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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Times Gone By

Friday, June 19, 2009

Cherokee Opera House - Local residents are pictured above performing a program at the Cherokee Opera House. Unfortunately the date that this picture was taking is unknown.
100 years ago

Tuesday afternoon occurred about four miles north of Cherokee on the Sioux Falls branch of the Illinois Central the worst wreck in the history of the branch. Freight No. 692, Spinharney conductor and Barnes engineer coming south broke a break beam near Larrabee which was tied up as was believed securely and the train proceeded on its way but just at the highway crossing a few rods west of the Holly schoolhouse the beam came down and proceeded to do things. It plowed along the track at first taking out a tie here and there and digging deeper all the time until it was tearing out every tie, then the trucks began to go and they too went plunging in the road bed until some were entirely buried and others piled on top. The cars went toppling over until ten were off the track. A number of these were loaded with oats but only one car was broken so as to spill the contents and this was only partially relieved of its load, but the trucks were swept from under the cars, and for four hundred feet the track and road bed is so badly torn up as to leave little semblance of a railroad track. At one place a heavy rail was caught and bent into a perfect half circle. To describe the havoc wrought is impossible, it must be seen to be understood, but as a demonstration of the power of weight in motion it well deserves a visit and very many of our people yesterday visited the scene of wreck, where a large force of workmen are at work clearing the truck of the wrecked cars, rebuilding the track so that travel may be resumed as quickly as possible. In the meantime traffic is maintained by way of LeMars and thence over the Omaha to Sheldon. Engineer Barnes says that he was unaware of anything wrong until looking behind him found that he was only pulling four cars. Although the wrecking car with all devices for clearing wrecks and a large force of men in shifts have been working day and night the road is not yet in condition for traffic but probably will be today.

The editor acknowledges the kindness of Will Johnson in taking him to the wreck in his big Franklin automobile.

75 years ago

31 Suits Are Filed With Clerk Asking For Foreclosure

Flickinger Makes Survey at Governor's Request.

Recess Expected

Moratorium Move Believed Aim of Herring.

Thirty-one foreclosure suits are now on record in Cherokee district court, according to a list compiled by Clerk Wayne Flickinger in answer to a telegram from Governor Clyde L. Herring requesting such information. It is thought the governor will issue a moratorium as of last year, urging moratorium in such cases.

12 Are Continued

The clerk's survey showed that continuance had been granted in 12 suits and that action is pending in 19. A total acreage of 5,793.15 is involved in the cases asking judgment of $440,798.44.

Sixteen of the suits were brought by insurance companies and two by banks. Five of the 31 were filed in 1932, 16 in 1933 and 10 in 1934.

Cherokee county compares will with Sioux and Buena Vista counties, having fewer foreclosure cases recorded. Sioux county's total is 41 aggregating judgments of approximately $450,000, Clerk Dewey Wiersma found. In Buena Vista county 71 foreclosures are pending, according to the survey by Clerk Vera L. Scott.

Receives Telegram

The telegram received by Flickinger read: "Please send me promptly a complete list of farm foreclosures now on record for court action. Please state name of creditor and debtor in each case. Also the date action was started and the amount claimed. Clyde L. Herring, Governor."

3 Sioux Cityans Held For Parents

Taken from Coal Car Monday Night by Police

Three young people from Sioux City--Myrtle Randall, 16, Gladys Hanswell, 16, Robert Wilcox, 21--were taken from a freight train and held by local police Monday night on request of Sioux City police. The man was released and Mr. and Mrs. M. Randall, parents of Myrtle took the girls home Tuesday morning.

Wm. Huber, night marshal, and Otto Morton, constable, after receiving word from the Sioux City police, searched for and found the trio in a coal car at 9:30 p.m.

None of the three was wanted on a criminal charge but officers and the girls families sought to prevent them from running away. They were bound for Illinois.

242 Given Jobs During Week By U.S. Office Here

Geo. Collins, Manager, Reports Largest Week

Placing third in the state, re-employment offices of seven counties included in the district with headquarters at Cherokee reported 242 placements the past week, according to George Collins, manager. This number is the greatest reached by the district since its organization May 1.

Of those for whom jobs were provided, 169 workers were employed as public works projects and 73 in private industry.

12 Women Included

Twelve women were included in the latter number. Practically all types of work from that in homes, grocery stores, filling stations and as county road crews were represented in the private placements.

Within Cherokee county 19 obtained public works jobs and 12 private; Ida county, 4 public works, 15 private; Lyon, 7 public works, 4 private; Sioux, 38 public works, paving, none private; Monona, 3 public works, 14 private; Crawford, 81 public works, paving, 13 private; Plymouth, 17 public works, building and construction, 15 private.

Urged to Register

Women wishing employment, skilled or unskilled, are urged to register with Mrs. Gladys Elfrink, local women's interviewer. Mrs. Elfrink reports calls for all types of work and in several instances no applicants on file fitted for the jobs offered. Inquiries are frequent for women willing to work as full time housekeepers, living in the employer's home, she stated. Likewise opportunities for caring for children during an evening or portion of a day arise. Those interested in these types of work as well as clerking, stenography, cooking, nursing or other fields, may register at the office without expense.

50 years ago

Terra cotta Shakespeare - This terra cotta panel of Shakespeare is pictured at the Stiles Schoolhouse Museum in 1957. In 1976, it was moved to the Cherokee Community Center and placed on a rise southwest of the upper parking lot, where it still sits today.
Hardware Owner With A Smile

Elmer E. Swanson, 63, well known Cherokee merchant, is this week's nominee for the "Quarter-Century Executive Club." Swanson has been in hardware business in this city for some 27 years and would not trade it for any other town. Swanson Hardware is located at 202 West Main in Cherokee. Elmer Swanson was born November 20, 1895 in Worthington, Minn. Young Swanson graduated from Worthington High School and then attended Gustavus Adolphus College at St. Peter, Minn. Prior to residing in Cherokee, Elmer was associated for 15 years with Richbells Hardware in Worthington. Like so many other prominent city businessmen, Swanson has a long civic and organization list here. He's a member of Memorial Presbyterian Church, Masonic Lodge, chapter commandery, the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club, Treptow Post of American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and other groups. The Swansons have one son, Robert E., who resides here. Elmer has four brothers, two of them in Worthington. Another brother lives at Hartley and a fourth is located in Virroqua, Wis. Elmer is a lover of major outdoor sports of all types. But he might stake out a preference for the backwoods haunts--and hunting and fishing. The Swanson family residence is at 420 East Cedar.

Aurelia Flower Show

Some 200 persons attended the Aurelia Garden Club flower show June 12 in American Legion Hall.

There were 108 entries, which included 36 in the horticultural division, 52 in the artistic division and 20 junior entries.

Mrs. Garland Hickey was awarded the Tri-color and sweepstakes ribbons n the artistic division.

The sweepstakes ribbon in the horticultural division was won by Mrs. John Leber, Mrs. George Wieland received an Award of Merit in the house plant class.

In the junior division, Candace Johnson was awarded a cup in the division for 12-13 years olds; Kathy Johnson won a cup in the 8-10 years old division and Linda Reilly won a cup for the best collection of five leaves named and mounted.

These cups were given by The Sentinel.

Tea table appointments were in orchid and silver, with a centerpiece in orchid and white arranged by Mrs. Fred Wieland.

Visitors were from Aurelia, Alta, Cherokee, Quimby, Newton, Kan., and Ft. Wayne, Ind.

25 Years Ago

River drops slightly; watchers hopeful


Problems with flooding, with sewage in basements, with topsoil washed away, with vehicles driving through barricaded areas.

If it was related to rain, it caused problems Monday.

But by midnight, the Little Sioux had apparently crested at 23.84 feet after having dropped from that point to 23.80 since 11 p.m., the flood committee reported.

Richard Boothby, a spokesman for the flood committee said he was optimistic that the river had crested.

"I'd expect it to still remain high and receded real slow, but we might not have enough cushion down here as far as getting a drop if we get some rain tomorrow. It's a good sign for now," Boothby said.

Recorded at 22.54 feet at 1 a.m. Monday, the river level held fairly steady at 23.10 after 8 a.m. morning and began climbing again at 1 p.m.

The Cherokee County engineer's office said several county roads were impassable due to the flooding, including two portions of C38 and 8 miles west of Cherokee, C56 four miles west of Washta and possibly parts of C44. In Cherokee, U.S. Highway 59 at the bridge at Beech Street and East Main Street at the bridge were closed.

Five bridges were closed because of flooding, Harold Martin of the Cherokee County Extension Service said. A bridge 13 miles west of Cherokee on country road C38 has suffered "major damage," he said.

Martin also reported flash flooding 3 miles west of Cherokee late Sunday night and early Monday morning. About 95 percent of the roads west and south of there to the county line were under water, he said.

"I have worked here for 27 years," he said. "The water was over the roads last night, and I have never seen it before." However, most of the water had receded by Monday, he said.

No estimate of the damage was available. "It's going to be a bad year," he said.

Jeff Kestel, soil conservationist at the U.S. Soil Conservation Service, estimated that 50-100 tons per acre of soil was lost due to heavy rain in the northwestern part of the county.

That area was hit the hardest, the department concluded after surveying the area, Kestel said. "It kind of cut the county n half, it seemed like," he said. Four inches of rain reportedly fell in less than 20 minutes Sunday night in one area, he said.

Because the rainfall was so heavy and the ground saturated already, the rain had nowhere to go and ran off the fields, he said. "It carried a lot of soil, fertilizer, herbicide and some crops," he said.

Many terraces were washed out and some tile lines, he said. "Almost everybody we talked to in that part of the county, their terraces ran over," he said.

According to one report, cattle floated downstream across a fence, ending up at a farmstead further downstream, he said.

However, no reports were made to the office about livestock drowning, he said.

In Cherokee, complaints about vehicles driving through and children playing the barricaded areas, prompted the police to issue a warning for people to sty away from those areas. "We are going to take sterner measures if they don't," police secretary Jeanine Valentine said.

Until the issue about stricter enforcement of barricaded areas was released, Police Chief Norm Hill said the police department was relying on people to use their own judgement. "People aren't getting stalled," he said. "Sometimes they (have) got to go through, like the big trucks."

But by Monday afternoon the Iowa Department of Transportation installed a snow fence at the U.S. 59 barricade. "Normally we can get by without putting the snowfence up, but today it didn't work," said IDOT maintenance garage supervisor LeRoy Larson.

The fence will remain at that spot until the water has receded to the point that the middle of the road is visible, he said.

A number of problems involving water and sewage in basements were reported, according to City Administrator Gil Bremicker. However, no one had been forced to evacuate their home because of high water, a check with Bremicker and Jen Northcraft, executive director of the Cherokee County Red Cross revealed.

Northcratf said volunteers were sandbagging by Lincoln School and helping pump water out of basements of people who are elderly or in wheelchairs or ill. The Red Cross has set up a headquarters at Wilson's downtown and is staffing it round the clock until assured the river is receding.

Residents in low lying areas were advised to plug up any drains in their homes, but even so, basements were filling with seepage from the saturated ground, Bremicker said.

The problem was compounded by residents from one street pumping basement water into the alley behind them instead of the street, which caused more water problems for residents on the other side of the alley.

"So we have asked them to turn their pump around and pump it the other way," Bremicker said.

The City had sewage backup problems of its own, with clear and raw sewage overflowing onto Association Field since Friday. A relief line had just been installed to alleviate overflow problems, but proved inadequate for the amount of water and sewage for the area, Bremicker said. "We are going to have to install a new pump," he said.

Also sewage was bubbling up from a manhole at Sequoia Drive and South Second Street, he said. "We have too much ground seepage and sewer line and sump pump than the system can handle," he said.

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