Li'l Bits

You never know what you will find on this page, but you can be sure it will be interesting, and often bits of information you will not find anywhere else!

This page was last updated 03/13/2022
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Note: The information on this page is arranged in no particular order

Allamakee County Dastardly Deeds

Allamakee County Tragedies & Disasters

Waterville Welder Makes Instrument for Surgery

When a special instrument, a retractor, was deemed necessary for an upcoming surgery at Waukon Veterans Memorial Hospital, a call went out to a number of surgical instrument suppliers. Of the hundreds of instruments available, none was considered quite suitable for the operation planned. A retractor is an instrument used to hold open the edges of a wound or surgical incision. One retractor was shipped from West Germany, but it still wasn't what Dr. K.Y. Lee, surgeon, had in mind. About that time, the possibility of having the special instrument manufactured locally was raised, and machinist, welder and blacksmith Ed Christianson of Waterville was contacted. Dr. Lee and Mary Brandt, surgical technician, drew up blueprints, and delivered them to Christianson. One of the members of the surgical team visited Christianson every day during the manufacturing process, and on the third day the retractor was delivered to the hospital. Dr. Lee said he was very impressed with the quality of the instrument and the ingenuity used in cutting, forging, hammering, bending, drilling and assembly. Christianson noted that he has "made many things over the years," but this was the most unusual and interesting. Dr. Lee says he has more ideas "on the drawing board."
~newspaper clipping, hand-dated 1974 ~contributed by Errin Wilker

Ed Christianson

River Crafts On Upper Mississippi 1900

The Dubuque Telegraph Herald prints this rather premature list of rafts and boats [and their captains] to run on the upper river next season:

Rutledge, Wm. Thistler
Weyerhauser, Geo. Reed
Chancy Lamb, A. O. Day
Wanderer, Wm. York
Vivian, James Whistler
Saturn, Geo. Winnans
John Douglas, Abe Mitchell
Eclipse, John Lancaster
J. W. VanSant, George Trumly
Glenmont, R. J. Trumly
Tenbrock, W. H. Mitchell
Musser, S. B. Withrow
Mountain Belle, A. Lambert
Bart E. Linehan, John O’Conners
Inverness, G. L. Short
Kit Carson, Peter O’Rourke
Fontenac, Henry Slocumb
Roberts Dodds, John Pearson
B. Hershey, Cyp Buisson
Ravena, Charles Davidson
Clyde, I. Newcomb
Isaac Staples, Walter Hunter
Junana, Wm. Weir
R. J. Wheeler, Wm. Davis
Quincy, H. Beedle
Will Davis, Gordon Davis
Dubuque, John Killeen
Silver Crescent, Robert Dodds
Volunteer, Wm. Blair
W. J. Young, Walter Blair
City of Winona, J. Strektus
Verne Swain, P. Smith
Lion, H. C. Wilcox
E. Douglas, Frank Smith
Jesse B., George Dotterwish
Cyclone, L. Darling
Percy Swain, S. Alexander
Gardie Eastman, A. V. Fetter

The steamers Flora Clark, Jessie B., Ben Hershey, Pauline, Verne Mack and Henrietta will carry excursions. They will be stationed at St. Paul and Stillwater most of the time.
~The Clinton Mirror, Clinton, Iowa, January 20, 1900 ~contributed by Cheryl Locher Moonen

David Clark, Horse Thief - The Waukon Transcript of the 27th ult., states that David Clark, who escaped from the jail at Decorah last spring, where he was incarcerated for horse-stealing last spring, was nabbed on the Little Iowa on the Wednesday previous. Wm. C. Thompson, sheriff elect, and two other men, went to Clark's father's house on the Iowa, where they were informed he was. After a little search, they found him in a bed between the feathers and straw. He doubtless saw the officers coming, and endeavored to hide. ~Dubuque Herald, January 4, 1860 ~contributed by Cheryl Locher Moonen
Note: Both the 1882 & 1913 Allamakee county history books have a paragraph about David Clark, stating he was the first horse thief in the county.

Allamakee county Fire-fighting school, 1949 - Lansing, Ia.- The first of a series of fire fighting schools featuring demonstrations of the use of fog was held here Wednesday evening under the direction of W. E. Meyers, of Ames. A county unit has been organized and will meet on the third Thursday of each month. The first meeting will be Sept. 15 at Waterville. Officers of the unit are Charles Howe, Waukon, president; Quode Martindale, of Postville, vice-president; Al Schultz, of Lansing, secretary and treasurer.
~Dubuque Telegraph Herald, Thur., August 11, 1949 ~contributed by Reid R. Johnson

Bootleggers and Moonshine - Prohibition was a constitutional amendment that banned the sale and production of alcoholic beverages along with other related activities. Enacted in 1920, the amendment was repealed on December 5, 1933. The remote, wooded areas and isolated islands in the Mississippi sloughs, made Allamakee county an idea place for local individuals to engage in the manufacture and sale of "moonshine".
Read articles from area newspapers about Allamakee residents who defied the law during the Prohibition Era

What's in a name? - Well, the Lansing Masonic lodge has a "Little German Band" composed almost entirely of Norwegians. The band and its instrumentation, says the Lansing Journal, are as follows: C.O. Rud, leader, clarinet; George Aschom, clarinet; T.M. Rickansrud, cornet; John Bjerke, cornet; Harold Severson, slide trombone; Art Greenley, slide trombone; Norm Martinsen, baritone; and Will Kehr, tuba. ~Postville Herald, August 17, 1933 ~contributed by S. Ferrall

Thornton Manor Resident Profiles - Articles & photos of some of the people who made Thornton Manor Nursing Center (Lansing) their home in their 'golden years' .......... read about them

1893 CHICAGO WORLD'S FAIR - Allamakee Attendees ~contributed by Sharyl Ferrall

Allamakee County Golden Age Club, 1977 - About 90 persons were present for the annual meeting of the Allamakee County Golden Age group Wednesday, Sept. 21, with a 1:30 p.m. dinner served at the Food Ranch in Waukon..... click here for photos & the rest of the article

Boy Scouts of America
Home Talent Show in the Waukon Opera House - Nov. 1938
- Read all about it! Click here for the cast, advertisers & the program ~contributed by Errin Wilker

Harper's Ferry Happenings - What do Thomas & Bridget Sullivan and Michael & Margaret (Riley) Degnan have in common? To find out, continue reading here ~contributed by Betty Palmer

Early amusements - Amusements in earlier times were skating on moonlight evenings on sloughs-(the river being too swift to freeze over) -sleigh rides to and from spelling school and to melon parties in season, and to taffy pulls after the sorghum was harvested and "cooked". Temperance debating and Literary Societies flourished and J. Gilchrist conducted a singing class-all at Clear Creek schoolhouse. Oyster suppers and socials for the benefit of the church held at different homes were the vogue. ~from a ca1920's newspaper article (likely from the Lansing Mirror) written by Mary Agnes Ratcliffe Bellows ~contributed by Neva Auenson

Clues As to Who Carved the Words On the Famous Paint Rock. - Some months ago Mrs. Sam Hoesly of this city received a letter from her former pastor, Rev. A.D. Gregg, who was pastor of the Presbyterian church at Frankville some years ago, but is now located at Sarcoxie, Mo. As this letter contains a clue that may clear up some early Allamakee Co. history as to who carved the letters on the famous Paint Rock ....... continue ~contributed by Sharyl Ferrall

Frank Baker, Harpers Ferry, original images ~contributed by Stella Lee

*1900 veterinary certificate * 1902 letters of recommendation signed by citizens of Harper's Ferry, Rossville & Waterville * 1901 weight receipt for load of hogs
purchase of a registered foal * 1901 tax record

Cooperative Extension Service in Allamakee co. - a brief history

Major Leaguer - Nathaniel Monroe "Nat" Kellogg; b. 28 Sep. 28, 1858 at Dorchester d. 1915. Played shortstop in 5 games for the 1885 Detroit Wolverines of the National League. ~Iowa Natives who Played Major League Baseball; compiled by Dennis L. Lorensen; Fall 1999 Hawkeye Heritage ~contributed by S. Ferrall

Waukon Building Improvements -1890 ......partial list ~contributed by Mary Durr

Bryan at West Union, 1912 - A list of Postville area people who went to hear William Jennings Bryan speak ...... click here. ~contributed by Sharyl Ferrall

Chautauqua in Allamakee co. - Article & links to flyers. ~contributed by Sharyl Ferrall

Big-Four Institute Premium Awards - 1930List of the premium awards made at the Big-Four Institute held in Postville, Allamakee Co. Iowa; Sept. 1930 ~contributed by Sharyl Ferrall

Page 1: Livestock, hogs, poultry, girls clubs and misc.
Page 2:
Corn, grains& seeds, vegetables and canned goods
Page 3:
Baked goods and fancy work

Reuben Smith Bridge ...minutes of the Allamakee co. Board of Supervisors October meeting reported Mr. Stilwell of the Bridge Building Committee had told the Board, "We have covered the bridge at Reuben Smith's with new plank and put in all new floor joints; the bridge is one hundred and sixty feet in length, costing $250." In Post Township, this bridge spanned the Yellow River on the Reuben Smith's farm. -~Waukon Standard November 10, 1870 ~contributed by Mary Durr

The Reuben Smith Bridge was still standing 100 years later and was listed in the Iowa Census of Covered Bridges. ~Palimpsest; Covered Bridges in Iowa; Historical Society of Iowa; November 1970; pg 466 ~contributed by Mary Durr

Note: The bridge was removed in spring of 2011, and has been replaced by a modern day cement bridge.

The Whole Town Helped Make Flower Boxes - What an Idea and a Little Energy Did at Waukon, Iowa ~contributed by Roseanna Zehner

"Does the Name Shattuck Ring a Bell?" - News article, notes & photos ~contributed by Nancy Shattuck

Book Review - Alexander's History of Allamakee and Winnesheik Counties was delivered to subscribers here two or three weeks ago. There are undoubtedly many mistakes in the volume--it could not well be otherwise in the haste with which it was prepared, but on the whole we infer that it is sufficiently accurate for practical purposes and of great value in the preservation of our early history. [read the book] ~Postville Review, January 20, 1883 ~contributed by Sharyl Ferrall

ALLAMAKEE COUNTY HISTORICAL and ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY - On November 30, 1915, there was organized at Waukon, Iowa, the Allamakee County Historical & Archaeological Society, which in the constitution declared to be an "auxiliary to the State Historical Department of Iowa at Des Moines, the Historical Society of Iowa at Iowa City, the Waukon Public Library and the High School Library at Waukon" The objects of the Society are broad in scope, include the preservation of all records amd materials bearing upon the history of the county as well as relics & remains of the prehistoric inhabitants of this region. The membership fee is $1 per year. The following officers were elected to serve until the annual meeting which will be held on the 2nd Tuesday of January:
Charles F. Pye, pres.
H.B. Miner, vp
A.M. May, secretary-treasurer
E.M. Hancock, curator
In addition to these officers the list of incorporators includes Ellison Orr, Charlotte Honcock & and Miss Jessie Lewis. ~Iowa Journal of History and Politics; Jan 1916, vol XIV, No.1; pg 149. ~contributed by Sharyl Ferrall

FRITZ FAMILY BIBLE ENTRY - A Family Bible was given to Ludwig and Verena Fritz as a wedding present (1847) from his father, Johann Martin Fritz.  The notations are not in chronological order, sometimes questionable dates and names are entered by several persons over the years. Iowans are teased by us Wisconsin folks, a lot.  I thought the following notation from the Family Bible was funny.  It was by Ludwig.  He wrote: "My son Wilhelm married on 24 November in the year 1887 after Christ's birth with virgin Marie Gruber in Lansing in the God forsaken state Iowa, U.S.A." ~contributed by Jacob O. Fritz (I have no idea why he was sour on Iowa!)

Luxemburg Girl Loves U.S. - On Visit to Lansing, She’s Learning English Fast

By Ruth Wilson, T-H Staff Writer
Lansing, Ia.—Julia Schaack arrived in Iowa from Luxemburg just a few months ago, but already she is finding that life at Lansing even surpasses in some respects the dreams she had of America for 10 years. Miss Schaack, a young woman in her mid-twenties, had spent her life until about the first of April with her mother, father, brother and sister in a small village called Schieren in the northwest part of Luxemburg. She had read about America in geography books in school, and some of her relatives had left Luxemburg to make their homes in the United States. In 1937, one of those relatives, a woman living in Chicago, returned to Luxemburg for a visit. She talked of this country in such glowing terms that Miss Schaack determined then and there that someday she would go to America. At that time, however, she was still in school. Then the war made travel impossible, and after that times were hard and it proved very difficult to obtain a passport.

An Uncle Helps - In America, among other relatives, Miss Schaack had an uncle, Nick Schaack, who lived in Lansing, Ia. Schaack had left Europe as a young man in 1894, but for years he had wanted to pay a visit to his old home in Luxemburg. Advancing age, however, made the trip impossible for him, so he offered to help his niece come to Lansing. With all the details pertaining to passage out of the way, and with a visitor’s permit good for two years, Miss Schaack quit her secretarial job in a Luxemburg governmental office and boarded a ship for the United States. She had never studied English, and knew only the names of the towns where she was to go when she left the ship. After landing at New York, Miss Schaack spent a few days with relatives in New Jersey, close enough to New York so that she could see the impressive display of lights for which the city is famous.

It was chiefly the lights that determined her preference for New York over Chicago, another city where she visited with relatives a few days before arriving finally in Lansing. The entire trip from the port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands to La Crosse, Wis., was made alone. Her uncle met her in La Crosse and took her back to Lansing. Like almost all European visitors today, Miss Schaack is continually amazed at the size and abundance of everything, from the Mississippi River and its bluffs and hills, to the food and clothing displayed in the stores. Her first few days in Lansing she wasn’t certain about whether she should eat all the food that was served. The young Luxemburg woman is staying at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Ben Hurley, friends of her uncle, near Lansing. Here she is able to enter into the family life, and, since none of the family speaks French, German or the Luxemburg dialect, Miss Schaack is rapidly learning conversational English. At present, she is able to talk even with strangers with very few pauses while she tries to find the right word in English. Her impressions of the United States and Iowa so far have all been favorable. Movies and dances, along with visits with her uncle to neighboring towns to see other Luxemburg immigrants, fill the days that are already crammed just with the learning the language and customs. Dancing as done in the U.S. is something new, but she likes it a lot. Miss Schaack hopes to be able to stay I this country even after the two-year limit expires on her visitor’s permit. Eventually, after she has learned our language thoroughly, she may try to get a secretarial job here, but that’s a problem for the future. Right now there is so much to see, so many new things to do, that there just isn’t time for everything.
~Dubuque Telegraph-Herald, undated clipping ~contributed by Errin Wilker
~Note:her uncle, Nicholas Schaack 1873 Aug 14 - 1951 Nov 10, is buried in Gethsemane cemetery, Lansing.

Julia Schaack (above), who recently arrived from Luxemburg, likes helping out in the baking in her new home at Lansing, Ia. Miss Schaack is living at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Ben Hurley near Lansing, and with Diane Hurley (left) to show the way, is rapidly learning the language and customs of the country

Allamakee County's "Most Beautiful Girl"

Miss Ruth Reynolds of Waukon, was declared the most beautiful girl in Allamakee county by the judges in the Des Moines Register's $1,000 Beauty Contest. She will compete with the other county winners for the congressional district and state honors.
~Postville Herald, June 6, 1922
~contributed by Reid R. Johnson

Note: Ruth was the d/o William & Celia (Dalton) Reynolds. She married William Sevatson. Obituary

Corn Test Was Tops

Franklin “Doc” Weymiller and his wife Jean of rural Harpers Ferry, winners of the county master corn growers contest, saw their test plot yield 184.13 bushels per acre. The Harpers area also produced the 183.89 yield of second place winner Jerry Livingston. This year’s test yields were the second highest in the contest’s history, topped only by last year, when Allamakee was one of the state's top corn growing counties from the standpoint of average yield. That happened because of timely rains here in northeast Iowa which other sections of the state did not receive.
~Allamakee Journal, Lansing, IA, hand-dated 1978 ~contributed by Errin Wilker

RAVE Winners

Nicole Shogren, 12-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Lester Shogren, won first place in the annual Rural Amateur Variety Entertainment (RAVE) program held Saturday evening, April 21. Nicole played a piano solo entitled “The Hunter.” She will now represent Allamakee county in the district competition tin November. Second place were Cheryl Hansmeier and Cheri Busness, with a clarinet and ?ute duet, and third place went to Marsha Behrend, playing a piano solo. Other contestants were: Vicki Miene, tenor sax solo; Brenda Kruger, vocal solo; Cindy Opfer, Barb and Bev Kruger, flute duet; Patty Drew, accordion selections; Mary Kim Iverson, vocal solo, and Louise Monserud, humorous reading.

Top placers in the Allamakee county RAVE contest, left to right:

Cheri Busness and Cheryl Hansmeier, instrumental duet, second; Marsha Behrend, piano solo, third, and winner Nicole Shogren, piano solo.

Serving as host and hostess for the evening were Mr. and Mrs. Carlton Larsen. The Rev. Gus Limkemann of Center Baptist church gave the meditation. Emcee for the program was Mrs. Chester Thiele. Judges were Mrs. Milton Koenig, Bernie Martins and Mrs. John Paus. Entertainment during the adjudication was furnished by the Allamakee Farm Bureau women’s chorus, directed by Mrs. Chester Thiele and accompanied by Mrs. Roger Ericson and by the Zalmona Presbyterian youth choir under the direction of Mrs. Arlen Wonderlich and accompanied by Mrs. Ralph Osterholz. The theme of the program was “Hi, Neighbor” and was carried out with appropriate music and decorations. Door prizes and presentation awards were by Mrs. Richard Bieber, women’s chairman, and Mrs. Roger Ericson, RAVE chairman. Door prizes were donated by Northeast Farm service, Farm Bureau insurance, Curt’s Tire center, I.P.L.A. and county Farm Bureau women and competition awards were from Farm Bureau men.
~unknown Waukon newspaper clipping, April 1979
~contributed by Errin Wilker

Opening Day

Earl Garrett, Herb Bailey, Walter Bailey and George Brucker with opening day bag of ducks circa 1948
~source: Allamakee Journal, 1982 Looking Back column ~contributed by Errin Wilker

Good Goose Hunting at Lansing

Reports indicate goose hunting is good in the Lansing area this season and shown with their kills are (left to right):
Bob Sweeney, Lloyd Capper, John Sweeney, Robert Maust Jr., and Clem Peters.

~source: newspaper clipping, undated (cars appear to be from 1950's)
~clipping contributed by Cindy (Maust) Smith; scanned and transcribed by Errin Wilker

Retired Allamakee co. Road Employees Honored

About three dozen retired Allamakee county secondary road employees or spouses of deceased employees were invited to a potluck dinner to help surprise and honor a long-time retiree Tuesday night, April 17. The night’s honoree was Norman Rosendahl received a certificate, signed by Iowa Governor Terry Brandstad, noting his 48 years (1936-1983) of employment with the county.

Norman Rosendahl receives plaque denoting his 48 years of employment with the county
L-R: Kathy Hogendorn, Norman Rosendahl & Bill Kerndt

County Engineer Bill Kerndt and his secretary Kathy Hogendorn, and the other employees of the engineer’s office arranged to have certificates for all those other retired county employees as well, noting their length of service to the county. While none of them could match Rosendahl’s term, there were some others with long, long records of employment. Former assistant to the county engineer Louis I. Jones, for example, can claim a 41-year career, and Raymond W. Schultz 37.

The others receiving certificates, the dates of their employment and number of years are listed below, with (d) indicating the individual is deceased. In most cases, wives were present to receive a certificate, and a few were delivered to surviving spouses the next day. Those recognized: Myron (Spike) Johnson, (d), 1934-1957, 23 years; Frank L. Sandry, 1949-1960, 11 years; Marilla Amundsen, a secretary, 1945-1966, 21 years; Lloyd B. Forde, 1949-1966, 17 years; David E. Hoover, former county engineer, 1958-1969, 11 years; Clarence L. Knudtson, (d), 1946-1970, 24 years; Oswald Steinhart, (d), 1941-1970, 29 years; Theodore A. Larson, 1944-1971, 27 years; Joseph C. Lier, (d), 1964-1971, seven years; John B. Munz, 1960-1971, 11 years; Glen B. Rice, 1954-1972, 18 years; James W. Spores, (d), 1959-1972, 13 years; Clarence O. Svebakken, 1959-1972, 13 years; Earl E. Johnson, (d), 1953-1974, 21 years; Howard G. Meyer, (d), 1952-1974, 22 years; Robert F. Weipert, (d), 1945-1975, 30 years; Otis G. Britain, (d), 1967-1976, nine years; Garland J. Burroughs, 1952- [page ends here]

~source: April 1984 Waukon newspaper clipping ~contributed by Errin Wilker

3 Waukon Women's Ages Total 287 Years!

The ages of these three women total 287 years, a record seldom equalled under one roof. The three are residents of a Waukon, Ia. nursing home, where they are shown celebrating the 100th birthday of Mrs. Patrick Healy (center). Mrs. Healy has lived 98 of her years in the Waukon area. Others shown are Mrs. Rachael Larson (right), who celebrated her 94th birthday March 17, and Mrs. Harvey Clark (left) who was 93 years old last Jan. 25. Mrs. Clark was born on a farm northeast of Waukon.
~source: 1952 Waukon Newspaper Clipping ~contributed by Errin Wilker
~note: Mrs. Patrick Healy is Mary Ann Healy d. Dec 1954 & buried in Mt. Olivet cemetery; Rachel Larson d. 1953 & is buried in Old West Paint Creek cemetery; Mrs. Harvey Clark was nee Martha Ann Jones.

1909 "Iowa Day" Celebration - Carson, Cheyenne Co., Colorado; Saturday, August 28, 1909

Dwyer, Mrs. T. R., Allamakee
Gerke, Anna, Allamakee
Nelson, H. C., Allamakee
full list & source of info. (off-site)

Former Residents Living in California & Iowa Picnics in Californa

1915 - Allamakee co. names
- Allamakee co. names & addresses
- Southern California is populated largely with former Iowans, and from the following list it would seem that most of them were from Postville. Sixty thousand former Hawkeye residents attended the Iowans picnic in California on Washington's birthday, and the following is a list of those present from Postville.... See the list of names
- Twenty former Postville residents attended the annual Iowa picnic at Los Angeles, California February 24, 1940. The following were included: Grace McNeil Sebastian, Mrs. F. W. Hughes, F. E. Sutherland, Helen Henderson Handley, Ruby Webster Webb, H. D. Webb, A. L. Meier, Flora T. Shroyer, Edyth Ellis Couch, De Etta Carrick, Emma I. Turner, Mae Welzel, Anna Redhead Spirling, Olive Orr, Ethel Gray Withrow, Mrs. J.S. Westfall, Ella Barkley Mills, Berna Schultz, Mrs. Mamie A. Reeder, and Mrs. A. E. Cornell.

~Postville Herald, March 13, 1940 ~contributed by Connie Ellis

Martin Brothers Funeral Home 1876-1976 - The firm of Martin Brothers Funeral Home and Furniture Store of Waukon, Iowa in 1976 was celebrating 100 years of business. The fourth generation business was begun by Henry Martin in 1876. Henry's sons, Otto Martin and Willard Martin joined the company, followed by Willard's son Roger Martin. Roger, owner and operator in 1976, was joined by his son, Dave Martin to complete the fourth generation.
~Waukon Democrat, "Flashback Column", November 20, 1986 ~contributed by Connie Ellis

Cattle Queen of Allamakee county, 1918 - Miss Lizzie Mitchell of near Waukon recently sold forty-seven head of 2-year-old cattle and received the sum of $6,440. She purchased these cattle herself about three months ago and placed them on her farm and it is claimed she cleared $3,000 on the deal, and all say she is entitled to the title of cattle queen of Allamakee county. She also purchased a Ford to go to and from her farm in. ~Rake Register, August 1, 1918 ~contributed by S. Ferrall

Information Wanted Ads

*Irish Immigrant Ads Placed in Irish Newspapers (1850's - 1880's)

*Wanted - Information of Patrick Phelan, born in Parish of Butlerstown, County Waterford, Ireland, about 1839. Left Pennsylavania with his brother-in-law, Dennis Byrne, in 1858. Last seen in Allamakee Co. Iowa; last heard from in the Union Army in the Rebellion. Company, regiment, and State of enlistment unknown. Union soldiers please take notice. Information as to his war record, death, or whereabouts, if alive, will be gratefully received by his sister, Mrs. Catherine Byrne, DeGraff, Swift Co., Minn. ~The National Tribune, March 24, 1898 (Washington D.C.) ~contributed by S. Ferrall

Elmyra Reynolds 100th birthday, 1934
Mrs. Elmyra Reynolds, believed to be the oldest resident of Allamakee county, celebrated her one-hundredth birthday anniversary Friday. The Baptist congregation held a public reception in the church in the afternoon at which time a hundred or more friends called to pay their respects to the pioneer who has passed over 50 years of her life in Waukon. Despite her advanced age, she possesses remarkable health and takes an active part in her own business affairs. One of her remarks Friday was: "The first 100 years are the hardest." She was born at Pewaukee, Wis., May 25, 1834
~LaCrosse Tribune, Waukon, Iowa column, May 30, 1934 ~contributed by S. Ferrall

Attends 100th Birthday Anniversary of Aunt
Perry Brown, who is employed on the R.J. Reuerhelm farm east of town, left last Thursday for Waukon to attend the observance of the 100th birthday of his aunt, Mrs. Elmira Reynolds. Mrs. Reynolds has resided in Waukon for 57 years and is a highly respected citizen. As a token of esteem, the city mayor and council presented the honored guest a handsome birthday cake at the receiption held in the Baptist church Friday afternoon. Mrs. Reynolds has been a member of that church all her life. Mrs. Reynolds is hale and hearty for one of her age and takes care of her own room without assistance. ~Lake Park News, Lake Park, Dickinson co., Iowa, May 31, 1934 ~contributed by S. Ferrall

Saw Two Eclipses - Mrs. Mary E. Minert, 520 Rural, is one of the few Emporians who have witnessed two total eclipses of the sun. The first eclipse seen by Mrs. Minert was in 1868 in Iowa, when she was 24 years old. "I was coming home horseback from Postville, a little town 4 1/3 miles from my home, when I saw the first indication of the eclipse." Mrs. Minert said today. "A yellow haze came on and then it gradually grew darker. I had to pass the cemetery before I got home and by the time I had reached there it was so dark that all I could see was the white tombstones. I was frightened for I had not heard of any eclipse and did not know what was happening. It did not stay dark and as it began to grow lighter again I got over my fright." The second eclipse seen by Mrs. Minert was in 1878, also at her home in Iowa. ~Emporia Gazette, Emporia Kansas, Jan 27, 1925 ~contributed by S. Ferrall

How to Hold a Milk Pail - J.T. Bailey, of Postville, Iowa, writes: I have seen in several numbers of The Prairie Farmer articles on how to milk and the best kind of stools to use for the purpose. My mode of milking differs from any that I have seen. Take a stool having one leg, or three or four legs, and after seating yourself for milking, take the pail between the legs and hold it with the knees. It may be a little hard to do this at first, but it is the cleanest and nicest way to milk that I know; and if the cow should start you are less liable to have the milk spilled or wasted than if the pail rested anywhere else. ~The Prairie Farmer, Chicago, Illinois, August 19, 1871 ~contributed by S. Ferrall

Brothers Separated 39 Years Are Reunited At Postville - A Rip Van Winkle scene was enacted at Postville last week when Frank Daubenberger arrived in that city after an absence of thirty-nine years, during which time members of the family had never heard from him and they had long since given him up for dead. Upon his arrival the surroundings were strange to him and he inquired if George Daubenberger lived there-abouts. Upon being directed to the residence of his brother, the two strangers looked at one another a moment and after a few words were exchanged, brother clasped brother's hand in their first greeting in more than a third of a centruy. Mr. Daubenberger is farming near Duluth, Minn. ~LaCrosse Tribune (Wisconsin), March 16, 1921 ~contributed by S. Ferrall

White Owl - A white owl was shot by a man with the gun habit in Allamakee county.  It measured five feet from "tip to tip," and was pronounced a rare speciment (sic). Such fowls were quite common in an early day.  They ventured forth in daylight when it was snowing and shocks of fodder afforded them a home during the cold winter.  They are covered in the winter season with a velvety down underneath the coarse white feathers.  They are habitants of the open prairies. ~Alden Times, January 13, 1921 ~contributed by Laura Blair

News extracts mentioning Dr. T.H. Barnes of Waukon and others - These newspaper articles, 1879-1884, were collected by the contributor. Read them here! ~contributed by Robert Bee

Grand Meadow Country Club is 90! - This article & photos were originally printed in the March 15, 2006 issue of the Postville Herald-Leader and is posted here with permission of the Herald-Leader editor. Grand Meadow twp. is in Clayton county, Iowa, directly south of the town of Postville and the Allamakee county line. Many of the original and current members live in or have close ties to Allamakee county. Read the Article
~contributed by Errin Wilker

1939 Birthday Calendar - Postville area - Community Presbyterian Church Ladies' Aid Society Birthday calendar ads, Postville ~contributed by Sharyl Ferrall

Advertising Ink Blotters - Kozelka's Advertising Blotters. William Kozelka owned a shoe store in Postville from the 1930's ... for many years. Ink blotters were a popular form of advertising in the 1930's and 1940's. .~contributed by Errin Wilker

Russian Famine Relief Committees, 1892 - Allamakee county heard the cry for help and formed committees to solicit donations .... read on ~contributed by S. Ferrall

Sisters Recall Fun of Clamming in Jefferson, Now a Ghost Town. Though Jefferson, a southeastern Minnesota community, almost disappeared 30 years ago, life there is still vivid in the minds of two New Albin sisters. Clara Darling, 84, and Ella Zarwell, 82, were daughters of Mr. and Mrs. John Myers ....... read the whole story, view the photos (there's lots of New Albin history in this story) ~contributed by Errin Wilker

Bertha Putnam, Postville, Allamakee County, Iowa

...is the daughter of S.D. Putnam, Co. M, 5th N.Y.H.A. She is 20 years old; height, five feet seven inches; weight, 125 pounds; dark brown hair and eyes. She wishes to exchange autographs.
~The National Tribune, Washington, D.C., October 26, 1893; column heading "Our Roll Call"; the photo accompanied her request for penpals

"Will someone please send a recipe for lemon pie with two crusts? Bertha Putnam, Postville, Iowa"
~The National Tribune, Washington, D.C., November, 1894; column heading "Happy Household"

~notes: The National Tribune was a newspaper publication of the G.A.R. Bertha Putnam, 1872-07/04/1928, is buried in the Postville cemetery. ~contributed by S. Ferrall

Vote for "Dad" Advertising Campaign postcard, ca1905/1906

Vote for "Dad" Republican Candidate for Clerk of the District Court. Allamakee County. John G. Schimming (dad) and John Schimming (son)
~contributed by Errin Wilker
~John G. Schimming Obituary

Click the postcard to enlarge in a new window

Old Cabin Landmarks

John Blake and his wife reared 13 children in this log cabin (right) , on Iowa Highway 13 just south of its junction with STH 119 near Dorchester. Blake, 97, moved from the cabin this summer and lives with a daughter, Mrs. Gertrude Larson, near Dorchester. A second daughter, Mrs. Donald Hegeman, Waukon, said the cabin was built before her father lived there and originally was one-room. Nearby on Highway 13 is another log cabin (below), which long ago was abandoned to the elements. ~La Crosse Tribune clipping (undated, but other news clippings on the same page of the scrapbook were dated 1965.) ~contributed by Errin Wilker

A Character Extraordinary

According to information in the July 8, 1964 issue of the Allamakee Journal, John Sadd was regularly seen about town.  We assume he was related to Ed Sadd who, in this photo, stands in front of his log cabin home that was located between Lansing and New Albin.  On the back of the photo, Ed is referred to as "character extraordinary". ~Allamakee Journal, 1990's ~contributed by Errin Wilker

The Four Mile House

...known as the "Old Bill Young Place" or the "Old Stage Coach Stop" on Highway 9 was sold at auction to Martin VanBrocklin.  Even some of the Journal's younger readers associate Harold VanBrocklin with the place, as seen in this photo.  It wasn't all that long ago that Harold still walked the eight miles from town every day, summer and winter, to feed the mules he had housed on the property. ~Allamakee Journal, August 29, 1990 ~contributed by Errin Wilker

McNally Log Cabin

Robert McNally, 86, who lives 1 1/2 miles east and 1/2 mile south of Rossville, is standing in front of the log house in which he was born. At that time it was located on the former Tommy Burns acreage on Highway 76 about 3 miles east of Rossville, and which is now owned by Gilbert Eadie. The house was moved around 1900 to the present Gilbert Eadie farm (the former Dan and Nettie Kelly farm), 2 1/2 miles east of Rossville, where it has been used since that time as a granary and is still in use. Many thousands of bushels of oats and wheat have been carried in sacks, some up the steps to be emptied into bins while the temperatures in the upper part of the house were 110 to 115 degrees. The hand-hewn logs still stand as a monument to the skill and craftmanship of our forefathers. ~Allamakee Journal, July 7, 1976 ~contributed by Errin Wilker