In our last issue we gave the particulars of a peculiar accident which befell Express Messenger Harry Pratt, who while sleeping swallowed three false teeth. As noted the operation to recover these was unsuccessful and the article foreshadowed the announcement of his death which occurred at the Cherokee Medical and Surgical hospital yesterday at 5:15 a.m. The plate in descending so lacerated the tissues that peritonitis ensued and this precluded hope of recovery.
Harry Hall Pratt was born at Monroe, Wisconsin, Dec. 22, 1808, where he spent his boyhood days. For the past twenty years he had been in the employ of the American express company at various places and for the past five years has lived in Cherokee having the Onawa and Sioux Falls runs out of Cherokee.
He leaves a widow but no children, mother and four brothers as follows: Mrs. Pratt, Sutherland, Ia.; Fred, Montour, Ia.; Bert, Sutherland, Ia.; F. J. Humphrey, Neb., and Clay, of Rock Springs, Ia.
The services will be held from the M.E. Church of this city at 1 p.m. today, conducted by the Modern Woodman assisted by Rev. Thompkins.
Deceased was a member of the Modern Woodman, Eagles and Trainmen and was greatly respected by all who knew him and the bereaved wife, mother and brothers have the sympathy of all in their affliction.
Installation of a municipal waterworks system at Cleghorn was assured Monday, electors favoring the issuance of necessary bonds by a large majority. Of the 146 votes cast, 102 were for the proposed measure and but 44 against. This, the largest vote ever polled in the town, represented the sentiment of all but six citizens eligible to cast a ballot.
Defeated in November
At a previous election, held November 13, 124 votes were cast, 66 favoring the project and 58 opposing. However, a 60 per cent majority is required to carry such a measure.
Approximately 25 men will be employed by contract for the several weeks required to construct the plant.
Will Seek Bids
Within a few days, the council will advertise for bids. As the project and federal grant are already approved, work will begin immediately after the contract is let and bonds approved.
Persons interested in assuring that the measure carry believe that after weeks of consideration residents realized more fully the need for a municipal system and understood more clearly the federal aid proposition.
George Nafziger and Gus Rud were clerks; Albert Ware, Otto Schneider and John Smith, judges.
Cherokee county board of supervisors Tuesday appointed Justus R. Miller as special attorney to represent the board in all legal work for the year, beginning Jan. 1, 1934. Mr. Miller henceforth will handle all work for the county, board members announced. James D. F. Smith will continue as county attorney, to handle all state work in prosecution of criminal cases.
Miller, just 23 years old, is a member of the law firm of Miller & Miller. He is a son of J.A. Miller, prominent Cherokee county attorney who died last August. He received his A. B. degree from the State University of Iowa in June 1931 and studied in the S. U. I. law school after graduation. June 16, 1933 he was admitted to the bar and entered his father's firm for the practice of law.
The newly formed Cherokee County Park Board held an organizational meeting this week and elected Rex Whitney president.
A.J. Leonard was named vice-president and Melvin Dorr secretary at the session Wednesday evening in the county auditor's office.
A spokesman for the board said the first six months to a year would be devoted largely to planning projects. At the end of that time, the board expects to present specific plans to the Board of Supervisors for budgeting.
Creation of roadside parks along highways in the county and the possibility of providing access roads to fishing areas along the Little Sioux River were discussed.
Another project brought up was the development of one or two larger recreational areas on artificial ponds or lakes in the county.
For the next meeting in two weeks, Frank Staff and Harvey Lindberg are to be asked to attend and discuss projects which the State Conservation Commission and the Soil Conservation Service are considering for development in this area.
The annual stockholders meeting of the Cherokee Industrial Corporation was held Thursday followed by election of officers for 1959.
Four directors whose terms expired were reelected to the board. They are Leonard Brown, D. R. Clark, Charles Bell and Lewis Shea.
In the board of directors meeting, Clark was elected president to succeed Brown.
Gunnar Osterling was elected vice-president, succeeding Clark in that post.
Reelected treasurer was Loren Anderson, Don Hughes was named secretary to succeed Bob Fassler.
Directors whose terms continue are Loren Anderson, Osterling, Ray France, Vernon Lundell and Fassler.
Heavy fog here early Friday morning gradually lifted to reveal the fairyland effect of frosted trees and bushes.
Following a top reading of 27 on a bright day here Thursday, the low last night was 1 degree.
The temperature at 7 o'clock Friday morning was 2 above. Clearing skies and sunshine by mid-morning indicated another pleasant, winter day.
Reports on reduced visibility because of fog conditions were received for the time up to 8 a.m. by Iowa Highway Patrol headquarters here.
In Districts 5 and 6, Cherokee and Spencer areas, visibility was 100-500 feet, in the northwest and north central portions, it was 100 feet.
The northeastern part of the state reported visibility of from one half to three-fourths of a mile.
In the Des Moines area, it was 300 feet to one-fourth mile and 300 feet in the southern part of Iowa.
Giving Christmas gifts to city employees has thrust the Aurelia City Council in to a legal gray area.
The council approved buying six hams with about $70 of city money for city employees at its Nov. 21 meeting, continuing a practice of six years, Mayor Burton "Butch" Johnson said.
State Auditor Richard Johnson questioned the legality of the practice Dec. 30 in an audit of Aurelia' books, saying it may be an unlawful expenditure from public funds.
However, said Deputy Auditor Warren Jenkins, the State Attorney General cannot give any guidelines on what would be legal and what wouldn't because each case is different.
The audit recommended "that the council thoroughly consider the appropriateness of these expenses and document the reasons behind the council's decision before authorizing any further payments."
Jenkins said, "The essence of it is just to get it on public record.
"(The council members) should go on record as to what their motives are, so that those reasons are on record, as in doing that which would have to be done in an open meeting--the citizens would have an opportunity to comment if they so desired, and perhaps get a better feel for what the community desired," Jenkins said.
Mayor Johnson said, as far as he understood, "if you are giving it to them for a job well done, it's legal." That was the council's intent, he said, although its members did not go on record as saying so.
The gifts were neither a bribe, the mayor said, nor has the council attempted to hide appropriating the money for the gifts. "We could hide it--put it down for supplies and they would never question it," he said.
Jenkins said that the State Auditor's office is not or would not be instituting any action against the City of Aurelia because the office is a "reporting agency."
"Any action would have to come from the citizens of the county attorney," Jenkins said.
County Attorney John Wibe in Cherokee said, "Before I do anything, I would have to know if it were an out-and-out criminal offense.
"At the moment I am not going to do anything. Over the next week or so I will attempt to find out what the facts are." Wibe, who learned of the practice Friday afternoon, said.
The mayor said he thinks there is a "good chance" the practice will continue, although whether a point will be made of going on record with the council's motives, he couldn't say.
"I guess we will bring it up to the council next year before it is done" if it is done, he said, "I guess we didn't think it was that big a deal."
Blizzard of accidents rides December chill
Cherokee police handled 54 percent more reportable accidents in December 1963 than in the same month in 1962.
Thirty-nine accidents were reported for the month of December last year, compared to 18 in 1962. In 1961, 21 accidents were reported.
Reportable accidents are any with a combined vehicle and property damage of more than $500, and/or any personal injury.
Jeanine Valentine, police secretary, said last December had about 40 unreported accidents which concerned minor fender benders.
In an average month, she said, there are about 35 to 40 reported and unreported accidents, compared to December a total of 78 reported and unreported accidents.
"That fact just amazed me," Valentine said.
However, the main cause of the unreported accidents, and the cause of the increased number of accidents can be attributed to December's bad road conditions.
Cherokee Police Officer Chuck Stubbe said December 1962 had 30 and 40 degree days, but last December had more snow than he had ever seen.
On 10 reports in December, 1963 snow and ice on the road were specifically listed as causes of accident.
There were only three references to snow and ice on December 1962 reports, and one on 1961 reports.
Although road conditions may be the main cause of accidents, there are often traffic citations issued to those involved.
Bad road conditions may prompt some ticketed people to complain about such charges as failure to maintain control of their vehicle.
However, Stubbe said that very few people complain at the scene.
Stubbe said when there are 300 cars on the road before an accident and 300 cars on the road after the accident, and none of those cars gets into an accident, the accident cannot necessarily be blamed on the road conditions.
"If every car on the street were in an accident," it would be different, he said.
Stubbe also said that under bad road conditions, such as those in December, people have to drive more defensively.