Harve Semper, the wealthy and eccentric bachelor, of Correctionville, is being detained at Cherokee in the hospital for the insane. The movement which resulted in sending him there is a friendly one, taken in fact by a judge of the district court, in order to protect Semper against loss of property.
Semper's ideas of the laws of property do not conform to the code of Iowa and the young man who bases his actions on the theory that possession is nine points in law--and then some--has come into conflict with the court many times in the past dozen years. He spoke very characteristically the other day when he said to Judge Oliver of the district court.
"Mr. Oliver, you are a smart man, but you ain't read up on the latest; you don't know the law covering my case."
Then Semper declared he had possession of the property in question and said he would use physical force to prevent anyone taking it from him. This, together with statements of Sioux City attorneys that Semper has pestered them almost to death in an effort to get them to take up his cases, prompted Judge Oliver to head off the issuance of several sheriff's deeds due to issue soon, and to have Semper sent before the commissioners on insanity. The judge said the Semper was threatening to do violence, that he didn't appreciate the import of the statements and that he would someday take the law in his own hands and probably do some one a great injury. The court thought Semper's property was being dissipated and that a guardianship would be beneficial all around. Semper didn't like the action against him and the Sioux City papers say that he declared he would spend his $40,000 fortune to prevent the appointment of a guardian.
Semper has twenty-five lots in Correctionville and a fine farm. Already sheriff's deeds have issued for the farm and six of the houses, because Semper refused to pay court costs in small actions for trespass, assault, etc. It is thought that he will be released shortly after a guardian is appointed and the legal muddles which Semper has got into are straightened up.
Although Semper is peculiar, he has many admirable traits. He is honorable about keeping his promises and has given liberally at times to worthy enterprises and charities. He lives alone in a cement structure at the rear of The News office and it is thought this solitary life as much as anything else is responsible for his curious ways. He has read much on legal matters and is rather set in his own interpretation of law. It is this last which has made him trouble.
Fanned by a snow laden northwest wind, the Illinois Central railroad bridge one and one quarter miles west of Meriden was completely destroyed by fire Monday night. The blaze, believed to have started shortly after eleven o'clock, continued to burn briskly throughout the night.
Sheriff Art Tilton and Wm. Huber, night officer, was called to the scene shortly before 1 o'clock Tuesday morning, but an examination of the area disclosed no indication as to the origin of the fire.
Motorists See Blaze.
Motorists first reported the blaze to the Illinois Central railroad and trains scheduled to go though were held up.
The bridge's wooden structure was 60 feet long. It is located just a quarter of a mile west of the new overhead bridge west at Meriden. According to Tilton, he was returning home from Sioux City the blaze apparently started in the bridge supports and then spread rapidly upward. By 1 o'clock the bridge had collapsed and was burning in a heap in the gully it had spanned. Only the two steel rails on which cross ties blazed was left suspended. Later the rails began to sag.
Trains leaving Cherokee or due here from the west were routed thru Sheldon. The freight trains scheduled to leave Cherokee for Sioux City about the time the blaze was discovered left the local yards over the northern line after only a slight delay. Passenger train from Sioux City due at Cherokee at 8:35 a.m. arrived at 10:40 a.m.
A crew began removing the debris and erecting a new bridge at 9:30 a.m. It is hoped by railroad officials the permanent structure will be completed by Wednesday morning. Until then all westbound trains will be routed to the north.
The 1958 Christmas season in Cherokee will officially open Friday, November 28 with the arrival of Santa Claus, a parade featuring "Miss Merry Christmases" and distribution of treats to Timesland youngsters.
Yuletide plans were announced today by the Retail Trade Bureau following their approval Thursday evening by the Chamber of Commerce Board.
Each school in Cherokee County is invited to send a "Miss Merry Christmas" representative. These young ladies are to be guests of the C. of C. at a 12 o'clock luncheon on that date.
After appearing with Mr. Claus in a parade on Main Street they will assist him in giving out candy at Eagles Hall Friday afternoon. Cherokee Girl Scouts will meet on Monday, November 24 at the Methodist Church to sack the treats for this traditional event.
As in past years, the jolly gentleman is to be available in his workshop for interviews with eager young friends.
There will be a store window decorating contest in competition for a plaque.
Transformation of the business district with greens, holiday decorations and Christmas lights is to be done by the Cherokee Chamber.
The city's stores are to be open evenings on the following dates in addition to Saturdays: Friday, November 28; Wednesdays, December 3, 10, and 17; Thursday, December 18; Friday, December 19; Monday, December 22; Tuesday, December 23.
It has been recommended that all stores close not later than 5 p.m. on Christmas Eve.
Organization of a large chorus to present "The Messiah" in Cherokee early next month is progressing, according to Norman Meyer.
The first rehearsal of the group on Sunday, November 2, was attended by some 30 persons.
Meyer reported that many more voices are needed for the success of this special program.
Church choirs and other musical groups throughout the county have been notified in an effort to obtain a larger chorus than in previous years.
Cherokee Men's Chorus under direction of Don McCarthy is holding sectional rehearsals each Monday evening to prepare selections with men of the Messiah chorus.
An orchestra made up of Cherokee area residents will be used in the production. Mrs. Robert Thomson of Cleghorn is in charge of organizing the orchestra.
Anyone interested in taking part in the production is asked to notify one of the following as soon as possible: Mrs. Thomson, Cleghorn; Mrs. James McDonald, Don McCarthy, Norman Meyer, all of Cherokee.
There will be few cliffhangers in Tuesday's municipal elections across Cherokee County.
Marcus has the only contested race with six candidates running for five council seats. Write-in votes will play the other decisive role in races for which no one filed candidacy papers: the Larrabee mayoral and treasurer races, and the fifth Meriden City Council seat.
Polls will open at noon and close at 8 p.m. in Cherokee, polling places are: 1st Ward, Community Center; 2nd Ward, Fire Station; and 3rd Ward, Sanford Museum. Only persons who previously registered may vote.
Almost all the candidates in Marcus for a council seat shared disappointment that more candidates weren't running. However, no clear issues surfaces as reasons they decided to run.
Incumbent Darrell Downs, 45, who was appointed to the Council this term, said he is "unbiased" and has "no axes to grind." Downs, area manager at Moorman Manufacturing Co., listed promoting new business in Marcus, especially on Main Street, and completing on-going projects as his major concerns.
For the future, Downs said lowering the radium count in Marcus water, possibly by drilling a new well and mixing the two sources, is an issue. Also, work will need to be done on the sewage plant, water pump and swimming pool, he said.
Dean Drefke, 36, said he is running for election "to have the interest to help in keeping Marcus on the move" by "encouraging developments and businesses into the Marcus community."
Drefke, sales manager at the Farmer's Co-op Elevator, said beyond that he has no specific issues. Appointed to the Council, Drefke said, "As far as I am concerned, everybody that is running should be opposed by two people because that way we get people involved."
Roger Leavitt, 58, the only non-incumbent running, agreed, saying, "I would like to see 10 candidates running for office."
Leavitt, a manager at Marcus Lumber Co., said, "I don't have any axe to grind with the present council. I think people ought to have a choice."
Brian Madland, 35, said he was "not interested in commenting" on his re-election bid. Madland, a language arts teacher, said, "I am interested in letting the voter pretty much decide. The voter knows what the Council has done and what the Council is doing now and where the Council is headed in the future."
Candidate David Stevenson, sales representative at Hesse Chevrolet, said that people not running, "is the biggest problem in a small community." Stevenson, 33, said, "I just felt that people wanted me to run again." Rather that deciding to run on any specific issue.
"I feel everything that we have done in the past has been good, there is really no big issue coming up," he said.
Loren Stowater, 56, said his decision to run again was based on nothing specific, and that he also had "no axe to grind. Just running, I guess." Stowater is local manager of Iowa Public Services in Marcus.
Candidates in other races are as follows:
Aurelia--Mayor, Burton Johnson; Council, Mervin Gustafson, Orin Nelson and H. Keith Virgil.
Cherokee--1st Ward, Dennis Henrich; 3rd Ward, Leon Hight; at large, Paul Goeb.
Cleghorn--Mayor, David Patrick Sr.; Council, Tom Dilocker, Roy Nelson, Vernon Skaggs.
Larrabee--Council, Duane Mummert, Kenneth Roethler, Richard Kelly, Jacob Bush and Michael Tolzin.
Marcus--Mayor, Robert Ames.
Meriden--Mayor, Kenneth Gordon; Council, Adrian Goth, Norman Fredrickson, Dan Rose and Robert Byers.
Quimby--Mayor, Vernon Corrington Sr.; Council, Donald Fiser ad Melvin Kohn.
Washta--Mayor, Dan Hurst; Council, Paul Darrel Beeson and Robert Nichols.