From Our Readers


Received September, 2009 from Fargo, North Dakota

Thanks for posting the obituary of my grandmother.  It was very helpful to find it available on line.

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Received June 23, 2009

I can't thank you enough for all the work you did on "(family name witheld)".  It has been a GREAT help.

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We received the following March 15th 2007.

This site has been a life saver for me. I had 2 cousins (5 times removed) respond to me and give me information on the Snyder family, which they dropped the "S" off the end when arriving in the USA. And before that the spelling was Snijders. I now have my ancesters traced back to 1742. WOW!! Thanks for this wonderful site!

-- I.M.

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We received the following Sept. 15th 2006, from Sharyl Ferrall.

Lyon co. is looking VERY nice!


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We received the following from Bob Schoff of Calimesa, California:

I wish to thank you for the interesting Historical Newsletter. We were talking to a friend of ours last week and mentioned the newsletter. She hadn’t heard of it although she grew up in Rock Rapids. Francis Dennis was one of the Baustian sisters. Her sister Neva Vogel still resides in Rock Rapids. Francis graduated with the class of 1936, with my sister, Vesta Schoff. My wife and I thought it would be nice to give her a gift of the Lyon County Historical Newsletter. Thank you.

-Bob & Ruth Schoff

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We received a letter from Dr. Charles Joss and his wife, Meta. Dr. Joss is a retired superintendent of the Sioux Rapids High School and was a dear friend of Ben and me when we lived in Sioux Rapids:

He commented that he enjoyed the poetry and reading the museum news. He ended the letter “Keep on!” Your Historical Society and Museum are so very important!
-Sincerely, Charles & Meta Joss Sioux Rapids, Iowa 50585

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Neva Vogel of Rock Rapids wrote:

I surely enjoyed receiving the Newsletter. My sister, Edna, and I baby sat the Chesher children. We remained friends with Marjorie until her dying day.

As for the Bonnie Doon, we had an organization, the G. A. A. (Girls Athletic Association,) in school. We earned our letter and pin by doing certain projects. One was walking! We girls would hike to Doon and ride back to Rock Rapids on the Bonnie Doon. What fun! I found my G.A.A. pin recently.

I also found a picture of Al Smith and his Alaskan dogs. It is marked “Johnson” “R.R.,” but I have no idea who Al Smith is. Neva wrote, “I have been showing it around, but I can’t think of anyone older than myself!”

-Neva Vogel, Rock Rapids, Iowa Class of 1930

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We heard from Ruth F. Kerns:

I just realized that I did not receive my March Lyon County Historical Newsletter. I was late getting in my membership and maybe my name has been removed from the mailing list. I am enclosing my check, so please get my name back on the mailing list. I hate to miss any issues.

Harold Aardema, Doon Press, mentioned in his column a few weeks ago the book, Lizards and Angels, by Frederick Manfred, published in 1992. I thought I had read all of Manfred’s books but discovered I had not read this one. I don’t know if you have ever read it. It is the story of a family who came to Northwest Iowa (specifically Lyon County) back in the 1800’s, and it’s about their lives through World War I. The fun part is trying to figure out the places they go like Rock Rapids is Rock Falls, Doon is Bonnie, etc. Some prominent men are mentioned in it like E. C. Roach. It is just an interesting book about the good-old days.

I would imagine it’s in the Rock Rapids Library. Maybe some of your readers from out of town might be interested in reading it. My library system did not have it, but I was able to get it through the inter- library system. Ask your local librarian about that wonderful system of obtaining books.

Looking forward to seeing you during Heritage Days. As always,

-Ruth (Fullerton) Kerns Houston, Texas

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Mary Ellen Leners writes:

I am enclosing my membership check. My father, Irvin Suhreptz (1905- 1994) told of “helping to turn the train” in Doon. Must have been at the Bonnie Doon Roundhouse. I wish I had gotten more details. We will plan to be at the Lyon County Fair to see the Bonnie Doon display.

I have land in Richiand and Doon Townships and get back to Lyon County regularly. I graduated from Inwood High School in 1954. Three years ago I retired from the Emmetsburg Public Library after 21 years as librarian. Our six children all live out of state.

I have a HALLS superior quality kitchenware 2-quart bowl. I have been told that it is a Jewel Tea product. Does it sound like it?

-Mary Ellen (Suhreptz) Leners
Emmetsburg, Iowa

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Harold Aardema, editor of the Doon Press writes:

Here is one of my memories of the Bonnie Doon Railroad. I was born in 1928 and had happy childhood days during the 30’s. Happy in a big way, because we lived between two railroads, separated by about two-and-a-half city blocks, sort of like living on the right side and the wrong side of the tracks!

Once the Bonnie Doon Roundhouse caught on fire. It was saved from being destroyed by the fire, and that was one time that I was allowed to peek inside! But alas, there is only one artifact from those days, a culvert, which has been preserved. But there are a lot of memories!

I was four years old when I had my first train ride. I went from Doon to Rock Rapids and took my mother along. I now picture the ride in my mind as clear as that day. I hear the hiss of steam and the labored pull of the pistons. I can smell the coal smoke belching from the smokestack. It was awesome and, doubly so, because on that day, I beheld a black man on that train ride!

—Harold Aardema, Doon, Iowa

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