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Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014

Times Gone By

Friday, August 27, 2010

100 years ago

Cherokee, O'Brien and Osceola Have Charges Against the Enterprising Travelers Which Would Land Them In Penitentiary

Spoils Found Rich Apparel Under Filthy Rags Worn By Woman

The pursuit of the parties who were traveling through the country in a covered wagon and robbing as they went was successful. Sheriff Geister, of O'Brien county, having overhauled the outfit in Buena Vista county.

Although the gang had gone through the residence of Fred Wilkie and Gus Bobolz of Cedar, Sheriff Geister was permitted to take them to O'Brien to answer for crimes committed in that country and it now develops that Osceola county has claims upon them which may be considered superior to those in O'Brien and they may be turned over to officers from that county.

The woman was clothed in rags but when searched there were found beneath the rags rich garments, evidently lifted from residence visited while the occupants were away. In addition a recent receipt for goods shipped to Des Moines was found. Evidently there is a fence there which receives the stolen goods.

It is said that many houses have been looted along the way the outfit has traveled, money, silverware and good garments being sought. At the Bobolz home they took about everything moveable but one pair of overalls for Gus and a slip for the baby.


Cherokee County has had at least one, and possibly more cases of infantile paralysis this summer.

This startling fact was reported at the meeting of the Cherokee County Medical Society Tuesday. The case or cases occurred in a family near Aurelia, and the description was about as follows. The first suspected case was a child whose parents brought it down from Sioux Rapids across county with a team. The child was sick when it came down, and immediately after its arrival developed convulsions very closely resembling tetanus or lock jaw, although no wound could be discovered anywhere upon the child's body. This child visited in two families near Aurelia. In one there was a typical case of Infantile Paralysis, and the little sufferer still has remaining a paralysis in one leg. Another child in this family had the premonitory symptoms of the paralysis, but made a perfect recovery. A child in another family where the first mentioned child visited had the premonitory symptoms of infantile paralysis, but was so much better the next morning that the physician was told not to come out. A few hours later, however, he was called, and the child died in a few minutes after his arrival.

Only one of these cases was undoubted infantile paralysis, but the other cases has such symptoms as are frequently seen in epidemics of the disease, but the physicians of this county are fully aware of the likelihood of the occurrence of other cases, and the interest shown at the County Medical Society meeting was extreme.

The paper of the evening was by Dr. P. B. Cleaves who last week attended the meeting of the physicians with the State Board of Health at Des Moines, which was called to hear the report of Dr. Frost, the government expert who has been studying the epidemic at and near Mason City.

The paper outlined all that is known concerning the cause, namely; that it is a microbe, too small to been by the microscope, but nevertheless can be grown outside the body, and has been injected into monkeys, and from monkey to monkey through at least 25 generations, producing the disease in every case. In size it resembles the germ rabies or hydrophobia, which also attacks the nervous system. The virus is resistant to freezing and to drying, but is easily killed by heat and by the action of germicides. One attack renders the animal or the individual who has had it insusceptible to another attack. And the blood serum of an animal or a person having had the disease is inimical to the development of the disease in other persons.

The death rate in the Mason City epidemic up to last Wednesday was 10 percent and perhaps 15 percent. The two deaths which are still under investigation were not surely from infantile paralysis.

The symptoms are the ordinary ones of acute disease, such as fever, headache, vomiting, pain in the back and limbs, but there are some special signs which the doctors can elicit which may give a clue to the trouble. These are followed in 5 to 6 days, possibly shorter and sometimes longer, by a limp paralysis of one or more of the extremities.

To prevent the spread of the disease, at Mason City they are isolating all the suspicious cases, and disinfecting their discharges. Besides this they are keeping out pets, insects and rodents, sprinkling the streets, disinfecting the houses, and advising people to keep away from public gatherings. All this is done by public sentiment and by voluntary contribution, since the last legislature in its wondrous wisdom passed on act providing that only scarlet fever, diphtheria, small pox, bubonic plague, yellow fever, and Asiatic cholera, and leprosy, could be compelled to submit to quarantine or disinfection.

The discussion by the doctors elicited many important facts, and the Cherokee county doctors are surely as well fitted to cope with the disease as any in the state.

The meeting took place n the infirmary of the State Hospital, the new building, which is not yet occupied, and the doctors were shown over the building which is completely equipped for the treatment of curable cases of mental disease. After this the hospital physicians served a luncheon in the dining room of the building. All in all, the meeting was a most pleasant and profitable one.

75 years ago

Everett Rice, 13 year old son of Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Rice, sustained a broken leg and other serious injuries in a two truck collision that occurred at 6:10 o'clock Monday night on the east outskirts of Cherokee.

The boy was riding on the running board of a Cave milk truck which was in collision with a gravel truck driven by Ted Bonsall of Larraabee. In the milk truck wee the driver, Leslie Gregg, his wife and their infant daughter, Delores.

All five persons were injured and both trucks badly damaged. Rice was most seriously injured and was rushed to Sioux Valley hospital where Tuesday morning his condition was described as fair.

The accident occurred on highway 5 just west of the bridge at the city limits. Gregg came out of a drive and was believed to have been blinded by dust and the sun. The Bonsall truck was traveling east.

(Photo)
Cherokee Firemen - Here's a look at the Cherokee Fire Department in 1928,during their 46th Annual Ball. Pictured front row, left to right, Clarence Perrin, Pat Mentor, Irl Nelson (Fire Chief), Lon Lawrey, and Ross Hart. Second row: Fred Heart, Lyman Simpson, Cal Royer, Harold McFarlane, Josh Halford, and Merle Wall. Third row: Dale Goldie, John Goeb, Will Huber, Karl Karlson and Leo Morton.
Gregg sustained head injuries, his wife and daughter were bruised and Bonsall suffered slight bruises. The milk truck was practically demolished, and the front end of the gravel truck was also smashed.

Immediately following the accident S. M. Jesperson, member of the state highway patrol, was called to investigate.


The cars were damaged but no one injured in a collision which occurred Tuesday afternoon on the gravel road one-half mile south of the Maryhill corner.

In one car were E. L Ladwig, Rock township farmer, and his family, while in the other were D. E. Wallace of Cherokee, driver, and John Godwin, Cherokee, passenger.

Tuesday's accident was the fourth since Friday in which Cherokee county persons have been involved. In all four accidents there has been heavy property loss but no loss of life.

The cars Ladwig and Wallace were driving collided on one of the many hills on the Maryhill road. The fact that the impact was not a complete head on is believed to have resulted in less loss.

Both cars, however, were smashed where they grazed each other. The accident was reported at once to county authorities.

Monday afternoon Everett Rice sustained a broken leg when a milk truck driven by Ted Bonsall of Larrabee were in collision at the eastern outskirts of Cherokee. Rice was reported to be recovering Wednesday.

E. J. Baum of the Maryhill vicinity was involved in an accident near Remsen Sunday night, according to reports form LeMars; and Dick Jenness' gravel truck and a car driven by Hjalmer Johnson were in collision near Grand Meadow Friday afternoon.

50 years ago

Three Timesland youngsters are hospitalized here for injuries suffered Thursday in a variety of mishaps.

Two-year-old Marcy Jean Johnson of Washta suffered second degree burns on the lower part of her body when she backed into a pan of boiling water which had been prepared for scalding chicken.

The little girl, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Dale Johnson, was reported to "satisfactory" condition this morning at Sioux Valley Memorial Hospital.

Steven Kay, 7, Holstein, suffered a fractured leg when he fell from a stack of bales. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Kay. Hospital attendants listed his condition as "good."

Larry Heckert, 9-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Myrl Heckert of Peterson, incurred a head injury when the bike he was riding ran into the side of a car. His condition was reported as "satisfactory" today.

The car was driven by Melvin Saxby, 72, Peterson, who told authorities the boy turned into the side of the vehicle unexpectedly.


The Cherokee County Conservation Board has completed purchase of property in Section 16 of Willow Township from Kenneth Stieneke.

That was announced following a regular meeting of the board Thursday evening at the courthouse.

Plans were made at the session to put up "access area" signs and an entrance at the former Stieneke land located on the east side of the Little Sioux River.

Discussion took place on the possibility of obtaining a piece of land in Silver Township and also just northeast of the city for additional recreation areas.

A sign has been placed near the entrance to the Meriden roadside park developed by the Conservation Board. Facilities at that area are complete and it is reported to be in frequent use by travelers and for picnics.

25 years ago

For almost 30 years, Clausen has owned and operated VT Industries Inc., a company that specializes in countertops and laminated doors.

The company began in a 2,800 square foot building in downtown Holstein. At that time, Clausen had two employees: Wendell Swanson, who is the countertop division plant manager, and Ewald Broderson, who is now retired.

The Holstein plan now covers 160,000 square feet on the north side of town, and has 120 employees.

VT Industries, formerly called Van-Top Inc., has had a philosophy of expansion during its history, Clausen said.

"We're never satisfied with just status quo," he said.

Clausen had been working for Holstein Lumber when a desire to go into manufacturing and fabrication prompted him to start his own business.

In the beginning, the company's main products were countertops and vanities for the home.

In 1961, VT began making doors for the commercial market.

A variety of products have come out of VT Industries, including desk tops, restaurant equipment, kitchen cabinets, toilet partitions and other specialty items.

In 1980, however, Clausen cut back on many of these items, and put emphasis on doors, countertops and desk tops.

"We couldn't be all things to all people. So, we concentrated on the items we thought we knew best," Clausen said.

The company is now going through another product expansion, with the manufacturing of furniture components.

Besides its operation in Holstein, VT Industries has opened manufacturing plants in Bryan, Texas, (1976) and Shelbyville, Ind. (1980).

All doors made by VT Industries come out of the Holstein plant. The manufacturing of doors makes up about 50 percent of the work at the Holstein plant, Clausen said.

The Holstein plant produces 40,000 linear feet of countertop and 2,000 doors per week. This is enough countertops for 2,500 homes and enough doors for six hospitals the size of Sioux Valley Memorial in Cherokee.

The plant also has the capacity to produce 1,000 desk tops per week.

Clausen attributes much of the success of his business to marketing strategies.

When VT Industries started, many similar companies were doing business regionally. The lack of a strong local market, however, caused Clausen to seek a wide sales area.

VT Industries customers include K-Mart; Payless Cashways, Inc.; Plywood Minnesota; Floor to Ceiling Stores; Howard Johnson Motels; Hilton Hotels; MCM Grand Hotel, Las Vegas, Nev.; Marian Health Center, Sioux City; St. Lukes Hospital, Sioux City; University of Chicago Medical Center; Iowa State University's College of Veterinary Medicine; the Methodist Hospital and Lutheran Hospital in Omaha, Neb., and Hospital Corp. of American.

VT Industries customers come from all 50 states, and several foreign countries, including, Saudi Arabia, Panama and Puerto Rico.

In the late 1970s, the building industry went into a slump, causing a potential loss of customers for VT Industries.

To make up for that, the company's sales force put extra emphasis on the remodeling and replacement market.

"We doubled our sales force to overcome the downturn in business due to the lack of construction," Clausen said.

In another marketing move, VT Industries went after the do-it-yourself market which began growing in the 1970s, Clausen said.

(Photo)
The old Cherokee County Jail - Here a look at the old county jail that sat next to the Cherokee County Court House on Willow St. The brick facility was at various times over the years served as a residence for the sheriff, as well as the county jail. The building quarters were used as the county jail from 1941 until 1977 and Sheriff Bud Stroud and his family lived in the residence for some 17 years while he served as sheriff. During the time the building was used to house prisoners, the sheriff's wife usually cooked most of the meals for the inmates. Stroud and his family moved out in 1984 when the building became dilapidated and the building was razed in 1987.
Outside of marketing, Clausen said the main key to VT Industries' success has been the people who work for him.

"We've had good relations with our employees. The value of our people have made this company grow," Clausen said.

VT Industries will see more growth in the future, Clausen said. Among his hopes are a large share of the furniture component market, and expansion of the production of wood veneer and plastic laminated doors.

Just as he expects growth, Clausen said he also expects to be part of the Holstein community for years to come.

"We're very much a part of the local community, and proud to be," he said.



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