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Friday, May 6, 2016

Times Gone By

Friday, March 11, 2011

100 years ago

Last evening Dr. Wescott and E. C. Herrick were summoned by telephone to the Herman Stempke home in Pilot, where about 5 o'clock Otto Osborn, an eighteen year-old-boy working for Mr. Stempke, had shot himself.

Downtown Cherokee- Here is a classic look at downtown Cherokee from the top of the West Main Street hill , looking east.
The circumstances surrounding the shooting as nearly as can be ascertained are as follows: The Stempke family about 2 o'clock yesterday afternoon went away for a short visit leaving Otto at home. They returned about 6 o'clock and found Otto lying on the bed in his room weltering in his own blood.

An examination showed that he had shot himself in the forehead seven times with a twenty-two caliber revolver, every bullet taking effect but the frontal bone deflected the shots so that it is hoped no vital point was reached. An examination of the premises shows that Otto had entered the bed room of Mr. Stempke located on the first floor, to examine a shotgun over which he was curious.

Evidently while examining this it was discharged as there was an aperture through the wall into the sitting room and a picture hanging on the opposite wall of this room had been demolished and the spent shot were found in the room.

This evidently so excited young Osborn and fearing severe censure and possibly punishment of some kind, he knew not to what extent, that he resolved to commit the rash act and, going upstairs to his bedroom he seized his small 22-caliber revolver and emptied its contents into his forehead.

The shots while taking effect did not render him unconscious and he walked to the dresser and reloading his revolver again fired four bullets into his forehead. This is evident from the trail of blood from the dresser to the bed. He then sank onto the bed where he was found by the family on their return.

Mr. Herrick is guardian of a small personal estate of the boy. Dr. Wescott made an examination of the wounds and hopes that the life of the boy may be saved. He was brought to the Hornibrook hospital last evening that he may have more careful attention than could be given him in the country.

Last night he rested easily which gives hopes for his recovery, but it is too soon to give positive assurance recovery.

Otto is a boy of good habits and very industrious but not of the strongest intellect. His mother is an inmate of the State Hospital. It is thought that the boy imagined dire consequences to himself by the reason of the accidental discharge of the shotgun and thought best to end the trouble in this rash way.

75 years ago

Three men pleaded guilty to charges of stealing coal in Justice D. J. Gilchrist's court Wednesday afternoon and were released to await for further trial.

The men are J. J. Dawson, Harry and Ronald Robinson. Dawson's trial was continued until Friday and the Robinsons to March 24.

Arrest of the trio was the result of an investigation by Sheriff Arthur Tilton and L. L. Totman, special agent for the Illinois Central railroad. Most of the coal in one car and a considerable amount from another was allegedly taken from the I.C. cars on a siding north of town near the gravel pit. The cars were said to be part of an interstate shipment.

Approximately six tons were reported found at Dawson's house which officers made their search Tuesday. Harry Robinson was arrested Monday afternoon and Ronald Robinson Tuesday. The latter two have been employed on a WPA project.

The sheriff stated that the Illinois Central paid out approximately $47,000 last year to consigners for coal stolen en route. More arrests will follow, Tilton declared Wednesday.

Although Little Sioux River was still running high Wednesday, the highway commission offices reported Wednesday noon that the river had dropped 17 inches between 8 p.m. Tuesday and 8 o'clock Wednesday morning.

This was a welcome counterbalance to the 20 inch rise between 8 o'clock Tuesday night and 8 o'clock Wednesday morning.

Waters were receding from Wescott park Wednesday and promised to continue throughout the day. Few ice chunks were seen in the river flow Wednesday morning.

A trace of snow fell Wednesday morning with .01 of an inch of rainfall reported for Tuesday. Although Tuesday's high of 57 was not the top for warm temperatures this year the 35 above recorded Tuesday morning was the high mark for morning temperatures.

Warmer was forecast for Thursday. Cherokee county and northwest Iowa roads

were expected to remain in their present condition.

50 years ago

Mrs. Guy Sleezer who lives at 2622 Felix in St. Joseph, Mo. recently sent a "Do You Remember When?" article taken from the Cherokee Daily Times of July 2, 1926.

Excerpts from the article states: "Do you remember when Cherokee's fire department participated in spectacular contests at state tournaments and aspired to state championship? A picture of Cherokee's first hose company No. 1 organized in the 80's was shown."

"Members of the company were: Oscar Hart, W. W. Parks, W. C. Emerson, Charles Knapp, Oscar Durkee, Captain J. B. Heymer, Larry Burrell, Frank Trego, Matt Benson, John Sleezer."

"The group" made a very creditable showing in a state fireman's tournament in 1885."

"The first company was organized in 1872. At that time wooden pails were employed for carrying water from wells and cisterns, as the only means of fire fighting."

"In 1883 four large cisterns were constructed beneath the surface of the streets at various pointsÖand were filled by connecting hose to railroad water tank or by pumping from the Little Sioux River. More hose was purchased and a Remington fire engine, operated by means of horse power so constructed that it could be taken to the scene of the fire and set within eight minutes.The engine and attachments cost $1,300."

"In 1890 the hook and ladder company consisted of 35 men with W. H. Chick as captain. In 1911 the equipment was increased to two hose cars and a combination hose wagon and chemical engine which was drawn by two horses."

"Today (1926) Cherokee has a modernly-equipped fire department of about 20 members with W. I. Nelson, a member of the department for many years, as chief. The equipment includes a powerful motor driven American LaFrance hose wagon, chemical and junior pump combined. Two paid drivers are employed one being on duty at the fire station all the time."

Mrs. Sleezer's brother, Cal Royer, was a member of the department in 1928.

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