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Tingley Centennial: 1883 ~1983

Tingley's 4-H Clubs

Girl's 4-H, 1931 - 1934

Tingley Township organized a girls 4-H club in 1931 with Marguerite ECKERMAN as the leader. the club, named the Happy Home Makers, had Gladys FRANKE serve as County Secretary in 1931. Leona BEEN became the leader in 1932. Members were: Delene McKEE, Ava SMITH, Kathleen HUNTER, Ruth CARR, Wardene SMITH, Margaret BEEN, Alta Marie BORRUSCH, Lois McCOWEN, Monafay HANSON, Maxine NICHOLS, Maudeen BEEN, Reba BRECKENRIDGE, Helen DUFTY, Helen HENDERSON and Gladys FRANKS.

Mary FERGUSON served as leader, with Julia HENDERSON as assistant for two years.

Margaret BEEN was County President in 1933 and Delen McKEE became County President in 1934.

Maxine NICHOLS won the county health contest and entered the state fair contest. Attending the State 4-H Convention in Ames were Monafay HANSON, Reba BRECKENRIDGE and Delen McKEE.

Tingley Topperettes 4-H Club

  Many important events mark December 7. First of all - Pearl Harbor, the coal strike was called off, and then a 4-H club was organized in Tingley Township on that date in 1946. It was the thirteenth girls' 4-H club to organize in the county.



 The mothers and girls met at the Tingley schoolhouse to hear about 4-H projects. Mrs. Hershel MORRISON, 4-H committee member for that territory, was in charge of the meeting. Officers elected for the club were: president, Marlene GILES; vice-president, Margaret DeVRIES; secretary, Lila Del CLOUGH; treasurer, Ann O'NEAL; reporter, Evelyn DeVRIES; historican, Betty MARRS; recreational chairman, Doris JOHNSON. Other girls attending were Joan HANNAH, Verlene HALM, Ann ANDERSON, Marjorie PUTNEY, Jenesse OVERHOLTZER, Roberta REYNOLDS, Patty DUNLAP, Gertrude PRIEST, Wanda and Roberta SWIGART, Betty JOBE, Linda RICHARDS, Marilyn KESTER, and Ellen EIGHME. Mrs. Louise MILLSAP and Mrs. Helen ANDERSON were the first leaders.



  In 1952 the Farm Bureau World Paper wrote an article on the Tingley Topperettes as the outstanding girls' club in Ringgold County. The following are excerpts from that article:

"The Tingley Topperettes, with its membership of 26 4-H girls, is located in Tingley township, Ringgold County. Its 26 town and country girls, along with their leaders, Mrs. Rosie BLAUER and Mrs. Jean SKARDA, work toward their 4-H Motto, "To Make The Best Better." Besides their 4-H projects each year, they take part in many community activites which they think are a very important part of being a good 4-H'er. This past year, as well as other years, the girls have decorated a store window in Tingley in remembrance of "Poppy Day." They also participated in selling poppies. For Halloween Fun Night, they painted a window and contributed to the Halloween Fund. When there is work to be done, the Tingley Topperettes are always willing to do it. Maybe we have led you to believe that all we do is work. We have fun, too - a trip to Riverview Park last year and another one planned for this summer, a slumber party (an annual event), and a swimming party are just a few of our fun club activities. A good time while we work and play together is what we strive for."

Thirty years later, 1982, the club still continues to be very active. The 4-H program has changed over the years, but our Tingley gals still continue to furnish county leadership, have State Fair projects and demonstrations, and bring home the "blue ribbons." The membership has averaged 18 girls per year, and 26 women have served as leaders in the club's 36 year history.

Tingley Topperettes Outstanding Achievements Through The Years

  1947 Betty MARRS elected County Secretary-Treasurer. Betty gave the campaign speech for Mary Jo CORNELISON, elected State President. Betty and Eveyln DeVRIES demonstrated at State Fair.

1950 Joan HANNAH elected County Secretary-Treasurer.

1951 Jenesse OVERHOLTZER elected County Historian.

1952 Betty JOBE elected County President. Topperettes named outstanding club in the county.

1953 Macelle MORRISON was installed as honorary member in county.

1954 Sue RICHARDS elected County Vice-President. Sue and Jenessee OVERHOLTZER demonstrated at State Fair (only team to recieve blue ribbon in 9 years.)

1956 Patty and Betty HILL demonsrated at State Fair (blue ribbon).

1958 Nancy WEEDA and Karen REASONER were top county junior demonstration team.

1962 Eleanor SHIELDS installed as honorary member in county. Sally BRECKENRIDGE and Carla RIGGS were the top county junior demonstration team. Nancy WEEDA was elected as County Historian.

1964 Sally BRECKENRIDGE was elected as County Vice-President. Deb HENRY and Rose WURSTER were the top County junior demonstration team.

1965 Twilla and Keith LININGER received Alumni Awards.

1966 Annette SHIELDS and Marlene PRIDGEN were the top County junior demonstration team.

1970 Anne MARSHALL and Marla WILKINS were the top County junior demonstration team.

1971 Pam JACKSON and Rita IBBOTSON demonstrated at State Fair.

1973 Pam JACKSON was Ringgold County's Outstanding Girl Member.

1975 Marla WILKINS won the County Dress Review. Marcia FORD and Marla WILKINS went to the American Royal.

1976 The Topperettes won the Ringgold County Basketball Tourney.

1977 Marcy and Shelley WILKINS were the Dress Review Winners.

1978 Shelley won the County Dress Review. Shelley and Shari ENGLAND were the top County senior demonstration team.

1979 Shelley received the Lions 4-H Award.

  • Leaders with Long Service:
    Four Years: Louise MILLSAP and Georgia Etta KINNE
    Five Years: Rosie BLAUER and Margaret WILKINS
    Seven Years: Eleanor SHIELDS
    Nine Years: Connie RICHARDS

    Tingley Toppers

    Tingley Toppers 4-H Club Report, 1953
    by John Blauer

    Tingley Toppers 4-H club was organized in the Spring of 1934 at the home of John BLAUER. Sixteen boys joined and elected John BLAUER as the leader, and he has been the leader ever since - this making his 19th year in club work [1953]. He was also County Youth Assistant for 4 years and is Honorary Member of the County Girls 4-H Clubs.

    Today [1953] the club has 39 members, the largest club in the county. The Tingley Topperettes have 29 members, making a total of 68 4-H members in Tingley Township. No other township in the area could beat that total.

    Early members who are still around Tingley and farming are: Keith LININGER, Donald WEEDA, Robert BASTOW, Elton WERNER, Francis SMITH, Donald GROUT, Franklin NICHOLS, Clare JOHNSON, Darrell WERNER, Howard VORHIES, and Darold BLAUER.

    Two of the early Tingley Toppers are now doctors - Merrill JOHNSON, dentist at State Univeristy, Iowa City, and Harold J. BLAUER - Children's Hospital, State University, Iowa City.

    In the early life of the club, colts and swine were the major projects - Darold BLAUER'S gelding winning first at the Iowa State Fair. Ringgold Co. topped all counties in the State in colt projects; Tingley toppers showing the most colts in 1939.

    Harold BLAUER'S Shorthorn baby beef winning first in 4 states -Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, and Kansas at the St. Joe Show.

    In 1940, two of our members, Robert BASTOW and Darold BLAUER, scored 100% at the Iowa State Fair Livestock Judging Contest, first judging the hogs on foot, and the next day, the carcass at the packing house. This set a record for State Fair Judging.

    In 1951, Tingley Toppers were the highest scoring club at the Ringgold County Livestock Judging Contest.

    During club meetings at the homes, they always look at and judge the member's projects (animal). The meetings were only held during the spring and summer because of bad roads and school activities.

    During 1942-43, the popular refreshment at club meetings was ice cream cones.

    What makes us click?

    A 100% leader and a 100% group of parents behind boys and girls and a club who are interested in their projects.

    Our officers [1953] are: President Kenneth WEEDA, Vice-President John OVERHOLTZER, Secretary Charles CLARK, Reporters Jim McINTOSH and Jim SMITH, Flag Bearer Larry BLAUER.

    John Blauer Makes 4-H Pay Off
    for Family in Cattle

    It isn't difficult to find the stories about how 4-H work has paid off for the boy or girl. John BLAUER'S story reveals that it paid off for the whole family.

    Twelve years ago Darrell BLAUER, who is now partner and active operator of his dad's farm, started with an Angus heifer.

    Today the BLAUERS have a herd of 40 cows and heifers, plus 20 head of steers on feed, weighing about 800 pounds. Most of them are purebreds. There are 20 spring calves on hand, with several more expected soon. Development of the BLAUER herd is just about what 4-H boosters would have expected from John BLAUER.

    He's probably the No. 1 club leader in Ringgold county. He has served the Tingley Toppers in that capacity for 16 years, helping organize it when his boys were ready for club work. Clifford JOHNSON, West Pottawattamie's extension director, was youth assistant then.

    For three or four summers, BLAUER has served the 4-H cause as the youth assistant in Ringgold county and he's the quickest to say "Yes" when Dick FRANKLIN or Milt HENDERSON call for help on a 4-H chore.

    The BLAUERS have 320 acres south of Tingley.

    Besides Darrell, who lives on the farm, the BLAUER children include Harold, who is attending the University of Iowa, Mrs. Alberta REYNOLDS of Tingley, and Mrs. Grace BREESE of Omaha.

    ~ ~ ~ ~

    In the fall of 1953, John BLAUER of Tingley received special recognition for his 20 years of service to Ringgold county 4-H clubs. He received the coveted "award of the clover" pin and the Tingley community, in appreciation for his service as leader of the Tingley Toppers club, presented him with a very comfortable platform rocking chair. Mrs. Floyd OVERHOLTZER represented the community in the presentation.

    Ayers Wins 4-H Health Title, 1941

    Raymond AYERS, son of Mr. and Mrs. Leo AYERS of Jefferson township, received the highest score in the county 4-H health clinic which was held Monday, August 18, 1941. Raymond BALL, son of Mr. and Mrs. Verl BALL of Tingley township, was the second highest scoring boy in the clinic. Both boys are members of the Tingley toppers 4-H club. Raymond AYERS represented Ringgold county at the state 4-H health contest in connection with the Iowa State Fair.



      Roger MORRISON, member of the Tingley Toppers 4-H Club, suffered a painful accident last week when the horse he was riding slipped and fell, breaking four of Roger's toes. The accident cheated him out of a trip to the State 4-H Boys' Short Course at Ames, which he won on his showmanship record at county fair.





    4-H Story of Dietrich Geschke
    Featured in Creston Paper by Milt Henderson

    It was written by Dietrich GESHCKE of the Tingley Toppers 4-H club in Ringgold county. As the story will tell, Dietrich came to this country with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Franz GESCHKE, about two years ago. They are residing on a farm north of Tingley. Dietrich is 18-years-old and a sophomore in Tingley High School. He is making an outstanding scholastic record. Here is his 4-H story.

    "This has been my first year in the Tingley Toppers 4-H club. One year ago I came from Germany to the United States. Over there we didn't have 4-H club, but I heard about them, that these were clubs organized for youth, to help them to become better farmers, housewives, and citizens. I also heard about the fairs, where young people were showing their projects and were able to win prizes. I never thought that this could be true all over the United States; but after I had joined our club, I saw that it was true. I learned many things about farming and how to become better citizens, which some members made clear to us, by discussions and demonstrations. Then came the time when I was elected for candidate as a delegate for the short course in Ames. I was happy to make such a tour. In Ames we had demonstrations and lessons concerning agronomy and animal husbandry. We also had problems in relationship between parents and teenagers, between boys and girls, discussed by Mrs. DUVALL. My project is a garden and I like to have it since I won a few little prizes at the fair."

    Tingley 4-H Boys and Girls Tour Des Moines, 1952

    Wednesday, July 1 at 7:00 A.M., 47 wide-awake boys and girls from Tingley Topperettes and the Toppers met at Ellis Cafe to start on a tour of our state capitol. We loaded into eleven cars with 19 parents and 3 leaders accompanying us.

    Our first stop in Des Moines was to tour the Meredith Publishing Co. Groups of 15 people were taken through the building by a guide who explained how the magazines are printed. From there we walked 15 blocks to the Register & Tribune building. Here we saw how our daily paper was printed and heard a very interesting story about the progress of the paper, told by our guides. On our way back to our cars, we stopped at the WHO building, where we saw The Buckaroos broadcasting at 11:30 and Clay RUSK welcomed us over the air. When we arrived back to our cars, we went to the Capitol Building where we ate sack lunch on the Capitol grounds. After lunch, we toured the Capitol and at 2:30 we had an audience with Governor Wm. BEARDSLEY, who welcomed us to the city. From the Capitol we toured the Historical Building where we found many interesting sights of prehistoric Iowa.

    The highlight of the day was the fun at Riverview Park. Each boy and girl was given $1 from the club treasury. The boys earned theirs by being one of the outstanding clubs in the county. Our dollars took us on many rides at the park since Wednesday was 3-cent day. Returning home Wednesday evening, we all agreed that we had a perfect day.

    Reporter, Larry Blauer

    Tingley 4-H Clubs Develop Roadside Park

    In 1959 a roadside park at the junction of Highway 169 and Highway 259 (which leads into Tingley) was developed by the Tingley boys and girls 4-H clubs. Permission for the special project was given by the state highway commission. Following road work this park was relocated in 1960 and a plaque in memory of 4-H'er Jon O'NEAL was placed at the park.

    Outstanding Achievements Through The Years

    1940 Darold BLUER and Robert BASTOW placed 1st on at the state carcass judging team. Both had perfect scores. Raymond BALL, Howard SWANSON and Darold BLAUER attended the 4-H Convention in Ames. While there Darold and Raymond got in the finals of the 100 yard dash and Howard won the basketball free throw.

    1941 Merrill JOHNSON was elected County President.

    1942 Roger MORRISON won the County Showmanship Award.

    1943 Russell BOYD was one of 20 Iowa boys chosen for Conservation School. Donald WEEDA attended 4-H Short Course. Dean JOHNSON was awarded a gold medal as Outstanding County Club Member.

    1944 Roger MORRISON was elected County President and gave a campaign speech for state office candidate. Dean JOHNSON was elected County Secretary-Treasurer.

    1945 Roger MORRISON won the County Record Book Award. Donald WEEDA was elected County Vice-President and Marvin JOHNSON elected County Historian.

    1946 Roger MORRISON attended the 4-H Short Course and the State Camp at Boone. Kenny JOHNSON was elected County Secretary-Treasurer.

    1947 Lloyd WEEDA was elected County Historian and won County Showmanship Award. Roger MORRISON attended the National Club Congress and was on the county Judging Team for the 3rd year.

    1948 John OVERHOLTZER attended the State 4-H Convention, received dairy heifer.

    1949 Roger MORRISON took a demonstration to State Fair and won an Achievement Award. Kenny JOHNSON won an Achievement Award.

    1950 Kenneth WEEDA won the Lion Gilt Award. Tingley Toppers won the County Fair Livestock Judging Contest with team members Axel LARSEN, Ken JOHNSON and Jim JOBE.

    1951 John OVERHOLTZER was elected County Vice-President.

    1952 Ross CRAFT was awarded the Lions Gilt Award. He showed the Grand Champion Market Pig at the Iowa State Fair. The Tingley Toppers were named Ringgold County's top club.

    1954 Ross CRAFT was elected County Secretary-Treasuer. Dietrich GESCHKE attended the 4-H Short Course in Ames.

    1955 Jim SMITH won the KSIB Award.

    1957 Charles NICHOLS was 1st in County Judging. Jim SMITH won the Lions Gilt Award. Ron SHIELDS and Jim SMITH won 1st place in the State Crop Judging team. The Tingley Toppers were the top club in the county.

    1958 Jim SMITH was elected County Historian. Ron SHIELDS won the Lions 4-H Award.

    1959 Jim SMITH was a representative at the National Club Congress, and Ron SHIELDS was elected County Secretary-Treasurer.

    Jim SMITH received the Lew PLAGER award, one of the highest awards an Iowa 4-H boy can receive. High moral characeter and leadership ability are factors considered in making the award which goes to the boy who has accomplished much in 4-H and upheld 4-H standards and principles.

    1960 Bob ALLEN attended 4-H Short Course in Ames. Raymond SHIELDS won the KSIB Award. Jim SMITH was awarded an Achievement award.

    1962 The team of Rodney SHIELDS and Darrell REYNOLDS presented a blue ribbon winning junior demonstration. Raymond SHIELDS and Craig RIGGS took their senior demonstration to State Fair. Craig RIGGS received 3rd high individual placing at the St. Joe Livestock Judging competition.

    1963 Arthur "Art" ALLEN, Craig RIGGS and Raymond SHIELDS won 1st place in the State Crop Judging Team contest. Art ALLEN had the top score in the county and in the state.

    1964 Arthur "Art" ALLEN was elected County President.

    1966 Rodney SHIELDS was elected County Secretary. He also won an Achievement Award.


    Art ALLEN of Tingley township, was installed as president of the state 4-H boys' organization in a ceremony in conjunction with the 1966 State 4-H Conference in Ames. A son of Mr. and Mrs. D. H. ALLEN, Art is a 1966 graduate of Mount Ayr Community High School and a member of Parnassus Chapter of the National Honor Society. An eight-year member of the Tingley Toppers 4-H Club, he has served as county 4-H president; represented Ringgold county at the 1965 4-H Conference; was a member of the state championship grain judging team at the Iowa State Fair and high scoring individual, and winner of a KSIB 4-H record book award. He participated in the Iowa Youth Tour last year, for which he served as spokesman and reporter upon his return to Iowa, and in September, was one of four Iowa boys chosen for the Grain Marketing Tour and Clinic in Chicago, Ill. In 1965 Art was elected Governor of the Y.M.C.A. Iowa Youth in Government Model Legislation. He attended the American Royal at Kansas City where he gave a response for Iowa 4-H'ers.

    1967 Chuck JACKSON was elected County Vice-President. He earned a Leadership Award and was a member of the State 4-H Chorus. Rodney SHIELDS earned the Lions Award and was a member of the State 4-H Chorus. Dave ALLEN was made an Honorary 4-H member.

    1968 Chuck JACKSON was a member of the State 4-H Trio.

    1969 Pat WEEDA earned the Dairy Showmanship Award. At the county fair, David WEEDA showed the Grand Champion Market Lamb and Joy KIBURZ showed the Grand Champion Beef Steer (1969, 1970 & 1971.)

    OUR 1970 4-H YEAR

    This year has been one of the most profitable years our club has had. One of our most successful events this year was our county fair. We had champion crossbred (Doug CAMPBELL), reserve champion crossbred (Doug CAMPBELL), champion Hereford (Becky MORRISON), champion Shorthorn heifer (Karen WEEDA), reserve champion Shorthorn heifer (Dan WEEDA), champion Angus (Joy KIBURZ), reserve Angus (Judy KIBURZ), champion Guernesey (Pat WEEDA), grand champion dairy heifer (Pat WEEDA), reserve champion Guernsey (Pat WEEDA), reserve champion dairy heifer (Pat WEEDA), champion market lamb (Jeff ENGLAND), grand champion beef steer (Joy KIBURZ), and reserve beef steer (Judy KIBURZ).

    Other highlights of the fair - we had three people from our club that were named top horse (Rich JOHNSON), dairy (John MORRISON), and beef showman (Joy KIBURZ).

    John ALLEN was awarded an Achievement Award. Danny WEEDA won the KSIB Award. Joy KIBURZ earned a Leadership Award. Steve WOOD won 1st with his junior demonstration at County Fair.

    1971 Tingley Toppers won first in the county basketball tourney with players Rich JOHNSON, Pat WEEDA, Steve WOOD, Gary WURSTER, Danny Lee WEEDA, and Jeff ENGLAND.

    1972 John MORRISON won the KSIB Award. Tingley Toppers won first in the county basketball tourney with players Jeff ENGLAND, Steve WOOD, Terry and Gary WEEDA, and John SKARDA.

    1973 Judy KIBURZ won the Citizenship Award.

    1974 Steve WOOD won an Achievement Award.

    1975 Judy KIBURZ won the Lions Award.

    1976 Carl RIGGS was made an Honorary Member.

    1977 Dwayne CAMPBELL won the KSIB Award.

    1978 Mary Ann WEEDA won the county beef showmanship prize at county fair. Sandy WEEDA was the County Fair Queen. Dwayne CAMPBELL attended the American Royal in Kansas City.

    1979 Sandy WEEDA and Dwayne CAMPBELL were awarded Achievement Awards.

    1980 Darwin CAMPBELL attended the American Royal in Kansas City. Mary Ann WEEDA earned an Achievement Award. Sandy WEEDA earned the Merit Award. Darwin CAMPBELL won the KSIB Award.

    1981 After the county fair the RAGBRAI bike ride sponsored by the Des Moines Register came thru Tingley and the Toppers and Topperettes served them with fresh fruit and drinks.

    1982 Darwin CAMPBELL won the Lions Award. Mary Ann WEEDA won the Merit Award and County Beef Showmanship Award. She also had the Grand Champion Beef Steer (191-1983) at county fair.

    In 1982 the Tingley boys and girls 4-H clubs voted to merge and their club be known as the Tingley Toppers. Co-ed Clubs were becoming popular as projects are open to all every year.

    The leaders in 1983 were Connie RICHARDS, Colletta and Dan WEEDA.

    Fifteen men have served as leaders during the 49 years with the Tingley Toppers have been a 4-H club. Leaders with long service:

    20 Years, John BLAUER
    6 Years, Leonard O'NEAL
    9 Years, David ALLEN, Lloyd WEEDA
    10 years, Don CAMPBELL

    SOURCE: Tingley, Iowa Centennial: 1883 - 1983. Pp. 112-19. PSI, Inc. Belmond IA. 1983.
    Courtesy of Mount Ayr Public Library, September of 2011

    Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, September of 2011

    To submit your Ringgold County items, contact The County Coordinator.
    Please include the word "Ringgold" in the subject line. Thank you.

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