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Castalia Newspaper articles

this site was last updated on Tuesday, 13 September 2011

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"Castalia, Iowa was first called Rattletrap. At the time the town bore this name it consisted of one solitary log house, owned and superintended over by one the natural and original Erin's daughter, a Mrs. John Powell. I have it from reliable authority that she was capable of talking a common regiment of Decorah layers blind in less than no time. It would be comforting to believe this statement, but when one stops to consider the capability of Decorah Lawyers, its accepted only as a rough joke perpertrated on the old woman. June 13th, 1869 -- The depot and Lambert's store at Castalia was robbed."
Undated Contributed by Mary Durr

Castalia is also located in Winneshiek county about six miles northwest of Postville.  It was settled in 1849 by Hamilton Campbell and his wife whose descendents still live there today.  The town was often referred to during these early days by its nickname "RattleTrap", a name which was derailed according to an old legend from the fact that a certain pioneer wife named Mrs. Powell was always talking.  Sparks relates concerning this incident that at the time "she was capable of talking a common regiment of Decorah lawyers blind in less than no time."  It would be comforting to believe this statement, but when one stops to consider the capabilities of the Decorah lawyers, it is accepted, only as a rough joke on the old woman.

The east half of the town yet today is called "Boody" on all plats of the town, but it is better known by the name Castalia.  The Castalia post office was established in 1854 with Lucius W. Smith as its first postmaster, and school house was built in 1855.  Abigail Meyers was the first teacher in the "White School House" as it was called in which every student was required to furnish his own desk or seat.  The town's first church was the Mount Grove church established by the United Brethern in 1856.  It was later transferred from its original location north of Castalia to its present location in town.

The town only had a population of 108 in 1880 and it never became real prosperous until about 1902 when the town was incorporated.  The town today has two churches, a post office, lumber yard, creamery, general store, tavern, and several other small business places usually found in these towns.  In 1944 their high school was closed and their students began going to the Postville high school.
Contributed by Mary Durr from her mother's scrapbook probably the Postville Herald Hand dated 1949

Castalia will vote next Tuesday on whether the school house there shall be enlarged and modernized.
Newspaper clipping Contributed by Mary Durr from the Postville Herald. Hand dated May 1910

John Witt has been appointed town marshal at Castalia.
Newspaper clipping Contributed by Mary Durr from the Postville Herald. July 28, 1911

A bolt of lightning struck the Castalia school house Monday night and caused some damage. A movement has been started to organize a fire department in Castalia now to replace the bucket brigade which has proven itself inefficient to cope with most fires.
Newspaper clipping Contributed by Mary Durr from the Postville Herald. Hand dated 1918.

Fred O'Boy has assumed full control of the B. F. Kneeskern & Co. store at Castalia.
Newspaper clipping Contributed by Mary Durr from the Postville Herald. Hand dated June 12, 1922

Earl Bachelder is the first person in the Castalia community to have a radio installed, and he is entertaining callers nightly to listen in on the new contraption.
Newpaper clipping Contributed by Mary Durr from the Postville-Herald. No date.

Castalia citizens are contributing to a fund which will be used to oil the streets of that progressive town.
Newspaper clipping Contributed by Mary Durr from the Postville Herald. No date.

H. S. MacMillian, Castalia's merchant prince, was a Postville business visitor Saturday forenoon and reports business exceptionally good in that Winneshiek city. Mr. MacMillan stated that his town is considering the installation of a municipal waterworks and other needed improvements.
Newspaper clipping Contributed by Mary Durr from the Postville Herald. Hand dated 1946.

The 15-year-old Hungarian lad, Laszio Estergalyos, who has found refuge in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Thoma in this city, met up with one of his countrymen here recently. Steve Szabo of Castalia, a native Hungarian, and Laszio got together for a talkfest in their native tongue -- and we should have liked to heard that lingo. Steve was born in Balogfala, a town in northeastern Hungary. He came to the United States in 1906 when he too was 15 years old, and arrived in Iowa in 1915. After he married Miss Laura Meisner of West Union, the Szabos made their residence in Castalia. The newcomer to this "land of the free and the home of the brave" and Steve conversed on topics of interest to both, in Russian, German and their native Hungarian tongue.
Newspaper clipping Contributed by Mary Durr from the Postville Herald. Hand dated July 1947

Frank Schweinefus is a patient at the sanitarium in Prairie du Chien, Wis. His many friends will be glad to know that he is slowly improving.
Newspaper clipping Contributed by Mary Durr from the Postville Herald. Hand dated 1947.

Earl Bachelder, loyal supporter of his home town baseball team at Castalia, called to tell us that we published the standings of his team "all wrong" last week. Our defense was that we take the team standings as they are supplied us by the league secretary. However, here's Earl's story: Castalia has been one of the really good teams in the Scenic Iowa League this year. They have lost three games while winning four. All three games on the debit side of the ledger were dropped by a mere one point, and two of these went into extra innings. Castalia has a strictly home team and their showing is remarkable. Earl says the team has won from such power outfits as Luana, McGregor, Marquette and Garnavillo, and have lost to Lansing, Farmersburg and Harpers Ferry in the current season. Here's hoping they lambast the daylights out of all comers -- excepting our own Postville Pirates. (Gosh, Earl, you can't blame us for being loyal to our own team, can you?)
Newspaper clipping Contributed by Mary Durr from the Postville Herald. Hand dated 1947.

"Mr. and Mrs. Walter Peck and family have moved to the farm in Moneek known as the Ole Russett farm. Mr. and Mrs. George Giselson, who bought the farm from Olaf Russett and lived here several years, has sold out and moved to a farm near Castalia."
Newspaper clipping Contributed by Mary Durr from the Postville Herald newspaper, hand dated March 1, 1955:

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