Times Gone By

Friday, June 25, 2010
Watermelon Days - The Quimby Watermelon Days start today. To commemorate this annual festival it was suggested that this photo from the Cherokee County Archives be ran. Once again much is unknown about this photo. If you have any information regarding when this photo was taken and whom the young boys pictured in it are, please contact the Cherokee County Archives at the Cherokee Public Library at 225-3498.

100 years ago

Death came to Alva Conley, sixteen year old son, of Tom Conley, of Pilot yesterday in a frightful form. Alva had gone in the morning to visit at the Nick Maranell home with his cousins and the boys were playing in the haymow, Alva climbing to the rafters. In some way he lost his hold and fell a distance of some fifteen feet on to a projecting prong of a hay buck which entered his body near the groin causing him great agony and from which he died in a half hour, before Dr. Freeman Hornibrook who had been summoned arrived.

The funeral was held this morning from the home of the parents, conducted by Rev. Tompkins, of this city, the interment being in Washta cemetery.

The afflicted parents and relatives have the sympathy of all in the affliction which has come to them so unexpectedly.

Following close on the horrible death of young Conley which we chronicled Monday came a yet more horrible death to Mrs. John Lawrey, wife of ex Sheriff Lawrey, at their home ten miles north of Sioux City in Plymouth Co. Monday evening Lon Lawrey and family of this city while enroute in their automobile for a visit with relatives at Platte, S. Dak., stayed over night at the John Lawrey home, and Mrs. Lawrey arose before the other members early Tuesday morning to prepare breakfast that the auto party might get an early start. Shortly after she went into the kitchen frantic scream were heard form the kitchen and Lon Lawrey rushing out of his room say Mrs. Lawrey her clothing on fire, he seized a blanket and wrapped it around the terror stricken woman and by rolling her on the floor succeeded in extinguishing the burning clothing but not until she had been frightfully burned. Two doctors from Sioux City were hastily summoned and made a quick response, but all that they could do was to alleviate the intense suffering of their patient, as death was inevitable.

75 years ago

Five Cherokee County boys, three from Cherokee, one from Marcus and one from Aurelia, were accepted for citizens' civilian corps camps at Storm Lake Wednesday and left at once for Des Moines, where they will be assigned to camps.

Those accepted were Harold A. Garvin, Marcus; Clarence Grieme, Aurelia; and Harold M. Johnson, Francis O. Burch and Fred Miles, all of Cherokee.

To Iowa Camps

Camps to which the boys will be sent will be in Iowa. It is not known explicitly to which camps they will go, since several new ones were recently established throughout the state.

Until the next call for recruits is received, there will be no more appointments from this county, Mrs. Maudweye Conklin, temporary director of county relief, said Thursday.

Accompanying the boys to Storm Lake were Mrs. Conklin and J. A. McDonald, county ERA director.

Mrs. Conklin explained that each of the boys accepted for the camps this time came from a relief family. She said they many candidates were not eligible for appointment because their parents have not been on relief.

Conducts Survey

In the past, boys accepted were those who needed jobs, but the relief requirement was not passed until recently. In connection with CCC work, Mrs. Conklin has been conducting a survey in this county.

Twenty boys in this county who were former members of the fourth enrollment period of CCC have been contacted and have been asked to report on what they are now doing where they are living and other personal matters.

Two Cherokee county boys are among 56 Iowa State college forestry students now attending classes at an annual student foresters' summer camp being held this year in the heart of the big timber area of Bend, Ore.

Ellis Brooks of Aurelia and Arthur Quiring of Marcus are the two from this county chosen for the school. Homer Miller of Ida Grove is the only other student from this section of the state.

The course began Monday morning and will continue for two months. It is under the supervision of four instructors and a doctor. Studies are made in field operations, consisting of estimating timber, mapping forest types and studying logging and mining operations.

If Huey Long's "share-the-wealth" plan suddenly became effective in Cherokee county, every man, woman and child in each of the 16 townships of the county would immediately be worth $1,430.91.

For the total actual value of real and personal property in this county is $26,811,711, and the number of persons to share this amount, according to the last Iowa Official Register is 18,737.

Board Approves Figures

The actual value figure was approved last Friday by the county board of supervisors. It was the assessment of real and personal property, moneys and credits as approved by the assessors, and passed upon by the local boards of review as the assessment for 1935.

Agricultural lands in this county, always the biggest nougat, are worth $20,968,782, the report shows. Town lots, the second most important item, are worth $3,739.665.

Amount of value of new buildings on city land assessed in 1935 was somewhat disappointing, although the figure will probably be increased next year over this year's total: $1,750.

Actual value new farm buildings assessed this year is $5,850, while $160 was recorded for forest and fruit reservation. The total actual value of realty in the county figures $24,716,207, according to these figures.

Exemptions for soldiers and homesteads take off $158,849, leaving a net actual value of $24,557,358. Net actual value of personal property, which includes farm equipment, furniture and similar items, adds another $2,254,352.

The total actual value of real and personal property, with all mathematical calculations completed, is therefore $26,811,711.

In approving the auditor's abstract of 1935 assessments, the board set out "that the assessment or real estate for the year 1935 be and the same is hereby made throughout the county, the same valuations as that made by the state board of assessment and review for the year 1934 with the addition thereto to each particular tract of land or town lot the amounts returned by the assessors to be added to the aforementioned values as "new buildings."

50 years ago

A good example of minimum tillage in Cherokee County can be seen on the John Engel land farmed by the Johnson Brothers, Edwin, Dick and Ole.

Wheel-track planting is used for all row crops said Ed Johnson. Operations for planting are started by disking and harrowing before plowing to facilitate a good job of plowing. After plowing and with no further tillage, the land is planted.

Ed, who did the planting, stated that on upland soils that are well drained, it works best by planting about three hours after plowing, but not later than a half-day after plowing. On wetter land, he says, you should let the top dry out until the planter wheels will do a good job of covering the corn. In this case usually one day of good drying weather is plenty.

Cultivation is started when corn is about four to five inches high. Two cultivators are all that is needed. After the last cultivation a blanket spray is applied using amine, ester 24D at the rate of 1 pint to the acre and lays the corn by no pre-emergence spray was used.

Some of the advantages that go along with this form of minimum tillage is that conventional machinery can be used. Some of the disking, harrowing, and cultivation operations are eliminated and costs are cut. Overworked soil and soft compaction are avoided. This results in improved soil tilth, better water "soak up" and easier weed control.

Sioux Valley Golf - Recently, this photo from the Cherokee County Archives appeared on this page. Cherokee resident Don Johnson has since identified the men in the photo. Pictured on the left is Bob Astleford, who won the Sioux Valley Tournament in 1955 and 1958, and on the right is Irv Sorenson, who won the tournament in 1954 and 1956. The year that this photo was taken is still unknown, and Don also wasn't sure just who was congratulating whom.

With this type of operation you should have a separate tractor for planting, says Ed. The Johnson Brothers with the help of their dad, plowed ahead with three tractors each pulling 3-16" moldboards. This was about right to keep ahead of a four row planter. They averaged about 40 acres a day with the planter.

Planting must be done right after plowing. Therefore, no plowing can be done ahead of time and no sloping land contouring is a necessary.

Minimum tillage systems such as wheel-track planting are best adapted to medium textured soils in good physical conditions--soils where clods break up easily.

Changing over to a new tillage method for a major crop shouldn't be taken lightly. But wheel-track planting does have some real advantages. Results of experiments show that yields are as good as with the conventional method.

25 years ago

Cherokee's proposed street improvement program ran into little opposition from the public Monday but some citizens emphasized their desire for quality work.

About 45 people attended a Cherokee City Council public hearing on the 25-block project. The Council also received a few requests from property owners to review curbs and gutters the Council proposed to replace, but which appear to be in good condition.

The project, estimated to cost $665,600, entails resurfacing and installing new curb and gutter on parts of the following streets; South Tenth, South Ninth, South Eighth, South Sixth, West Locust, West Beech, Euclid, East Willow, Union and East Cedar. Also in the project, parts of West Locust and South Tenth that are now gravel will be paved.

City engineering consultant Ed Bigelow said construction will probably begin in early August. Curb and gutter work is expected to be completed by Oct. 1, asphalt resurfacing by mid-October.

New curbs and gutters and paving of gravel streets will be assessed to abutting property owners on a linear footage basis.

The remaining costs are expected to be paid with $439,369 from general obligation bonds and Community Development Block Grant money. Some CDBG funds are available to help low-income property owners pay assessments. The sign-up for that program was before the hearing.

Bigelow said the curb and gutter assessment was determined at $12 per foot of property along the street. Paving assessments also average out to $12 per linear foot, he said. Total assessments are estimated at $226,231.

Assessments cannot exceed the assessment estimate mailed to property owners but can be less, City Administrator Gil Bremicker said. After the project has been completed, the Council will determine how long property owners will have to pay their assessment and what the interest rate will be.

The city charges interest because it must pay interest on the bonds it has sold to pay for the project, Bremicker said.

Usually property owners have 10 years to pay the assessment, but the time frame could be shorter or longer, he said. The interest rate cannot exceed 12 percent.

After that, a final assessment will be mailed to the property owner, who has 30 days to pay the assessment without any interest. After 30 days, the assessment will be divided into 10 equal installments. The property owner will be taxed the installment in the fall, through the county auditor's office, Bremicker said.

The balance can be paid at any time but interest will be imposed up to that time. A year's interest is charged automatically as soon as the 30-day payment deadline is passed.

Some people at the hearing pointed out areas with drainage problems that may need special attention.

A few questioned how the paving would hold up over gravel. Bigelow said he did not anticipate problems because the gravel had a good base and no heavy truck traffic was expected on the streets.

Dan Morrow, 409 S. Eight, questioned proceeding with the project at a time when Cherokee's economy is depressed. Mayor James Clabaugh responded that bids may be lower now than they were a few years ago and that that CDBG money would have to be returned if the project is scrapped. The chance for more CDBG money later is becoming less likely, Clabaugh added.

However, another man spoke in favor of the project. "I feel this is a good thing," said Robert Johnston, 630 Euclid. "This city has set here with curb and gutter you should be literally ashamed of. I can't afford it as much as some others, but I still feel we should go ahead with it."

Some requested quality control in the project.

Jim Staver, 506 N. Roosevelt, asking Bigelow for thorough inspection on this project, "I think the project is only going to be as good as somebody makes it," he said.

Mick Samsel, 421 S. Eighth St., also called for responsible contractors and asked the Council to consider that when awarding the contract, "We should give some of these contracts maybe not to the lowest bidder but the next lowest bidder that has their business in town," he said. "I think it's basically a good idea, but I want to get something for my money."

The Council also received requests to reconsider replacing what appears to be good curb and gutter. Requests were received by Samsel for his property; Ron Ehrich, 201 E. Bluff, for a section of South Sixth from Main to Maple streets; and Edward Bevard, 802 W. Main for property at the northeast corner of Union and Willow Streets.

Gordon Steele, 801 W. Main, asked that the Council reconsider proceeding with the project on South Eighth from Main Street to the alley, where corner lot sits. The project would be the second year of improvements assessed against him, he said. "I don't see where I should be torn up two years in a row," he said.

Clabaugh said all inquiries and requests will be considered before action is taken on the matter. Bigelow said the city will have to consider not only the curb and gutter appearance but also how sound the joints are and whether eliminating a certain section will disrupt the block's appearance and drainage.

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