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Friday, May 6, 2016

Times Gone By

Friday, March 30, 2012

Bird's eye view - Early street scene of the city of Aurelia. Platted in 1873, Aurelia was incorporated in the 1880s and named for one of the daughters of John I. Blair, whose company built the railroad through the area between 1869-1870.
100 years ago

Ollie Bray's brave act saved a young lad at LeMars from drowning as he plunged into the icy waters of a swollen stream and towed Louis Wagner safely ashore.

Louis, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Wagner of this city, had a narrow escape from drowning Thursday evening which will linger long in his memory for the remainder of his life.

Had it not been that a strong swimmer with a cool head was near at the time we would undoubtedly be chronicling the death of young Wagner in this issue, instead of writing up his escape.

Fred was playing near the old gates about 5 o'clock Thursday evening and in attempting to kick a piece of ice loose from the shore, fell in. The water at the dam is several feet deep and the place where he fell was just above the gates. The current rapidly carried him through the gates where he made a vain effort to reach the shore.

His strength was not equal to the task, however, and he had gone down once, when his plight was discovered by Ollie Bray, who happened to be at the river watching the big overflow.

Without a minutes hesitation Ollie threw off his coat and dove head first into the icy torrent. A few rapid strokes and he caught Wagner by the hair.

For several minutes a battle royal took place between the two, young Wagner having lost his head, and endeavoring to crawl on top of his rescuer. Twice the two disappeared beneath the water. The little fellow became unconscious during the second plunge with Bray, was able to make for the shore with his burden.

A few minutes' work on the rescuer's part after he reached the shore, sufficed to bring Louis around and he was hurried home. A great deal of credit is due to Ollie, as his plunge into the swollen and icy water was one which would make many a strong swimmer hesitate. The rescuer has always taken to water like a duck and his natural instinct has made him a hero.

Tuesday afternoon fire caught from the chimney of the T. King residence on Cherry street and was burning the roof around the chimney when a fire alarm was turned in.

In a few moments everything was in readiness and the fire team started at a very rapid pace and just as they turned the corner by Farr & Searles' restaurant one of the horses slipped and fell, the wagon running over it and breaking one of its hind legs.

The poor animal laid there in great agony a short time until Marshal Stiner came and shot it. The wagon, which was then being pulled by a crowd of men, started to the fire but had just gone a short distance when they were notified that the fire had been put out by carrying some water in buckets.

There is no regular fire team and team belonging to Alfred Hubbard was being used for working on the streets and for this purpose. This is a very bad loss for Mr. Hubbard and it is still a greater loss for the city.

75 years ago

Wholehearted response of Cherokee county residents to the Red Cross appeal for funds to be used in flood relief work in the Ohio and Mississippi valleys, has drawn high praise from the Midwestern branch office of the organization at St. Louis. Charles Helin, treasurer of the county unit, received a letter of commendation signed by Miss Bertha Honham of the chapter service division. The letter:

"Thank you for the additional contribution of $500 for flood relief. Your chapter is now credited with total relief contributions of $2,226 which reflects a most remarkable achievement. Your chapter has reason to point with pride to the results of the flood relief fund campaign."

Several additional individual contributions and some made thru radio stations, not included in previous lists, were reported by Helin. Individual contributions, Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Jenkins, John Hobach; Marcus, Pythian Sisters, Aurelia; Jas. R. French, Cleghorn; Mrs. J. J. Willians, Washta; and Needlecraft club, Washta.

Donations through radio station WHO; Farmers National bank, Aurelia; Roy H. Pitcher, Aurelia, through KMA, contributions totaling $11.

Donations of Mrs. George Brummer and John H. Brummer were forwarded form Miami, Fla.

Rapidly approaching the century mark is W. C. Marsh, of Aurelia, Cherokee county's oldest Civil War veteran who was 97 Wednesday. With his mounting years, however, Marsh is only following a family tradition for all his mother's people lived past 90, says his daughter, Mrs. O. A. Royer, of Cherokee.

Literally a first citizen of Aurelia, if pioneering counts, Marsh was the town's first mayor and proprietor of its first hotel. For 24 years he was postmaster of Aurelia, and served also as town clerk and member of the board of education. He was a member of the Cherokee county board of supervisors when the county poor farm was bought.

Marsh has for the past decade been the oldest Civil war veteran in Cherokee county. Six years ago there were twelve veterans here. Today there are two, Marsh and N. T. Wells of Marcus, who is 92.

Marsh enlisted in the union army, May 18, 1862 for three years. For eight months he served with Company B, 32nd Wisconsin infantry, and then was discharged. For three months he was in a hospital at Keokuk.

After he left the hospital Marsh took a commercial course at Bryant and Stratton business college out as a laborer at St. Louis, Mo., at $35 a month. The group numbering nearly 1,300 was sent to the army at Ringgold, Ga., where Marsh was selected by the quarter-master as issuing clerk at $75 per month. There Marsh was impressed by sight of 20,000 sacks of corn and oats piled up to be used by Sherman's army in its march to the sea.

Marsh returned home for a short visit after the army left Atlanta, expecting to rejoin his group at Nashville. When he reached Nashville he learned that the rest had gone on to Savannah, Ga., so there was nothing left but to return home once more.

"Home" then was in Wisconsin where he had taught school before the war and where, March 5, 1865, he married seventeen year old Frances Hubbard. She died in Aurelia in 1918.

In 1875 the Marshes came to Aurelia when the town was "hardly more than laid out." Here he built the first hotel which he ran for several years. Throughout the years he was engaged in other business and in farming. Recently he has been associated with his son, William Marsh, jr., in operating a farm at Aurelia. Until the past six months he took an active part and interest in family and community affairs. Today his happiest occasions are visits from his grandchildren. It has always been a point of pride with him that he has gone to the bank personally and cashed all his pension checks. Only the last two he entrusted to anyone else.

Marsh has five children, Mrs. B. R. Wilson, of Hazelton, British Columbia, Canada, Miss Edith Marsh and William, with whom he lives at Aurelia, Mrs. C. W. Person and Mrs. O.A. Royer, Cherokee; eight grandchildren and two great grandchildren. One sister, Miss Susan Marsh, who lives at Mitchell, S. D., is 92.

Marsh is of a family of long lived people. His prized possessions are two silk quilts pieced by his mother without glasses after she was 90 years old.

The veteran was born at Beekmantown, Clinton county, N. Y., March 31, 1840.

50 years ago

The Little Sioux River slipped off its crest to 23.8 feet at 10:45 a.m. But official river observers reminded that Omaha Weather Bureau is still calling for a 25-foot crest here by Friday forenoon

The flood-swollen Little Sioux River socked Cherokee with its highest water in 64 years Wednesday night amid a boiling 24-foot crest as 25 blocks were inundated and some 40 families evacuated.

Army Engineers in Omaha have revised upward the final crest to 25 feet sometime early Friday.

The flood situation in Cherokee was termed "serious" and the National Guard units of Company C here and at Ida Grove are being alerted for duty.

The split guard units--comprising 100 men--were alerted to immediate flood duty in Cherokee by Col. A. T. Rolfes, Sioux City, deputy battle commander for the Second Battle Group of the 133rd Infantry.

The men were to organize their battle plan and meet at 11:30 a.m. at the National Guard Armory. From there they will proceed into the Cherokee flood zone under Capt. Theodore Frichter, Storm Lake.

Choked by vast runoff form melting snows and carrying huge chunks of floating ice, the stream still held at 24 feet late this morning.

The Little Sioux's smashing blow crippled transportation facilities here.

Highway 3 and 5 on East Main was blocked off to traffic yesterday afternoon when the water got deep and out of control.

Highway 59 has been blocked at the South Second Street bridge because of high water. The highway was officially closed at 7:45 a.m. today.

At midnight swift-moving currents pushed the depth to more than three feet between isolated Cherokee Bowl and Cherokee County Extension and Farm Bureau offices.

No injuries had been reported but it seemed certain today that property damage would be involved in lowlying areas of the community.

Volunteers fought valiantly through chilly nighttime hours to keep the swirling slapping waters out of the Cherokee Bowl, Modern Heating and Cooling and other locations.

25 years ago

He relishes the term "darkhorse." For now.

But when Iowa caucus time rolls around, former Arizona governor-turned Presidential candidate Bruce Babbitt wants the whole state to know his name.

"Call me a darkhorse, sure; no different from any other darkhorse in any other year who's come riding into Iowa," Babbitt said in an exclusive interview Thursday as his campaign came to Storm Lake.

"There's nothing wrong with starting out as an unknown. Everyone from Carter to McGovern has done it. But I'm going to be spending a lot of time in Iowa, and I plan to personally meet as many people as I can so that I'm no longer a darkhorse after the caucus," he said.

"Let's face it. A lot of candidates will go into the Iowa caucus. After it, there will be only two or three viable Democrats left. That's what I call crucial."

Babbitt is spending the week touring northwest Iowa, and became the first of the 1988 Presidential candidates to appear in Storm Lake. Among his local stops were a visit to Gingerbread Day Care Center, an address to a small group of students and faculty at Buena Vista College and an evening get-together for local Democratic party leaders at a private home.

Why Storm Lake when he could be visiting Des Moines? "There are a lot of votes out here that shouldn't be forgotten about. There are a lot of people out here whose knowledge and opinion I prize just as much as those from the city.

The 48-year-old Babbitt recently completed his ninth year as governor of his native state of Arizona. He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, where he served as student body president. He was a participant in the historic human rights rallies in Selma, Ala., in 1965, the same year he earned his law degree. After working overseas in the VISTA program for two years, he joined a Phoenix law firm. He assumed the role of governor in 1978 and has since been awarded the prestigious national Thomas Jefferson award for defense of First Amendment rights.

Although Babbitt formally announced his candidacy in March, he admits to testing the waters for some time. As part of that feeling-out process, he traveled the state on the 1986 RAGBRAI Iowa bicycle marathon. According to his press secretary, he has visited the state 11 times since, including six trips to far in 1987.

Throughout his visit, Babbitt stressed education and childcare as key issues of his campaign. In meeting with officials at the local day care center, one child in his lap and another tugging at his coattail, Babbitt said, "What a tremendous problem we are seeing in taking care of our children through their developmental years. I am a parent of young children myself. I too have a working wife. I know that the problems and needs are there."

Reform of the day care system is now necessity, according to the candidate. "We can't just stick a diaper on one end and stick a meal in the other. That's not the answer to developmental needs."

At the college session, Babbitt was critical of the current administration. "President Reagan is an absolute master of public relations. He tells you I'm your Uncle, I'm your neighbor, I'm your friend. He makes the press the bad guys.

"I'm guessing that the public doesn't want sugar coating. I'm betting that they do want to hear the truth."

He was particularly critical of Reagan foreign policy, calling the Star Wars defense system "a genie that ought to be stuffed back into the bottle" and saying that arms negotiations were mishandled. "When it came down to it, all they did was snap shut their briefcases and go home."

In his interview, Babbitt said that his first act should he be elected would be to improve communications between administration and nation. "At this time, it will be critical for the next president to speak honestly and to deal truthfully with issues."

Specifically, Babbitt calls for reform of the foreign trade system, involving all cooperating nations in policy setting. On the farm front, he said that current low target rates on commodity programs are being used to force the family farmer out of business. He said that a realistic incentive program aimed at only those working a family-farm size number of acres or harvesting a family farm size yield should be included.

Foreign policy, he continued, should be made more accountable to the American people. He termed Col. Oliver North a "mercenary," and said that such men should be kept out of foreign policy entirely.

He pointed to three issues which he expects to decide the 1988 campaign--economic growth policy, the status of children, and foreign policy. On the first, he recommends a revised trade agreement plus changes in current farm programs; on the second, more funds for day care and education; and on the third, efforts toward mutual ceilings on nuclear armaments between the U.S. and Soviet Union.

Strategy for Babbitt, who faces a Democratic field of Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis, Missouri Congressman Richard Gephardt, Delaware Senator Joseph Bide Jr. and minister Jesse Jackson; is simple.

"Exercise a lot. Sleep at least a little. Find good people and delegate responsibility to them. Raise money but don't let that take over your thoughts. Learn from my experience. Talk to as many people as I can, and remember what they are telling you."

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