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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Times Gone By

Friday, January 13, 2012

Street scene - Looking North from Maple Street onto Second Street shows what the building that currently houses Natural Heath Solutions, Cary's Café and the Chronicle Times looked like in 1912.
100 years ago

We, the teachers of the Cherokee Public Schools, note with pleasure the determination of the city government to enforce the curfew ordinate. Being responsible in a measure for the welfare of the young of our city we take this opportunity to express our enthusiastic approval of the measure and to pledge the city government our best efforts in its strict enforcement.

We have been shocked at the seeming disregard of some parents for the welfare of their children. Young boys and girls are on our streets at all hours. Parents should know that students of this subject are agreed that the streets of our best towns are among the most dangerous places boys and girls can be at night, and railway stations are little better at any hour.

We have been greatly alarmed because some of our brightest and most promising boys and girls are being injured through their contact on the streets with older people of questionable morality. While the ordinance sets the age at 14, wise parents will raise the limit at least two years.

It is also a well established fact that permitting young people of immature judgment to associate indiscriminately without chaperone is a dangerous practice. The best place for these young people is at home.

Downtown, 1913 - Here is a look at the Southwest side of Main Street in Cherokee back in 1913. It is interesting to see how people used the sides of buildings to place advertisements.
Wise parents will make the home attractive, and permit their children to entertain their friends in the home. A little damage to the floors, rugs and furniture is preferable to a spot on the character. If parents want their boys and girls at home they must be there themselves and take an interest in them.

It is surprising what an influence can be exerted over almost any boy or girl by just a little interest in them. No child is too bad to be trusted and no child is too good to be watched. Let parents take at least as much interest in their children as they take in their business.

Superintendent Cozier of the reform school says: "Most of these young people are here as a result of a lack of parental control.

We wish to quote this vice commission of Chicago on this subject. They say "We appeal to parents that their children be not given too much liberty; that parents and guardians accompany children of all ages upon their amusement excursions."

Much that was discovered in Chicago can be duplicated in any town. In view of these facts we urge every person interested in the welfare of the young people of this city to enthusiastically support the city government in the strict enforcement of the curfew ordinance.

Blanche Williamson for Webster, Mrs. Pease for Garfield, Minnie Petrashock for High school, L. H. Maus, Supt.

75 years ago

Floyd A. Prescott, 49, Afton township farmer, was instantly killed at 4:30 o'clock Sunday afternoon when he fell nine feet out of a tree near the driveway on his farm three and one-half miles directly north of Aurelia, Dr. C. F. Quinn, county coroner, reported on Monday morning. Prescott's neck was broken and his skull crushed.

He had killed and dressed a rabbit earlier in the afternoon and at 4:10 p.m. announced his intention of sawing a limb off a tree in the driveway to get firewood for the house. When Prescott did not return by 5 o'clock, Mrs. Prescott went out into the yard and found him lying in the snow.

Howard Phipps and C. G. Turner of Cherokee who had been visiting at a farm farther up the road were driving by at the time and stopped in answer to her screams. It was Turner who notified Dr. Quinn of the accident at 5:00 p.m.

No Inquiry Held

Dr. Quinn and Sheriff A. N. Tilton investigated and decided no inquiry is necessary. They believe that the Afton township farmer, standing on the branch of the tree, apparently slipped and fell either sideways or backward.

Surviving are his widow, his father, H. W. Prescott, living six miles east of Cherokee, one brother and one sister. Body is at Appleyard and Boothby Funeral home. Funeral arrangements will be announced later.

The powerful influence of Senator Guy M. Gillette has been enlisted in opposition to the rumored plan to discontinue the post office at Larrabee, leaving that town and community without local postal facilities and to be served only from some other source.

People of Larrabee and vicinity have been much aroused by reports of this proposed discontinuance and have been circulating petitions in opposition to such a move.

In a letter to Justin Barry of The Daily Times, under date of January 7, Senator Gillette says: "I have your letter of January 5. Yours is the first intimation reaching my office having reference to any proposal for abandonment of the Larrabee post office.

I am today addressing a letter to the post office department asking their plans and protesting such a change, if it is in contemplation. I cannot feel there is any justification for such drastic action, and unless the department can show mightily convincing reasons for this action, if contemplated, you may rest assured I shall protest with all the vigor that my office can present."

50 years ago

The Junior Red Cross membership and fund drive has been completed and $191.32 was donated.

The announcement was made during a regular meeting of the Cherokee County Chapter of the American Red Cross.

Margene Otto, treasurer, reported that expenses during December totaled $413.40. Of the total $200 went to two families who were burned out of their homes at Christmas time.

Eighteen First Aid certificates were awarded following completion of a course offered in the adult education program according to Jim Corken. Boy Scouts also took the course but could not be given certificated because of age limitations.

A request has been made for an advanced First Aid course and two instructors have been secured. The course will be offered in February.

Mrs. Richard Hamnquist reported that four gray ladies are working regularly at the Mental Health Institute and since July have volunteered 146 hours.

A new service of the Red Cross was announced by Mrs. Edith Meloy. Every service man's family is given a Red Cross pamphlet informing them of the various services they can receive through the local chapter and procedures to be used in cases of emergency.

Mrs. Meloy also reported on the local aspect of a Texas storm some weeks ago. Through the local chapter a Marcus grandmother will be able to gain information about her grandson who survived the storm. The boy's family all died in the storm and now the grandmother will be able to keep in touch with the boy.

The Cedar-Larrabee community has turned in its funds from the community chest drive. The Red Cross received $47.50 as its share of the funds. Plans are now underway for a Red Cross drive in March. Laverne Espeset, chairman presided over the meeting and welcomed Gordon Steele as a new member of the board.

Pranksters in Cherokee last night wasted about 125,000 gallons of city water.

According to reports three fire hydrants were opened and let run. Some damage was also done on North Roosevelt near the new Roosevelt School where a portion of the new road was washed away.

City police received a call around midnight and had to shut off hydrants at West Bluff Street near the swimming pool, Eleventh and Main and on North Roosevelt.

Sutherland Farmers Cooperative is constructing a bulk fertilizer plant in addition to the present bulk plant.

It will be a 50 x 60-foot steel construction with concrete floor. Harmon Building Service of Spencer has contracted the work.

The main portion of the interior will be divided into six large bins to store potash, nitrogen and phosphate which is used in mixing various fertilizers.

Along one side of the building there will be a loading dock adjacent to the railroad tracks of the Chicago Northwestern.

A mixing area and area for loading spreader trucks will be located on the opposite side of the building.

25 years ago

Cherokee business leaders got a lesson in risk taking Saturday from a man who pursued a risky dream even when some people thought he was off-track.

The man was John E. Haley, who owns Chicago Central and Pacific Railroad. Haley began CCP after buying almost 700 miles of railroad from Illinois Central Gulf in 1985 for $75 million. Haley spoke at the Cherokee Industrial Corporation's annual meeting Saturday at the La Grande Hacienda.

Haley's investment meant a lot of change in his life. It also meant a lot of change for the operation of the railroad, especially for the traditional work rules.

But, despite all of the change, Haley's dream seems to be paying off.

"I'm happy to report that we ended our first year I the black. It's not real black, but it's black," Haley said.

Haley, a former Air Force pilot and real estate developer, comes from a railroad family. His father and grandfather were both railroad men.

"The railroad business is in my blood. I understand it. I believe in it, but over the last 30 or 40 years the industry has been bogged down in regulation," Haley said.

Because of regulation by the Interstate Commerce Commission, railroads weren't really part of the free enterprise system, Haley said. Shipping rates could not be set competitively because the ICC took several weeks to approve them. Subsequently, it was impossible for a railroad company to control income, Haley said.

"You can't be competitive when you can't control income. When you can't control income, you can't make business plans and borrow money from the bank," Haley said.

When ICC de-regulated the railroads about three years ago, Haley saw an opportunity for his dream to come true.

At that time, he was running a $1 million a year real estate firm in Washington, D.C. He began having his secretary write letters to railroad companies, inquiring about any track they might have for sale. Haley said he did not want people to find out about his inquiries, so he had his secretary write the letters at her home.

"I didn't tell anybody. I didn't even tell my business partner what I was thinking because I was afraid he'd laugh at me," Haley said.

When Haley finally broke the news, his business partner did laugh, and then turned down an offer to join Haley in his new venture.

"My partner thought I was crazy. He didn't have any railroad blood in him," Haley said.

Haley's letters resulted in the offer from Illinois Central Gulf to sell its Iowa line. The line runs from Chicago to Omaha, with branches in Cedar Rapids and Sioux City. The Sioux City branch runs through LeMars, Cherokee and Storm Lake.

Haley said ICG was anxious to sell the line.

"ICG is a wholly-owned subsidiary of IC Industries, which also owns Pepsi and Pet Milk. The last thing they wanted to own was that damned railroad," Haley said.

Haley sold his half of the real estate business to his partner and raised money from other investors to make the down payment on the railroad. Haley officially purchased the Iowa line in December, 1985. He said that if he had not purchased the line, ICG would have abandoned it.

During the process of buying the line, Haley and his wife moved from a spacious home in Alexandria, Va., to a one-bedroom apartment over a bar in Osage, Iowa.

"Now that's dedication to the railroad industry," he said.

After buying the line, Haley's main objectives were getting the rails back in shape and re-vamping the work rules that railroad workers had been under for years.

To re-work those rules, Haley had to deal with nine national labor organizations.

Under the old rules, most railroad workers had 100-mile days. This meant some workers were putting in three-hour days. After their 100 miles were up, another crew came on.

Haley said some crews consisted of five men, when only two or three were probably needed. These were the rules Haley set out to change.

"I know how many men it takes to run a train," he said.

Haley added that his problem was with the work rules, not the workers, whom he described as "wonderful."

Haley held meetings with employees "up and down the railroad line." He explained what he wanted to do with the work rules, and how he wanted to cut five men crews down to two or three.

"I told them that one way or another ICG would have dumped the railroad. But, that it if they gave me the work rules I needed, we'll eventually have more trains running, and have more employees working by the end of the year," he said.

Haley said that by dealing with the employees only he made the unions "crazy." But he eventually got the work rules he wanted.

In December, 1984, CCP had 435 employees. The line now has 602 employees, though only 580 are now working because some track work has slowed down the line. Haley said that on January 23, CCP employees will receive a bonus check.

Haley said CCP is running almost triple the number of cars ICG was in the early 1980's.

Haley is still investing money in the development of the railroad. This year, CCP plans to spend $2 million on upscaling the rail in the Sioux City district, which includes Cherokee.

Haley is also still taking risks. He had an idea to put a railroad dinner car in the "Boondocks of Iowa." People told him he was crazy.

Haley turned the project over to his wife, gave her a railroad car and a budget.

"I gave her $200,000 and told her create a dinner car. She spent $270,000--$8l000 on china," Haley said.

In 1985, 3,400 people ate n the dinner car. This 1986, 4,700 ate on it. Haley recently borrowed $2 million to create two more dinner cars.

A dinner car should be running through Cherokee in 1988, he said.

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In regards to the 100-year-old column about youngsters roaming the Streets of Cherokee after dark, reminds me of the years I worked with adolescents and their reckless behavior.

Seven cases out of ten could be traced back to their parents who were irresponsible and lacked moral judgment. Such is the case today, but much worse than it was 100 years ago.

Buff Scott, Jr., Phoenix, AZ

-- Posted by BuffTheReformer on Sun, Jan 15, 2012, at 9:04 PM

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