Cerro Gordo County Iowa
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After 49 years on the section for the Rock Island Lines and 30 years on the same stretch of track, S. J. (Steve)
Wodarcak has put his motor car away for the last time. Friday was his last day as track foreman on the section including
Mason City yards and the line through Sheffield. He stated in October 1908 at Owatonna, Minn., and came to Mason City in 1916.
He spent two years as a brakeman out of Manly and then returned to his former job of track foreman.
Friday was his last day as track foreman on the section including Mason City yards and the line through Sheffield. He stated in October 1908 at Owatonna, Minn., and came to Mason City in 1916. He spent two years as a brakeman out of Manly and then returned to his former job of track foreman.
He has held that job since, with never an accident to himself or a man working under him. In all those years he has never been ill and has lost only three weeks pay -- while taking time out for a honeymoon in 1925.
He has refused what others consider promotion to a better job. One reason was that he preferred to stay at home and the other was that he considers the track man's job important.
Wodarcak recalls the terrific rainstorms of 1954 when he and his men had to patrol at night the track from Mason City to Hampton. On the trip south they reported at Hampton that ll bridges and track were safe despite high water.
One engineer and conductor wanted to follow the motor car back to Mason City but Steve Wodarcak refused. On their way back to Mason City the trackmaen found the ends of two bridges washed out, with holes 12 feet deep.
With his retirement, Grandpa Wodarcak will have more time for his family. It includes a son and two dauaghters, all married, and the very important grandchildren.
Mr. and Mrs. [Anzonetta Bell (Long)] Wodarcak live at 117 Manore N.W. Their children are Elmer (Stan) Wodarcak, Miami, Fla.; Mrs. James (Wanita) Ward, Mason City; and Mrs. Richard (Pauline) Nickerson, Clear Lake.
NOTE: Stanley John Wodarcak, known as either Stanley or Steve, was born in Steele County, Minnesota on February 19, 1888, the son of Stephen and Anna (Dujenski) Wlodarczak, Polish immigrants. Upon beinghired by the Rock Island Railroad, he Americanized his surname. He died in Mason City on December 8, 1969. Anzonetta Bell (Long) Wodarcak was born in Mound City, South Dakota on August 5, 1903, the daughter of John Edgar Long and Lucy Isabelle (Rugg) Long-Volkmann. Stanley and Anzonetta were married in Mason City on June 3, 1925. Anzonetta died two days after her 90th birthday on August 7, 1993, Mason City. Stanley and Anzonetta were interred at Memorial Park Cemetery, Mason City.
Transcription and note by Sharon R. Becker, November of 2013
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