Many of our readers have probably read of J. Rufus Wallingford, the get-rich-quick business crook in fiction. He was smoother than the ordinary run of these rascals, for he could always get out of tight places and consequently keep out of jail.
Right here in Cherokee county, one of these crooks in real life, Alexander Eberlich, by name, has been operating for several months, and the only difference between his methods of business and Wallingford is--he once failed to keep within the law and out of jail.
Last Wednesday Eberlich was wanted at LeMars for defrauding a man out of $31 and Marshal Nagel arrested the man and took him to LeMars. Monday of this week, he had a hearing before Mayor Scharles, and was given thirty days in the city jail. This incarceration with free lodging and board will give him ample time to plan new methods by which to get away with perfectly good bunches of money, with more success than attended his latest venture.
Eberlich, whose home is anywhere he takes his hat off, hit Sioux City a couple of years ago. He confided to the family with whom he was lodging, he was heir to a fortune of $75,000 due to him from the old country and they in due time married their daughter off to the prospective wealthy lodger.
Later, they came to Cherokee county, and as his "ship" had not yet come across, he and his bride found employment at homes of different farmers in the vicinity of Meriden and Cleghorn. In several instances he successfully flimflammed good money out of honest farmers, but they did not start anything.
He made his "debut" in Marcus about a month ago, as a real estate dealer, with Omaha as his headquarters. It was his intention to buy out Marcus and start a boom. He bought out one of the important business enterprises of the city, bargained for two of our finest modern houses--and gave his personal note. Then a wintry blast in his direction--he awoke to the realization that he needed an overcoat, so he purchased one from a local dealer. But he didn't pay for it.
Then the real estate dealer, clothed in the garb of a gentleman, took a "business trip" to our near by metropolis, Sioux City. He pawned the overcoat for $5 and went to LeMars. There he put up a big story of misfortune to Frank Thill, saying he needed money to bury his child, which by the way has been buried several times and still lives, he loaned him $31. Then he sent for his overcoat.
All would have gone well, had not Frank Thill found out that the Eberlich baby still is among the living and that he had been defrauded and the major of LeMars had not seen things the way he did.
Mrs. Eberlich has fully awakened from her dream that her husband is an heir. As she is a resident of this county, at present she is being cared for at the Hoxie boarding house in this city until her lord and master steps out from the LeMars Jail a free man.
Review of all certified workers on WPA projects in Cherokee county as a part of the survey to be completed by the Iowa Emergency relief administration by January 1 was announced Tuesday by E. N. McIlrath. Program is being conducted by the state office through the county emergency relief units.
Purpose of the investigation is to remove all persons currently ineligible for public works employment and to eliminate those qualifying for special assistance, such as provided by the old age and blind and widows' pension groups.
Drouth relief farmers or persons employed on projects of other federal agencies are not to be included among those investigated. All employers of WPA labor are also to be officially notified of the survey in programs.
2 Witnesses Sign
On the questionnaire or statement, WPA workers are to give their names, age, employment assets, liabilities and income of the past three months. This is to be signed by the individual and two reliable witnesses not fellow workers on WPA projects.
Certification of workers who fail to return their letters of information to the county director of relief within 10 days after receipt will be cancelled at once, the state department declares.
Muriel Polson, 15, Marcus high school student and daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Polson, is in Sioux Valley hospital in Cherokee, suffering from severe burns received at 5 o'clock Monday night at her home, one mile east of Marcus, where the can of kerosene she was using in lighting a stove fire, exploded.
The kitchen and dining room immediately caught fire. Sioux Valley authorities Tuesday afternoon reported her condition as critical.
Mr. and Mrs. Polson also suffered numerous burns in extinguishing the blaze in the two rooms and then telephoned for the doctor. Dr. C. W. Ihle of Cleghorn and Dr. C. H. Swift of Marcus immediately rushed the three to Cherokee where they were still receiving treatment Tuesday afternoon.
Polson's hands and fingers were said to be so badly burned that the nails will fall off.
Demonstrations of progressive methods of high school teaching will be presented at a meeting to be held in Wilson high school December 11, Miss Irene Brooks, county superintendent, announced Tuesday. Teachers of four counties, Cherokee, Plymouth, Ida and Buena Vista, will participate thru cooperation with County Superintendents Christine Peterson, LeMars, A. E. Harrison, Storm Lake, and C. A. Bahnsen, Ida Grove.
Demonstrators will be selected from teachers in northwest Iowa high schools. Subjects to be exhibited include English composition, literature, science, history and mathematics. High school pupils will be used in the work. Visiting instructors are to attend the discussions in their respective major subjects. Each will continue about two hours, this to be followed by a round table session of approximately the same time.
Thirty-eight high schools are included in the four counties and approximately 250 teachers are expected here for the demonstrations. Seven similar centers have been held throughout the state
Iowa will have reflectorized auto license plates for the first time in 1963 and a dispute has arisen over where to buy the paint that will make the borders and numerals on the plates shine.
In the middle of the dispute is State Safety Commissioner Carl Peach who had offers from two companies--one in St. Louis, Mo., and one in St. Paul, Minn.--to supply the paint.
Peach said he has not signed a contract but has arranged with the State Board of Control to buy the reflectoized product from the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Co., of St. Paul.
He said he later got a telegram voicing the protest of the Flex-O-Lite Manufacturing Corp. of St. Louis and claiming the product he approved was more expensive and less effective.
Peach said the telegram came from Des Moines, not from St. Louis. He said he has written Preston Lay, Flex-O-Lite president, asking whether he or some other corporation official authorized the telegram, "questioning my official decision."
"Yuletide Fantasy" is the theme of the Quimby Garden club annual holiday show to be presented December 8.
Entries may be made by anyone from the community December 7 through 10 a.m. December 8. The holiday show will be open from 10:30-4:30.
Entries include the following Yuletide welcome...door decoration: A visit from St. Nick...fight for a neighbor; From Santa's pack packages; Tree Trimmers collection of 3 or more tree ornaments; Deck the halls...Wall hanging; Natural Beauty...evergreen branches cones and other materials.
Bright and Shining...one or more candles with other materials; Yuletide fun...make your own trees; Holiday serenade...for TV; Merry Christmas...give your own title; Happy Holidays...Pining table, one place setting (furnish own table); Christmas cheer...breakfast table one place setting; Reverie...sacred.
The Cherokee Industrial Corporation Wednesday sold a tract of land located in the industrial site south of the city to Grundman-Hicks Construction Company Incorporated.
The site is located along High way 59 and constitutes ground 200-250 feet.
Officials reported the firm will erect a concrete block and steel building to house offices, shops and warehouse. Grundman-Hicks will move from their present location on East Maple Street, as soon as the building is completed.
Industrial Corporation officials said this is another progressive move for Cherokee and will increase the city's industrial capacity because the present Grundman-Hicks building will be released for a new business in industry.
Advice from the public was sought Monday as the Cherokee County supervisors looked for ways to avoid a potential financial rut.
The potential rut relates to RUT: Road use taxes. County engineer Bill Bennett told the supervisors last week that certain legislators have said they want to change the way road use taxes are distributed. The proposed change could give more RUT money to the Iowa Department of Transportation, and take some funding away from counties.
The supervisors sought the advice of local Farm Bureau members, area school officials and the Cherokee County Taxpayers Association on how to deal with the RUT problem.
Some officials suggested getting state groups to lobby against a change in the RUT distribution formula, while others suggested accepting the funding cut.
RUT money comes from such things as gasoline taxes and motor vehicle registration. It is distributed to the IDOT counties and cities for road maintenance and road construction.
The county received just over $1 million in RUT money this year. Bennett said a change in the distribution formula could cut the county's funding by about $300,000.
With this proposed funding cut, road maintenance and building projects will either have to be cut back, or property taxes will have to be raised to make up for the funding loss.
Supervisors said they would rather cut back services than increase property taxes.
Bennett said a potential loss of RUT money is a problem that will need more than the attention of the state's county engineers.
"County engineers are only 99 people. We have a good organization and a good lobbying organization, but this is too big a problem," Bennett said.
Farm Bureau will probably lobby against the change in the RUT distribution formula, said Joe Dessel, a Farm Bureau member.
Clarence Anderson, a representative of the Cherokee County taxpayers Association, suggested the county should accept the cut in RUT funding.
One of the requirements for receiving funding like RUT is matching it with a certain percentage of local property taxes. The county has received increased amounts of RUT funding for the past few years.
This means the matching property taxes have increased, Anderson said.
Anderson said that with the current economy, the county should be looking for cuts and ways to relieve property taxes. The secondary road budget, which totals about $2 million, could handle a RUT funding cut, Anderson said.
He added taxpayers would accept a cut in road maintenance if it meant property tax relief.
Anderson also said the acceptance of the RUT cut could be used as a "bargaining tool." County official could use the acceptance of the cut as a way to show a spirit of cooperativeness with the state officials, and possibly prompt reconsideration of property valuation increases. Anderson explained.
Next week, the board plans to discuss the RUT issue and other legislative issues with Sen. Richard Vande Hoef and 7th District Rep. Tom Miller.