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Monday, May 2, 2016

Times Gone By

Friday, January 15, 2010

100 years ago

After a period of forty four years spent in newspaper work, L. B. Raymond of this city, is out of the harness. On or about May 1, 1866, Mr. Raymond became identified with the newspaper business in this county by being associated with J. Cheston Whitney in editorial work on the Franklin Reporter, and almost continually since he has been actively engaged in the newspaper field in this county.

Last Friday, January 7, marked the day of his retirement from the work that had willingly been given the best years of his life and on that day, the junior partner of the firm, Mr. L. L. Stuart, purchased Mr. Raymond's interest, and the firm of Raymond & Stuart, one of the oldest newspaper firms in northern Iowa, was dissolved by mutual consent. The change so far as the business affairs of the firm is concerned, will date from January 1, 1910. The policies of the paper under the new ownership will be unchanged.

Mr. Raymond's retirement from the business that has so long claimed his attention, is caused by his failing health following the paralytic stroke of two years ago, and his consequent inability to have an active part in the work of the office. Mr. Stuart came here from Charles City in 1881, and soon after became a partner with Mr. Raymond, and the partnership formed at that time has continued uninterruptedly to the present time over twenty eight years, until the publishing firm of Raymond & Stuart has become a household work in this part of the state.

The Franklin County Recorder as now known, is the outgrowth of no less than four papers that were published in the early history of the county and flourished for a short time.

The Franklin Record was the first of these and the initial number was dated March 28, 1859. This paper ceased publication in 1863, and the material was merged into the Franklin County Reporter which was established May 1, 1886, and it is at about this date that Mr. Raymond's name became associated with the newspaper business of the county. On April 3, 1872 Mr. Raymond sold the Hampton Free Press, which he had been running for some time, to J. Cheston Whitney. Mr. Raymond also published the Hampton Leader for a time.

The Franklin County Recorder was first published January 8, 1870, and was an outgrowth of three papers that had gone before--The Franklin Recorder, Hampton Press and Hampton Leader. At this time T. E. McCraken was associated with the subject of this sketch but Mr. Raymond bought him out January 7, 1880. Just thirty years after to a day Mr. Raymond sold his interest to his partner, L. L. Stuart and the latter assumed the management of the property.

Besides the various newspaper experiences outlined above, Mr. Raymond also had a number of other-like interests at different times in various places. Among these were his work in connection with the Cherokee Leader in 1872, the Sioux County Herald, O'Brien Pioneer, Lyon County Press, Newell Mirror and the Sheldon Mail. To Mr. Raymond is due the credit of taking the first printing press into Lyon and O'Brien counties and operating the same.

Mr. Raymond's first work as a printer was done at Beloit, Wis., where also, he was a student at Beloit College, and he was a member of the Sixth Wisconsin Infantry, since known as the "Iron Brigade."

75 years ago

Horse Discovered Dead in Orchard Believed 'Suicide'

No reason for the act has been found, yet no inquest will be held to investigate the case of a suicide discovered by L. E. Julius in his orchard.

Old age may have been the cause, ill health or financial worries were not. The body was found by Julius hanging from a natural noose in a plum tree. Since no notes were left to friends or relatives, some persons hold the theory that the "suicide" was accidental.

Julius reports that he has never seen a hanging like this one before. Few probably have. For the body found suspended until "officially dead" was that of a horse!

Filling Station Reports Loss Of Five Gallons Oil

Skelly Building Is Entered Friday Night.

After thoroughly scrutinizing the contents of Skelly service station number one, located at First and Main streets, robbers, or possibly a robber, escaped Friday night with only one kind of loot: approximately five gallons of motor oil.

Versatile in the art of prying, the invader made his entrance by prying a lock off the window, splintering the sash and breaking a pane. Once inside the station, locks were pried off all drawers and cases.

Safe Not Bothered.

Although an assessor case and supply case both were pried open, none of the contents was missing. All of the drawers in the desk were rummaged through, as were the files. The safe in which cash is kept, was not bothered.

Dean Gallup, who has managed the station for the last three years, said this is the first time the place has been robbed. He estimated the loss of oil at approximately $6. The station closed at 9:30 Friday night and Gallup discovered the robbery when he opened the station Saturday morning at 7 a.m.

50 years ago

Funeral services for Mrs. Zelda Chamberlain, who was found dead in her home at Aurelia Friday, were held Sunday afternoon at her home in Aurelia.

Mrs. Chamberlain's sudden death was caused by heart disease, it was reported by two physicians who were called to the Chamberlain home after the body, fully clothed, was found by a brother, Earl Frasier.

School days - Here is another photo from the unknown picture series which needs to be identified. If you know who these youngsters are, or the event in which they were participating, please call the Cherokee County Archives at the Cherokee Public Library at 225-3498.
Relatives said Saturday that Mrs. Chamberlain, who was nearly 60, had not been in good health for some time, but that she had not complained of being particularly ill Friday. Lottie Wilson, who had been staying with her and attending school, said that she fixed the furnace, did other morning chores and had talked to Mrs. Chamberlain, who seemed well, before leaving for school.

When Frasier called at his sister's home about 11:30 Friday morning, as was his daily custom, he found her dead. Two doctors who were called said she had been dead for about one hour.

The Rev. Edwin Trigg of the Congregational church at Aurelia was in charge of services. Mrs. Chamberlain is survived by her brother and one sister, Mrs. Imo Krout. She had spent almost all her life in the vicinity of Aurelia.

25 years ago

One day was pretty much like the day before, until the women of Afton township decided to do something about it.

"In those days," says a longtime member of the Afton Community Club, "the men got out and did the grocery shopping and traveled to the neighbors to help with harvesting and such. The women rarely got off the farm as the children took most of their time. The only time the women of the house left home was on Sunday for church."

About this time the women of Afton got together and decided it was time for them to do something about this, and the Afton Community Club was organized.

The A.C.C. organization started with 20 charter members, two of whom are still living, Carrie Lewis and Agnes Blake.

In the beginning, invitations were sent out by a committee to all women in Afton township to form a club and to meet at the home of Blanche Rechoff on May 14, 1919.

The A.C.C. set up two general rules: Any married woman can be a member if she lives in Afton township or farms in Afton regardless of her age. If a woman moves out of Afton she no longer is eligible to be a member.

The A.C.C. was to meet twice a month and membership dues were $1 a year. The A.C.C. now meets once a month, but dues remain $1.

Each gathering was to consist of a business meeting, lunch and entertainment in the form of written games or contests in which flower names were mixed up or pretend advertisements were offered and one would have to figure out what product they prompted.

But A.C.C. was not just a place to play games, it was informative and educational as well. Because the women didn't get into town, some women had a great desire for reading material, so occasionally someone would read a chapter from a popular book. Other lessons might have been on making dress forms, hats or home decorating.

"Women in the 1920s never worried too much about what to wear," says one long time member of A.C.C., "as everyone was in the same position. So a lot of ladies dresses were made from flour and feed sacks. You never heard anyone complain though."

To raise money for the club in the beginning, the A.C.C. borrowed 60 cents to cover the cost of printing a cookbook. The cookbooks sold for 50 cents each. Records show the loan was covered and A.C.C. was happy with the proceeds. No mention was made in the record book on the number of books sold.

During World War I, a quilt was made and raffled off, each member contributing a block and a dime to have their name put on the block.

"In the winter, meetings would sometimes be held in the evenings as it was difficult for the women to get around so the men would bring them. At these times the women would serve huge meals, that was soon ended because so many tried to out-do the last hostess," remembers a woman who joined A.C.C. in 1947.

Sometimes the winters were hard, which made it difficult to get around. "One family would come to the club in a sleigh pulled with a team of horses, nothing would stop them from coming," says a former A.C.C. member.

In the early days (1920-1940) the roads weren't the best, most were dirt.

Mrs. Reg Hantsbarger, who has been a member since 1938, remembers, "it was muddy, and one of the first times I entertained, our road was in terrible condition and I didn't think very many members would come. I had 40 women and children, many arrived in horse drawn lumber wagons. One of the unspoken rules of A.C.C. is that everybody get to the club. No one could say I don't have a way, because one of the men would go around and pick those up that needed a way in bad weather.

After years of fighting the mud, the ladies found out they could do something about it. They got up a petition and got everyone to sign it thus getting the roads graveled.

As one could imagine, when a group of ladies got together sometimes the children were left unsupervised and when a group of children get together there is almost always mischief.

"The kids would play outside. One time the ladies were visiting and a child came in and said, "Mommie, Mommie, Donnie died a duck," remembers Mrs. Joseph Smith. "I was just a girl then. The children were always included in A.C.C., sometimes there would be more children at club (meetings) than adults. The hostess would always make sure something special was prepared for the children at holiday time."

The Afton Community Club is also community-minded.

During the fall when Sioux Valley Memorial Hospital was getting started, each A.C.C. member brought a jar of jelly and a tea towel to be donated to the hospital. Food has been given to the Christian Children's Home near Peterson and contributions made to Cherry Street Home and to the Work Activity Center in Cherokee in years past. A.C.C. had a hand in getting 4-H started in the county and was one of the first townships to have a 4-H club.

During World War II, boxes were made up with food, mittens, and slippers made from old felt hats and sent to all the young men in the service from Afton township. One member says, "A.C.C. is not just a club, we are all family, friends and neighbors. We look after each other in times of need."

In years past, the A.C.C. ladies would have volunteers go to the area nursing homes. Generally there would be a birthday party for those who celebrated a birthday for that month. "We would take a cake without frosting so everyone could eat it. The nursing home would furnish the ice cream," remembers a club member. "After everyone was done eating there would be games played such as bingo and prizes of fruit would be given out."

A.C.C. also helps neighbors in troubled times. "One family had a fire and lost just about everything, the club got a shower for them to help replace what they had lost, the woman who was not a member of A.C.C. but later joined and was a long time member," said Smith.

"When a member is ill or a death has occurred in a member's family, they are always remembered by flowers and cards. Also if a member's child is getting married a shower is given to the bride and a wedding gift is purchased," says a member of A.C.C.

"When a member of the club leaves Afton, a party is given in their honor. In the early days the ladies would put together a quilt block with their name on it, then the blocks would be put together and given as a going away gift," says a former member.

"There are now 21 members of A. C.C.," says Mrs. John Tuttle, president of the club. "In the beginning A.C.C. was the main entertainment, it gave neighbors a chance to get to know each other and visit. The club meets September-June, as people are usually busy during the summer months," says Tuttle. "We used to meet in the summer time," says a long time member. "It was so hot one time we had club, the hostess pumped water from the well and dumped it on the porch to try to cool things off. We used to have an annual picnic on the last Sunday in June," says a club member. "Members and former members with all their families were welcome. People would bring lemonade, sandwiches, and fruit. Now that times are busier and people go more places we don't do this anymore."

"Now the members are younger women who belong, although women who have children are also working mothers," says a long time member of A.C.C. "when we have children at our meetings now it is usually Grandmother who has brought them," says Smith. "So many things have changed over the years, but something that will never change is the friendships that have developed. We still look after each other. If there is a death in a member's family, members contribute for lunch such as: bars, sandwiches or salads, just what ever the family wants. Everyone is always willing to help."

One of the things that is gone in Afton is the Afton Community building which was torn down 3 years ago. "We had really good times there," says Smith. "Even though there was no running water or a phone, we didn't mind." The Afton community building was two school buildings put together. Some of the members of A.C.C. would have club there if their homes weren't large enough to hold everyone," said Smith.

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