Tekippe, Leo J. and Gladys C. (Leibold)
(Mildred I. Kjome)
Leo J. Tekippe was born 15 Nov 1905 near Fort Atkinson, IA to William and Mary (Drilling) Tekippe. He was baptized and confirmed at Our Lady of Seven Dolors Catholic Church at Festina. He attended school in Festina and later attended St. John’s University in St. John, MN and 3 years at DeVry Institute of Technology in Chicago. While living in Chicago he often saw Al Capone in the lobby of the hotel where they both had their living quarters.
In 1930 Leo moved to Decorah where he worked at the Coast to Coast store which he purchased the same year. On 3 Feb 1931 Leo was married to Gladys Catherine Leibold (b. 4 Jul 1909 in Fort Atkinson) daughter of Albert and Frances Leibold, at St. Benedict’s Catholic Church. Together they raised 4 children: Robert. JoAnn, (m. Nils Kjome), Vernida. (m. David Lageson) and Gary. Gladys was baptized and confirmed at St. John's Catholic Church in Fort Atkinson and educated at St. John’s Parochial School.
Leo and Gladys Tekippe
Leo became quite an entrepreneur. Not only was he the proprietor of the Coast to Coast Store for 45 years but also of the Minowa Skelgas business for 35 years. When he started Skelgas he had a dozen customers. In a short time he had built up a thriving business with over 500 customers-the largest Skelgas business in Iowa at that time. He was the first Maytag dealer in the area selling Maytag gas-powered washing machines. He had 5 salesmen working for him and went out to the farms in the area with a trailer with the equipment to demonstrate how the machines worked and how clean it was to use gas. He had 3 mechanics in the shop over the Coast to Coast store engaged in maintenance of the gas engines. They also serviced Coleman lanterns. He had Maytags placed in many hardware stores around the northeast Iowa area.
Leo was an avid booster for the growth of Decorah. He was president of the Decorah Chamber of Commerce in 1956, and vice-president of the Decorah Development Co. at the time it brought in Decorah’s first factory, Deco Products. He served 2 years as an advocate to bring "Tourism to Iowa” and continued serving the area as a volunteer at the Decorah Tourism Information Booth.
Leo was part-owner and developer of Niagara Cave in
Harmony, MN in the early 1930’s. He had heard about the sinkholes near Harmony and set off to explore them taking Gladys along. Leo would lower Gladys down the holes because of her suitable size and light weight. A rope was tied around her waist and she was sent down to see how deep the hole was. Sometimes she crawled into the caves with flashlight in hand to see if there were any big rooms down there. Only after the official opening of Niagara Cave to the public did she discover how close she had been to plummeting over the 60-foot waterfall. Leo was also a partner in the development of Mystery Cave in Spring Valley, MN. Woodland Acres Tree Farm at Freeport was another of the projects Leo helped to develop.
Many knew Leo was an avid hunter and fisherman. He instilled a love for these pastimes in his sons and grandsons. He served as president of the Fox and Coon Assn, for some time. Leo also enjoyed playing baseball. In the 1930’s he played baseball for the “Decorah Hoboes." Rings of bologna were brought to the games by a local butcher, S. P Goltz. Any of the team members making a sensational play merited a ring of bologna. Leo, wearing a ring of bologna on his belt throughout the game, finally came through with a home run in the ninth inning. Bologna became the team’s good luck charm. He was also the treasurer of the Cow Pasture League, Inc. As a boxer, Leo was known as “the Flying Dutchman.” During the Depression baseball and boxing were inexpensive forms of entertainment. Leo organized many baseball leagues and later sponsored teams.
Leo and Gladys enjoyed traveling and often took trips together. Some of their adventures included such exotic places as Alaska, Canada, Hawaii, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Europe and North Africa.
Leo was a 65-year member of the Knights of Columbus and the Elks Club. Gladys was a member of St. Bridget Circle and a volunteer at the Aase Haugen Home. She enjoyed handwork and bridge and loved traveling and fishing. Gladys was quite a seamstress too. The girls were always well dressed in the clothes fashioned for them by their clever mother. Once the little girls were photographed by the Decorah Newspapers in their new Easter coats and hats. Among family and friends Gladys was known as a “great cook.”
Leo passed away on 1 Jul 1995 in Decorah following a brief illness involving cancer. He was buried 5 Jul 1995 at St. Benedict's Cemetery. Gladys passed away 21 Nov 1995 in Decorah and was buried 25 Nov at St. Benedict’s Cemetery.
Teslow, Ole and Anna (Hendrickson)
The Teslow family is descended from Norwegian immigrants who came to America in the 1840's and thereafter. They settled in Winneshiek and Allamakee Counties between Decorah and Waukon, IA.
Ole Erickson Teslow was born 14 Jun 1845 in Norway. It is thought that he came from a farm called Teslo and that he came to America alone. Since he went by the
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this page was last updated on Monday, 29 March 2021