Cerro Gordo County Iowa
Part of the IaGenWeb Project



The Globe Gazette
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Monday, June 01, 1953

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

100 YEARS, 100 BANDS, 100 QUEENS in 200 PAGES
Mason City's Story Told in This Issue

One hundred years, 100 bands, 100 queens in 200 pages!

That's the story of this Centennial issue of the Globe-Gazette, devoted to the mammoth task of presenting the stirring account of Mason City's first century of history.

Published on the eve of Mason City's giant Centennial celebration, which takes place June 7 to 14, this 212 page issue is a significant event in itself. It is the largest newspaper ever published in Mason City and as such is a fitting part of the city's observation of this historic event.

Represent a Year

In the pages of this newspaper are told, not only the account of those 100 years of the history of Mason City, but the spectacular, colorful story that 100 queens and 100 bands from 100 communities surrounding Mason City are coming to have a part in the celebration, each one representing a year in the city's history.

With this are the stories of other events in the celebration, the parades, processions of beautiful floats, historical window displays, a pavement dance, a Centennial ball, choir and band concerts and special religious services that are a part of Mason City's observance of this important milepost in its history.

This issue, published to present the story of this celebration and the history of this community the past century, is made up of 10 sections. It has a 40 page tabloid devoted exclusively to a history of Mason City. Several sections carry interesting stories of many events of the past century and one section is given over to the details of the program of the eight-day Centennial celebration.

30,000 Copies

To print this issue was not a small undertaking. The 30,000 copies of the newspaper that were printed required two carloads or a total of 83,000 pounds of newsprint.

Spread out into one sheet the width would extend from Mason City to Washington, D.C., a distance of more than 1,000 miles.

Printing of the Centennial newspaper required the casting of 376 stereotype plates, with a total weight of 15,792 pounds.

Of the 30,000 newspapers printed, 13,000 are in the mails to destinations in all of the 48 states, the District of Columbia, Alaska, Hawaii, Germany, the Scandinavian nations and other countries. The remainder were delivered by carrier salesmen, who had a tremendous job on their hands as each paper weighed 2.6 pounds.

Tremendous Influx

Indications are that Mason City will have a tremendous influx of former residents and other visitors to take part in the celebration, which gets under way next Sunday, June 7, with a musical salute in East Park. A special welcome for homecomers and visitors is set for Monday, June 8.

The North Iowa Band Festival, larger than ever with its 100 flashing bands and 100 gorgeous queens, will be the center of interest Tuesday. Wednesday will be Transportation Day, with a parade through the business section of the city and a special program at the airport at noon.

One of the high moments of the week will be the historical parade and the coronation of the queen of the Centennial Thursday. Friday will be turned over to a community-wide sports day.

A church decoration program, sponsored by the Garden Club, and a street dance is on the program for Saturday and Sunday, June 14, the final day of the Centennial celebration, will be devoted to special services in the churches and a community sing at East Park.

As is pointed out more fully in other sections of this newspaper, this spectacular celebration is being held in commemoration of the building of the first cabin in Mason City exactly a century ago by John L. McMillin and his descendants down to the fifth generation are to be presented as part of the program.

On the pages of this edition are told the story of the arrival of the first white settlers and the procession of men and women 100 years long that followed them to help make Mason City what it is today.

Contained in this issue is the story of families that braved the uncertainties of the prairie and the peril of sloughs and other dangers to get here and who endured the primitive life of the [illegible] wilderness after their crude cabins were erected.

There are stories about the trouble the pioneers had with Indians, how they faced bleak tragedy when the merciless blizzards swept across the prairies, how they lived beyond reach of medical care or any of the refinements of life and how when that moment came they were willing to levy almost confiscatory taxes upon themselves to bring a railroad to the village.

Early Struggles

There are accounts of political battles, of struggles with the liquor question, of how schools and churches were built and of how when the harsh days of pioneering were over they turned to cultural pursuits.

It is such stories as these that are told in the 200 pages of this edition, in all intensely interesting human drama of how this community, through the dynamic leadership of its citizens, foresightedness and willingness to undergo sacrifices, came to be a city of close to 30,000 persons.

It is a story of towering triumphs and bitter disappointments, of tears, toil and sweat, as well as times of exalting experiences, but, above all, full of interesting happenings.
~ Pages 1 & 2

* * * *

Unfortunately, this is the best I can do with this image,
a letter of congratulations from President Dwight Eisenhower
which appeared on page one of the Centennial Edition. ~ SRB

* * * *

10 Sections in This Issue

GENERAL NEWS:Sections 1 & 2 
Centennial Articles: The Centennial Edition Centennial Editorial 
   Centennial Activities Businesses Mason City Scenes
   Sports History Residents, Then and Now Mason City Schools 
   Social Organizations Transportation Military Page 
Age of Covered Wagon
(1853-78) Section 3
   Age of the Iron Horse
   (1879-1903) Section 4
   Age of the Horseless Carriage
   (1904-28) Section 5
Age of the Airplane
(1929-53) Section 6
   The Mason City Story
   (tabloid) Section 7
   The Story of the Churches
   Section 8
The Story of the Schools
Section 9
   Centennial Program
   Section 10
   Listing of Advertisers

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Sunday, June 7
- Musical Salute to Centennial.
8 p.m. Concert in East Park
Municipal Band & Chamber of Commerce Chorus
Monday, June 8
- Homecoming and Reunion Day.
2 p.m. Program at Music Hall
2 p.m. Unveiling of Historical Windows
7:30 p.m. Concert, Central Park, High School Band
8:15 p.m. Women's Club Drama "Our Century," High school Auditorium
Tuesday, June 9
- North Iowa Band Festival.
10 a.m. Parade of Queens and Bands
Grand finale, Roosevelt Stadium
8:15 p.m. Women's Club Drama "Our Century," High School Auditorium
Wednesday, June 10
- Transportation Day.
5 p.m. Concert East Park, Municipal Band
8:15 p.m. Women's Club Drama "Our Century," High School Auditorium
Thursday, June 11
- Centennial Historical Parade.
6 p.m. Centennial Ball, Surf Ballroom
9 p.m. Coronation of Queen, Surf Ballroom
Friday, June 12
- Centennial Sports Day.
6 p.m. Concert Central Park, Roosevelt Jr. High School Band
Saturday, June 13
- Church decoration, Pavement dance.
1 - 5 p.m. Open house in churches for flowers-go-to-church event
Pavement dance, prizes for old time & comic costumes
8 p.m. Concert Central Park, Monroe Jr. High School Band
Sunday, June 14
- Church and Community Day.
Special services in churches.
2 p.m. Concert East Park, Municipal Band
8 p.m. Hymn sing by singers from all churches

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Tours of City During Centennial

[Page 28] Tours of Mason City will be provided for visitors and homecomers both morning and afternoon during Centennial Week, except on Tuesday and Sundays.

These tours will start from Music Hall at various periods from 9 to 11 in the morning and from 2 to 4 in the afternoon.

Most of these tours will follow this general outline to give the visitors an opportunity to see industrial, commercial, cultural and religious developments in the city:

Drivers will go north on Delaware past the First Congregational Church, Federal Building, Bethlehem Lutheran Church, then to Federal and north to visit the plants of Jacob E. Decker and Sons, Northwestern States Portland Cement Compnay, Lehigh Portland Cement Company, American Crystal Sugar Company.

To See Junior High

The tour will then return south to 12th N.E., then west past the Monroe Junior High School, and the plants of the Mode O'Day and International Minerals and Chemical Corporation, then south on Van Buren and Jackson to 9th N.W. and east to Adams. The cars will then proceed south on Adams past the Holy Family Catholic Church, Adas Israel Synagoug, then west to Monroe and south to 1st N.E.

From this point the parties will go west on 1st N.W. to Forest Park and Willowbrook past West Park, St. Joseph's Mercy Hospital, Helenic Orthodox Church and Willowbrook. West on Highway 18 visitors will be shown the claypits, KGLO, Costa's, the new North Iowa Fair site and the Drive-In Theater.

The route will lead south on the gravel highway past Allied Mills, and east on Highway 106 past Central Heights, Mason City Country Club, West Haven, the plant of the North Iowa Co-operative Processing Association, State Brand Creameries, Inc., the plants of the Mason City Brick and Tile Company, IOOF Home and KRIB.

Reaching Federal on 19th S.W., drivers will turn south past the south side fire station, Midland Heights, Swift and Company plant, now under construction, the Hi-Cross hatchery and other establishments. Returning on Federal to 18th S.E., the visitors will be taken east to Pennsylvania then north past the Roosevelt Junior High School and athletic grounds and the Wesley Methodist Church.

East to Carolina

At 12th S.E. the cars will turn east to Carolina and north to 6th S.E., then east to Kentucky, north through the Broadlawns addition to 4th S.E., east to St. James Lutheran Church, west on Maple Drive and East State, through East Park, then turning south on State and Connecticut to 2nd S.E., then west past the First Methodist church and the Mason City Public Library to Pennsylvania.

The parties will then go north on Pennsylvania past the First Baptist Church, Iowa Hardware Mutual Building, YMCA, St. John's Episcopal Church, Radio Chapel and the Trinity Lutheran Church, east on 4th N.E. to Carolina, north across the Winnebago and east through the East Park Place drives and then to the Highlands, the Harding School and the Legion golf course. The return route to the Music Hall will be past the water works with a good view of the Decker plant.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Cartoons Appearing in Centennial Edition

They'll Do It Every Time by Jimmy Hatlo  Blondie by Chic Young
Brick Bradford by Paul Norris  Mary Worth by Ken Allen
Muggs and Skeeter by Wally Bishop  Big Sister by Forgrave
Rex Morgan, M. D. by Dal Curtis  Oaky Doaks by N. B. Fuller
Etta Kett by Paul Robinson  Scorchy Smith by Rodlow Willard
Room And Board by Gene Ahren  Scott's Scrap Book by R. J. Scott
  Noah Numskull 

Also on Cartoon page (11), "Try and Stop Me" by Bennett Cerf, The Daily Crossword Puzzle, and the Daily Cryptoquote Puzzle.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Unless otherwise noted, photographs courtesy of The Globe-Gazette.
Some of the photographs did not scan well. In such a case the photograph
has been substituted with a clearer copy if available.

Transcriptions by Sharon R. Becker, November & December of 2014



  • Return to History Index Page

  • Return to Cerro Gordo Home Page


    © Copyright 1996-
    Cerro Gordo Co. IAGenWeb Project
    All rights Reserved.