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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Times Gone By

Friday, February 3, 2012

100 Years Ago

The Second Annual Short Course opened at 10:00 a.m. Monday with a general meeting at the courthouse, the full corps of instructors and Prof. Holden being present. Addresses outlining the work were made by Prof. Snyder, Mrs. Campbell, Godfrey, Fish, Mackling and Cable, each giving special attention to his or her particular line of work. Snyder, corn and grains; Mrs. Campbell, domestic science; Godfrey, stock; Fish, corn judging; Mackling, dairying and cable cement construction. Each gave interesting and profitable talks on general agricultural conditions in Iowa with suggestions as to methods of improving them. Prof. Holden has a rich vein of humor and made his half hour talk interesting as well as profitable.

The president, P.M. Peterson, was late in arriving on account of a long drive and bad roads but gave an address full of meat when he did come which met with general commendation and drew from Prof. Holden the merited compliment of being the best opening address of a short course president he had ever listened to.

Cherokee Rug Works - The Cherokee Rug Works was located at 514 W. Elm St. and was in business from 1913 to 1916 and was owned by Charles Rhoades prior to Rhoades starting his greenhouse.
At 1 p.m. the work of the short course commenced. The students of last year wear red badges and are taking an advanced course supplementary to that of last year while the first year men are taking practically the same course that the second year men took last year. It is a gratifying feature that the second year men predominate in numbers over the first year men, thus testifying that those who attended last year recognize the great benefit of the course. Prof. Holden conducted classes on this day in both grades, giving attention to corn with the fist class and oats and oat culture with the advanced class. Prof. Holden is an enthusiast in his work and has the faculty of transmitting that enthusiasm to his classes. Although he has accomplished so much for agriculture in Iowa he is not satisfied with the work accomplished and in a conversation with the reporter said that he had hoped to have found the opportunity of taking the work to the rural schools by again taking up teaching in a district school and inaugurating an agriculture course therein which would be a center form which would radiate branches until the state should be covered. His experience has taught him that the child thus instructed will teach the parent to a better purpose than can be done in any other way, and he illustrated by giving actual examples, wherein scoffing parents had come to him and acknowledged their error, being converted by what their children had done.

Monday evening there was a "Booster's" meeting at the opera house which was most enjoyable, Mrs. Elliott captured the audience with her solos. John Griggs was at his best in his recitation, "Presidential Possibilities," and both Mrs. Elliott and Mr. Griggs responded to hearty encores.

Another treat was the "Triumph of Peace" delivered by that Cherokee favorite Frank Johnson being the oration, the delivery of which brought honors to Morningside college in interstate oratorical contests. Although the days are filled with earnest, practical work the entertainment feature is not overlook in the evenings. Last evening there was a contest at armory between Cherokee High and Co. M basketball teams which furnished good entertainment to a large audience and resulted in victory for Co. M by a score of 6 to 20.

Tomorrow evening will be devoted to the second annual spelling match at the opera house. It is said that over a hundred contestants have registered and the great success of last year will be totally eclipsed. Those who miss the spelling match will lose a rare treat and fail to extend encouragement to the revival of an old-time pastime which turned out good spellers in marked contrast with the wretched spelling to the present day.

Saturday afternoon the corn and grain exhibits at the court house will be auctioned off. This will afford an opportunity to get a start in prize varieties which should be taken advantage of.

75 years ago

Three business buildings and contents were totally destroyed and a residence slightly damaged by fire which swept over Alton early Monday morning. The flames, which were discovered at 1 o'clock Monday morning, were not extinguished until 5 o'clock. Bitter cold weather handicapped firemen.

Damage Not Estimated

No estimate of damage was made Monday, but Alton firemen reported that only the presence of snow on roofs of business building and residences prevented a more serious conflagration.

The fire started in the basement of the O.K. café. Buildings destroyed were: Snyder Meat Market with complete loss of stock, William Kooreman, general merchandise store and contents, O.K. Café with contents.

The residence of John Weis, located a block away from the scene of the blaze was fired by sparks, but the flames were extinguished before any great damage was done.

The Snyder Meat Market suffered a complete loss on stock but $1,000 insurance was carried on the building. The residence above the store with all its contents also was destroyed.

The building housing the Kooreman store, owned by William Stronks, was not insured but Kooreman carried $9,000 insurance on his stock.

The dental parlor of E. Hoeven, located above the Kooreman store was destroyed with all equipment.

No insurance was carried on the stock and building of the O.K. Café. The building was owned by Tony Mack. Persons living in the rooms above the café escaped without injury but failed to save any clothing.

Cleghorn business men through a free movie at which donations were received for flood relief sufferers raised $135.30 for the Red Cross fund this week.

The money was sent to WHO, radio station at Des Moines, with the stipulation that the amount be credited to the Cherokee county quota. The check was addressed to the treasurer of national relief fund.

The men in charge of the benefit donated the movie, lights and other services. Those assisting were Rev. Thomas R. Hill, chairman; E. G. Goodrich, vice chairman and G. A. Rud, secretary-treasurer.

Officers were elected and yearly reports heard at the annual meeting of Mount Pleasant Church held Wednesday, January 27, at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Melvin C. Simons. A dinner of moose meat, obtained from Canada by Simons, featured the evening.

Roy Kintigh was elected trustee for a three year term. Others are W. E. Simons and Elmer Hanson. Hanson is church treasurer; Mrs. L. M. Boothby, pianist; Mrs. Herman Fassler, chorister; Mrs. Delbert Lepper, assistant chorister and Eddie Boothby and Burton Boothby, ushers.

Sunday school officers named are L. M. Boothby, superintendent; Orville Ferrin, assistant; Harriet Miller, secretary-treasurer; Eddie Boothby, assistant; Buelah Simons, Mary K. Williams. Louise Woodall, pianists; Mrs. John Lepper, superintendent of cradle roll. Committee to receive benevolences for the Iowa mission is L. M. Boothby, clerk Mrs. W. E. Simons, missionary and Harriet Miller, Sunday school.

The business meeting was called to order by the chairman, Rev. T. R. Hill, with prayer. M. C. Simons, secretary, read the minutes of the last meeting and election of officers followed.

Present elders of the church are Harold Williams, Francis Coburn, M. C. Simons, Luther Miller and L. M. Boothby, clerk.

50 years ago

Members of the Cherokee Independent District Board of Education made a study of area and state-wide salary comparisons for school personnel and considered recommendations for the 1962-63 school year in the adoption of a revised salary schedule during a regular meeting Monday evening.

Ice harvesting - Prior to the refrigerator being invented, people would use blocks of ice to keep their food items along with themselves cool during the summer months. Here is a look at how that ice was brought to market. This work crew is hard at work cutting ice on the Little Sioux River and hauling it away, presumably to a ice house that usual was dug in to the ground were sawdust was then place on the ice to keep it from melting so it could be used in the summer.
Final plans were also approved for spectator seating at Washington High School athletic field.

Plans call for an open type steel structure. The permanent stands will have an estimated seating capacity of 1,000.

The board also made plans for extending the school lunch facilities to include other school buildings within the system.

A new contract was signed with the Iowa Electric Light and Power Company for interruptible gas service to all Cherokee public school buildings.

The need for providing additional book shelving at Washington High School library was also discussed.

The Cherokee Ministerial Association said it noted outstanding cooperation in the religious census taken Sunday.

Officials said 190 or more workers and the community in general cooperated to make the census a success.

There were 2,500 calls assigned to 100 workers. By 9 p.m. Sunday, 1,412 calls had been completed.

Final reports will be made on Wednesday and volunteers will sort and file cards Thursday. Churches taking part in the census were Bethlehem Lutheran, St. Paul's Methodist, First Church of Christ, Memorial Presbyterian, and Trinity Lutheran.

25 years ago

While there are many people who enjoy art and also many who "try their hand" at some art form, there are only a few in the Cherokee area who rely on their talent to make a living.

Margaret Midland creates and sells "Garden Sculpture." The pieces are made of stoneware clay which are carved and then fired in a large kiln to make them resilient. They are able to withstand even harsh weather conditions.

Midland said her technique "is a lot like cooking, actually." The process involves a slab method for a hollow core construction which will allow the object to be fired. It is this extreme heating process which gives the final toughness to the piece.

"It has been interesting to see how pleased people seem to be with their purchases," she explained. She has even gotten long distance calls from people explaining how they have used their particular piece of sculpture in their landscaping.

"Sometimes they almost speak of it as if it is alive. I am very pleased when I think to myself that I have made something that made the person so happy. That is a real ego trip for me," she explains.

Midland said she is excited about the sculpting. "Every time you do anything you are making a decision...solving a problem." She said. She has converted what was formerly the garage of her home into a large studio. Her own garden has become a kind of "stage" for several of the larger pieces. "No serious artist relies on mood, I put in my 8 to 10 hours like anyone else even though some people think it is frivolous." She realizes that she needs to create many art pieces "to pay the bills" and she used three tons of clay to produce art pieces last year.

She knows that being an artist is not the "normal life," as she put it. "It is a very solitary thing to be an artist. If you are off doing something else, you are not producing." There is a certain glamorous mystique to being an artist for some people, she realizes, "But it is not all fun!"

Unloading a ton of clay in 25-pound boxes and carrying it into the studio when the temperature is 104 degrees is one example of the work involved. "But I like what I do," she said in defense of her work. "Some people never get that in their work."

Midland is philosophic about her craft and talked about the fact that 200 years ago only the aristocracy could own real sculpture. "People are tired of plastic and carbon copies," she added. "People are searching for their own unique statements."

In order to make things that will sell, "you have to play to the broad audience," she explained. Some of her items include cherubs, fountains, pots with a bas-relief design, dragons, and an unusual chicken which she said appeals to the people who like the country motif. Another group of projects are various gargoyles which were the unusual creatures often used to enhance ancient architecture. She is also working on a pelican which stands over two feet tall. Midland is "pretty much self taught." She recalls being asked to do the circus mural for her class when she was only a kindergarten student in Eagle Grove, Iowa. "From then on, I was always known as the class artist and did that kind of thing whenever the need arose."

A fortunate thing she recalls was moving to Cherokee and being curious "about that funny building with the dome." She was referring to the Sanford Museum which she said she gravitated toward always after that first look because of the exhibits and art exhibits.

She feels a tremendous debt to the museum also because when she worked there as acting director she was introduced to the world of history, archeology and architecture which have had major influence on her work.

Painting was her major art form for many years and she still maintains a small separate art studio in her home. In addition to the items which she is already producing, Midland also does both paintings and sculpture on consignment for those interested in a specific item.

Midland also decided to pursue an art education and completed the program at Buena Vista College several years ago. She then taught art at Cleghorn for two years.

The Gallery Upstairs was a corporate venture with Mary Ann Montgomery a few years ago. This was an opportunity for the community to see many types of art work.

Midland says that her view of art and the ability to work long hours have changed a great deal since her children are raised. They are Debby, Tom and Diane. Her children and grandchildren become involved in the summer, especially at the Renaissance Art Fair which is held in Minneapolis for seven consecutive weekends beginning in August each year.

The Renaissance was a venture she began with Connie Hankens. She owns her own building there which is called the Court of the Gargoyles. The shop features her art work and she says that it is one of the highlights of the year for her and it is also her biggest show. She works many months to prepare for it.

Midland says the whole Renaissance experience is fun for everyone who attends. "It is a feedback from their fantasy," she explains. The buildings, music, costumes, banter and acts are all authentic for that period in history. Everyone involved tries to make it meaningful for the tourists and it is also a time when the shop keepers rekindle old friendships with other workers and customers.

There are other shows which begin for Midland in February and go throughout the summer and fall. There is something every weekend if any exhibitor wanted to attend, she explained.

The nicest part of her craft is sharing her art with people who seem so appreciative.

"Getting into the mainstream and going to shows is a stimulus for an artist," she said. "You collect people throughout your life who are the ones who have a great desire to explore the world and its wonder if it isn't beat out of you as a child."

"It is hard sometimes to get that stimulus in a small town. But we are lucky in Cherokee because there are so many ways that we do provide that spark. We have the Community Theater, the symphony, Tone Circle and of course that wonderful museum."

"Life is kind of brutal sometimes," she added. "Art is like music of a good novel. It can bring you serenity. I think everyone needs a bit of magic...a bit of the mystical that is their very own."

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