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Thursday, Sep. 29, 2016

Times Gone By

Friday, August 3, 2012

100 years ago

On going down to the cellar at her farm home in the course of her household duties on Monday morning, Mrs. J. Hathaway, residing in Liberty township, was nearly scared to death on finding a wild eyed staring figure with dusky voice and a great shock of hair looking up at her.

She nearly fainted from fright but managed to scream for help and the men on the farm came running to the house. The intruder was apparently an Indian or Mexican. He could make no response to inquiries, not being able to speak more than a few words of English, such as Me want work, Pasco," or something sounding similar.

The man had been at the Trometer farm in the same neighborhood the previous day and had been given something to eat. He returned later and was driven away when a shotgun was pointed at him. The people in the vicinity thinking at first that the poor devil was crazy telephoned the marshal at Merrill, who took him in charge and he was locked up in Merrill all night and on Tuesday Sheriff Arendt drove down there and brought the man to town. Mrs. Hathaway was so badly frightened by the man that she required the services of a physician during the day.

The Indian looked a forlorn enough object when seated in the clerk's office, where the clerk, the sheriff and Supervisor G. A. C. Clarke tried their linguistic skill on him, essaying a line of Mexican, French, Spanish and Italian which would surprise their friends. It was gleaned that he was a Navajo Indian and wanted to go to a place the name of which sounded like "Pasco."

Marcus early days - Here is a wonderful photograph of Main Street of Marcus, looking north. The building on the far right is the Hotel Central as it looked in the early days of Marcus- before the fire of 1911.
By motions and signs he indicated that he was hurt in his chest or shoulder and made further signs as if he had fallen from a height. The probabilities are that he was with the Hundred and One Ranch show, which was in Sioux City last Friday, and was left behind by the outfit and wandered into the country.

An Indian according to law is a government charge, so Supervisor Clarke and Sheriff Arendt decided that the best thing to do was to send him to Sioux City. A ticket was purchased for him and he was tagged "This is a lost Indian. Turn him over to the United States marshal." He arrived in Sioux City all right as described in an item in the Sioux City Journal which reads:

"Wrapped in his Navajo blanket an Indian brave marched up to Sergeant George Pierce's desk at police headquarters last evening, dropped a slip of paper into his hand and stood at attention.

"Shades of Christopher Columbus, George Washington and Andrew Jackson! What on earth am I face to face with?" the desk sergeant asked himself. "Rain in the Face, where did you come from?"

The brave pulled his blanket closer to his form. Not a sound came from his lips. He looked into space.

The slip of paper bore the following words: "This is a lost Indian."

"Now, who do you suppose sent the police this present?" Sergeant Pierce asked.

"Me Navajo brave; look for work, nothing doing." The Indian said as he struck his chest.

F. A. Blanchard, United States marshal, was notified and will take charge of the Indian this morning.

75 years ago

When the last strident note of the hammer died away last September on Bridge W-477-4 two miles west of Remsen, Gust L. Adamson, 67, veteran bridge building for the Cherokee district of the Illinois Central railroad, was nearing the end of a 45 year career of continuous service for the company.

Construction of the bridge was his last building project in more than two score years activity. Prior to his retirement under the new federal railroad employee's act July 1, he accompanied railroad officials on a tour of inspection of trestles and culverts over the Sioux City, Cherokee and Onawa districts. This was his last official act.

With more than 600 bridges and culverts erected under his direct supervision, Adamson is now ready to "live a life of ease and comfort" and enjoy the fruits of nearly a half century of faithful service.

Adamson Tuesday recalled some of the outstanding experiences in a life which he himself, describes as uneventful and marked only by ordinary everyday occurrences.

"There is one thing of which I'm mighty proud," the veteran "B & B" superintendent declared with justifiable pride, "and that is my record of safety. Bridge building entails a lot of hazards to life and health and it's with considerable gratification that I look back on 45 years of work and see that no life has been lost nor any serious accident occurred upon a project over which I had charge."

Triumph of Adamson's career was reached in 1907 when he built the longest overpass on the mainline of the Cherokee district west of LeMars. Six hundred feet in length, the span was put up in record time. It is of the "ballast-deck" type and was built entirely of creosoted wood timbers and piling with gravel ballast on the deck.

"Now everything has changed," the builder declared. "No longer does the railroad company depend upon wooden structures but practically all of the new bridges are made of steel and concrete in keeping with the demand of safety.

"There are three kinds of bridges in general use on the railroad," Adamson pointed out. "They are the ballast-deck," "open-deck" and the steel and concrete type. Many of the old wooden bridges are still in service after nearly 50 years of service, but they are rapidly being taken down and replaced with more durable materials.

Adamson began his work with the Illinois Central July 11, 1892 on the Cherokee division, which then had headquarters in this city. Headquarters are now at Waterloo. He worked as a "B & B" carpenter until 1905 when he was appointed bridge foreman.

He came to Cherokee in 1889 and has lived here continuously since that time.

"Cherokee is good enough for me," he smiled "and I intend to spend the rest of my days here. Now that I have retired my wife and I hope to make many trips over the county and see the many things we've always dreamed about. We also intend to visit our married children who live in different parts of the country.

50 years ago

Marcus Hotel - The Marcus Hotel opened in 1892 as the Loretto Academy, a Catholic Boarding School. The last class graduated in 1915. The building was sold, and moved, serving as a hotel or boarding house until becoming a private residence in 1976. It was razed in 1995.
During the beef judging Friday afternoon the program halted long enough for a new addition to the show to be presented.

For the first time the Dr. John Dewar Memorial plaque for best Shorthorn in grooming in showmanship was presented.

Bob Dewar, brother of the late John Dewar, made the presentation to Doug Simons.

The long-time resident of this community died early this year and as a memorial to him this award was presented.

The man had been interested in 4-H and the youth who take part for many years and even this year there were calves shown which he gave to 4-H'ers to show.

The late veterinarian and his brother Bob took the first cattle to the Pilot Rock Plowing match in 1919.

In 1920 the first show was put on with 21 steers entering. Dr. Dewar placed third.

The man was active in 4-H until he entered college and owned Shorthorn animals until his death.

The Grand Meadow Larks demonstration team Ila Irwin and Jane Berglund were named top in demonstration teams for the Cherokee County Fair and will represent this county at the State Fair in Des Moines.

Their demonstration "Fibbey McGee's Closet" topped the senior division teams, four in all, and all placing in the blue ribbon category and gaining the praises of the senior judge, Mrs. Lula Stelphug for the high quality of the presentation and the valuable teachings they illustrated.

The Grand Meadow also illustrated a variety of closet accessories and in the course of their presentation "Fibber's closet" became a model of orderliness.

They used a model closet in their presentation and their closet accessories had an added novel touch for interest.

The honor of representing this county at the Clay County Fair went to the Country Ramblers twosome, Linda Reilly and Patty Neilson. Entitled, "Sew you need a table," they gave the glamour treatments to old treadle sewing machines, transferring them into desks, dressing tables, etc.

Linda, 16, is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Bob Reilly and Patty, also 16, is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Earl Neilson, both of Aurelia.

Special activity team, "Live Tomorrow" by the Sharon Johnston and Beverly Shafter of the Sheridan Start will also present their demonstration at the State Fair, Des Moines, in the special activity category.

Sharon, 15, and Beverly, 15, brought to the listening group valuable suggestions for survival in case of a nuclear attack and illustrated how to make an Alvarez Meter to detect radiation fallout.

These girls will be juniors at Meriden-Cleghorn this fall and each has completed six years of club work. Sharon is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Harold Johnson and Beverly is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Luverne Shafer, both of Cleghorn.

The cute blond cousin duo, Klarrice and Janice Nelson, daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Bob Nelson and Mr. and Mrs. Harry Nelson, all of Meriden also placed in the superior rating with their demonstration, "Time to Recover," showing step-by-step how to reupholster dining room chairs. The judge praised this team for presenting a difficult subject so well and so interestingly.

Four very interesting junior demonstrations were also presented. These, too, were highly praised by the junior judge, Mary Margaret Rupp for the interesting and varied subjects and the very capable presentation made by each of these young teams. All received superior ratings.

The Aftonette team, Connie Anderson and Donna Matthews, daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Howard Anderson and Mr. and Mrs. LeRoy Matthews, of Aurelia, were singled out for the honor of repeating their demonstration for the Ladies Day audience and were presented a special award by the Cherokee Warehouse based on a team doing an excellent job of teaching important home furnishing facts. Their demonstration as entitled "A Cleaning Kit will Make A Hit."

The award was presented by Dave David in behalf of the firm.

Honorable mention for the same went to the Sheridan Star junior team, Lynn Bush and Marie Rupp. Their demonstration "Finished Spoons--We Use" illustrated valuable finishing facts. Lynn, 10, is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Lee Bush and Marie, 11, is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Rupp.

"Let's pin a pleat" was the demonstration presented by the Chipper Cherokee team, Christine Lack, daughter of Rev. and Mrs. Walter Lack and Lauralee Still, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Still, all of Cherokee. Illustrated several type of curtain treatments in the course of their presentation.

After a bad case of jitters that prevented the presentation of "Closet cuties" by the Tilden Tillers team on Thursday, this young team recovered to perform on Friday and found it really "wasn't so bad after all." Louise Ferrin and Kathy Galles performed very well in their belated presentation, and everyone who had ever faced an audience "scared stiff" sympathized with these first year 4-H'ers and praised them for their courage in finally fulfilling their commitment.

25 years ago

Claude Gatrost of Cherokee received his master of agriculture degree at Iowa State University on Saturday. His major was professional agriculture.

That in itself isn't unusual because there was a total of 270 graduate students receiving degrees that day. What is unusual is that fact that Gatrost had celebrated his 62nd birthday only three days before.

"The College of Agriculture, being first alphabetically, was first to give out its degrees," said Gatrost, "and my name was the number one card."

It was an exciting moment for him. The day was full of surprises, too, with his two brothers invited to share in the occasion and a party later complete with graduation cake and all the trimmings.

Gatrost, a native of Harrison County, believes that his mother's number one priority for an education must have had an underlying effect on his desire to learn.

His father was a farmer, his mother had taught country school. It meant a great deal to her that all of their seven children should complete a high school education. She accomplished this goal through hard work, raising chickens, selling eggs to a hatchery and some chickens as fryers as a means to supplement the income, recalled Gatrost.

He would do his mother proud, being the first in the family to earn a master's degree.

A veteran of World War II, Gatrost attended college on the G.I. Bill, two years at Spearfish, S.D., and the transferred to Iowa State University where he received his bachelor of science degree in ag education in 1951.

Going for a master's degree was a matter of personal satisfaction, he said. He had the backing of his wife, Caroline, and the support of the Farmer's Coop Co. of Aurelia where he's been employed for 19 years.

He enrolled in December 1980 in the Iowa State University Master of Agriculture Program, an off-campus graduate program designed to provide an opportunity for graduates in agriculture to obtain an advanced degree in agricultural science.

Initially there were 200 graduates in the area interested but gradually the number dwindled to 35 to 40 people per class, according to Gatrost. He said he was fortunate that the classes were held in Cherokee since some of the participants drove as many as 80 miles to attend the ongoing night courses.

At the same time, Gatrost was teaching ag related classes one night a week to World War II, Korean and Vietnam veterans to help finance his master's program.

Gatrost goes to a lot of ag related meetings, including agronomy, livestock, corn, and extension, in his position as field man for the Farmer's Coop at Aurelia. "The master's program would be a good way to keep up with advanced technology in agriculture," he said.

But he was competing with younger kids in class. "I was the granddaddy of most of the classes," he said. "It's a little tougher, your memory isn't as good and it's harder to grasp (the lesson) as you get older," admitted Gatrost.

It wasn't a crash course. There was homework, quizzes, final oral exam and a creative component, a sort of term paper that dealt with research that would tend to help the college, he explained.

Gatrost's creative component became a challenge because he doesn't farm. His special assignment was to do a survey on nitrogen usage on corn-corn rotation versus corn-soybean rotation. He made up his own form to use. Due to the farm program, he had difficulty in finding corn-soybean growers that fit in the survey, he said. However, when it was all completed, he received an "A".

Not every assignment was so rewarding. During the session on energy, each student was to prepare a five-minute color slide presentation on how to save and use energy. He used a local business as his topic but when it was all completed and ready to send to the college to be filed for student's future use, the owner said no. It was disappointing to Gatrost but he had no recourse.

There is no strict time limit for earning the degree but it's recommended to complete the course work (28 credits) in six years. "The longer the time element, the tougher it becomes to apply oneself and get the work done," said Gatrost. "At the tail end (of the program), you lose interest, have to force yourself because it's not new anymore. Some students drop out of the program completely," he said.

During six years, Gatrost said he maybe missed a half dozen classes. Work must be made up and assignments turned in.

He was a conscientious student, according to his wife. Except for Friday nights and Saturday mornings relinquished for family, the weekends were devoted entirely to class assignments and paperwork. His mother-in-law's apartment upstairs in their home became his retreat for study.

"I could spread out the lesson on her kitchen table, go down to eat meals, break away for some television if I wanted to and return to the lesson as I left it," said Gatrost.

Of all the courses offered in agricultural engineering, agronomy, animal science and economics, Gatrost didn't take farm law.

"I have kept all the papers, some professors might hand out notes of all the courses with room for notes in the margins while others gave lectures and I kept notes," said Gatrost.

"The program has helped me in dealing with farmers, because I need to keep up with technical changes. All in all, I'm glad I took the program but I'm glad it's over," said Gatrost. "I even feel comfortable talking to Jim Mohn (Cherokee County Extension Director.)"

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