finders of numbered eggs.
The entire family is invited to join in Cherokee's first official Easter Parade immediately following church services on Sunday morning.
The block on Main Street between Second and Fourth will be blocked off for informal promenading in spring finery.
Two youngsters are to be chosen as Prince and Princess and awarded merchandise certificates redeemable at any Cherokee C of C store.
An orchid corsage and a family portrait are other prizes which will be given at this occasion believed to be the only such event planned in the Midwest.
Aurelia junior high instrumental musicians placed in the upper two divisions in a music contest sponsored by the Northwest Iowa Bandmasters Association and Morningside College.
The event was held Saturday, March 29 at Morningside for junior high and grade school music students.
Top honors went to Janice Kruse, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Kruse. Miss Kruse was awarded the highest rating in the division for her baritone horn solo.
Ten others receiving Division 1 rations were: Carolyn Anderson, Joan Jacob, Rhoda Wehrspann, Connie Johnson, Isabelle Koch, Bonnie Johnson, Janeen Anderson, Dickie Johnson, Nancy Chilgren, Bruce Thevenin and Donnie Steffens.
Nancy Chilgren, Bruce Thevenin and Carolyn Anderson have placed in the 1 division all three years of competition.
Division II ratings went to Marlene Schipper, Dan Peterson, Getty Hartwig, Judy Gustafson, Janet Anderson, Dale Sleezer, Myrna Mohn, Brian Thevenin and John Sjoberg.
25 years ago
Cheese-Butter Giveaway Makes Big Gains
In February, the federally sponsored commodity cheese and butter distribution program celebrates its first anniversary and according to Department of Social Services figures, the give away in Cherokee County has been a booming success.
The number of county residents receiving cheese climbed 140 percent, from 915 the first month to 2,283 a year later. In the City of Cherokee the number of recipients more than doubled, from an original 606 to 1,262 during the February 1983 distribution.
The figures reflect the total number of persons benefiting from the program, rather than the number of households. According to 1980 census figures, Cherokee County has 16,338 residents, and the City of Cherokee's population is 7,004.
Pauline Nordstorn, outreach worker for Mid-Sioux Opportunity, Inc., which coordinates the program, said the numbers are continuing to climb each month. "We always run short," she said. "Each month we order more for the next month and I think we're getting closer to satisfying everybody."
In terms of pounds of cheese distributed, the first distribution saw 1,500 pounds of American cheese given away in the county, with 2,750 pounds of the cheese going to Cherokee residents. By February 1983, the amount of cheese available for distribution in the county had jumped 60 percent to 6,000 pounds. And in Cherokee the poundage climbed 27.8 percent during the year to 3,510 pounds.
Originally, the program was set up to distribute commodity cheese to low-income households. However, in October, butter was added to the distribution program.
During the first month it was available, 1,920 pounds of butter were given away in Cherokee County, of which 1,152 went to Cherokee residents. By February 1983, the amount of butter for the county had increased 26.6 percent to 2,432 pounds. And the amount of butter distributed in Cherokee climbed 10 percent to 1,268 pounds.
Marilyn Scroggins, an income maintenance worker with the Department of Social Services in Sioux City, attributes the marked increased in eligible persons receiving the butter and cheese to poor economic conditions and the fact that more people are aware of the program.
Under the program, low-income families are eligible to receive between five and 15 pounds of cheese each month, depending on the number of persons in the household, and one pound of butter for each eligible person in the household. The maximum amount of butter per household is limited to six pounds. As an example, an eligible family of four persons received 10 pounds of cheese and found pounds of butter each month.
Despite the large number of local persons receiving the cheese and butter each month, the managers of all three grocery stores in Cherokee say they have noticed no significant change in the amount of cheese or butter sold at their stores.
In Cherokee County, the actual distribution of the commodities is handled by volunteers who are coordinated by Mid-Sioux. Dick Sievers, Mid-Sioux director, said about 500 volunteers are needed each month in the five counties served by the agency. In Cherokee County, 40 volunteers are used at the five distribution sites, which include the Iowa Public Service Building in Cherokee, the Larrabee Community Building, First Trust and Savings Bank in Aurelia, the Washta Community Center and the Quimby Community Center.
Sievers credits the volunteers with making the program a success.
"Volunteer participation has really been good," he said. "We could not do this project without them."