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					COUNTY OFFICES Bremer County Assessor The assessor‘s primary duty and responsibility is to make sure all real property, which includes residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural, is assessed except where the law provides otherwise. Real property is reevaluated every two years. The effective date of the assessment is the first day of January of the current year. The assessor determines either a full or partial value for new construction and improvements depending upon their state of completion on January 1st. County assessors are appointed by a conference board composed of the county board of supervisors, the mayors of all incorporated cities, and a board member from each school district who lives in the assessor‘s jurisdiction. Assessors are appointed to six-year terms. To be eligible, they must have a high school diploma or GED and pass an examination administered by the Iowa Department of Revenue and Finance. To be re-appointed, they must successfully complete a continuing education program equal to 150 hours of classroom instruction during their six-year terms. The assessor‘s office is also responsible for handling the forms for tax credits and exemptions. Some of these are homestead, family farm, wetland, forest or fruit tree, and disabled veteran homestead tax credits, and the military exemption. Residential, commercial and industrial real estate is assessed at 100% of market value. The assessor must determine the fair market value of property. To do this, the assessor generally uses three approaches. • Market Approach: Find properties that are comparable to yours which have sold recently. Analyze sales of similar properties that were recently sold. Determine the most probable sales price of the property being appraised. • Cost approach: Estimate how much money at current labor and material prices it would take to replace the property with one similar to it. Useful when no sales of comparable properties exist. • Income approach: If the property produces income, such as with an apartment or office building, estimate its ability to produce income. Agricultural real estate is assessed at 100% or productivity and net earning capacity value. The assessor considers the productivity and net earning capacity of the property. Agricultural income as reflected by production, prices, expenses, and various local conditions are taken into account. Jean Keller, the present assessor, was appointed to her six-year term by the county conference board. She and her staff : Darwin Eick, Dawn Judisch, Aaron Betts and Jill Plagman comprise the assessing team. They oversee total valuations of around 1.2 billion, far exceeding the 1853 total county assessments of $43,437.

Mr. Wadding reports that the last few years have also seen a substantial increase in cases of parental termination. Many of these are due to the new Child In Need Of Assistance [CHINA] laws which protect children under the age of eighteen. Criminal cases in 2001 were up by about one hundred cases over 2000. Charges of possession of methamphetamines, almost non-existent in Bremer County in the mid 1990s, are now becoming more common. Bremer County‘s policy is to take a very proactive approach to the problem. In addition to Mr. Wadding, the staff includes Assistant County Attorney, Christine DeLorme and Kathleen Frank, secretary. An annual grant since November 2000 has also funded Norma Westendorf as a Crime Victims Witness Coordinator. She works with victims of violent crimes, explaining their rights regarding legal procedures, retribution, and impact statements given to courts when prisoners are sentenced. With such serious concerns it is hard to imagine a day in which dances rated high on the list of problems for officials. At least in 2003 the county attorney and sheriff no longer have to worry about the following issue which plagued law enforcement in January 1923 according to Waverly‘s Independent-Republican. ―Sunday night dances must stop. This is the decision of County Attorney H. L. Leslie, and if he cannot bring this about in a peaceful way he proposes to use every means in his power to stop the public dances on Sunday evening…This is to inform you that hereafter the [state] law against Sunday public dances will be rigorously complied with. The sheriff has been instructed to arrest all violators of this law in Bremer county, and to bring prosecution against them in the proper court…‖

Bremer County Auditor Beginning in 1846, when Iowa became a state, affairs relating to Bremer County were handled in Buchanan or Fayette counties. In 1851 a county judge took over management of

Bremer County Attorney Kasey Wadding‘s motto, ―the more you do, the more you can do,‖ reflects his attitude toward public service in general and his office in particular. It is an appropriate choice since the County Attorney, elected to a four-year term, has a wide scope of duties. According to the Code of Iowa it is his job to ―diligently enforce or cause to be enforced in the county, state laws and county ordinances…‖ To this end he acts as prosecutor in felony trials and in misdemeanor cases brought by the state and attends grand jury hearings. He prosecutes all proceedings necessary for the recovery of money, debts, revenues, fines and penalties due the state, county, or to any school district or road district. A further primary aspect of his office is to advise and represent county offices and agencies. As one would expect the volume of work over the years has grown a great deal. Recognizing this, the Board of Supervisors made the position full-time effective 1 July 1999. It will come as no surprise that with today‘s legal issues, questions posed by county and agency officials comprise a good portion of the workload.


Bremer County affairs. For ten years he presided over county business, the court and the courthouse. It was during this time that the first permanent courthouse was built. To celebrate its completion a New Year‘s ball was held and nearly all of the residents of Bremer County at that time could have fit inside the building. As the number of settlers increased so did official county business. In 1861 a clerk of court took over the portion of duties later assigned to the first auditor, Louis Case, in 1870. At that time statewide changes were made in the organization of county governments. The current county auditor is not required to deal with carcasses, or parts thereof, of gophers. The bounty, which reached the high sum of $.50 each in 1983, is no longer given. However, the auditor‘s office is still a hub of action, as a partial list of the services provided shows. • Maintain the transfer records of deeds to show the chain of ownership • Tabulate taxable valuations for each property in the county, including all exemptions and provide this information to state officials for computation. • Prepare tax list for county treasurer based on computation received back from the state. • Maintain assessment records, drainage district records, etc. • Prepare an annual ―State of the County‖ financial report • Audit all claims against the county coffers. • Issue warrants for all approved claims. • Act as clerk for the Board of Supervisors. • Prepare and monitor paper work for the Board of Supervisors‘ budget. • Oversee the maintenance of the courthouse. • And since 1972 the auditor is also the Commissioner of Elections with all that entails for all federal, state, county, school and special elections. Austa White served as county auditor from January 1981 till December 1988. She was succeeded by Kathy Thoms, who served from January 1989 until April 1996. At that time Ann Dolphin was appointed to serve until the election in November. The current auditor, Marilyn Schnell, has officiated since November 1996 with Dorothy Hansel, Roger Bauer and Shelley Wolf completing the office staff.

Jim Block, District 2 Supervisor is Gaylord Hinderaker and District 3 Supervisor is Steve Reuter.

The total amount of the first tax levied in 1853 was $653.52. At this time all the property in the county listed for taxation amounted to only $43,168. The next year the taxes levied amounted to $1,194.75. The total amount of taxes levied in 1918 was $362,511.42. The taxes levied for fiscal year 2003 amounts to $4,166,862 with the taxable valuation of property being $829,606,051. The Board placed on the October, 1861 election ballot the question of purchasing a ―poor farm‖. This was defeated with 205 yes ballots and 359 no ballots cast. This appeared to be an election issue for many years with the same subject being broached until a ―poor farm‖ of 200 acres at $10.00 per acre was finally purchased in June, 1869. The present county farm is 252.4 acres. The committees that the Board members sit on today are quite different then they were in the 1900‘s. The committees at that time were: Wood Committee (for poor in Sumner, poor farm & asylum, and wood yard at Waverly); the Bridge Committee to superintend the building of all slough and iron bridges ordered by the Board; Poor Farm Committee for all matters pertaining to the poor; Lumber Committee to accept all bridge lumber and piling ordered; Western Land Tax Committee to pay taxes on all lands owned by Bremer County in Pocahontas

Bremer County Board of Supervisors Bremer County was permanently organized in August, 1853 with the election of county officers. The day to day business of the county was run through a county court by the County Judge Jeremiah Ferris. The county court went out of existence by an act of the state legislature passed the winter of 1859-1860. The same act created the Board of Supervisors which took over nearly all the powers formerly vested in the county court. The first meeting of the Board of Supervisors was held in the office of the County Auditor on January 7, 1861. The first Board of Supervisors was composed of one member from each township: B. M. Reeves – Washington Township; Barnes Thompson – Polk Township; T. V. Axtell – Jackson Township; David Marquis – Jefferson Township; N. M. Smith – Warren Township; John Acken – Douglas Township; E. J. Walling – Frederika Township; P. H. Wilson – LeRoy Township; Otis Clark – Fremont Township; William Matthias – Maxfield Township; Ichabod Richmond – Franklin Township; L. J. Curtis – Dayton Township; L. M. Sholes – Sumner Township; R. J. Stephenson – LaFayette Township. (14 members). The terms of office were determined by lot. The first Board met quarterly. Most of the meetings dealt with handling and determining the payment of claims, selling Swamp Lands for $1.25 per acre, building roads and bridges and taking care of the paupers and Volunteer families. Immediately a committee was established to determine the quality of workmanship of the ―new‖ courthouse. It appeared by the minutes that many things were not finished and the roof leaked. In 1871 the Board of Supervisors changed to three supervisors with M. Farrington; S. H. Curtis; and John Chapin. Today the Board is still composed of three supervisors representing districts. District 1 Supervisor is


County; and the Ice Committee to fill the ice house at the poor farm and county asylum. The committees that the Board members participate in today are: Bremer-Waverly Public Safety Board; North Iowa Juvenile Detention Center Board; Regional Housing Authority; Iowa Northland Regional Council of Governments; Regional Transit Authority; Waverly Area Development Group Revolving Loan Fund; INRCOG Economic Development; Department of Human Service Decat Planning Council; Northeast Iowa Response Group; T.E.A. 21; Northeast Iowa Community Action; Second Judicial District; Pathways; Workforce Development; Board of Health; INRCOG Solid Waste Comprehensive Planning; Economic Development Revolving Loan Fund; and several short term committees that develop from year to year. The first Boards met in session quarterly, then moved to once a month and today the Board is in the office three times a week in addition to the time spent on the above Boards and Commissions. The grand total of all expenses in the county in 1900 were $50,887.13. In 2000/2001 the grand total of all expenses was $11,704,067. On May 12, 1913 the Board appointed the first county engineer C. A. Cool of Waverly at a compensation of $100 per month and expenses under the New Road Law and adopted the map designating the County Road System. Although some things remain the same over the past 150 years, with growth and development come new opportunities and new responsibilities. In the early years of organization the Supervisors developed forms of Veteran Affairs (originally Volunteer Fund and then Soldier‘s Relief Commission); County Engineer; Paupers Fund (changed to Poor Farm, then to County Home now General Assistance) and Asylum Fund (now Mental Health Fund). Through the years the following departments have been added to county government. Public Health, Home Care Aide Service, Geographical Information Service; Managed Information Service; Landfill, Recycling, Maintenance, Conservation, Building and Zoning, Sanitarian, Emergency Management, Finance and Management, Dispatching, Case Management, Central Point of Coordination (mental health services) and Community Based Services. Through the past 150 years the County has grown significantly and the needs of the citizens have grown beyond roads, bridges and pauper assistance. One thing is always constant that there will always be change and the citizens of the county are up to the challenge of the changes.

money. If problems are found the department will work with the owner to determine what measures might be taken to correct the situation. Using guidelines set by the state, they can also assist with information required when unused wells are filled in. Here again, a grant helps fund this service. Emergency Management The primary responsibility of this position is to create and maintain a hazard mitigation plan to be applied during such events as floods, fires, or chemical spills. Working with various organizations throughout Bremer County, a plan was recently drawn by Scott LaRue, Emergency Management Director. To be used in cases of emergencies , it includes such information as contacts, equipment and service capabilities. Coordination of this data not only allows the ability of a more speedy response, but a far more effective one. Copies were placed with a number of agencies throughout the county to ensure rapid access wherever a situation might occur. Bremer County Central Point of Coordination The Bremer County Central Point of Coordination office coordinates county funding of developmental disabilities, mental health, general assistance and substance abuse services for residents of Bremer County. This coordination of funding allows low income individuals and individuals with disabilities to access services to meet their need. The intent of coordinating funding is to create individualized service for each consumer by working closely with Bremer County Case Management. Persons are treated as individuals with unique potential and needs. The system does not fund services that persons neither need nor want, but rather those services that help consumers realize their potential. The principles that guide this system are choice, community, and empowerment within the confines of county funds, and with the least restrictive environment possible for the consumers. Director Russell Wood and Tammy Albers currently comprise the CPC staff. Case Management Director Kayleen Symmonds and Supervisor Cheryl ElsburyReiher have a support staff comprised of case managers Bruce Gregory, Jan Heideman and Jennifer Byrd. Their mission

Bremer County Building and Zoning, Sanitarian, Emergency Management Building and Zoning The mission of this department is to promote public health, safety, comfort, order and the general welfare of the residents of Bremer County. By providing standards to conserve and protect the natural and man made environment. County zoning codes were established in 1963. As needs or circumstances change the codes may be revised. Building and zoning enforces those ordinances and regulations following a policy of trying to preserve agricultural land for that use. In the 1970s there was a dramatic increase in new building construction. The local board of supervisors recognized the need for a set of county building codes to regulate design, quality of materials, use and occupancy, location and maintenance. In 1971 codes, adapted from state regulations, were adopted in Bremer County. In addition building permits are now required for non-farm structures. The department, under contract, also provides Building and Zoning enforcement to the communities of Denver, Readlyn, Janesville and Tripoli. Waverly enforces its own regulations within its city limits. The department, headed by Doug Bird, includes his assistant Scott LaRue, and secretarial support Staff, Susan Neuhaus and Glenda Miller. Mr. Bird is also Sanitarian while Mr. LaRue also serves as Emergency Management Director. Sanitarian As county Sanitarian it is Mr. Bird‘s duty to regulate construction of new wells and septic systems, including within city limits. His office also provides water testing, the cost of which is at least partially covered by grant


is to provided assessment, referral, coordination and monitoring of support services for individuals with disabilities to achieve their choices and goals. Community Based Services Community Based Services of Bremer County offer services that promote the development of abilities and successful community living to individuals and families with special needs. Kayleen Symmonds serves as director for this non-sectarian, county-owned organization in addition to her duties as the director of Case Management. Those meeting the eligibility requirements and who choose to receive the services are assigned a ―Service Coordinator‖ to assist in the planning and implementation of services. These services include supported community living and employment services. The basic components of the community living service are academic services, advocacy services, community skills training, personal environmental support services, transportation services, and treatment services. A ―job coach‖ assists in providing each individual with competitive work an integrated work setting with on-going support services. Human Resource Manager, Judy Stevenson; Service Coordinators, Mary Dietz and Michelle Weber; Senior Service Managers, Marv Haack and Dave Shepherd; and their staff handle the many and various aspects needed to accomplish the department‘s goals.

Jim Brodie, W. H. Coates As might be expected, the earliest court records were entered into the books by hand--and by men. Lois Slater, who began as a deputy clerk in 1954 and later served for many years as the Clerk of Court, recalled how the job was made easier when each record could be entered on loose leaf pages which were then inserted into books. It wasn't until the 1950s and the advent of this loose page system that typewriters could be used for recording in the fee books, judgment books, etc. The advent of the photocopier was another boon to the ever growing amount of paperwork. As the population of the county grew, the workload increased greatly. That was partially because until a number of years ago all vital statistics --births, marriages, and deaths--were recorded with the Clerk of Court's office. Now those items are handled by the County Recorder. Years ago Justices of the Peace were appointed throughout Bremer County, and they often sat in judgment of such misdemeanors as public intoxication, trespassing, driving recklessly, etc. In some cases there was also a Mayor's Court where similar offenses were deliberated upon by the mayor. Now those offices no longer exist. Depending on the offense those types of cases are now handled by the magistrates or district judges.

Clerk of Court Although the position of Clerk of Court has been a state appointed office since July of 1985, the offices and courtroom of the Second Judicial District are still located in the courthouse. For the years preceding 1985, the Bremer County Clerk of Court was a county officer and was elected by the residents of the county. The Iowa district court has general jurisdiction of all civil, criminal and juvenile cases and probate matters in the state. The district court, which is also known as the trial court, is the point of entry in the court system for most cases. The Iowa district court is composed of different kinds of judicial officers with varying amounts of jurisdiction--judicial magistrates, associate juvenile judges, associate probate judges, district associate judges, and district court judges. Currently, Bremer County has two resident judges, Hon. Paul Riffel, a district court judge appointed in 1984 and Hon. Peter Newell, a district associate judge appointed in 1995. There are also two part-time magistrates in Bremer County, James Brandau and Steven Egli. In each of Iowa's 99 counties, a clerk of district court office manages and maintains all civil and criminal trial court records, including pleadings, evidence and orders. The clerks of court have hundreds of administrative duties as defined in the Code of Iowa and Iowa Rules of Criminal and Civil Procedure. They accept and process fines, fees and court costs owed to the state, child support checks, and civil judgments owed to litigants. They also maintain a record of liens on all real estate in the county and are responsible for all aspects of jury management. Nancy Greenlee of Waverly was appointed Clerk of Court for Bremer County in December 1992. Her staff includes Margene Schmidt, Julie Kneip, Lisa Buege, Pam Slinger, and Daeneen DeBower. For purposes of administration, Iowa is divided into eight judicial districts. The districts, which vary in population and size, are determined by the legislature. Each district is headed by a chief judge who is selected by the Iowa Supreme Court. The chief judge is responsible for overseeing all district operations and personnel. Bremer County is part of the Second Judicial District, the largest judicial district in Iowa. The chief judge is assisted by a district court administrator. District court administrators handle the day to day responsibilities of managing the financial and personnel matters of the district, as well as case scheduling. Scott Hand is the acting district court administrator for the Second Judicial District.

Bremer County Conservation Board In earlier years families on a Sunday outing might pull to the side of a road and have a picnic under the shade of a roadside tree. Ball games might be held in city parks or a pasture found to be free of a bull who might take offense at trespassers. Most property owners didn't object as long as the guests did no damage, but as the population grew so did the awareness that the natural resources of Iowa needed to be protected so that everyone then,


now, and in the future could enjoy them. Thus, in 1955 the Iowa County Conservation Board system was enacted. At the June primary election in 1958 the people of Bremer County authorized by special ballot the formation of the Bremer County Conservation Board. Five men from throughout the county were appointed by the Board of Supervisors to serve in that capacity. They were: Robert Hickle, Waverly; James W. Miller, Plainfield; A.F. Miller, Sumner; Theo. Stahlhut, Readlyn; and M.M. Bennet, Tripoli. The terms were staggered from five years to one year. At the board‘s first meeting on August 26, 1958, Robert Hickle was elected Chairman. Fourteen and a half acres of Cedar Bend Wildlife Area and nearly 13 acres of the Shell Rock Access were purchased prior to 1958. Those acres came under the management of the Bremer County Conservation Board. Within the first year the original portion of Alcock Park was purchased from Craig and Ida Alcock, as was a parcel from John and Minnie Sundermeyer which became the embryo of 7-Bridges Wildlife Area. Many of the parks have grown as additional parcels became available. For instance, North Cedar Park near Plainfield has been added to four times since the first 23.5 acres were acquired in March 1973. From that beginning the number of public parks, preserves, wildlife areas, prairies, river accesses, and greenbelts in Bremer County has grown to over 3,400 acres--all of them available to area residents and visitors. This has been possible through public funding, gifts, and in large part to a REAP grant received in the last decade. In 1988 the board also began its Environmental Education [EE] Program to provide outdoor recreational programming. The Bremer County Naturalist develops programs for school groups and the general public covering topics such as fishing, camping, hunter education, canoeing, bird watching, wildlife identification, and nature hikes. Bremer County originally had many more acres of woodlands and wild flowers bloomed profusely on the prairie. Farmland naturally replaced much of that. By maintaining the parks for picnickers, campers, hikers, bikers, fisherman, and hunters Frank Frederick and his staff, whose home base is located in Tripoli, insure the residents of Bremer County that the opportunity to experience the out-of-doors will not be lost. They are supported in this goal by current board members: Don Freeman, Lowell Syverson, Kevin Dorman, Jim Peters, and Millard Pries.

of the mud."

The County Engineer is appointed by the Supervisors and serves at will. He is responsible for creating a 5-year plan for approval by the Supervisors. For the purposes of road maintenance, Bremer County is divided into 10 zones with 8 county garages located in Buck Creek, Douglas, Horton, Janesville, Readlyn, Sumner, Tripoli, and Waverly. Several years ago the County Engineer's office was moved from the courthouse to the county garage north of Waverly. From there, Todd Fonkert, County Engineer since January 1986, oversees the inspections and maintenance of 700 miles of farm-to-market and gravel roads. [All state and federal highways are the responsibility of the DOT.] Some years this means spending the summer repairing all the frost boils provided by Mother Nature, who capriciously replaces them the following spring. Grading the roadbeds is a constant process. The pioneer men, serving their hours for poll tax, used their horses pulling a drag to remove the ruts and lumps. The engineer's department now uses the big motorgraders. Even with a cost of $170,000 to $190,000 each, and that includes trade-ins and government discounts, the equipment is a bargain because they make it possible to travel throughout the county no matter what the weather. Bremer County is fortunate to have a ready supply of rock

Bremer County Engineer To generalize it is the duty of the county engineer to oversee the maintenance of all secondary roads within the county. This includes all bridges and culverts within that area, excluding only state or federal highways. Roads that were carved from the prairie, wooded areas, and sloughs from 1853 to 1860 were the result of the pioneers' efforts on their own behalf. They cleared the roadbed, graded it, and regraded it as needed when the ruts became too deep. In 1860 the Iowa Legislature created the County Board of Supervisors. It became their duty to construct and maintain roads and bridges. They were also given the power to levy taxes to pay for these improvements. Although not required to hire a county engineer, it was assumed that a qualified person would be placed as overseer of projects. By 1911 an agreement permitted the supervisors to employ a competent person to draw up plans and specifications. That situation changed in 1913 when it became mandatory for a county to employ a competent engineer. Despite a noticed improvement in road planning, critics were able to influence a new policy in 1923--county engineers were again optional. It turned around again in 1929. The Bergman Secondary Road Act placed all roads, bridges, and culverts [excluding state and federal] under the direct supervision of the Board of Supervisors and the County Engineer. This policy is still in effect. In an agricultural county, good roods are essential to getting crops and animals to market. So, it is not surprising that early minutes of the Board of Supervisors' meetings, and even on up until the not too distant past, were primarily filled with road issues. Up into the 1940s, the term surfaced roads included gravel roads. Passage of Iowa's Road Use Tax Fund in 1949 was the impetus for paving roads and the era when Iowa "got out


from local or nearby quarries. Thus, we enjoy a much lower cost for our gravel roads than many Iowa counties. With his staff of 33 employees, they also plan, inspect, and maintain 225 bridges [any span over 20 feet] and culverts. The bridge crew also constructs the smaller bridges. In order to protect our land and water for future generations, the county engineer's office, using regulations by the EPA [Environmental Protection Agency], also issues about 300 permits a year to farmers to "oil" the road in front of their homes to cut back on dust.

Bremer County Home Care In the fall of 1980 the Bremer County Nursing Health Aide Advisory Board members, R. Juhl, Board of Supervisors; C. Hollensbe, Waverly Hospital; V. Weiden, Department of Human Services; L. Brocka, Board of Health; C. Kleve, Waverly Hospital Social Services; and M. Zelle, Nursing Agency met and heard from Verlyn Weiden that his department would be discontinuing their Homemaker-Health Aides services as of July 1, 1981. Reasons for their decision were: high administrative costs, services costs, freeze in hiring within the state which meant turning people down for service because of lack of providers and money. After months of discussions regarding appropriate funding, cost of running the program and finding appropriate staff, it was decided to go ahead with plans to establish a county program. Rose Hess, Advisory Board member for the Nursing Agency HHHA Advisory Board, was hired as Administrator, starting her position on April 20, 1981. She was asked to write policies and procedures for the new program; Bremer County Homemaker-Home Health Aide Program. It was based out of the courthouse, where it is still located. Rose researched how other counties were operating and started what has been a strong, reliable and well-respected service for residents of Bremer County. Services were started on July 1, 1981, with two part-time HHHAs. They made 52 home visits the first month and gave 85.5 hours of service. At present two full-time and five part-time HCAs, plus two Homemakers make an average of 500 visits and over 550 hours of direct service. Funding was provided through a Purchase of Service contract with the Department of Social Services and by funds received from clients on a sliding fee scale. In time grants from the State Department of Public Health and Hawkeye Valley Area Agency on Aging were received to help provide services to residents of Bremer County. In December 1993 the Advisory board voted to change the name to Bremer County Home Care, due to changes in the Iowa Code Chapter 80 for Home Care Aides. Social Services no longer funds this program, but grants are still received from the Department of Public Health and Hawkeye Valley Area Agency on Aging. Donations also remain a main source of funding for this agency.

Bremer County Finance & Management Director Over the past 150 years the roles and responsibilities in many of the offices of county government has changed significantly. The work load of Board of Supervisors has changed from quarterly meetings to meeting monthly to meeting three times a week with duties of attending various committee and board meetings which they are assigned to. The funding and budgets have grown from $50,887 in 1900 to $13,292,816 in FY2002. Many grants and funding programs rely on continuity and financial oversight. With one or two Board members being elected every two years and the responsibilities of the Board members to be out of the office to attend various board and committee meetings the position of Finance & Management Director was developed to provide that continuity and financial and administrative functions. The position of Finance & Management Director was established in April, 1996 to plan, organize and direct the county‘s financial functions, including activities involved in preparation, implementation and amendment of county budgets. The Director also serves as the coordinator of administrative responsibilities of the Board with oversight and administration of several county funds. The Finance & Management Director provides oversight of the Management Information Systems Department, oversight of financial and administrative services for Bremer County Case Management, Bremer County Community Based Services, and Bremer County Waste Reduction and Recycling Program. This position also serves as secretary to the Bremer County Board of Health and Project Coordinator for Board of Health funding in addition to serving as the Veteran Affairs Administrator. One thing can be said about the position that every day is a new adventure with new responsibilities and projects added regularly. Growth and technology has brought many challenges to county government and finding sources of funding outside of property taxes to provide those services is a daily task. Kathy J. Thoms has been the Director of Finance & Management since April, 1996. Bremer County Geographical Information Systems [GIS] The pioneers who settled Bremer County relied on incomplete maps, word of mouth and their own eyesight in selecting land. Surveyors measured using time honored methods and documented their findings in terms of rods, chains, and acres with some of the beginning points susceptible to change. As a result questions over property boundaries occasionally arose. Today a GIS map, a view of the land on which a layer of information such as streets and roads and/or a layer of buildings can be added, is in common use. To the farmer of 1853 the technology of today would not have even been a dream of the future. If he could have imagined it, his neighbors probably would have considered him ―daft.‖ Nearly 150 years later the technology did exist and so in 2000 the Bremer County Geographic Information System Department was created. The department manages spatial and location based information for the purpose of providing methods for collecting and analyzing data to support decision-making processes within all county offices as well as for the citizens of Bremer County. Data is compiled and used in both day-to-day operational needs and long range planning. By maintaining the Bremer County cadastral base map, the GIS Department is also the connecting link between other county offices since 90% of county information is geographically based. Leanne Satterthwaite managed the department from its inception to March 2003.


Admission criteria for becoming a client was and still continues to be that you had to be a resident of Bremer County and need assistance with one or more services that were offered. These included, but were not limited to: bathing, skin care, nail care, hair care, range of motion exercises, walking, transfers, laundry, grocery shopping, respite care and transportation to medical appointments and running errands in the county. The only service discontinued was the transportation because of the liability issue. Parenting and supervision of child services are offered, usually under the supervision of a registered nurse or DHS case worker. These services are offered on a referral basis or through a court order. Services are also provided through contract agencies. These are the same services offered to other residents, but are under a doctor‘s order and supervised by an RN from a Medicare certified agency and covered by a third party reimbursement. Services are provided to area nursing agencies and local hospice agencies. Rose Hess was a strong force behind the program in making it what it is today. She continued as Administrator until 1995. When she resigned, Jan Matthias, who had been with the agency since 1985, took over as Administrator. Since the start of the program it had steadily grown and has a caseload of over 125 active clients. Average age of the clients seen is 75 years old. Clients range in age from newborn to 97 years of age. The retention of the staff shows they are dedicated and committed to serving the residents of Bremer County and offering continuity of service. Office staff consists of Jan Matthias, Administrator [17 years]; Brenda Pothast, Administrative Assistant [7 years]; and Glenda Busching, Case Manager [3 years.] There are five Home Care Aides and two Home Helpers: Susan Strottman [19 years], Mary Harms [12 years], Stacey Kettwig [9 years], Jodi Sherburne [9 years], Linda Hennings [9 years], Shirley Franklin [16 years], and Agnes Benning [12 years.] Submitted by Jan Matthias

Important to maximizing the years of use is the degree to which the public commits to recycling. When the day does come that the landfill is deemed ―full‖ a fourfoot layer of clay will be spread over the top of the open area. After another two-foot layer of soil is to be laid over that. Vegetation will be planted for soil retention, and inspections will continue to assure public safety. The three full-time employees: Brett Vette, Bret Bienemann and Marc Kazda handle the duties at the landfill and those relating to the Hazardous Waste Recycling Center located there. After making an appointment residents may bring designated hazardous waste to the center where it is stored in fifty-five gallon DOT shipping barrels until it is removed to Kansas City. A majority of the materials are then recycled. Recycling Center In 1989 a plan was submitted to the DNR for a county recycling program [excluding hazardous waste.] Basing its figures on the year of 1988, a volume reduction of 50% by July 1, 2000, was mandated by the state. For planning purposes Bremer joined Black Hawk and Buchanan Counties. Bremer County was one of the few counties that managed to meet the goal. The countywide recycling program provides for the collection of glass, tin, plastic, paper and cardboard, and includes all costs associated with transportation and containers for collection. Each community provides space for its own collection site and can individualize its own programs to meet its needs. The recyclables are then picked up from the individual centers and transported for sale or to be stored for future sales. Rural residents may take their items to a nearby town or directly to the recycling center located at the former county farm. In 1990 Bremer County Recycling assisted the City of Waverly in writing a grant for recycling. The grant was for equipment and a building for the County Recycling Program and equipment and a recycling vehicle for the City of Waverly. The Bremer County Recycling Program received a $122,500 grant for containers, lift truck, baler and building. The City of Waverly received $108,000 for a recycling vehicle, skid loader and containers. Proof of value of the program can be seen by looking at the

Bremer County Landfill/Recycling As the prairie turned into farms, the pioneers worked hard with very little. Broken machinery was repaired and put back into use. Fertilizer came from four-legged providers or from the chicken coop crowd. In the settlers‘ cabins when mom‘s dress was too worn to wear, the fabric might be used to make a child‘s dress or shirt, or torn into strips to make a rag rug. Glass jars and bottles were used over and over again. Much of the food was home grown and any unused bits might be fed to the hogs. What items that were purchased might be wrapped in paper and tied with string. String that would be saved for use around the house. And if a piece of china broke, it went into the nearest landfill—otherwise known as the outhouse. Our ancestors didn‘t have to worry about water-saving toilets that sometimes have trouble flushing toilet paper! Recycling continued for years in the form of burying food waste in the garden and letting it break down to provide nutrition for the soil. Unused household items were sometimes hauled to the local ―dump‖ where on occasion they were retrieved by another party who saw a use for them. The dumps served a purpose but were usually too close to town and prone to harboring pests. Landfill And finally, came the era of plastic packaging and throw-away goods. The need for a larger disposal site was at hand. By the time the Bremer County landfill was opened in August 1971, landfills were already [and still are] regulated by state law and monitored for public safety. The forty-acre local site met the strict specifications and is regularly checked. Every six months water tests are made at two locations to the east and nine comparison tests are run on the downgrade side. Because of these tests and stringent operating regulations the landfill is ecologically speaking one of the safest areas in Bremer County. As of 2002 about nineteen acres have been vertically expanded. About ten to twelve usable acres remain. Periodically aerial photographs are taken to act as an aid in determining the growth of the fill. It‘s estimated that the life of Bremer County landfill will be another fifteen to twenty years.


amounts of cardboard collected in 2001 – 265,800 pounds! The payback has multiple benefits to the communities. Monies collected from the sale of the various products is returned to the towns based on their tonnage recycled. In 2001 that amounted to a total of $38,784.02. More jobs are created by recycling than by burying all waste. Environmentally Bremer County and the rest of the world benefit by reuse of materials: our waste paper may go to parts of Asia where forests are scarce; tin cans [steel cans covered with tin] may be made into cars; battery casings may reappear as lawn edging. Tammy Turner, Bremer County Recycling Coordinator, together with Jim Keeran and Ronald Drewes oversee the current Bremer County recycling program. And looking to the future, educational programs extolling the virtues of recycling and conservation of resources are offered to youth from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.

Bremer County Management Information Systems [MIS] When Bremer County officially took over the management of its own affairs in 1853, the number of departments could be counted on one hand. Those officers required several types of record books, pen and ink, a few official forms, desks and chairs and a roof overhead. One hundred and fifty years later, the number of accumulated records are staggering. Storage space within the courthouse is at a premium, some offices are now in satellite locations, and every year the volume of records grows. In order to create a more practical operation and provide more easily accessible retrieval of information, the use of computers was introduced into the courthouse some time ago. In August of 2001 the office of MIS was instituted by the Board of Supervisors. Nathan Koehler was hired to fulfil the duties of that position. His responsibilities include recommending types of equipment suited to the needs of each service, setting up and maintaining the computer systems, upgrading the systems and training staff members on new equipment and software. He offers technical support on an ongoing bases and monitors virus protection updates. The county web site is also managed through MIS. Currently some departments are beginning to store records using optical storage systems. Eventually all county departments will enter past, present, and future records on optical storage systems. The immense amount of information able to be stored on one computer can replace a roomful of the heavy books. The public will still have access to all data declared by law to be public record. Since duplicate copies of everything will be stored offsite, losses such as have happened in the past due to fires will be eliminated. Although it will take years to process all the materials of the past one hundred and fifty years, some of the faded pages may actually be enhanced thanks modern technology. At any rate the speed with information can be located and the various searching possibilities will greatly improve. One of the first major changes noticed by the public may be the option to pay their property taxes via the internet. Many changes have taken place in the last one hundred and fifty years at the courthouse, but it‘s the methods that are different, not the quality of the service. Bremer County Medical Examiner Dr. Lee Fagre is the current medical examiner. [This office was formerly known as County Coroner.] His duties and responsibilities are carefully described in the Code of Iowa. As science has changed so have the protocols. Dr. Fagre may find it necessary to do more investigative work and on site examinations that his pioneer counterpart. By code, "If a person's death affects the public interest, the county medical examiner shall conduct a preliminary investigation of the cause and manner of death, prepare a written report to the state medical examiner on forms prescribed for that purpose, and submit a copy of the report to the county attorney." For example unexplained deaths, instances such as in the case of a suspected SIDS [Sudden Infant Death Syndrome]or where the deceased had not recently been seen by a physician, an investigation or autopsy may be required. Thus, the medical examiner's reports have replaced those once filed with the court by a coroner's jury following an inquest. The statements of witnesses, etc. is

handled by law enforcement. Needless to say, all the particulars regarding the office now consume three pages in the Code of Iowa. In 1883 the coroner had no doubts as to what caused the deaths of Ike and Will Barber; they were hung by the neck until dead. Someone even kept track of their pulse rates. The inquest did try to provide the grand jury with enough evidence to determine if charges should be filed and against whom. The future of the driver of a gravel truck was at risk during an inquest in 1932. His truck had struck William Milius as he crossed Highway 3 East to his mailbox. In this case the only issue was could he have prevented the accident. The jury ruled that the elderly gentleman seemed to be waiting for the truck to pass, but instead started back across the road. The truck driver was exonerated from any responsibility. In 1922 the office duties included: ordering the arrest of a suspect in case of foul play; performing the duties of sheriff when that office was vacant or the sheriff and deputies were absent from the county or parties to a proceeding or action in a court of record. These same duties were still listed in the 1950 county booklet. Now the county medical examiner must be a licensed physician and chosen from a list of two names submitted by the county medical societies. He is appointed annually by the Board of Supervisors. Years ago anyone could run for the office and political party affiliation was a factor. In fact, it was once an elected office. In 1932, F.C. Koch of Waverly was county coroner. According to the Sumner Gazette on May 5, 1932, "A fourth candidate from Sumner for a county office made his announcement Tuesday when Louis Evans, proprietor of the Home Cafe, entered the race for county coroner on the Republican ticket." There is the story of the man whose death was ruled natural causes by the coroner, yet a doctor later found a small, self-inflicted bullet wound. If this is true, medical knowledge is a definite improvement over political affiliation.

Bremer County Public Health Nursing Service Early in 1975, a group of Bremer County citizens met with the Bremer County Board of Supervisors to request nursing services to care for persons confined to their homes. No such


services were available in Bremer County and there was a growing need for someone to start and to fund such services. There were funds available to pay the salary of a Public Health Nurse for one year through the C.E.T.A. [Comprehensive Employment Training Act] if the supervisors would agree to start the service. The supervisors did decide to fund the start of the program. Ads were placed in the county newspapers for a Public Health Nurse. Response to the ad was slow. Nurses were in demand in area hospitals and to utilize the C.E.T.A. funds, the R.N. to be hired had to have been unemployed for at least six months. Few nurses could fill this portion of the requirement. The Board of Health approached Marie Zelle, R.N., of Waverly to see if she might be interested in the position. An interview was also arranged with Margaret Kapler, R.N., Regional Consultant for the Iowa State Department of Health, to further explain what county public health nursing involved. Following the interview, a meeting was held with the Bremer County Public Health Nursing Service and Marie Zelle began her employment on April 8, 1975. The first two weeks were spent in Fayette County with their Public Health Nurse, learning the specifics of how to begin a County Nursing Service. Margaret Kapler, R.N., also made weekly visits to Waverly to assist in the start of the program. The first office was located in a portion of the Social Services Office at 107 3rd St. SW, Waverly. On Wednesdays, the office was shared with the county food stamps dispenser. There was no privacy on that day, so the nurse soon learned to schedule her Sumner visits then so as to be gone most of the day. In July, 1976, the office was moved to the vacated sheriff‘s apartment on the second floor of the courthouse. The first request for nursing service came from Allen Memorial Hospital in Waterloo, for assistance with a patient in Sumner. Homemaker-Health Aide services were provided at this time by the Bremer County Department of Social Services. By 1976, the need for nursing services had increased beyond the capabilities of one R.N. and the Board of Health hired Nita Aasen, R.N., to work part-time. It was also decided to pursue Medicare Certification. Certification would enable the Nursing Service to bill Medicare as well as other insurance companies for skilled nursing visits and Home-Health Aide services. This would provide an additional source of revenue to the Nursing Service in addition to the local tax funds. Medicare Certification requirements were met and the Bremer County Public Health Nursing Service became a certified agency in January 1977. Nita Aasen left the community in 1978 and Eleanor Siech, R.N., began employment with the Nursing Service in August. She soon moved to full-time employment as the requests for nursing services continued to grow. 1978 saw the start of the W.I.C. [Women, Infants and Children] Nutrition Program with the signing of a contract with Operation Threshold of Waterloo. This program offers low-income pregnant women, nursing mothers and infants counseling on nutrition. In 1985 this clinic was expanded to include a well child clinic of immunizations. Children from birth to age 21 could receive complete physical exams at regular intervals and free childhood immunizations. These services are still available in Bremer County at Redeemer Church in Waverly on the third Tuesday of each month. The request for home-health aide services continued to increase. The Board of Health made the decision to hire its own home-health aide to better serve the persons in the county needing assistance with personal cares. Elaine Guager, a certified nurses‘ aide, began her employment as a homehealth aide in February 1979. Late in 1979 the Iowa Department of Social Services decided to terminate its Homemaker Program. This meant another agency would need to provide homemaking services in Bremer County. The Board of Supervisors established the Bremer County Homemaker-Home-Health-Aide, Chorse Service Program to fill this need. The Nursing Service contracted with this program for home-health-aide services. This continues today. Referrals for nursing service continued to increase and in 1980, two R.N.s were hired hourly to provide nursing services as needed. Sandra Holleman, R.N. and Beverly Bellile, R.N. were added to the nursing staff. Both worked about one year. When they left employment, Barbara Voights,

R.N. was added to the staff in February 1981. Pricilla Bishop, R.N. was employed during the summer of 1984. In January 1985 the R.N. Director, Marie Zelle, took a medical leave of absence from her position. Glenda Busching, R.N. assumed responsibility for the nursing services until May 1985, when Eleanor Seich, R.N. became the new director. Glenda eventually left to work with the home health aide program. When Priscilla Bishop left she was replaced by Linda Hall, R.N. Linda left after about a year and a half. She was replaced by R.N. Barb Ripley who was employed for almost two years. When she left, Linda Hall again rejoined the staff. Jan Kreiner, R.N., one of the current public health nurses serving Bremer County residents, also began her employment in 1985. In the late 1980s the Senior Health Program was started. Partially funded from the Iowa Department of Public Health and local county matching dollars, this program originally provided comprehensive physical examinations to elderly citizens of Bremer County who were not receiving services elsewhere. Referrals were made to local physicians when needed. Eventually this program was expanded to provide partial assessments and foot care for elderly. The demand for these services has continued to increase with over 200 assessments annually. Foot clinics are presently held the second Tuesday of each month at Mitchell Manor. Barb Voights, R.N. became the public health nursing administrator in the early 1990s. The demand for public health nursing and home health services continued to increase in Bremer County. Several additional nurses were hired in the next few years to meet these demands. They included R.N.s Rachel Kuhn, Lori Henning, and Julie Dreesman. These nurses helped with the clinics, home visits, immunizations for children including hepatitis B in the schools and mass adult immunizations for flu and tetanus. Public education was conducted, especially in regards to AIDS and hepatitis. In 1994 the lead screening program with Black Hawk County began. Both Barb Voights and Linda Hall left the public health agency in the spring of 1995 to start a home health agency for the Waverly Hospital. With the need to continue public health nursing services in Bremer County, Board of Health members approached the Visiting Nursing Association in Waterloo.


Started in the United States in the late 1800s, Visiting Nurse Associations were the first public health nursing organizations with nurses going into homes stressing sanitation, teaching disease prevention, and caring for the sick. The Waterloo Visiting Nursing Association had been formally established by local citizens in Waterloo in 1932 in the midst of the Great Depression. Since that date nursing services had always been provided to those in need regardless of their ability to pay. The nurses at the Visiting Nursing Association were very willing to work with the Bremer County Board of Health to continue public health nursing services in Bremer County. In the summer of 1995 a contract was signed between the Board of Health and the Visiting Nursing Association. Public health nurses Jan Krieger, Rachel Kuhn, and Julie Dreesman came to work with the VNA, continuing to provide services in Bremer County. This arrangement is continuing. Public health nursing services include home visits for skilled nursing on an intermittent basis. The nurses provide assessments, care of wounds, intravenous therapies, medication management, teaching, and care coordination. The nurse may also make arrangements for home care aide and homemaker services through Bremer County Home Care and for therapies such as physical therapy in the home if needed. In addition the Bremer County nurses provide immunization clinics for children and adults including flu and hepatitis clinics, senior health foot clinics, school immunization card audits, communicable disease follow-up, and numerous education programs. One of the nurses is involved with SAFEKIDS, child safety and safety seats. The nurses also work with the Health Opportunity for Parents to Experience Success [HOPES] program, a home visitation service which is available to pregnant women and all new parents in Bremer County. Bremer nurses serve as case managers for a number of individuals in the Frail Elderly Projects in Black Hawk and Bremer Counties for elderly persons with multiple service needs. Current Bremer County Public Health Nurses are Jan Kriener and Linda McMahon. These experienced nurses provide the majority of nursing services to Bremer County residents. Submitted by Joann Chapman

Accessibility is a must for all the data kept by any county recorder. Bremer County is fortunate in that our records are well organized and indexed. This allows searches within a minimal amount of time by any realtor, attorney, or genealogist. The staff: Lynn Brase, Nancy Maifield and Melissa Davis, under the direction of Recorder Donna Ellison continue to offer the congenial assistance of predecessors Jackie Juhl and Lois Leary. Bremer County Sheriff‘s Office Composition and History The office of the ―Sheriff‖ existed in England before the Magna Carta. The name is derived from two words ―Shire‖ meaning ―County‖ and ―Reeve‖ meaning ―keeper of bailiff,‖ and arrived in this country by the ―common law‖ with the colonists who fled from England. The Bremer County Sheriff‘s Office had its first elected sheriff in August of 1853 with Sheriff Austin Farris serving a total of one year and four months. Bremer County has since had a total of twenty-one individuals serve its people as Sheriff. In the early days the sheriff provided the local law enforcement and operated the common jail. As the county grew, local law enforcement developed in those communities desiring more services that was available from the county sheriff. While the sheriff is ultimately responsible for all law enforcement activities in the entire county, he is able to accomplish this through local police agencies performing these services if available from local government. With the growth of local law enforcement, there had been a change in the role of the sheriff. The sheriff‘s office has progressed towards doing those police functions that have county wide implications and are best handled county wide. These would include sheriff‘s patrol, jail, civil process, criminal investigations, weapons permits, D.A.R.E and school resource offices, accident investigators, consumer fraud as well as all other generated law enforcement duties. The sheriff takes an active role in facilitating the coordination of law enforcement activities in his county. In Bremer County the sheriff accomplished the above tasks by having deputy sheriff‘s carry out many of the sworn duties. A total of ten deputy sheriffs currently are employed by the sheriff‘s office. One of these sworn positions serves as a contract officer for the city of Plainfield, a more common practice in rural Iowa counties. Although all deputies are responsible for a basic understanding of all elements of law enforcement, two deputies primarily focus on investigations including criminal investigations and drug investigations. Three deputies focus

Bremer County Recorder John Hunter, elected in 1853 as the first recorder of Bremer County, also served in a dual capacity as county treasurer. The judicial process had been attached to Fayette County in 1850. There was little interaction with that area, nor was there a broken road between the two localities. Because of this the judicial business of Bremer County was transferred to Buchanan County in 1851 where it remained until John Hunter‘s election in 1853. And so the paper work began in Bremer County. Book A, still located in the recorder‘s office, documents early transactions between two or more parties: a horse sold on credit or installments, farm mortgage agreements, articles of incorporation for the Janesville fire department and a county agricultural society, etc. A quick look through Book A shows that ―whereas‖ and ―wherefore‖ came to Bremer County with the first pioneers. The books of town lot and land deeds line the shelves now. Their numbers grown proportionately with the county. All real estate sales are duly recorded in chronological order by both buyer and seller. Multiple other records are also kept here: * Affidavits * Articles of Incorporation * Land patents * Military discharges [post 1918] * Mortgage and lien books * Plat books * Trade names index Passports are also obtained through the recorder‘s office, as are hunting and fishing licenses. In July 1997 all vital statistics in Iowa were moved to the care of the care of county recorders. In other words, anyone who‘s born, married or dies in Bremer County has the event duly noted in the official records at the recorder‘s office.


on civil process serving and the remainder work patrol. An eleventh deputy will be added soon to work as the county school resource officer, serving seven school districts throughout the county. This position has been made possible by the award of a federal grant. The sheriff‘s office also has two secretarial positions and five jail staff under his direction. The sheriff also is in charge of communications for Bremer County which included communications for all emergency services and requires a staff of five fulltime employees. Civil Division Bremer County serves in excess of 3,000 civil proceedings a year. These include original notices, court orders, writs, general executions, sheriff‘s sales, condemnations, subpoena and all other papers related to civil process. Civil fees are charged and collected and documentation is very critical. One secretary is responsible for processing and overseeing each of these civil proceedings. Patrol Division Patrol deputies are responsible for all general law enforcement duties ranging from responding to calls for service, accident investigation, traffic enforcement, initial burglary and theft investigations, prisoner transports, mental commitments/transports, vacation checks, building/business checks, etc. Deputies patrol approximately 20,000 to 24,000 miles per month to fulfill their duties. Scheduling of patrol officers is done to accommodate the best possible coverage for law enforcement for our citizens. Investigations Division Two deputies are primarily responsible for all follow-up investigations. One deputy works primarily drug investigations, the other all other criminal investigations including criminal mischief cases, child and sexual abuse, burglary, fraud, etc. Drug investigators work undercover as needed to detect and arrest drug users and dealers. Jail. Division The Bremer County jail was built at its current location in 1975 after having been located in the courthouse previously. The jail houses eleven inmates in six cells and can hold an additional four inmates temporarily overnight. The jail has a library and indoor exercise area for inmate use. The jail is under the direction of one civilian supervisor and four full-time jailers who are on the premises 24/7. Jailers provide for the needs of the jail and enhance the security of the jail by their presence and their knowledge of the job. Bremer County jail staff are responsible for upholding the established rules for inmates and for receiving and releasing all prisoners brought into the facility by law enforcement officers. Jail staff assists is scheduling for court appearances, medical appointments and visitation privileges. Records Department The records department is responsible for the maintenance, computerization and storage of all records generated by patrol and investigative and jail personnel. The records include, but are not limited to, incident reports, investigative reports, correspondence related to an incident, citations and internal documents. The records department maintains inactive jail files, fingerprint cards and mug shots as part of its centralized records and identification functions. The one part-time secretary responds to a wide range of requests from the general public, news media, other law enforcement agencies including records checks, open records requests, accidents, and general information relating to reporting to state and federal agencies. Duane [Dewey] L. Hildebrandt, Bremer County Sheriff Richard C. Greenlee, Chief Deputy Dan Pickett, Lieutenant Deputy Sheriff Barney Hilbert, Deputy Sheriff Brian Bockhaus, Deputy Sheriff Aaron Booth, Deputy Sheriff Shane Hoff, Deputy Sheriff Terry Dehmlow, Deputy Sheriff Dean Jacobson, Deputy Sheriff David MacDonald, Deputy Sheriff Robert Whitney, Deputy Sheriff Office Staff Karen Bolte, Office Mgr/Civil Secretary

Lisa Lampe, Records Clerk [ _ time Law center records, _ time sheriff‘s office] Jail Staff Mary Muller, Jail Administrator Rodney Minikus, Jailer Angela Bartels, Jailer LuAnn Weitzenkamp, Jailer Ashley Iserman, Jailer Radio Operators Connie Kennedy, Disptacher Supervisor Richard Dudolski, Dispatcher Terea Diercks, Dispatcher Sharon Scherwin, Dispatcher Charlene Harms, Dispatcher Submitted by Duane Hildebrandt, June 2002 Sheriffs – Bremer County, Iowa Sheriff Austin Farris Daniel Lehman Joseph G. Ellis J.W. Eldridge N.M. Smith D.W. Cowan C.M. Kingsley James S. Conner L.S. Hanchett James Adair A.H. Jarvis John Sager J.C. Messenger Henry Parrott Henry Knapp J.A. Krause John Hallowell Frank Sager Harley Ehlert James A. Leeman Wm. L. Westendorf Dewey L. Hildebrandt Dates of Service Aug 1853-Dec 1854 Dec 1854-Aug 1855 Aug 1855-Dec 1861 Jan 1862-Dec 1863 2 years Jan 1864-Dec 1866 3 years Jan 1867-Dec 1867 1 year Jan 1868-Dec 1871 4 years Jan 1872-Dec 1875 4 years Jan 1876-Dec 1881 6 years Jan 1882-Dec 1885 4 years Jan 1886-Dec 1889 4 years Jan 1890-Dec 1893 4 years Jan 1894-Dec 1895 2 years Jan 1896-Dec 1905 10 years Jan 1906-Dec 1909 4 years Jan 1910-Dec 1924 15 years Jan 1925-Dec 1928 4 years Jan 1929-Dec 1938 10 years Jan 1939-Dec 1964 26 years Jan 1965-Dec 1972 8 years Jan 1973-Dec 2000 28 years Jan 2001-present Years 16mos 8 mos 6 years

Bremer County Treasurer Although Bremer County was still attached to Buchanan County for civil and judicial purposes in 1851, the twenty-five eligible voters met in a cabin and held an election. When the tallies were done Elias J. Messinger was the first county treasurer. Soon after a second election in April 1853, it was determined


that enough people lived within the boundaries of Bremer County to organize and Waverly was selected as the county seat. In June of 1853 primary elections were held on the courthouse grounds. Nearly all qualified voters were present. In what was truly a vote for the left or right, each candidate with his supporters stood in a group. The favorite of the largest group was the nominee. This procedure was followed for each office. The following month in a general election John Hunter emerged as a combination treasurer and recorder. From this point forward Bremer County handled its own affairs. Skipping ahead 150 years, the offices of the treasurer and the recorder have long since been separated. Other things have changed too. Primarily the vast difference in the amount of work required by the increased population and revenues. Even taking inflation into account this can readily be seen by assessed valuations. 1853 January 2001 cities $ 653,557,982 rural 554,189,554 $43,437 total total $1,207,747,536 For the year 2001-2002 the total tax collected by the county was $18,302,708.00. The county treasurer who must balance these sums is elected every four years. The treasurer must be able to give an accounting of funds available in any account on any given day. In addition regular financial reports are provided to the Board of Supervisors. Reports on the numerous property tax credits are sent to the state in order to obtain reimbursements. As taxes are collected any excess designated for special purposes, but not yet in use, are placed in CDs or money market certificates. Managing these finances is also the treasurer‘s responsibility. All property taxes are collected by the treasurer‘s office. For the convenience of residents some of the banks in the smaller towns of Bremer County have collected payments and forwarded them to the courthouse. Plans for the future include a statewide Internet website where property owners may access their record and pay online by use of a credit card. Vehicle licenses are also issued through this department. These funds, however, are forwarded to the Iowa DOT. Only a small portion of each fee remains with the county to help offset the costs of staffing and equipment. At the time each license is issued the data is fed directly into a state data bank. In the year 2000 with a total county population of 23,325 the treasurer‘s office issued 30,084 licenses for automobiles, buses, motor homes, motorcycles, mopeds, trucks, etc. Of these 16,510 were for cars. John M. Hazlett Wm. Graening

Bremer County Veteran‘s Affairs Many of our earliest pioneers were veterans. Not long after Bremer County came into existence, men marched off to save the union. On June 6, 1861 the Board of Supervisors established the County Volunteer Fund. The Committee‘s special duty was to look after the families of volunteers and see that they were supplied with all the necessary comforts of life while their fathers and husbands were in the service of the United States. The Committee appointed was: O. C. Harrington of Horton; R. J. Barrick of Janesville; L. J. Curtis of Dayton; E. J. Walling of Frederika; and B. M. Reeves of Waverly. A fund of $500.00 was established to pay for this program. One year later the Committee was changed to be each member of the Board of Supervisors (one from each township at that time). On August 21, 1862 the Board of Supervisors approved a Volunteer‘s Bounty of $50.00 for each volunteer that enlisted under the present call of the Governor of Iowa as soon as they have been received and mustered into service. In January of 1864 the Volunteer Bounty was raised to $100.00. At the same time the Supervisors levied a tax of two mils additional to cover ordinary and extraordinary expenses incurred by reason of the present rebellion, and asked the Legislature to legalize the same. As the veterans who returned aged or were disabled they were in need of assistance. The federal government could grant small monthly stipends to the veterans. Often it was not enough, or a temporary situation required more help. In those instances petitioners could approach the County Board of Supervisors for additional aid. Widows‘ names also appear on the roles, and in several cases orphaned children were cared for until other provisions could be made for their care. After the requests were approved by the Board, then the clerk would be advised to authorize payment. On September 3, 1888, there was the appointment of the first Soldier‘s Relief Commission made up of three members. The terms were to be for three years. The following members were appointed: J. W. Hanchett (3 years); E. W. Tyler (2 years); and John Tiedt (1 year). In November of 1888 the Board of Supervisors authorized payment of $2.00 per day for meetings of the Soldier‘s Relief Commission. This group oversaw the process of helping veterans fill out forms and advising them of their options. In 1921 the three Commissioners were John St. John of Waverly; Adam Land of Sumner; and John J. Chadwick of Tripoli. They dispersed $2,561.11 that year. In searching through the records of the 1920-1940s, the monthly sums allotted to individuals were $12, $14, some a little more and some a little less. Except in the case of widows the allowances were usually granted for a specified time to help ease a financial stress. Able bodied veterans were expected to work and only veterans who served during war time were eligible.

Beginning in July 2003, the State of Iowa will no longer operate the non-permanent licensing stations. In the case of Bremer County this means that drivers will get their permits and licenses at the county treasurer‘s office. Trained staff will be required with some counties hoping to hire former DOT examiners. In Bremer County the office will be open five days a week for renewals or questions. Driving tests will be given one day per week. Sharon Abram, who is in her second term, is the current Bremer County Treasurer. Sue Shonka and Marlys Stahlhut assist in the tax department. Rhonna Bergmann, Marilyn Block, and Angie Burrows handle the licensing of all vehicles.


By the 1960s the average monthly payment was $25. Help was also given for fuel or medical bills. Vouchers were issued for groceries with direct payment to the grocer. By this time some recipients left the rolls and received Old Age Assistance or Social Security payments. According to Betty Gambaiani, former Director of Veteran‘s Affairs (title was changed from Secretary to Director) almost all the recipients were grateful for the help and conscientiously obeyed the regulations. One widow, who had a jar of freckle cream listed on her pharmacy bill, was extremely apologetic and concerned that she would be dropped from the rolls. Instead she was simply reminded that she needed to be careful to have only essentials on her voucher. On the other hand, another family seemed to see the funds as fair game. After receiving their own help—a number of times—the wife asked for help for her hospitalized father. Her mother, she declared, could not come in since she didn‘t drive. Mrs. Gambaiani, a bit suspicious, called the father‘s place of employment. The ―ill man‖ himself answered the phone and was a bit surprised to find he was sick enough to be in the hospital. ―Almost everyone who came in the door was sad,‖ Mrs. Gambaiani remembers. ―They were at a loss as to where to turn.‖ One widow was left with absolutely no income. She was granted $125 per month. The Director worked in the office one day a week and traveled the county the other days completing her paperwork for a monthly check for less than the widow. (It was not a time when married women‘s salaries were based on qualifications and skills alone. The consensus in most work places was that the male provided as the real breadwinner.) In the late 1960s the State of Iowa issued a bonus of $40 to World War I Veterans. The county matched the funds to those approved by the state. Approximately 9 to 10 Bremer County men were qualified. Veterans of the Korean War received state bonuses, but the county‘s responsibility was limited to aid in filing the claims. It was in July, 1972 that the Soldier‘s Relief Commission evolved into Veteran‘s Affairs under a state statute. At that time an attempt was made to consolidate all benefit opportunities under one umbrella. It was also at this time that the Bremer County office was moved into the Courthouse. Years ago Frank Sturdevant began to gather information on the graves of all veterans buried in Bremer County. These records include information regarding enlistment, discharge, rank, units in which served, etc. The office of Veteran‘s Affairs has like records for all veterans since deceased including the Gulf War. Funeral homes supply the office with data needed to include deceased veteran‘s names to the grave registration lists. The flag holders to place on the graves are issued based on family requests. Assistance is still offered to qualified veterans or their widows, sometimes this means help for those in nursing homes until they are eligible for Title 19. In recent years the position of Secretary and later Director has been filled by Dorlan Lovejoy, Marilyn Langholz, Betty Gambaiani (from 19671976), Verlin Wieden, and for the past eight years by Kathy Thoms. The current Veteran Affairs Commission members are: Brent Steere, Ken Kasemeier and Duane Fails. They are reimbursed $25.00 per meeting and the annual budget for Veteran Affairs is $18,000. Veteran Affairs Commission Members 1963 to 1974 D.D. Lovejoy [Exec. Secretary] 19?? To 1984 John P. Roach 1970 to 1979 James R. Kane 1974 to 1979 Leslie J. Young 1979 to 1990 LaVerne Clary 1979 to 1991 Wilbert Becker 1984 to present Brent Steere 1990 to present Duane Fails 1991 to present Kenneth Kasemeier

Veteran Affairs Directors/Administrators 1958 to 1966 D.D. Lovejoy [Secretary] 1966 to 1968 Marilyn Rosenau 1968 to 1987 Betty Gambaiani 1987 to 1996 Verlyn Wieden 1996 to present Kathy J. Thoms


File 2a COUNTY BUSINESS The Old Courthouse When Bremer County decided to build its first courthouse they knew what they wanted—and the specifications all fit on a handful of pages. County officials were authorized to monitor the construction process. No doubt the sidewalk superintendents assisted the elected officials as well. The old courthouse served from 1858 until 1937. It was the scene of many public events: happy couples applied for marriage licenses there, band concerts were held on the lawn, men left for war from its steps, murder trials were prosecuted in its court rooms, the sheriff and his family lived there, and a lynch crowd removed two prisoners from its jail cells and led them to their death.











Why Bremer County Is Small Bremer County is one of the smallest counties in the state, being 18 miles wide from north to south, and 24 miles long from east to west. In the organization of counties in the north part of the state in a struggle for territory, Black Hawk grabbed a row of congressional townships on her north border that logically and fairly belonged to Bremer. This was done by a system of legerdemain that was too deep or obtuse for Uncle John T. Barrick and his helpers to understand until it was too late to change the slate, and John T. lost the townships, and with them went glimmering the prospective county seat [for Janesville.] Zimri Streeter (father of author, Bess Streeter Aldrich,) of Cedar Falls, was the smooth manipulator who euchered Uncle John T. Zimri was playing Cedar Falls for a county seat, and got left in the final wind-up, as well as did Barrick. The road never was wide enough for Barrick to have Streeter and himself travel on it at the same time after the division of territory was made. Taken from The Janesvillians V.1

It was still a time of recovery from economic depression in the United States and the workmen were hired through the auspices of the National Reemployment Services as dictated by the WPA contract. The block comprising the courthouse square was made of limestone and it took 28 pounds of dynamite to dig the basement. As moving day neared, all the records and assorted files needed to be sorted. Because nothing could be sold, the Board of Supervisors determined what would go and what would be burned. Exhibits from long ago trials were sent to the burn pile. Dedication ceremonies were held on June 10, 1937, and attended by over twelve hundred people. The offices that had been scattered throughout the city were again under a courthouse roof. The old courthouse was razed. The winning bid was $495 plus salvage. All the work was done by ―relief‖ workers from Bremer County. The records building on the southwest corner of the square was also removed. The bandstand was moved to a park. Other than the Civil War cannon which was removed during

Naming Bremer County Townships Have you noticed that the townships of Bremer County are all named for persons; four for presidents—Washington, Jefferson, Jackson and Polk. Two are named for candidates for president—Fremont and Douglas, and Dayton for Fremont‘s running mate in 1856. Lafayette and Warren are named for two soldiers of the revolution of 1776. Frederika is named for the celebrated novelist and writer, Fredrika Bremer. Maxfield, the last township to be organized in the county, was given Judge Maxfield‘s name, as it was organized in his first term as county judge. Sumner was named for Senator Charles Sumner, the champion of the abolition cause in 1856-1857. And the other two townships are LeRoy and Franklin. Hardly another county in the state has such an illustrious array of township names as has Bremer County.

Courthouse Move In 1936 the Bremer County courthouse was long since overcrowded. Many county offices were located in various buildings around Waverly. A decision was made to hold an election permitting the issuance of bonds for the construction of a new courthouse. Many of the citizens of rural Bremer County wanted the county seat moved to Tripoli which was in a more central location. To that end Tripoli and Sumner people launched a campaign to secure an election to build the new courthouse in Tripoli. A meeting was held in Tripoli and a committee formed to gauge support for the cause and a proposal was made to raise $30,000 towards the project. A petition was circulated to hold a special election. It was signed by 2,866 people—250 more than was needed. In the final vote, every Waverly ward voted overwhelmingly to build in Waverly. With the exception of two or three of the western most townships, the vote went to Tripoli. Because the number of Waverly voters was larger than the remaining voters the county seat remained in Waverly by a margin of 3,066 to 1,630. From the Sumner Gazette; 16 January 1936

Our Courthouse Built in pioneer times the old courthouse had served for 80 years. Not only was the structure in poor shape, the space was totally inadequate and not designed for the expanded duties of county government. After several attempts to gather support for a new structure, an election was held in March 1936. The vote passed and bids were let and construction began soon after.


a World War II scrap drive, the square today looks much as it did in 1937. The jail was moved across the street to the new law center in 1975, and the sheriff and his family no longer were required to live in the courthouse to oversee prisoners. With older wiring, window air conditioning units, etc. it became apparent that renovation was in order. In 2003 the 3-year remodeling plan of the offices has been completed. Service counters opening onto the hallways replaced the individual offices. Thus, more room is available for staff use. The ceiling in the old courtroom was lowered, with the space above allowing storage facilities on the 3rd floor. There are now 2 jury courtrooms and 1 magistrate court. The 2nd and 3rd floors are dedicated to court related matters and security measures are in place. All county offices [with the exceptions of Engineer, Conservation, Landfill, and Sheriff] are again located in the courthouse or the annex building on 1st Ave. NE.

Mr. Moulds died October 13, 1939, and I was named to succeed him. I thoroughly enjoyed the Recorder‘s office, being certain everything was indexed and recorded properly. I considered every person who came into the office as my boss because it was their votes that gave me the position. BREMER COUNTY RECORD BOOK A Page 1 Know all men these present that I John Miles of the County of Bremer and State of Iowa have this day bargained and sold... Do by these present bargain and sell unto Joel Sumner of the same place the following described property one bay mare about twelve years old with black mane and tail and white left hind foot, one iron gray colt about six months old with a white spot in each hip, one black cow three years old last spring, two heifers year old last spring, one a bright red, the other spotted two calves, one a heifer of rone cutter and one bull calf black sides and line back. Also two thirds of the corn on eighteen acres of ground as it now stands in the field of Jacob Hess in the…said county and ten tons of hay in the stack as it now stands on my premises for the sum of two hundred thirty dollars in hand paid the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged. Also covenant with the said Joel Sumner that I am lawfully seized of the said property and have good right and legal authority to fill the same the conditions of the above is such that where as I have this day given my promissory note to the said Joel Sumner for the sum of one hundred and sixty five dollars with ten percent interest payable on the fifteenth day of October $185.5 now if I shall pay the said one hundred and sixty five dollars with ten percent interest per anum then on or before the …given under my hand this 15th day of October 1853. John Miles MISCELLANEOUS RECORD ―A‖ Page 51 Know all men by these Presents that We Joachim Kelling and Wilhelmina Kelling his wife of Bremer County, State of Iowa for and in consideration of the giving and delivery to us by Frederick Kelling and Anna M.D. Kelling his wife of all their personal property and farming implements consisting of four horses, ten cows and including all farm machinery and live stock now on place this day sold to us by said Frederick Kelling and wife Do hereby agree to give hay or deliver to the said Frederick Kelling and wife the following, to wit:

Volunteers Pitch In to Build Road A half a hundred teams with wagons, drivers for all of them, shovelers to keep them filled up and men to level off the dirt in the road succeeded last Thursday in making a fine new road approaching Sumner and at the same time made history for this section. The mile stretch of road directly north of town from Pleasant St. has been in bad shape all summer and has been constantly shunned by travelers. To get it fixed seemed almost an impossibility until some of the farmers decided recently that a ―bee‖ would be the only method. The farmers and citizens solicited for work donations, the businessmen provided the wherewithall to feed the men at noon and Thursday morning the work was started. At evening there was a stretch of about 30 rods, which had not been completed, so diligent were the efforts of the day. The gravel for the north end of the road was taken from the Cass farm pit that for the south end from the municipal pit in Sumner. Eight teams worked from this end of the line, 42 from the other…At the pit in Sumner, so zealous were the workers that wagons were loaded in from 25 to 30 seconds… From the Sumner Gazette; 1 November 1917 From the Recorder‘s Office Memories of John Sperry, now 93, a lifelong resident of Bremer County, in regard to the office of the Bremer County Recorder: George T. Moulds was elected County Recorder in 1932, taking office January 1st, 1933. At that time there were two buildings in Courthouse Square: a large building that housed the sheriff‘s office, his residence, and the courtroom. The other building was a small four-room building near the front sidewalk, which housed the offices of County Auditor, County Treasurer, and the Clerk of the District Court. All other offices were scattered about the city in various rented buildings. When Mr. Moulds took office, the office was above the Broadie Drug Store, now occupied by Love and Lace, at 122 E. Bremer Avenue. I worked for Mr. Moulds and the county, on a part-time basis during 1933 and 1934, and was made deputy in January of 1935, continuing as Deputy or Recorder for 40 years. Mr. Moulds became very concerned about fire and the destruction of all the records of land ownership, especially because of the large stock of paint downstairs, directly below the office, in Broadie‘s Drug Store. [It was common then for drug stores to sell paint products.] In the 1934 the office was moved to the basement of what was then the Waverly Savings Bank, later the First National Bank and now an office building at 100 East Bremer Avenue. In 1937 it was a HAPPY day when the office was moved into the present courthouse. It had been my job to take the many roller shelves for the large records apart so they could be moved and prepare the other things to be moved by the county road crew. Then to put the roller shelving back together and arrange the books in proper order, both in the move downtown and then into the new courthouse.


Four (4) dollars each and every month during the natural life of the said Frederick Kelling and Anna M.D. Kelling his wife or either of them. Also two fat hogs each and every year and every year during their natural life. Also all other provisions for the maintanance of the said Frederick and Anna M.D. Kelling also feed and pasture and shelter for one horse. Also all such other things as may be necessary from time to time for their proper support and comfort. In Witness Whereof we have hereunto set our hands this 29th day of May A.D. 1883 Joachim Kelling & Wilhelmena Kelling MISCELLANEOUS RECORD A Page 98 Contract of Apprenticeship…This Indenture of Apprenticeship made this 15th day of November 1884. Witnesseth that Irvin E. Baldwin of the town of Bradford, the County of Chickasaw and State of Iowa, father of Jesse Baldwin, does hereby bind the said Jesse Baldwin unto A. A. Dickinson of Douglas Township, Bremer County, Iowa until the said Jesse Baldwin shall have attained the age of twenty one years which will be on the 16th day of June 1898 during all of which time the said apprentice shall serve the said master faithfully, honestly and industriously his secrets keep and lawful commands everywhere readily obey at all times protect and preserve the goods and property of the said master and not suffer or allow any to be injured or waisted. The said apprentice shall in all things behave as a faithful apprentice …to do during the said term and said master shall clothe and provide for the said apprentice in sickness and in health and supply him with suitable food and clothing and shall cause the said apprentice to be properly instructed and that he receives a good common school education and the said A. A. Dickinson further agrees to give to the said Jesse Baldwin when he shall arrive at the age of twenty one years provided he shall remain in the employ of the said A. A. Dickinson a good serviceable team of horses harness and wagon to be of the value of three hundred dollars or the said A. A. Dickinson may pay the said Jesse Baldwin three hundred dollars at his option instead of the team harness and wagon. And for the true performance of all and singular the covenants and agreements aforesaid the said parties bind themselves each with the other firmly of these presents. In witness whereof the parties aforesaid have hereunto set their hands the day and year first above written. Irvin E. Baldwin & A. A. Dickinson, Father MISCELLANEOUS RECORD A Page 141 Know all men by these Presents: That I, Fred C. Wente of Bremer County, State of Iowa, party of the first part, For and in consideration of Two Hundred Dollars, in hand paid and for other valuable considerations in hand paid by William Wente and Frederika Wente my father and mother of Bremer County, Iowa, parties of the second part, Witnesseth; That the said party of the first part agrees to deliver unto the said second party annually – two good marketable Fat hogs and Twenty five Dollars worth of cream annually during the life time of the said second party or either of them. Also to provide Board for the said parties of the second part during the time the said second party may desire the board from the said first party for themselves or for either of them. And the said party of the first part also agrees to give the said parties of the second part the South West and North West rooms in the house on the premises this day deeded to the said first party by the second party during their lifetime. In Witness Whereof I have hereunto set my hand this 3rd day of November 1886. Fred C. Wente MISCELLANEOUS RECORD A Page 231 No 621,979 Original United States of America Department of Interior Bureau of Pensions Invalid Pension

It is hereby certified that in conformity with the laws of the United States Zebrina Z. Bryant who was a private Co ―B‖ 7 Regiment Iowa Volunteer Infantry, is entitled to a pension at the rate of Sixteen dollars per month to commence on the Seventh day of August one thousand eight hundred and ninety, and Twenty four dollars per month from April 1, 1891. This pension being for ―Rheumatism and disease of heart.‖ Given at the Department of the Interior this Thirteenth day of July one thousand eight hundred and ninety one and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and Sixteenth. Geo. Chandler, Acting Secretary of Interior MISCELLANEOUS RECORD B Page 633 I, Geo. L. Davis having been duly sworn do depose and say that I am 71 years old and reside in Janesville, Iowa and state that, in 1880-81 I built a dam about five hundred feet long on the site of the Janesville Mill, that said Dam was from the top of the water wheel to top of said dam nine and onehalf feet, and no objection was made by those who owned the land overflowed and the dam remained that height till washed out. Geo L. Davis MISCELLANEOUS RECORD C Page 203 War Department – Adjutant General‘s Office, Washington, May 9th, 1889, Hon. D.B. Henderson, Dubuque, Iowa Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 3rd, instant, enclosing one (herewith returned) from C. Cadwallader, of Janesville, Iowa, inquiring whether one Charles Van Bramer was killed in the Custer fight; and in reply to inform you that the records of this office show that Private Charles Van Bramer, Troup I – 7th Cavalry, enlisted January 3, 1872 – and that he was killed in the battle of the Little Big Horn River, Montana, Custer‘s massacre, June 25, 1876. Very respectfully, J.C. Kelton, Asst. Adjutant at 11:30 O‘clock AM General Filed for record the 7th day of Sept, A.D. 1914.

Grave Matters Beginning with Bremer Counties first newspapers, word of the illnesses of local citizens was spread through items in the ―locals.‖ Mrs. Jones‘ case of biliousness might rate a small paragraph. Mr. Jones, in turn, could read of his bout with ―lung Fever‖ or ―putrefication of the bowels.‖ Although many survived both their illness and the publication of embarrassing details, some souls did not. If death followed an illness, the death might or might not be mentioned in a later issue. In 1880 the State of Iowa decreed that all deaths should be recorded at the courthouse in the county in which the death took place. Doctors did not always find it easy to go to the courthouse regularly, and so sometimes turned in their files in batches relying on notes and memories to complete the form. If the doctor did not keep a written record, a death might not be recorded at all. These records were to include a cause of death. Looking through the earliest records of Bremer County many of the entries are sad but not unexpected for the era: rattlesnake bite, typhus, cholera, diphtheria, whooping cough, childbirth and cancer. Other diagnoses might even be given in 2003: cancer, pneumonia, heart attack, etc. It is the entries that seem unique that disprove the familiar adage ―the good old days.‖ Decedent Age Male 80 years Cause: senile gangrene Female 61 years Cause: simple continued fever [if it was simple, why death] Female 17 years Cause: pelvic abscess caused by bathing in cold running water at menstrual


Male 48 years Cause: heart disease caused by bullet striking rib over heart Female 90 years Cause: LaGrippe [so much more refined than the flu] Female 1 year 7 months Cause: Poisoned from nursing too long Female 2+ years Cause: Paralysis of brain by cold water being kept a long time upon the head and a blister upon back of neck Female 5 days Cause: ―not known‖ [brief but accurate] Female 71 years Cause: coup de so leil [sunstroke, but the Buck Creek doctor knew French!] The brain seemed to cause many fatalities in the 1880s. Fortunately in 2003, many people live long lives despite problems with their brains. [Some even appear to survive without any.] Male 1 day congestion of the brain Male 63 years brain difficulty Female 65 years softening of the brain Male 66 brain trouble And on occasion even the physician was overwhelmed by the loss of his patient. Such was the case of Dr. J. M. Guthrie of Tripoli in 1888 when he recorded this death . Female 45 years Cause: ―Enteritis, No diarrhea. Over work and self quackering, epsom salts, onions and tobaco phsic. Weight 120 lbs. Raised 11 children. Delivered cordwood 8 miles, carried 70 pails of swill to hogs each day. Ain‘t it enough‖ Old News from the Sheriff‘s Office 1883 September: The Board of Supervisors paid $3.75 for a rubber hose for the jail. [No notation as to the use of the hose.] 1921 Board of Supervisors allotted $1.88 for clothing and $5.00 for medical expenses for the jail 1922 Board of Supervisors spent $1.20 for light, water and heat for the jail. 1926 October: [prisoners had recently attempted a break out] The next time any prisoner in the county jail attempts to take the route that Parker and Shipp did in making their escape, they will be surprised. The board of supervisors have had a steel door placed in the basement, and anyone dropping down through the floor will still find themselves in jail, with their choice of staying in a toilet or a very dark room. 1932 One of the duties recently delegated to the sheriff‘s department was the issuing of drivers‘ licenses. Those desiring the permit had to complete an application in person at the sheriff‘s office. That application was then forwarded to the Secretary of State who issued the actual permit. Because of his duties the sheriff was sometimes not at the office after people had driven from their homes, so the sheriff was planning to draw up a list of eligible residents and was hoping to be able to sign people up as he traveled throughout the county. 1951 July 4: [Bremer County Independent] You Can‘t Expect Sirloin Steak Diet When You Become Guest At County Jail. Had you ever thought of getting ―put away‖ in the Bremer County jail in order to beat the high cost of living. Sheriff and Mrs. H. E. Ehlert advise against it. They‘re allowed by state law to spend no more than $1.05 per day per prisoner. That sort of budget can hardly allow for beef steak and caviar. This newspaper, wondering how the sheriff feeds a man for 35 cents a meal, sent out a reporter to see the sheriff and his wife to try to discover how it‘s done. With meat being the usual whipping boy of the harried housewife on a limited budget, the first question was, ―Can you serve meat on that allowance?‖ The sheriff replied, ―We serve weiners, and casseroles. In fact we had one today. They make pretty regular meat stretchers.‖

Soups, vegetables, fruit, and such other lower-cost foods have to be used generously to make the allowance do. In speaking of fruits and vegetables, Mrs. Ehlert said, ―Of course I do my own canning. We have to serve home-canned foods to make ends meet. For breakfast the guests of the county occasionally receive rolls or doughnuts, but usually cereal, bread and coffee constitutes the menu. Prisoners get one pat of butter. The noon and evening meals, as is customary, are somewhat heavier. Mrs. Ehlert is constantly on the alert for good, cheap food. She‘s typical of housewives in that respect. The sheriff smiled and said, ―She just got a big batch of rhubarb put away in the deepfreeze.‖ Last year‘s average of prisoners on hand at one time was three. ―This year the average won‘t run quite as high,‖ remarked the sheriff. Having ―guests‖ brings on other problems. The prisoners sometimes scrub their clothes since the jail has no washing


machine. Some of them send their clothes home. Blankets are always sent out to be cleaned. The men sometimes wish to buy items of food with their own money. The Ehlerts take such orders anytime and buy what the prisoners want. Visitors days occur nearly any day except Sunday. ―After all,‖ remarked Mrs. Ehlert, ―we like to have a little time to ourselves.‖ The State Sheriff‘s Association recently tried to get the daily subsistence limit raised, but the legislature failed to enact such a law, according to Sheriff Ehlert. In case any women might still want the job of feeding prisoners, Mrs. Ehlert reminds that the food is paid for but she gets nothing for cooking it.

Escaped From County Jail The year 1856 was marked by Waverly‘s first real jail break. Three men were waiting in the old log jail for the next term of district court and they decided to save Sheriff Hayden and his deputies the trouble of any further watching. So when Saturday night came they broke up the old floor and dug their way out. It was later suggested that they must have had some outside help although the floor had been considered somewhat insecure for some time. At any rate two iron bars were found in the jail which must have been furnished the prisoners by some friends. The inmates of the jail objected apparently, to their boarding arrangements because they were ―thoughtful‖ enough to leave a note for the sheriff to explain their departure. The note read: ―Dear Mr. Hayden: We the undersigned do not consider ourselves guilty of any crime whatever, and we are losing our health and liberty by staying in this dungeon, besides getting the leavings of a Dutch boarding house which not a dog in Dubuque would eat unless starved to it. It is our intention to appear at the next term of court, if not before. [Signed] C.F. Foster, Jackson Morgan, James Day.‖ It seems, however, that the boys were never heard from again because court records fail to disclose any sentence ever being meted out to the trio. Bremer County Independent: 7 March 1956

Living in the Courthouse It has been the custom in many small counties in Iowa until recent years that when the County Sheriff was elected, he and his family would move into the sheriff‘s residence in the courthouse and care for the prisoners. Until the Bremer-Waverly Law Enforcement Center was built, the jail occupied the 3rd floor of the courthouse, the sheriff‘s office was on the 1st floor west end and the apartment for the sheriff was on the 2nd floor east end adjacent to the court room. When Bill won the election in 1972, I knew that along with his new job came new responsibilities for me. I would be cooking for the prisoners and serving as matron for the sheriff‘s office. On January 1st, 1973, we went into the courthouse to see where our new home would be. The 2-bedroom apartment was up 2 flights of stairs and had a nice size living room, dining room, kitchen and bath. Up 2 more flights of stairs were my laundry room and the jail where I would take the meal trays to the prisoners and slide them through small slots in the barred doors. Although the capacity of the jail was around 12, we very seldom had that many inmates for any length of time. The most I ever had at one meal was 13. That was on a Sunday morning after several OWI arrests were made the evening before. Although most of them were not looking for a hearty breakfast after spending the previous evening drinking, a well-balanced meal had to be offered, but black coffee was usually preferred. A log of all the items on each meal tray had to be kept for the record. Just in case there was ever a question I could produce an itemized account of what was served.

Even though we had no prisoners at times we had to be available in case one would be brought in. Most Saturday nights we could count on having a few overnighters. Since the Sheriff‘s office did not have 24 hr. dispatchers at that time, the phones had to be answered from our apt. after the courthouse closed at 4:30 each day and on weekends. Sitting in a permanent cabinet in the corner of the dining room was a police radio so we could call directly to the patrol cars. Many times I was the link between the Sheriff or deputy at an accident scene and the phone as I dispatched ambulances and wreckers for them. Serving as matron, I had to be present and search all female prisoners when they were brought in and booked. Sometimes I went with an officer to homes to bring females in for mental and alcohol hearings and help with transporting them to mental health facilities or alcohol treatment centers. My first trip to Florida was to bring back a female prisoner, and it was no vacation, after driving straight down there and arriving in the dark, we picked up our two prisoners before dawn and headed for home. Not a good way to see Florida. Living in the courthouse with its high ceiling, cement floors and clanging heat radiators on Bremer Avenue near downtown was usually a very noisy place and the sound of prisoners rapping against the steel enclosure one floor above would echo through the building. Early one evening I could hear a lot of noise coming from the jail. Loud music was coming from the radio they had and I could hear water running. Thinking they were only taking showers I didn‘t get alarmed about it. Bill happened to be in California attending the National Sheriff‘s Academy at the time and our 8-yr. old son Greg and I were left to mind the jail. Still hearing loud music and water running some 3 hours later, I became suspicious and went up the stairs to check on them. Thinking the music and the water was a diversion and not wanting to open the doors myself I radioed for a deputy to come and help. Some how the man being held for armed robbery had gotten a saw blade and had already cut through 2 bars and was on his way through the 3rd. I was so glad the deputy was standing next to me with his gun drawn. All prisoners were then put into solitary confinement and they banged on the steel for the rest of the night. Sometimes when the jail was unoccupied, the large room at the top of the courthouse was used as an indoor play facility for our son and his friends. They could bat a tennis ball around and not have to worry about breaking anything. Cub Scout projects and merit badges were worked on in the laundry room and empty jail. One particular afternoon the scouts were working at making foot stompers by taking empty tin cans and attaching cords to them to hold as they stood on the can and marched around. Ten eight-year old boys were having a blast stomping around the


laundry room until the judge in the courtroom below sent a deputy up to see what the noise was all about. The court continued in session, but the stomping had to adjourn. Many evenings our son and the neighborhood boys would have football games on the front yard of the courthouse. Summer time brought band concerts to the courthouse steps and we had beautiful music coming in our 2 front bedroom windows. During the day when the courthouse doors were all unlocked there were a few startled visitors as they opened the door and walked into the sheriff‘s residence by mistake. After hours when our son would go outside to play, he would ring the doorbell so we could let him in. Going down two flights of steps got a little old after a while and propping the courthouse door open was not an option, so we put a master key to the courthouse on a chain around his neck. Ten years later when he was hired as a new employee in the Engineer‘s office they would not at first trust him with a key to the office. After the Bremer-Waverly Law Enforcement Center was built and there was 24 hours dispatching we no longer had to live in the courthouse to be near the prisoners in case of an emergency. Part of the apartment was made into offices for the County Attorney and the other part for the County Health Nurse. Submitted by Dode Westendorf

The Bremer-Waverly Law Enforcement Center The facilities shared by the Bremer County Sheriff‘s Department and the Waverly Police Department is known as the Bremer-Waverly Law Enforcement Center. Opened in July of 1975 it included a squad room, meeting room, locker room, a female detention center, a male detention center, a juvenile detention center, juvenile and civil defense. The communication system was a 5-line telephone service and the 911 emergency number. That was over 25 years ago and for some time the building has been insufficient to handle the operations of the two departments. In addition to inadequate space in all work areas, the inmate population frequently exceeds capacity and forces the County to board inmates with other jurisdictions. Appropriate separation of inmates by seriousness of crime, sentence status and behavioral problems has become almost impossible. The crowded conditions make it difficult for staff to work efficiently and compromises the safety of staff, inmates, and the public. As of January 2003 there were 46 individuals waiting to be scheduled to serve their sentences. Because all residents benefit from Bremer County services, it was determined that raising property taxes to finance a new law center was not an equitable solution. So, on January 21, 2003, the voters of Bremer County approved a one-cent local sales option tax with funds to be used for the retirement of bonds issued to pay for construction of a Law Enforcement Center expansion. The expansion will require vacating 4th St. NE between the courthouse and the present law center. Both departments will gain space, and there will be a larger communications area and a new jail. The cells will be pod type versus a linear jail, allowing the entire facility to meet all standards and codes regarding the housing of inmates. Prisoners will remain in the present jail until the new inmate housing is complete. After the prisoners are moved, remodeling of that area will begin. The communication center will be secured as will the waiting room and visitation areas. A lab will also be added to the facility. Not only will the new law center represent a vast improvement over the current building, it is easy to see that it will stand 150 years ahead of the original jail which was a log shed with chinking between the boards. A Supervisor‘s Life Was Not Easy Supervisors [Jacob] Herman, [Riley] Pierce, and [J.F.] Grawe[with bridge builder [Henry] Knapp and other interested parties] left Waverly for Frederika last Thursday morning. The trip from here to Tripoli was uneventful, because the Rapid Transit landed the bunch there safely. From Tripoli to Frederika was another proposition. After many tribulations, wet feet, bedrenched and mud bedraggled garments, and wilted patent leather and

tan shoes, besides a lot of other fun, the city of oil wells on the Wapsie was reached. An inquest or diagnosis was held on the old bridge, and the supervisors decided on a 90 foot steel bridge to span the west channel. The fun came on the trip from Tripoli to Frederika, and vice-versa, about 6 1/2 hours being taken up making the round trip, about 13 miles. There were two loads with four in each. Knapp drove one and the writer [Grawe] tried to drive the other. A mile north of Tripoli we were told that we ought to have come with sleds or stone boats, instead of wheels. One of the left-over, web-footed natives of the Wapsipinicon bottoms, whom we met, volunteered the suggestion that this octagonal aggregation was an interesting bunch, but it was his deliberate belief that the entire caravan had escaped from the state asylum at Independence; anyway, he reckoned we had more wheels than those on which we rode. He said he reached this conclusion because sane men remained at home when the roads were as they are now, or else they went on foot or on stone boats. All in the crowd applauded this remark except the supervisors who didn‘t see the point until it was too late. An ―evener‖ and one of the whiffle trees broke and it began to look as if we would not be able to get back to Tripoli in time to connect with the westbound train for Waverly. While Knapp and Herman, with a borrowed ax, were making use of a sapling and a few rods of barbed wire fence trying to mend the broken parts, Pierce surrounded a quarter section of ―horseshoe‖ remarking after each expectoration, ―This is what we get for not minding mother!‖ From an article in the Bremer County Independent; 16 March 1905 Concerns regarding roads and bridges occupied the majority of the supervisor‘s time in the early years.


Excerpts from the Minute Books for the Board of Supervisors The Building of the County January, 1861 Ordered Clerk to furnish lights for evening session. By order of the Board the Clerk of said Board is authorized to receive specifications and bids for erection on a livery on the courthouse square to be constructed of either brick, wood or stone. January 12, 1861 Louis Case ordered to procure wood for use of the county offices during the winter months. $1.00 for splitting 3 cords of wood. Claim of W. W. Norris for $3.75 for pens, candles, etc. furnished Treasurers office allowed. $2.92 paid for wood for courthouse. 1861 salary of Treasurer 2 months $91.68 and salary of W. W. Lucas, Deputy Treasurer – 55 days at $82.50. October, 1861 Motion that all clerks and trustees of elections in different townships be paid as follows: Township where over 100 votes were cast to receive $2.50 each. Those where less than 100 votes were cast receive $2.00 each. January, 1862 Clerk authorized to hire a fire builder for the session. Matter of the vacation of the town of Bremer brought before the Board for consideration. Claim of $1.00 for services in repairing shackles for prisoners in county jail. The following rule adopted: That members who neglect to appear at the time to which the Board shall have adjourned from time to time, shall not be allowed to consume time by unnecessarily overhauling business that may have been disposed of in their absence. June, 1862 On motion the Clerk authorized to present Floyd County a bill at the rate of $1.00 per month for the use of the jail for Floyd County prisoner or at the same rate for prisoners from any other county confined in the Bremer County jail. August, 1862 Resolved that the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors be authorized to issue a County Warrant for the sum of $50.00 in favor of each volunteer that may have enlisted or shall enlist from this county under the present calls of the Governor of Iowa as soon as they have been received and mustered into service. September, 1862 The Board levied the following taxes to wit: For State purposes 2 mils on the dollar For County purposes 4 mils on the dollar For County purposes extraordinary 3 mils on the dollar For County School purposes 1 mil on the dollar And Township District Taxes for School House Fund and Teachers Fund Waverly Incorporation Tax 10 mils on the Dollar October, 1862 J. W. Eldridge was authorized to receive propositions for building a cistern for the use of the Courthouse and to let the job for building the same to the lowest responsible bidder and said cistern to contain 500 barrels. January, 1863 Reeves and Perkins and Ingersoll appointed as a special committee to examine application for license to build a Toll Bridge across the Cedar River in Janesville. Petition of J. Acheson Taylor for building Toll Bridge received. The committee report in favor of granting prayer of petition. Bond of said Taylor for faithful performance of building and keeping in repair said bridge in the sum of $1,000 approved and the rates of the toll to be charged fixed as follows: 25 cents for double team or 25 cents for crossing and re-crossing within 24 hours. 15 cents for an horse and buggy, 10 cents for man on horseback and 3 cents for footman.

The Board made the following classification of real and person property to be assessed for purposes of equalizing the same: Average work horse $35 each 3 year old colts $25 each 2 year old colts $20 each 1 year old colts $15 each Average work mules $50 each 3 year old mules $40 each 2 year old mules $30 each 1 year old mules $20 each Average work cattle $35 per yoke 3 year old steers $10 each 2 year old steers and heifers $6 each 1 year old steers and heifers $4 each Average cows $8 each Average sheep $1.50 each Average hogs [per hundred] 75 cents Average wagons $20 each Average improved lands in the several townships as follows: Warren $5.00 per acre Dayton $4.00 per acre Polk $7.00 per acre Fremont $4.00 per acre Lafayette $7.00 per acre Sumner $4.00 per acre Washington $10.00 per acre Leroy $5.00 per acre Jackson $11.00 per acre Frederika $5.00 per acre Jefferson $8.00 per acre Douglas $4.00 per acre Maxfield $4.50 per acre Franklin $4.50 per acre Average timber lands in several townships same as average improved farms, average unimproved lands at one half the value of improved lands. June, 1863 Claim of Robert D. Brown of $4.00 for cleaning out the chimneys to courthouse allowed in full. January, 1864 Ordered that N. M. Smith dig or cause to be dug a well at or near the southwest corner of the courthouse. June, 1864 On motion the clerk was authorized and instructed to sell the county building and lot known as the sheriff‘s house and old jail. Terms of sale are one half down and the balance in one year at 10 percent interest.


Resolved that the Board of Supervisors of Bremer County, Iowa do hereby allow N. M. Smith, Sheriff, the sum of $65 per year as a salary for services that he has performed for which the law makes no provision of compensation. September, 1864 Mr. Reeves suggested the purchasing of property of Louis Case, Lot 5 in Block 24 in the town of Waverly, for the purpose of erecting thereon a stable for the Sheriff of this county after being duly considered the clerk was instructed to issue to Mr. Case the sum of $55.00 in county orders for the same and warrant No. 1358 was issued. November, 1864 After adjournment of the election canvass three hearty rousing cheers were given to the citizens of Frederika Township in honor of their having polled every vote for the union. January, 1865 During this session the Supervisors voted to set the salary of the Treasurer at $800 per year in County orders in lieu of the percent now allowed by law and thus he turn over to the county said percent. (previously the Treasurer kept a percent of collections as salary) June, 1865 On motion Mr. Roberts was allowed to put up lightening rods on the courthouse at a cost not to exceed $45.00 in ounty orders. On motion of B. M. Reeves, it was resolved that Mr. A. Y. Stevenson be allowed to place his patent sash lock fastenings upon all the windows in the courthouse at $3.50 per dozen. January, 1866 Mr. Call presented the report of John M. Ellis, Trustee of Franklin Township in the matter of the seizure and sale of the property of Noah Porter, an absconding husband. On motion of Mr. Chaplin the action of Mr. Ellis was therein set-fort was approved. (In June, 1866 the seizure of property was rescinded and the balance of the property not already disposed of was to be returned.) On motion of W. A. Reeves the Clerk was instructed to sell any of the Swamp Land in the county at $1.25 per acre provided that the same has not heretofore been sold or contracted by the Trustees of the respective Township in which said is located and provided further that the party purchasing any of said land furnish the said Clerk with a certificate from the Trustees of the Township in which said land is situated that the same has not heretofore been sold or contracted by them to other parties. June, 1866 Resolved that the Supervisors and Trustees of Leroy Township be authorized to use so much of the Swamp Land Fund now on hand belonging to said Township to procure a pile driver and two scrapers for the use of said Township, and that said pile driver shall be under the control and care of said Supervisor and Trustees and that said Supervisor and Trustees are hereby authorized to let said pile driver for a reasonable compensation to other townships or private individuals. September, 1866 On motion the Clerk was requested to have the courthouse walls secured from spreading further apart. September, 1867 Moved that a committee of three be appointed to examine the barn build for the Sheriff to ascertain if the said barn is required by the county and if the same is worth the amount charged in this claim. Sheriff D. W. Cowen resigned as Sheriff September 2, 1867. January, 1868 C. Morse and Mr. Moore were appointed a committee to procure stoves for courtroom. June, 1868 On motion $35 was appropriated to purchase one of the Hyats tax extenders. Resolved that the Sheriff of this county be required to keep all stock out of the courthouse square and protect the shade trees in said square from being injured as much as possible and that said Sheriff have the hay for his services. January, 1869

Ordered that if any member of the Board be absent for one hour after roll-call he shall forfeit pay for one half day. June, 1869 On motion the committee on poor farm report in favor of a purchase of SE 1/4 and S 1/2 of NE 1/4 Section 24, T92, R13 240 acres at $10.00 per acre. Motion to purchase was passed. On motion the Clerk of the Board was authorized to have the courthouse insured with A/ J/ Tanner Agt of Hartford Company at $5,000 for 3 years for $125 premium and that the clerk issue county warrants thereof. October, 1869 On motion the Clerk of this Board is instructed to notify the Trustees of several townships in the county, that in cases of applications of poor and needy persons for county aid, the Trustees if considering the applicants entitled to aid shall furnish them with the necessaries but not the luxuries of life. The Sheriff is authorized to procure matting for the courtroom and make necessary change in the location of the stoves. September, 1870 On motion the Sheriff is authorized to publish notice of reward for capture of Fred Antoine murderer of Fred Oltroge and the auditor is to issue the $500 in county warrants in case of arrest and delivery to sheriff of said murderer. September, 1871 Whereas a 5% tax has been voted in Washington and Sumner Township and 2 1/2% in Fremont Township in Bremer County, Iowa under Chapter 102 of the Acts of the 13th General Assembly to aid the Iowa Pacific RR Co in construction of their road, and whereas a 5% tax has been voted in Douglas and Frederika Townships and 2 1/2% in Leroy and Fremont Township in said county and state under the Acts aforesaid to aid in the construction of the Grinnell Cedar Falls & Winona RR and whereas the same has been certified and returned to the Auditor of the county to be levied at the regular September session of this Board; therefore it is ordered by the Board that in accordance with the certificates on file with the Auditor a tax of 5% upon the taxable property of said townships of Washington, Sumner, Douglas, and Frederika and 2 1/2% upon the taxable property of Leroy and Fremont Township to be collected. October, 1871 Resolved that all persons are hereby forbidden to pasture the courthouse yard or turn stock of any kind in the same and the C. M. Kingsley be required to pay to Bremer County the sum of $50 for damage done to said yard by his horses and cattle.


November, 1900 Costs for all elections - $654.25 Livery for the county - $68.25 Total county fund expenses - $31,971.89 Insane fund - $2,034.69 Soldier‘s Relief Fund - $1,437.00 Farmers Institute - $50.00 Teachers Institute - $435.00 County Road Fund - $1,959.30 Bridge Fund - $12,999.25 Grand Total $50,887.13 Supervisors Salaries (all three) $1,585.13 County Officers Salaries - $7,450.97 Sheriff and Bailiffs - $1,693.28 1901 Contract with County Telephone & Telegraph Company to give county offices use of it‘s toll lines in Bremer County for county business for $12.00 per quarter. Banks for depositing county funds – 1901 The First National Bank of Waverly State Bank of Waverly German American Loan & Trust Company‘s Bank of Waverly Bank of Sumner M. Robish and Company Bankers of Sumner Tripoli Savings Bank Savings Bank of Janesville Savings Bank of Plainfield German Savings Bank of Tripoli Citizens State Bank of Sumner The first typed pages of Board of Supervisors minutes were March 4, 1901. 1901 Officers and Salaries for the year: Treasurer: $1,500 Auditor: $1,200 Sheriff: Fees from office plus $400 Attorney: $700 Clerk of Court: Fees of office up to $1,300 also $150 probate fees County Farm Report –Average cost of keeping 1 person yearly ending March 1, 1901 $71.94; inmates in insane asylum 18; inmates in poor house 22. June, 1901 The following list shows the average valuation of land per acre: Dayton $37.50 Douglas $37.00 Franklin $32.00 Frederika $32.00 Fremont $41.00 Jackson $36.75 Jefferson $43.50 Lafayette $38.25 Leroy $32.50 Maxfield $39.25 Polk $36.25 Sumner $37.25 Warren $41.00 Washington $45.25 June, 1904 Resolved that the township of Sumner in said county be and hereby is divided into two townships; one to embrace the territory within the corporate limits of the town of Sumner to be known as Sumner Township; and the other to embrace the territory without the limits of the incorporated town of Sumner, to be known as the township of Sumner No. 2. September, 1904 Waverly Brewing Company was granted consent to manufacture, within the limits of the city of Waverly, spirituous, malt or vinous liquors for

sale and particularly said consent is granted to the Waverly Brewing Company. Resolved by the Board of Supervisors of Bremer County, Iowa, that the county road fund be raised by a levy of one mil on the dollar on the taxable property of the county, for the improvements of the highways, shall only be used to improve highways in the Supervisors district wherein the fund was raised; that is, the county road fund raised in one district shall not be expended by the supervisors in another district without the consent of this board. And when one supervisors district uses, one year, more than the amount raised by that district, the amount shall be paid back in the following years to the district from which it was overdrawn. July, 1905 W. C. Schlaberg and C. C. Kohagen were appointed a committee to burn the ballots cast at the general election of 1904. February, 1906 A number of representatives of bridge companies appeared before the Board and submitted bids for furnishing the iron work and piers for a new bridge to replace the old ―Stockwell‖ bridge north of Waverly. The contract was awarded to the Clinton Bridge and Iron Company the lowest bidder, for the sum of $6,000, the plans calling for three 128 ft. spans with tubular piers and an 18 ft. roadway. June, 1906 Prof. A. Engelbrect, chairman of the finance committee of the Waverly City Council, and Henry Woodring, representing the Robbins Post, G.A.R., interviewed the Board in regard to the matter of procuring two large siege cannon from the Boston navy yard to be placed in the courthouse park. Resolved that a sum be appropriated from the county fund sufficient to pay the loading and freight on two siege cannon from Boston Navy Yard, Massachusetts, to Waverly, the same to be placed in the courthouse part, provided the City of Waverly pay the expense of unloading and mounting the cannon. April, 1907 On motion the Board ordered that the County Attorney be allowed $150 per year for office rent, light and fuel for the year of 1907. On motion the Board ordered that the Corn Belt Telephone be installed in the Sheriff‘s office at the annual charge of $9.00 per year. July, 1909 Resolved, that the County Treasurer is hereby authorized and directed under the provisions of Chapter 91 Acts of the 33 General Assembly of the State of Iowa, to collect from each of the several banks of the county in which the funds of said county are deposited, two percent interest per annum on ninety per cent of the daily balances in said banks, the same being payable to the County Treasurer at the end of each month.


July, 1911 Resolved that when the time of the present insurance policies on Bremer County property expires, the County will not renew said policies, that is, after the expiration of the present policies, Bremer County will carry her own risks on the property at the County Home and on the Courthouse Square in Waverly. November, 1911 H. C. Schlutsmeyer appeared before the board in behalf of the City of Waverly asking permission to stretch two electric light wires across the Stockwell Bridge, after due consideration the board granted permission on the condition that the wires be hung on cross arms extending away from the bridge out of reach, so that there be no danger to people under any conditions in coming in contact with the wires, that two lights be installed on the bridge by the City, the County agreeing to pay the costs of bulbs, and the further condition that the City will hold the County harmless from all damages that may arise on account of their wires on said bridge. January, 1912 On motion the bid of F. G. Ladd was accepted as Steward of the County Home at an annual salary of $975. F. E. Farwell presented two petitions signed by H. A. Pothast and others pledging 259 days labor and $15.00 in cash, as a bonus offered to the Board of Supervisors to be used in connection with funds to be received from the State, for improving and choosing the road from Waverly northerly to the McFarlane Farm, thence east about _ miles, thence north 2 miles on TWP line, thence east through Bremer to C. Moeller farm, thence north 2 miles, thence east 4 miles to Tripoli, this road to be improved under the provisions of the Motor Vehicle Road Fund Account. May, 1912 The meeting being held for the purpose of consulting with residents along the two proposed routes to Tripoli and determine which should be the route established and improved by the Motor Vehicle Trust Fund. On motion the following road was established as the road improved under the provisions of the Motor Vehicle Trust Fund Law, from Tripoli to Sumner, beginning at the south west corner of Section 34, Township 92, Range 12 thence north following the road now in use up to the section line on the north side of Section 27, thence east on sections lines to the town of Sumner. On motion one weeks time is taken before decision is made on either the Bremer-Tripoli route or the Knittel-Tripoli route. Petitions signed by residents of Denver, Readlyn, Jefferson and Maxfield Townships were filed by various people, contributing cash and labor for the improvements of the Knittel-Tripoli route. Additions were also made on petitions previously filed on the BremerTripoli route. The balance of the forenoon was spent discussing the merits of the two proposed routes. On motion the Bremer-Tripoli and the Knittel-Tripoli routes were established as two roads to be improved under the provision of the Motor Vehicle Road Fund Law. September, 1912 The election precincts for the 1912 elections were established as: Dayton Center School House Douglas Center School House Franklin Center School House Fremont Town Hall-Tripoli Jackson Vacant Store-Janesville Jefferson Towns Hall-Denver Lawn Farm Lafayette Spring Lake School House Leroy Pin Hook School House Maxfield Chris Moeller Hall-Readlyn Polk Horton Hall – Horton Sumner #2 Buck Creek Center School Sumner Council Rooms-Sumner Warren School House Warren #5 Washington Blacksmith Shop-Willow Waverly 1 Council Room-City Hall Waverly 2 Basement – Opera House Waverly 3 City Polling Bldg Waverly 4 Brooks Lumber Co Office

Waverly 5 City Polling Bldg March, 1913 The county home report showed the cost of the Electric Lighting System at the County Home to be $1,400. May, 1913 Contract was entered into the Northey Mfg Co for the purpose of a refrigerator for the County Home at a price of $240. On motion C. A. Cook of Waverly was unanimously appointed County Engineer under the New Road Law with compensation being $100 per month and expenses. On motion the map designating the County Road System was adopted and ordered with the County Auditor, and copy of the same filed with the Highway Commission, Ames. June, 1913 Contract was entered into with J. D. Adams Co. for the purchase of four two-wheeled steel scrapers at $40.00 each and two two-wheeled steel scrapers with aprons at $45.00 each. August, 1913 All bids filed for traction engines, for road grading purposes were opened and considered the bids being as follows: International Mogul $2,340 Hart Parr $2,392 Rumley $2,650 Twin City $2,700 Fairbanks Morse $2,700 On motion it was decided to ballot on the choice of engines, resulting in one vote for Twin City , one vote for International Mogul and one vote for Fairbanks Morse. It is finally decided after thirty days trial and the engine proving satisfactory this board will purchase the Twin City engines. April, 1914 In the report of the County Farm permanent improvements included: Ice House complete $386.85 Refrigerator $240.00 Gasoline Engine $522.50 August, 1915 Bids were received for tiling 1,328 rods on the county farm and was awarded to Paul Berg for $700.00. November, 1915 On motion the Deputy Sheriffs‘ salary was fixed at $15.00 per month dating from July 1, 1915. February, 1916 Whereas, the Citizens in and about Waverly, donated $3,500 towards the construction of Bridge Number 1904A, to be erected across the Cedar River, at the foot of Harmon Street in Waverly, Iowa and Whereas, this sum has been deposited to the credit of the County Bridge Fund for the purpose named, Therefore Be it Now Resolved that in view of the foregoing fact, we, the Supervisors, hereby pledge ourselves and our successors in office that Bridge 1904A will be erected and completed for traffic by January 1, 1918. October, 1916 Bridge bids, seven in number, were received for the construction of the steel bridge at the foot of Harmon Street, Waverly, Iowa, filed by the following companies: International Steel and Iron Co; Frank J. Miller; Des Moines Bridge and Iron Co; Waterloo Construction Co; Federal Bridge Co; Iowa Bridge Co and Illinois Bridge Co/ The bid of Illinois Bridge Co at $18,780 was found to be the lowest bid filed, and on motion the contract for the construction of the Harmon Street bridge was awarded to the above company. June, 1917 Whereas, the county fund of Bremer County on June 1, 1917 is overdrawn in the sum of $15,000, therefore, Be it Resolved that the same be refunded by the issuance of county bonds in the sum of $15,000 in denominations of $500,000 each, three of said bonds to become due and payable on the 1st day of October, 1918, and thereafter three to become due and payable on the first day of October of each year until the entire issue has been paid, said bonds to bear interest at the rate of 5 _% per annum payable


semi-annually and said bonds to be issued in the form prescribed by Section 403 of the Supplement to the Code of Iowa. February, 1918 E. A. Schiefelbein was appointed delinquent tax collector and allowed 15 percent for collecting said delinquent taxes. May, 1918 Resolved that the County Road Patrol be established at once and a patrol man appointed in each Supervisor District. August, 1918 The bid of Standard Hardware Company of Tripoli was accepted for the heating plant at the County Home. Said bid being $4,075 (if cast iron boiler be used $265 less and if an advanced condensation pump is installed add $350). April, 1919 Whereas request has been made by the Court Reporters of the 12th Judicial District that they be furnished typewriters, and upon investigation it is found to be a proper and legal obligation of the county; Therefore, be it resolved that the county of Bremer by its Board of Supervisors authorize the purchase by George A. Black of Charles City, one of such official shorthand reporters, of three machines with carrying cases and that the County Auditor of this county be directed to pay one-eighth of the cost thereof upon bills submitted to him by the seller of said machines; which bills are to be certified as correct by said George Blake, but said one-eighth share for said machines shall not exceed the sum of $40 and this resolution is further conditioned upon the agreement that each of the other seven counties in said judicial district, pay their on-eighth share. July, 1919 The Board resolved by unanimous vote to construct a sewage disposal plant at the county home and authorized the County Auditor to advertise for bids There was only one bid, by Paul Berg of Reinbeck, Iowa. Mr. Berg proposes to build the Sewage Disposal Plant according to plans and specifications for $2,480. The Board accepted the bid by unanimous vote. April, 1920 The Board resolved to pay the Road Draggers $1.00 an hour for the time actually sent in dragging. March, 1921 The Board agreed to hire Clyde McFarland to run the Road Tractor this season. The Board appropriated $275 for guns from the government; the guns are for the Vigilance Committee or Special Deputies that act in emergencies; such as bank robbing. The guns remain the property of Bremer County. April, 1921 The Board by unanimous vote decided to buy a Johnston Bros. Vetrified Hollow Block Silo through Gust Haas of Sumner. The silo is o be 14 feet in diameter and 34 feet high, price $725. June, 1921 The Board considered bids for the carpenter work on the County Tool and Storage House to be built on the C.G.W.R.R. Co. switch in Waverly, bid to A. H. Sauerbrei for $175. The Board allowed John Scully $3.00 per week for sprinkling Bremer Ave in front of the Courthouse Block. August, 1921 The Auditor was authorized to make a contract with the Burroughs Adding Machine Company to keep the three county machines in repair for one year for $41.60. September, 1921 The Board made an order appropriating $3,000 for the Farm Bureau in compliance with Chapter 36 of the 38th GA. April, 1922 The Board approved a contract of Carl Rodemeyer as patrolman on the County Road beginning 2 miles south of Horton thence North to Horton then east to Primary Road No. 59. May, 1922 A committee of businessmen and members of the Community Club appeared before the Board for permission to erect a band stand in the Courthouse park and asking the board to make an appropriation to cover one

half of the cost of improvement. The following order was given: That the Committee be given the privilege to build a band stand about 50 or 60 feet north of the walk leading to the old Courthouse. And that the Board will make an appropriation for one half of the cost of the improvement, but not to exceed $250. The Committee is to try to get the band stand put up for less than $500. the stand is not to be denied for public, political or other meetings The County Auditor asked to be relieved of the duty of custodian of the courthouse park, pleading that he really did not have the time to spare to give proper attention thereto and recommended the Sheriff be made custodian of the courthouse park as he has more leisure time to devote to the matter. The Board resolved by unanimous vote that the Sheriff be given custody of the Courthouse Park. January, 1923 The board by unanimous vote passed resolution to employ the Patrolmen for the year 1923 as follows: H.D. Hograbe Section 1 Will Orcutt Section 2 Frank Mederes Section 3 R. C. Auner Section 4 Louie Heine Section 5 H. Wm. Oltrogge Section 6 Wm. Beu Section 7


W. F. Sassman C.G. Schwemm Sieble Sievers Henry Matthiesen Henry Dawson E. E. Siebert Louie Hoeper Henry Piehl Wm Kirchmann Theodore Hartmann

Section 8 Section 9 Section 10 Section 11 Section 12

Moved that Van Herman be appointed overseer of the Courthouse Park at 40 cents per hour. May, 1928 Awarded the contract for printing the Primary Election ballots for the bid price of $113.50 to Tripoli Leader.

Keep Off The Grass! ―On motion resolved, That no stock shall be allowed to run in the Courthouse square, and the County Auditor is hereby directed to see that the fences about the square are kept in repair and that no stock, hereafter, is admitted to them.‖ Board of Supervisors: 10 September 1883

Patrolmen are to be paid $5.00 per day and Road Draggers $0.75 per mile. Road Laborer single man $0.35 per hour; Road Laborer with team $0.50 per hour. February, 1923 Resolved the Grader Crew are to receive for the grading season the following rates per month. C. E. McFarlane, Engineer $145 and mileage at $0.10; John Hallowell, Grader Man $125 and $0.10 per mile; and H. C. Buhr, Assistant Grader Man $105 and mileage at $0.10 per mile. March, 1923 Moved to buy a patrol grader from the Galion Iron Works. October, 1923 Purchased a new road tractor from Twin City Company for $3,671 and accepting old tractor. February, 1924 Moved that labor for the county be paid as follows: man at 35 cents per hour; man and team at 50 cents per hour; bridge labor at 40 cents per hour; truck drivers at 40 cents per hour. July, 1924 Taxes to be raised: General Fund $49,966; Poor Fund $8,327; State Insane $8,327; County Insane $4,163; County Bridge Fund $49,966; Road Fund $8,327; County School $8,327; Soldier‘s Relief Fund $4,163; Bond Fund $7,494; Road Building Fund $16,655; County Road Drainage Fund $8,327. Estimated taxes per $1,000 assessed value $20.40 (Total $169,878) April, 1924 Moved that I.E. Mullen be employed as bridge foreman at the rate of $6.50 per day. I. E. Mullen to hire seven men to work under him. May, 1925 Moved that Carl Schmidt be allowed the sum of $50 for damages incurred in the loss of his horse caused by defective bridge. November, 1925 Request authorization for $2,909.90 from the state sinking fund for deposits of Bremer County in the bank of Frederika at the time said bank closed its doors. March, 1926 Moved that Mr. Fred Huebner be allowed the sum of $8.00 per week while cooking for the bridge crew. July, 1926 Budget estimate for 1927 General County $50,000 State Insane $4,000 County Bridge $56,000 Road Building $16,000 Soldiers Relief $4,000 Bond Fund $4,000 Poor Fund $24,000 County Insane $4,000 County Road $8,000 County School $7,500 County Drainage $8,000 Estimated taxes per $1,000 assessed value at $23.00. June, 1927 Election: ―Shall the Board of Supervisors of Bremer County, Iowa, be authorized to proceed with the hard surfacing of the primary road system of said county?‖ 2,631 yes and 684 no. January, 1928

Where did all the money go? Bremer County Treasury Robbed Where did all the money go? No, it isn‘t an advertising campaign for election. I am talking about the 1861 robbery of the Bremer County Treasurer‘s office. I am going to try to relate the story as told by Mr. Lucas and excerpts from the Board of Supervisors minutes. Prior to a bank being established in Waverly the county money was kept in a safe in a vault in the courthouse. There were two


sets of keys for the vault and safe –one for the Treasurer W. W. Norris and one set I had as Deputy Treasurer. Treasurer W. W. Norris liked to drink and strong drink proved to be his ruin. During the last year of his term he neglected his office and duties, and for two or three days at a time would not appear about the office more than to drop in to inquire how the business was getting along. As the time approached when he should turn over his office and the funds in his charge, he was inclined to attend to his official duties, but he was constantly besieged by his associates in one way and another, so that he seemed dazed. For two days before the culmination of the plot of the treasury robbery, Norris was in company of Robert J. Stephenson, chairman of the finance committee of the Board of Supervisors. Stephenson was a cool, calculating schemer. While there was no thought of Stephenson mediating the crime, the belief was that he was a dangerous associate. Stephenson‘s brother was the man who burglarized the county treasurer‘s office in West Union and while Robert was never connected with the robbery he was suspected of having a hand in the crime. For two days Norris spent time with Stephenson most of the time about town and in a saloon. With them were several men who participated in their hilarity and drinking. The night of the action was spent until about midnight or later in carousing in the saloon. When it was closed Stephenson accompanied Norris to his home about one o‘clock, left him there and went to his own home. About 5:30 a.m. Norris and Ezra Williams, a constable, appeared at my home and called me out of bed. Norris stated he had lost his keys and asked me to hasten to the courthouse to be assured that all was safe, adding ―I fear the safe is robbed‖. When I reached the courthouse they were waiting. I unlocked the office door and felt my way to the vault, which was locked. I called to them ―All is safe, the vault is locked.‖ Norris called out ―Thank God‖. I unlocked the vault door and reached the safe in the pitch dark, and found it also locked, which I announced and again Norris called out ―Thank God all is safe.‖ When I opened the safe I felt for the drawer which I knew contained the $30,000 in bills that were placed there the day before in readiness to be turned over. The drawer was empty. Williams had found and lighted a candle. I was speechless for a moment before calling out ―All is gone‖. The wail that Norris uttered was one of despair and desperation. ―My God, all is lost and I am ruined!‖ When the Board of Supervisors met for official business of the new year on January 6, 1862 a committee was appointed to investigate the robbery. A reward of $1,000 was to be given for the apprehension of the thief and the recovery of the money and $500 for the recovery of the money alone or $500 for the apprehension of the thief alone. The Clerk was ordered to have handbills printed and circulated giving notice of the reward. Claims were allowed at $2.00 per night for the services of persons trying to detect the robber or robbers. A total of $26.00 was paid out. Finally in September, 1863, the Board of Supervisors received a final report on the investigation of the robbery. No reward was paid. The committee was allowed to retain the money recovered from the robbers in turn for not making a claim or application for the bounty offered. A man by the name of Knowles was arrested for the robbery. He was a stranger to everybody, including Norris. He was tried and acquitted because the state was not able to connect him with the robbery by any better than circumstantial proof, all of that came from Stephenson, who was a coconspirator in the crime, and his evidence could not be corroborated. The defense claimed that Stephenson was dragooned into a confession and therefore his testimony was not reliable and insufficient. Stephenson did confess that he took Norris home and then on the way Knowles fell in company with them, and in helping to get him home he believed Knowles secured the keys from Norris‘ pocket, which Knowles denied. Stephenson admitted Knowles gave him five bundles of paper money, which he concealed under a black walnut saw log at the mill. On a dark and rainy night Stephenson, Sheriff Ellis, Mr. Norris and I drove to the mill yard, rolled over the log he pointed out and found the money as he said. But even this circumstance was not held to be sufficient to prove it was county money.

Stephenson was promised immunity if he would tell what he knew about the affair. He resigned from the Board of Supervisors and a year or so later left the county for parts unknown. The newly elected Treasurer Caleb Morse gave notice to the Board that he had no safe place for the funds to be received and was authorized to deposit the funds in the N. P. Ellis & Co safe until the locks were repaired on the vault and the safe to the Treasurer‘s office. Working in the Treasurer‘s Office In June of 1957, the Bremer County Treasurer, Sadie King, was advertising for a person to work in her office, collecting taxes, registering vehicles and issuing auto licenses. I thought, ―Why not go for it? I will apply‖. I had had 8 years of office experience working at the CaPhenin Chemical Co., so I was ready for another challenge. I applied and got the job. At that time, the tax and auto departments were located together, in the front office, so you had to learn how to wait on customers who wanted to register a vehicle or to pay taxes. The bookkeeping was done in a small adjoining room and was done by Ethel Hart. (In the 60‘s, Rubenna Stufflebeam and Amy Walton handled the bookkeeping.) As I said, Sadie King was the Treasurer when I started in July of 1957, and she had worked in that office for several years before she was elected Treasurer. Sadie knew all aspects of the office. She knew how to do the bookkeeping, counter work, auto and tax work, and spent many hours on a Posting Machine. She posted all of the taxes on this machine (in the proper district), and we balanced all collected taxes from this posting. It definitely was a fore-runner of the computer, as was the full-key adding machine that was used in the Treasurer‘s Office when I started in 1957. Ten-key calculators were purchased a few years later. It wasn‘t until about 1980 that a computer was used for computation and collection of taxes. When I started working in the Treasurer‘s Office, I was soon made Deputy Treasurer, and enjoyed earning ―big money‖—about $1.35 per hour! We were paid monthly at that time, so I really had to budget my money as I had been used to a weekly pay-check. The office was open 8:00 - 4:00, Monday through Friday, and on Sat. from 8:00 til 12:00. It was thought that we


had to be open on Saturday to accommodate the working people, and those who lived out-of-town. However, the supervisors finally got our hours changed to 8:00 - 4:30 Monday through Friday, and closed on Sat. I‘m sure a few people bumped their noses on the door, but they managed to get their vehicles licensed and taxes paid without doing it on Sat. The mail service was used more, and seemed to take care of the problem. Sadie King Vera Hahlweg In 1957, the title law was only about 2 or 3 years old. As vehicles were purchased, a title was issued, but there were hundreds of cars and trucks that needed to bring in their registrations and pay to get a title issued. During the next 2 years, the State Motor Vehicle Dept. said that all vehicles had to be titled or they couldn‘t be licensed. That was also before there were electric typewriters, so registrations and titles had to be typed on a manual typewriter. I can remember that we spent all summer typing registrations for each car in the county, attaching them to the record in the card file. It took us all summer and into the fall to type these, so we would be ready to issue license plates on December 1st. We had 2 months to issue these plates, but there was always a line of people on Dec. 1st, waiting for the number ―1‖ on their license plate. The plates were either black on white, or white on black, and you received a new plate every year. People would start to line up at 3:00 or 4:00 am (sometimes earlier), to get that first license plate. The last week in January was always a nightmare, however. The lines were long, as they had to purchase all plates by January 31st, as penalty started Feb. 1st. We had to work until midnight most of that week, as we had to balance—to the penny—every day. To add to the difficulty in balancing, taxes were collected at the same counter and the money put in the same drawer as license plates and other auto work. Taxes were not rounded as they are now, as we were collecting dollars and cents on a receipt. For instance, we would have to collect $179.63, instead of $180.00 as we would do some 20 years later. If there was one thing about the job I disliked, it was the last week in January! Summers were very hot in the Court House back in 1957. We would each have a floor fan by our desk, the windows would be wide open, and we would try to keep the registrations from sticking to us as we sat there and typed on our manual typewriters. It was a long time before the Courthouse would be air-conditioned. Election nights were always an interesting process. Sadie usually had competition, so we would bring food to the office the evening of election and wait until the wee hours of the morning for results. Then there was celebrating and more food to eat when she was announced ―the winner‖. In 1960, we were still there at 3:00 AM, but expected to be ―at work as usual,‖ the next morning. I trained the girls who worked the auto department, and I recall training Vera Hahlweg, who had just completed a typing class at night school! It made her a little nervous to graduate one night and try to type a title the next. Also, Arnetta (Westendorf) Becker and Dixie (Stufflebeam) Saathoff, worked in the Treasurer‘s Office for some of those early years. When I started there in July 1957, Harley Ehlert was Bremer County Sheriff. John Sperry was the County Recorder and served in this office for 40 years. He was actually appointed Recorder in 1940 and retired in 1974, having worked there almost 5 years prior to being appointed. Lois Slater was Bremer County Clerk of Court—and it was ―County Clerk‖ and not operated by the state. Roy Knott was Auditor, and Les Bunger was Bremer County Assessor. In 1961, when the 1st of our 3 children were born, I quit working at the Treasurer‘s Office. I was certain I would never go back. But, when all 3 of our children were in school (1972), Sadie called me in November and asked if I could come in and type registrations (for vehicles) for a couple of weeks. Little did I know at that time that those 2 weeks would turn into 22 more years working in the Bremer County Treasurer‘s Office!


File 1c Century Farms in Bremer County Since the inception of the Century Farm program in 1976, these people have been recognized as living on a farm that has been in the same family for a hundred years or more. In some cases the farm is still in the possession of the same family while others have been passed on to the next generation. In a few instances the farms have since been sold to unrelated buyers. Albrecht, Harley-Waverly 1899 Albright, Russell & Karen-Readlyn 1876 Arns, Dora M.-Waverly 1892 Ball, Gleora A. Buls, Waverly 1902 .c.Beam, John H. & Wilma C.-Ionia 1870 Becker, Kenneth-Waverly 1869 Benton, Clyde E.-Janesville 1874 Berger, Ida L.-Waverly 1873 Bergmann, LeRoy & Mildred-Waverly Biermann, John A. & Marlys-Tripoli 1877 Biermann, Romane-Tripoli 1890 Bigelow, Margaret C. & Ted E.-Waverly Blasberg, Alfred & Erna-Tripoli 1872 Bloeser, Lloyd & Irene-Denver 1875 Blume, Herbert E.-Tripoli 1884 Bock, Erwin & Alice-Waverly 1868 Bockholt, Larry L.-Fairbank 1860 Bockholt, Renae I. Boevers-Readlyn 1892 Boeckmann, Orlyn & Elaine-Waverly 1874 Boevers, Burton W.-Tripoli 1883 Bossom, Howard E.-Plainfield 1864 Brandenburg, John C. A.-Waverly 1869 Brandt, Harold & Florine-Waverly 1867 Brettmann, Jerald-Denver 1854 Briden, Ethyl-Janesville 1854 Buezenow, Merlin-Sumner 1878 Buhr, Allen A.-Sumner 1870 Buhr, Clara-Sumner 1876 Buhr, Maynard-Readlyn 1869 Buhr, Merla R.-Denver 1856 Buls, Clarence W.-Waverly 1883 Burns, Elmer J.-Denver 1854 Casterton, Bob & Sylvia-Readlyn 1863 Creager, Richard & I. Lorraine-Sumner 1862 Dettmer, Florence Loveland-Janesville 1890 Dettmering, Donald & Gertrude-Tripoli 1891 Dietz, Clarence & Eldora-Plainfield 1873 Dietz, Dean H.-Plainfield 1895 Dove, Marvin & Elaine-Janesville 1852 Drape, Edna-Waverly 1869 Drape, Erwin-Waverly 1869 Ebert, Josephine E. Terry-Plainfield 1855 Epley, Ivan and Sons-Waverly 1874 Farrill, Muriel Tiedt-Readlyn 1866 Fennemann, William & Edna-Waverly 1877 Foster, Duane C. & Eva E.-Waverly 1875 Frahm, Arnold-Sumner 1872 Frese, Henry;-Tripoli 1874 Laverty, George & Lois Fritcher, Alva;-Nashua 1864 Fritcher, Lorrence; Fritcher, Claude Fritz, Martin H. & Ruth E.-Tripoli 1864 Fuhr, Warner;-Readlyn 1865 Lydia Kueker; Elliott, Renetta Gaese, Albert & Lawada M.-Sumner 1875 Gambaiani, John & Yvonne-Waverly 1894



Gleason, Alonzo-Cedar Falls 1851 Gors, Florence-Waverly 1869 Greeley Duane & Evelyn-Janesville 1899 Haar, Erhardt-Sumner 1892 Hagenow, Henry & Mildred-Readlyn 1873 Happel, Richard & Florene-Denver 1866 Harmening, Alfred-Tripoli 1874 Harms, Eric F.-Readlyn 1863 Harrington, Francis L.-Plainfield 1880 Haun, Alice & Clair-Fairbank 1863 Haverkamp, Verla Mae & Erwin M., Sumner Heine, Lawrence-Waverly 1867 Heinemann, Kenneth & Pearl-Readlyn 1869 Hennings, Erwin A.-Waverly 1868 Hobson‘s Inc.-Plainfield 1855 Homeister, Henry-Waverly 1888 Huebner, Paul-Readlyn 1883 Hunnemuller, Albert J.-Tripoli 1869 Judisch, Lawrence & Dorothy, Sumner 1891 Kaiser, George A. & Nancy-Waverly 1896 Kasemeier, Ella-Sumner 1872 Kehe, Virgil H. & Joyce R.-Readlyn 1864 Kimm, Hilda-Denver 1865 Kirchhoff, David & Ruth-Tripoli 1893 Knief, Lawrence & Darlene-Waverly 1854 Knoploh, Ernest & Elda-Sumner 1874 Koschmeder, Erwin & Carol-Readlyn 1879 Kuhlmann, Harvey & Heraldine-Readlyn Kuhlmann, Werner W.-Readlyn 1874 Lageschulte, Fred A. & Alice-Waverly 1869 Lahmann, Henry C-Tripoli 1868 Lambert, Dwight O.-Waverly 1865 Leach, Derwood-Fredericksburg 1855 Lease, Leon-Sumner 1857 Leistikow, Emil R.-Fairbank 1874 Lobeck, Pauline & Laverne-Tripoli 1874 Lohmann, Walter & Larry-Tripoli 1867 Luhring, Arlan-Waverly 1883 Luloff, Oscar & Gladys-Waverly 1883 Matthias, Lorenz & Regina-Readlyn 1855 Matthias, Merlin-Readlyn 1878 Mether, Mary L.-Waverly 1884




Meyer, Irma M.-Sumner 1876 Meyer, Milton E.-Sumner 1888 Meyne, Gerhard-Waverly 1864 Michael, Wendell & Hilda, Waverly 1902 Milius, Wilson & Lorene-Denver 1870 Miller, Cletus A.-Sumner 1869 Mohlis, Leonard-Sumner 1873 Mueller J. Howard & Richard-Waverly Muether, Virginia-Sumner 1882 Neil, Dale & Diane-Fairbank 1856 Neil, Gordon-Fairbank 1856 Niebuhr, Gene R.-Fairbank 1865 Nolte, Evelyn;-Waverly 1881 Nolte, August & Harvey; Gordon, Stanley; Grochowski, Janet Nolte; Johnson, Marcia Nolte; Stern, Ardyth Nolte O‘Connel, Cecil-Fredericksburg 1860 Ohlendorf, Alma-Sumner 1885 Oltrogge, Eldo & Lavera-Readlyn 1871 Oltrogge, Florence-Readlyn 1867 Oltrogge, Orville H.-Waverly 1856 Otto, Mrs. Elmer-Readlyn 1869 Peters, Virgil & Joyce-Readlyn 1861 Pipho, Ernest C.-Denver 1854 Platte, Olga-Waverly 1868 Pollock, Kenneth & Brenda-Denver 1855 Poock, Arthur H. & Gladys-Denver 1855 Poock, Herold & Esther-Readlyn 1891 Prestien, James-Denver 1865 Pries, Arlitha & John-Sumner 1872 Pries, Millard & Ernestine-Tripoli 1875 Rathe, Reinhold H.-Readlyn 1870 Ray, William & Jean-Waverly 1869 Reiter, Henry Walter-Fairbank 1866 Reith, Leo James-Fairbank 1863 Richards, Mrs. Earl-Fairbank 1865 Riechmann, Fred J.-Sumner 1872 Robinson, Paul W.-Plainfield 1874 Roder, Ray & Betty-Sumner 1874 Rollins, Maxine Krause-Sumner 1870 Rundle, Eileen;-Fairbank 1869 Ponsar, Dorothy Schmidt, Robert L.-Tripoli 1882 Schnurstein, Gertrude [Rover]-Waverly Schuldt, Lorraine C.-Tripoli 1877 Schumacher, Arnold-Denver 1872 Schumacher, Charles & Laurale-Sumner Schumacher, Minnie-Tripoli 1884 Schwake, Gerry W.-Sumner 1869 Schweer, Cecil J.-Plainfield 1867 Schweer, Donald & Darlene-Tripoli 1871 Schweer, Ronald & Shirley-Readlyn 1881 Schwemm, Carl & Ruth-Waverly 1867 Schwerin, Duane & Sylvia-Sumner 1878 Schwerin, Edwin E.-Sumner 1878 Seegers, La Vera-Denver 1852 Seegers, Willard-Denver 1855 Snelling, Lawrence-Tripoli 1855 Steege, Harry J. & Amanda L.-Waverly Steege, Lorenz H.-Waverly 1863 Stromer, Arnold & Florence-Tripoli 1870 Strottmann, Lorenze-Readlyn 1867 Teisinger, Merle E. & Viola R.-Waverly Thies, Herman F. & Viola-Readlyn 1873 Thurm, Esther:-Tripoli 1880


Sassmann, Mervin: Iserman, Marian Tiedt, Arnold-Readlyn 1873 Tiedt, Lu Vern A.-Waverly 1863 Tonne, Robert & Marleen-Tripoli 1887 Traetow, Roger & Kathy-Waverly 1897 Vosseller, G. Edward-Plainfield 1874 Vosseller, Loey-Plainfield 1866 Walther, Russell & Norma-Waverly 1900 Warneke, Melvin-Readlyn 1877 Wedemeier, Clarence & Dorothy-Waverly Wente, Edwin & Agnes-Waverly 1891 Wente, Fred H.-Waverly 1891 Wente, Lavern W.-Denver 1864 Westendorf, Marvin Carl-Waverly 1873 White, Roger H. & Jeannette-Plainfield 1857 Wilharm, Norvin & Arlise-Sumner 1883 Wilharm, Robert-Waverly 1867 Wittenburg, Marie V.-Readlyn 1886 Wolter, Donald-Denver 1883 Wolter, Laverne-Janesville 1893 Wright, Russell K.-Ionia 1868 Young, Perry-Plainfield 1867 Zander, Amos-Tripoli 1871 Zander, Arnold & Mary Ellen-Tripoli 1871 Zander, Walter-Waverly 1867 Zwanziger, Edward E.-Plainfield 1870 Lageschulte Century Farm


The first deed to the Lageschulte Century Farm was recorded to George Matthews and Darius Cornwell on July 2, 1855. That 80 acres was sold by Ludwig Leesberg for $1,050 to Frederick Lageschulte, Harold‘s grandfather, on July 20, 1869. He then bought two 30-acre parcels across the road in 1881, each for $600. October 24, 1885, he purchased 40 acres to the west from William and Sarah Nicholson for $1,440. The Nicholsons had originally come from England and brought King Edward roses with them. The roses live on at the farm and in Waverly with Harold and Marcella Lageschulte. At one time Frederick owned 420 adjoining acres that they farmed with 16 horses. He gave his six children, five sons and one daughter, all 160 acres within a five-mile radius. On January 31, 1914, 180 acres was deeded to Fred Lageschulte, Harold‘s father. The Henry Homeister Homestead Century Farm Family-1991






In June of 1925 the farm was hit by a tornado. One hundred thirtyfive trees were destroyed; part of the barn, built in the 1800s, had to be rebuilt; the windmill and other out buildings replaced. The house was damaged but still livable and then replaced the following year. 1929 brought the first tile to the farm. They were dug in by hand and are still in use at present. Also that year 12,000 square feet of cement cow yard was put in. Gravel was hauled to Bremer by train and then hauled to the farm on wagons. The cement was all hauled from the mixer by wheelbarrow. In 1936 the first hybrid corn was planted on the farm. Vocational Agriculture [FFA] was started at Waverly High School, and being part of it, Harold got 1/4 bushel of both Iowa 939 and 942 to try. It was received from the college in Ames. The first tractor, a Minneapolis Moline Z [with rubber tires] and a threshing machine each costing $1,000 were purchased by Fred in 1939. In 1948 a double corncrib with overhead storage and an elevator were added to the farm. On March 25, 1963, Harold Lageschulte and his wife Marcella took over the farm on contract. They continued ―farming,‖ raising hogs, dairy cattle, chickens, and everything needed to feed all of those. In 1965 or 1966 the first soy beans for grain were planted. Before that Fred had an attachment that allowed him to plant beans with the corn to increase protein in the silage. As time went by the livestock and pasture decreased and the tile and tillable ground increased. The tiling was completed in 1985. For the last 16 years the land has been rented out. At. present Harold and Marcella‘s daughter, Beth Engelbrecht and her husband David, are buying the farm on contract and living there with their family. Living on the family farm still means living in the house built in 1926, having a wood burning furnace, and playing in the creek, but not ―the kids‖ herding cows to graze in the ditches, or all the physical labor that went along with the livestock. Submitted by Harold Lageschulte

Early Day Farming If your grandfather or great grandfather was a farmer he might have been familiar with trade names like Kirby, Seymour & Morgan, and Beedle & Kells. For those were the names of the early manufacturers of farm machinery. The earliest source of power for the farmer was oxen. The animals were less expensive than horses and subsided more easily on prairie grass. As the country developed, horses rapidly replaced the oxen. As a companion feature with this switch to horse power agriculture, great changes also took place in the farm machinery used to plant and harvest crops. The cradle was used to cut the early grain fields, but it was soon replaced by the McCormack and the Kirby reapers. A few Seymour and Morgan hand-rake reapers were also used. Prior to the cradle were the ―scythe and sickle‖ days. Labor savers: Further saving of labor followed the introduction of the Marsh harvester into the county. This machine was constructed in such a way that two men could ride as they bound the grain elevated to them by the machinery which cut it. Later, John F. Appleby perfected a self-binding attachment which was added to the harvester. The first self-binders used light wire

Bremer County Extension Office In 2003, the Bremer County Extension Office will celebrate 85 years of serving the needs of Bremer County residents. The extension program is a part of Iowa State University. The purpose of Extension is to serve as a local resource and distributes research and information from ISU. Traditionally Extension has been very active in agriculture, home economics and 4-H. Extension has grown and changed over the years to now include the following program areas: agriculture and natural resources; families; communities; business and industry; youth and 4-H; and continuing education. Originally in 1918, Extension was organized and sponsored by the Bremer County Farm Bureau. In 1955 a new Iowa law and Department of Agriculture ruling, the Extension Service was organizationally divorced from the Farm Bureau. A director from each township was then elected to serve on the Extension Council. In 1990 the Extension Council was reorganized once again and became an elected position. Nine individuals now make up the council and serve four-year terms. Throughout the years the Extension office has been located in Waverly and Tripoli. From 1918-1955 the office was housed in Waverly along with Farm Bureau. On January 1, 1956 the office was moved from Waverly to Tripoli to what is now The Blumenhaus. On January 1, 1966 it was moved to the building formerly occupied by the American Savings Bank, currently Pfile Insurance and remained in that location until July 1, 1986. At that time the move was made to the location at 100 _ First Street N.W. in the east section of the Tripoli Hardware building. In July of 2000, the office was moved to its present location at 720 7th Avenue S.W. For 85 years, Bremer County citizens have been able to rely on ISU Extension for unbiased, research-based information and education to help them make better decisions on issues that affect their family, community, business, or farm.


to tie the bundles. But livestock sometimes swallowed small pieces of wire left in the straw after the threshing of the bundles, and died as a result. Before long twine binders replaced these wire binders. Threshing began in July and lasted till corn picking time in the fall. The early pioneer sowed the small grain by tying a sack over his shoulder, taking the seed from the sack with his hand, scattering it as he strode across the fields. In the late 1850s the two shelled broadcast seeder was perfected. This seeder enabled the farmer to sow faster and do a more uniform job. Corn was first planted by using the hoe or a single-row hand planter. A four-row marking sled was used extensively in 1865. The rows were marked at right angles to each other with the cross lines and the corn was planted at the intersections so that an accurate check could be obtained crosswise. By 1875 a mechanism for dropping corn had been devised. While one man drove the team of horses, another man manipulated the dropper as the marked lines came into view just beneath him. The Champion corn planter was introduced into the county in 1880. The manufacturer of this planter, Beedle & Kelly of Troy, Ohio, advertised their product with the punch line slogan, ―It drops every time.‖ Fencing the land: One problem with which the early farmer had to deal was that of fencing his land. Small patches of land were enclosed by rail fences, but after the prairie became extensively settled and the number of cattle increased in proportion, the rail fence proved to be inadequate. Fences made from trees or tree posts then became common. It seems pathetic to contemplate the vast amount of seemingly unnecessary, wasted labor, the hardships and lack of remuneration that these pioneer farmers endured in light of present methods and machinery. But then look back to 20 years ago when many of the labor-saving devices that are now standard equipment on the farm were either on the drafting board or in the hands of only a privileged few. In view of this, it is not safe to assume that present-day processes will, in the future, look just as crude and illogical as the past farming operations now seem to us.

by man over the brute creation. Upon the walls of his subterranean home, carved in the imperishable rock, amid rude sketches of mastodons, of cave bears, of reindeer and other objects of his dread or of the chase, again and yet again man draws the picture of a bridled horse.‖ ―Before kingdoms were conceived, before social order was known, before tribal law recognized, horse and man proclaim the coming civilization. The domestic tool of the earliest agriculturists and the weapons of the first warriors are ornamented with the head of a haltered horse.‖ So far, so good. Prehistoric man is about as ancient as one could ask for. Wentworth gets along pretty well with antiquity. He is better at that than with prophecy. He concludes his somewhat longer essay with these lines: ―Together they have endured the privations and hardships to toil; together they shared defeats, the spoils and victories of war. Together they shall enjoy the fruits of their labors and together divide the honors of eternal peace‖. Where unrelenting toil on either the street or field or forest is concerned, that has been over for most horses for some time now. But where eternal peace is concerned, I have to conclude that Mr. Wentworth was overly optimistic. But we do find the legacy of the horse all around us, sometimes in the most unexpected places. Take for, instance, the expression ‗horsepower‘. So far as I know that is the name of the energy unit used to rate all forms of steam and gasoline engines…in this relatively horseless age. Here is how that came about.

Bremer County Was Shaped By The Horse By Maurice Telleen Bremer County, as we know it, could have happened without the splitting of the atom, travel by supersonic jets, four car garages, fast food joints and a myriad of other things not now taken for granted. And it did. As did the nation. What Bremer County could not have done without, is the horse. For this county, as well as the nation, was shaped in large measure by the strength, speed, and limits of the horse as assuredly as it was by the immigrants from Germany, Scandinavia, the British Isles and other places of origin….people who came here for a fresh start. Without the aid and services of the horse, these immigrants simply could not have accomplished the necessary work at hand. For decades, and much longer, the horse was the automobile, the truck, the tractor, and even the bicycle. The horse was their most important single companion and partner in the work of creating the farms, towns and cities that make up this place.. So it is little wonder that a great bond of affection was forged between our kind and the equine. Even today, horses outnumber people in some neighborhoods suggesting that the connections continue to be honored long after the roots of those connections have withered. This is not to suggest that the cow (Dairy Spot of Iowa, etc.) the sow, the sheep and the hen were not important as well, but the fact is they had nothing to contribute to either transportation or traction. Oxen did contribute to both transportation and traction very early in Bremer history. Just how ancient is this special bond between our kind and the equine? Try this on for size. It is an excerpt from George Wentworth‘s Eulogy to the Horse, a prizewinner in a contest staged by the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in the early 1900s. ―Prehistoric man dwelling in earth‘s huge caverns has preserved a record of the most notable achievement of his age, of the noblest conquest ever made


James Watt, a very clever Scotsman, is credited with the first practical steam engine. He is also credited with being the first to make the steam heating of buildings practical He also loaned to posterity his last name…‖watt‖, the electrical unit. He died a wealthy man. That seems fair. But, back to the expression ―horsepower‖. Here is the story of its birth taken from the U.S. Bureau of Standards Bulletin No. 34: When Watt began to place his steam engine on the market (in the 1700s) it became necessary to have some unit by which its capacity could be designated. As the work to which the engine was first put had mostly been done by horses, it was natural that the work of the engine should be compared with that of the horse. The value of ―horsepower‖ was arrived at experimentally by Watt and his business partner, Boulton, in the following manner. ―Some heavy draft horses were obtained from the brewery of Barclay and Perkins in London, and were caused to raise a weight from the bottom of a deep well by pulling horizontally by a rope passing over a pulley. It was found that a horse could conveniently raise a weight of 100 pounds attached to the end of the rope while walking at a rate of 2 1/2 miles per hour, or 220 feet per minute. ―This is 220 times 100 or 22,000 foot pounds. Watt, however, in order to allow for the friction in his engine and for good measure added 50% to this amount, thus establishing 33,000 foot-pounds per minute, or 550 foot pounds per second as the unit of power‖. I‘m sure many of us can recall the days of loose hay wherein the team that delivered the load to the barn would be transferred to the hay rope. In some instances a third single horse was simply kept on standby to pull the hay rope. As the horse (or team) pulled the big heavy hay rope over the pulley it did, sure enough, take a sling or fork load of loose hay off the rack, raise it vertically (at about 2 1/2 miles an hour) until it coupled with the track in the peak of the barn, wherein it would be moved horizontally, to wherever the man in the mow would yell ―trip it‖ to the fellow on the ground, and the fellow on the ground would release it more or less where you wanted it. I doubt that any kid driving on the hay rope horse had ever heard of James Watt. As for some of these present day commercials selling SUV‘s with more than 100 horses bursting out from beneath the hood of the automobile, that is nonsense. And has been so proven by the dynamometer, a machine constructed by the engineering department at Iowa State College in the early 1920s. Widely used in horse pulling contests, it has demonstrated that pairs of horses frequently develop well over 30 ―horsepower‖ for short bursts. Of course they can‘t keep it up for 100,000 miles But they do possess a great reservoir of strength. The old expression ―Get a Horse‖ was not coined by an advertising agency; it was born out of many day to day situations where they were called upon to pull automobiles stuck on mud roads out of their dilemma. For short bursts the horse can easily switch into four ―wheel‖ drive. So much for horsepower…it is a useful term. But it does not necessarily mean that you have a couple hundred horses under the hood of your car. Now, as for the business that the horse SHAPED Bremer County. Take a ride in a low flying airplane over this area…or anywhere in the middle -west. You need to equip yourself with a special set of bifocals enabling you to see it as it was in 1900 up to 1940 or so. Do it on a clear day when you can see forever or so it seems. This eye in the sky approach to the horse business first occurred to me on a commercial flight from Chicago to Waterloo about 35 years ago. It was such a day. For the most part, you see a geometric grid of square miles with a dirt or gravel road surrounding each one of these 640-acre sections. They were (are) called farm to market roads because that is what they were. They were built by men, horses, mules, slip scrapers, fresnos, sweat and gravel. It is a wonder our ancestors didn‘t run out of gravel. So I did some arithmetic in my head and wound up with a renewed appreciation of the immensity, the importance, the romance (yep, that is the right word) of how terribly important, and absolutely essential, the horse and mule trade had been in the not so long ago. With your special bifocals you will note from four to six farmsteads on most sections. Why so many? Because a quarter section or 120, or even

80 acres is about as much of a task as you can accomplish with horse farming…depending on your ability, strength, and size of family. Someone will be living on and FROM each of those farmsteads. Two, or even three generations may be found on some, perhaps some bachelor brothers on another, a young couple on another, and so on None are occupied by commuters. You didn‘t wake up and ―go to work‖. You woke up surrounded by work. As rural populations go, it is dense by today‘s standards, with 20 to even as many as 35 people living on each of those seemingly endless sections. The towns, generally located on rail lines, are not as small as they appear. For they serve as trade centers, in a rather complete sense of the word, for that fairly dense rural population. Those towns (trade hubs) serve the folks in roughly 3 to 5 miles in each direction and are thus the ―home town‖ to from 36 to 48 sections…or a rural population of upward to a thousand humans, along with some townsfolks. Make that 300 in a small town serving a radius of 3 miles and you wind up with a township (36 sections) with a population of about 1000 to 1200 people…without any manufacturing to speak of. The trades people and merchants in town and the surrounding farm population were dependent on each other. Nobody was driving 35 miles to shop at Wal-Mart. For a town to succeed it also needed to be on a railroad track that is going somewhere else. So from your eye in the sky you note this (now considered) overabundance of small towns with one every 5 or 6 miles. Why so many? Because the horse rather than some planning commission was the architect. A working horse on a light load should be able to walk about 3 miles an hour all day. A road horse (Standardbred trotter) will go considerably faster but is incapable of drawing heavy loads hour after hour…so many farmers didn‘t have a road horse. A trip to town was either an occasion or an errand, certainly not an impulse. That is one reason farmers were even more enthusiastic buyers of automobiles circa 1920 than many townspeople. They had farther to go. If you live four miles from town it will take an hour and twenty minutes to get to town with a team and another hour and twenty minutes to get back home, and that is without any intermediate visiting stops. That, in a nutshell, is why Bremer County (and thousands of other rural mid-west counties) has so many towns.


When columnists in metropolitan papers wring their hands in puzzlement about ―too many towns‖ and suggest that this is just one more example of rural contrariness, they betray their rather complete lack of historical awareness. My calculations on equine population led me to think that in that 1900-1920 time frame (maybe even up to the ‗30s) you could expect to find from 15 to 25 working age equines, one for every 30 tillable acres, on any typical section in the mid-west…plus some foals and yearlings either for replacement purposes or sale. I suppose a ratio of one such youngster for every four or five adult animals. So one comes up with over 700 working equines (give or take a hundred) per standard township. To see if these crude calculations were ―close‖ I dug out the 1915 and 1935 IOWA YEARBOOKS OF AGRICULTURE. The 1915 edition tells me that Bremer County had a total of 12,334 equines at that time of an average 771. That was about time the truck, tractor, and automobile started making inroads into the employment for horses business. The 1935 YEARBOOK tells me the number of equines in Bremer County had dropped to 8566 in the intervening 20 years. By that time the automobile had put the ‗road horses‘ out of business, the truck had taken over nearly all the grain and livestock hauling and the tractor had make considerable inroads into the horse‘s role on the farms, taking over much of the heavy tillage, harvesting and belt work. Nonetheless there were still 8566 horses and mules in Bremer County...or an average of 535 per standard 6 x 6 mile township. So it didn‘t exactly happen overnight. By 1935 the horse had lost the battle of the streets but was still making a strong case for himself on the farms. I had stated earlier that there was ―romance‖ to the horse business, and there still is but of a different sort. In Pre-World War I the trade in horses and mules was nothing less than a great arm of commerce, effecting every town, farm and household. Basic to it were the farmers depending on them as their power units. Beyond that were the country buyers and shippers to the city stables in the east that often numbered into the hundreds of animals…as well as nearby Waterloo, Des Moines, etc. Every bottle of milk; every load of coal was delivered by horse. For the farmer who raised foals it was an early case of ―value added agriculture‖. It produced its stallioners. Most every township required the use of two or three stallions to come calling on the farms every spring. The trade was considered so important to the state‘s economy that for much of the 20th century we had a statewide licensing board that required veterinary inspection certifying that the papa horse was free of hereditary unsoundness. So did most of the other serious horse producing states. It was sort of like accrediting teachers, nurses, etc. as competent. Fortunes were made and lost in the dicey business of importing draft stallions from France, Belgium and Great Britain. Serious business? Romantic? Exciting? If you were a kid in pre WWI I‘d say the chances of your answers to all three would have been ―Yes!‖. In its own time the horse industry was every bit as exciting and romantic as some folks find today‘s automotive industry. Bremer County had its movers and shakers in this exciting theatre of commerce. In the late l800s Willow Lawn Stock Farm, owned by J.H. and W. R. Bowman were big time operators…It was a large operation. The Bowman Brothers owned 3200 acres of farmland just west of the city limits of Waverly. The southern section (the land where the Red Fox Inn now stands) was called the Willow Lawn Stock Farm. While the Bowmans were active in the draft horse and purebred Shorthorn cattle business, their primary interest was in Roadster and Trotting Horses. In the latter part of the 19th century they were regular advertisers in the leading livestock and turf publications of the period. The most noteworthy of their horses was a trotter named Abe Downing. Abe began his life in 1875 in the blue grass State of Kentucky…the epicenter of fine racing stock. He was purchased by the Bowmans as a 2-year-old and quickly became a horse to reckon with on the tracks. Speaking of tracks, you can be sure that Waverly had one of those oval dirt tracks, along with hundreds of other towns in the state. Given the size and scope of their operation I‘d bet a reasonable sum that the Bowman‘s also had their own private track. The horse from Kentucky quickly became famous. His best year was in 1882 when he set his record time, trotting a mile in 2 minutes 20 _

seconds for a $1500 stake in Buffalo, New York. Retired to stud in 1885 he sired several outstanding turf performers and died in 1891. But Abe Downing never quite died in this town. This most famous of our equine citizens has a fine Steak House named after him at the Red Fox Inn. The décor is all about Abe and his times. You are a few steps from his grave, which is in what I consider the courtyard. The whole thing is pretty whimsical and it is a fine place to eat. My memory of those old publications tells me that a man named Knott from Waverly was also in the business of importing draft stallions from Europe. But as of this moment I can‘t lay my hands on any supporting evidence…such as ads in the BREEDER‘S GAZETTES of that period. An awful lot of adventurous folks tried the importing game. Another Bremer County citizen who left his mark on the horse business in the early days was J.J. Lynes of Plainfield. He gained regional, if not national attention as a breeder, exhibitor, and promoter of fine Morgan horses. J.J. also sired two sons, J. Kendall (known as ―Buster‖) and William, know as Bill. They were both pretty fair country politicians. Buster was majority (Republican) leader in the Iowa Senate and Bill was speaker of the House. As for being competent ―horse traders‖, which any successful politician must be, I reckon they learned that at their daddy‘s knee. Or maybe, as with Abe Downing, it was bred into the bone. So far as I know neither one of them carried on with Morgan horses but both did breed some fine Ayrshire cattle. By the time they reached maturity the automobile had pretty well knocked the trotting horse and the Morgan horse business into a cocked hat. The automobile took out the buggy horse much faster than the truck and tractor crippled the draft horse business. The draft horse end even had a spirited recovery in the early 1930s culminating in about ‗36-‘37, when the fortunes of the draft horse began to fade for the second time. The first time was immediately after World War I. The reason for this mini-renaissance was a product of the Great Depression. Farmers were broke. Those who weren‘t were headed that way. It was a grim time for farming. Gasoline costs out-of-pocket money…corn and oats were nearly worthless. Mechanization was, at that point, partial. While it had taken over the heavy tillage, belt work, and harvesting jobs on large farms, many were still completely horse powered and all of them had some horses or mules. The county was also filled with


unemployed people and a good many of them still had horse skills. So the draft horse made a substantial comeback...for a while. Then as government programs righted farm prices somewhat and war clouds gathered in Europe, the wind went out of the sails of the little renaissance in the late ‗30‘s. By 1941 we still had a reasonably strong Iowa Horse & Mule Breeders Association with offices in the statehouse in Des Moines and a fulltime field representative. I assume he was on state salary. This was separate from the Stallion Licensing Board which was, I believe, a function of the state‘s secretary of agriculture. The breeder‘s group was more like an ad hoc relationship with state government. A list of the membership from Bremer County just prior to our entry into the war is reproduced here from the Breeders Directory of that year.

Over time, the show was dropped, partly from time restraints, as the number of horses grew. The one day sale grew into a two day sale, spring and fall. In the early ‗60s a tack and horse machinery sale was added and that, too, quickly grew into one of the largest sales of horse related machinery in the nation…and

List of Bremer County Members in 1941 Elmer Dietz Erwin Hay Henry Kirchoff Emil Roloff Leo H. Ulteh L. H. Brandt Olover Leyh Albert Thieman R. C, Brandenburg, A.P. Juhl Ernest Lampe Fred W. Stiege Ray K. Brown Fredricksburg Association Henry Niemeyer Ed Seegers Herman Staack Ralph Tiedt Herman Walter Waverly Belgian Club The war years spelled doom for the draft horse. With severe labor shortages on the farms (much of the farming was done by old men and kids) and a bit more money in their pockets, farmers went looking for labor saving methods. Even though there were no new tractors (we were building tanks instead) the ones on hand were used far more extensively than before. There was no shortage of gasoline for tractors. There was a call for all out production with the theme ―Food will win the war and write the peace‖. By the time the war ended the draft horse business was shot. The immediate post war period was nothing short of a debacle for draft hose interests. About the only mention of them in the farm press was the occasional obituary. The ―horseless age‖ so long predicted, had in the minds of many finally arrived. Breeding came to a virtual standstill. What was left of the once proud horse and mule business was limited to pleasure horses, ponies, and racehorses. The light horse business, and even the Shetland Pony business, boomed. But strangely enough Waverly and Bremer County were destined to become A draft horse mecca and a catalyst for the rebirth of this ―dead draft horse business‖ in the years ahead. It remains so to this time…on the county‘s 150th anniversary. If it must have a ―birth date‖ let it be the third Friday in March of 1948, the date of the first Waverly Spring Horse Sale. It seemed like a madcap venture. Arnold Hexom, a Norwegian immigrant from Winneshiek County, simply had a ‗wild hair‘, or is it hare? Arnold was a young and energetic auctioneer with a real liking for draft horses. He had been enamoured by them since his youth and had even served in one of our last horse and mule outfits during WWII. But by 1948 he was long home from the Pacific and was one of four partners in the Waverly Sale Barn. His partners said, thanks but no thanks. So he forged ahead on his own. That first sale was widely regarded as little more than a means of giving northeast Iowa farmers a chance to dispose of their ―last team‖ without the agony of sending their old partners to the kill. Most farms still had a ―last team‖. But scarcity can also drive prices up…as well as down, so that first auction drew a crowd from a considerable distance and the money for the better horses was a pleasant surprise. There was still a need for a central market even in a business that had been trashed. Hexom loved to tell of one Black Hawk County farmer who, as he loaded his ―last team‖, offered them to the trucker for $200. The trucker, being no fool, turned it down and, not wanting the farmer to think him a fool, educated him by making it clear that ―no place on earth will a team of work horses bring that much.‖ The team sold for $360 the next day. That was the beginning, bolstered no doubt by its proximity to a large horse using Amish community in nearby Buchanan County. Whether it was an act of faith or a roll of the dice or some of each.. who knows? Whatever it was it was well worth repeating. Hexom was a good showman. In those early days he included a show and made a public spectacle out of the pre-sale hitching. It was a superb combination of salesmanship and showmanship.


eventually it needed two full days of its own. And you can add one more day for saddle horses and ponies to the twice-yearly classic…for that is what it became. And that is what it remains some 54 years after the inaugural ―experiment‖ as it attracts bidders and sellers from all parts of U.S. and Canada. Arnold also became a dealer and showman of Percheron horses. In the 1960s and early ‗70s he campaigned one of the top gray six horse hitches on the continent. He was the first American to win with a Percheron six at Canada‘s Royal Winter Fair in Toronto. And his hitch was one of the first such outfits to be a part of the Rose Bowl Parade. In 1964 Hexom and another immigrant, Bill Dean from Kansas, bought out Wilbert Oberheu, Ted Bany, and Ed Engelbrecht, the original three previously mentioned. Bill brought great energy and organizational skill to the business. With regular weekly livestock sales and occasional dairy sales, and hundreds of farm sales, they were two of the busiest men in Waverly for years. It was also about that time that the machinery and fall horse sales were added to the menu In the mid-70s Arnold was wanting to slow down, so Bill and Elsie Dean acquired 100% ownership of the barn. But for the horse sale. That remained a joint venture for a couple years until each went their own way in the horse sale business. And just recently another transaction took place with Ron, the Deans‘ son, and David Beyer their son-in-law becoming full owners. Bill Dean also fielded an outstanding Percheron six-horse hitch at major shows throughout the country for a few years. So the torch has been passed again and again. Today, instead of a couple hundred—many of them ―last team‖, the draft horse sale attracts several hundred in sale after sale. It is not uncommon for 1,000 or more equines to change hands in Waverly twice a year. In the meantime the draft horse has made a remarkable recovery throughout the United States and Canada. It would be foolish to say or even think that this modern miracle started in Waverly or Waverly alone. For today the sale calendar reveals that there are dozens of big auctions from one coast to the other. But Waverly did it first. Outside of the many Amish settlements throughout the country, there has been no significant return to horses for farm work. But they do find their jobs and their buyers. Just as light horses and ponies do. There is one more Bremer County connection to the draft horse story, namely the Draft Horse Journal. Just as Hexom and Dean, this is another of those immigrant stories…and another coincidental intersection, and Waverly was the intersection. In 1957 Maury and Jeannine Telleen moved to Waverly where they had purchased the Wylam Pedigree Company, devoted to making Holstein cattle pedigrees and sale catalogs. In 1961 Telleen became secretary-manager of the National Dairy Cattle Congress in nearby Waterloo. In the meantime they had struck up a friendship with Hexoms. In 1964 they launched a small quarterly magazine called the Draft Horse Journal…an outgrowth in many ways of that friendship. It was regarded, at the time, in much the same light as Arnold‘s first sale…slightly ridiculous like Arnold‘s sale, it grew like Topsy and in the early 1970s the Telleens moved back to Waverly to devote full attention to the publication. That torch too has since been passed to their son Lynn and daughter-in-law Lynette. Today the magazine, like the sale, enjoys national and international support with some 20,000 subscribers and adds its bit to the myth that Waverly is the center of the draft hose business. I suppose that timely coincidental intersections are one of the things myths are made of….

He joined the Free Baptist Church. He bought 234.38 acres of ground for $1 per acre. It was mostly trees and prairie grass with a creek running through it. He cut down many trees to have a spot for a new home which was built from the wood from the trees, which they took to the Waverly saw mill to make an 18 feet wide, 24 feet long, and 12 feet high cabin. After they got the logs sawed they started to build their home. They had some basswood sawed for the house but most was oak. They had some red oak sawed in blocks to make shingles. They split the blocks with a frow then every shingle was finished with a draw knife. The shingles were made by hand and it took 3,100 to cover the roof. Then they had to have a chimney, so they went to Cedar Falls for the brick and built the chimney themselves. They broke up some ground of prairie grass so they could plant some corn with 2 horses and a one-bottom plow which they walked behind to keep the plow in the ground. They planted the corn by hand and also hoed it by hand. In the winter they split rails. In the long winter evenings they made household furniture, etc. They had a cook stove and a heater that burned wood so they also cut their own fuel. As their home had no plaster, it took a lot of wood to keep it warm enough for them. They had running water, but they did the running, carrying it in and carrying it out. They dug wells that were sixteen to twenty feet deep, and they lasted about twenty years. Then they had to dig a different well 150 feet deep. The schoolhouse was built in 1864 and cost $476. Everyone in the neighborhood helped build it. They made hay out of slough grass, no fertilizer had ever been put on the ground. They used a cycle mower to cut the hay down and raked it in piles and then picked it up in a wagon and stacked it near the barn. The wagon was a high-wheeled wagon, so they could feed their cows and horses. By now they had more horses that needed to be curried and harnessed and watered each day they were used. They got 60 loads of what they called good hay. By now they also had sheep so shearing them was another job. They had big sheep with long tails and someone told them they thought that ox tail soup was very good, so they thought that sheep tails should make good soup too. So they skinned the sheep tails and cooked them and made sheep tail soup and everyone thought it was very good. They had sheep tail soup real often. When J.P. passed away on October 8, 1888, at the age of 77, his son Martin took over the farm. J.P.‘s funeral was held at the

J.P. Fritcher Farm, 1864-1999 1864-1932: J.P. Fritcher was born June 21, 1811, in Sharon, New York. Shortly after his birth the family removed to Onida County, where he grew to manhood. He learned the tailor trade in that county. In January 1832 he was united in marriage to Malvina M. Avery. In 1844 he moved to Wisconsin and settled in Walworth County, where he worked at his trade and also farmed until 1864. He then came by covered wagon and 4 horses to Polk Township where he lived until his death in 1888.


Young school with many friends and neighbors attending. J.P.‘s wife died in 1899. Martin married Amanda Gibson on January 2, 1869. They had two sons, Clarence [who was killed in an auto accident in Hancock, MN, in 1924], John, and a daughter who died in infancy. The Six Mile Grove church was organized in 1875. Services were held at the grove school till 1901 when the church was built by friends and neighbors. Martin and his wife were charter members. By this time they had chickens which they raised by setting hens with eggs to hatch the babies. The hens took care of their babies by scratching and finding food for them. They called them setting hens because they took time out from laying eggs to raise a family. Then later there was an incubator made that hatched the eggs, but the eggs had to be turned everyday till they hatched. It was heated by a kerosene lamp to keep the eggs warm until they hatched. They also took eggs to town to get their groceries and had money left over. I‘m not sure how much money they got per dozen, but everything was cheap in those days. They did not have freezers, so they canned everything they had to help out in the cold winter days—and it really got cold in Iowa in those days. They had a smokehouse and used hickory wood to smoke their meat for the family to eat. When they canned they used glass jars with glass lids and a rubber seal and it had a wire on top that needed to be put over the top of the lid to seal it; then boiled for an hour or so. They made their own sauerkraut by cutting up the cabbage and putting it in a crock jar and putting one handful of salt between each layer of cabbage and pressed it down till the juice came to the top of the cabbage. A cloth was put on the top and a rock to hold it down and when it had worked, it was ready to eat. When they wanted sauerkraut they would go down into the cellar and get what they needed and made sure that the cloth was put back in place so it would keep. They made it in 5-gallon crock jars. By now they fried down the meat and put it in a crock jar and used the lard that they fried the meat in to cover it so it would keep. This was also very good in those days. Martin D. passed away June 17, 1932. His wife passed away 20 years before he did. John and his wife, Mable, took over the farm in 1906. John had worked in a butcher shop in Frederika after they were married in 1901. They lived near Horton on a farm before that. John built a new home for himself and his family of two boys, Lorrence [born 24 February 1904] and Alva [born 8 September 1911]. Alva was born near Horton and came here as a baby. Claude joined the family on 6 October 1915. They farmed with 6 horses and all the horse-drawn machinery that was there to farm with. They had 2 bottom plows, a corn binder, but picked corn by hand with husking hooks., a grain wagon, and a rack for making hay, a drag to even the ground, a dump rake to gather up the hay. The pitched it on a hayrack and brought it up to the barn to feed the horses and cows. They also had pigs to care for. There was a corn planter that planted two rows at a time, and they used a planting wire to make rows of corn that could be cultivated crossways. The wire had knobs on it to drop the kernels just right each time. The corn was plowed three times, first lengthways, and then crossways. We always stopped when we plowed lengthways, so it could be picked lengthways with 2 horses pulling a grain wagon. They husked it by hand with a peg or husking hook. It took a long time to fill the wagon box, but it needed to be shoveled off by hand into the corn crib which had slats in it to help keep drying the corn. The corn was fed to the pigs, cows, chickens, etc. In 1929 John built a cow barn as he had registered cows along with all the rest of the animals. The barn was built from trees cut and sawed right on the farm. They needed to have the cows tested each year as they had to be in perfect condition with a good cream and milk test. Each year the tester would come and stay overnight with the Fritchers while he was testing in the neighborhood which took a week or so. They sold cream and later sold milk to Carnation in Waverly. They needed to cool the milk each morning and night as they had a cooling tank that held 8 ten gallon cans. They needed 10 ten gallon cans to get by as there were 5 cans each day for the milk man to take. By this time the family had many more new things to work with. They still had oil lamps and lanterns to fill, with chimneys to wash and wood

to cut for the cook stove and the heater. They had rag rugs on the floors which needed to be pulled up each spring and taken out on the clothesline and beaten with a carpet beater and then taken back in and tacked down with what were called carpet tacks. That was a big job each year during spring cleaning. The rest of the year these carpets were swept with a broom creating lots of dust. 1933-1999: The farm was left to Alva Lorrence and Claude when their father died in December 1932. Alva and his brothers, Claude and Lorrence became owners of the farm. Alva was the housekeeper and helped with the farming, which stayed about


the same for awhile. Then Alva married Marie Oleson in 1933, and they made the Fritcher farm their home, with his brothers living with them till their deaths. Lorrence passed away in 1983 and was buried in Horton. Claude passed away in 1987 and was buried in Horton also. During their lives there were many changes in farming. We started out with 4 horses and all horse-drawn machinery and later got our first Ford tractor and mower, a new hayrack, and a 4 bottom plow. Soon it was time to get a disk and the rest of the tractor machinery that was used for the tractor. Our next tractor was an Allis-Chalmers and a little bigger. Later on it was a bailer for making hay. We first made hay with a mower, dump rack and hay loader which picked up the hay that was wind rowed into a hay rack by hand. Then it was hauled to the barn to be unloaded with a hay fork stuck into the hay and pulled up with a hay fork stuck into it and into the hay mow until it was far enough inside and was dumped by the one that set the fork. The pulling was done by horse power and the process was repeated until the wagon was empty. It was very hot when the hay needed mowing and to be put up for winter to feed the cows and horses. We also planted oats which meant we needed an oat binder to cut the oats with when it got ripe, and to put it into bundles so we could put it into shocks to dry out till it was time to thresh it. That was done with a threshing machine which one of the farmers owned and did threshing for a group of farmers. We helped one another get our oats and straw for the winter supply. In those days they stacked the straw in a stack. So someone had to work to stack it up so that it would be just right to stand the winter as it was used for bedding the cows and horse and sometimes for the pigs. We also had chickens that need straw in the hen house. We raised our own chickens by setting the setting hen with 15 eggs and the mother hen would take care of her own family after they were hatched. When they were grown some were roasters and some were used the next year for laying eggs. Later on we bought baby chicks from a hatchery and raised them up. We started buying what they called straight run baby chicks that meant there would be hens and roasters. Later you could buy either hens or roasters. Roasters were usually sold at the market or you dressed them and sold them to someone. We later bought capons and dressed them and they would weigh 10 pounds or more. We raised many of those also. We needed to dress them before they were sold. We got $3.00 each for them at that time. By now it was time to buy a combine to do the oats and soy beans. Our first one was pulled by a tractor, so that meant we needed more power. So, another tractor was needed and other larger equipment too: mower, hay baler, disk, plow, and a drag, plus a 4-row plant cultivator to get the work done faster. Things were getting bigger all the time. We had a cook stove and a heater, which warmed the rest of the house. We started out with lamps and lanterns until we got electricity in 1950. Before that we had running water, but we did the running to carry it in and out of the house. We also had a toilet outside and we used the Sears catalog for wiping paper, and in the winter it was very cold. We had pots under our beds so we did not have to go to the outhouse at night, but in the morning that needed to be carried out to the outhouse and the pots cleaned. After we got electricity we thought we were really getting like the town people. We always had a telephone, but we had a party line with 4 or more on each line. With a lone ring we called the operator and gave her the number we wanted and she would ring them up. Your ring might be two longs and a short or something like that. If there was a fire, it would be one long ring and everyone would listen in to find out where the fire was. It was a habit to listen to other rings and find out what your neighbor was doing. Each house had a different ring. When we were first married we had a record player and we could buy records that were flat and 10 inches across. We listened to a battery radio also. They talked about TV coming soon where you could see a picture in your home of the programs. We didn‘t know how that could be done, but we found out when they were on the market. Now we believe it. It was nice when we could have all of these push button things. Seems life is much easier than when we first started farming. We had two children and they both were born at home. Doctors came out to your house and made calls there when you could not get to a doctor. We did not have paved roads, but lots of muddy ones. The farmers worked out their poll taxes by fixing up the roads they lived on. They hauled gravel from our gravel pit and with horses and a plank box they would put the

gravel on the plants and drive to the road and dump it out by raising the planks one at a time as the horses pulled the wagon. They also had a slip scraper that they used to loosen the gravel with. We really worked together. I think we have lost that part of life, but we need that part back, as we do not neighbor like we used to. I‘ve enjoyed every part of what I learned in the past on how to love your neighbor as yourself. Hope this will be some help on what it used to be like. Everyone should appreciate what their forefathers have done to make this a better world that we live in now. Submitted by Marie Fritcher Bremer County‘s First Cash Crop Would you believe that Bremer County‘s first cash crop wasn‘t corn nor beans, nor meat, nor milk? Rather, it was maple sugar. In the spring of 1849, according to the 1883 History of Butler and Bremer Counties, John Clark came to the Big Woods of northeast Iowa, and staked a claim on the north edge of the Big Woods. It can be located more precisely as about one mile east of Waverly, just south of Highway 3 [Section 8, eastern Washington Township.] After selecting his claim he returned to his home in Delaware County, Ohio, north of present day Columbus. He made the entire trip on horseback. The next few months were spent in preparing to return to the Big Woods of Iowa. In the fall of 1849 Mr. and Mrs. Clark and their eight children made the trip to their new home. It was the frontier—no one lived north of them in this part of the state, and no one to the west until Sioux City. In the spring of 1850 Mr. Clark and his sons tapped 400 maple trees, and boiled down the sap until they had 1,100 pounds of sugar. It was sold for six cents a pound, a total of $66.00. That doesn‘t sound like much to us today, but in 1850 Iowa land was selling for $1.25 per acre. The Clark‘s two months of work making maple sugar would have allowed them to pay cash for over 52 acres of land! The making of maple syrup and sugar continued in the Big Woods until 1930 or so. Most families made syrup for their own households, and sold or traded whatever surplus they might have.


Friedrich Richmann Joseph Schneider Rudolph Schneider Herman Meyer Barnes Thompson A. Collins A. Maynard Isaac High Abiather Fairbrother Ward Callender Henry Meyerhoff Edward Burkhart George Rockdaschel Frederick Roder Henry Schoephoerster Arthur Kuker Frets Scheve Harry Buhr August Friedermann Others made the syrup primarily for sale, and it provided a welcome source of income. Today maple syrup is made in the Big Woods as a novelty and a hobby. Forty to fifty gallons of sap are boiled down to yield one gallon of syrup. If one gallon of syrup is cooked further it will yield about six pounds of maple sugar. Submitted by Elaine Dove. Aschbrenner‘s Grain Basket Henry Aschbrenner of Fremont Township invented a new type of grain basket. It‘s design with one side ―squashed in‖ allowed it to fit around the carrier‘s abdomen. He also moved the handles closer to the edge on the carrier‘s side; thus allowing for a more balanced weight distribution. The baskets could be in sizes ranging from 1/2 bushel to 2 bushels. They were also tapered for nesting. While he awaited his patent, he approached manufacturers with his plans. Because the country was still experiencing material shortages and the lack of laborers he had to wait for replies. Sumner Gazette; 20 June 1946

The article is a good glimpse of the progress of farming standards during the late 1910s and early 1920s.

Experimental Farm Plot 1918-1928 In the March 1, 1928, issue of The Iowa Homesteader there was an article on an Iowa Experiment Station operating in Bremer County on the George W. Christophel farm. The goal was to ascertain whether the loam soils in Bremer County would respond to applications of commercial fertilizers, and if so, to what extent. Mr. Christophel was barely able to raise enough feed to sustain 10 dairy cows. Desiring a larger herd to increase his income he was willing to devote some of his land and labor to try to improve production. Two plots were laid out in the spring of 1918. On one plot no fertilizer was added, and the average yield was 36.2 bushels of corn per acre. With 8 tons of manure per acre added once every four years, the yield averaged 48.9 bushels per acre. By adding lime to the soil the fertilized plot‘s average jumped to 54.7 bushels. The article goes on to detail the effects on oats and clover. The experiments led Mr. Christophel to believe that in the case of many low crop yields, rather than blaming unfavorable weather conditions, the fault could be charged to lack of soil fertility, especially lack of humus in the soil. The article is a good glimpse of the progress of farming standards during the late 1910s and early 1920s.

Experimental Farm Plot 1918-1928 In the March 1, 1928, issue of The Iowa Homesteader there was an article on an Iowa Experiment Station operating in Bremer County on the George W. Christophel farm. The goal was to ascertain whether the loam soils in Bremer County would respond to applications of commercial fertilizers, and if so, to what extent. Mr. Christophel was barely able to raise enough feed to sustain 10 dairy cows. Desiring a larger herd to increase his income he was willing to devote some of his land and labor to try to improve production. Two plots were laid out in the spring of 1918. On one plot no fertilizer was added, and the average yield was 36.2 bushels of corn per acre. With 8 tons of manure per acre added once every four years, the yield averaged 48.9 bushels per acre. By adding lime to the soil the fertilized plot‘s average jumped to 54.7 bushels. The article goes on to detail the effects on oats and clover. The experiments led Mr. Christophel to believe that in the case of many low crop yields, rather than blaming unfavorable weather conditions, the fault could be charged to lack of soil fertility, especially lack of humus in the soil.


Bremer County Farms: 1921 Bremer County is a land of prosperous farms devoted chiefly to the raising of hogs, dairy products, beef cattle and poultry. Some horses and sheep are also raised. The crops are used principally for feeding, not more than 10 percent being sold. The average size of farms in Bremer County in 1910 was 135 9/10 acres. Markets are accessible as most farmers are not more than five miles from a railroad town and none are farther than nine or ten miles and roads are passable in all but the wettest weather. Passage is sometimes difficult, however, as out of the 870 miles of roads in the county only two miles are hard or gravel and 300 are graded dirt. It is estimated by the county farm agent that 60 per cent of the farms are operated by owners and that one-half of the remaining are operated by relatives of the owners, usually the sons. This makes for permanency of residence which results in farm homes of great comfort. A large proportion of the farm houses are equipped with hot water and hot air furnaces, electric light or gas, plumbing and running water in the house. Practically all the houses are large and roomy, barns, machinery and all other equipment show the same progressive spirit. Bremer County Independent; 14 Jan 1921 Lou Boderman Louis Schwartze Barn Raisings When it came time to build a new barn, the word went out to the community and a ―barn raising‖ was planned. On the date designated neighbors and friends arrived to help. Barns were not necessarily all alike. Their design and inside construction might vary with the farmer‘s needs. A carpenter, such as John Schoof, might act as an overseer, but the neighbors usually had enough experience to replace the employees that would be needed today. In two of the pictures a wreath can been seen on the ridge poles. Placing the wreath was a tradition. During the afternoon the women prepared a large wreath with a bottle of brandy tied inside it. Just before supper the wreath was placed on the ridge of the barn roof for good luck. The bottle was then emptied by those men who were able to climb to that height.i


Henry Schroeder Leo Shipp Threshing Rings Threshing crews existed from the beginning of Bremer County. Those who did the work in the first few years had to go all the way to Dubuque for repairs if a part broke. It was long before rings were formed. This way not every farmer had to purchase equipment he could ill afford.


Johnnie Nerge‘s Silage Recipe After a two-year silage shortage, Johnnie Nerge of Leroy Township, decided that in 1924 he would try a different strategy. He experimented with a new silage mixture of corn [which was to be drilled,] cow peas, sugar cane, and two other ―out of the ordinary‖ crops. Mr. Nerge planned to drill this mixture for silage. When it was about a foot high, the plan was to use it as a hog pasture. He also expected that the feed shortage for his 92 dairy cows would be solved. How Farming Changed in the 20s and 30s As far back as I can remember we raised oats and corn, made slough timothy and clover hay. We seeded oats first with a drill and horses. Then we advanced to the end gate broadcast seeder which attached to the rear end of the wagon box. A double wagon box was used then. This slid into the slots where the end gate fit in so that‘s where it got its name. This also was horse drawn and much faster than the drill. It was a broadcaster type and a two man operation as you filled the box with whatever you thought you would need for that certain field. One man would drive and the other would keep the hopper full on the seeder. After this it would be disked into the ground. We had room in our barn for 12 horses but usually kept ten. Later the stall for the last two was made in to a bull pen; also on the east end of the barn was a bull pen with access to the water tank with another access for the cattle in the big cow yard. It was big enough that two cattle could drink at the same time. For corn the ground had to be plowed first. We had a two bottom gang plow that we pulled with 5 horses, 3 in back and 2 in the lead, so you had a double set of lines to contend with. This was slow work as the day went on the horses tired and began to slow down. Talking to them helped some but not all that much. We had a neighbor that we could see from our place who would still be plowing after we had our chores done. The horses would be moving so slow, we would say you had to site across a fence post to see which way they were going. After the ground was plowed, it had to be disked to break up the ―clods‖ and then it had to be dragged so it was as smooth as a lawn. Our first disc that I remember was an 8-foot one. Then we got a new 10-foot one and a little later they came out with a spool conversion and an extra 2 blades, so it was an 11-foot disc which covered 3 corn rows. This required 4 horses to pull it. Our first drag was an 18-foot wooden pounder drag. This consisted of 5 round wood poles 6 feet long in each section. There were holes drilled in them 6" apart in a staggered pattern that had 1/2" square pegs driven through them. You walked behind the drag driving the horses and you usually went at an angle in the field. After walking behind the drag all day your feet and ankles were black and your socks were stiff from sweat and the dirt. We bought a new Galloway 22-foot drag about 1930 or 1931. This was steel and had levers on it that you could set the angle you wanted. It was the Cadillac of drags. We also bought a two-wheel cart along with it, so our walk behind the drag days were over. I believe we were all ready to jump for joy when we saw that Carl unloaded without the drag. After the ground was ready for planting we used a 2-row corn planter with 42‖ rows and wide checked it so it could be plowed both ways. For silo corn it was drilled in like it is planted today. Once the corn was up to row, we started cultivating. They were the single row type. For the small corn there were shields on the plow. These were there so the dirt thrown up by the shovels didn‘t cover up the corn. While plowing, if a hill was covered up you stopped and uncovered it. Also I remember that when you plowed the first time if there were some hills missing, you stopped and hand planted them. Seed corn from the old open pollinated corn came from the best looking ears while picking. These were put on wire or metal racks to dry. These ears were usually shelled by hand so you didn‘t crack any kernels. Then in the spring before planting we had seed corn testing racks where corn was tested to check for germination. This was done in wet sawdust.

Oats had to be run through a fanning mill to remove the chaff and weed seeds. It was also tested in the same manner. There was a lot of work to farming in those days. After the corn plowing started then there was also hay to be made. It was cut and let dry before it was windrowed. We had a tedder that was used if the hay got rained on a few times before it was windrowed. This machine would kick the hay up in the air and fluff it so it would dry. Once it was windrowed it would have to be checked for dryness in the morning and usually turned over again to make sure it was dry on the bottom. You did not put wet hay in the barn as it would go into a sweat causing mold and in several cases even burning the barn down.


The first hay loader that I remember was a Moline wood slat type. These were very touchy. If you didn‘t get the hay from the front of it, it would take the hay back down with it and break the wood slats so you were held up until they were replaced. Our next hay loader was an Easyway, a completely different design. It was a 7-foot wide machine that had 7 push arms made of 1‖ by 4‖ oak with spring teeth mounted on them and operated on a crank shaft principle. They would go back and forth and push the hay up on the wagon. If the hay was thick and you couldn‘t get it away fast enough it would just keep on shoving it to the front of the wagon. This loader was a dream come true compared to the old slat loader. One of our early jobs as kids was to drive the team on the hay wagon to straddle the rows and then to make the turns on the ends so that you didn‘t miss hay on the turn. After a little practice we got to be pretty good at it. We usually stood on the front ladder so we didn‘t get hayseeds down our necks. Then it had to be pulled up into the barn on a 1‖ diameter hay rope by a horse that was usually led. We had a 4-tined grab fork that was stuck in the loose hay, and when the horse on the rope pulled, the tines connected by chains would pick up a big load of loose hay. In the top of the barn was mounted a track and a carrier. When the hay was going up and hit the carrier it would trip the lock and it would go sailing down the track to where the man in the mow wanted it dumped to be spread out. There was a trip rope on the hay fork and you pulled the trip rope to dump it. When it was empty you pulled it back to the stop and it came down for the next load. The hay mow was a hot job as there wasn‘t too much ventilation in the hay mow. While the hay in the field was drying you plowed corn, cut weeds or whatever. There was always something to do. On a rainy day when you thought you could take it easy, Dad would come up with the idea to fix fences or clean the chicken house. Then in July when the oats were ripe we would get out the oats binder and start cutting. All this was done with horses. Four horses pulled the binder which was an 8-foot cut. It was hot and the horses had to be watered quite often, sometimes every round of the field. We carried water in a stone crock wrapped with a wet gunnysack—burlap to those who have never heard of that expression—and stuck under a grain shock to keep it cool. When it was really hot we shocked at night. A grain shock consisted of 6 to 8 bundles with one bundle for a cap. If there was a bundle that the binder missed tying with twine, you twisted and wrapped oats straw around the bundle by hand. After the oats shocks had set for awhile and gone through a sweat, it was time to thresh. In the early 20s threshing was done with a monster of a Fairbanks Morse steam engine and a wooden Wood Bros. threshing machine with a stacker. The threshing crew that went with it were the fireman and the oiler for the machine. Checking to see everything was operating right and oiling the machine was all the oiler did. When you threshed at your place you had to have coal for the steam engine and a lot of heavy planking for leveling of the machine. We usually had a lot of oats, so they were at our house for a couple of days. There was one man that usually did all the stacking as it had to be done just so. It had to have the right pitch on top to protect the stack during rains. The stacker really took pride in his work. The fireman came on the yard at 5:00 a.m. and started the process of building up steam to start the day. He ate 3 meals with us, as after the engine was done for the day, he would stick around for the engine to cool down and then bank the fire for the night. Talk was that he hung around because he didn‘t want to do chores at home. After the threshing was done came the job of hauling the winter‘s accumulation of manure onto the oats stubble


fields. We milked 16 cows most of the time and fed out the calves. We had 3 calf pens and a large open cattle shed, so we had plenty of manure to haul. Plus we usually had 10 horses too and the manure from the hog house. No manure shortage. It was all handled with a 5-tined fork, no bobcat loaders then. In the fall, silos were filled, another big job as the green corn bundles were very heavy. The farm wife worked hard too as she fed a big noon meal to the threshing, silo filling, and later, the shredding crews. She also served a big afternoon lunch which consisted of sandwiches and cakes. Everybody had a good appetite and you knew who the good cooks were in the neighborhood. In the earlier 20s it seems the summers were quite cool and the corn crops were not too good. If they got 60 bushels per acre they were lucky. I‘ve heard from two sources that Louis Brandt had a barn raising on July 4th 1915, and it snowed that day. This was where Curtis Brandt now lives on Highway 3 east of Waverly. Around 1927 or 1928 Willard and I were plowing corn on July 4th. There were snow flurries and we wore sheepskin coats and mittens and the corn was not yet knee high. We were chilled to the bone when we came home. In the fall the corn was all picked by hand, a lot of soft corn then. Corn was cut and shocked and fed to cattle just that way. We had big stacks of it by our cow yard fence where it could easily be tossed to our feed cattle. We always milked cows as the monthly milk check is what kept us going as it was the only income we had besides the little egg money until we sold hogs or cattle. No grain was sold then; it was fed to the animals. In the later 20s we bought barley mash from the old Waverly brewery which was located where the north Nestles plant is located now. At first it was hauled by wagon and a team of horses. They would line up at 6:00 a.m. to get it. This was used for hog feed. Our first hogs were Red Durocs and later we went to Hampshires which were a more solid meat hog. After the brewery closed we grew barley a few years and cooked it in our feed cooker in the tank house. Growing barley was a new experience as those beards were so sticky. They would get in your clothes when shocking and threshing. It was awful. Those stickers didn‘t always come out in the washing. A couple of years of that was enough. About 1934 we raised our first soybeans. Some were cut for hay and some were combined. Wilson Milius from east of Denver had the first pull type combine and a Minneapolis Moline tractor. He did our combining that fall. Then in 1935 and 36, when it was so dry, we planted sudan grass for hay and Atlas sorgo for the silo. The Atlas sorgo was tall and heads a lot like sugar cane. I believe the seeds for both came from Kansas. That stuff was miserable to handle. The Atlas sorgo was cut with a corn binder. When you tried to load it on the silo rack, you picked up a bundle and the tops broke and wrapped you around the ears. If you put on a half decent load you couldn‘t keep it on a wagon. It would slide off. If you had any distance to go, you were lucky if you didn‘t have to stop at least twice to reload before you got to the silo filler. Both crops went out about as fast as they came in. Before the dry years, there was the 1929 stock crash that really left tough times. Corn was $.10 a bushel and hogs sold for $2.60 per hundred weight; fat cattle sold for $8.00 a hundred. Farmers who burned coal burned corn or soft Iowa coal that was mostly soot and ashes. What a dirty mess that made. We tried it just once. Then in the dry years of 1935 and 1936, the Dakotas were wiped out with grasshoppers and they moved into Iowa. We had a 1931 1-ton, 6 cylinder International truck with dual wheels in the rear with a 7x14 Omaha standard truck body that Dad bought in early 1933. It had been repossessed and only had 7,000 miles on it. Since we had a truck it was sent to Denison, Iowa, to pick up poison bran which was bought by the farmers and spread around the edges of fields as bait to kill the grasshoppers. It worked quite well as we really never had a total crop failure in our area. Dad had a saying, ―It usually rains 5 minutes before it‘s too late.‖ Submitted by Harley Meyer

1924 - Horses Down; Soy Beans Up A lot about society can be told by taxes. In 1924 the county assessor‘s records showed that there had been a steady decline the number of horses in use in Bremer County during the previous four years. In 1921 there were 21 stallions assessed in the county. By 1924 the number was down to 15, prompting the reported to quip, ―If the decrease continues it will be only a few years until the owner of a stallion can charge an admission fee for a look at the animal.‖ On the other hand, A. C. Epley, Warren Township, was


becoming one of Bremer County‘s strongest promoters of soy beans. The previous year he had planted 15 acres of beans, five of Midwest and ten of the Manchu variety. It was noted that they were planted in rows and cultivated. During the next season Mr. Epley, despite a poor crop of Midwests, had put in seventeen acres of Manchus. ―I planted my soy beans this spring with a grain drill at the rate of one and one-half bushel per acre. The rows are six inches apart. They will be cultivated only with the harrow. According to the Wapsie Valley testing association, nearly 50% of their members had put in alfalfa and 100% planned to plant soy beans.

his father and continues in that industry for about 17 years and retired in 2001. He often had a herd of 45 milking cows at one time. Many government requirements and regulations are demanded for sanitation and quality milk. Today there are fewer, but much larger, milking operations in Bremer County and they meet all required regulations to ensure the Grade A milk. Submitted by Gladys Rettig

Farm Chores 1920s The Milking Business Milking cows was an important part of life on a farm. It regulated the daily routine of those who did the milking, for the cows needed to be milked twice a day and there could be no exceptions. To do otherwise would cut the milk production. Edna Kuethe remembers being taught to help with the milking chores at an early age of 10 or 12. Her parents, Henry and Marie Meier, and her siblings, Martha, Olga, Clara, and Lorenz, all were expected to be a part of work on their farm which is located several miles south and a mile west of Tripoli. Edna remembers the milking was done by hand while seated on a three-legged stool, and 5:00 a.m. was the time to arise for the milking. In the summer the cows were out in the pasture and it always seemed they were as far away from the barn as they could get. Part of her job was to go out there and herd the cows to the barn, so they could be put in the stalls. In the wintertime the cows would be kept in the barn, so were there ready for the milking. They moved from cow to cow and when the pail was full it was emptied into a milk can. In the summer that can was immediately put in a tank full of water so the milk would cool. The milk from the evening milking and the next morning milking would be brought to the creamery in Artesian. Neighbors took turns hauling each other‘s milk. In the earlier 1900s Edna remembers that the hauling was done by a team of horses and a wagon and in the winter a sleigh was used. Once there was a terrible snowstorm and no one could haul, so the milk was left for the next day. There was no chance the milk would get too warm to spoil, they actually had to watch that it would not freeze. Later when the automobile came into use, the farmer could haul milk in more comfortable conditions. At the creamery the cream was taken off and the skim milk that was left was returned to the farm and fed to their hogs along with some feed. Once in awhile the Meier family was allowed to keep some cream for use in making a chocolate cake that was enjoyed by all. Years later around 1936, when Edna and her husband Harold moved to their own farm they had a separator room in their barn and then could separate the cream from the milk themselves. They could then take only the cream to the creamery. At the time of World War II self-washing separators became popular. Around 1942-43 milking machines were installed in many barns. These milking machines were run by a gasoline engine until late in the 1940s when electricity became available to the farming community. Henry and Marie Meier and their son Lorenz continued the milking operation on their farm. In 1946, after the death of Henry, Harold and Dorothy Sommerfelt and their family moved to the farm and continued the milking operation. Their son, Ron, remembers it was in the mid 1950s that the bulk tank truck began to be used to haul milk. Lavern Heine was an independent hauler and picked up their milk. He recalls at one time there was what they called a ‗creamery ring.‘ Included with Harold Sommerfelt in the ring were Otto Buenger, Alfred Blasberg, Clarence Beisner, Virgil Moeller, Will Zander, and Arnold Zander. In 1965 Harold put in a bulk milk cooler and a plastic milk pipe line that took the milk from the cow to the milk room to a receiver jar and then pumped the milk into the cooler. In the mid 1950s barns were being remodeled so a barn cleaner could be installed. Any new barns built were equipped with a cleaner. During the 1980s there came government regulations that milk for fluid consumption [Grade A milk] must go through stainless steel pipes to qualify to be bottled. It was then that Ron had the plastic pipes in his barn replaced with stainless steel pipes. Ron took over the milking operations from Chickens: In the fall chickens could be gathered and moved into the chicken house. To help control chicken mites, the house could be sprayed and a powder dusted over the nests. Treating the nests helped to keep the mites, who didn‘t bite but crawled around, from getting on the arms of the person gathering eggs. Gathering eggs in the summer took some time because the hens laid their eggs all over the farm. If they were in the feed boxes, they might be eaten by the horses. Corn Planting: It took a fast walking team pulling a two-row planter to finish 20 acres a day. A wire was used so the corn could be planted in hills, making it possible to cultivate the field crossways and length ways. At the end of each row it was necessary to get off the planter and move the wire so it was fastened to a stake over two rows. With a goal of the straightest rows around, it required a team of horses driven with a tight line in order to keep them going straight on the trail mark. Corn Picking: Using a team of horses and wagon, a husking hook, and maybe a pair of cotton flannel gloves the corn was picked by hand. Sometimes a leather band on the wrist was used to help avoid sprains. The gloves could be bought by the dozen, since one pair usually lasted about two days. One man could pick about an acre a day. All the daylight hours were spent in the field until the picking was done. The other chores would be done by the light of a lantern in the early morning and after dark in the evening. After the chores were done at night, the corn still needed to be unloaded using a scoop shovel. The corn went into the crib. One reason for the long days was that the corn didn‘t get dry enough to crib until the latter part of October and it needed


to be in before snow fell. George Corwin‘s brother worried about oversleeping would set his alarm clock on an upturned dish pan so it would ring louder. Hogs: In the teens and twenties everyone had a barrel that sat by the hog house. It was kept full of water and skim milk, ground grain, and sometimes linseed meal was mixed in. It was called a swill barrel—or if you were German, a slop barrel. A long wooden paddle was kept to stir it before it was poured into the troughs. The hogs were swilled two or three times a day. The barrel was a favorite hangout for flies. Main feed for the hogs, however, was corn. Ears were thrown into the hog lot. They ate the corn and left the cobs which then had to be picked up to be burned as fuel in the house. Picking up the cobs was often the children‘s chore. Although corn was the main food, the hogs would eat anything, grass, weeds,, vegetables, fruits, eggs and any kind of meat, either cooked or raw. In the summer the pigs were turned out into the pasture that had been sown to oats or sudan grass or rape, which was a plant kind of like a cabbage that they really liked. After the automatic waterer and the self-feeder were manufactured, that ended the era of the swill barrel and picking up the cobs. Milking: If cows stayed in the barn during the winter, the floors had to be cleaned twice a day. When the cows were out to pasture and brought in for milking, they seemed to know which stanchion was theirs. Sitting on a stool in front of the cow‘s hind leg with a milk pail between your legs, it wasn‘t a hard job. George remembered it as somewhat relaxing. He used to sing or whistle while milking, and it seemed the cows were more contented if there was music in the barn. Some cows tended to kick. Then the milker could stand up and put his head against the cow‘s flank. Sometimes he tied the cow‘s hind legs together. Later a chain came on the market, a short chain with a hook on each end.; it hooked around the legs and then was pulled tight. Then the cows couldn‘t kick the milker. Separating the cream from the milk was quite a chore. The separator was an iron machine that stood about four feet high with a large crank on the side that turned a spindle in the inside. When you started to turn the crank, the machine turned real hard until you got up to a certain speed that would separate the milk correctly. The whole milk only went through the separator at a certain speed, so if you had 30 or 40 gallons of whole milk, it took awhile to get the job done. When electricity reached a farm, separators were made with electric motors and it was no long necessary to crank them by hand. According to George D. Corwin in his book Life Time Memories, ―After you had milked a number of cows by hand and then turned a separator long enough to separate the milk on a hot summer night, you worked up quite a sweat. And remember this, the houses had no running water in them at this time, so we had no shower to jump into to cool off like every one has in this day and age. Washing the separator after every time it was used was also quite a chore, as all the different pieces in the bowl had to be washed separately.‖ Potatoes: Since families often ate potatoes three times a day, it took a large potato patch to feed the family for a year. Planting was done early in the spring; many always planted on Good Friday. First the ground was plowed. Then a drag was run over the field to smooth it. Next the rows were marked out with the corn planter so that the potatoes could be cultivated during the summer with the corn plow. The next step was to hitch a team to the corn plow with the back shovel set so that it dug a trench down the marked row. Often the kids planted or helped to plant the seed potatoes about a foot apart. In George Corwin‘s family several times a summer the children were sent to debug the plants. The red bugs, about the size of a large pea, would eat the leaves and if left uncontrolled would reduce the potato crop. There was a powder available to kill the bugs, but it was an expense that could be avoided. So, they were removed by knocking them off with a paddle and into a pail. When the job was done or the bucket was full, the bugs were drowned. When it was time to harvest, a plow similar to a walking plow was used to lift the dirt down the rows. It pulled the potatoes up. Once the loose dirt was cleaned off, the potatoes were put into sacks and stored in the cellar over the winter. Shooing Flies:

Hoards of flies were around the farmsteads. One method of keeping them out of the house was to hang near the door a foot-long stick with strips of cloth nailed to the end. Each time the door was opened the stick could be swished to scare off as many flies as possible. The flies haunted the hog lot and the barn. Fly nets were used on the horses when they were working. Threshing: The man who ran the big threshing machine was called the separator man. He always tried to set it with a tail wind so the end where you pitched the bundles into was facing the wind. There was always a man on both sides of the feeder unwadding at the same time. That meant the men unloading didn‘t have to pitch quite as fast to keep the machine running at capacity. Nor would the machine be empty and the any grain in the separator wouldn‘t blow over into the straw.

Husking Corn Picking corn by hand was hard work. You used a triple wagon box and added three 12" bang boards to the right side of the wagon box. This is what you threw the picked ears against and then they fell in the box. Before the elevator they had a shoveling board in the rear rather than the end gates. When you had a full load you would lower the end gate and some of the corn fell on the ground. You would then stand on this and start shoveling off your load by hand with a scoop shovel. After you were unloaded you picked the corn off the ground and threw that in the crib. We usually picked with double thumbed gloves and a husking peg. There were two types of pegs. One was a straight peg with leather sewed so you had holes for your fingers. The other one had an offset peg constructed the same way. Then there were hooks riveted to leather that you buckled on. One was a thumb type and the other a palm type. There were also double thumbed mittens. When you wore mittens you had to use the hook. When the thumb wore a hole in it you turned the glove over. You wore out a lot of gloves before you got done. The first corn I remember was the Reeds yellow dent, open pollinated. When you picked that, half of the ears were on the ground. It laid in every direction. It was really a mess once we got snow. When you picked downed corn out of the wet snow, your hands cracked so bad they bled. When it got really cold


and you switched over to mittens after using gloves, it felt about as handy as a bear cub with an armful of shell corn. You had to get the hang of it. Picking corn your hands chapped. Meyer‘s Pharmacy had a Meyer‘s corn husker‘s lotion made with a lot of glycerin. It was Ed‘s own mixture, but it really worked. About 1934 Grant Becker of Janesville, a seed corn salesman for Pioneer Hybrids, came around and talked my dad into trying Pioneer 315. That was a dream to pick compared to the Reed‘s yellow dent. It stayed standing, produced well, and was so much easier to pick. The husks on the ears were not as tight on the end. Seed corn then was sold by the bushel, not by the kernel, and it cost $7 per bushel. It wasn‘t long after that when other hybrids came out and the open pollinated went by the wayside. Once we got our elevator, a lot of back work was eliminated. You watched the elevator take it up into the crib instead of shoveling it. In 1935 and 1936 we rented more ground from the neighbors, so we had 85 acres of corn to pick by hand. Alfred and I started picking in late September and spread in out in the crib to dry. We would help with the milking; get our horses harnessed; and then eat a big breakfast, usually fried potatoes, bacon, eggs and bread. Then we would hitch our team to the wagon and head for the field. We tried to be there by seven. Dad stayed home and did the chores, took care of the cattle and hogs, feeding them and watering the horses that were still tied in the barn. Also cleaned out all the manure. That was a big job too. We would pick until noon, come home for dinner and unload our load and back to the field. Alfred was a better corn picker than I was. He had a bigger load than I did by noon. At night he would have his load unloaded before I came in with a full load. It just seems like a triple wagon box of ear corn was 50 bushels, a lot of ears to toss. I remember the first year we finished picking, it was the day after Thanksgiving. The ground was frozen under the snow, and we had our ear lappers down on our cap as it was bitter cold. The good old days. Were we ever glad to be done with that job. Submitted by Harley Meyer

The water supply on the Schield farm is approximately 250 from the field, and a lift of about 40 feet is required… Total cost of the system runs about $1 per foot of pipe, including fixtures… The entire system will put out 250 gallons of water per minute. A 20-horse-power gasoline engine is used with a high pressure pump… Bremer County Independent: 6 October 1948

The original homestead of John Sr. and Mary Kodoka Pavelec, where the four Pavelec sons grew up. Later it was the home of Rudolph Sr. and his wife Erdena Neuendorf Pavelec and their family. The threshing operation was in progress on the farm which was located south and east of Tripoli. John Sr., who came from Checkoslavakia. His wife Mary came from Austria. They lived their until their deaths.

Irrigation One Man Can Put Inch of Water on 10 Acres in 1 Day Not many years ago anyone who mention [irrigation] would have laughed right out of the county, but after the drought of last year and the terrific scare this year, many farmers are beginning to wonder if irrigation is not the answer to many of the problems which confront Bremer County farmers. Vern Schield is one of the farmers who thinks that it is. After losing most of his crop last year and having his entire sweet corn crop burned out this year, Vern decided that something had to be done about it. So he bought an irrigation system. It is a new kind of system that employs the use of aluminum pipe with a patented joint. The 20-foot lengths of pipe are very light and be handled easily by one man. This pipe is laid across the field to be irrigated, with nozzle openings at appropriate lengths, and the resulting stream is similar to that of a regular lawn sprinkler. The quick fitting joint…enables one man to assemble the system easily and rapidly. The joint includes a rubber sleeve which expands with the water pressure, sealing the joint, and making possible a 20 degree bend at each joint, so that rough ground is no handicap. With the system one man can put an inch of water on a 10-acre field in one day. The extremely light pipe makes the system practical, for it involves a comparatively small investment as the pipe can be moved from place to place easily. The system bought by Schield includes a total of 700 feet of pipe of three different sizes. The feeder line that runs from the river to the field is five-inch, which weighs 22 pounds per 20 foot section. The first part of the irrigating pipe is four-inch, and the pipe at the tail end of the line is three-inch [10 pounds per section.] Variation in size is necessary to keep the pressure constant throughout the system. A 30-pound pressure must be maintained at the end of the line in order to do this a 66-pound pressure is carried at the pump.


L-R: Rudolph Sr., Edward, William and John Jr. [Jack] Pavelec. The four brothers worked a threshing ring in Fremont Township from the early 1930s till late 1940s. The Turkey Farm In the early to mid forties my parents, Bill and Esther Kammeyer, ventured into turkey raising. Not just a few hundred, but thousands of them. My parents were risk takers and enjoyed all animals. The Second World War was in swing and there was a need for turkeys. So, carpenters were hired and there were a total of 12 brooder houses built with raised feeding enclosed areas attached to the outside after they were old enough to go out on the wired floors and feed from feeders built on two sides of the feeding floor. An old building which was part of the ―Old House‖ was made suitable for many turkeys to be raised in it. There would be a total of eight thousand turkeys ordered at a time. Well, after school it would be time to take buckets of feed to the turkeys to the enclosed side feeders. My brother, Lloyd Kammeyer, [deceased] three years younger was helping also. It was a family affair. When the turkeys were old enough they were put ―out on the range‖ to stay under and on top of shelters all of which were fenced in. So a huge wooden vat needed to be filled with water daily and pulled out into the field for them to drink from the fountain attached. I remember one terrible stormy night. The worry was all there as the folks expected the next morning, we had to pick up several hundred drowned turkeys as they do not go for shelter, but rather they raise their heads up to the rain and intake the water and die. It was a terrible job that I will never forget. There was the worry also that wild animals would attack the birds ―out on the range.‖ It was fun to help herd the turkeys when the shelters would be pulled to a fresh grassy area where they would feed and continue to grow. No one around was growing turkeys, but everyone, including us, were growing chickens, pigs, and cows. Soon after a year or so of growing turkeys we began receiving mail addressed ―The Turkey Farm.‖ Aside from the above, I remember too how cautious the folks would be when the guineas in the trees would start squawking as that was a sign there was an animal or animals around the brooder houses when the turkeys were very young. These critters could get into the buildings. What a lot of work we had, but we had such a wonderful family experience working together. Submitted by Arvella Kammeyer Pipho

Standing in the twelve-stall milking parlor were twelve contented bovines being milked mechanically. As if that would not be enough to cause wonder, as each cow entered the barn her identification number was punched into a little box, a contraption called a computer. As soon as the milking machine detached itself the volume produced by each cow was automatically recorded, and, the volume was matched against the cow‘s average. Any deviation let the farmer know there might be a problem. The Ruths also kept a charting system that kept track of vaccinations, breeding dates, pregnancy check dates, dry off dates, and freshing dates. Plans for the future were being made hoping that the capabilities of the relatively new computer system would grow to include tracking other aspects of their 72-head dairy operation. The Bremer County farmers of 2003 know that technology has advanced by giants steps since 1853, but the pioneer farmer would be relieved to know that the cows still have to chew their own cuds.

Bremer County Farms in 1953 The Centennial Year The county assessor‘s annual farm census showed that there were 1,949 farms in the county comprising 270,881 acres. Of those acres, all but 121,968 were operated by their owners. Together they all had produced: Corn 4,389,741 bushels Oats 1,887,938 bushels Soy beans 143,097 bushels Maxfield Township ―as usual‖ led in corn production. Douglas Township came in second in corn but led in soy beans. The census also revealed that there were then in operation 2,688 tractors, 649 combines, and 937 corn pickers. Computers in the Barn In 1853 Bossie gave milk— providing she was given enough to graze on and the person on the stool knew how to pull. Over the years Bremer County farmers learned a few things that helped improve their herds and their production. But nothing could have prepared the pioneer farmer for what he would have encountered in the 1983 barn on the Rita and Walter Ruth farm near Janesville.


Moving Day March 1st was the official moving day for farmers who were renting. When they moved, all the neighbors pitched in. You helped wherever you were needed. Some with the household, some with the livestock, some with the machinery, whatever you were assigned to when you came to help. Some farmers paid cash rent so there wasn‘t any big problem. They moved what was theirs. Where they share farmed 50-50 everything had to be divided. The farmer got half and the landlord got half. Sometimes they didn‘t always agree as to what was an equal half. When they couldn‘t agree they sometimes drew sticks to see who would get the first choice. Sometimes the landlords refused to rent again as they felt the farmer could have done a better job of it and made more money for them. Cash rent was $6 to $7 an acre for pretty good land and pasture land rented for about $3 an acre then. My how times have changed. Some renters were stinkers and then there were landlords that fit in the same category, never satisfied, always thinking they got the short end of the stick. Submitted by Harley Meyer

perfection. Feeding a family of eight, she got enough practice. If I remember right, a batch of bread was 8 loaves. They made a summer sausage that they called metwurst which was out of this world. They ground the meat with a large hand grinder on a 4 or 5 foot board placed on a chair with a washtub to catch the meat. The cranking was done by hand, so we took turns on the crank. Two would have to sit on the chairs to hold the grinder in place, and they fed the meat into the grinder. The pork hams also had to be processed in a salt brine before going to the smokehouse. In the making of the different sausages they

Butchering on the Farm Butchering was quite an operation in the 20s and 30s as we butchered for our family and also for my grandpa Oltrogge and my Aunt Emma who never married. We would normally butcher a big beef, at least a 1,000-pounder, plus 5 hogs. They usually started with the beef; killed it and bled it. Then came the job of skinning it to remove the hide. Next it was hung up so they could remove the intestines and then let it hang to cool. They were hung high enough off the ground so stray dogs couldn‘t reach them. Then they started butchering the hogs. Water to scald them was heated in a large kettle in our tank house using wood. The temperature had to be just right so the hair could be scraped off the animal. The hogs were stuck in the jugular vein so they would bleed properly. Sometimes the blood would be caught in a pail as it was used in making volkenbrot and also used in making blood sausage which were both of German origin. The blood had to be stirred and cooled down just so, quite a knack to it. Harry Steege usually killed the beef and stuck the hogs. He was an all around jack-of-all-trades. He did threshing, shredding, fed the shredder, sawed wood, and sawed logs into lumber. The hogs were hung once they were dead and scalded in a barrel of hot water, they would be pulled out and checked with the hog scraper to see if they were ready. If the hair didn‘t come off easily, they were dunked again for a minute or two. Once they were scraped clean the process or removing the intestines began, the head was removed and used for headcheese. Once the head was removed the carcass was split so it could cool down. After the beef and hogs had cooled down overnight, my grandpa and Aunt Emma would come out and the processing went into full swing. The beef would be quartered so it could be carried into the basement to be cut up further. We had an old kitchen table that was used specifically for that purpose. There was also an old wood- burning cook stove in the basement that was used for frying down lard and for canning meat. This was quite an operation and my grandpa and Aunt Emma came every day until the job was done. By the time it was all processed, the making of all the different kinds of sausages, the week was gone. Some of the different sausages made were knockwurst, rinderwurst, putzulpen ―head cheese.‖ This was made from the hog‘s head. It was cooked in boiling water till all the meat could be picked off. They used everything but the snout and eyes. Vinegar was used in the making so it had a little tang to its taste. I liked it with a little mustard on a piece of my mother‘s home baked bread. She made the best; it had such a fine texture to it. She had that down to


used the smaller intestines of the hogs for casings. The cleaning of them and the washing of the casings was not the most pleasant job. What a smell! They made the metwurst using cloth. These bags were about 4 inches wide and when filled were about two inches thick and 18 inches long. These were filled and then sealed on the outside with tallow. Then they were ready for the smokehouse. The beef loins were processed in a salt brine before they went to the smokehouse along with the slab bacon that had also been processed. The smokehouse was another tedious operation. The different meats and sausages were put in there after the large kettle of sawdust was smoldering. This sawdust had to be nothing but hickory to get the right taste. The smokehouse was in operation for 2 to 3 weeks before everything was done. When in operation the smokehouse was checked at least twice a day. My mouth waters when I think of that summer sausage, dried beef and home cured hams. They were the best. We didn‘t have any money but ate quite well. Submitted by Harley Meyer

My Dad and I, Converted! He didn‘t convert easily, my dad. He took his time and mulled it over and over, but by 1943 he‘d made his decision: he would buy his first John Deere, model A, two cylinder tractor and semi-retire the horses. My oldest brother was already a believer and urged on my father. So were brothers number two and three, but Dad only listened to Number One. Something about the Swiss priority for the first born. I, of course, as number four son, would fall in line and defend John Deere tractor against all detractors. I saw trouble coming at school the next day where the only kid close to my age, but three inches taller and 25 pounds prouder was a Farmall infidel and ready to drive home his prejudice with brutal missionary zeal! He already knew we had gone Deere green and was waiting for me. At recess, after a preliminary debate, he soon had my arm twisted behind my back and demanding I say, ―Farmalls are better than Deeres!‖ I tried, ―Farmall is better than Oliver,‖ but the twist only tightened. About then my number three brother, who usually ignored us and had himself previously worked my arm so often that it was now in so fair a condition that it only hurt a little contorted all the way up to the opposite shoulder blade. But this boy was casting libel on a Deere and down he went yelling, ―Deere is best! Deere is best!‖ No. 3 held him until he whimpered, ―Farmall stinks.‖ He let him go…but grabbed at me and said, ―And now runt, say, ―Ford cars are best.‖ The only Ford car I knew was the family ‘31 Model A in which I straddled the front seats with the gear shift hitting my knees as all eight of us drove off to church, town or county fair. I‘d never seen a car that wasn‘t better than our Ford. Others had fuzzy upholstery, ashtrays, arm rests, oval dash boards meters, brakes. But up went my arm behind my back reaching above my shoulder blade and I experienced religion once again. ―Ford is best!‖ Louis Schnadt Farm Taken about 1910 the bar on the Henry and Louise Schnadt and their daughter, Emma, posed for the photographer. This barn was located in Dayton Township, and has since been demolished. The right end of the main barn [center of the picture] was where the horses were kept. Everything to the left of that housed the calves and cattle. To the right of the barn was the corn crib and then to the left of the corn crob was the hog house. Notice the windmill. It was incorporated with the buildings, very handy for watering the livestock. This picture was taken during haying season. The one hay rack in the barn was being unloaded into the loft. The single horse was used to pull the hay fork to the loft. Another full load of hay is waiting to be unloaded. The place now belongs to Leonard Schnadt. Some Iowa barns, like that of Louis Schnadt, were bult with a stone or cemement foundation and a slope driveway.


Growing Up on a Farm Fred Meyer and Mary Oltrogge were married March 20, 1907, and started farming on his folks, Conrad and Louise Koelling Meyer‘s, farm. This farm consisted of 160 acres 1/2 mile south and 1/2 mile east of the old Washington creamery on Highway 3. They also had 50 acres of timber pasture 1/2 mile south of the creamery, 1/4 mile west and then 1/2 mile south which was then divided by the Chicago Great Western RR, now the bike path. There are several new homes and timber there now in what was pasture ground where we kept cattle. To this union were born six children: Alfred, Louise Liebau, Carl, Luella Boevers, Willard and Harley. We were all born at home. Dad died Thanksgiving Day 1959 of a heart condition and Mother died on Labor Day 1965 after suffering a stroke in June. She was hospitalized in the old hospital all that time. Alfred, Louise, and Carl are all deceased. I can remember the folks telling that when Alfred and Louise were small, the Indians would camp across the road in the Steege timber. At that time there was a clearing on the hill which is now all grown over. They would come and get water from our place and would play with Alfred and Louise. I can vaguely remember the old house, as I was 4 years going on 5 when they started building a new house in 1922 and 1923. When we were building the house, all 4 of us boys slept in the garage in a makeshift room made with canvas. This room had a wood stove in it. They took one of the glasses out of the 4-pane window and put a tin insert in it. They ran the stove pipe outside through the tine and up fastening it to the building. In 1918 we got electricity from Central States Power Co. at Clermont. We were the end of the line, so we had a lot of power outages. Just about every time there was a thunder storm we had an outage. Ernest Stein of Tripoli was the lineman. He even read the meters and occasionally would come about noon, so he was invited in for dinner too. The wiring those days was covered with braided cord and consisted of a shade and only one bulb. The switches were push type or a round porcelain toggle type. I can remember our first bills were about $7 before we started adding motors. The sand and gravel for the cement work of the new house were hauled from the river south of what is the state shed east of Waverly on Highway 3. They used a bobsled with a team of horses, and it was shoveled on by hand. It was cold as it was done in the dead of winter. The cement contractor was Jack Heideman from Denver, and the general contractor was Fred Pape of Waverly. This was a 5 bedroom home with all hardwood floors downstairs. Downstairs was an enclosed entry, large kitchen, pantry, dining and living rooms [both with window seats for storage], and divided by French doors. In the kitchen was a large area on the left for drying dishes and the drinking water pail. There was side-arm tank attached to the furnace, so we had hot water when there was a fire in the furnace. Also there was a reservoir on the cook stove for hot water too. The cook stove was used unless it was very hot, and then we had a kerosene stove with an oven to use. At that time there were no refrigerators, so when the house was built a dumb waiter was put in with a clock shelf above it. It was a metal affair with 5 shelves that could be lowered by rope and pulley to the basement and then six feet below the ground. These shelves were loaded with milk, butter and anything that would spoil if not kept cool. It was quite an idea for its time. There was also a bedroom and a toilet in a little room off the bedroom, plus two large commode type storage closets. The upstairs consisted of four bedrooms and a full bath. On top of that there was a third floor full attic. In the basement was a fruit room that had a large potato bin, a furnace room, a large wood and coal bin under the front porch. On the north half of the basement was one big room. The east end by the floor drain was used for laundry. On the east end of this room there was a cistern where rain water was collected so we had soft water for laundry. The west part, with an old cook stove, used mostly when we butchered. With a wood burning furnace and a cook stove there was a lot of wood to be cut and split. We would go in the timber for two weeks, cutting mostly dead and downed timber. We went for the hardwoods: oak, ash and hickory. they burned longer and put out more heat and less ashes. Also they split much easier than elm which was stringier, usually split that when the

weather was around zero. We also cut and split for my grandpa Oltrogge. Then there was another week spent hauling it for sawing into chunks to fit the furnace and cook stove 16" to 18" was the gauge used for length. By the time we got to sawing it up, a few times we ran into a civet cat or skunk nest which really fouled things up. We usually had a big enough pile that it took two days of sawing. You stacked so you could get much more in because it took up less space. Filling the wood box for the kitchen stove was one of my jobs. With the filling of the wood room for the furnace and the wood shed and stacking of the wood it produced heat several times. We all had our assigned jobs. We took turns washing and drying dishes. We didn‘t think so then, but we were really lucky to have hot and cold running water and a bathroom in the house, especially in winter. Dad always had cold feet when he came in from the outside, so after supper he would open the oven door, put some split wood pieces in the oven and on the door, take off his shoes, pull up his rocking chair, put his feet in the oven and read the daily paper. We would sit around the large kitchen table and do our homework and then play with our little tractors we made with wooden spools. These were made by driving two carpet tacks across from each other and then making a round piece of paraffin about 3/4 inch in diameter and make a hole in the center. Through the spool you shoved two bands and hooked them to the tacks. Then you would take a wooden match stick and push the rubber bands through the spool, lace them through the wax and slide a wooden match through the ends. Then you would wind it up and set it on the table and it would move. We would cut notches in the ends and it then would climb over things. Another toy we made for outdoors was made from a lath about 3 feet long. To this we would nail another piece of lath a foot long which made a T. With a ring off of an old wood wagon wheel hub we would start this down the handle and chase it all over the yard trying to keep it upright and going. We improvised a lot in those days. Sitting around the kitchen table a lot of popcorn was consumed. One thing I remember very well was when Luella and I were scuffling. When I bumped Dad‘s rocker, he raised his voice then. ―What‘s going on here.‖ My reply, ―I, I, I, she, she hit me in the mouth.‖ If you say it fast, it comes out sounding all together


different. I was teased about that for a long time. Growing up in a big family wasn‘t all bad. You learned to share and you were not finicky when it came to eating. There was none of this, ―I don‘t like this.‖ When we were all home there were eight who bellied up to the trough. When something was passed to you, you took some then as you might not have the second chance. The bowl might be empty by the time it got back to you. We learned to appreciate what little we had. Submitted by Harley Meyer

The following article was written by Maurice Telleen and Don Huston. It was published in the April-May 1959 issue of The Iowan and is reproduced here with their permission. Nearly everyone agrees that the draft horse, like gaslights and Chautauqua meetings, has fallen victim to the onrushing twentieth century; that, in this machine age, the business of buying and selling heavy horses is, to put it bluntly, quite dead. There is a man in Waverly, however, who can convincingly refute that estimate. For the past decade, he had been realizing a profit on just such a business. Every year, since 1948, on the third Friday in March, Waverly has enjoyed a brief prominence as the draft horse capital of the United States. On this date, what is probably the largest sale of quality draft horses in the country takes place, annually attracting about 200 of the big horses and thousands of visitors. This remarkable sale owes its existence to the efforts of Arnold Hexom, an auctioneer and horseman who simply refused to allow fate to cheat him out of his favorite pastime—horse trading. Hexom is not a nostalgic ―old timer‖ living in the past. A vigorous young businessman, he manages the Waverly Sales Barn where biweekly dairy sales and weekly market sales [all classes of livestock] are conducted. In addition, he is one of the busiest farm auctioneers in northeast Iowa. The horse sale is simply an ―extra dividend‖ for auctioneer Hexom, who explains that he entered the horse business at 13 years of age when he bought a black colt with $40 of the $49 he had deposited in a Decorah bank. He kept the colt for two years, during which time he won $79 in prize money on the animal at the county fair. With the greater part of this money, he bought a gray mare, broke her, then traded the team for a span of mules. Two weeks later, the mules were sold at a neighbor‘s farm auction for $275, and he was launched in the horse business. He has been in it ever since, even to the extent of serving with a horse and mule outfit during World War II. Hexom cites two experiences that shaped and sharpened his trading instincts at a rather tender age. Shortly after he drew his $40 out of the Decorah bank, the bank folded. His brother had $69 in the same bank. Arnold had his black colt, whereas his brother had nothing but regrets. The other youthful experience concerns a team of well-matched bay mares owned by his father. A lumber dealer in Waukon offered the elder Hexom $500 for the team and the offer

Jack, the Dog We got Jack as a very small pup, a cross between a bull dog and a shepherd. He was a white short-haired dog with a bulldog face and neck with brown spots over the eyes and the build of a bull dog. I don‘t know whose idea it was, but his tail was cut off so he had a short tail. His ears were bobbed with a pair of fencing pinchers by being pinched off. They hardly bled. He was so small he hardly knew what happened. We got him when I was about 6 or 7 years old and so I grew up with the dog. When the snow was very deep he would try and follow our tracks and would get stuck so we‘d go back and get him. Anytime we were outside he had to be a part of the group. Our cattle pasture at home consisted of a lane about 200 feet wide that ran to the creek, 80 rods east and 80 rods to the north along the creek. There were 3 trees near the north end where the cattle stood after spending time in the creek and switching flies with their tails that hung in the water. Usually when it was time to milk the cows were still under the trees so we would ride a horse to get them. When Jack was full grown he always went along. On our south line fence we had a rock dam so the fence didn‘t always wash out with the spring high water. This made for a swimming hole about 4 feet deep that we used quite often as the cattle never went near the line fence that went to another 15 acre field east of there which ran up to the next north and south road by the Beckers. By the dam and along the line of rocks there were usually woodchuck dens. When Jack was full grown and a few years old, he loved to fight with them and won out. I remember one time Willard and I were down there when Jack really tangled with a big one. They ended up in the creek and the woodchuck was all he could handle. He pushed the woodchuck under the water and held him there until the fight was out of him. A few years later when it was time to get the cows, we‘d say, ―Jack, go get the cows,‖ and he would go after them. When the cows saw him coming they would head for home. He never chased them, but would slowly bring them home, sniffing out every striped gopher hole on the way. If one cow lagged behind he would nip at its heels, so it knew he was there. He sure saved a lot of time for us. We had a new double corn crib with an elevator in the top, put in when it was built in the late 20s. We had a 36' sandwich elevator that Dad bought when the old threshing ring broke up—that consisted of a huge steam engine and a Rumley threshing machine. I think there were at least 20 in the ring when it broke up. When we shelled corn and cleaned out the crib there were always a lot of rats and Jack really got a work out then, nothing he loved better. When the rats would come out between the slats on the outside, he would grab them; give them one crunch and a good shake and grab the next one. When we got done there was quite a pile of rats to dispose of and the dog was worn out. Hated to see that dog get old as he was truly man‘s best friend. In 1935 and 1936 when it was so dry that we herded cattle on the road side ditches as the pastures were dried up, Jack was a big help as the cattle knew their limits when he was around. He lived to be 11 years old when he became arthritic and couldn‘t see, so he was put to sleep. Sure missed him when he was gone as he was so much a part of my early life. Submitted by Harley Meyer

Postscript to the Past


was accepted. Arnold, however, prevailed upon his father to keep the team through the threshing season since there was at, that time, considerable rivalry about who drove the fanciest team in the threshing ring. One of the Hexom mares got into a wire fence and injured herself, so the deal was off. Since then, Arnold has never hesitated to part with a horse if someone wanted him badly enough. The first of the Waverly Horse Sales was held in 1948. There were more heavy horses in the country at that time, but the initial reaction was that while there were enough horses to make a sale, there were not enough buyers to assemble a crowd. The sale was widely regarded as a means of disposing of the ―last team‖ for very little money and in all probability to the packers. This first sale was a real surprise. Horses were not only sold, but the better ones were sold for more than even the most hopeful consignors had anticipated. Hexom tells of one Black Hawk County farmer who decided to dispose of his ―last team‖ through one of the early sales. As the horses were loaded he offered them to the trucker for $200. The trucker, however, was no fool and turned down the offer. Not wanting the farmer to think that he had been silly enough to consider it seriously, he made it clear that at ―no place on earth will a team or work horses bring that much.‖ The horses sold for $360 that day. Since that first sale, the number of spectators and interest in the auction have increased greatly. More surprising is the fact that prices for the really top horses have risen. Hexom says that at no time have really good horses been worth more. Some prices paid at recent sales would appear to bear this out. In the 1958 sale, a team of sorrel mares went to the West Coast for more than $1,200 and a team of geldings sold to an Iowa cattle feeder for $870. The horses come from about six states, but most of them are from Iowa. The number of drafters offered has declined from about 300 in the initial sales to approximately 200 in 1958, and the number may well drop below that in 1959. The biggest drop has been in common work horses. Fancy drafters and purebreds have not experienced a comparable decline. While most of the ―last teams‖ are gone, there are a number of genuine ―horse breeders‖ who are continuing to raise colts. Hexom cites a Belgian breeder near Columbus Junction, who is expecting nine foals this spring. Accounting for the most sales are loggers, particularly Canadians, who prefer horses to mechanical equipment because of the narrow quarters in which they work, the snow they must move the logs over, and the damage that tractors occasionally inflict on seedling trees. One of the biggest buyers is a Canadian who annually purchases up to 50 horses for work in the logging camps. Some of the fancier, more colorful horses are sought for use in advertising hitches. Another class of buyers for the quality horses is the few remaining horse-minded farmers and ranchers—men who take considerable pride in having a team of flashy work horses around. Some bids come from breeders looking for brood mares, pulling contest horses, and show horse prospects. Smaller horses find a market as chore teams, and some go into the nearby Amish communities around Fairbank and Hazelton where religious beliefs bar use of tractors in farming operations. The Waverly sale, like any successful auction, is a blend of salesmanship and showmanship. The salesmanship brings in the buyers. The showmanship provides the color that attracts huge crowds year after year. The ―crowd pleasers‖ take place in the morning; the auction in the afternoon. The day‘s activities get under way at 8 o‘clock when all horses consigned as ―broke‖ must be hitched and driven. Hexom keeps two weighted wagons equipped with wheel brakes for this purpose. Competent horsemen are on hand to hitch and drive the animals if the consignor is not present or does not care to handle his own horses. The horses are driven on a walk, trot, and gallop. This affords prospective bidders an opportunity to see how they hitch and how well they drive together. The gallop serves as a test of their wind. The teams are also required to pull a wagon with the brakes locked, to demonstrate whether or not they will get down and pull when necessary. Hexom feels that good harness adds value to a team of horses. He keeps four sets of well-oiled brass-mounted harness on hand for use by the consignors. The hitching is always popular with the crowd. The possibility of a runaway is ever present, but with expert horseman on the lines that event never materializes.

The hitching is an essential part of any draft horse sale and goes a long way in determining the value of a team. It is the only available means prospective buyers have of testing the product before bidding on it.


Horsemen, like schoolboys, are incurable showoffs. that being the case, a horse show, complete with trophies, ribbons, and prize money, is a natural. This has been particularly popular with the breeder type of consignor who loves to show his horses anywhere, any time, to almost anyone. Nor is he blind to the fact that a winner in the morning will be measured by the more commonplace yardstick of dollars and cents in the afternoon. Three classes are shown from 11 o‘clock until noon—directly following the hitching. They are for heavyweights [horses weighing more than a ton,] medium weights, and colts [animals three years of age and under.] For amateurs, Hexom employs several professional showmen to braid the manes and tails and to decorate horses for the show ring. The ―old pros‖ are, of course, quite able to do it themselves. The rivalry among this small band of professionals is intense, and good-natured. The auction takes place outside in the afternoon. Only once in ten years has the sale been forced to go into the sale barn. The horses are sold either harnessed or on the halter at the consignor‘s option. If he has a wellmatched team, it is generally sold in harness. Here again, the horses are moved on the walk and the trot, enabling the buyers to get a good look at their action. Every horse has a card which accompanies him from the time he is unloaded at the sale barn until he is sold. As he is unloaded, he is examined by a competent horseman, employed by the management, for blemishes and unsoundness. He is also ―mouthed‖ to determine his age. This is all noted on the card. If he is consigned as ―broke,‖ his performance on the wagon, the condition of his wind after the gallop, and any other pertinent data also go on the card. Finally, in the ring, this card represents the horse as the management has found him, and he is sold that way. Hexom points out that once a horse is in the sale ring, color becomes an important factor. In the show ring, the judges are concerned with conformation, not color. The loggers are not fussy; they just want a big, young, sound horse. If he has those qualities, they will bid on him. The fanciers and showmen as well as the few horse-minded farmers and ranchers who want a flashy team just for the sport of it are a different matter. They want colorful horses with white socks and bald faces and are willing to pay the price. In terms of sale value, the best thing that could possibly happen to a cold is to be born a sorrel with a white mane and tail along with white socks and a big blaze down his face. The best thing that can happen to a consignor is to have two such horses similarly marked, of about the same size and shape which drive well together. This is the combination that occasionally sends a team over the $1,000 mark. ―I feel that the draft horse sale has a future,‖ Hexom says. ―For the past two or three years, I have thought that each sale might be the last, but consignments keep coming in and making up into good sales.‖ He now feels that there is a slightly renewed interest in raising colts—not plug colts, but colts from the big fancy mares. The market for this fancy type of drafter, a novelty market, now appears to be independent of any further inroads made by mechanization. Hexom‘s own confidence in this market is expressed by what may well be the only new barn in Iowa designed expressly for draft horses. Recently constructed, it is full of Belgians, Percherons, and Clydesdales now. Hundreds of Iowa farmers who take time out once a year to indulge in a day of nostalgic ―Do you remember whens,‖ as well as many youngsters who have never seen a team of work horses, hope that Hexom‘s hunch is correct.

Our emphasis now in dairying is in the large herds of a few hundred or more. We have many outstanding herds that are sixty to eighty cows. They are producing milk at the rate of about 27,000 to 30,000 pounds of milk per cow per year. That is great. They are real progressive dairy farmers. We do have a real good program of growing hay in the State of Iowa. Bremer County is a good hay growing area. We are probably #2 or #3 in Iowa in growing good hay. Northeast Iowa, namely Alamakee, Clayton, and Winneshiek Counties are the ones leading us in production per acre. At one time when I was county agent, we had a hay growing contest here. I told them after two years I was going to open it up to all northeast Iowa, and we‘d lose. The farmers all laughed, but we lost right away. Those counties had better soil types and more soil conditioned for growing hay. They knew how and had been doing it for longer, so they were doing well. We do have good hay, just not quite as good as those counties. Our program today in agriculture is primarily corn and soy beans, and we do have a lot of hogs raised on individual farms. They have been mechanized to the point they can feed and then let the sows that are gestating farrow in the building or in huts outside during the nice weather. We have become very well adapted to a good pig crop. We are mainly into farrowing sows. At one point we were big in selling feeder pigs, but now we raise quite a few pigs. We import pigs from other states, namely Wisconsin and Minnesota. They don‘t raise the corn like we do.

Russ Solheim, Retired County Agent Bremer County was historically an outstanding dairy county, probably the leading county in the State of Iowa. Every farm was known as having good milking cows. We had 23 very active creameries in just this small Bremer County, and we are one of the smallest counties in the state. Today that is no longer true. The older folks have abandoned the dairy business and gone to cropping, so we are no longer known as the #1 dairy county.


We can bring pigs and feed them the good Iowa corn. Corn is the #1 ingredient in raising good pigs. There are more things, soy beans, minerals, salt and a few other ingredients, but corn is extremely important. Iowa is one of the leading states in corn production. We always battle Illinois to be #1 or #2 in total corn production. We, in Iowa, have been blessed with very good soil for growing corn. We do fertilize the ground well. We take care of the manure; put it back in the ground in good shape. We have learned that it is a very good asset, so we don‘t have to buy as much commercial fertilizer as we use to. We utilize our manure instead of piling it and letting it rot. Then distribute it. That‘s the old fashioned way. Now we get it into the ground and build up the soil with humus at the same time. We are at an advanced state of agriculture. We‘re fortunate to have good people and the young people that came along after dad retired are doing a great job on the farm. They have been able to mechanize their operations so it isn‘t as back-breaking as it use to be. But still, let me add, when it comes to making hay, it is hard, sweaty work and you need a big strong guy to help. I‘ve really enjoyed my time here. I became the county agent [now county extension director] in 1974. Iowa is unique in that the whole state is suited to agriculture. There are places that vary products and methods from Bremer County. Southern Iowa concentrates on having brood cows, raising and selling the calves. Because they don‘t have the conditions to grow corn there, we buy them and feed them out on our good corn crop. Bremer County is blessed with many of the good soils. In fact, there‘s five types of soils here that would be rated among the top ten in the whole United States. That‘s why we can raise good corn and soy beans. We use to raise a lot of oats, but there isn‘t as much money in selling oats as there use to be. There‘s not as big a market. In the days when everybody was fed oatmeal for breakfast, that‘s when oats could sell for a lot of money. Now there‘s not as big a demand for pure oatmeal. It is used with other cereals, but the amount of oats used is far less. We used oats as a nurse crop by seeding oats and alfalfa at the same time. Then harvested the oats. Then the alfalfa could grow. So you actually had a double crop. But now we‘ve found out that we could seed alfalfa into a field by getting lime on ahead of time so the soil acidity was well taken care of. The fertility was built up. The alfalfa would grow and you could get three nice crops a year. So that‘s a change here in Bremer County. Consequently, we are growing fewer oats. It‘s a real good thing to have the hay because when you grow that the hay crop adds nodules which puts nitrogen in the ground. So when they get through with the hay field, they put it into corn. The corn utilizes the nitrogen that was left in the ground by the hay. Therefore, farmers don‘t have to buy as much nitrogen. Our people in agricultural sciences have found out that if we would put tile in the ground that would drain it. The soil has to have 25% air in it all the time in order for the roots to grow and produce a good crop. So we put in strings of tile and drain it into a stream or drainage ditch. They would set those 100 feet apart. As the years progressed, they found out if they would put them 50 feet apart that increased production. Today we have strings only 30-35 feet apart, and still greater production. That‘s how we grow instead of 80-90 bushels of corn to the acre; we now grow 180-200 bushels of corn per acre. That is fantastic. Another thing we found out is that growing timothy wasn‘t as many tons per acre as we could get with alfalfa and brome grass. The brome grass was a good thing to mix with alfalfa because it grows tall, and the cows love grass. Alfalfa in itself is bitter. Grass is nice tasty stuff. Today we seed a mix of about 80% alfalfa and 20% brome grass. It use to be 50-50. Not anymore, not we get more tonnage and more food for the cows. Then we learned how to take alfalfa hay, put it into a silo or storage unit, and pack it good. That would make silage just like corn silage. It‘s not as tasty to the cows, but the milk production per acre goes up when you do that. We‘ve made another change in the last few years. Instead of building big silos up in the air, you see white bags on the ground. A machine with white bags comes along and alfalfa is fed into a chopper and then it goes into the bag. As it fills the bag gets bigger and bigger. That is a bag full of silage or grass. It‘s on the ground, so you don‘t need big expensive machinery to unload. The farmer doesn‘t have to crawl up in the silo anymore. That‘s another labor saver. They just take the unloader out and get the silage out of the bag. Of course, when the bag is opened it is used up. You have to buy all new bags each year. It is still cheaper that building big silos.

Also in the last few years we wrap the great big bales that they make so that they weigh maybe 1800-2000 pounds. They wrap them with white plastic, and that preserves them from the rain. Because if heavy rains get on the bale, you lost the top 6‖, or a 1/3 of the bale if it‘s rotted when it is opened. So by covering the bales it saves money. We‘ve really made great strides. Agriculture is a science. The more science the farmers use, the better off they are. It was my job as county extension director to help farmers take advantage of all the good things that came along. And teach them how to use them. One of the big things that came along was the advent of chemicals in the farming business. That was a real big change. Each one of the farmers had to come and learn about the chemicals. We put on sessions so they could understand how to use them properly. One of our goals was to teach safety regarding the chemicals, so the farmer himself would not be exposed or contaminated by the chemical. They could suffer serious health problems. One of the safety rules was always having a pan of water, soap and a towel with you, so you could wash your hands in between handling chemicals. Later it progressed to the point the farmer had to have 2 _ hours of special testing in order to get a license to buy the chemicals. That‘s still in effect today. I remember in the early days they would flock into Bremer County for the classes. I ran them five-six days a week, sometimes even on Sunday. The chemistry of all these chemicals has changed tremendously. Farmers have to keep up by talking to the dealers about uses and safety. They have new things now where they put the chemicals into sealed containers and they are put on the planter so the chemicals go down without the farmer having to handle them. It goes down through tubes and directly into the ground. The containers are then returned to the dealer where the farmers had had to sign for them. One of the things that is a hazard nowadays is anhydrous ammonia. We have used it many, many years in growing corn, injecting it into the soil. I always told the farmer to take his dog along. If the dog wouldn‘t follow the tractor, he was losing anhydrous ammonia. But now people come out and try to steal the anhydrous to make drugs. So locks have to be on tanks, so


no one can come in at night and steal it. We do have another chemical called 28% liquid. It is not as dangerous and does not get used to make the drugs for the drug addicts. A lot of farmers have switched from anhydrous ammonia, which is dangerous in itself, to 28%. We‘re working to make the switch, so the drug dealers don‘t have their supply. It makes for good agriculture besides. And we‘ve found out we don‘t need as much chemical as we use to because we have better agronomic practices. When I started a lot of farms were 80 or 160 acres. Today the term family-size farm, a term used by the federal government and that‘s talked about, is 800 to 1,000 acres. Sometimes that‘s dad and a son or two sons. That is what we‘re seeing more of. That‘s a big change. It takes a lot more money to operate a farm today. A combine can cost $150,000-$160,000, sometimes more. The tractors cost $120,000. With a combine you can harvest your corn and beans in a month. Then you can go out and do custom work. The farms with one or two sons work more than a few hours a day. They go out with lights on and work through the night, working in shifts. They utilize their combine a lot more efficiently. Years ago we could never plant corn in April because of wet soil. Now they can plant 3-4 weeks earlier that they could when grandpa was young. Corn is tolerant of cold ground. Much more so than soy beans. In regards to soy beans we have found through medical research that the soy bean seed can be used to make real healthy foods for human beings. And, people who are allergic to dairy products can tolerate soy products. They have soy milk and soy ice cream. I must say it does taste different. They do have many, many different uses. They sprinkle soy bean flour on foods to enhance the nutritional value of the foods. So soy beans have been very, very good. Also we export soy beans to foreign countries for human food consumption, so soy beans are a good crop to grow here. When you see on the market soy beans are $5 a bushel and corn is $1.90 a bushel, you wonder what is the difference. Well, there‘s a lot of difference because you don‘t have the same nutrition in a bushel of corn as you do in a bushel of soy beans, and there are so many more things that they are used for in the medicinal field or the human nutrition side. Corn is grown also, and look how many corn flakes are eaten every morning. When they say it is a sevengrain cereal, corn is one of them, along with soy, rye, wheat, and others. Our business in growing agricultural products here is tremendous. The potential is real good, but there is nothing that comes except through hard work and the sweat of your brow. It‘s an old-time saying from the days when we settled this country and it is still true today, and I‘m real pleased that these young people take the growing of their products seriously and they try to do things in the right way. That‘s important. I look back and see the young people taking over. They‘ve expanded this and have done that. The dad looks back and says, ―Why didn‘t I do that.‖ I said, ―Dad, you grew up in a different era. You risked a lot in your day, and they are taking the risks now.‖

Brandenburg,M Live Fair View 16 Feb 1914 Township Brandt, L. H. Cedar Lawn Stock Farm 7 July 1915 Jefferson Township Bruns, H, C, The Old Home Farm 23 Mar 1916 Jefferson Township Buhr, Wm. F. Laneview 17 Jan 1917 Franklin Township Countryman, R Maple Leaf Leroy Township 6 May 1915 Dove, W.C. Maple Grove Farm 8 Feb 1913 Jackson Township Fay, F. J. Maplewood Farm 7 Jan 1915 Leroy Township Janssen, Jerry Cedar Tree Farm 17 Dec 1976 Lafayette Township McCaffree, H.A. Log Cabin Farm 1 July 1911 Jackson Township McCaffree,W.H. Center Valley Farm 6 Oct 1911 Jackson Township Milius, John Sunny Ridge 8 Aug 1921 Washington Township Pipho, John Clover Leaf 28 Feb 1920 Maxfield Township Robinson, L.R. Maple View Farm 9 Jun 1928 Douglas Township Schroedemeier,Henry Maplehurst 2 Aug 1911 Warren Township Smith, Chas. H. Nirvana 4 Dec 1916 Fremont Township Vosseler, Geo. Cedar Valley Farm 18 Sep 1911 Lafayette Township White, Roger & Century Hill Farm 28 May 1975 Jeanette Polk Township


Bremer County, Dairy Spot of Iowa Most farms in the ‘30s and ‘40s had dairy cows and they were milked by hand. There wasn‘t electricity and we used kerosene lanterns for light. A few farmers had their own generating systems. The milk was separated into cream and skim milk. Calves and hogs got the skim milk and the cream was taken to a creamery and made into butter. Some close neighbors cooperated

Farm Names Registered Back in 1911 there was a spurt of entries in a book at the courthouse when Farmers could come in and register their farm and give it a proper name. The idea seems to have been popular for the first few years and then wane. Most of the entries predate 1928 with just two or three names added in the mid 1970s. A provision was made in the Code of Iowa in 1910 for registering the farms. Once a farm name had been registered, no one else in the same county could use such a name unless it had been released by the person recording it. If the entire farm was sold, the name could be transferred to the new owner. If only part of the farm was sold, the name did not transfer unless specified in the deed. A fancy certificate was issued with each registration. However, by 1956 the blank forms still in the recorder‘s office were beginning to fade. Since no additional names had been added for years in Bremer County, it seemed strange that about 1953 the state legislature voted to raise the registration fee. About 50 farmers enrolled their farms in the record. Some of them are listed here: Anhalt, Adam Lone Tree Farm 19 Feb 1916 Lafayette Township


and hauled each other‘s, so they wouldn‘t have to go every day. This was done with horses and wagons at that time. The creameries would put the butter into 1 pound packages and the excess was put into 40-pound boxes and shipped away. Dad and I loaded these 40-pound boxes at the Douglas creamery and took them to Bremer to load on the railroad and it was shipped out East. You bid on this job at the annual meeting. Milking machines were used in the late ‘40s by our farm— after we got electricity. This helped considerably in time and work. After the butter was made a byproduct from this was buttermilk. You bid on this also at the annual meeting. You would haul this home to feed to the hogs. The barn was cleaned by hand by putting manure in a litter carrier [a big bucket that rolled on a cable that went outside], pushed it out the door and tripped it to dump it out in the cowyard on a pile. Later in the ‘50s we sold whole milk. Then a milk hauler with a truck would pick it up after it was cooled. The cream earlier, and the milk was cooled by putting it in milk cans in the water tank, but when whole milk was sold most people got can coolers. This was a refrigerated unit that pumped cold water over the cans.. Later farmers got bulk milk tanks. At first we had a transfer system. You‘d pour the milk in a portable little cart and it would pump it into the bulk tank. Then pipelines were installed which piped the milk directly from the machines to the bulk tan in the milk room. Most farmers increased their herds also at this time. Now the milk was picked up by tanker trucks. In the ‘60s a lot of dairy farmers put up the blue Harvestors for haylage which was made for less hay baling. Milking parlors were built by many farmers which eased the ―back work‖ because they could stand up to milk. Manure pumps and pits have also eased the work load and it‘s very nice not to have to haul manure every day in the winter. In the late ‘80s and ‘90s many dairy farmers sold their herds and do just grain farming. There aren‘t many dairies left in Bremer County. Submitted by Waldo Ruehs

plus 20 dots] contained 60 dots or 3 square inches; area 4 contained 80 dots or 4 square inches. To use the grid it was necessary to: 1. Place the grid over the actual loin eye or over a tracing of the loin eye. 2. Lay the grid so that one or more of the areas blocked out by the heavy black lines fell within the loin eye outline. 3. Count the dots within the loin eye outside the clocked out areas. Count only those dots that lie within the loin eye. 4. Add the number of dots to the 40, 60, or 80 dots enclosed by the heavy black lines. Divide the total number of dots by 20 to get the area in square inches. 5. For lambs, measure both loin eyes and divide the areas by 2. For pork, measuring one loin eye was sufficient. A Bite Out of the Hog Market The farm crisis of the 1980s hit Bremer County just as much as elsewhere. Prices for finished hogs dropped to the point where some farmers lost money on each hog sold. One farmer looked at his lot with 100 feeders in it, down from about 750. Still, Darwin Peters could recall, ―I remember buying feeders at $45 and selling finished hogs at $19 a hundred‖ in the late 1970s, so he considered himself down but not out. The prospect of cheap corn, he figured, would possibly bring about an increase in production, and his farm had recently tested a corn yield of over 200 bushels per acre.

When Sheep Outdid Hogs The following editorial appeared in the newspaper in 1880. A.S. Brownell, one the of progressive farmers of Floyd County was compelled to substitute sheep for hogs a year ago owing to the ravages of cholera…The sheep are all right in their place, but the sheep can never take the place of hogs. Don‘t forsake the hog and rush to sheep. The hog has helped us out of many tight places and will do it again. The hog has his place on all well regulated farms in Bremer County. This we can admit without one word of reflection on the sheep.

Hogs a la 1924 Tall corn and dairy cows were not all that made Bremer one of the leading agricultural counties in Iowa. Edward Thurm, of Warren Township, had a spring herd of 205 Spotted Poland China hogs who ―were well on their way to hoghood.‖ They were farrowed by 27 brood sows with a total crop number of 253, or an average of nine per mother. Thurm believed that ―Spotted Polands were unusally quick growers and they were inclined noticeably to great prolificacy. In addition to that they are good grazers and good mothers.‖

Measuring Loin Eye Pork In the 1970s for those butchering their own pork the Cooperative Extension Service at Iowa State University provided a grid to obtain accurate measurements. It was designed for measuring the loin eye area. The area surrounding each dot was equal to 1/20 [0.05] of one square inch [20 dots equaled one square inch.] There were numbers –2, 3, 4 – and heavy black lines. These helped speed up the counting process. The area within the heavy black line, designated by 2, contains 40 dots or 2 square inches; area 3 [area 2


He bought feeder pigs locally for the most part. His facilities included a total confinement system for 400 pigs, a Cargill modified open front for 240 and concrete surfaced with open lots for the rest. He favored using the confinement units during the coldest 8 months and utilizing the open lots during the warm months of summer. Darwin was banking on getting the word out that pork producers of the 1980s were selling a nutritious, non-fat type of pork.

Raising Pigs in Bremer County Although early Bremer County farmers primarily raised dairy cattle, there have always been pigs on our farms. Nearly every farm family raised hogs for their personal consumption as well as for friends and relatives who dwelt in town. Lard was an essential ingredient for homemade soaps and for cooking. Pork could be cured or smoked and so it stored well throughout the year. Add to this the fact that the hogs required little extra labor or feed as they ate table scraps, slop and corn cobs to be fattened up. Slop was made in big barrels and consisted of rolled oats and skim milk or water. A pig required little space as a small pen sufficed. Up until the early 1920s there was even mention of feral pigs causing troubles because neighbors let their swine loose in the farmyard. Most of the time, the hog chores could be left to the young boys or hired help. But every fall the men butchered a hog or two. One man would hold the pig down while the other would ―stick‖ (cut its throat) the hog. The carcass would be hung from a tree to drain the blood and dipped in boiling water to remove the hair. Every part of the hog was used including the bladder which made a terrific balloon-like toy for the children. Butchers in town would buy hogs and their by-products. Several farmers would bring in a wagon or bobsled of a few hogs to the train stations for a trip to Raths in Waterloo. But the numbers were very few. In 1930, the town of Sumner came to a virtual standstill as everyone gathered to see 80 hogs being transported to the trains. One farmer had the unprecedented number of market hogs loaded onto 3 bobsleds. He had to enlist the aid of two of his neighbors to help him move the hogs. Eyewitness accounts described the scene as resembling a parade. The number of hog farms increased while the number of dairy farms decreased. There were 1,777 Bremer County farms with hogs to sell in 1950. 127,000 market hogs were sold from Bremer County producers. Raths bought most of the hogs but when the Semi-truck became more convenient the farmers would ship hogs as far away as the Oscar Mayer plant in Perry, Iowa as well as the Hormel plant in southern Minnesota. Up until the forties and fifties the hogs were still used for lard as well as meat. Packers paid well for fat pigs because there was a constant demand for lard. Almost all swine were raised in open lots with straw bedding. Pens were used for farrowing until crates became common place in the 1970s. Today there are fewer hog farms with only 176 in 1997. But there are many more hogs (almost 205,000 in 1997). Confinement buildings constitute the majority of the facilities. Automatic feeders and high pressure sprayers have replaced a lot of the labor intensive practices like scraping pens and hand filling feeders. Contract farrowing, nurseries and growers have replaced the traditional single site farming. The fat is no longer in demand and so leaner, meatier pigs have been developed and bred. The times have changed. The methods of raising hogs have evolved but one thing is for certain: Bremer County will always have pigs. Submitted by Beth Burrow CC Christophel CJ Jahnke Kieth Gates Merlin Orth Chuck Burman Harvey Nolte Marvin Busch Ray Lageschulte Harvey Carolus Guy Gates Ermin Bergman Chuck Burman Fred Albers Tom Dreesman


File 4a CREAMERIES Bremer County Dairy Industries The dairy industry was a very important part of the county‘s history and economy. Bremer County creameries, cheese factories, condenseries and dairy supply companies had never before been researched to any great degree. The information in these articles includes only a few of the many stories that we found in newspapers, books and through family histories. Due to the time frame we had to discontinue our research. We welcome corrections, additions, pictures and new articles, which will be included in the archives at the Bremer County Historical Museum. Research by Melvin E. Trimble and Laurel L. Kurtt 2001,2002,2003 First Cheese Factory in Bremer County Jackson Township History of Bremer and Butler Counties -1883 Jackson Township, 1865 William H. H. Youngs, a dairyman of Jackson Township settled in Bremer County, on his present place, in 1864. He owns a beautiful farm of 212 1/2 acres, which is under excellent cultivation, and valued at $50.00 per acre. In 1865 he turned his attention to cheese making, building the first cheese factory in the county. He now keeps an average of thirty cows, from which he manufactures 1,000 pounds of cheese monthly. He also buys milk enough to make another 1,000 pounds. Mr. Youngs is a native of St. Lawrence County, New York, where he was born July 22, 1840. First Creamery built in Bremer County Maywood Creamery Sumner Township The Waverly Republican: October 24, 1895, Sumner News The Maywood Creamery in our city is doing a rushing business. O. O. Tibbitts built this creamery in 1879 and was the first creamery built in Bremer County. It has been improved yearly and is now one of the best in the county. Private Creamery Pans for Making Butter Comparison of using the different pans to skim cream from milk. The Waverly Republican: June 10, 1880 One year ago the agricultural editor of the Republican opened up the subject of private creameries, a subject at that time unheard of in newspapers, the large establishments attracting the attention of the newspaper men. We then described quite fully the results attained by the use of the Gold Medal Creamery Pan (this being at the time the only pan known to be in use in the county,) and our article being copied, and read by the farmers of Iowa, an interest was aroused, and today the practicability of private creameries is an established fact. The pioneer in running a private creamery in this locality was the late Chas. Stitser in Fremont township, who used the ―Gold Medal‖ pan, and although obtaining good results, he informed the writer that he was fully persuaded that a pan equally


as good or even better could be constructed at less than half the expense, and late inventions prove the accuracy of his opinion. The thing sought by all manufacturers of creamery fixtures is to cool the milk rapidly, thus increasing its weight by condensing it, and cause it to settle, leaving the cream at the top. The debate continued as to the merits of each pan and which one could do a better job of separating the cream from the milk for making butter. Those listed and compared in the article were the Gold Medal Pan, The Economy Pan, Clark‘s Revolution Pan, The Hawkeye Pan and the S. H. Curtis Pan each claiming to be the best. Compiled from the Letters to the Waverly Democrat By Col. W. V. Lucas, Santa Cruz, CA Col. Lucas purchased the Independent & Democrat in l872. This was the beginning of his editorial writing career. The Pioneer Days of Bremer County book was published by The Waverly Democrat in June, l9l8. Excerpts: About the year 1880 dairying in connection with stock raising, began to engage the attention of farmers. At first private parties operated the creameries, but soon they became cooperative enterprises. Since the time when this method of farming became really established, Bremer County has prospered wonderfully. It is claimed for the county that more milk is produced here per square mile than in any part of the United States. The Waverly Republican: February 7, 1890 Editor Republican: Seeing a statement in your paper last week, of milk sold by M. H. Robinson, I thought I would send you mine as I can beat it a little in yield, but not in price received. I milked 9 cows from Jan. 6th to Jan. 20 and sold to Carl Clausing‘s Pleasant Valley Creamery 2916 lbs. of milk at 80 cents per 100 which amounted to $23.33: from Jan. 20th to Feb. l, I milked 20 cows and sold 3462 pounds at 75 cents per 100 which amounted to $25.96 or 40.29 for the four weeks. Had I received the price that Mr. Robinson did, $1 per 100 pounds, it would have brought me $63.78. C. A. Fulks, Plainfield, Iowa, February 8, l890 The Waverly Republican: May 22, 1890, Local News Douglas Township now has three cooperative creameries, The Douglas Center Creamery, The Western Douglas Creamery and the one formerly owned by T. J. Dorn which is now owned by a new cooperative creamery company organized by the leading farmers of that vicinity. The Waverly Republican: July 12, 1894, Local News The Waverly Cold Storage Company bought a lot of butter from the creameries during the freight blockade. The Waverly Republican: April 2, 1896, Frederika News Douglas Center Creamery Company loses one load of milk. It is coming to Gardner Murphy Creamery on this side of the river. The Waverly Republican: April 9, 1896, Supplement Frederika Gardner Murphy Creamery Company of this place now has over 109 patrons. The business is very successful under the hands of Robert Maillie as manager. The Waverly Republican: April 8, 1897, Local News A creamery would be a very helpful thing in bringing trade to Waverly. The right kind of a butter maker would get a home market for his butter. This is a matter that our businessmen ought to take under consideration as a means of drawing trade to Waverly. There‘s money in it for them. The Waverly Republican: January 6, 1898, Local News We publish a call for a meeting of these interested in a creamery for Waverly. We hope there will be a good attendance. Waverly would profit largely by a good creamery.

Those interested in the welfare of Waverly, including the farmers in the surrounding county are invited to meet at the Council Rooms, Saturday evening, January 15 at 7:30 o‘clock for the purpose of taking steps to secure a creamery. This is something that interests every businessman and every farmer in this vicinity. There should be a large attendance. The Waverly Republican: May 3, 1900, Klinger News Frank Russell of Waverly who is doing the cement work at Riddel‘s Creamery in Crane Creek was a caller here Friday evening. The Waverly Republican: May 17, 1900, Klinger News Riddel‘s Creamery started up last Tuesday after a few weeks stop for repairs. The Waverly Republican: August 30, 1900, Local News H. C. Braun has moved to Davis Corners, Howard Co. Iowa where he has started a creamery. Mr. Braun is a good butter maker and creamery man and with his experience in the business there is no doubt that he will succeed in his new location. The Waverly Republican: November 22, 1900, Slippery Corner There is to be a new butter factory located near Denver on the A. Gleason estate. Bremer is a great creamery county. The Waverly Republican: December 13, 1900 Bremer County has 22 creameries and shipped 2,652,977 pounds of butter to market during the year. National Creamery Butter Makers Association St. Paul, MN February 19-22, 1901 The Bremer County Independent: January 24, 1901 For this annual convention the Chicago Great Western R. R. will on February 18th & 19th sell excursion tickets to St. Paul, good to return February 25th at one fare for the round trip. For further information apply to any Chicago Great Western Agent or F. H. Lord G.P.A., Chicago. The Bremer County Independent: May 16, 1901, Local Greene Recorder A big creamery deal has just been consummated whereby the two creameries at Nashua and the ones at Powersville & Republic have been bought up by George H. Gurier an experienced creamery man from Illinois. Just what this will mean to the patrons of the creameries will be evidencing later on. Usually such moves are not for the best.


The Bremer County Independent: May 23, 1901, Local News While one of the milk haulers was driving home with a load of separated milk from the Knittel Creamery Monday morning one of the wheels came off its axle and the northeast quarter of his load came down with a sickening thud. After the driver found himself he discovered that the nut had come off & he started out to find it. He found it at the creamery where he had been doing some backing. The wheel remained on its axle for half a mile after the nut had been lost. The Bremer County Independent: December 26, 1901 Local News Although Fayette County is credited as being the premium Butter County in the state, little Bremer challenges her claim. It puts its basis on the number of pounds per square mile of territory. Its production is 5700 pounds for each square mile. The claim is no doubt well founded-Decorah Republican. Of course the claim is well founded if the report of the state dairy commissioner is well founded. The Waverly Republican: January 22, 1903, Local News Is your butter maker to take part in the butter maker‘s contest at Tripoli? The more he knows of his business the better for your creamery. There will be other matters discussed that it will pay you to hear. Bremer County Has A Lot of Good Butter Makers Eldon Ottersheim George Heine Otto Schaefer Carl Meier Pual Schroeder Carl Gamm H. A, Griese The Bremer County Independent: November 9, 1905 Bremer County was remarkably well represented at the Iowa State Dairy & Butter Makers meeting in Cedar Rapids last week. Fred Zell of Sumner captured the grand sweepstakes prize with a score of 97 1/2. There were sixteen of the creameries in Bremer County in the contest and their average score was 93 fifteen-sixteenths which is the highest score of any county represented in the convention in which there were 219 contestants in all. It is a splendid showing for ―Little Bremer‖. Our boys who make the butter are doing their full share to keep Bremer County at the head of the class and the Independent salutes them the best we know how. The following are the boys from Bremer County who were in the contest. The figures opposite their names represent the score their butter received: F. M. Zell Sumner 97 1/2 W. Ambrose Potter Siding 94 C. H. Buehrer Alta Vista 93 1/2 C. E. Carr Frederika 95 1/2 R. W. Chadwick Waterloo 93 C. A. Day Sumner 94 J. H. Eckstein Ionia 92 E. H. Homan Artesian 96 H. J. Hankner Fremont 94 Wm. Kallenbach Bremer 91 C. L. Mills Sumner 96 1/2 W. Meier Denver 91 F. C. Oltrogge Tripoli 94 1/2 E. B. Olds Sumner 93 1/2 C. H. Roherssen Klinger 93 D. E. Sheldon Victory 92 Fred Wills Buck Creek 95 J. W. Wiedemeyer First Maxfield 94 Chas. L. Woodworth Farrington F. H. Wehling Knittel 92 1/2

The butter makers & creamery men of Bremer County have chartered a special car over the Chicago Great Western for their trip to the National Buttermakers Association to be held at Milwaukee, October l6. Drastic Decline in Butter Market During the Past Week The Waverly Democrat: March 8, 1923 The butter market experienced one of the most severe and drastic declines that have been noted for a long time. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, in its review of market conditions dated March 2, reports a decline in 90 score centralized butter of 7 1/2 cents a pound, quotation being 531/2 on February 26 and 46 cents on March 2. The domestic supply of butter will probably be augmented by a cargo of 50,000 boxes, or 2,800,000 pounds, of exceptionally fine butter from New Zealand, due to arrive at New York about March 7. Storage stocks of butter in Chicago, New York, Boston and Philadelphia on March 3 were: Last year 15,040,000 pounds This year 5,296,000 pounds Shortage 9,744,000 pounds Due to lighter supplies in storage, it is probable that values will average a little higher than last year, until such time as current production materially increases. Bad Roads Mean Poor Cream The Tripoli Leader: April 2, 1924 Poor roads cause poor cream and poor cream causes low cream checks, says C. A. Inversion, diary expert of the dairy-manufacturing department of Iowa State College. ―Creameries all over the state,‖ says Mr. Iverson, ―are receiving considerable quantities of old, stale cream this time of the year. This is caused by the exceptionally bad condition of the roads in many parts of the state and by low production. Such cream produces a lower grade of butter, which of course means a lower price to the producer of cream. No creamery can pay more


The Bremer County Independent: October 9, 1902 Local News


for cream than the cream is worth for the manufacture of good clean, wellflavored butter. The price received for the butter by the creamery is based primarily on its quality. The flavor and acidity of the cream are the most important factors controlling the quality of the butter. ―Because of the cool weather at this season, many people are under the impression that cream need not be delivered more than about once a week. Even though the cream does not sour quickly, it should be delivered at least twice a week even in the winter. Stale and dirty flavored butter will result when old cream is churned, even though it is not sour.‖ Extra care is necessary,‖ says Mr. Iverson, in case the time between delivery is lengthened. Cool the cream immediately after separation and deliver as soon as possible. Do not run the newly separated cream into the older cream, as it warms all of it thus causing the most favorable conditions for bacteria to develop. Keep the new cream by itself until it has cooled to the same degree as the older cream. When it has cooled, the new cream can be added to the old.‖ Butter Makers of District No. 8 Win Banner The Tripoli Leader: October 1, 1924 Again the butter makers of Bremer County have put this county and state on the map for being known as the home of the best butter makers in the world. At the Iowa State Dairy Assn. and Cattle Butter Exhibit held at the Dairy Cattle Congress in Waterloo, Iowa last week, the butter makers of mostly Bremer County men, won the banner for having the ten highest butter scores in competition with the rest of the United States. This makes the fourth straight year that this district has received the highest averages and have walked away with the banner. When Every Day Was Dairy Day The success in the early 1900s of one farmer, C.A. Nelson, was a main factor in convincing other Bremer County farmers that dairy herds could be a profitable operation. Mr. Nelson had already raised crops for a number of years when he became interested in purebred dairy cattle, and he bought some foundation stock. His neighbors believed him foolish. They said, among other things that he would never win out with his ―fancy cattle.‖ But he was not moved from his plan. The cows purchased were good individuals, well-bred and capable of good production, including a sire for which he paid a record $3,500. Then Mr. Nelson began to study and observe and advance. His efforts were well rewarded in the matter of profits. Cedarside was named, and people began to hear of the herd. The success that followed good plain, practical dairy work attracted attention and Mr. Nelson was in demand upon the programs of farmer‘s institutes, dairy meetings and gatherings where the cow was recognized. His fame as such went far beyond his own state. In those days motor cars on the farm were the exception. Mr. Nelson had one of the first in his community, and it was known far and wide as ―The Cadillac the Cows Bought.‖ Cedarside was not famous for any world‘s records, but it was the nucleus of a far-reaching influence for better farming. Due to age and failing health Mr. Nelson sold his farm in 1924. Production By that time the Bremer County dairy industry was a leading county in the state cow testing associations. In 1924 The Bremer County Cow Testing Association, finishing its second year, not only broke at least four state records in milk and butterfat production but set a record expected to last for some time to come. The most important record made by the Bremer Association was in both milk and fat production, the herd of E.J. Wylam & Son of Plainfield by producing an average of 13,014 pounds milk and 458.53 pounds butterfat established two state records. Of even greater importance were herds that could produce year after year. This was illustrated in the second year‘s work of the Bremer Cow Testing Association. The five leading cows in the local association in 1923 were: Owner and Cow Milk Fat Wylam & Son

Ida Mercedes 15,308 560.3 Carl Kuethe Black 15,694 516.0 Chester & Son Ugla 12,562 514.2 W. B. Loveland Doris 13,466 508.3 Wylam & Son Barbetta Pet 12,192 476.2 The cows appeared on the top the following year, although in a different order: Owner and Cow Age Milk Fat Chester & Sons Ugla 6 27,612 1,154.0 Wylam & Son Ida Mercedes 6 29,604 1,112.5 Barbetta Pet 4 29,603 1,093.9 W. B. Loveland Doris 6 29,039 1,007.9 Carl Kuethe Black 5 30,353 1,010.8 The important things about these records are the fact they were made under normal farming conditions. The final question was whether the dairy herd produced a profit as well as milk. Ugla provided Chester and Sons $251.30. By averaging production it was found that it took 60 of the poorest producers to equal one of the champion cows. By careful management of breeding, the entire herd could become top producers. TB was still a worry in 1924, but was hoped that by the following year research would free the farmers from that plague. Milking Machines Not many years before the mechanical milker were declared to be an important achievement. By 1924 there were 200 or more mechanical milkers in use in Bremer County. ―I consider my milking machine the best paying piece of machinery of the farm,‖ said W. M. George. ―We are starting the seventh year now, and during that time have had no serious trouble.‖ He was milking a herd of 25 cows. ―After 10 years and three months use of mechanical milker, I can say that I have never regretted making the purchase,‖ W.V. Dove, Janesville, said. ―The first few days our cows increased in milk flow and they kept it up. They milk longer and give more milk per year in my opinion. Heifers break in easy and a cow with an injured udder gets well quickly, for the milker never breaks open the cut after it starts to heal.‖


Mr. Dove claimed he had never found a heifer with teats so short or a cow so hard to milk that the machine did not milk them. One man will milk from 18 to 22 cows giving 35 pounds per day, in an hour, depending on how fast he is in changing from one pair to another. ―I would not go back to hand milking even if I had only eight or ten cows.‖ Another farmer, L. C. Warneke, of Maxfield Township, agreed. Land Values According to an article in a 1924 issue of Wallace‘s Farmer the prosperity of Bremer County was about the best in the state. Two outstanding reasons for that were the dairy cow and land values. In 1900 Bremer County land was worth slightly more than the average of the state; in 1910 it sold for 19 per cent less that the state average while in 1920 [a year of a land boom] it sold for 38 per cent less than the state average. Credit for this was given to the farmers and bankers of Bremer County. Since the dairy business was a part of the farming industry that withstood the hard times better than others, prospects for Bremer County farmers were good. Bremer County was rapidly getting a reputation as being the leading dairy county in Iowa. In number of creameries it excelled all other counties. In quality of butter it ranked first. The Farm Bureau not only provided feeding schools where the feeding of balanced rations was discussed, but it was instrumental in getting the cheapest form of protein in Bremer County by getting a large acreage of alfalfa started. The Bremer County Independent: March 10, 1910 Though one of the smallest counties in the state, yet Bremer heads the list as the number of creameries operated, being credited with twenty-five which, during the year 1909, received 65,374,381 pounds of milk and 356, 650 pounds of cream making 3,160,122 pounds of butter therefrom. The average price of milk for the year was about $1.24 per hundred, making a total of $1,006,799 paid to the farmers, and this in addition to the skim milk returned to them, this item in itself being valued at thousands of dollars. Only three other counties in the state produced more butter than did Bremer and this was brought about by receipts of cream shipped in from outside counties, while the butter made in this county was from milk within its borders and the farmers are to be congratulated on having a home market that insures the highest price. From available information we estimate that the creameries of Bremer County are receiving milk from between 18,000 and 20,000 cows. There has been a shortage of butter all over the country and the farmers have been receiving a good price in consequence thereof, but in order to produce milk in paying quantities and quality it is necessary to feed expensive grains and hay that make the net profit relatively smaller that appears from the figures. That is to say that the farmers‘ increased cost of feed is greater that his increase of income, for if he had turned his feed into pork, beef or mutton, he would have received a greater proportionate increase of return for his fee. This has nothing to do with the question of how the farmer shall get the greatest returns from his land, but only to show that any slight increase in the price of butter is not to be pointed out as the only increase in farm products. To the claim that farm products are too high we say that manufactured products and the price of labor has correspondingly increased. Oleomargarine has undoubtedly been a factor in keeping down the price of butter, and during the year 1909 nearly 100,00,000 pounds were accounted for to the government, but unquestionably thousands of tons of this butter substitute was manufactured and sold without being acknowledged. We do not know to what extent oleomargarine is used outside of Waverly, but here from five to six pounds are sold to every pound of butter. Three of our grocery firms were interviewed, and two of them stated that they were selling about 250 pounds of oleomargarine to 50 of butter, while the third stated that his sales figured 300 of the former to 50 of the latter. How much this affects the price of butter we do not know, but we do know that Bremer County creamery butter is always in good demand at top prices, and our farmers are not worrying about the fellows who manufacture oleo. Bremer County Butter at the State Fair

The Bremer County Independent: August 31, 1911 Bremer County fared well at the buttermaking contest at the State Fair this week. In the whole milk class, fifty-six tubs of butter were entered, several from creamery men of Missouri, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Inspector‘s Ross, Clarke and Forrester acted as judges. The following Bremer County boys scored over 90. E. B. Olds of Sumner, with a score of 98 took first prize. H. C. Ladage of Plainfield scored 97. Robert Wagner of one of the creameries near Sumner was marked 93. E. H. Homan of the Artesian creamery scored 93. A. Griese of Readlyn also scored 93. W. W. Day of Dayton 93. B. F. Bentley, whose creamery is on the eastern line of the county scored 93. F. W. Bremer, Sumner Township 92. C. A. Day also in the eastern part of the county was marked 95. Our neighbors at Fredricksburg, whose butter maker L. L. Flickinger, scored 93. Our butter makers generally give a good account of themselves wherever their butter is entered. Every farmer in Bremer County who sells milk can well afford to cooperate with the buttermakers when they suggest better and cleaner methods in the barn and wherever milk is kept to build up a reputation for cleanliness. The Waverly Newspaper: June 5, 1913 Professor Mortensen of Iowa State College has offered a prize of $20 to a Bremer County Creamery that will show the most attractive surroundings. To any county creamery wishing to plant their grounds with trees and shrubs to make it a showy site, the college will donate one-half the necessary trees. Creameries wishing to take advantage of this offer should level and prepare grounds this summer and be ready to plant next spring. I will gladly assist in planning of the grounds and select the trees. E. M. Reeves, county arborist Butter makers attending the Bremer County Association Meeting 1927 Buck Creek Edward Henning Center Valley R. J. Allenstein Denver W. J. Spurbeck Fremont H. S. Dettmer Garfield Nate Tibbitts


Klinger Henry Segebarth Knittel William Boevers Readlyn H. A. Griese Maxfield F. C. George Siegel William Behrens Western Douglas George Heine Assistant butter makers: Artesian Fred Boevers Readlyn Randolph Buhr Bremer County Butter Maker‘s Picnic Denver, Iowa Feasting, Speaking, Music, Street Sports and All Around Good Time Featured the Day Labor Day, 1922 The annual picnic of the Bremer County Butter Makers Association was held at Denver on Monday. During the early hours of the day everything was hustle and bustle about the town, getting in readiness to entertain the crowds that were anticipated. Shortly before noon the meeting was called to order in Denver‘s beautiful little park, which by the way is the finest park in the county for holding such a meeting. The Denver band livened things up in good shape with several selections. Mayor H. C. Bruns of Denver then gave the address of welcome in such language and in such manner that all understood that Denver had determined to give their visitors a good time. S. W. Rudnick butter and dairy expert of Ames responded to the address of welcome in fitting words, and then preparations for the picnic dinners were made and various groups in different parts of the park was a feature of the day that was much enjoyed. After the dinner hour the meeting was again called to order and a male quartet gave several selections that were highly appreciated by the crowd, which by this time had reached large proportions---many estimated that there were 2,000 people on the grounds. O. A. Strovick of Albert Lea, Minnesota was the principal speaker of the day and his address, was much praised by those who were fortunate enough to get close enough to the speaker‘s stand to hear it. Denver‘s own entertainers, Mr. & Mrs. O. W. Miller, which gave several selections, and were of a nature to touch a responsive chord with the crowd. J. P. Nestlebush, whose business during the theatre season is that of a comic actor on the vaudeville stage, but during the dull season sells salt to creameries and other large consumers. His act was a scream! He tells funny stories in a way that is bound to provoke laughter and has a ―Abbey‖ or ―Iky ― dance that is a corker. This concluded the program for the afternoon and the bulk of the crowd followed the band to the ballpark. The Readlyn and Denver baseball teams put up one of the best games of ball of the season, when they battled to a 12-inning victory for Denver, the score being 4 – 5. After the ballgame there was a program of street sports that furnished amusement and excitement for all. The sports ranged all the way from ladies‘ foot race to a horseshoe-pitching contest with a purse of $18.00. Labor Day, 1922 will long be remembered as a red-letter day for the butter makers of Bremer County and as a bright credit mark to the town of Denver for the efficient manner in which she treated her guests on that day. In the butter contest there were thirteen contestants. Henry Segebarth of the Klinger Creamery had the high score with 95 per cent, E. H. Rohrrsen of the Siegel Creamery was second, with a score of 94.75 per cent, H. A. Griese was third with a score of 94.50 per cent. The prizes were $10, $7.50 and $5. Howard Reynolds of Mason City scored the butter. The other contestants and their scores were as follows: J. H. Ambrose, Frederika, 94; A. E. Zierath, Sumner, 93.5; F. W. Bremer, Spring Fountain, 91; R. W. Wagner, Grove Hill, 93.5; R. J. Allenstein, Bremer, 93.5; C. D. Gamm, Waverly, 93; H. F. Dettmer, Sumner, 91.5; C. J. Meier, Artesian a complimentary score was made; H. C. Ledage, Tripoli, 93.5; E. M. Guiney, Potter Siding, 91.5. Pride Helps Improve Cream Creamery in Northwestern State Resorts to Novel Way to Reform Patrons The Tripoli Leader: September 17, 1924

(Prepared by the United States Department of Agriculture) An interesting example of the use of psychology in securing cream of better quality from patrons was recently observed at a creamery in one of the northwestern states. Attempts at grading at the creamery met with but indifferent success. The manager of this creamery talked better quality to the patrons, but with little effect: and even a differential in price of 3 to 4 cents a pound butter fat in favor of sweet cream delivered at the creamery failed to secure the desired change in quality. Interest in Scheme In the fall of 1923 when the manager was repainting and repairing the creamery, he decided to paint one of the three cream vats a spotless white. Naturally such a color scheme aroused the patrons‘ interest. Upon inquiry they were told that the red vat was to be used for the sour, poor cream. They were also informed what particular patrons brought in the cream that was being put into this vat. When a patron found out that his cream was being placed in the dark-red vat and that it was common knowledge that his cream was of poor quality, this knowledge acted as a spur and an incentive to try to have his cream placed in the other vat. Improvement Soon Seen Inasmuch as only a limited number of patrons delivered their own cream, routes being operated to bring in the greater number of the patrons‘ cream, the manager carried out the idea of using different colored paint to reach the route patrons. Route operators were using twenty-gallon jacketed cans; so when these cans were repainted one can on each route was painted a bright yellow and taken on the route each day. Naturally this can of outstanding color caused comment and inquiry, especially on the part of the women folks, while the hauler was weighing and sampling cream. As a result of this scheme the women, who generally attended to the cream, set about to improve the quality, and often within a week cream that formerly had arrived at the creamery sour and in poor condition began to arrive sweet and in good condition. Within two weeks 75 per cent of all cream received at the creamery was sweet when before the system was inaugurated only about 40 per cent had been so.


Creamery Men Have Stormy Session Large Majority Present Fail to Approve Land O‘Lakes Cooperative Plan Heads of Iowa and Minnesota Concerns Have Verbal Battle over Merits of Companies The Waverly Democrat: April 11, 1929 At a meeting held last Thursday by about sixty officers and butter makers of the twenty-two creameries in Bremer County in the basement of the Community building there was considerable fireworks. After a very stormy session C. L. Warneke of Klinger was named to replace C. D. Adair of Shell Rock to preside at the meeting. John Brandt of Litchfield, Minnesota President of the Land O‘Lakes Cooperative concern, was to have been the chief speaker of the day but in this he was opposed by Herbert Harmison of Mason City, manager of the Iowa Brand Butter Marketing Association. Charges and counter charges flew thick and fast. It was a very stormy session during the morning. All but three of the creameries in the Bremer County organization of which there are twenty-two, Shell Rock, Janesville and Bremer voted to continue shipping their cream to the Producers Milk Company of Waterloo, which now is operating in the hands of a receiver. It is said that the Waterloo concern now owes the Bremer County creameries the sum of $85,000. The verbal action of the day occurred between John Brandt, Litchfield, Minnesota, president of the nationally known Land O‘Lakes creameries and Herbert Harmison, Mason City, manager of the Iowa Brand Butter Marketing organization, following Brandt‘s talk on cooperative marketing in the afternoon session. Harmison charged flatly that a cooperative organization, in order to take precedence over another must first pay a higher price to the farmer for the butterfat. This, he charged, the Land O‘Lakes system is not doing. The Mason City man quoted instances where he claimed butter from Land O‘Lakes warehouses sold under the price received for Iowa Brand butter. He also charged that Land O‘Lakes creameries manipulated the market for butter. The pooling system of selling butter is not the best plan, was Harmison‘s statement. If this system was used by the Iowa organization, now comprising fifteen creameries, it could become as large as Land O‘Lakes, he said. The Iowa brand organization finds individual special markets for each creamery‘s product, rather than the gigantic pooling plan, involving 450 creameries used by the Land O‘Lakes people. The veteran Brandt lost no time in answering Harmison‘s questions. Had it not been for Land O‘Lakes creameries buying up large quantities of butter on the open market during January of 1928, when the butter price dropped to 46 cents a pound and by buying the butter helping to strengthen the market, Iowa farmers would have received a still lower price, Brandt claimed. By holding large quantities of butter and raising the price on it a cent and a-half a pound over the going quotation the butter market was saved, he said. The presence of the Minnesota man and the calling of the meeting did not rest well with many creamery men, who did not regard Brandt‘s presence favorably. Considerable friction was aroused through the sessions, some members feeling that the meeting opened old sores, while others said they had not been seen regarding Brandt‘s talk. Butter and Cheese Output at New High 1940 Figure Tops Previous Records; See Gain in 1941 The Bremer County Independent: January 31, 1941 America‘s butter and cheese industries liberally supplied by an unusually heavy milk flow and stimulated by sharply increased consumer expenditures for dairy products hung up new annual production records in 1940. The power-driven churns at the nation‘s 3,5000 creameries whirled out 1,808,050,000 pounds of butter, eclipsing their previous annual record established in 1938, by nearly 22,000,000 pounds, government economists estimate. The output of cheese factories, quickened as a result of the marked reduction in imports and a surprising gain in domestic consumption, ran

above 769, 500,000 pounds of the American whole milk variety. In their record-breaking operations, these principal manufacturers of dairy products utilized 520,650,000 gallons of whole milk, according to the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Food Stampers Buy 2,700,00 lbs. Butter That‘s one months buying. Plan Boosts Use of Butter, Eggs, Pork, Vegetables Sharply News, 1941 mentioned, No paper listed The equivalent of over one-half of the amount of butter produced in Bremer County annually was distributed in January under the food stamp plan, County Agent D. D. Offring said this week. The purchases with blue stamps during January, 1941, representing new outlets for surplus farm commodities was 2,700,000 pounds of butter, and the surplus food buying passed the $7,000,000 mark for January under the food stamp plan. Blue surplus food stamps added more than $7,000,000 worth of farm products in January to the diets of approximately three million members of families eligible to receive public assistance. During January families taking part in the food stamp plan used blue stamps which increased their expenditures for agriculture products approximately 50 per cent, as follows: 14 per cent for butter; l3 per cent for eggs; 31 per cent for pork products; l6 per cent for flour and other cereals; 14 per cent for fruit; and l2 per cent for vegetables. Purchases with blue stamps in addition to the 2,700,000 pounds of butter, included 3,6000,000 dozen eggs; 24,000,000 pounds white and graham flour and 8,600,000 of other cereals; 10,400,000 pounds of pork and 27,800,000 pounds (approximately, 465,000 bushels) of potatoes, 3,500,000 of dry beans, and 6,600,000 pounds of other vegetables. Other blue stamp purchases included fresh oranges, fresh grapefruit, fresh apples, fresh pears, dried prunes and raisins. In addition to purchases of commodities by blue surplus food stamps the surplus marketing administration continued in January to purchase farm products and to distribute them for use in free school lunches, and to needy families in areas not served by the food stamp plan. Waverly Newspaper: August, 1948 Approximately 3,300,000 pounds of butter was shipped out of Bremer County in 1947.


Erwin Kuker Heads Association The Waverly Democrat: December 19, 1952 Erwin Kuker, Shell Rock was elected president of Section No. 2 of the Iowa Creamery Association at a meeting held last week at Janesville. Otto Schaeffer, Waverly, was elected vice-president and Norman Richman, secretary-treasurer. The men‘s business meeting featured a talk by John Quist, Ames, executive secretary of the association. He gave his views on the bill to legalize colored oleo, which will come up before the next session of the state legislature. The association is vigorously opposing the measure. It was decided to invite the butter makers of Butler & Grundy Counties to join this session of the association. The meeting was concluded with a dinner and exchange of Christmas gifts. The next meeting will be held January 14 at Janesville with Mr. & Mrs. Marvin Arenholz, Spring Fountain, as hosts. The host of the Janesville meeting was C. W. Pennington, Sumner. Creamery Men Cooperating in Ring Tests April 10, 1953 County Extension Agent Ralph Paynter expects to spend a large amount of his time during the next two weeks contacting creamery operators in Bremer County regarding the countywide ring test slated for the second week in May. More than half of the creamery operators getting milk or cream, from Bremer County herds, have already signified their willingness to cooperate in the plan to locate brucellosis infection in their dairy cows. All creamery operators thus far contacted have indicated their willingness to cooperate in the program, Poynter said Wednesday. To Help Dairymen How should we get rid of present surplus of butter and cheese? The Bremer County Independent/The Waverly Republican: June 14, 1953 Wallaces Farmer and Iowa Homestead likes two suggestions made by a subcommittee of the conference of dairy industry representatives. This sub-committee made these recommendations: 1. Issue stamps with 50 cents on purchase of a pound of butter, 25 cents on a pound of cheese. Give stamps to folks now on relief rolls and to hospitals and institutions. 2. Stop buying butter and cheese to put in storage, but if the market price on butter goes down to 55 cents, let the creamery pay support price of 67 cents to the farmer and collect the 12 cents difference from the government. The first step would get rid of the surplus now on hand. The second step would prevent accumulating more supplies in government hands. Plenty of other dairy problems remain, but these two moves would really take hold of the immediate job. News, 1974 Only three creameries were operating in Bremer County in 1974, the Bremer, Denver and Potter Siding Creamery, West of Tripoli. All three creameries have been converted to milk collection points. The milk was then separated, with the cream made into butter. The butter maker at Bremer was Wm. House, the Denver butter maker was Lynn Wilson, and the Potter siding butter maker was Floyd Primus. Got Milk? "Today's dairy operation is truly one of the nation's most impressive industries. It's big business and involves tremendous investment in equipment and animals and particularly in long hours devoted to insure its success." Proving that some statements can be just as true in one decade as another, that was the overview of the dairy industry as stated in 1978. During the month of June, long celebrated enthusiastically in Bremer County as Dairy Month, newspapers often featured an article on a

local farm. In 1978 the Wilbur Eckenrod farm near Sumner was the subject of review. Wilbur and his son, Marvin, maintained a Holstein herd of more than 70, based on 34 milking cows. Though they admitted it was continual hard work, milk had always been the most reliable source of income on the farm. Marvin didn't foresee any change in that belief and touted dairy cows as the surest way to get started in farming. Marvin, though he had helped on the farm as a youth, had become a full partner several years before after graduating from Sumner High School. Together they also farmed nearly 700 acres and farrowed to finish about 800 pigs. Considered by neighbors to be among the best farmers in the area, Wilbur and Marvin also owned other property in the vicinity, but still thought dairying the most important phase of their operation. Wilbur and Marvin switched to a "Grade A" milking program in 1972. By 1978 they were producing a herd average of 16,653 pounds of milk and 606 pounds of butterfat, based on twice daily milking of 34 cows. A typical day at the Eckenrod farm began at about 3:15 a.m. when Marvin got up to begin his 12 to 14 hour workday. After driving up the road a mile to where the cows were maintained, he readied the milk room and poured small amounts of feed along in front of each stanchion. Then with the help of his dog Buddy, brought the herd into the barn. He figured it took about an hour and ten minutes to milk. He used two DeLaval milking units. Moving steadily along as one cow filled a pail, he was hooking up another. The milk was poured into a traveling container and then pumped automatically directly into the 400-gallon holding tank in the milk room. About 4 p.m. the entire process was repeated. Their milk was picked up every other day. And every other Sunday the men each had a day off. From the Sumner Gazette: 15 June 1978. The Creamery Supply Company Waverly, Iowa The Waverly Republican: January 5, 1893, Local News The Creamery Supply Company, Ike Woodring, President and General Manager employs eight hands during the year and did upwards of $50,000 worth of business during the year. The company contemplates making improvements in the near future and increases their capacity to turn out a large amount of work. They manufacture vats, churns and creamery supplies generally and do a general line of machine repairing.


A. D. Baker, Butter Maker in the Working Dairy. The Waverly Republican: January 26, 1893, Local News The Creamery Supply Company now heats their building by steam having just finished putting in pipes, radiators etc. for that purpose. The Waverly Republican: February 2, 1893, Local News The Creamery Supply Company is busy these days. They put in a new boiler for the town creamery of Shell Rock. Ike Woodring is in western Iowa on business connected with the company and Sam Smith was at Sumner Monday and Tuesday repairing a boiler. Frank Woodring Jr. fixed up an elevator boiler at Clarksville this week and went from there to Chapin, Iowa to put in a new separator. The Waverly Republican: March 16, 1893, Local News The Creamery Supply Company is turning out a large amount of work these days. We noticed at their factory last week a number of large and finely finished milk and cream vats and churns were just completed to fill orders from creameries at Charles City, Independence, Westgate, Peterson and Traer, Iowa and Sioux Valley, Minnesota. The Waverly Republican: August 17, 1893, Local News F. W. Woodring leaves this evening for Chicago where he will exhibit the ―New Era Disc Churn‖ which will be tested at the World‘s Fair, August 30 and 31. He tested one of these power churns yesterday at Lafayette creamery and churned butter in eight minutes. The hand churns will churn butter in five minutes. The Creamery Supply Company of this city will manufacture these churns. The Waverly Republican: September 7, 1893 F. W. Woodring is traveling in the East introducing the New Era Disc Churn that he will exhibit at state fairs at Burlington, VT, Syracuse, NY and Trenton, NJ. In the competitive test at the world‘s fair on August 30, the ―Disc‖ got away with all competitors and on the next day at another test butter was churned in four minutes with the small ―Disc‖ and in eleven minutes with the power churn. Mrs. Woodring writes to Jas. Adair of this city regarding the test made on the 30th: ―You ought to have been to the Fair yesterday and saw how the people were worked up over the test; it was a new thing to them and many thought that it would not churn butter at all, but I fooled them a trip. The cream I used was very thick, much thicker than that I used at the Lafayette Creamery, and it takes longer to churn thick cream than it does this cream. I surprised the natives by drawing off the buttermilk in just seven minutes from the time I started the small churn, and thirteen minutes when I pulled the plug on the power churn. Now the best of it all is, that there were three other churns in the room and the butter makers arranged to have them run at the same time, instead of in the morning as usual; I do not know why they did, unless it was with the intention of out doing the ―Disc.‖ If that was their scheme they had better ―staid‖ out, for it took them 45 minutes to do their churning. ―I started at the same time, did both churnings, washed the small churn, washed the butter in the large churn, and was taking the butter out when their butter came. I haven‘t time to write you more about it.‖ Waverly Republican: September 28, 1893 The Creamery Supply Company is turning out a batch of fifty of the New Era Disc Churns and sold four on Tuesday for shipment to different points. F. W. Woodring exhibited the ―Disc‖ at the New York State Fair last week and met with good success as is shown by the following certificate: Working Dairy of the New York State Fair Syracuse, NY, September 20, 1893 We, the undersigned, have seen Mr. Woodring make several churnings in the ―New Era Disc Churn‖, in the working dairy of the New York State Fair. He was in every case successful in securing the butter in the most excellent granular form, churning at the temperatures varying from 47 to 63 degrees Fahrenheit, and completing the churnings in from 7 to 15 minutes, using both sour and sweet cream. L. L. Van Slyke, Director of Working Dairy of New York State Fair. The Waverly Republican: August 2, 1894, Local News The Disc Churn Company was organized in this city last week with F. W. Woodring, President. Next spring they will build on lots east of the Iowa Creamery Supply Company and manufacture Disc Churns and other light creamery supplies. The Waverly Republican: October 11, 1894, Local News The Creamery Supply Company has added a new lathe to their machinery equipment.


The Waverly Republican: November 29, 1894, Local News The Creamery Supply Company this week delivered a 40 H.P. Hazelton boiler to the Artesian Creamery; a 15 H.P. boiler, vat, pump and heater to the Little Valley Creamery Company of Buck Creek and repaired and set up an engine for the Wapsie Creamery Company. The Waverly Republican: December 13, 1894, Local News The Creamery Supply Company sold two separators to the Fremont Creamery on Monday. Hohnsbehn Creamery Supply Factory Old Butter Tub Factory coming down in Waverly Makes Way for Mini-Mart The Bremer County Independent: July 11, 1978 In its grander days, it housed one of Waverly‘s leading turn-of-the century industries. In its most recent rein-carnation, the now timeworn building on East Bremer Avenue has spent its declines as a used furniture store and an antique shop, catering to the publics renewed interest in its days of glory. The frame building just east of the railroad tracks and across the street from the Bremer County Court House is coming down to make room for a Mini-Mart which will sell gasoline, groceries and automotive supplies. It is being replaced, just as it had replaced a similar victim of the encroachments of modern times in 1901 when the Chicago Great Western railroad came to Waverly and forced the destruction of a relativity new building which lay in its path. The Old building and two earlier structures where manufacturing facilities for the Hohnsbehn Creamery Supply Company, a business established in Waverly by a German-born cooper who emigrated from Denmark to Waverly in 1872. Skilled in the art of barrel making Christian Hohnsbehn had been a cooper since the age of 16. The developing dairy region around Waverly provided a good market for the butter tubs he began producing in the 1870‘s in a small barn type structure on the site of today‘s Stumme Lumber Company. His sons, Claus and Hans, eventually joined the business, and they continued to manufacture their white ash butter tubs for over 30 years. Hand skills and hand tools were utilized in producing the early Hohnsbehn butter tubs. A horse named Charlie provided the power for the treadmill and also pulled the wagon which delivered the tubs to outlying creameries. In the mid-1880‘s the Hohnsbehns built a new, two-story brick building and mechanized their operation to accommodate their growing business. It was located just east of the original building on a site now crossed by the Chicago Great Western railroad tracks. The Waverly Semi-Centennial documentary published in 1896 described the operation: ―C. Hohsbehn and Sons have a large factory here that turns out about 500 tubs per day. Besides, their business is prepared to manufacture anything in the line of supplies for creameries and cheese factories. They also manufacture the Peerless Cream Separator, which is an invention of their own.‖ When the railroad came to Waverly in 1901, the Hohnbehns were forced to abandon the brick building to make way for the railroad tracks. They built their third building still further east that is larger, but not as attractive as its predecessor. Tubs were manufactured in the rear half of the building, and the front half housed a machine shop. Some 20 to 30 men were employed in the two operations. Christian Hohnsbehn, died in 1903, and his eldest son, Claus who had invented many of the products sold by the firm, took over. In 1914, a spectacular fire destroyed the rear half of the building. Aldora Babcock, a lifelong resident of Waverly and a Hohnsbehn descendent recalls that she was just a little girl of nine, at the time of the fire. ―I have never seen a bigger fire in Waverly,‖ she said. A newspaper account at the time called it ―the first big conflagration our city has suffered since the burning of the Kelley Canning Company in August, 1909.‖

―The department made a quick run to the factory when the alarm was sent in which was not until after the fire had gained considerable headway. But the work of the men made little impression on the blaze as the water pressure was so low that the streams could not reach the heart of the fire.‖ ―The flames were bursting from both sides and firemen facing a blistering heat crawled close to the walls in their endeavor to subdue the fiery monster which was gradually getting beyond their control.‖ The report added, ―This factory furnished tubs to all parts of the country, some of their product even going to Canada and it is said there is not a large butter-tub factory in the state.‖ Since new methods of marketing better were replacing butter tubs, Claus Honsbehn did not rebuild the manufacturing facility. He replaced it with a one-story warehouse and storage area and continued to operate the machine shop in the front portion of the building. According to Miss Babcock, he was experimenting with car motors and a kerosene-burning carburetor at the time of his death, during a grave flu epidemic in 1919. After his brother‘s death, Hans Hohnsbehn closed the business and rented out the building. It eventually became the property of Miss Babcock, whose mother was a daughter of Christian Hohnsbehn. Tenants have been many and varied in the building in the years since Claus Hohnsbehn‘s death. It has housed garages and car dealers, farm implements dealers, and flood distributors


and has provided warehouse and storage space for seed corn and fertilizer companies, the Waverly Sugar Company and Schield Bantam. Miss Babcock sold the building in January to L. K. Wolter of Denver, and construction of the Mini Mart will begin as soon as the old structure is taken down. Doug Marsh and Elmon Tatroe of Waverly have said they plan to use some of the materials salvaged from the structure to build a garage. And though it will soon be relegated to the pages of Waverly history, remnants of the old building will find new use in a community which has changed drastically since the days when butter tubs were a necessary part of dairy operations. Hohnsbehn Butter Tub Factory The Waverly Republican: January 5, 1893, Local News Hohnsbehn‘s Butter Tub Factory employed 15 hands during 1892 and did an extensive business. The Waverly Republican: March 23, 1893, Local News A. Hohnsbehn and Sons received four carloads of staves this week for their butter tub factory. They employ 16 hands and turn out 2500 tubs a week. Condensing Factory Waverly, Iowa Washington Township Section 35 The Waverly Republican: September 20, 1898 The Creamery Package Company, of Chicago, notified their agent, Anson Peck, that a customer of theirs was looking for a location to start a milk condensing plant. Mr. Peck showed the letter to some of the members of the Waverly Improvement Association, and at their request wrote his company for fuller particulars. In reply he received the following: Chicago, September 24, 1898 Dear Sir: Yours of the 23rd with reference to location for condensing plant received. ―We are looking this up for our customers, McCanna & Fraser, and we have referred your letter to them. It might be well for you to have the president of the council or the mayor write them with reference to the matter. They are going to locate very shortly, and it would be an excellent thing for the town and the farmers in the immediate vicinity if they could get this enterprise located there. Creamery Package Company The condensing plant at Elgin, Illinois employs a large number of hands. The Chicago Produce says: ―Last week the New York Condensing Company at Elgin, IL, contracted for its milk supply for the next six months at an average of $1.15 a hundred. October and March, $1.10; November and February, $1.15; December and January, $1.20. It figures 78.2c per can or 9.77c per gallon.‖ That would be a profitable price for Bremer County milk. Waverly should reach for this condensing plant. Locates in Waverly A Condensed Milk Factory Now a Sure Thing The Waverly Republican: October 7, 1898 R. G. Fraser of the firms of McCanna & Fraser of Burlington, Wisconsin Condensed Milk Company of the same place, arrived in this city last Saturday by invitation of the president of the Waverly Industrial Association, A. A. Broadie. He came to look over our town as a possible location for a milk condensing plant. He was met by the officers of the organization and Mr. Anson Peck, of the Chicago Creamery Package Co., who was largely instrumental in inducing the gentleman to visit us. The ground was looked over and Mr. Fraser was favorably impressed, and stated his terms. The association immediately went to work to raise the money and buy the ground and by Monday was in a position to meet Mr. Fraser‘s conditions. In the meantime Mr. Fraser, assisted by Mr. Peck had been interviewing farmers and had enough milk pledged to supply the factory. Waverly is to have a milk condensing factory which will use 10,000 pounds of milk daily from the beginning and should the supply increase, Mr.

Fraser guarantees that the facilities of the factory will keep pace with all demands on it. He also gurantees to pay more for milk than any creamery does. He will make his own cans and boxes and employ at the start 15 to 20 hands. The factory will run every day in the year. As condensing factories in other places have grown to be large institutions, employing 150 to 200 hands and using as high as 100,000 pounds of milk daily, there is a good prospect that the Waverly Condensing Factory may grow to like proportions. It‘s a big thing for Waverly. Work will begin immediately on the building. The main building will be two stories high, 40 feet wide and 90 feet long. It will be well built of wood, with cement ground floor. There will be an engine and boiler house, 30x30 feet. An order has already been placed with a good house for an outfit of high-grade machinery and it is calculated that the factory will be ready to operate by December 1. Mr. Fraser, and Mr. Peck were out but 2 1/2 days among farmers in securing the necessary number of cows. They had no difficulty in signing every farmer that they met. They were unable to reach all, but lists may be found at Broadie‘s and Garner‘s. Farmers who desire to are invited to call and sign as patrons of the new factory. Waverly‘s success in securing this factory is due to the Industrial Association and Mr. Peck and we got it after Mr. Frazer had decided to locate it in a Wisconsin town. The association is a good thing. Keep it up. The Waverly Republican: Oct 27, 1898, Local News The Fraser Condensed Milk Factory is about enclosed. It is a fine building and when completed will be a credit to the town. The factory will have a 200 horsepower boiler instead of 100 horsepower as was before stated. The first shipment of new machinery was made from the manufacturers in the East last Saturday and will arrive in a few days. The Waverly Republican, November 24, 1898, Local News Work is progressing well on R. G. Fraser & Company milk condensing plant in the city. It is now thought that everything will be in readiness to start up about the middle of December. Anyone desiring to arrange to haul milk is requested to call at the factory where Mr. Fraser would also be pleased to see patrons. The company has secured a valuable assistant in the person of Anson Peck who is popular with the farmers as well as the townspeople.


The Waverly Republican: December 15, 1898, Local News Carpenters, painters and machinists are busy at the Milk Condenser. Mr. Fraser still hopes to be able to start up next Tuesday. He has secured a Blake pump with a pumping capacity of 100 to 147 gallons per minute for the well we mentioned last week and which he says was put down to help relieve the city from its contract to furnish the factory free water for five years. He says that without the aid of the well the limited water supply at the city‘s command would have been severely taxed but with the well the factory is not likely to use much more city water than some of our large residences. The Waverly Republican: December 22, 1898, Local News The Condensed Milk Factory expects to start up on Tuesday, the 27th. Each patron who has already intimated his intention of bringing milk will be personally notified on what day the factory will be ready to take in his milk and he will also before that date receive a strainer. Any dairymen who intends to patronize the factory but who has not yet intimated his intention to do so, can also receive this personal notice the day of starting and will also have a strainer delivered to him by sending his notice by mail or otherwise to the office of R. G. Frazer & Company. The price to be paid for 4% milk from the date of starting until further notice will be $1.10 per 100 pounds and full weeks notice of any change in price will be given in the local press. The Waverly Republican: January 26, 1899, Local News The Fraser Condensed Milk Factory started up on December 31, 1898 with 44 patrons. The business has increased steadily until now over 90 patrons are bringing milk to the factory. The Bremer County Independent: April 20, 1899, Local News The Condensing Factory at Waverly, Iowa has been paying 30 cents per 100 pounds more for milk then the creameries are paying, which means that the creameries can not compete with the condensing factory. The Bremer County Independent: April 20, 1899, Local News The foundation walls for the second building of R. G. Frazer and Company‘s Milk Condensing Factory, 28x120 feet, two stories high will be finished today. The largest amount of milk taken in on any one day came Monday, 32,000 pounds. The average is 26,000 pounds. They are making about 15,000 cases of condensed milk a week. They have shipped five carloads to New York the past two weeks. They received another carload of 20 cows this week. This makes 291 cows they have bought and shipped in since March 3. The cows have nearly all been sold to the farmers. The Bremer County Independent: June 8, 1899, Local News The Waverly Milk Condensing Factory gets about 36,000 pounds of milk daily now from 290 patrons. They ship at the rate of 31/2 carloads of condensed milk every week. They pay 80 cents per hundred pounds for milk during June. Their second building is about finished and new machinery is being placed. When both buildings are fully equipped the factory will have a capacity of 100,000 pounds per day and they will turn out over a carload of condensed milk per day. The Bremer County Independent: September 7, 1899, Local News The Waverly Condensed Milk Factory will condense milk again as soon as the weather gets a little cooler. For over three months they have made butter and sugar of milk. They have received another new condenser this week. The Bremer County Independent: November 30, 1899 Local News The Milk Condensing Factory is a busy place. The company has just commenced to build another addition, 120 feet long and 30 feet wide, two stories high, also a receiving room 40 x10 one story high. There are 35 people regularly employed in the factory and just now they have ten carpenters at work. During the month of December they will pay $1.27 and maybe $1.30

for 4 percent milk. They are now getting 16,000 pounds of milk daily and they would like to get twice that many pounds. The C. G. W. Railway will build their track to the factory in the near future. The Bremer County Independent: January 25, 1900 Local News The Great Western expects to begin work on their sidetrack to the Milk Condensing Factory this week. The Waverly Republican: March 22, 1900, Local News The Waverly Condensed Milk Factory received three carloads of tin this week representing an outlay of about $6,000. The large force of hands employed in the tin shop will soon convert this big pike of tin plate into cans to be filled later on with the finished product of the factory. They turn out about 25,000 cans a day and girls who earn good wages do most of the work. Three carloads of sugar was received this week and it can be safely said the Waverly condenser is not only the sweetest but also the busiest place in town. The Waverly Republican: March 22, 1900, Tripoli Leader H. C. Braun who has been butter maker at the Siegel Creamery for over a year is with his wife visiting in Howard County. In a short time he will work for the Condensed Milk Company in Waverly. The Bremer County Independent: May 24, 1900, Local News The milk condensing factory folks are drilling another well and they are preparing for water works of their own. It takes lots of water to make condensed milk as well as in other branches of the dairy business. The Waverly Republican: August 2, 1900, Local News It having been apparently reported that the Condensed Milk Factory had or was about to close or stop condensing for the summer. The writer called on them for verification, instead of finding the institution contemplating a move of this kind we found them running full blast employing 75 people. They are exerting every influence possible to induce the patrons to bring in more milk and are as cool and good condition as possible so that they may be able to keep up the high standard of their product on the market they have obtained. For the balance of the year we are assured the patrons may expect higher prices for all milk delivered making more than good the claim of the company that they would average for the year 20 cents per cwt. over creamery prices.


The Bremer County Independent: September 20, 1900 Local News The milk-condensing factory is getting ready to put a milk route on the C.G.W. Railway. They are taking in 20,000 pounds of milk daily and they would like to get twice as much. The prospects are good for high prices for milk for winter. They now pay $1.05 for 4 per cent milk. Ice Harvesting The Bremer County Independent: January 31, 1901 The Waverly Milk Condensing Factory and creameries of Bremer County have harvested a bountiful crop of good ice and the meat markets and storage and other establishments which use ice during the summer months have filled their ice houses. The man who was afraid that the ice crop would be a failure can now select some new trouble to worry about. A Bit of Bad Local News The Bremer County Independent: April 7,1904 The patrons and employees of the condensed milk factory in Waverly received the following notice last Friday and Saturday: Waverly, Iowa: April 1, 1904 The Wisconsin Condensed Milk Company beg to announce to their patrons and all other parties interested that they will close the Condensed Milk Company operated by them at Waverly, Iowa, on April 20, 1904. Payment for March milk to be made April 20th, the same as heretofore. The company will pay for April $1.15 for 4 per cent milk, and other tests at the same ratio. Payment for April milk will be made May 2, 1904 at their office in the factory. C. B. McCanna, President To the people of Waverly, and to about 300 farmers living within ten miles of Waverly, this comes as a very unwelcome surprise. It was supposed that the factory was doing a paying business. This condensed milk factory caused a number of creameries in this county to be abandoned. The factory paid good prices for milk and the management encouraged the farmers to get more cows, by giving assurance that this milkcondensing factory would be a permanent institution in the community. Fifty or more people are thrown out of employment. It looks to us at the present writing as if the managers of the milk-condensing factory at Waverly had treated this community very shabbily by closing the factory as they say they will. Samuel S. Swarthley of Philadelphia owns the buildings, fixtures and machinery of the milk-condensing factory. When the notice referred to above was sent out, Cashier Kasemeier, of the First National Bank, sent a telegram asking Swarthley what he knew of the situation. In answer he said the fact that the factory was going to close was news to him. Mr. Swarthley further writes: ―I certainly will do all I can to keep the factory going, and write you fully early next week, or as soon as I have something definite to write.‖ Those of our people who have met Mr. Swarthley feel confident that he will not allow the Waverly Milk Condensing Factory to close. There is too much money invested in buildings and machinery to let it be idle. The Bremer County Independent: April 14, 1904 It is expected that Mr. Samuel L. Swarthley, of Philadelphia, who owns the building, fixtures and machinery of the milk-condensing factory in this city, will be here this week to look over the situation, at least he has written that he would be here. It is not known whether he has any plans for continuing the milk-condensing business here after the Wisconsin Condensed Milk Company gives up the plant on the 20th of this month. C. B. McCanna, President of the Wisconsin Condensed Milk Company of Burlington, Wisconsin has written to Mr. F. H. Hastings, who is looking after the company‘s interest here, that his people are giving Mr. Swarthley clear sailing after the 20th of this month and give him all the assistance they can. Mr. McCanna and his people seem to be disposed to deal fairly with the patrons of the factory and the people of Waverly.

H. H. Hopkins, President, and F. W. Woodring, Secretary, of the Dubuque Butter and Milk Company were in Waverly last Thursday, looking after business for their factory. This company wants to encourage farmers to buy hand separators to separate their milk and ship the cream to the factory in Dubuque. We have not learned whether any of the farmers look upon this plan with favor or not. The general impression is that some steps will be taken to keep the milk-condensing factory running here. To the Patrons of the Waverly Condensed Milk Factory Waverly, Iowa, April 19, 1904 The Bremer County Independent: April 21, 1904 The undersigned having been obliged to take charge of the Condensing Factory at Waverly on very short notice (being the owner and proprietor of the plant heretofore operated by the Wisconsin Condensed Milk Company) and being desirous of continuing the business, submits the following proposition; That temporarily he will receive and solicits the milk of all patrons and others for the purpose of manufacturing butter. That he expects within a short time to complete permanent arrangements for the continuation of the manufacture of condensed milk or evaporated cream (which is considered a more valuable product than condensed milk.) That he will pay for milk during the time of the manufacture of butter prices equal to or better than that paid by creameries in the territory from which the milk is obtained. That whenever the factory resumes the manufacture of condensed milk or evaporated cream the price of milk will be advanced. It is the intention to make this plant a first-class market for milk, and would respectfully solicit your aid and support to that end. Respectfully Submitted S. S. Swartley Mohawk Condensed Milk Plant Waverly, Iowa New Superintendent at Milk Condensery The Independent Republican: February 20, 1920 A change has been made at the Mohawk Condensed Milk plant in this city, whereby Mr. Willis Meabon, of Sherman, New York became superintendent of the plant. Mr. Shafer, the former superintendent, will go to Nashua to take charge of a receiving station, which the company is putting in, at that place.


Mr. Meabon is a pleasant appearing young man who thoroughly understands the business. He is single and makes his home with his mother, who will come to Waverly as soon as a house can be procured. E. J. Ballinger, the general superintendent of the company, of Sherman, NY and the manager F. D. Peiffer, of Corry, Pennsylvania came Friday morning and superintended the transfer of superintendents. Mr. Ballinger left for the East Tuesday night, but Mr. Peiffer will remain for several days. The company is now handling about 38,000 pounds of milk daily. There is something like thirty-five people now employed at the factory and it is necessary for them to run overtime almost every night. It forms one of the principal industries of Waverly, and when you buy ―Gold Cross‖ evaporated milk you are encouraging the ―Trade at Home‖ spirit. Carnation Milk Products Company 1921 Carnation Milk Products Company bought the Mohawk Condensed Milk Company in Waverly. History of Nestle in Waverly January, 2003 Carnation Company, founded in 1899 at Kent, Washington, began operations in Waverly as a small condensery in 1923. Fresh milk was received from local dairy farms and processed into evaporated milk. The Company pioneered and marketed Instant Milk in 1955, which was an immediate success. The consumer demand was so great that a new division, Instant Products, was formed. Several evaporated milk plants, including Waverly, were converted to process the new instant products. Spray drying and new warehousing facilities was added to the plant during 19581962. Coffee-Mate and Carnation Instant Breakfast were developed in the early 1960's. A new, self-contained manufacturing plant was built north of the existing plant to produce Carnation Instant Breakfast in 1965. The 1970's saw the introduction of Carnation Hot Cocoa Mix to the retail markets. The early 1980's brought about significant changes to the operation as the plants were combined to form a single complex. New warehousing, truck docks, and a maintenance wing were added to accommodate continuing growth. In 1985 the Company was purchased by Nestlè, S.A. of Vevey, Switzerland to become a part of the world's largest food company. In 1995, Nestlé Quik and Nestea Iced Tea were added to the Waverly operation along with Nescafe Frothe, Nestea (unsweetened) and Taster‘s Choice in 2002. Carnation Milk Products Company To Erect New Building Construction Work Will Give Employment to about 100 More Men---To be completed by 1924 The Waverly Democrat: April 26, 1923 On Wednesday of last week workmen broke ground for the fine new building that is to be erected on the land recently purchased by the Carnation Milk Products Company across the street from their present location. The land was bought a few weeks ago from M. C. Casper and the Roffler Brothers. The contemplated purchase of the old brewery building to be remodeled for use as a milk handling plant was abandoned some time ago, when company officials and expert engineers inspected that property and estimated the cost of the remodeling. At the best it could never meet the requirements of a standard plant, and the volume and the quality of business handled here warrants the construction of a worthwhile plant. The new structure will be 100x250 feet and three stories high, and it will be built of reinforced concrete, even the floors and the roof being of that material, which will render the building, fireproof. The concrete smokestack will be 150 feet in height. Work on the building will be pushed as rapidly as possible, and it is expected that the structure will be completed well within a nine-months‘ limit. The construction work will give employment to about a hundred men.

The figures given above are the dimensions of the main part of the plant only. This will be completed at once and new and modern machinery will be installed therein to care for the milk during the entire process of condensing, canning and packing. The old building will be used as a storehouse until such time as the new building for that purpose can be erected. C. T. Schmidt of Chicago, expert construction engineer, arrived last week to take charge of building operations. Art Chandler retires after 26 years 1965 Art Chandler retires as Superintendent of Carnation‘s Condensery in 1965. Nestle Acquired Carnation Company in Waverly 1985 Nestle acquired Carnation Company in 1985. The Carnation acquisition brought dry mix productions such as Carnation Instant Breakfast, Flavored NesQuick, hot cocoa mix, iced tea and products for dairies and food service items. At Nestle, ingredients were ordered, received, mixed by formulation, packaged and shipped. The south side of the Nestle building was operating in the 1920‘s under the Carnation name. During that time the operation was mainly turning fresh milk to evaporated milk. In the 1950‘s the production turned to instant milk. In the 1960‘s a second plant was built across the street from the original building. The second produced Carnation Instant Breakfast. The two plants combined in 1989 to create one of Waverly‘s largest employers.


Nestle U.S.A. 1990 Many acquisitions of companies contributed to the 1990 formation of Nestle U.S.A. This brought together companies such as: Wonka Candy, Curtiss Brands with Baby Ruth, Butterfinger and Pearson Candy; Stouffers; and Ortega to form what is now considered Nestle. The Nestle U.S.A. Beverage division includes Libby‘s, Kerns, Carnation hot cocoa and malted milk, Taster‘s Choice and Koala fruit beverages. The New Butter Oleomargarine The Waverly Republican: May 22, 1879 The Western Rural is still firing away in heavy editorials at the oleomargarine compound. It publishes numerous cuts of the crawling ―skillputs‖ and wriggling worms, which the microscope detects in it. The Prairie Farmer pokes fun at both the Rural and the ―bull butter‖ as it calls the stuff. This new name is forcible, but it seems to us a ―leetle‖ inelegant for company use. Farmers Hold Big Bonfire for Oleomargarine at Readlyn Money to Advertise Butter Raised in Waverly Meeting The Bremer County Independent: February 27, 1930 A crowd of more than 250 or 300 enthusiastic farmers at Readlyn Wednesday afternoon inaugurated Bremer county‘s campaign against oleomargarine by taking up a collection to buy all the oleomargarine in town. The oleomargarine was accordingly bought and a lively bonfire held. The action followed a talk by County Agent D. D. Offringa on the butter situation, at a power farming entertainment being held by the Miller Implement Company. The action is the first step in a vigorous fight on the use of oleomargarine, planned by dairy interest of the county. The fight is being considered, it was said, because of the fact that decrease of oleomargarine sales will in most cases automatically result in increase in butter sales. It is possible that all retail stores in the county will be asked to discontinue sale of oleomargarine. The plan has been followed in other towns in northern Iowa. The fact that the butter surplus must be removed before May l if butter prices are to be benefited was given as one reason for the necessity of immediate action. Four hundred and fifty Bremer county farmers felt seriously enough about an advertisement of oleomargarine Friday to raise more than $65.00 toward an advertising campaign to put butter on the map and instructed a committee of five from the meeting to begin the work that afternoon. The action was taken at the power farming entertainment sponsored by the Waverly Implement Company. The action followed description by County Agent D. D. Offringa about an oleomargarine campaign being carried on by a Waterloo newspaper through a cooking school, which it had conducted last week. The oleomargarine was praised by the woman conducting the cooking school in her talks at session of the school and also over the radio. ―Can‘t Tell Difference‖ The advertising, which was run in connection with the use of oleomargarine, urged its use as shortening ―instead of the old way.‖ The statement was also made that the product‘s taste was so much like ―an expensive spread for bread‖ that it was difficult to tell the difference. Sale of Oleo Ask Merchants to Discourage Sale of Oleo Readlyn Still talks ―Pro and Con‖ of Oleo Blaze The Bremer County Independent: March 6, 1930, Special to the Independent Readlyn—Sentiment here on the famous ―oleomargarine fire‖ is still divided, and discussion, of the question of the burning of forty-one pounds has been vigorous since Main Street was the scene of the fire last Wednesday evening.

Many persons have said that the fire was justified by the need of impressing upon people the condition of the butterfat market, while others feel that it was wrong to destroy food in such a way. A conference top discusses voluntary limitation of the sale of oleomargarine in Bremer County. ―The Dairy Spot of Iowa‖ will probably be called this week or early next; the Independent learned this week from D. D. Offringa, county agent and a leader in the battle to ―put the butter price up where it belongs.‖ Some such action as that taken at the meeting of the Frederika Creamery Monday is planned. Here the members took up a subscription to advertise butter, and named a committee to visit local merchants and ask them to boost the sale of butter and to discourage the use of oleomargarine. No More Fires It is probable that no more oleomargarine fires will be held in Bremer County. The blaze at Readlyn, while it attracted considerable attention, also brought out many defenders of oleo who feel that it still has its rightful place. Bremer County merchants will be asked to advertise butter in their newspaper copy and in displays and will be asked not to advertise oleomargarine. This butter substitute is preferably to be kept out of window displays and oleo stocks are to ―stay under the counter.‖ Radio Program Monday County Agent Offringa will be a speaker on a half-hour ―butter program‖ to be sponsored by Bremer County dairy interest over station WMT at Waterloo Monday evening from 7 to 7:30. Songs about the worth of butter, dialogues bringing out points in the butter struggle, and other novelties have been suggested for the program, which has not been completed. Inserted Butter Ad The committee of five made up of D. D. Offringa, Ewald Mueller, D. H. Murphy, J. J. Guiney and Leslie G. Moeller made a trip to Waterloo Friday afternoon. An advertisement on Bremer County butter, using a map of the county, which shows the entire county‘s creameries, was inserted in the Waterloo newspaper, which had not used the oleomargarine copy. The newspaper also used a news story on the Waverly meeting: the ad and the story appeared in Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning editions. The committee also visited the office of the newspaper that had used the oleomargarine advertising. Here it was learned that protests against the oleomargarine copy had been so vigorous that the contract had been canceled Thursday evening, with no advertising appearing after that time. The oleomargarine was not used in the cooking school Friday. The newspaper in its


Saturday morning edition used a front-page story on the Waverly meeting. Oleo Consumption Grows Offringa in his talk at the meeting, reported that while butter prices were now down, the production of oleomargarine had increased 70 per cent in the last seven years. He pointed out that Bremer County has twenty-one Cooperative creameries while there is not one butter substitute factory in Iowa. More than 60 per cent of the raw materials come from the Orient. ―The farm population of the United States uses 40 per cent of the oleomargarine consumed,‖ Offringa said, ―and are so in direct competition with themselves.‖ He went on to say that patrons of Bremer County Cooperative Creameries use more than twice the United States average for butter. Following Offringa‘s speech, which was vigorously applauded, J. J. Guiney made the proposal that a subscription be taken to raise a fund to advertise butter, Legislature Finds Storm Brews Fast The Waverly Democrat: January 30, 1953 There‘s more than one storm brewing in the legislature halls of the State of Iowa as the senate and house got into their third week of the biennial session on Monday. Oleomargarine, gasoline taxes, the legislative budget committee and opening of welfare rolls to public scrutiny are four items that threaten to stir things up in the legislature as bills already on file indicate. And if they aren‘t enough, one can always count on such controversial old stand-by as appropriations, taxes, and liquor, to resurrect their usual arguments. Oleo interests, seeking to nullify the restrictive color bans and the 5cent per pound excise tax on their product are pressing for open public hearings in the legislature before the oleo bills come out of the senate and house committees. Dairy people, meantime, are marshaling their forces in an effort to halt any movements to either toss out the ban on yellow oleo or remove the 5-cents per pound tax on the product. Dairy and butter people are as active in the legislative lobbying efforts as the margarine interests are. The other day the dairy industry feted the wives of legislators at a downtown luncheon. ―That‘s one way of getting at the ―boss‖. They Like Their Bread with Butter Here They can really ―Tell the Difference‖ in the Dairy Spot of Iowa The Bremer County Independent/The Waverly Republican: June 24, 1953 I‗ll tell you Bremer County mothers who gave their youngsters bread and BUTTER don‘t have trouble getting them to eat bread. You see here in the ―Dairy Spot of Iowa‖ children learn very young to ―tell the difference‖ between good County butter and margarine substitutes. They‘ll tell you it‘s easy to ―tell the difference because butter tastes so much better.‖ A mother of one of the children here says she has a real tip for bakers, too. She points out that her children never ate bread until she changed back from margarine to butter on the dinner table. ―I think probably it doesn‘t cost a bit more either‖, she adds, ―because the most flavorful butter goes that much farther.‖ (This mother may not have reckoned, however, with the butter-spreading and butter-eating antics of one of the children pictured in this article.) It‘s easy to see—and the pictures are the proof that the kids who can ―tell the difference‖ are Healthy, Happy and Bright. They‘re numerous to, in ―The Dairy Spot of Iowa.‖ Yellow or White? Every American school child learns about the Civil War and the battles between the blue and the gray, but not many hear about the struggle between those who fought for yellow and those who supported white. Even though the great struggle affected Bremer County, chances are that it is not even mentioned in our schools. It was a long and intense fight and it was over what color OLEOMARGARINE should be. It should not be surprising that in "The

Dairy Spot of Iowa" most Bremer County residents took the "butter war" seriously. Our dairy farmers needed to get the best prices possible for their product. With so many creameries in the county every farmer had a ready buyer and his profit in turn fed the local retail and service businesses. And besides, butter was yellow and oleomargarine, invented by a French chemist in the 1860s, was definitely not butter, nor should any consumer be confused into thinking it was! Oleo in its natural form was white and should remain so. The first legislative measure over the matter in Iowa began on March 27, 1886, when the Iowa legislature passed a law regulating the manufacture, packaging, sale and serving of butter substitutes. The United States Congress with a similar law followed that law in August of the same year. On Independence Day 1894 the Iowa Legislature passed the antiyellow color ban for butter substitutes. Even though there were also federal tax issues involved, the color of oleo became the rallying point for both sides. The Commissioner of Internal Revenue got into the act on October 22, 1895, when he was charged with policing the oleo business. These orders included prohibiting the use of brand names that suggested neither the product was connected with cow's milk, nor could their advertising infer such a connection. In the early days of Bremer County the issue was more or less a moot one. Plenty of good butter was readily available and oleo would have to be shipped in. Gradually as radio advertising, magazine ads, etc began to tout the use of oleo; the battle lines were drawn. By 1930 farmers felt a cause for concern. In February a crowd estimated at 250-300 met at Readlyn "and inaugurated Bremer County's campaign against oleomargarine by taking up a collection to buy all the oleomargarine in town." Once the purchase was complete, the offending product was placed on a bonfire and set fire. The action was promised as a first step in a fight that was being considered because a decrease in sales of oleo would mean an automatic increase in butter sales. The suggestion was also made to ask all retail stores in the county to discontinue the sale of oleo. The fact that the butter surplus had to be removed before May 1 if butter prices were to be maintained was another reason. Farmers also financed as large ad campaign in a Waterloo newspaper to promote butter. They pointed out that Bremer County alone had 21 creameries while not one factory in Iowa produced margarine. In fact, more that 60% of the raw materials for margarine came from the Orient.


Members of the Frederika creamery met in March and planned to ask merchants to promote butter and discourage the use of margarine, which they hoped would "stay under the counter." The campaign did not eradicate the use of margarine in Bremer County, and the subject arose again during World War II. There was a great need for canned and powdered milk for shipment overseas. The Carnation plant in Waverly was paying top prices for milk, but the supply for the local creameries was cut proportionately. The solution was reached by having the farmers sell to the creameries who then supplied Carnation. The creameries stayed in business and Carnation paid each creamery, which then handled all the paperwork involved in paying each farmer. However, this left less milk to be churned into butter and the price of butter went up. Perhaps even more important the number of ration points increased also. A housewife might part with an extra nickel, but ration points were another matter. The use of oleo went up. Carl Grawe wrote a weekly column in the Waverly paper addressed to the boys overseas. He felt supplying the troops with real butter was a patriotic act. United States servicemen should ―have to eat that conglomeration of cotton seed oil, axle grease and tallow that is put on the market under various names as a spread for bread." The troops came home after defeating the Axis powers, but the controversy over margarine continued. The federal law removing federal taxes from oleo went into effect on July 1, 1950. However, when oleo was served in a public place a placard announcing that fact was to be displayed, or the margarine was to be cut into triangular shaped pats so the consumer would be aware of the substitution for butter. In Iowa it was still sold white, but a little yolk packet was included. The housewife could open the packet and blend it in with the margarine and the yellow substitute could be placed on the table. The process took about ten minutes. The subject came to a head in Iowa in 1953 when the House of Representatives held a hearing and debated the issue. The debate in the house chamber went on for two and half-hours before a packed crowd of 1,500 spectators. As one woman who testified said, "If you don't lose this little envelope of coloring ten minutes a pound adds up to 2 1/2 million hours a year for the housewives of America." Howard Roach, of Plainfield, was a keynote speaker. He brought along an armload of props in the form of a loaf of bread, butter, margarine, and lard as part of his demonstration for repeal of the oleo law. In part of his testimony he declared, "Only about 15 or 20 percent of our citizens in this country are engaged in farming. Eighty to 85 percent are not. For we who produce a spread for them to use on their bread to try to dictate to them what they should use does not seem right." It still took several months for the resolution to the question of the sale of colored oleo in Iowa. Then it was official: yellow margarine could be legally sold in Iowa effective midnight on July 3, 1953.

Ladage & Mellinger Section 29 Farmer‘s Stock Company Section 19 Plainfield Hy-Grade Section 30 Horton Section 27 Dayton Township Climax Section 9 Buck Creek – Little Valley Section 28 Dayton Section 13 Fremont Township Tripoli Section 4 Fremont Section 28 Warren Township Potter Siding Section 1 Bremer Section 16 Lafayette Township Lafayette Section 11 Franklin Township Wapsie Valley Section 7 Grove Hill Section 22 Maxfield Township Readlyn Section 11 Maxfield Section 20 Klinger Section 26 Knittel Section 10 Meyerhoff Section 14 Washington Township Washington Section 5 Waverly Milk Condensing Section 35 Jefferson Township Artesian Section 2 Denver Section 24 Farrington Section 35 Jackson Township Janesville Section 35 Fowler Cheese & Butter Factory

Creameries & Locations Sumner Township Excelsior Section 5 Sumner Section 25 Spring Fountain Section 29 Clover Leaf Dairy Farm Section 13 LeRoy Township Frederika Township Frederika Section 7 Navaho & 116th Section 8 Douglas Township Section 11 Western Douglas Section 30 Siegel Section 27 Polk Township



Artesian Creamery Jefferson Township Section 2 The Waverly Republican: 1905, News Will Matthias erected the first creamery in 1887. Will Matthias sold his creamery in March 1890 to the Artesian Creamery Company. From the Constitution in the Secretary‘s minutes: (The Constitution was written in English and the minutes in German.) Artesian Creamery Company October 1, 1889 We the undersigned citizens of Bremer County do hereby form ourselves into a company to be known by the name of Artesian Creamery Company and we agree to buy the creamery owned by J. W. Matthias and Son. The object of the company is to manufacture butter or cheese or both from whole milk at actual cost. Located: NE 1/4 Section 2, Jefferson Township. March 29, 1890 We the undersigned organized company in Jefferson, Bremer County, Iowa bought the Artesian Creamery, house and stable formerly owned by J. W. Matthias & Son for $3800 and will do business April 1, 1890. 1896 H. J. Freie is butter maker at Artesian Creamery. The Waverly Republican: January 28, 1897, Local News Artesian Creamery, seven miles east of Waverly, is one of the leading cooperative creameries in Bremer County. Following is a report of their business for 1896. Received during 1896 5,348,534 pounds of milk which made 232,195 pounds of butter for which the company received $38,166.99. They paid $33,961.49 for milk, for new machinery $350, butter maker $1010, secretary and treasurer $100, butter hauling $272. Balance due secretary from year before $100. Coal, salt, tubes and repairs $2,267.50. Total paid out $38,166.99. The average price paid for milk during the year was 63 1/2 cents for 100 pounds of milk. The officers of the company are H. O. Meier, president and Henry Graening, secretary and treasurer. Artesian Wells Several artesian wells are in the area, one of which is in the creamery. These wells were the source of the town‘s name. The Waverly Republican: May 25, 1905, Republican News The Artesian Creamery has been busy the last few days taking care of the milk from Washington Creamery while the latter was laid up for repairs. The Waverly Republican: November 9, 1905, Republican News Chris Moeller and Henry Hohman butter makers at Artesian Creamery attended the dairy convention at Cedar Rapids last week. Butter maker Wedemeier of Maxfield Creamery was also in attendance. The Bremer County Independent: June 14, 1906 Local News A concrete foundation for the Artesian Creamery was built the first of this week. The new building will be 26x72 feet. The walls will be built with concrete blocks. When finished the rebuilt Artesian Creamery will be one of the best in Bremer County. C. H. Russell is doing the concrete work. The Bremer County Independent: March 23, 1911 F. H. Homan, butter maker of the Artesian Creamery, was in town Friday and in a conversation with him we learned that his creamery had received 387,000 pounds of milk during the month of February, and that the receipts for February five years ago were only 200,000 pounds, or a gain over that year of 187,000. This has been accomplished with the addition of only

seven new patrons during the five-years. On Monday, March 13th, the receipts of the creamery for two days were 32,622 pounds. Mr. Homan says this gain in milk has been accomplished by feeding corn stalks in the shape of ensilage and fodder, but we believe that Mr. Homan‘s work is testing the individual cows of his patrons, and his advice to the farmers to weed out the poorer cows and keep only the better ones and raise the calves from these, has had considerable to do with the increase. The fellow who offers suggestions and gives advice for the betterment of the public at large is usually called a crank and scoffed at by many, but his advice and suggestions usually do good in the community in which he lives, even if his hearers are so obstinate that they refuse to openly follow his advice. Herman Brandt


1959-1966 Erwin Kueker was butter maker at Artesian Creamery from 1959 to 1966. He learned the butter making trade at the Sumner Creamery in about 1935. September, 1966 September 1966 the Artesian Creamery was dissolved and in October 1966 the creamery, land and buildings were deeded to the Hudson Cooperative Dairy Association. Melvin Bond brought the property in 1967. Artesian Creamery located in ―The Big Little Town in Iowa‖ Artesian was called ―The Big Little Town in Iowa.‖ The Artesian creamery was built in 1887. The farmers in the area brought milk in large cans to the creamery in their wagons pulled by teams of horses. The creamery was located on the West Side of the road, and across to the East Side a man by the name of Harry Boedecker built a store, including a post office. A team brought the first mail to the Artesian post office from Waverly. F. F. Moeller bought the Boedecker store in 1900. The post office was reestablished with F. F. Moeller as postmaster. In 1916 Carl Meier accepted to become butter maker in the Artesian creamery. The home was south of the creamery. He moved from the Grove Hill creamery with his family. During the thirty-two years he was butter maker a lot of changes took place, from the patrons bringing in whole milk to having it separated at the creamery and filling their empty cans with skim milk to feed to their pigs, to when the farmers invested in separators and brought their cream in cans delivered by truck or car. There was a flowing artesian well in the creamery and also one in the store across the road. It was the best tasting water you could get. Many pounds of butter were printed and packed in boxes and delivered to Waterloo stores besides what the patrons would order. Some was packed in tubs and shipped out east. There was a certain time in the winter when the river near by would freeze over, and the patrons would have a session to cut ice and haul it to an icehouse next to the creamery. They packed the ice in sawdust to keep for the year. The chunks of ice would be taken into the creamery to place in a built-in icebox for the butter. The Meiers and Mr. Moeller would feed the men at noon in the creamery. The men seemed to enjoy it and made a real party of that event yearly. Some years later some remodeling was done and an ice machine was installed and a walk-in cooler was built. Then it became quite modern. There were eight children in the Carl Meier family and they all had their share in helping in the creamery. After the Meiers quit the creamery business they moved to Waverly, Iowa. Their son, Harold W. became the butter maker for a few years before he established the ―Tastie Creme‖ business in Denver, Iowa. Erwin Kueker became the next butter maker for several more years. In 1967 the Artesian creamery was dissolved and the property was sold to Melvin Bond who manufactured fishing lures in the creamery and called it the ―Do-It Manufacturing Co.‖ By 1985 the creamery and most of Artesian was demolished due to the widening of Highway 63. The Do-It Manufacturing Company moved to the north edge of Denver, Iowa, on Highway 63. His business continues from there but he still has a few buildings remaining in Artesian for storage. The creamery was directly across from the F.F. Moeller store, a good place to shop. If he did not have the item you needed, he would have it within a short time. There are lots of good memories from having lived in Artesian. Submitted by Leota Meier [87] and Helen Meier Tietje [80]; April 16, 2002 Taking Milk to the Creamery One of the jobs of being in the milking business was to sell the milk that was produced from the cows. Until the late fifties and early sixties most farmers separated the milk and sold the cream to a nearby creamery. As the dairy farmers increased the number of cows in their herds, cream separators were too small to separate cream from the many gallons of milk. Farmers

then put large milk can coolers in the milk house. As the milk was strained into 10-gallon cans, they put the cans in the cooler, to be cooled to 45 degrees. The cooler was also a good place to cool watermelons in the summertime. One of the fun things, and maybe the only fun thing of having milk cows, was taking the milk to the creamery. Every can taken to the creamery had the farmer‘s ID number on it. The number would identify each farmer‘s milk as it was emptied inside the creamery. The number ―12‖ was painted on every milk can we took to the Artesian Creamery, 1 1/4 mile west on Highway 63. When arriving at the creamery there were at times 2 or 3 other farmers waiting in line to unload their milk. This was a good time to visit with the neighbors and catch up on the latest gossip. There was only one door to slide the cans on a roller type slide into the creamery. As it came your time to unload your milk, you would back the truck as close to the door as possible. The butter maker, Charles ―Chuck‖ Bird, in the late 1950s, would dump each farmer‘s milk into a holding tank to be weighed before dumping it in the milk vat. Just before emptying the smaller holding tank, the butter maker would take a 1-ounce sample of the milk. The sample was put into a test tube with the farmer‘s number on it. Then once a week the butter maker would check each farmer‘s sample for the amount of butterfat in the milk. The more butterfat, the more the farmer received for his milk. One of the byproducts of making butter is buttermilk. At the Artesian Creamery, the buttermilk was pumped into a 200-gallon tank. An auction was held about once a month to sell the buttermilk to any farmer who was a member of the creamery. Dad would act as the auctioneer, although he did not do the chant. Only 5 or 6 farmers would attend the sale. The price of the buttermilk would be about 5 to 10 cents per gallon. The sale would last only 5 minutes, as there was enough buttermilk for each bidder. As we got our empty milk cans from inside the creamery we would drive around to the other side of the creamery to fill the same cans with buttermilk. Dad usually bought 50 gallons of buttermilk. When we got back to the farm we would dump the buttermilk into the hog troughs. The fatting hogs would push each other aside just to get a place at the trough. In less that 5 minutes the buttermilk would disappear. With the corn and protein we fed the hogs, plus the buttermilk, they gained weight fast and would be ready for market in about 5 months. We felt the combination of the three put a little extra curl in their tails, Grandpa also helped on the farm in the early 50‘s. He would come out to the farm from Denver each morning about


the time we would come back from the creamery with the buttermilk. He would always bring a cup and get a cup of buttermilk out of a can before we would give it to the hogs. He said it tasted so good because it was fresh from the creamery. Submitted by Darrel J. Brandt Bremer Cooperative Creamery Warren Township Section 16 Ivory Avenue & 190th Article: History of the Bremer Cooperative Creamery Bremer, Iowa, 100th Anniversary, 1892 – The Bremer Creamery was established in 1892. The first manager and butter maker was John Pries. Former butter makers and managers were: Herman Eick, John Wedemeier, Adolf Allenstein, Carl Gamm, Kirk Turner, Eldon Otterstein, Don Geisema and Bill House. Present manager is Ralph Mohlis. The first creamery building was wooden and burned in 1926. It was then replaced with the present building. An icehouse, where the ice for cooling the butter was stored, also burned in 1930 and was rebuilt. Blocks of ice would be cut from the river or creeks and stored in the icehouse. In the 1930‘s the farmers would haul their whole milk in cans to the creamery daily where it was separated into cream and skim milk. The cream was used to make butter, and the farmer hauled the skim milk back to the farm where it was used as hog feed. In the late 1940‘s, the creamery began using refrigeration, and the icehouse was sold to Ralph Juhl, who moved it to Irma, Iowa, for use as a home. The farmers then began separating their own milk and hauled only the cream to the creamery. Several of the farmers worked together picking up each other‘s cream showing how neighbors work together. The 1950‘s brought opportunity for the farmer to buy back the buttermilk from the creamery for hog feed. Farmers would attend the monthly meetings to take part in the bidding for that month‘s buttermilk. For example, there may be 300 actual gallons of buttermilk, but the creamery would auction off only 275 gallons since they could not guarantee the full 300 gallons. The excess over 275 gallons would also be auctioned for a much lower price. The farmer buying the excess would be gambling that he would receive anywhere from 1 to 25 gallons. Since at that time a majority of the farmers‘ hogs were raised on skim milk or buttermilk, they were taking a risk for an entire month. Beginning in the 1960‘s the creamery went back to taking whole milk. The skim milk and buttermilk were sold to the Farmer‘s Butter & Dairy Coop in Fredricksburg, Iowa. The Bremer Creamery quit making butter in 1973 due to farm sellouts and more efficient set-ups at larger creameries. During the peak years, there were seven can trucks and five bulk trucks carrying 275,000 pounds of milk to the creamery each day. In the early 1980‘s the whole milk was bought and shipped to Associated Milk Producers Inc. (AMPI) in Fredricksburg in bulk trucks daily. Due to changes in state laws, can milk was no longer accepted beginning in the fall of 1984. Due to the yearly sales in the 1980‘s at an average of 3.5 million dollars and the consistent high sales in prior years, the creamery earned the nickname ―The Biggest Little Creamery in Iowa.‖ According to the Waverly Journal of August l, 1940, ―Bremer County with its twenty creameries certainly must be America‘s butter tub.‖ These creameries were Maxfield, Klinger, Frederika, Janesville, Readlyn, Spring Fountain, Artesian, Tripoli, Knittle, Little Valley, Washington, Fremont, Potter Siding, Plainfield, Denver, Western Douglas, Sumner, Bremer, Siegel and Excelsior. Out of all of them only Bremer and Potter Siding remain open. The farmers worked for many years to give the creamery a fine reputation to be proud of. The creamery is now used as a receiving station. Two bulk tank trucks dump milk daily and AMPI reloads the milk into semis to be trucked to Fredricksburg. Present directors are Milton Meyer, President; Ken Forry, Vice President; Les Leisinger, Secretary-Treasurer; Keith Bohle, Richard Gambaiani, and Janelle Heine, bookkeeper. Milk haulers are Ralph Mohlis, Glen Freesman and Larry Lohmann.

Any omissions are unintentional. Research was contributed by Bill House, Dick Ormston and by Mindy Johnston, great-granddaughter of Mrs. and Mrs. Herman Meyne, former creamery patrons. The Bremer County Independent: November 15, 1900, Front Page News The cooperative creamery at Bremer Station continues to do a paying business for all connected with it. J. C. Pries is the efficient butter maker. The fact that he has managed the creamery for ten years indicated that he is doing good work. The company pays Mr. Pries $85 per month and he hires and pays his own help. The 72 patrons of the creamery brought in 18,000 pounds of milk Monday morning. They make 38 sixty-one-pound tubs of butter per week and the clean appearance of everything about the creamery makes you feel that butter is good enough to eat and that‘s what they think in New York City where their butter brings the top of the market. The 72 patrons are a sturdy lot of farmers, anyway that‘s the impression we got while watching them unloading milk Monday morning. They are not inclined to take any steps that will weaken their creamery and in this they do right. The Bremer County Independent: June 27, 1901, Bremer News Our creamery shipped about 37,000 pounds of butter last month. The Bremer County Independent: June 15, 1905 H. L. Kelley secretary of the Bremer Creamery asked the commission house of A. R. Duncan Jr. Company, Cleveland, Ohio about the advisability of feeding malt to dairy cows when the milk is used to make butter. They answered as follows: We


have investigated in regard to malt through a reliable party and advise you by all means NOT to have any of your farmers feed it. We know of one creamery that lost over $5,000 one season on account of it being fed to the cattle. It is hard to detect it at the factory but it shows up in the butter after it stands a short time. We got this from a very reliable source. The Waverly Republican: February 2, 1905 F. C. Kohagen, secretary of Bremer Creamery Company, hands us the following interesting items. At the annual meeting of the Bremer Creamery Company, which was held on the 24th of January 1905 the following business was transacted; F. C. Kohagen resigned as secretary/treasurer, H. L. Kelley was elected secretary and treasurer for one year and Frank Thoren was elected director for three years. Total number of pounds of milk delivered from Jan. 1, 1904 to Dec. 31, 1904 was 3,132,012; butter manufactured from it 137,593 pounds. Sold to patrons 11,269 pounds, paid for it $2,274.82. Sold to eastern market 126,324 pounds, received from it $24,592.74. Paid patrons for milk $21,763.36. Total expense; $2,829.38 Average patronage is 70 The Tripoli Leader: March 12, 1924, Bremer News T. Slack began his work as butter maker in the Bremer Creamery Tuesday. He formerly held a similar position in Fayette County. Messrs. Allenstein and Slack virtually changed places. January, 1928, Locals John Pries, who was the butter maker worker at the Bremer Creamery for 10 years, moved to his farm. William Kallenberger of Artesian is the new butter maker in Bremer. August, 1948 Eldon Otterstein was butter maker in Bremer in 1948. The creamery annually sends 130,000 pounds of butter to the east. Charge Sex Bias at Bremer Creamery The Bremer County Independent: May 10, 1977 Irene and Leslie Jordan, former employees of the Bremer Cooperative Creamery, Bremer, this week filed a suit for $142,000 in various loss claims and asking $200,000 in exemplary damages. Mrs. Jordan claimed that when she was employed by the Creamery the firm did not withhold Social Security for which she claims a judgement of $25,000; did not play unemployment insurance for which she seeks a judgment of $5200, did not pay any part of health insurance premium for which she claims $1200. Her action contends the creamery did provide these services for other employees and she seeks another $50,000 charging sex discrimination. She further claims $252.14 due for vacation time and $300 for work she claims she was not paid for. Then the suit claims damages of $75,000 for emotional distress and finally the $200,000 exemplary damages. Mr. Jordan is seeking $195 he claims due for vacation pay and $10,000 for loss of consortium with his wife due to her emotional distress. Most of the butter was shipped to the New York area. Bremer Creamery: Going Strong Newspaper: June 14, 1978 Only two creameries remain in Bremer County according to Bill House, manager of one of the survivors, The Bremer Creamery, at Bremer. Potter Siding and Bremer Creamery are the only ones still in business. He remembers a few years ago that every seven or eight miles you would find a creamery. Bremer Creamery shows a steady increase in gross income, which topped three million dollars in 1977. He was asked, ‖why Bremer‘s Creamery survived and others didn‘t.‖ He explained ―basically, it‘s management. I‘m on commission and I either run the volume through here or I don‘t get a check.‖

The creamery serves about 200 dairyman in the area. The Farmer‘s Dairy & Butter Coop in Fredericksburg transports the milk in semis. It takes approximately 20 minutes to load 47, 000 pounds of milk into the trucks. Bill House said the creamery is also a community center where people wishing to buy, sell, trade or just catch up on the news drop in for coffee. His ―Community Center‖ provides a sofa, some chairs & a table and of course a coffeemaker. He said he calls it the ―loafing department.‖ Each day his routine is filled with dumping and weighing milk run through the plant on a venerable conveyer and washer system. Six cans a minute is about what House and his machinery can handle.


Bill House and his machine could handle 6 cans per miute at the Bremer Creamery. House has been at the Bremer Creamery for 21 years after holding creamery positions in plants in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Ryan, Iowa. He said, ―I‘m here every day, even on the Fourth of July and Christmas.‖ ―People ask me when I‘m going to retire. I ask them, ―retire from what?‖ 1984 Bill House was the last butter maker at Bremer Creamery. He retired in 1984. Climax Creamery Dayton Township Section 9 Sumner Gazette: April 12, 1956 May 25, 1893 The new creamery to be built between Little Valley and Spring Fountain will be known as the Climax Creamery. The building will be 30x50 and brick veneered. The officers for the year are Jacob Ambrose, president; Wm. Schwake, secretary; Fred Pipho, treasurer; Henry Geistfield, Christ Pipho and Charles Seehase, trustees. The creamery is located one-half mile south of Wm. Schwake. Sumner Gazette: December 24, 1903 Fred Engel, the present buttermaker at Climax creamery, will give up his job as soon as a new man is hired, owing to a long continued attack of rheumatism. He has made the creamery a faithful employee.

The Bremer County Independent, February 1, 1905 Climax Creamery paid $1.06 per 100 pounds of milk. Clover Leaf Dairy Sumner Township Section 13 The Waverly Republican: March 7, 1907, Sumner News Quite a little interest is manifested in the fine herd of registered jersey cows Joe Cass is placing on his farm north of town. He has just received twenty from a famous herd near Mason City and expects to add a number more from a herd in New York as well as a number of full blooded Short Horns. Mr. Cass is putting in fine equipment consisting of gasoline engine, feed cookers, hand separator, power churns, etc. on the farm, all of which will be in charge of E. E. Sears and wife, who will see to it that the Clover Leaf Dairy butter is second to none. Mrs. Sears will also have the pleasure of tending a flock of fine poultry, which will be housed according to the most approved methods. Mr. Cass never does thing by halves and we look to see his farm one of the finest in this side of the county.


The scoring will be continued throughout the summer. Dayton Creamery Section 13 Five Miles South of Sumner The Bremer County Independent: December 22, 1910, Sumner News Charles Zell has returned from Dysart. He has been appointed butter maker at Dayton Creamery. Denver Creamery Jefferson Township Section 24 New Industry in Denver, a New Creamery The Bremer County Independent: January 31, 1901 A new industry in Denver in the way of a new creamery was started this week. The plant is a hand separator plant and is under the management of Herman Braun. Those who are in the position to know say the new venture will prove a successful one. The Bremer County Independent: March 2, 1905, Denver News Henry Griese will soon begin building a creamery in town. The Bremer County Independent: February 8, 1918 The Denver Creamery Company held their annual meeting last week on Thursday and after the annual report was read arrangements were made for the electing of one new director and a butter maker. Wm. Mohling‘s time as director expired but his services for the past three years were so satisfactory that he was unanimously re-elected, making the board as follows; Fred Bartling, Emil Bloeser, and Wm. Mohling. Alec Mooney was re-elected butter maker which is good news to Denver people as we are glad to keep the Mooneys with us. Ernest Brandt succeeds Chris Pipho as secretary. A vote was taken as to whether the test system should be inaugurated and a great majority favored this movement so it will be adopted. This creamery is a good enterprise for Denver and the loyalty and patronage to the creamery as well as to the business men is sure appreciated and so let the good work continue. Denver Creamery Company Incorporation Waverly Democrat: April 5, 1923 The name of this corporation shall be the Denver Creamery Company and the principal place for the transaction of the business of said corporation shall be at Denver, Bremer County, Iowa. This corporation is the successor of the Denver Creamery Company of Denver and all members of said company at the time of adopting its articles of incorporation shall be members of this corporation. The Tripoli Leader: April 16, 1924, Denver News The Denver Creamery Company is having a shed built over their loading platform along the W.C.F. & N. tracks. The Tripoli Leader: April 23, 1924 Excerpts from article: Local Creamery Takes up Cream Scoring Denver Has Cream Scoring F. H. Sheldon of the extension service of Iowa State College visited Denver this week to score the cream and milk as it was brought to the Denver Creamery. The Denver Creamery is one of the sixteen creameries in Iowa that are permitted to make ―Iowa Brand‖ butter and the officers and W. J. Spurbeck, the butter maker, are anxious to have nothing but quality milk and cream delivered. The cream delivered was of excellent quality throughout, ranking from a score of 89 to 95. The milk scoring showed good results with many samples over 90 and one of them as high as 93, although the scoring indicated that some patrons should be more particular as the lowest sample scoring only 77, which however was the only one below 80 points. The sample in question was off flavor, too warm and had a sediment test of 12 out of a possible 25.


Denver to Have New Creamery Coming Summer To Erect $13,000 Building on Lots Near The Standard Station The Bremer County Independent: February 7, 1929 The Denver Creamery Company will build a new creamery; fireproof and modern in every respect, on the lots recently purchased opposite the Standard Oil Filling Station on primary No. 59 through the town. It was decided at the annual meeting of the company in the Denver City Hall Thursday, January 31. The building will be constructed during the coming summer, it was decided, with operations probably beginning in June. Committee of Seven in Charge The new structure is to cost approximately $13,000. A committee of seven creamery members was chosen to supervise the work. It is made up of Fred Brettman, Fred Bartling and Henry Sassmann, directors, W. J. Moehling, secretary, P. G. Bloeser, Christ Luther and Will C. Steege. ―To build an up-to-date structure that Denver will be proud to have on the main highway through the town,‖ was the objective of the committee. Fred Brettman was named president of the company at the annual meeting. Wm. Graening was chosen treasurer, and W. J. Moehling secretary. W. J. Spurbeck was reelected butter maker and Otto Schaeffer is to be his assistant. New Denver Co-op Creamery The Bremer County Independent: September 12, 1951 A two-story, 42 x 62 foot, seven room building, was recently completed for the Denver Cooperative Creamery at Denver. In addition to the churn room there is a stock room, ice machine room, boiler room, refrigerator room, office and a reception room. The Denver Co-op was organized in 1916 and now has expanded to include 85 members. Present officers of the corporation are Melvin Judas, president: Elmer E. Steege, secretary: and Harold Paul, vice-president. Paul Schroeder has been with the creamery for l6 years as butter maker. Butter makers at Denver (Not all, just those we found listed in articles) Herman Braun 1901 Alec Mooney 1918 Walt Spurbeck 1929 Charles F. George Paul Schroeder 1951 Lynn Wilson 1967 – December 31, l976, when it closed. Memories Paul Schroeder, Denver Butter Maker Bremer County Once Home to 24 Local Creameries The Waverly Newspaper: 1967 Most fathers and grandfathers share stories about their life‘s work with their children and grandchildren, but not many can say that their former occupations have disappeared with time. Paul Schroeder of Denver remembers attending ―the annual butter maker‘s picnics‖ when there were 24 creameries in Bremer County. Although farm folks will know what his occupation entailed, the generation of children that is now growing up may not. Paul worked as a butter maker first in Oelwein, then at Spring Fountain from 1927 to 1935 and finally in Denver. His career spanned the years between 1925 and 1967 when he retired. ―When I was a young man there were many dairy farmers, and they needed the services of a creamery nearby,‖ said Paul. ―Traveling long distances with fresh milk over poor roads just wasn‘t practical,‖ he continued. Most creameries were run like cooperatives for the farmers, according to Paul. Farmers brought the milk to the creamery in cans on a horsedrawn wagon when Paul first started as a butter maker. Ernest (Christy) Griese, a onetime patron of the Denver Creamery and a friend of Paul‘s added, ―The local joke was that the weak guys hauled their milk in 8 gallon cans and the strong ones used the 10 gallon cans.‖

―Some smaller farmers with less land and more time hauled milk on a regular route for their neighbors,‖ said Paul. The butter makers at the creamery separated the cream, which was churned into butter, and most farmers took the skim milk back home to feed to the hogs, according to Paul. In this way butter was supplied back to the farmers and the balance was sold to local merchants or transported by rail to major cities. ―Most farmers belonged to one co-op in their township,‖ commented Christy. Thus, the names of many of the old creameries recall the present day townships: Maxfied Creamery, east of Denver and Farrington Creamery once located south of Denver are both examples. Paul remembers how busy the early machine kept him. ―At one time, we used a steam engine to power all the machines in the creamery (Denver), said Paul, ―the churners, the vats, the separators and even the ice machine.‖ Later, these machines were all motorized. In the separation process, copper coils which ran through the milk carried hot water to bring the liquid to animal body temperature: then, icy well water was run through the coils to pasteurize and cool the substance rapidly. ―In the early 1920‘s,‖ said Paul, ―many farmers purchased their own separators. Creameries, in some places, stopped separating the cream altogether. I remember that for awhile in Denver, we took in some milk, which I had to run through the separation process, while at the same time we received cream only from other patrons. In the mid-fifties, the Denver Creamery produced whole milk only, selling their supply to Rochester Dairy in Minnesota. ―The Dairy used to sell a packaged ice cream mix, and we (Denver Creamery) used it to make Denver Pride ice cream which was sold mostly to local stores and patrons,‖ recalled Paul. In the early sixties the market picture changed, according to Paul‘s son Dennis, who now teaches economics at Dubuque Hempsted High School. Because there was more profit in making butter, the Denver Creamery separated the farm fresh milk for butter once again and sold it to local stores and a distributing company which shipped it to some of News York‘s & Chicago‘s best hotels. ―Dad‘s butter won best in state several times,‖ said Dennis, ―and was favored in a Minnesota competition as well.‖ Paul explained that he suspects the high quality of the butter was due to the fact that he made butter everyday in Denver, while some creameries only processed one or two times a week, storing the cream in vats between times. Paul recalled that the skim milk in the 60‘s was sold


to Meinerz Dairy in Fredericksburg, which converted it to a dry powder and also made cheese. ―It was said that the powdered mix was put into large sacks for distribution to poor people in foreign countries,‖ commented Paul‘s son, Dennis. ―When I quit in 1967, the Denver Creamery was selling skim milk to Meinerz,‖ said the veteran butter maker. Many of the 24 creameries in the county had already gone out of business. Paul offered a couple reasons for the decline of the creameries in Bremer County. ―Well, a lot of farmers just stopped dairy farming in this area,‖ he said. Paul‘s wife, Norma added, ―Yes, a lot of farmers just felt too tied down in the business. You can‘t ever leave home when there are cows to milk both morning and night.‖ The second reason, according to Paul, is simple: better roads and refrigerated trucks and railroad cars. Denver‘s butter maker remembers packing the butter in barrel shaped containers and storing it in coolers until the railroad freight cars pulled into town. ―We loaded the barrels onto a truck and hauled them to the refrigerated freight cars. Refrigerated in the early days meant somebody had to dump a load of ice into one side of the railroad car,‖ explained Paul. ―A fella can see why it changed,‖ said Paul, ―Big tank trucks do a lot of the work now,‖ he added. There aren‘t any more butter maker picnics in Bremer County, but there are still two major creameries providing quality dairy products for Iowans (Carnation and Potter Siding). In addition, Bremer County has at least one veteran butter maker who remembers for us all how it used to be done. The Denver Creamery closed on December 31, 1975. Article from: The 125th History of Denver (Jefferson City), Iowa, 1855-1980 Compiled and written by: The Denver Thimble Bee Club in 1980 The farmers of the community organized the Denver Cooperative Creamery in January, 1916. Its purpose was to make butter and process the milk for resale to dairies. Early refrigeration used ice cut from the Denver Creek. An electric refrigeration system was installed in 1936. In 1950 a new building was erected (this is now known as the Mil-Han Building) and in 1954 an ice cream-making machine was added. Over the ensuing years farmers converted to bulk tanks and declining patronage forced the creamery to close December 31, 1976. News, August, l948 Paul Schroeder, butter maker, made 300,000 pounds of butter and sent the sweet cream to Borden‘s Dairy in Waterloo, Iowa. A Typical Day in a Butter Maker‘s Life Denver Creamery: Most of us butter makers were at work at 4 a.m. as we had to churn and get the butter in the cooler since farmers started to come by 7 a.m., and we could not be in two places at once. This was 4 a.m. every day of the year including Sundays and holidays as we worked alone and had to be there. In my case I always had the pump set up to pump the cream into the churn before I went home the day before so there was no delay. It took about 40 minutes to churn the butter to small lumps. Then the buttermilk was pumped to a tank in the attic for the farmers to get. It was sold to some farmers for hog feed. Next the butter churn was filled with clean filtered water to rinse off the remaining buttermilk. The churn was closed and rotated until butter was a solid mass. We always had to know the exact amount of fat that was in the churn so we could add salt and moisture to the finished product, which was closely regulated by State Law. You were allowed to make 1.245 pounds of butter from every pound of fat in the churn, but no more than that. We had to take a moisture test before we could add salt and water to it. When it was ―worked‖ to the proper stage it was packed in 64-pound boxes that were lined while the churn was running. These boxes were lined with a special parchment liner that had been soaked overnight in salt water.

At all stages of handling butter your hands had to be clean and a pail of water was kept by the churn so if you touched anything you must rinse them before returning to the butter. The water was strongly chlorinated also. After the butter was in the walk-in cooler it was necessary to wash the churn with a special cleaner, then rinse and return it to a position where the doors could be left partially open to ―air out.‖ By this time you also had to have the can washer set up and all pumps, etc. in place to take cream. So you could not stand around and drink coffee! Once the farmers started to arrive you did not have time for much else. Cream had to be weighed and credited to the farmer‘s patron number. Also a sample of cream was taken from each batch of cream and placed in a numbered bottle to be tested for butterfat content at the end of the day. Once the cream started to come in it also had to be pasteurized in a vat to 180 degrees, allowed to stand for 30 minutes at that temperature then cooled down to 40 degrees. It stood overnight in an insulated vat to be churned the next morning. Running cold water through a rotating coil in the vat did this. We then had a special tank of calcium chloride solution, which was cooled by an ammonia compressor to about 10 degrees below zero, which we pumped through the vat coil until it was down to 40 degrees. There were lots of pipes and valves involved in this system. Then all the equipment, pipes, tanks, etc. had to be cleaned, rinsed and put on racks to dry. Floors had to be cleaned and hosed down and butterfat tests had to be made which took quite some time as total fat for the day was necessary in order to churn the next day. Boxes had to be made up and taped for the next morning‘s churning. Some of the boilers that we had to also watch were oil fired and some used coal for fuel. There was always something that you had to be sure was OK at all times. Then there were special wooden boxes with telescoping bottoms. They had to be clean and had to be lined with parchment also. Each held 90 pounds of butter and after cooling, in the cooler, they were brought out and a special jack was used and a steel frame spaced with wires was clamped on top. The jack was forced up to the telescoping bottom and the butter came up like ―lipstick‖ through the wires and a special cutter was carefully pulled through the butter and pressed to cut off 15 pounds which had to be wrapped and put in cartons for the stores and anyone else that might want to buy some. If all went well you could count on being out of the creamery in about ten hours, ―if you hustled.‖ I always arranged it to try to get home to dinner at noon, but had to go back to finish up the work at hand. If all went well and no machines broke you could


make it. One thing for sure if you left something not done you soon learned who had to do it if it was to get done. My wife wrapped all the butter when I was at the Tripoli creamery. Black‘s had a grocery store where Adams store is now located at the corner of West 9th and Mitchell Avenue in Waterloo. They use to special order butter and sometimes sold as much as 10,000 pounds per month. She did not get paid for her work. She did that to help me. When I was at the Denver creamery I wrapped the butter but we only supplied Kurtt‘s Store and our patrons so I did not have much to wrap. At the same time in Tripoli there were four grocery stores that sold our butter as well as Gus Bul‘s store at the junction of 43 & 63. At the Denver creamery we only took in raw milk, which had to be separated, and the cream pasteurized to make into butter. There was always something you had to get done. The years I was in Tripoli the pay was $350.00 per month. I finally received a raise to $400.00. The last years I was in Denver I was paid $725.00 per month. This about covers what a butter maker was expected to do. Butter makers at Denver: Lynn Wilson [10 years], Walt Spurbeck, and Paul Schroeder Submitted by Lynn Wilson [86 years of age] of Tripoli, IA Douglas Center Creamery Douglas Township Section 30 The History of the Abandoned Post Office of Bremer County Iowa Sesquicentennial, Bremer County, 1995 The Douglas Center Creamery was located on the northeast corner of section 30 in Douglas Township. It opened in the spring of 1890, when a group of farmers formed a cooperative and bought the Biermann Brothers Creamery. With the many farmers making regular trips to the spot, it was a likely choice for a post office. According to United States Postal Service records, Hamon O. Potter received his appointment as postmaster on July 21, 1891. Thomas R. Carroll replaced him on June 2, 1893. The last postmaster of Roxie was Walter Burgess who took over on June 8, 1894. He remained in authority until December 27, 1894, when the office was discontinued and all services were transferred to Horton three miles straight west. Both Burgess and Carroll are known to have worked at the creamery itself. Carroll moved to South Dakota, but when he died in 1933, a short obituary appeared in a Waverly newspaper. It stated that he had been a butter maker in Douglas Township. It might seem strange to think that anyone could take their milk to market and get their mail at the same time. On the other hand, there are many places today where one stop does all. The Waverly Republican: March 20, 1890 The Douglas Center Creamery is now running in full blast. Last Saturday they took in about fifteen hundred pounds of milk. Will Biermann has been engaged by the company to make butter for the ensuing year. The farmer‘s creamery is a worthy enterprise, and fills a long felt want. The Waverly Republican: November 30, 1893, Horton News Fred Ladd takes Eugene Shoup‘s place at the Douglas Creamery. The Waverly Republican: July 26, 1894, Roxie News Fred Zell the Douglas Center butter maker made a short call on the Western Douglas Creamery last Sunday on his way to Siegel. The Waverly Republican: June 11, 1896, Siegel News The Douglas Center Creamery has ordered a new boiler as their old one was not safe and while the new one is being put up the patrons are hauling their milk to the Siegel Creamery. Eastern Douglas Creamery The Waverly Republican: May 30, 1895 We hear that Mark Caswell is employed as a butter maker for the Eastern Douglas Creamery. The Waverly Republican: March 12, 1896, Local News

F. G. Ladd has resigned as butter maker for the Creamery at Republic and has accepted a similar position with the Eastern Douglas Creamery. Excelsior Creamery Sumner Township Section 5 2979 110th St The Abandoned Post Offices of Bremer County, 1995 The Excelsior Creamery Association was formed in 1889. Stone for the foundation was hauled to the site in December. B. J. Farnham was the president, and Hartwell Bassett served as vice-president. Other members included J. E. Stevenson, John Dawson, F. Ladwig, M. Congdon, J. J. McConkey, George Hemmetter and W. A. Robinson. Within a short time the association had 56 members. John Smith, Jr. was hired to manage the creamery, which was built at a total cost of $3,500. With three separators, they processed 15,000 pounds of milk on the first full day of operation. The cooperative was still in business in 1948 with Orville Herman serving as butter maker. The annual output was about 100,000 pounds of butter, most of it sold to the A&P chain of Philadelphia. The Bremer County Independent: April 20, 1899, Mentor News The Excelsior Creamery residence, which was occupied by butter maker F. G. Huntley caught fire last week Tuesday and burned to the ground. They saved all their household goods except a stove. Mr. Huntley has moved into a house owned by F. Ladwig. The Bremer County Independent: June 15, 1899, Mentor News Excelsior Creamery Company‘s new house for their butter maker is almost finished. The Bremer County Independent, January 30, 1902, Mentor News Our butter maker, Mr. F. G. Huntley got the first premium for best butter at the Farmers Institute at Waverly last week. That is a good recommend for Excelsior Creamery.


was re-elected. The president and vice-president were also re-elected. They are now filling their icehouse from Janesville. The Bremer County Independent: January 29, 1903, Mentor News The Excelsior Creamery Company filled their icehouse a short time since, and reports the ice is of good quality and very thick. The Bremer County Independent: February 15, 1906, Mentor News The Excelsior Creamery Company is fortunate in having a good butter maker, Mr. C. Mills. He had the third best test in the state for the year. Of course he feels proud of it as he has a right to be for he has worked hard to learn it. Hope he may get a big prize in Chicago. The Waverly Republican: March 7, 1907, Sumner News George Green, who has had charge of a milk route to Excelsior Creamery for several years, has given up that work and moved back to his farm south of town. 1909 Robert Wagner was butter maker at Excelsior Creamery in 1909. News, January, 1930 Excelsior butter maker, F. G. Huntley, got 1st premium for best butter at the Farmers Institute in Waverly. Bremer County butter makers who also entered the contest, F. C. Oltrogge of the Tripoli Creamery, C. E. Carr of Frederika, Fred Wills of Knittle, and Fred Sommers of the Spring Fountain Creamery. Excelsior Creamery: August, 1948, News Located northwest of Sumner, Orville Herman was the butter maker. Over 100,000 pounds of butter was sent out East. East Janesville Creamery The Waverly Republican: January 18, 1894, Janesville News The East Janesville Creamery men have been taking out large quantities of ice during the past week, having some days as many as forty-five teams after ice at one time. The Waverly Republican: March 24, 1894 The engine, boiler and machinery for the new creamery southeast of town (Not sure if its southeast of Janesville and maybe East Janesville) have arrived and will soon be put in place. Farrington Creamery Jefferson Township Section 35 A New Farmer‘s Cooperative Company Is Replacing the Private Creamery The Waverly Republican: August 30, 1894, Local News A farmers cooperative company is replacing the private creamery burned not long ago at East Janesville by a new plant to be located two miles south of Denver. A large delegation came in Saturday with teams and brought the lumber from Donlon & Saylor. Horseman Briden is president and the building committee is John Homrighaus, Julius Smith and Henry Steege. The creamery will be 26x72 feet with 12-foot posts. The Waverly Republican: September 20, 1894, Local News The new Farrington Creamery will be ready to run about the first of next month. The machinery for the new creamery south of Denver was hauled out last Friday. The Creamery Supply Company furnished it. The Waverly Republican: January 28, 1897 The Farrington Creamery Company held their annual meeting on January 27, 1897. The company was well pleased with the report of the year‘s business, which was submitted by the secretary, Henry Steege who The Waverly Republican: February 10, 1898, Denver News The Farrington Creamery Company at their annual meeting held on Thursday, January 27, elected the following officers for the ensuing year; H. T. Briden, president, Conrad Faust, vice-president, E. L. Farrington, secretary, George Hausman, Geo Bolte and J. T. Reinhart, directors. The Waverly Republican: May 26, 1898, Supplement News The Farrington Creamery Company has recently replaced their old box churns for a No. 5 Victor manufactured by F. B. Fargo and Company of Lake Mills, Wisconsin. They paid 67 cents for standard April milk. The Waverly Republican: May 31, 1900, East Janesville News The directors of Farrington Creamery Company are putting in a cement floor in the creamery. The Bremer County Independent: August 11, 1904, Denver News B.O. Squires and family have moved to Manchester, where Mr. Squires has a good position in a creamery. Charles Woodworth has taken his place as butter maker at the Farrington Creamery. The Bremer County Independent: January 26, 1905, Local News The creamery on the Farrington farm in Jefferson Township, south of Denver, was broken into Sunday and a tub of butter weighing 60 pounds was taken away. The butter was taken from the refrigerator, which was badly broken by the robber. There is a slight clue that leads the authorities to believe Waterloo artists did the work. That‘s what comes of advertising Bremer County butter as the best in the world. The Bremer County Independent: March 2, 1905, Local News The Farrington Creamery paid $1.18 per hundred pounds last month for milk that tests 4 per cent butterfat. The Farrington Creamery Fire South of Denver, Iowa The Bremer County Independent: April 18, 1912 The Farrington Creamery, in Jefferson Township, on the county line two miles south of Denver, together with the ice house and contents, was wholly destroyed by fire Sunday afternoon about


four o‘clock. The butter maker observed the fire and flames were bursting from each end of the main structure at the time. The origin of the fire is unknown, although thfre is a theory that it started from lightning. No flashes of lightning had been observed, but the sky was overcast with rain clouds at the time. In the creamery, two cream separators, the large churn, and two days collection of cream were destroyed. The icehouse had been filled during the winter and this was also destroyed. It is estimated that the total loss will reach $2,000. An Early Bremer County Butter Maker Excerpts from the reminiscences of Bradley Oscar Squires Farrington Creamery: Bradley Oscar Squires was born in Franklin County, Vermont, January 24, 1874. He was raised on a farm and moved to Trinidad, Colorado, at age 17, where he worked on the railroad. He subsequently worked on farms in South Dakota, Missouri, Iowa, and Vermont. After returning to Richmond, VY, he got a job in a condensed milk factory. There was a salary dispute, and he came back to Delaware, Iowa, to work on a farm, but he soon found a job at the Spring Branch Creamery. However, the butter maker didn't teach Squires much about the profession, so he quit. There was another short stop in South Dakota. Squires then went to work for a Will Davis, who knew the butter maker at Fredericksburg. He tells the rest of the story in his reminiscences, written in July 1959 when he was 88 years old. Squires and his wife, Florence, had three children: Forrest, Valeda and Myrtle. Squires served as butter maker at the Farrington Creamery and Janesville Creamery in Bremer County. The butter maker at Fredericksburg told Mr. Davis he would give me $20 a month and board. That was on a Saturday afternoon, and the butter maker told Mr. Davis that if I wanted the job to ring him up and come right up that evening on the train. So, I did and started work Sunday morning, June 16, 1901. I never was in a big creamery before. It had 200 milk patrons and two cream patrons, with five separators and two big churns handling 30,000 pounds of milk a day. By the time we got through that Sunday, I was sick of my job. I didn't like to say anything to the butter maker that day, so I worked a few more days and then told him I would quit if he could find someone else. He put an advertisement in a creamery paper and soon had several applications come, but he didn't take a liking to any of them. After two more weeks, a fellow came that he thought he would like, so he called me to one side and said he had found a man he thought would suit him, but he added I could still have the job if I cared to stay. As I was getting used to it, and the milk was dropping off on account of the dry weather, I stayed. It was kind of him. That winter, the butter maker went to Ames for a month-long school in butter making. The creamery hired a helper for me, and I ran the creamery that month and got along okay. When the butter maker got back, I started looking for a creamery of my own. I heard Gilbertville was going to change butter makers, so I went and looked at that but didn't like the looks of it. I saw the manager of the Cry Package Company in Waterloo, and he told me a creamery he thought I could get. He said he would help me get it. It was the Farrington Creamery, 10 miles straight north of Waterloo on the Logan Avenue Road, which is on the Black Hawk County line or two miles south of Denver. I got the job for $45 a month. The butter maker there was a married man, so there was a house there, but I wasn't going to batch it. I had quite a time getting a place to board and was going to quit if I couldn't get boarded in one of those houses that were only a half-mile away. I could of boarded at Gartons, but they lived a mile from the creamery. Of course, I didn't know Florence Garton then. If I had, a mile wouldn't have been so far. I finally boarded with washing for $12 a month with George Besh, who lived a half-mile from the creamery. I boarded with them until the previous butter maker got another creamery. I took charge of the creamery February 10, 1902. I got up at 3 every morning and took my breakfast with me. All I took or wanted was some breakfast cereals and bread and butter and milk. By the time I got the churning done and had eaten my breakfast, the milk started coming in for that day. Unless it was test day or ice refrigerators, I was usually finished by 10:30 or 11:00 a.m. When Sunday came, Besh asked if I would care to go to church, and I said I would. He said the East Janesville Church was just a mile west of

the creamery and across the road from the Gartons. He said there were a lot of nice girls going to that church, and he would introduce them to me. He did, and my choice was Florence. Besh had a buggy and a span of ponies, and he told me I could take them anytime and go anyplace I wanted. So, one Sunday afternoon, I went over to the Gartons and got a date with Florence. We went together all that summer and fall. I soon bought myself a horse. We were married January 1, 1903. I hired out to the creamery again. We lived in the little house by the creamery. I got $50 a month, plus coal, milk and butter. We put $15 in the Denver Bank each month for quite awhile. From there I went to Spring Branch Creamery in Parkersburg. We stayed only a few months and ended up renting a house in Janesville. I started looking for another job and got one two miles north of New Hartford at the Crescent Creamery. New Hartford started to build a creamery in the spring of 1906, and the Crescent Creamery sold out to it. I might have gotten this job, but Janesville was starting to build a creamery at the same time, and we preferred Janesville. I got the Janesville Creamery and took charge June 1, 1906, for $50 a month, coal and cream. We had to pay $5 a month house rent. We had four haulers and nearly 200 patrons. I did all the work alone. In the spring of 1916, the creamery installed a power separator, and we started taking milk. Business increased, and our son, Forrest, helped me before and after school and on Saturday. Ralph, our son-in-law, started working for me, and I gave him half of what I made. I don't remember just how many years we worked together. He took over the butter making at a straight salary of $180 a month. I did the secretary work and a little light work in the creamery. When I quit I went to Waterloo to see how much Social Security we would get. I received $24 a month and Florence $12.


advancing the premium on the butter 1/4 of a cent per pound. Good for Frederika Creamery. Frederika Creamery News Frederika Township Section 7 503 2nd Avenue The Waverly Republican: February 25, 1897, Frederika News The farmers of this vicinity have organized for a cooperative creamery. They have purchased five lots in the south part of town and have the icehouse ready to fill and as soon as this is done they will start to build the creamery. The Waverly Republican: April 8, 1897, Frederika News The Frederika Creamery will be ready for the machinery next week. The Waverly Republican: May 13, 1897, Local News The new farmer‘s cooperative creamery at Frederika will be opened for business on the 17th of May 1897. Frank French will be the butter maker. The Bremer County Independent: 1899 William Ambrose was butter maker at Frederika Cooperative Creamery. March 16, 1899, Frederika News The creamery company elected their officers for the ensuing year last week as follows: A. E. Johnston, president, J. H. McDonald, secretary, J. J. Adams, treasurer, D. L. Bowers, director. The Bremer County Independent: March 29, 1900, Frederika News Frederika Creamery is doing well. It receives 11,000 pounds of milk daily and markets 35 tubs of butter per week exclusive of what is used by patrons. Has 93 patrons and paid 95 cents per hundred for milk last month. Average 4.10. Mr. Farwell is an expert at butter making. His butter grades ―Western Extra‖ and receives a premium. Following is a summary of the business of the creamery for the year ending March 1, 1900 taken from the secretary‘s report: Checks $20,665.20 Average price paid for milk $76.50 Average butter yields 4.3 Paid on indebtedness $675.00 Cash on hand $433.50 Fuel, ice, tubs, etc about $200.00 The Bremer County Independent: May 9, 1901, Frederika News The farmers have taken the creamery into their hands again and employed Cecil Carr as butter maker. The Bremer County Independent: October 17, 1901, Frederika News There was a meeting of the patrons of the creamery last Saturday to consult as to selling the creamery plant. It seems that it was decided that as the creamery is doing well under Mr. Carr‘s management to let things remain as they are at present. The Bremer County Independent: January 29, 1903 Frederika News The icemen commenced work here Monday morning. There are a number of icehouses in town to be filled besides the one at the creamery. They are also getting the ice for the County Farm here. The Bremer County Independent: May 14, 1903, Frederika News Henry Doscher of New York City was last week inspecting the milk and butter at the creamery. He was much pleased with the way the creamery is conducted, the quality of the milk and butter proving his satisfaction by The Bremer County Independent: October 29, 1903, Frederika News At the request of the writer the secretary of the creamery association, Mr. James McDonald has kindly furnished the report of Frederika Creamery for the month of September as follows: Pounds of milk 237,773 Pounds of butter 10,994 Butter yield 4.62 Average test 3.87 Per cent overrun 19% Price paid for 4 per cent test $ .80 Total amount of sales includingPatrons butter $2,114.92 Paid butter maker, help & Secretary $ 85.00 161 tubs at 31 cents each $ 47.61 Estimated running expenses $ 75.00 Payment on ripener $ 50.00 For milk and hauling $1,848.26 $2,108.17 Amount left over. $ 6.75 The Waverly Republican: May 4, 1905, Frederika News Martin Donovan left Tuesday, April 25 for Montana where he has a position as butter maker. He leaves a host of warm friends who wish him well in his new home. The Bremer County Independent: May 25, 1905 Local News – Frederika Frederika Creamery is taxed to its utmost capacity to care for the supply of milk coming in at this time, and Mr. Carr is calling for more storage room and more separators.


The Waverly Republican: June 8, 1905, Frederika News The creamery association is building a new smokestack of brick. Fredricksburg parties do the work. The Bremer County Independent: October 5, 1905 Frederika News A new cement floor is to be put in the creamery this week. Some of the milk goes to the ‗Burg and some to Tripoli. With the creamery closed for repairs and the auction sale over Frederika is anticipating a quiet time. The Frederika News, October 19, 1905 The creamery started up again Monday morning The Waverly Republican: December 14, 1905, Frederika News Patrons of the creamery have built a coalhouse adjoining their creamery building. The Bremer County Independent: December 8, 1910, Tripoli News Will Dilley who has been assistant butter maker at the Orange Creamery, south of Waterloo, has resigned his position to accept a position as butter maker with the Frederika Creamery Company at Frederika. The Bremer County Independent: January 19, 1911, Frederika News Mr. E. Mooney has begun his work with the Creamery Association and has moved from the farm into the creamery house in the south part of town. Frederika to Have New Creamery Stockholders at a meeting held Tuesday decide unanimously in favor of new building. The Tripoli Leader: April 9, 1924 At a meeting of the stockholders of the Frederika Cooperative Creamery, which was held at Frederika on Tuesday, April 8, it was decided to build a new creamery building. So great was the enthusiasm for the erection of the new building that the vote in favor of a new building was almost unanimous. The Tripoli Leader: May 21, 1924, Local News H. C. Ladage was in Frederika Monday afternoon assisting in drawing up plans for the new creamery, which is to be built there. The Tripoli Leader: June 25, 1924, Frederika News Work has commenced on the new creamery. The foundation is now completed. The Tripoli Leader: July 30, 1924, Local News Henry Schlichting and crew of men are busily engaged these days in doing the carpenter work on the Frederika Creamery. The creamery is to be one of the finest in this part of the country and will be an added improvement to the village of Frederika. Frederika Creamery Association Echoes of our Heritage: Frederika, Iowa, 1997 The land on which the Frederika Creamery Association was founded belonged to J. H. Michener and Jane Michener. It was declared a sub-division and the land dedicated unto the public and land platted as streets and alleys on the 28th day of April, A.D. 1896. The Notary Public was J. J. Adams. The previous owner of the land was George Rima who purchased it from the United States on June 15, 1854. The Frederika Creamery Association was capitalized with $6,000 stock on March 6, 1922. Mr. Leon Qualley was butter maker in 1926. A steam-coal-fired boiler drove the machinery.

The creamery did a flourishing business and was later incorporated. This took place May 22, 1937 and was known as Frederika Cooperative Creamery Company. The Board of Directors was Carl Hoppenworth, Ernest Bahlmann, Alvin Bergmann; Secretary was Leigh Alcock. Leon Qually


While operating during World War II, the creamery was accountable for collecting the ration stamps from companies such as A&P in Philadelphia, PA to return stamps to the government OPA (Office of Price Administration). In 1945, A&P was paying 23.5 cents per pound to the creamery. Production varied from $14,000 to $24,000 depending on the time of year. January seemed to be the biggest production month. Merle Smock of Greeley, Iowa was a butter maker at one time. Another butter maker was Alvin Meier from August 1946 until March 1950. He and his wife, Lou, had three small children and no running water in the house. Fred Benz was butter maker in the 1950‘s. He and his wife Zoella had two girls and they did have modern plumbing. In l969, the creamery was dissolved. Trustees were Kenneth Wedemeier, Irl Haynes, and Fred Buss. It was sold to Farmers Butter and Dairy Cooperative of Fredricksburg. Martin Weidler was president and Frank Rosonke was secretary. The last butter maker, Harold E. Meyer and wife, Marian R. Meyer, purchased the buildings on September 15, 1969. A Real Butter Maker October, 1938 A Frederika, Iowa butter maker, Leon Qualley, topped the 176 butter makers who submitted samples in the annual Waterloo Dairy Cattle Congress contest, it was announced last Friday. His score was 96. Entries came from as far away as Oregon and California. Ratings attained by other butter makers in this area include the following: C. J. Meier Waverly 93.66 Albert Kruse Tripoli 94.00 Floyd Nefzger West Union 93.50 Albert Harms Oelwein 94.00 L. R. Waskow Denver 93.00 Otto Schaefer Waverly 92.33 George Heine Waverly 92.50 Paul P. Schroeder Denver 92.83 Melvin Steege Denver 92.16 E. H. Behnke Westgate 93.16 C. W. Turner Waverly 93.16 B. F. Bentley Plainfield 93.16 O. A. Harms Oelwein 92.16 F. H. Harms Oelwein 93.00 Frederika Creamery Frederika, The Busy Center of Bremer County July 31, l924 The creamery is owned and operated by the Frederika Creamery Association. Robert McDonald is president. Lee Alcock, secretary and J. H. Ambrose, manager and butter maker. The old building having outgrown its usefulness, on July 2 work was started to erect a new one. This will occupy the same ground as the old one, being built on the East End enclosing the present boiler and engine room. The new building will be much larger and built of hollow tile on a concrete foundation, with asphalt shingles, making it fireproof. The workroom and receiving room will be lined with white enameled tile, making it sanitary as well. This building is now finished as far as the brick and tile goes and the carpenters are now working on the roof and interior woodwork. They expect to have it ready for occupancy about September 1. This building will cost about $7,000. Some new equipment will also be added. Mr. Ambrose is one of the exceptionally good butter makers of the state. The condition of the old building has made it impossible for him to get the Iowa Brand, but his butter has been of such quality that it scores right around 93 at all times. When he gets into the new building he will, no doubt, get this much-desired recognition of his product. There are 108 patrons of the creamery who bring their milk in from a wide territory. Frederika Creamery closing in 1968 Echoes of our Heritage: Frederika, Iowa, 1997

The creamery of Frederika served a long and useful purpose to local dairy farmers until the closing in l968. Butter makers who served the creamery included Leon Qualley, Alvin Meier, Fred Benz and Harold Meyer. The buildings have been sold several times since the closing and they are now occupied by Roger, Pat & Aaron Goodrich. Fremont Creamery Fremont Township Section 28 The Waverly Republican: May 23, 1895, Tripoli News The stockholders of Fremont Creamery hauled brick for a new smokestack last week. Obituary from Henry John Hankner, 1897, 1913 Henry John Hankner was employed as a youth as a butter maker and was employed in that position at Fremont Creamery for 16 years. According to the family he started at the Fremont Creamery in 1897 and worked there until 1913. The Waverly Republican: December 27, 1900 Fremont Center Creamery in Bremer County has thrown out the test or rather patrons voted not to pay by the test after having used it for some five years. Some very good men are liable to do the wrong thing occasionally and it is very sure three per cent milk is not worth as much as five per cent milk and no fair man with a normal brain and half a conscience should ask to receive as much for it. The Bremer County Independent: April 4, 1901, Tripoli News Mr. Smith of Sumner is butter maker at the Fremont Creamery this year. His brother-in-law, Mr. Olds is his assistant. They moved over last week. The Tripoli Leader: January 9, 1924, Fremont News The annual meeting of the Fremont Creamery Company was held at the creamery January 7th and the following were elected as officers: J. C. Peters, president; J. P. Snelling, vice-president; Myron Chapin, Emil Tiedt and Fred Hackbarth directors and G. V. Chapin, secretary for the coming year. Mr. Zell was rehired as butter maker at the last board of directors meeting.


The Grove Hill Creamery built an extension to the icehouse. Butter maker Daniels attended the dairy convention at Waterloo this week. The Tripoli Leader: May 21, 1924 Remember When: May 23, 1906 Fremont Creamery‘s barn burned to the ground Friday while the butter maker, Mr. Hankner was in town. The barn was insured but household goods Mr. Hankner had stored there were not insured. The cause of fire is unknown. News, August, l948 Ray Dilley is the butter maker and sends over 120,000 pounds of butter to New York butter buyers. M. A. Woodcock is President and Leslie Lohman is Secretary of the cooperative creamery. News, March, 1951 Gene Wilson was hired in March of 1951, as the new butter maker at the Fremont Creamery, succeeding Ray Dilley. News, March 31, 1957 Fremont Creamery discontinued operation on March 31, 1957. A sale of all equipment was held on April 7, 1957. Grove Hill Creamery Franklin Township Section 22 The Waverly Republican: February 2, 1893 The Grove Hill Creamery paid $1.30 net, Oran $1.30 net, and Wapsie $1.20. Our butter maker, Mr. Huntley, Wednesday begins operation at Wapsie. We are sorry to lose him as he is a first class butter maker and his butter from our creamery has always brought the top price. Mr. Blunt goes into a creamery near Fayette; Wapsie‘s loss is Fayette‘s gain. I. I. Chase is to operate the Grove Hill Creamery. The Waverly Republican: July 19, 1894, Grove Hill News Due to the railroad strike the creameries will be delayed in issuing checks, not being able to ship their butter on time. The Waverly Republican: January 31, 1895 The Grove Hill Creamery meeting was held a short time ago. Mr. Schillington was reelected director and A. Schmeltzer was elected secretary. No doubt that the Grove Hill Creamery has one of the best butter makers in the State of Iowa. Elias Peck ran the creamery Saturday during the absence of Mr. Daniels. The Waverly Republican: February 7, 1895, Grove Hill News The butter maker has something which will no doubt have some affect on the farmers who do not get their milk around in due time, namely a passenger whistle. Some of the good old farmers were partly scared to death when the butter maker set the machine in operation. The report was heard from three to four miles in either direction. The Bremer County Independent: October 24, 1895, Local News The Grove Hill Creamery has put up a new brick smokestack. The Waverly Republican: January 23, 1896, Grove Hill News The Grove Hill Creamery Company has invested in a new churn and butter worker and is now ready to do first class work. The Waverly Republican: April 16, 1896, Local News Next week mason and bricklayer Hunt of Fairbank will begin the construction of a brick smokestack for the Grove Hill Creamery. It is to be forty-three feet high. The Waverly Republican: November 3, 1898, East of Waverly News The Waverly Republican: December 22, 1898, Grove Hill News The Creamery Company has their ice house filled. They have about 1200 cakes of as nice of ice as any one would wish to see. The Bremer County Independent; February 7, 1919 Dick Botterman, who has been the butter maker at the Grove Hill Creamery the past few months, has moved to Readlyn, the Grove Hill Creamery having been closed in order that the milk and cream of that neighborhood may be shipped to Waterloo. The creamery still separates milk, but no butter is churned, all the cream being shipped to Waterloo. The Bremer County Independent: April 29, 1921 Fire was discovered at the Grove Hill Creamery, but too late to save much of anything. They will call a meeting Monday evening to see if they will rebuild. The Grove Hill Creamery Burned The Bremer County Independent: April 29, 1921 The creamery at Grove Hill was burned to the ground shortly before midnight Saturday. The origin of the fire is unknown as the butter maker W. Spurbeck says that he left the building at about 7 o‘clock and that everything was all right at the time. Joe Oelinzake passed the place at about 11 o‘clock and discovered the blaze. He aroused the neighbors, but the flames had gained such headway that nothing could be done. In addition to the machinery, there were several tubs of butter, all of which were destroyed. There was about $3,000 insurance on the building but will not cover the loss. This was one of the oldest creameries in this section of Iowa and its fame for making good butter was spread far and wide. The building will be replaced with a strictly modern structure and with up-to-date equipment.


W. H. Cutshaw butter maker at Horton Creamery was in town last Thursday on business and he bought a new Crescent bicycle. Horton Creamery Polk Township Section 27 Dayton St One of the first creameries in the county The Waverly Republican: March 23, 1893 The Horton Creamery Company elected officers last Saturday as follow: J. F. Spalding, president; C. S. Haines, vice-president; Barnes Thompson, secretary; W. P. Black, treasurer; F. H. Bunth, H. S. Ingham and Amos Lynes directors. The Waverly Republican: October 26, 1893, Horton News At a meeting of the Directors of Horton Creamery, Clyde Spalding was elected secretary to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Barnes Thompson. The Waverly Republican: January 11, 1894, Horton News The Horton Creamery has just added two very large separators. The Waverly Republican: July 26, 1894, Horton News The Horton Creamery Company met Tuesday, July 24th to decide whether they should separate on Sundays. We have not been informed of their decision. The Waverly Republican: August 16, 1894, Horton News Lovay Cooper gave up his milk route, as it did not pay; now each man hauls his own cans. The Waverly Republican: August 30, 1894, Horton News Burt Nutting has resigned his position in the Horton Creamery. 1896 Elmer Potter is the butter maker at Horton Creamery. The Waverly Republican: March 20, 1896, Horton News The officers of the Horton Creamery are as follows: Wm Harris, M. D. Fritcher and Winnie Ingham directors; H. S. Ingham, president; John Cunningham, vice-president; Walt Empson, secretary and John Wren, treasurer. The Waverly Republican: February 11, 1897, Horton News Mr. Bethka of Prosper was hired last Friday to run our creamery the coming year. The Waverly Republican: March 25, 1897, Horton News A creamery meeting was held at Horton Saturday electing the following officers: John Cunningham, president; Frank Storing, vicepresident; W. J. Empson, secretary; directors, Ozie Thompson, Al Payne and Ben Fritcher. The Waverly Republican: April 22, 1897, Horton News The creamery boiler sprung a leak and milk was hauled to Plainfield a couple of days last week. It has been repaired and is now in good running order. The Waverly Republican: February 10, 1898, Horton News Mr. Bethka was moving to Western Douglas Monday. We shall miss Mr. Bethka for not only making Gilt-Edge Butter, but he was obliging and tried to please the patrons. He and his good wife will be missed in their social relations with the citizens of Horton, but we suppose what is our loss is their gain. The Waverly Republican: March 10, 1898, Horton News H. K. Barney has moved over to the creamery. The Waverly Republican: April 7, 1898, Local News The Waverly Republican: September 22, 1898, Horton News The creamery at Horton is under repairs. The directors met Tuesday to decide the condition of the boiler. The Bremer County Independent: February 16, 1899, Horton News Ovid Lovejoy and partner will run the Horton Creamery. The Bremer County Independent: March 23, 1899, Horton News The Horton Creamery has been rented to R. G. Frazer and Company of the Waverly Milk Condensing Factory. The Waverly Milk Condensing Factory folks have leased the Horton Creamery. The stockholders of that creamery voted last Saturday 20 to 6 in favor of this move. They will run it partly as a receiving station for the factory here and partly to make butter so that those who want skim milk to take home can have it and those who want to sell the whole milk can do that. C H Hastings


The Bremer County Independent: November 23, 1899, Horton Local News George Ogbin and wife are moving over to the creamery. The Bremer County Independent: May 24, 1900, Horton News Mr. Brown of Siegel came Monday to work in the creamery. The Waverly Republican: July l9, 1900, Local News The Horton Creamery has been closed. The Bremer County Independent: October 11, 1900, Horton News Will Runyon Jr. have moved into the creamery building in Horton. The Bremer County Independent: October 17, 1901, Horton News The new blacksmith Christ Holmes has moved over to the creamery. The Bremer County Independent: March 20, 1902, Horton News The Royal Neighbors of Horton will hold their next meeting in the rooms over the creamery on March 28. The Bremer County Independent: December 11, 1902, Local News George Orchard, receiver of the Horton Creamery Stock Company on Tuesday sold the creamery building and lots to Clayton Cooper for $400.00. The Bremer County Independent: January 15, 1903, Horton News The boys are using the old creamery for a physical culture hall. The Bremer County Independent: February 12, 1903, Horton News Clayton Cooper is remodeling the old creamery into a dwelling house. Fowler Cheese & Butter Factory Janesville, Iowa Jackson Township The Waverly Republican: January 6, 1887, Janesville News ―Selling milk to the cheese factory seems to be about the only reliable business the farmers around here have now. Milk is bringing $1.05 per hundred at present. Those who have fat hogs to sell are getting $4.10 at Janesville.‖ The Bremer County Independent: April 18, 1985, Janesville News The cheese factory has finished making butter for the season and from now on will make all the milk they receive into full cream cheese. The factory is under the management of A. M. Royer who has so successfully run it for the last five years. Tom Mickley, Floyd Benson and Ed Barrick assist him. The Bremer County Independent: December 26, 1895, Janesville News The cheese factory now has a whistle which when the boys tire of playing with it, might furnish standard time for working hours. The Waverly Republican: November 26, 1896, Janesville News

The Fowler Company of Waterloo sustained a heavy loss of fire Sunday night but business will continue as usual and the cheese factory here is still in operation. The Waverly Republican: September 8, 1898, Janesville News The Fowler Company is having a brick chimney built at the cheese factory. D. J. & L. R. St. John are in charge of the work, which insures a good job. The Bremer County Independent: March 29, 1900, Janesville News The Fowler Company‘s Factory is the principle enterprise that brings in money. At present 1100 pounds of milk is received four days in the week. Manager A. M. Reyer now has a farm of his own to manage besides the factory and has met with a marked result from feeding a balanced ration of gluten feed, bran and corn meal for dairy cows. His first step was to buy 10 head of Red Polled cows of Messrs. Jennings Brothers. In seven days by feeding a balanced ration the cows increased from 20 pounds of milk per day to 27 1/2 pounds per day for test. The factory will soon receive and work the milk seven days in the week.


Janesville News, March 29, 1900 The Fowler Company has sold two carloads of gluten feed within the last month. Those who have used it report good satisfaction. Bremer County Independent: January l6, 1902, Janesville A. M. Royer has resigned his position with the Fowler Company and has contracted with the Waverly Condensed Milk Factory, assuming his new duties in February. Mr. Royer has been with the Fowler Company 12 years, ten of them as manager of this Janesville Cheese and Butter Factory. He has made many friends in Janesville who will regret his departure, but appreciate his ability to fill a better position. Bremer County Independent: May 21, 1903, Janesville News The cheese factory takes in about 12,000 pounds of milk daily this week. The blue grass, clover and timothy pastures count splendidly for the farmers this spring. The factory makes about 7,000 pounds of cheese a week. John and Dwight McMurray run the institution and they seem to be running it well. The Bremer County Independent: October 15, 1903, Janesville News The Janesville Cheese Factory has had a great run this season. They have made more cheese than in any one of the eight seasons since 1895. The Waverly Republican: May 11, 1905, Janesville News The cheese and butter factory at this place is in a prosperous and highly encouraging condition, which means much to nearly all the residents of Janesville and the country adjacent. At the present time about 2,000 pounds more milk per day is being received at the Janesville factory than at the same period the last year. For March $1.20 was paid for milk, while creameries near here paid $1.08 and $1.15. During the winter butter is made but at present full cream cheese only is made. John McMurray has proven very capable as manager and now has for his right-hand men, Earl Prosser and Adolph Schmidt. Mr. George Fowler, of the Fowler Company, Waterloo, owners of the factory gives much of his time to direction of affairs at this factory. Cheese Factory at Auction The Waverly Democrat: January 12, 1921 The Cheese Factory, together with all equipment, at Janesville, Iowa is in the hands of a committee to sell at Public Sale to the highest bidder. The sale will be held on Wednesday, January 19, 1921 beginning at 2:00 o‘clock. The building is nicely located on the Cedar River, on about two acres of land, which goes with the building. It is an ideal place for a cheese factory, creamery, sorghum mill, gristmill, or any other light manufacturing plant. Building is of ample size and is in good condition. It will be sold as a whole, or in parts, whichever way it will bring the most money. The Janesville Creamery Jackson Township Section 35 The Waverly Republican: January 29, 1903, Janesville News The ice haulers are having a serious time. The ice is so thick (22 inches) it is very hard to handle and accidents occur. A cake fell on Ed Schunemann on Friday and nearly broke one of his arms and he was badly bruised and is confined to the house. The Waverly Republican: February 2, 1905, Janesville News Many teams are hauling ice to the creameries east of town. The Waverly Republican: February l5, l906, Janesville News A number of farmers who separate and sell cream are endeavoring to locate a butter factory in Janesville. An effort is being made to get 500 cows pledged. At previous times there has been efforts made in this direction. The difficulty heretofore has been in getting enough pledged to the

enterprise, a good many dairymen farmers preferring to maintain a position where they are always at liberty to sell their product wherever it will bring the most. The Waverly Republican: February 22, l906, Janesville News The cooperative butter factory is a ―go.‖ On Monday the balance of support needed was secured and preparations were at once commenced for putting up ice. A meeting was held Wednesday for the election of officers and the completion of the organization. The factory will handle gathered cream only. Much of the cream that will come to this factory has heretofore gone to the Mt. Vernon and other creameries and some of the promoters assert that it is not their purpose to solicit patronage from those who are selling milk to the Fowler Company‘s cheese factory at this place. It is hoped dairying will


so increase in this locality that both factories will continue in operation and yield reasonable profits to the owners. The Waverly Republican: March 8, l906, Janesville News Permanent officers of the new butter factory were elected March l. President, John Jennings, Vice-president Wilbert Loveland, Secretary Howard Stine, Treasurer Dan High, Directors O. Burman, H. D. Ford, Harry Stiles. The Waverly Republican: April 5, l906, Janesville News At a stockholders meeting held Saturday, the new Farmers Creamery Company engaged B. O. Squires as butter maker. The Waverly Republican: April 26, l906, Janesville News B.O. Squires and family will soon move here from New Hartford and will occupy the Dan High place in the east part of town. The Waverly Republican: May 23, l907, Janesville News The Farmer‘s Cooperative Creamery is doing a constantly increasing business, many new patrons having recently been added to their list. Mr. B. O. Squires, who has charge of the factory has proven himself capable in that position. Two cream haulers are now employed, J. E. Greenlee and J. E. Briden. H. W. Stine is the secretary. The Waverly Republican: January 30, l908, Janesville News At about 7:30 o‘clock Tuesday evening fire was discovered in Bowen‘s wagon repair & blacksmith shop on lower main street. The alarm was given & many were soon at the scene & it was at once evident that the Farmer‘s Cooperative Creamery plant would also be destroyed. The volunteers succeeded in getting out what butter there was on hand, but little else of value could be saved. The creamery was a cement structure with frame with ice and fuel buildings adjoining. It was built in l906, represented an investment of about $25,000 with but $1200 insurance. Perhaps $1,000 would cover Mr. Bowen‘s loss. He carried $600 insurance. Hard work, much risk and exposure from the top of the structure saved the Illinois Central‘s large water tank near by. The origin of the fire is not know, both Mr. Bowen & his blacksmith, C. Bogardus, being confident they left the fire & everything safe and secure when they closed the shop after the day‘s work. The creamery will probably be rebuilt in the early spring. In the meantime some of these who have been marketing their milk products here will probably sell milk to the Fowler Cheese Factory while others will put their old churns into use again and make butter. The Waverly Republican: February 6, l908, Janesville News The creamery, which was destroyed by fire, will be rebuilt and work will commence as soon as the insurance company adjusts its fire loss. C. D. Bowen has sold his lots adjoining to the Creamery Company. Some cream is being shipped to Manchester at present. The Waverly Republican: February 20, l908, Janesville News The creamery is being rebuilt, the carpenter work being well underway. All hands turned out and rushed in ice the past week from the pond north of town. The Bremer County Independent: January 12, l911, Janesville News The creamery people are getting their icehouse filled, after which the meat market icehouse will be filled. The Bremer County Independent: February 23, l911, Janesville, News At the annual election of the Janesville Creamery Association, R. N. Simpson as president, Roy Sickles vice-president, H. W. Stine as secretary & W. W. Ford as treasurer were elected. The Articles of Incorporation were amended so as to choose the three directors for one, two & three years O. W. Burman, J. A. Ballou & J. H. Jennnings. The total business for the year amounted in round numbers to 37,000. The patrons were paid an average of 32 cents per pound for butterfat or the equivalent of $1.30 per cwt. for four per cent milk.

The Janesville Creamery History of Bremer County, 1985 (From notes by Janice Strauss) 1963 The Janesville Creamery with an icehouse behind it was established in 1912. Bradley Squires was its first supervisor, forming a cooperative with farmers in the surrounding area. Hank Loomis and Harry Wilson, respectively, followed Squires in the supervision of the creamery. Mr. Wilson built the boiler room and the supply room onto the creamery. The creamery closed in August 1966. It was located adjacent to the Illinois Central Railroad tracks in Janesville. Jack Haley owned the railroad as of the summer of 1984. B. O. Squires He‘s Worked Every Weekday for 34 years; Now He Gets a Vacation Has never been away for an entire day The Waverly Democrat: December 13,1940 After 34 years of working full-time every day with the exception of one half-day holiday, B. O. Squires, secretary of the Janesville Cooperative Creamery, has decided to ―take it easy‖. He plans to leave next Tuesday, December 17 for Los Angeles, California on what will be his first vacation since he started making butter at Janesville over 34 years ago. Mr. Squires will join his wife at the home of his daughter and son-in-law in Los Angeles. About ten years ago (Mr. Squires could not give the exact year) he took a half-day off and went to Des Moines to a creamery operator‘s convention. He has never had to stay away from work


because of sickness, and nothing else has seemed important enough to make him stay away from his work. Mr. Squires came to Janesville, May 15, l906, as butter maker for the newly organized creamery, after operating several creameries throughout northeastern Iowa. In fact he had been to so many creameries that there was much discussion as to whether or not he should be made butter maker. When Squires came to work at the Janesville Creamery, the plant was equipped to take in cream alone. Farmers brought in their cream only two times a week at that time and it was necessary to make sour cream butter. There was no separating equipment at the creamery and the farmers were required to bring in separated cream. During his first year at the Janesville Creamery Squires produced 120,000 pounds of butter. This amount has climbed steadily ever since, until it reached a peak last year of 356,975 pounds of butter and nearly 150,000 pounds of other creamery products. Mr. Squires retired from active service as butter maker a few years ago, relinquishing his duties to a son-in-law, Ralph C. Auner, who is butter maker at present. Squires has also been secretary of the organization for the past 12 years in addition to his duties at the creamery. Klinger Creamery Maxfield Township Section 26 The Waverly Republican: July 17, 1890 Fred Dickmann‘s Creamery at Klinger is doing a big business this summer. Three separators are in use daily. About fourteen to sixteen thousand pounds of milk are handled. Butter from this creamery commands top-notch prices in the east and his patrons are so well satisfied that they have no thought of engaging in the cooperative business. The Waverly Republican: April 26, 1900 A large number of patrons were added to the creamery Monday thus making it necessary to start up work on Sunday for the season. The shutting down of the Riddle Creamery at Crane Creek for repairs caused a part of it. The Waverly Republican: August 9, 1900, Janesville News Assistant State Dairy Commissioner, F. W. Bouska was at Klinger Thursday night and inspected the creamery while at work here Friday night. His report when issued will say that after visiting hundreds of creameries in this part of the state he found the creamery here the neatest and cleanest and best kept institution in northern Iowa. Also that the milk furnished and butter manufactured was unsurpassed anywhere. This speaks well of our creamery man C. Dickman also of the farmers who are patrons of the Klinger Creamery. Mr. Bouska will make Waverly his headquarters this week and visit a day at each creamery in the county. The Bremer County Independent: March 3, 1904, Local News Carl H. Rohrsen and Evaline Bruns will be married in Maxfield Township today March 3. Mr. Rohrssen is the new butter maker and owner of the Klinger Creamery. Pastor Bergstresser tied the nuptial knot. Excerpts from: The Abandoned Post Offices of Bremer County, 1995 1910 Census Charles Rohrsen and his nephew, Ernst, worked for the creamery as butter makers. Henry Segebarth who served as butter maker for years and years followed them. Around 1948 Walter Hubner became the president of the Klinger Creamery and the butter maker was Arnold H. Poock. Klinger Patrons Take No Action on Route The Bremer County Independent: November 19, 1941 The patrons of the Klinger Creamery are ―not very interested at the present time‖ in setting up a whole milk route. That seemed to be the attitude of the group as expressed at a meeting held Thursday evening at the creamery three miles south of Readlyn. It was indicated that no further action would be taken in the immediate future since the patrons weren‘t greatly interested now. The fact

that the creamery is quite a distance from Waverly was one factor in the attitude although others also entered.

News, August, l948 Butter maker Arnold Poock churns 245,000 pounds of butter per year. Most of the butter is sold to A & P Grocery Stores in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


Knittle Creamery Maxfield Township Section 10 Piemont Avenue & 230th New Creamery Burned Waverly Republican: April 4, 1889 The farmers of western Franklin, eastern Maxfield and southern Fremont formed a cooperative company last winter for this purpose of building and operating a creamery. The officers are: Fred Burger, president, Charles Hagenow, vice-president, George Vanderwalker, secretary, directors, O. McCumber, F. Bahe, and John Tiedt. The building was completed, a supply of ice secured, a 240 foot well drilled, a complete outfit of new machinery placed in position and everything in readiness to make butter, last Saturday afternoon. Monday was to witness the inauguration of the work of two of those wonderful milk separators driven at a speed of 5,000 revolutions per minute by a fine engine, but Monday dawned upon what was left of the creamery---a collection of twisted, melted and ruined machinery and a huge pile of partially melted ice. This is all that is known of the origin of the fire: A farmer‘s wife living a half mile northeast from the creamery was up between 12 and 1 o‘clock Sunday morning with a sick child and discovered the blaze. Others soon saw it and soon the whole neighborhood was aroused. However, it was too late to save anything. As John Tiedt came up he saw two men skulking away and gave chase, but the night was very dark and he soon lost track of them. Next morning a can and jug were discovered in the sawdust on the ice, in the portion of the building where the fire originated. It is supposed that these contained kerosene oil, which was used to start the fire. The conviction is general in the neighborhood that the fire was the work of incendiaries. Happily, J. Y. Hazlettt in the Citizen‘s Mutual of Waterloo had insured the building the day before for $2,000. On Monday the president of the company, Ex-Gov. Buren R. Sherman, came up and in company with Mr. Hazlett examined into matters and adjusted the loss on the spot at $1,700, a figure which seemed to please all concerned. Gov. Sherman and his company both came in for a generous share of praise from the farmers. Ike Woodring, who was on the ground, took their order for a new outfit of machinery and the work of rebuilding began on Monday morning. In another month they hope to be making butter and it won't be healthy to get caught prowling about the creamery after dark. The young carpenter who built the creamery sustained a serious loss. Mr. Lehmkuhl, whose kit of tools, valued at $100, was a total loss. The writer is under obligations to Ike Woodring for a ride to and from the scene of the fire and to our friend, John Tiedt and his hospitable wife, for a substantial dinner. Article from: The Abandoned Post Offices of Bremer County, 1995 The Knittel Creamery opened in l889 at a cost of several thousand dollars. It had a rough start. The building was finished on a Saturday in April, and burned to the ground the same night. Nothing was saved, but the farmers were determined not to give up. They immediately began hauling lumber to rebuild. Fortunately, insurance covered part of the loss. It was rebuilt. For many years it was one of the many creameries which dotted the landscape of Bremer County, ―The Dairy Spot of Iowa.‖ In l948 Henry Lau was president of the Knittel Cooperative creamery and John Strumpel was the secretary. The creamery with W. H. Happ as butter maker was producing l80,000 pounds of butter annually. Most of it was sold to the Atlantic & Pacific Company of Philadelphia. It was still in operation in l956, but over the next few years all but three other Bremer County creameries closed their doors. The Waverly Republican: March 30, 1893, Local News The Farmers Cooperative Creamery of Knittle, burned down Monday afternoon. It was insured in the Maxfield Insurance Company for $1200 and preparations to rebuild the creamery have commenced. Maxfield Creamery Company/

Knittle Creamery Company Information from: The Readlyn Museum and Erwin Koschmeder The creamery‘s name was Maxfield Creamery Company from l895 to l912, and then from l913 to l941 it was called Knittle Creamery Company. From 1942 to l966 its name was Knittle Cooperative Creamery Company. At the annual election of the Maxfield Creamery Company, February 11, l895 the following officers were elected: Charles Jahnke, secretary, term of two years, January, l895-1897; F. Selck, W. Oltrogge were elected as directors, term of two years, January, l895-97; F. C. Oltrogge, president, term of two years l895-l897. The Bremer County Independent: October 11, 1900, Maxfield News The Knittel Creamery Company is busy putting on an addition to their icehouse. The Bremer County Independent: September 25, 1902, Local News Fred Wills, the butter maker at the Knittel Creamery was in town Tuesday to attend a meeting of the Butter Makers Association of Bremer County at the Fortner House. He brought with him a tub of butter from his creamery that scored 95. His creamery paid 80 cents per hundred pounds for milk last month. Mr. Wills makes good goods and the diary men of his neighborhood


benefit by it. The Knittel Creamery is doing a good business. The Bremer County Independent: March 10, 1904, Local News Fred Wills, who has been butter maker at the Knittel Creamery for several years, has resigned his position and will move onto his farm. F. H. Wehling, who has been his helper in the creamery, will now take charge as butter maker. Butter Maker for years---will start farming The Waverly Democrat: January 4, 1923 F. H. Wehling who for the past twenty-three years has filled the position as butter maker at Knittel, has resigned and will move to his farm a half mile north of Knittel. He will make this change about March 1, and thereafter will devote his time principally to the raising of purebred Chester White Hogs. In time of service Mr. Wehling‘s record, so we understand, surpassed that of any other butter maker in the State of Iowa. Though they regret his decision to retire from the work in which he has been so eminently successful, his host of friends are free in their prediction that he will meet with equally good success in the line he intends to follow. Butter Maker Wanted The Waverly Democrat: January 11, 1923 As our butter maker is leaving on March 1, 1923, his position will be open for applicants and his successor will be hired at a meeting of the stockholders to be held Tuesday, January 16, 1923, at one o‘clock at the Knittel Creamery building. The company reserves the right to reject any or all applications. Applicants may get any further information desired by calling or writing: John Strottmann, Secretary Knittel Creamery Company Readlyn, Iowa 1928-1936 W. H. Boevers was butter maker at Knittel Creamery. August 1948, Knittel Creamery More than 180, 000 lbs. of butter is churned from milk brought in by local farmers. Buttermaker W. H. Happ sends all butter to A & P in Philadelphia, PA. John Strumpel was secretary. News, 1966 Knittle Creamery executive board was sued by farmer patrons in l966. Lafayette Creamery Lafayette Township Section 11 180th & Euclid The Waverly Republican: March 20, 1890 The farmers of Lafayette Township met Saturday evening, March 15 in the Rew schoolhouse and organized a local branch of the Iowa Farmers Alliance. Creamery discussion will be the subject of the next meeting, March 22. The following officers were elected: President, J. F. Powers, Vicepresident, J. M Deyoe, Secretary, T. D. Harrington, Treasurer, S. C. Kreiger. Parties interested are invited to attend. Chuck acd Eldon Nichols The Waverly Republican: May 7, 1891 The machinery of the Lafayette Creamery was put in operation on Tuesday for the first actual work in that line. Everything worked nicely. The officers and directors appeared to be highly pleased with the job as turned over to them by manager Ike Woodring of the Creamery Supply Company. Mr. Woodring had the contract for erecting the building, supplying and setting up the machinery. That gentleman pronounces the outfit the best in the county and considering the number and excellence of Bremer‘s creameries, it follows that the Lafayette farmers are well equipped for

buttermaking indeed. To make doubly sure of this they have engaged the services of John Hildebrandt as butter maker. The officers are: President, B. Cornforth, Vice-president, W. S. Grover, Secretary, A. H. Sheldon, Treasurer, J. H. O. Steege, Directors, John Abraham, Chris Sohie & J. M. Miller. The Waverly Republican: March 16, 1893, Local News Lafayette Creamery elected the following officers at their annual meeting Tuesday, March 7th: F. C. Sohle, President, A. H. Sheldon, Vicepresident, Bate Cornforth, Secretary, J. C. Steege, Treasurer, J. P. Oberdorf, Wm. Foster and R. D. Pelton, Directors. The Waverly Republican: March 23, 1893, Local News The Lafayette Creamery patrons were in town on Tuesday for lumber to build a residence for the butter maker C. W. Stockwell. The Waverly Republican: February 8, 1894, Local News The brick arch under the boiler of the Lafayette Creamery broke down on Monday and the creamery has been idle all the week while repairs were being made. The Waverly Republican: March 1, 1894,Local News Patrons of Lafayette Creamery used $3,336.75 worth of the butter made at their creamery the past year. Their total sales of butter for the year amounted to upwards of $25,000 net after paying freight, cartage and commission. A neat sum to distribute in one neighborhood. With thirtythree creameries distributing cash for their products each month in Bremer County, prosperity is assured. The Waverly Republican: March 14, 1895, Local News The directors of Lafayette Farmers Creamery last Saturday voted to engage their genial and capable butter maker C. W. Stockwell for another year.


The Bremer County Independent: December 12, 1895, East Lafayette News The Lafayette Creamery Company has been making many improvements this fall among which we can mention. A new drain with about 400 feet of large size sewer pipe, a new churn and have recently purchased a new Babcock steam milk tester. The company is now out of debt and they have an up to date creamery plant. They have a special trade on their ―Stockwell‘s Culture Butter‖ in the east. The Waverly Republican: March 4, 1897, Lafayette News Officers elected for the Lafayette Creamery; W. P. Foster, President; J. Selinsky, Vice-president; Chris Sohle, Treasurer; B. Cornforth, Secretary; Directors, J. P. Oberdorf, A. H. Sheldon and G. A. Chambers. The Waverly Republican: April 1, 1897 F. W. Russell has the contract to lay a cement floor, built a brick smokestack and boiler arch for the Lafayette Creamery. The Waverly Republican: May 6, 1897, Local News The Lafayette Creamery started up again on Monday morning with a new engine, 40 feet brick smokestack, new churn and new cement floor. The patrons who had been compiled to haul milk to more distant creameries while repairs were being made are feeling good over a return to their own conveniences with the added improvements. The Waverly Republican: March 3, 1898, Local News At the Lafayette Creamery annual election on Tuesday officers were elected as follows; W. P. Foster, President; John Selinsky, Vicepresident; L. C. Oberdorf, Secretary; A. H. Sheldon, Treasurer; Directors, Henry Eichman, J. P. Oberdorf and Bremer Abraham. The Waverly Republican: April 14, 1898, Local News Lafayette Creamery has added a new Springer separator to its outfit. The Waverly Republican: June 9, 1898, Local News A 30-day separator contest ended at Lafayette Creamery last Friday. The contestants were the Alpha set up by I. Woodring and the Springer set up and operated by Mr. Springer, the inventor and manufacturer. The Alpha came out ahead in every test, skimming more milk per hour and skimming much closer. The Lafayette people bought two Alpha separators. The Bremer County Independent: April 6, 1899, Lafayette News At the creamery board meeting last Saturday night Will Watkins was hired to draw the butter for the coming year. The Bremer County Independent: May 25, 1899, Lafayette News You should see the picture of our creamery of the two farmers. One sells his milk at Lafayette Creamery and the other at the Condensing Factory. There is quite a contrast in the looks of their pigs. The Bremer County Independent: April 26, 1900, Lafayette News The Lafayette Creamery has begun separating milk on Sunday for the summer. The Waverly Republican: March 8, 1900, Local News Lafayette Creamery elected the following officers: John Selensky, president; A. H. Sheldon, vice-president; H. N. Eichman, treasurer; L. C. Oberdorf, secretary; directors, F. Hurlbut, R. R. Watkins and Wm. Lindner. The past year has been a prosperous one for the creamery. The Waverly Republican: May 10, 1900, Local News

The Lafayette Creamery is doing a good business the supply of milk has lately increased so that the directors are thinking of putting in another separator. The Bremer County Independent: March 7, 1901, Local News The Lafayette Farmers Cooperative Creamery Company held a meeting at the creamery Tuesday and elected the following officers: John Selensky, President; A. H. Sheldon, Vice-president; H. N. Eichman, Treasurer; L. C. Oberdorf, Secretary; Directors, R. R. Watkins, Bremer Abraham and G. G. Lindner. Henry Piegors has been their butter maker for five years and he was re-elected last night for another year. The Bremer County Independent: December 19, 1901, Local News The Lafayette Creamery folks are enlarging their icehouse and filling it with ice. The ice crop is O.K. and growing larger. The Bremer County Independent: October 30, 1902, Local News The Lafayette Creamery continues to do a good business. Henry Piegors is the thorough and efficient butter maker in charge. The 62 patrons bring about 7,000 pounds of milk daily. The creamery is run on the cooperative plan and last month the patrons received 88 cents per hundred pounds of 4 per cent milk. The Bremer County Independent: January 22, 1903 The patrons of the Lafayette Creamery had two fine days in which to haul ice for the icehouse. The Bremer County Independent: March 9, l905, Local News Lafayette Creamery held their annual meeting at the Rew schoolhouse on last Tuesday at which time they elected the following officers for the ensuing year: President, John Selensky, Vice-president, H. N. Eickmann, Treasurer, Aug. Albright, Directors, James Lemon, Wm. Wendt, and Ray Cutshaw. It was voted to build an additional coal shed, of about two-car load capacity, to supply the creamery with enough coal to carry it through a time of bad roads. The Waverly Republican: June 29, 1905 On account of the increased supply of milk Lafayette Creamery has been obligated to put in another separator which was installed last week. The creamery now has three separators and is receiving from 25,000 to 30,000 pounds of milk daily. The sales of butter to others than patrons amount to 110 tubs each week. Lafayette Creamery now has 150 patrons and is doing a flourishing business. The Bremer County Independent: August 3, l905, Bremer News Roy Kinney will work in the Lafayette Creamery as milk weigher.


The Bremer County Independent: March 7, l912 After sixteen years of faithful service for the Lafayette Creamery Henry Piegors on March 1 took charge of the Bremer Creamery as butter maker and Mr. Nichols formerly of the Victory Creamery, has taken charge of the Lafayette Creamery as butter maker. On Wednesday evening the patrons of the creamery gave Mr. & Mrs. Piegors a very pleasant surprise party. There was a large crowd present and all enjoyed a most delightful evening. The patrons of that creamery were sorry to see Mr. Piegors go, but after sixteen years of faithful service it is thought that possibly the change will be of benefit to both Mr. Piegors and the creamery. About seventy people were present and left two chairs, one for Mr. Piegors and one for Mrs. Piegors, who feel very grateful to these friends. Little Valley Creamery Buck Creek, Iowa Dayton Township Section 28 Sumner Gazette: March 15, 1956 January 19, 1887 The farmers of Dayton Township are organizing for another creamery to be built one mile north of Jacob Glattly‘s on Tisch corner. The officers are: P. Sterling, president; Henry Tisch, vice-president; Albert Glattly, treasurer; Crowell Brooks, secretary; and Jacob Glattly, H. Wismer, H. Wiskey, Wm. Zell and C. Wilharm, trustees. ―The name of the institution is Little Valley Creamery. It will be 24x36 with a coal house 12x16.‖ Report of the Little Valley Creamery Company The Waverly Republican: January 28, 1897 At the annual meeting January 4, 1897 the following officers were elected for 1897: W. Judish, president. Buhr, vice-president; John Schwake, secretary; directors, J. Judas, F. Seahaase, E. F. Pohler, C. Sell, J. Weiskirch. Examining committee, A. Glatty, C. Sell and N. Feller. The Waverly Republican: March 10, 1898, Local News Fred Schanewise of Buck Creek returned Tuesday from Kansas where he visited relatives and friends and attended The National Creamery and Butter Makers Convention at Topeka. The Bremer County Independent: April 6, 1905, Local News The Sumner Gazette talks in this way about one of our boys in the eastern part of Bremer County. H. C. Ladage, butter maker at the Buck Creek Creamery, was in town Monday with a smile on his face that would not come off. He had a right to feel pleased too, from the fact that he with a large number of other butter makers in the northern part of the state are interested in what is termed a yearly contest. They are to submit a twenty-pound tub of butter each month through the year and these are to be tested and scored by a representative of the State College at Ames. In the February contest Mr. Ladage scored 96, being one of the three highest. In the March contest he scored 97, which he thinks landed him well in front, although he had not the full return Monday. The Tripoli Leader: June 4, 1924, Buck Creek News Oscar Minkel, Harold Rundel and the Stahlhut boy were busy the past week painting the Little Valley Creamery buildings.


The Tripoli Leader: September 10, 1924 Mr. and Mrs. Ed Henning moved their household goods and effects to Buck Creek on Monday where Ed has accepted the position as manager of the Buck Creek Creamery. Taking up his new duties there this week. Ed has been assistant to H. C. Ladage, manager of the local creamery here for a number of years and is well qualified to take up his new work. While this community regrets the loss of this estimable family the best wishes of all go with them in their new field. September, 2002 Interview with Mildred (Reinhard) Buhr, Geneva (Melvin) Buhr and Al (Bud) Buhr The Little Valley Creamery was located in the community of Buck Creek, two miles West and six miles South of Sumner. The original lease was dated December 19, 1892 and filed January 2, 1893 with William Buhr Sr. as lessor. Listed as leassees and directors of the Little Valley Creamery Company were J. F. Sell, H. Engel, H. Schraeder, H. L. Haase and J. Schaefer. The lease was for 99 years from and after December 19, 1892 with one-half acre of land. Little Valley was the largest creamery in the county from a production standpoint, and the quality of the butter was good enough that it found a Chicago market. Butter was first marketed in tubs and later on in paper boxes. Oil was also sold at the creamery. Among the butter makers for the creamery were Fred Wills (1907), J. G. Nichols, Arthur Adix (1924) Bill Dilley, Faye Carter and Jimmy Creager. The last butter maker was Merritt Stranahan when the creamery was closed. Reinhard Buhr paid $1.00 and the above lease and all and any right and interest the cooperative had in it and to the parcel of land was set over to Mr. Buhr. This was dated April 26, 1963 Maxfield Creamery Deed Maxfield Township Township 91 North Section 20 Range 12 West of the 5th P.M. Original Entry United States to Charles Bruns June 10, 1854 Subject to sale at Dubuque, Iowa June 15, 1855 Patent United States to Charles Bruns June 15, 1855 War Deed Carl Bruns & Engel Marie Bruns to John H. Bruns July 6, 1859 $1,000 Lease John Bruns to Little & Hubner July 2, 1880 Used as grounds on which to establish a butter and cheese factory. Yearly rental of $1.00 Lease John Bruns to H. C. Wente & Company June 3, 1884 Purpose of manufacturing butter or cheese. Yearly rental of $1.00 1894 The Maxfield Cooperative Creamery Company was first organized as a corporation under the name of the First Maxfield Creamery Company. War Deed

Eleanore & Martin Piehler, E. W. & Viola Bruns, Dora & Herman Bruns Jr., Elvira & Roy Schulz, Alida & Albert Brettman, Arlen & Esther Bruns, Marion & Rollis Schutte, Roland & Barbara Boedeker, Paul Boedeker, Louann Boedeker Kleiss & Hadwen Kleiss to Maxfield Cooperative Creamery June 10, 1954 Renewed, amended and substituted Articles of Incorporation of the Maxfield Cooperative Creamery Company, September 21, 1950. Affidavit J. W. Stumme to the Public November 27, 1954


1947 War Deed Maxfield Cooperative Creamery Company By Ervin Koelling, President Attest: Henry O. Pipho, Secretary to Harold J. Wente & Marilyn M. Wente, December 7, 1954. The History of Bremer County, 1883 The first creamery was established in the spring of 1880, and was built by Little & Huebner. In 1881 Mr. Little bought the interest in his partner, and is now exclusive owner of the factory. An average of 1,200 pounds of butter was made each week. Huebner & Leehase established the second creamery in the spring of 1881. Two thousand pounds of butter was made each week. The Waverly Democrat: March 7, 1884 Mr. Van Hone, the manager of the Maxfield Creamery, is missing and with him about $2,000 which the owners of the creamery and the farmers are a little anxious about it. His wife went East on a visit and in about one week after he was called away and has not returned at last account. It is a sad blow to the people in the vicinity of the creamery. The Sheriff has the effects in charge, we understand. The Waverly Democrat: 1889 Louis Dietman, of Maxfield, got his finger caught in a belt at one of the creameries. With his finger torn off, he traveled to Waverly where a doctor performed an amputation. The newspaper printed the news that the patient ―was placed under the effects of chloroform during the operation.‖ The Waverly Republican: June 2, 1898, East of Waverly News The First Maxfield Creamery had a sudden stop on Monday morning on account of a broken wheel. John Kehe started immediately for Waterloo to have it repaired. The Waverly Republican: December 8, 1898, East of Waverly News First Maxfield Creamery will change butter makers about New Years, also Knittle and Denver creameries. The Waverly Republican: December 22, 1898, East of Waverly News Peter Hassier is going to be butter maker at the First Maxfield Creamery on January 1 to succeed Mr. McKee. The Bremer County Independent: March 9, 1899, Local News The First Maxfield Creamery put a new boiler into their factory this week. The Bremer County Independent: May 25, 1899, Local News The First Maxfield Creamery is building a new creamery. The Bremer County Independent: September 20, 1900, East of Waverly, News The First Maxfield Creamery was entered one night recently. Only a few pounds of butter were missed. Butter Maker Wanted The Waverly Republican: October 11, 1900 Peter Hasler butter maker at First Maxfield Creamery has resigned his position and is going to be farming on his farm in Wisconsin. The Creamery Company wants to employ a new butter maker to take his place. Anyone who wants the place should write to Wm. Milius, secretary, Denver, Bremer County, Iowa or call on Mr. John Bruns, president of the creamery on October 16, 1900. 1909 F. H. Wehling is butter maker at First Maxfield Creamery. Maxfield Creamery was producing nearly 200,000 pounds of butter annually under the direction of butter maker, George Carolus. The Maxfield Butter Maker by The Butter Maker‘s Daughter Orval Landsverk was the last butter maker at the Maxfield Creamery. In December of 1947 we moved to the house provided for the butter maker and his family. What a change! A warm apartment in Waterloo to a big country house with no indoor plumbing! We all adjusted well though. The neighbors, patrons and church members made us all feel welcome. Dad had to get up way before dawn to get the boiler heated up before the farmers came. Mom helped in the creamery too. Mostly it was the men who brought the cream in but sometimes the farmer‘s wife brought it. Then Dad would carry the cans in, empty and steam clean them and take them back out again. Certain days he had to test for butterfat in the cream. When he churned, the butter was packed into lined cardboard boxes and picked up by a refrigerated truck but some was put into one-pound rectangles, air holes carefully patched in and then wrapped with the labels in just the right spot. Farmers took some home and once a week Mom and Dad delivered butter to the stores and cafes in Denver. We were always known as ―The Butter Maker, The Butter Maker‘s Wife, The Butter Maker‘s Son, and The Butter Maker‘s Daughter.‖ I‘m not sure but I think the creamery closed in 1954. Orval died of cancer in 1965 at the age of 59. Submitted by Helen Landsverk Krueger [The Butter Maker‘s Daughter], Waverly; August 2002


To Sell Maxfield Creamery Property at Auction October 16, 1954 The Waverly Democrat: October 8, 1954 A familiar sign will probably be removed and a landmark over 50 years may change with the times two miles east of Denver after the property of the First Maxfield Creamery is sold at public auction Saturday, October, 16. The old cooperative creamery, founded on June 13, 1894, quit operating early this year. The old creamery is essentially a casualty of changing times, changing families, and changing farm businesses. Some of its former members moved away. Some began milking fewer cows or feeding beef cattle instead. Some of the newcomers found other creameries more conveniently located. The farmers who formerly took their cream to the Maxfield Creamery now take it principally to creameries at Knittel, Crane Creek and Denver instead. Bids were sought on the creamery property last month. The three, which were received, were believed too low by the board of directors. The auction has been scheduled next week to finally dispose of the property. To be sold at 2 p.m. Saturday, October 15 at the creamery site are a partly modern two-story house, a 25 by 56-foot creamery building and barn, and about one acre of land. Henry Pipho, Readlyn, secretary of the cooperative, said Wednesday that the auction was decided upon when it was found that the bids were not as high as expected. The creamery‘s old record book is an interesting document. It contains the names of the first cooperators along with the original articles of incorporation and the by-laws. Many of the early entries were made in both the German and the English language. According to the records, the first officers of the creamery were John Bruns, president; W. M. Milius, secretary; and H. C. Matthias, Treasurer. Directors were H. C. Matthias, H. A. Platte and J. F. Kehe. The butter fat purchase records tell the story of the business as it grew and then became smaller. The creamery reached its peak in purchases in 1941 when it bought 183,370 pounds of butterfat. By 1944, this amount had declined to 131,048 pounds and the volume was down to 102,137 pounds five years later in 1949. The area served by the creamery was a small one and higher costs for everything, including labor, caused the decision to suspend operations early this year. All of the farmers who formerly took their butter fat there have found other markets close to home. Some of them, including Secretary Henry Pipho, had other markets closer to their farm but they had continued to patronize the Maxfield Creamery for many years out of a sense of loyalty to the organization and to the other members of the cooperative. Millions of pounds of the Bremer County butter, processed at the First Maxfield Creamery, have brought pleasure to the taste and nutrition to the diet of more than two generations of people, many of them far away. The old creamery has suspended operations and will soon sell its property but many of its former members will still be producing high-grade milk and cream for many years to come. Maxfield Creamery Memories: My dad, Lavern Wente, was secretary of Maxfield Creamery for many years. I remember during the years of World War II when many things were rationed and you had to have ration stamps to buy many things. Even farmers, who were taking cream to the creameries, had to have the stamps to buy a pound of butter. The creamery had to keep track of this and report it to the government. My dad said they always seemed to have more stamps than the amount of butter that went out. We never had a shortage of butter. During the spring of 1954 the creamery closed and they decided to have a public auction to sell the property. My wife and I were living with my parents at the time so we decided to try and buy the creamery property. The banker at Denver said the bank would put up 2/3 of the price if we could put up the 1/3. It sold for $6,000.00 and we bought it. The price included the

creamery, the house, a barn like garage, and buttermilk shed. Our monthly house payment was $38.19. Before the auction the creamery had just received a new shipment of butter boxes. They told me the new butter boxes went with the creamery, so we got 10,000 new butter boxes. Needless to say we never ran out of containers to freeze the vegetables from our garden and still have a lot of them. My father-in-law, Bill Sassmann, remodeled the creamery into a welding shop. We remodeled the house and lived there for five years. Submitted by Harold and Marilyn Sassmann Wente; 6 June 2002 O. E.Meyerhoff and Brothers Creamery Otto, H. William, George & Henry Meyerhoff Maxfield Township Section 14 Excerpts from: The Meyerhoffs in Germany and America Written by: D. Steven Meyerhoff; Christmas 1998 The Meyerhoff family can be traced to the region of Schaumburg Lippe, near Hanover, in northwestern Germany. The small town of Wendthagen was the village where they made their home. They were involved in farming and coal mining operations in that area of Germany and were members of the Lutheran church. The story begins with Johann Otto Meyerhoff and Anna Dorothea Senne who were married in the early 1760‘s. Between 1821 and 1848 the local population more than doubled and the job market could not keep pace. Many people from that region began to look to America as a source of economic opportunity. In the 1840‘s Ernst Meyerhoff left Germany to find work in America. Ernst had worked in the coalmines in Germany before leaving for the New World. When he arrived in America he made his way to the coal mining area near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and was killed in a coal mining accident on September 21, 1847. Ernst was the first member of his family to come to America. Ernst‘s nephews, 21 and 15, left Wendthagen for America in 1858. They first settled in St. Louis but later made their way to Schaumburg, Illinois. While some Meyerhoffs remained in Illinois to farm and raise their families others moved on to Iowa during the 1870‘s.


Land was available in large quantities at about half the price of Illinois land. When they arrived in Iowa they settled among family and friends that they had known in Illinois. The Meyerhoffs, Spiers and Diekmanns were part of this great migration of people to Iowa. It is likely that favorable reports from family influenced the Meyerhoffs to sell their Illinois farm and travel to the newly settled area. They came to Bremer County to farm. E Wilhelm and Caroline Diekmann Meyerhoff came by covered wagon with their seven children. They soon bought land in Maxfield Township, Sections 13, 14, and 16, a total of 485 acres for $7200. Carl Friedrich Wilhelm Spier, who left the German coal mines at 20, bought land in Section 1 in Maxfield Township-124.54 acres for either $550 or $950 (the original deed is unclear.) He married Wilhelmine Thielking on March 16, 1864. Maxfield would be home to Carl and Wilhelmine for the rest of their lives. The Meyerhoffs worked hard to establish a home and farm their new land. After living for a brief period along Crane Creek they established a homestead on one of the largest pieces of land in Maxfield Township, Section 14. Four sons were born to E. Wilhelm and Caroline, Otto, H. William, George and Henry. Up to the time of his marriage to Minnie Spier, Otto Meyerhoff had lived at home and was busy building a creamery business known as O. E. Meyerhoff and Brothers. Otto founded this company in 1880 as one of the early creamery establishments of the Township. The partnership built a creamery near the homestead in Section 14. They introduced the first cream separators in that part of the County and added creameries at Lester in Black Hawk County and Maxfield (later renamed Knittle.) The Maxfield Creamery was purchased shortly after Otto‘s marriage to Minnie and the young couple moved into a house built next door to it. The first four children all boys, Arthur, Elmer, Hermann, and Emil, were born at this home. Otto built a prosperous business with his brothers. His obituary states that he won local, state and nationwide recognition for his creamery products. The Meyerhoff and Brothers Creamery partnership was dissolved in 1890. H. William and Henry Meyerhoff, the youngest boy, kept the creamery at the home place, George took the one at Lester and Otto remained at Maxfield. That same year in 1890 their father, E. Wilhelm, who was alone since Caroline died in 1877, decided to sell his sons the four hundred acres he owned in Section 14 and discontinue farming himself as he had reached the age of 63. He kept the old house and 5 acres of land in Section 16 and moved there. When E. Wilhelm decided to sell his farmstead and retire he offered it to his sons at an attractive price of $3000 for 400 acres. Otto immediately sold his one-fourth share to his three brothers for $3000. One year later George sold his one-third share to H. William and Henry concentrated on his farm and creamery in Black Hawk County. E. Wilhelm moved to Dunkerton where George, Clara and Sophie had moved by then. E. Wilhelm died in 1901, and is buried at the St. John‘s Lutheran Church, Bennington cemetery. Otto and Minnie remained at their Maxfield home until about 1894. Otto decided to move his family and creamery business to the Spring Fountain area in southwest Sumner Township in 1896 or so. By 1897 the family was living in the house next door to the Spring Fountain Creamery, which was less than a half-mile from the St. John‘s Lutheran Church at Spring Fountain. There Otto and Minnie‘s children, Martha and Otto, Jr. were baptized in 1897 and 1900. While they were living there in April 1901, Otto and little Minnie were struck with spiral meningitis. They died suddenly and are buried at St. John‘s Lutheran Church cemetery north of Sumner. At the time Otto and Minnie Meyerhoff were expecting their eighth child. Following Otto‘s death, Minnie Meyerhoff took the children with her back to Maxfield Township and probably lived with her parents, Carl and Minnie Spier, until Ernest was born December 3, 1901. Other children went to live with aunts and uncles while the family tried to recover from the tragic loss of Otto and little Minnie. The year 1901 had been a very sad one in the Meyerhoff family for also in May of the year E. Wilhelm passed away in Dunkerton at the age of 74. The Meyerhoff family story demonstrates the role early Bremer County settlers played in agriculture and particularly the dairy industry. Meyerhoff Creamery Maxfield Township

Section 14 The Bremer County Independent: August 10, 1899 The Meyerhoff Creamery in Maxfield Township was totally destroyed by fire last Sunday morning. On Saturday morning Henry Meyerhoff discovered fire in the building and extinguished it or at least supposed he did, but on Sunday morning between the hours of three and four o‘clock the building was again discovered to be on fire and had gained such headway as to make it impossible to save anything. The loss is about $1800 with insurance of about $1000. Minkler Creamery Located on the line between Bremer and Fayette Counties which is now Highway 3 The Abandoned Post Offices of Bremer County 1995, August, 1892 In August 1892, the creamery was destroyed by fire. Two carloads of coal had just arrived. The coal fueled the fire so that the building burned to the ground. Proof that it was quickly rebuilt is found in a newspaper item the following, December, which gave the prices being paid for milk. Plainfield Creameries Written by: Dorothy Smith, Plainfield, Iowa, May, 2002 1872 – Lots 1 and 2 – North part of town on East Side. Farmer‘s Stock Company established a creamery that manufactured cheese and was later purchased by C. A. Kingsley. 1883 - Sold to Charles Morse and Mr. Kennedy will be the proprietor. 1884 – Tom Carroll and Dan Logan were making butter. Farmers met to organize a cooperative creamery with intent to buy buildings from Waterbury & Pierce. Repairs were made. 1894 – Sold again and used no more. Made it into a residence, feed barn and livery. May, l908 - Herman Ladage and James Mellinger erected a tile block creamery East of town. They furnished butter for the Navy during WW I. 1921 – Fred Stickman came to work as the butter maker and bought it. They named it Gilt Edge Creamery


1938 – Bentley is sole owner until early 40‘s when it closed. 1940‘s – Hy-Grade built on south edge of town (Plainfield) with cheese processing done there. Sold out before l982 to Meinertz Creamery Company of Fredricksburg. The building was torn down by l983.

but lately introduced: Jan. 23 1/4, Feb. 24, March 21 1/4, April 18 1/4, May 15, June 14, July 16, Aug. 17 3/4, Sept. 20, Oct. 20 1/4, Nov. 23 1/2, Dec. 24 1/2. The average for the year was 19 3/4. The Waverly Republican: March 9, 1893, Plainfield News Mr. John Powers owing to the large amount of milk and cream which are brought in daily has been compelled to exchange his old boiler for a new twenty horse power one which was put in last Saturday. The Waverly Republican: January 4, 1894, Plainfield News John Powers sold his creamery here to Waterbury & Pierce of Nashua who took possession, January 1. The Waverly Republican: March 8, 1894 In 1872 Farmers Stock Company established a creamery that manufactured cheese. C. A. Kingsley then purchased it and he processed butter also. This creamery was located 1, lot 1 and 2, on the East Side in the northern part of Plainfield. In 1883 the creamery sold to Morse and Mr. Kennedy was the proprietor. Tom Carroll and Dan Logan were making butter in 1884. The farmers met to organize a cooperative creamery with intent to buy the buildings. Officers elected were W. E. Balsley, president and J. F. Potter, secretary. In 1894 S. S. Waterbury and E. A. Piece sold the creamery to Cedar Valley Cooperative. There was a great deal of repairs done at this time. The creamery was in business for a short time and in 1898 Parker Smith bought the old creamery property and remodeled it and made it into a residence, feed barn and livery.

The Plainfield Butter and Cheese Factory Plainfield, Iowa The Waverly Republican: June 26, 1879 Messrs. Editors-Knowing your columns to be open for any communication of interest to your readers, I have taken the liberty to send you a short article for publication respecting our butter and cheese factory. It is one of our institutions, little known and less understood. Something over a year ago Messrs. Pierce and Larkin erected it, and have spared no means to make it one of the best of its size in the State. It was run last season as a cheese factory, with indifferent success, owing to the inexperience of its managers, as is usual in most new enterprises. This spring they have expended nearly four hundred dollars in fitting it up for making butter as well as cheese. Mr. A. Ditts, a competent operator well acquainted with the requirements of the business, now runs it. He will be happy to receive all the milk the patrons are pleased to bring to him, even to the extent of 14,000 a day. Now, suppose the farmers within a radius of six miles of the factory should bring 10,000 pounds per day—and they could do that easily—at even 40 cents per 100 it would be $40 per day or $1200 per month. This, distributed among the patrons, would make trade lively, and supply themselves and families with the comforts of life, while waiting for the hay and grain to grow. Let us see if they can do as well, with their home facilities for making butter, as the factory could do for them. The fair average among farmers is three pounds of butter to one hundred pounds of milk, and the highest price at present, eight cents per pound, making 24 cents per 100 pounds of milk, a difference of 16 cents in favor of factory over home making, besides saving the women the labor of setting, skimming, churning and working, which are no small items, especially in hot weather. The whey they can get at the factory is about equal to the skim milk at home. If they would have their milk worked at the factory, at their own risk, they doubtless would receive more than 40 cents in dividends. Observer Farmer‘s Stock Company Plainfield, Iowa Polk Township Section 19 The Waverly Republican: January 12, 1893, Local News The last one of the Bremer County creameries has now put in a separator. It is the Plainfield Creamery owned and operated by J. H. Powers. He still gathers cream and will continue to do so as long as a suitable number of his patrons prefer that method. As this has been the only creamery run in the county without a separator we have obtained the price paid for cream for each month of the past year. We lately visited it and saw three of the nicest churnings we ever saw anywhere, two of gathered cream and one of separated cream, but to save our boots we could not tell ―to there from which.‖ This made us highly inquisitive and we put on our Sunday smile-although it was Saturday and succeeded in getting a peep at the sale bills for this winter. We found the gathered cream goods selling at top quotations and at the same price with separator butter from other creameries. Mr. Powers succeeds in making Gilt-edge Butter by either process but the separator gets more butter out of the milk. We looked over his shoulder, he is pretty tall but we can stretch up equal to such an emergency. We looked over his larboard shoulder when he figured out the yield per 100 of milk and learned something we won‘t tell except that he paid his patrons 33 cents per pound for butterfat. So he gets a good yield, gets a good price and gives his patrons every cent he can and that is saying enough. From the following figures furnished by a patron, the reader will see what was the average price per month paid for cream this last factory in the county without a separator, the separator being


The Waverly Republican: Local News, March 12, 1896 O. E. Gaffin of Canfield has secured the position of butter maker in the Plainfield Creamery. He visited his sister, Mrs. Frank Peck in this city for several days leaving Monday. Herman Ladage & James Mellinger Creamery Plainfield, Iowa Herman Ladage and James Mellinger built a tile block creamery east of town in May 1908. During WWI they furnished butter for the Navy. Ladage left the firm and James Mellinger became the sole owner sometime before 1921. In November of 1921 Stickman of Ionia bought part interest in the business and became butter maker. The name of the creamery was changed to the ―Gilt Edge Creamery.‖ Stickmann bought the Mellinger house next door to the creamery in 1922. Mellinger left the creamery in 1924 and Bert Bently became butter maker. Bert Bently was sole owner of the creamery in 1938. The Bently Brothers owned the Gilt Edge Creamery until the early 1940‘s when it closed. Ladage & Mellinger Creamery Plainfield, Iowa The Bremer County Independent: November 5, 1908 H. C. Ladage & James Mellinger have formed a partnership and will start a creamery and gristmill at Plainfield. The well and the foundation walls for the creamery have been completed and they are making the cement blocks of which the building will be made. They have purchased a complete outfit of the most improved machinery and will conduct a first class, up-to-date creamery. Mr. Ladage is one of the best butter makers in Bremer County and his patrons can always depend on his butter bringing top prices. They have a fine territory among good farmers and being good businessmen and good workmen in their line we can see no reason why they should not make a great success at Plainfield. They expect to have the creamery in operation by January 1, 1909. The Bremer County Independent: November 26, 1908 H. C. Ladage and James Mellinger are building a good creamery at Plainfield. Cement blocks constitute the most of the building material. The blocks were made on the ground with washed gravel and sand from the Cedar River and the best cement on the market. The floors are also made with cement. Woodruff & Gugenbuel are the builders. Ladage & Mellinger have bought new machinery, which will be set up as soon as the building is complete. The Waverly Republican: August 26, 1909, Local News Ladage & Mellinger‘s Creamery at Plainfield is one of the busiest places in Bremer County. They are receiving over 14,000 pounds of milk daily besides a large quantity of cream and this is considered a dull time in the creamery business. Their patrons are all satisfied and Plainfield profits there by. Bremer is surely a great dairy county. The Bremer County Independent: December 9, 1909 Ladage & Mellinger are just finishing up an addition to their creamery building at Plainfield, which will give them more than twice the room they have had heretofore. Part of the new building will be used as a storage room for salt and a room in which to place their large refrigerator. The rest of the building will be used as a feedmill as soon as completed and the machinery is placed. Messrs. Ladage & Mellinger went to Plainfield about a year ago and started a creamery and in that short space of one year have built up a fine business and with the addition of the mill their business will no doubt be still more prosperous. Gilt Edge Creamery Plainfield, Iowa

The Gilt Edge Creamery of Plainfield, was owned and managed by Mellinger & Stickman. The phone number of the creamery in 1922, was 4-55 and its motto was ‖Service and a Square Deal‖. Hy-Grade Food Products Corporation Plainfield, Iowa Polk Township Section 30 New Creamery at Plainfield to Make Cheese The Bremer County Independent: August 16, 1944 The Hy-Grade Food Products Corporation of Cedar Rapids, owner of a number of creameries, has purchased the Gilt Edge Creamery at Plainfield from B. F. Bentley and his sons, Lowell and Laurel, and will make cheese as well as butter. The business is to be moved to a new building, which is to be erected in downtown Plainfield within the next three months. E. J. Primus, who had been butter maker for the Bentleys, continues with the company as local manager. Skimmed milk cheddar went into production five days ago and other types of cheese may be added later. The cheddar is shipped to New York where it is used in the manufacture of processed cheeses. It is made by a ―quick‖ method, rennet being added to milk to form curds, the curds than being placed into a mold and pressed to get rid of the water. New machinery has been installed for the cheese process, replacing that which the Bentleys used for the making of casein. Primus, the new manager, has been butter maker in Plainfield, two years and before that, had the same work for 11 years at Earlville. When he was learning the butter making trade he worked at Buck Creek and Fairbank. The creamery staff now includes also B. F. Bentley, who expects to retire soon, Herman Eick and Roselinda Primus. Arthur Unruh of German Valley, Illinois is the cheese maker. Haulers are Ralph Reeves, Burr Shepard, Roland Evans and Vernon Platte. Plainfield, Iowa: August, 1948 Each day 16,000 pounds of milk was turned into 1,600 pounds of cheddar cheese. F. G. Holliday and four other men make the cheese at the Hy-Grade Food Product Company. Hy-Grade Food Products Company Plainfield, Iowa Hy-Grade was built on the south edge of Plainfield with cheese processing done there. They sold out before 1982 to Meinertz of Fredricksburg and in 1983 the building was torn down.


Potter Siding Creamery Warren Township Section 1 Midway Avenue & 170th The Bremer County Independent: April 1, 1897 Herman Wilbrandt got too near the separator in the creamery near Potter Siding one-day last week. His coat was caught in the machinery and the blamed thing came pretty near getting the better of Herman, but he anchored himself to a post while the pesky little bugger stripped his coat off. He was not seriously hurt but says the thing is not to be monkeyed with. The Bremer County Independent: October 14, 1897 The new creamery at Potter Siding is nearly completed and will be in operation by November 1. The Waverly Republican: October 21, 1897, Local News The new creamery at Potter Siding is finished and Ike Woodring is fitting the creamery out with an entire new outfit of machinery, etc. this week. The Waverly Republican: November 18, 1897, Local News The new cooperative creamery at Potter Siding began business last Saturday with one of the best-equipped plants in the county and a good milk patronage. The officers are Albert Stenzel, president; H. Lauman, treasurer; Wm. Baney, secretary; directors, H. Vogt, Gus Kuecker, and A. Stenzel. W. Slageman is butter maker. Who‘s Who in Iowa, 1940 1903-1910 William Ambrose was manager of Potter Siding Creamery. The Bremer County Independent:April 21, 1910, Tripoli News William Ambrose the popular butter maker of the Potter Siding Creamery has resigned his position to accept a like one with the Tripoli Creamery Company. Potter Siding Creamery Undergoes Decorating The Tripoli Leader: April 16, 1924, Local News E. M. Guiney, butter maker and his helper, Albert Kruse, have just finished the task of redecorating the interior of the Potter Siding Creamery and it now has the appearance of a new building inside. For a time there was some talk of building a new creamery there as the business has been steadily increasing each year. Many of the patrons of that creamery are drawing down some big checks each month and several reach close to the $300 mark. Mrs. E. M. Guiney Wins Prize at Mason City The Tripoli Leader: November 19, 1924 Mrs. E. M. Guiney of Potter Siding won first place in the woman‘s butter judging contest of the Iowa Butter Maker‘s Association held at Mason City last week and received a beautiful mesh bag for her work. This year the convention at Mason City was a little out of the ordinary for the wives of the butter makers were asked to join in and share their interest in their husband‘s work. Sixty-seven wives of butter makers were present and they showed special aptitude for this line of work. Competition was keen and when the results were compiled Mrs. Guiney was a few points less off than that of her nearest competitors: Mrs. W. A. Rizer of Alpha and Mrs. H. C. Stendel of Northwood. In the creamery beautifying contest the J. G. Cherry Company offered $100 in cash prizes to the four butter makers showing the greatest improvement in the appearance of their creameries during the past year. H. C. Ladage of the Tripoli Creamery carried off third honors and received the $15 cash prize. 1951-1975 Floyd Primus was butter maker at Potter Siding from 1951-1975.

August, 1948 Walter Kruse is the butter maker at Potter Siding. Potter's Dairy in Waterloo gets most of the cream. Cream is brought to the creamery by 54 patrons. Kerr & Rathbone Re-elected at Potter Siding The Tripoli Leader: February 9, 1972 Annual meeting of Potter Siding Cooperative Creamery Company was held Tuesday, February 1 at the creamery. Robert Kerr and Robert Rathbone were re-elected for three-year terms. At the re-organization meeting Kerr was appointed president and Rathbone as vice-president. Erwin Hennings as treasurer and W. H. Kallenbach is secretary. Floyd Primus is plant manager. Potter Siding Creamery, 1982 John Meier, Potter Siding butter maker, made 300,000 pounds of butter. Potter Siding Cooperative Creamery History of Bremer County: 1985 In 1914 some twenty-six creameries were scattered across rural Bremer County. By February 1976 only three creameries remained, at Denver, Bremer, and Potter Siding. In 1985 only Potter Siding remains as a creamery. The creamery for years served the rural dairy farmers. It is located along a gravel road three miles west of Tripoli, just off Highway 3. The Potter family, which had a large farm operation in the 1880‘s, had a siding built from the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad to use for shipping livestock; therefore the name Potter Siding originated. In the 1890‘s they were instrumental in organizing a creamery. A small structure was built which had living quarters, a store and churn all under one roof. The sidetrack was used to ship out butter, haul coal and haul ice to the plant. Farmers took turns hauling ice until an ice machine was installed. The present


building dates from 1926, and in l952 a new home was constructed. Albert Kruse was butter maker and manager from 1948 until 1951. Then in 1951 Floyd Primus started as butter maker and manager. Forty years of his life were spent at plants throughout this area; at Center Valley, Greene, Dunkerton, and 24 years at Potter Siding. Creameries in the area first took in both milk and cream, later in the thirties plants switched to all cream. Then in 1957 Potter Siding was equipped to take in whole milk again. A new separator, stainless steel tanks and other facilities were completed. In 1973 there were 141 patrons. In 1974 it handled 23.2 million pounds of milk. Thousands of pounds of butter were hand wrapped by Floyd, his wife and daughter to sell to patrons and stores in Bremer County. Whole and skim milk were sold to Meinerz Creamery, Fredricksburg. John Meier now runs the plant having started there in 1975. Potter Siding is the only creamery left in Bremer County that churns butter. Denver creamery no longer exists. A Butter Maker‘s Wife at Potter Siding Creamery Memories: Days at first at Potter Siding Creamery were different, as we were used to having electricity, bathroom and toilet facilities and furnace heat. The old house we moved into had none of these facilities. After a year a new house was built having all the necessities—we really enjoyed it. I had a big garden with everything we needed. I canned a lot and had the usual household duties to attend to including keeping Floyd‘s white uniform clean, etc. I also sewed a lot for our small daughter and myself. After several years of hiring creamery help, I finally agreed to be Floyd‘s helper in the plant. My job was to wash the vats and separator, and I learned to wrap butter by the pound and even deliver it to different towns by myself if Floyd was busy. Sundays always was work for Floyd. We usually went to church in Evansdale on Saturday evening as they had a Mass there. We never had much time for entertainment. We visited neighbors and relatives in the evenings and went fishing after work sometimes. When our daughter grew up she was taught to wrap butter and really enjoyed doing it. After all the years spent at the creamery it was hard to retire—it really was enjoyable working there. Submitted by Evelyn I. Primus [age 91], Sumner, Iowa, 12 July 2002 Why Potter Siding Thrives… Customer Loyalty-Quality Product The Bremer County Independent: January 24, 1980 Rising prices and cholesterol scares have apparently had little effect on the butter business at the Potter Siding Creamery. The cooperative creamery, located a mile east of the junction of Highways 63 and 93, has been a familiar landmark in the Tripoli area since the late 1800‘s. Originally, the site north of the creamery was a railroad stop or siding, where a hog buying station and an icehouse were located. The creamery itself is in its second building, which is now some 50 years old. The price of butter, which is now around $1.39 a pound and more than double the price of many margarine brands, doesn‘t affect the local market, according to John Meier, manager of the creamery. He says the people who buy Potter Siding butter adopted a continuous churn process which produces butter in less time, Potter Siding has stuck with the oldfashioned churning method. Meier says it required more time and closer monitoring but produces butter with the best quality and texture. He says continuous churn overworks the milk. A butter-wrapping machine, installed about a year ago, has enabled Meier to boost his output considerably. Last year, Potter Siding marketed 149,000 pounds to our ―good, faithful customers,‖ some coming from as far away as Illinois and Wisconsin to periodically stock up on the stuff. What does Potter Siding butter have that attracts such consumer loyalty? Meier, who has been the creamery‘s butter maker for the past five years, attributes it to the churning.

While large commercial firms have butter, compared with a previous record of 110,000 and an average for the past several years of between 90 and 100,000 pounds. The butter wrapper enables Meier and his wife, Marlene to package the butter in less time. Before using the machine, they had to let the butter cure in boxes for 24 hours before it was cut and wrapped. To package 1,000 pounds of butter took two people 2 1/2 hours. It now takes about an hour. With the machine, the curing step is unnecessary. Butter goes directly from the churn to the wrapper, where it is packaged at the rate of 18 pounds a minute. Increased production has allowed Potter Siding to recently expand its market to the Waterloo-Cedar Falls area. Meier makes butter at least four times a week, and he says the process takes about four hours from start to finish and results in 1,440 pounds per batch. Milk for the butter comes from an area, which extends south to Waterloo, north to Hwy. 18, west to Plainfield and east to Oran. Two trucks haul the milk from the farms to the creamery where it is separated and pasteurized. The way the cream is handled is important to the butter‘s shelf life and subsequent taste, according to Meier. He says the butter maker who preceded him kept a pound of Potter Siding butter for three years and claimed it was still edible. Although the number of farmers selling milk to the creamery has diminished, Meier says most of them are selling greater quantities, reflecting a trend for the small milk producer to get out of the business. Part of that trend occurred when the state made stiffer regulations a year ago. Farmers who sold milk in cans were required to upgrade their facilities and many of them, who sold limited quantities of milk, decided to quit milking instead. The decision was a difficult one for some of the older farmers. Meier recalls that one man in his 80‘s, who had hauled milk to Potter Siding since he had been old enough to drive a team of horses, cried the day he brought in his last load. Today, Meier says he has only seven producers who still use milk cans. The rest store the milk in bulk tanks. Meier is only the third manager at the Potter Siding Creamery in the last 50-plus years. He replaced Floyd Primus, who had been with the firm for 23 years before his retirement in 1975. The butter maker before Primus had managed the creamery for 27 years. Meier, who was a heavy equipment operator in Pella before taking over at the creamery, says he comes by his butter making skills, naturally, since his father, now deceased, was a butter


maker at Oran for 25 years. Meier describes the business as a family effort. Without the help of his wife, Marlene, he says, ―I‘d never get done.‖ A couple of playpens and several riding toys at the creamery help keep their three children, ages one, two and three, occupied when mom and dad are working. John says the Fareway store in Waverly is Potter Siding‘s best customer. He expects Waterloo and Cedar Falls consumers to become Potter Siding converts now that it‘s available in their supermarkets. Despite price and cholesterol considerations, Potter Siding butter buyers are a loyal bunch, firmly convinced that, ―You can‘t fool Mother Nature.‖ March, 2002 Potter Siding ceased operation in March, 2002. Prosper Creamery The Bremer County Independent: Oct. 26, 1899, Local News Carl Clausing has sold his interest in the Prosper Creamery and has gone to Minnesota to look up a new location. The Bremer County Independent: November 9, l899, Local News The Cedar River Butter Company today placed the entire product of its Prosper Creamery with Waterloo merchants. The creamery is located near Plainfield and the butter maker in charge is celebrated for his Gilt-Edged Butter. Readlyn Creamery Readlyn, Iowa Maxfield Township Section 11 V-49 and 1st St The Bremer County Independent: November 10, 1904 Readlyn expects to establish a school and a creamery before January 1, 1905. The Waverly Republican: Readlyn News, February 2, 1905 Our creamery is a sure go this time. At a meeting one day last week a creamery company was organized with about sixty patrons. This week they are building an icehouse. Magill, the townsiteman, was here one day last week and located the creamery grounds. The Bremer County Independent: March 16, 1911 H. A. Griese won first prize for butter at the Butter maker‘s convention in Dubuque last week. The Bremer County Independent: March 23, 1911 H. A. Griese of Readlyn was in town last Thursday and paid us a pleasant call. Mr. Griese is the butter maker at the Readlyn Creamery, and that he is a success is shown by his having won first prize in the whole milk class at the late Dubuque convention. Herman Ladage of Plainfield was a close second. Thus Bremer County has again demonstrated its superiority as a butter-making county. We are sometimes prone to find fault with the dairy business, but it is the leading industry of the county and should be studied by our farmers. Mr. Griese says he is confident that the present average per cow in Bremer County, which, by the way, is only 150 pounds of butter per year, could be doubled in a very few years by judicious selection and care of the cows. Another thing he says that is responsible to a great extent, he believes, is the fact that so many creameries in this county are buying by test, the farmer would be quick to take the hint and study to keep only the better cows. He cited as an example one community where they had formed a testing society, and in two years had raised the average of butterfat per cow from 150 pounds per year to 200 pounds. He claims that if this policy is followed a few years longer, the cows of that community will be averaging 300 pounds per year. History of the Readlyn Creamery: 1995

Compiled by Gertrude Poock and Judith Leistikow In the winter of 1905 a group of farmers in the vicinity gathered to discuss organizing and building a creamery. A committee was selected to circulate a petition for individuals to subscribe for stock in the new creamery for $25 per share; $3,000 was subscribed. On January 26, 1905, the Articles of Incorporation and the By Laws were adopted, and the first election was held. The first directors of the creamery included: Carl Hagenow, William Meyerhoff, Rudolf Tiedt, H. Schoenbucher, and Edward Huebner. From these directors Carl Hagenow was elected president; Rudolf Tiedt, secretary; and H. William Meyerhoff, treasurer. The building committee was composed of Frank Maurer, Fred Meyer, and Henry Meyerhoff. Preparations were made to build a creamery. John Judas Sr. was given the contract. The creamery was constructed at what is now the corner of V-49 and 1st St, Readlyn. On May 21, 1905 the creamery began operation. Fred Wills was the first butter maker, but he resigned after only four months due to ill health. The next butter maker was H. A. Griese who worked from October 1, 1905 to January 1942. His successor was his son-in-law, Arnold C. Poock. Other butter makers were Donald Ruth, Fred Kezar, and Mr. Krueger. The creamery started with 33 patrons. Whole milk was delivered to the creamery and separated at the local plant. The cream was then manufactured into butter. The farmers would haul the skim milk back home and feed it to the pigs, calves and chickens as at that time there was no market for such a product. The first ten years were full of hardships as competition was strong (There were creameries located at Knittle, Klinger, Maxfield and Fremont, one approximately every five square mile or so.) and the volume of business was small. But the business


grew steadily until it reached a membership of 80. An icehouse was located next to the creamery where blocks of ice were stored for cooling the cream. Due to lack of space, the creamery built a 12-foot addition in 1920, which served as a refrigerator and an office. In 1921, the creamery was put on the Iowa State Brand list, license number 16. This meant that the quality of butter produced must be 1st Grade. In 1925, the incorporation expired and the creamery became a cooperative. The stockholders were bought out and the creamery was incorporated under the state law of Iowa as the Readlyn Cooperative Creamery Company. The first directors of this new organization were: Herman Rathe, C. F. Bruns, William Hagenow, E. C. Moeller and H. R. Wilson. After June 1, 1941, only sweet cream was received for butter production and unused machinery was disposed. New equipment was installed and purchased as needed. In the fall of 1950, the wooden exterior walls were torn down and replaced by hollow tile walls with glass block windows. The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company would buy the bulk butter and pound prints (pounds of butter imprinted with a design) and sell them to local patrons and stores. In 1971, Larry Kuhlmann‘s Service and Repair moved into the old creamery site. The Readlyn Creamery Renews Incorporation The Bremer Independent Republican: March 12, 1925 After twenty years of activity the corporate life of the Readlyn Creamery Company has expired and the stockholders are now taking steps to re-incorporate. It is the intention to make it a cooperative concern. Every person who hauls milk to that institution and who signs the constitution automatically becomes a member of the association. Should he discontinue hauling milk his name will be dropped. H. Griese, butter maker, has been employed in that position nearly twenty years having taken the position a few months after the creamery opened at Readlyn. The fact that he makes ―State Brand‖ butter is sufficient to know that he is among the very best in the state. He has stayed by the company and by his efforts the concern has grown to more than double its former business. The officers and directors of the organization now are: Herman Rathe, president Wm. Hagenow, vice president H. A. Griese, secretary and manager C. F. Bruns, treasurer; F. C. Moeller and H. R. Wilson, directors Readlyn Creamery Officials Honor Griese on Anniversary Has Served as Butter Maker for 25 Years: Directors Celebrate Occasion Last Wednesday The Waverly Democrat: October 9, 1930, News Wolf‘s hall in Readlyn was the scene of an enthusiastic party last Wednesday evening, the affair being given by the directors of the Readlyn Creamery Company in celebration of the twenty-fifth anniversary of H. A. Griese as butter maker for that company. About two hundred of the people living in the Readlyn locality, creamery patrons and other friends of Mr. Griese, were in attendance at the celebration, which was in every way an elaborate and most enjoyable affair. Among those present were Mr. and Mrs. Werner Griese and son Robert of Chicago, who are visiting at the home of the gentleman‘s parents. The wives of the creamery company members had supervised the preparation of an abundant dinner, which was served in cafeteria style, and following this there were several speeches in which congratulations and felicitations were offered to the guest of honor. Werner Griese, who recalled many incidents that had occurred during the years that he was spending most of the time about the Readlyn Creamery, gave one very interesting talk. The principal speech was given by H. R. Wilson, one of the creamery directors, who in conclusion presented to Mr. Griese, in behalf of the directors, a handsome silver trophy, which, the speaker said, carried with it the appreciation and regard of the Creamery Company.

In his acceptance of the gift, Mr. Griese, in a brief talk, expressed his deep gratitude for the honors that were being showered upon him, and commented upon the kindly and friendly relations that ever have existed between him and the directors and patrons of the Creamery Company. He also reviewed some of the changes and improvements that have taken place in the Readlyn Creamery and in the butter making industry in general since he entered that field thirty-four years ago. Mr. Griese learned his trade in the Maxfield Creamery, where he served his apprenticeship under butter maker O. E. Meyerhoff. Later he completed his training at Iowa State College, Ames, Iowa. He recalled the days when horsepower operated the churns in the creameries and the butter was worked by hand. A hundred thousand pounds of butter were handled in this manner each year, but with that amount more than doubled these tasks would now seem impossible. In those early days the farmers had to haul milk to the creamery each night and morning, and Sunday was no exception to this role. For six years Mr. Griese was butter maker at Artesian and then spent about two years in Dubuque. On October 1, 1905, he took his present position as butter maker at the Readlyn Creamery, and his record there is one of which he and the patrons of the creamery may well be proud. When he took up his work in Readlyn that thriving town was but one year old, but as it was located in the very heart of a splendid dairy county‘s substantial creamery was one of the first requirements of the new community. At the time Mr. Griese took charge the creamery had thirty-three patrons, which number has now increased to eighty. Twenty-five years ago the yearly production of the creamery was 90,000 pounds of butter: at the present time it has increased to at least 220,000 pounds. Most of this butter is shipped to Philadelphia. The superior quality of its product has earned for the Readlyn Creamery the right to use the ―Iowa Brand,‖ which requires that the butter must score up to specified requirements. Machinery and equipment of the newest and most modern type have made it possible to attain and to keep this high standard. Mr. Griese tells us that he has never received complaint as to the quality of his butter and has never had a pound of it returned to him because of any imperfection. In 1911 at Dubuque he received the gold medal for the highest score in the state, and he has received many other recognition during his years of service. The directors of the Readlyn Creamery Company at this time are William Hagenow, President, H. R. Wilson, C. F. Bruns, H. Rathe and E. C. Moeller. Mr. Griese is the secretary. It is needless to say that, while they do not court publicity in any


way, Mr. and Mrs. Griese were very much pleased and impressed with the kindly recognition that was shown them last Wednesday evening. News, Readlyn Cooperative Creamery, August, 1948 All the 200, 000 pounds of butter made in 1947 was sent to the A. & P. Grocery Stores in Philadelphia. Arnold Poock was the butter maker. The Red Clover Creamery Northeast of Sumner The Bremer County Independent: October 17, 1895 Local News The Red Clover Creamery located one and a quarter miles northeast of Sumner was totally destroyed by fire on the morning of October 15, 1895. Cause was unknown and it was fully insured. History of Bremer County, 1985 Red Clover Creamery was the outgrowth of a demand for a cooperatively operated creamery. Originally Tibbits and Tower established the creamery business, but in 1881 it was sold to Gardner Murphy of Boston. According to Mr. McMeans, when it was decided to establish cooperative creameries, the meeting called for that purpose ended by the establishment of three cooperative creameries instead of one, since all prospective patrons wanted the creamery to be built near them. These were the Red Clover, Excelsior and Richfield. They were financed variously, one by assessing the owners $2.50 per cow, and the others deducted ten percent from the first milk checks. The haulers picked up milk. The late Mr. Ben Winks was the first butter maker at Red Clover, and acted in that capacity for approximately two years, when he accepted a similar position in Sumner. The creamery continued for a few more years, and then it burned to the ground on October 15, 1895. It was decided not to rebuild, and the patrons transferred to Sumner Creamery. Dorn‘s Creamery at Siegel Bierman Brothers Creamery at Douglas Bany Brothers Creamery at Siegel Excerpts from: A Brief History of The Abandoned Post Office of Bremer County, Iowa, 1995 T. J. Dorn ran a creamery in Siegel, but in 1890 there was a movement throughout the county to convert to cooperative creameries. The Waverly Republican:March 20, l890 Dorn‘s Creamery, at Siegel, has been purchased by farmers, as has also Bierman Brothers Creamery in Douglas. There is a meeting being held here today, 18th, to purchase Bany Brothers Creamery. The Siegel Creamery Company wants to hire a good butter maker. Siegel Creamery Douglas Township Section 27 Killdeer Avenue & 150th History of Bremer County, 1985, Submitted by: Erwin Drape On March 11, 1890, about thirty area farmers signed an agreement to furnish milk from about 400 cows for the purpose of starting a creamery. The Siegel Creamery was built and equipped for $3,000 that was borrowed from the Tripoli State Bank. It was located in the southeast corner of Section 27, Douglas Township, Bremer County, Iowa. The first directors were Fred Buchholz, William Hildebrandt, Carl Hoppenworth, Henry Hoeper, Henry Bergmann, Fred Rewoldt and Fred Buls. From 1890 to 1906 the annual secretary minutes of the creamery were written in the German language. The Constitution was written in both German and English. In l909 it was decided to replace the existing building with a cement block building and for this $2000 was borrowed, again from the Tripoli State Bank. An ice machine was installed in l921, and the next year a Waterloo Boy kerosene motor was purchased and used for several years. It was voted

to incorporate in l926, and it was then known as Siegel Cooperative Creamery. After two special meetings in 1940 it was decided to allow REA to install electricity. Because of declining membership and increasing cost of doing business, it was decided at a special meeting on October 30, 1957, to cease operating. The assets of the Siegel Cooperative Creamery were sold at auction in November, 1957. Lester Dahlstrom purchased the property. Excerpts taken from the Secretary‘s minutes of the Siegel Creamery: The annual meetings were held in March of each year. The ledger is on file at the Bremer County Historical Museum. March 2, 1915 It was voted to buy a skim milk weigher. Buttermilk was to be sold every month by the gallon to the highest bidder. March 5, 1918 Ed Gunsalaus hauled butter for 8 cents per tub. Anyone who hauls his milk to another creamery can not buy any butter


or buttermilk from the Siegel Creamery. March 4, 1919 It was voted that a dam should be build at the creek on Henry Moeller‘s farm. March 6, 1928 Butter maker shall test the milk alone was voted down by the board. February 8, 1918, Western Douglas News Fred Harms has resigned his position as butter maker in the Siegel Creamery and has accepted a like position in the Tripoli Creamery where he and his family will move in the future. Early Siegel Butter Makers: C. A. Zell, 1896; Wm Lenius, 1910 Siegel News: 1933 At the Siegel Creamery annual meeting in 1933, all officers were re-elected. Will Behrens was rehired as butter maker. Some products made at the creamery include cottage cheese, sweet and sour buttermilk. March 6, 1934 The old icehouse was torn down and rebuilt for the tub shed. February 1, 1937 B. H. Pinch was rehired as butter maker. A special meeting was called for the purpose to install electricity. Voted down. February 11, 1939 Voted electricity down again. August, l948 B.L. Pinch was the Siegel butter maker. More than 115,000 pounds of butter were sent to the East Coast. February 6, 1950 Motion made to replace icebox with a Freon unit. 1951 Siegel butter maker in l951 was C. O. Pinch. 1952 The name changed to Siegel Cooperative Creamery Company in 1952. Secretary Minutes: October 1, 1957, Special Meeting After proper notice a special meeting of the members of Siegel Cooperative Creamery Company was held Tuesday. President Edwin Buchholz called the meeting to order. Seventeen members answered roll call. After discussion by the members a motion was made and seconded to vote by ballot whether or not to keep operating. A vote of 7 yes and 8 defeated the motion no. No other business was presented for action. A motion was made and seconded to adjourn. Motion carried. Erwin Drape, secretary October 30, 1957 The Siegel Creamery ceased operating on October 30, 1957. Spring Fountain Creamery Sumner Township Section 29 Tahoe Avenue & 150th The Sumner Gazette: May 5, 1887 Spring Fountain Creamery opened last week, five miles west of Sumner. Officers are Wm. Schwake, president; Henry Schnodt, secretary; G. Stahlhut, treasurer. The Bremer County Independent: Tripoli News, May 9, 1901

Fred Sommers has a position in Spring Fountain Creamery where he moved last week. He rented his house to John Snorstein. The Bremer County Independent: January 12, 1905 Spring Fountain Creamery in LeRoy Township received 2,327,628 pounds of milk in 1904, made 105,292 pounds of butter, sold 95,772 pounds and the patrons used 9, 527 pounds. The receipts for butter sold were 18,510.78 and butter used by the patrons was worth $1,855.27. The expenses were $2,037.93. The average test was 4.52 per cent butterfat and the average prices 82 cents per hundred pounds of milk. 1905 In 1905 Fred Sommers was butter maker at Spring Valley Creamery. The Waverly Republican: Sumner News, February 21, 1907 The engine at the Spring Fountain Creamery broke down Wednesday morning making it necessary to bring all the milk usually delivered there to the Sumner Creamery, one load coming from within three miles of Tripoli. 1908 The butter maker at Spring Valley Creamery was F. W. Bremer in 1908. Spring Fountain Production Rises The Waverly Democrat: January 24, 1941 Roy H. Rathbone was elected president of the Spring Fountain Cooperative Creamery Company at its annual meeting held recently accounting to the Tripoli Leader. Directors elected were Ernest Bodermann and Ernest Schwerin. Herman Stahlhut was chosen secretary for another year and Carl Gamm was rehired as butter maker. The report of the secretary showed that the creamery enjoyed the longest volume of business in its history. There was an increase of 35,000 pounds in butter manufactured over that of the previous year.


Spring Fountain Creamery Submitted by Lucille Bremer, Waterloo, Iowa, October, 2002 Spring Fountain is a rural community, five miles SW of Sumner, Iowa and six miles NE of Tripoli, Iowa. It is a mile South of Highway 93 between Tripoli and Sumner. At one time it consisted of a creamery, church and school. St. John‘s Lutheran Church, founded in 1875, is still very active and can be seen from Highway 93. The creamery is no longer in use as a creamery but the building is still there and being renovated by the current owners. In the early 1900‘s every rural community in Bremer County generally had a church and a creamery as well as most of the towns. Fred W. Bremer, took the position of butter maker at the creamery in January 1908. On January 30, 1908 he was united in marriage to Mary Burmeister and the couple made their home at Spring Fountain for the next 19 years. Their six children, Alvin, Elmer, Leona, Everett, Herbert and Lucille were born there. Mr. Bremer attended Iowa State College at Ames, Iowa to learn the trade and while at Spring Fountain won many prizes and awards at fairs, Cattle Congress, Waterloo, Iowa etc. for having scored the highest-grade butter. He received a gold engraved pocket watch for scoring ―First Place‖ at the Iowa State Fair in 1918. Fred would often get up at 3 AM and begin to make the butter from the milk, which the farmers had brought in the previous day. It had to be separated for the cream, which was used to make the butter. The farmers could take back the skim milk the next day if they chose to, for animal feed. They also would pick up their family‘s need of butter and cheese. Fred would keep a chart of the pounds of milk brought in by the farmers and a record of the butter and cheese they received. Checks were issued to the farmers at the end of the month. Mary and older children would help wrap the butter into one pound packages. The butter was put into a container that would cut it into one pound sections. A train, called the Dinky, ran from Sumner to Waverly in the AM and returned in the PM. There was an old railroad car about 1/3 of a mile west of the creamery and just south of the church, where the train would stop. The extra butter was put into 60-pound tubs and the farmers took turns taking the tubs to the shed, put up a flag and the train would stop and pick it up. The cheese was shipped into the creamery in five-pound portions and scored at one pound sections so it could be cut into whatever portions the farmers wanted. The farmers who brought their milk to the creamery had meetings and elected their Directors. Some of the Directors at that time were Conrad Wilharm, Gustav Schwake and Frank Lang. In the wintertime they would haul ice from the Wapsie to the creamery icehouse to be used to cool the butter. An ice-cutting machine was brought in to cut the ice in the Wapsie into blocks. They also hauled coal brought in by the train and dumped at the train stop to the creamery. Social life centered on the church and card parties with the neighborhood folks. Progressive 500 was played generally about six tables of four at each table. One person would be designated to tally the scores and a prize would be awarded to the one with the highest score and a lesser prize to the one with the lowest score. When the children were young they went along but as they grew older they stayed at home. At the parties the children played ball, hide and seek and ollie, ollie oxen free. The girls also played with dolls. The neighbors would take turns hosting the parties. When the children were young they had sand piles and used bottles as cars. They roller coasted in the creamery, went ice skating on a small creek a mile away. They played with mud a lot and had a play grocery store on rocks and things made of mud. A new brick creamery was built while Fred was there and later the house was remodeled. The old house was raised up to be the upstairs level and a new first floor was built underneath it. The family lived in the creamery during the remodeling. A school was next to the church and the children would go there for two years before confirmation. They would learn religion in the German language, but would be taught English in the other studies. Before that they would attend the public country school 1 1/2 miles east of the creamery and immediately after confirmation they would return to the public school. The

church is about 1/3 mile west of the creamery. The children were baptized in their homes, usually about two weeks after birth. The children treasured a coaster wagon and one day, Elmer and Jack Dyball coasted their wagons to Sumner, where each purchased a candy bar and coasted back home. At first the Bremer‘s had one horse and buggy but soon Fred purchased a car, believed to be an Overland. One day when they had company, Alvin, probably wanting to show off, drove the car up the front steps of the house. Mary reportedly laughed but it is doubtful Fred laughed. Another time, Leona with baby Lucille in a large carriage, was racing with Herbert in a coaster wagon to the Adolph Meyer farm a short distance from home. As they reached the Meyer‘s lane, one cut in front of the other and the carriage tipped over. They picked Lucille up and ran home leaving the carriage and wagon behind. Mary often took one of the children along to catch the train and would go to Tripoli to the dentist, etc. or to visit her parents and sister there. Elmer used to get a dime for baby sitting Herbert. Fred‘s youngest brother August was married in 1919. Shortly after their marriage, they came to live with the Bremers for about six months and Fred taught August how to make butter. Shortly after that August became the butter maker at Williamstown in Chickasaw County. August‘s wife, Elsie, always said that Mary taught her how to cook during that time. Jack Ambrose was the butter maker at Frederika at that time. Fred loved to hunt, fish and play cards and would cut across the fields some nights to play cards with John Fitz. One day Fred went hunting and shot a wolf. When he came home, it was


dark out and he stuck the wolf up to the kitchen window scaring the children. Mary scolded him for that. Fred‘s Uncle, Carl Bremer, caught the Dinky and took it to the Waverly courthouse to collect bounty. Saturday night they would all go to town (Sumner) but in the winter time Fred would go alone in the afternoon and bring home the funny papers and oysters and that was always a treat for the family. Fred was willing and helpful to his neighbors when they needed help if they were sick or corn needed to be replanted. He, Alvin & Elmer, one time helped Henry Kirchman replant corn that had not all sprouted. They went through the fields and put three kernels of corn in each hill where the previous planting was not growing. The Bremer‘s were one of the first families to have a radio and it had earphones. Tomato soup was the supper menu on Monday‘s after Mary‘s big wash day. On other times, quite often, Fred would grate potatoes for potato pancakes. With cream available, Mary often made cream puffs. She baked her own bread, cakes and cookies etc. so flour and sugar were bought in large quantities. Most trading was done in Sumner. One of their neighbors let them use part of their land to plant potatoes. Mary also raised about 50 chickens. One day a barn raising was held at the Louie Boderman farm. All the neighbors would help and the women would prepare the food. A few time truckloads of gypsies (in the early years they had horses and wagons) would stop at the creamery and they would all jump out at once scattering everywhere. They took eggs and tried to catch chickens. One took a horn off a bicycle that Fred bought for Alvin in 1921 when the Rev. Schaller and family moved to Florida in June, and had a sale. Fred got it back and made sure they didn‘t get in the house or the creamery. The Rev. M. Reikowsky was installed at the church on September 18, 1921 and stayed until 1928. Around 1925 while Pastor Reikowsky and his family were out of state for a conference, they left the children with a babysitter at their house. Alvin and Elmer were in the creamery and noticed smoke coming from the top of the parsonage. They told Fred and he told them to tell their mother to call the baby-sitter and tell her the house was on fire and then bring a ladder. In those days everyone on the telephone lines listened in on the calls, (it was not considered bad manners) so all the neighbors came to help. When it was determined the house could not be saved, Fred said, ―let‘s get everything we can out.‖ Their belongings were put in the schoolhouse where the family lived, until the new parsonage was built in 1926. The Pastor‘s children stayed with the Bremer‘s until their parents returned. The children were very sad and when one of the boys was eating a cream puff at supper, Fred gave it a little push and the cream went all over his face. Then the boy laughed. In 1927 Fred decided he wanted to farm so the family moved to a farm two miles NE of Frederika. He had grown up near there. He was a road maintenance man for a while and graded roads. Also, although butter makers didn‘t receive vacations while he was a butter maker, they soon did. He then would take their place when the butter makers would go on vacation. He usually took Elmer or Everett along to help him. It is believed he ultimately worked in every creamery in Bremer County except one or two. Fred developed Parkinson‘s disease in his early fifties and soon became an invalid requiring Mary to care for him. In 1944, lightning killed Alvin, who had done the farming, on his Grandmother‘s farm. In November, Fred and May had a sale and moved to Waterloo on March 1, 1945. Fred passed away in 1949 and Mary in 1971. Although they enjoyed being closer to their relatives at Frederika and their new friends there, they missed the wonderful friends they had at Spring Fountain. They exchanged visits with some of them for many years. Sumner Creamery Sumner Township Section 25 105 Wapsie The Bremer County Independent: September 27, 1905 The Sumner Creamery shipped 63 tubs of butter last Friday, being the week‘s output. That was about thirteen tubs better than for the corresponding week last year. They will ship twice a week until the weather

gets cooler, as their supply of ice is getting low and it takes too much to keep such a large quantity. The Bremer County Independent: November 23, 1905, Sumner News Fred Zell our superb butter maker scored better than he knew at the Cedar Rapids exhibit. He not only secured the prize of a gold medal and $18.87 from the State Association but the Alderney Buttercolor Company has sent him a gold watch and $20.00 in money for scoring sweepstakes with their butter color and $5.00 for scoring 96 or above. He makes butter that must not be sneezed at. The Waverly Republican: February 7, 1907, Sumner News At a recent meeting of the Sumner Creamery Company Monroe Westcott was elected president, S. A. Munger, secretary and Bonk of Sumner, treasurer. Sumner Butter Makers: Other butter makers mentioned in newspaper articles were Albert Zierath, E. B. Olds, and Ervin Kuker. Tibbits & Tower Creamery Sumner, Iowa The History of Bremer County: 1883 Tibbits & Tower, who continued the business until October, when they sold it to A. O. Kingsley and H. G. Fairchild, established the business in May 1880. Soon after it passed into the hands of A. O. Kingsley, who continued to run it until August 1881, when Gardner, Murphy & Company of Boston, became the proprietors. They installed H. C. Alger as superintendent,


who at once commenced to refit it and put it into first class shape. The main building is 24/65 with icehouse 24/36. The machines are operated by a six horsepower steam engine, with eight horsepower boiler. This establishment has all the modern improvements for the manufacture of butter, and is one of the most thriving and progressive branches of business in Sumner. During the season of 1882, they manufactured on an average of one thousand pounds of butter a day. Sumner Creamery Company Remodeling Work Started on Creamery Building Sumner Gazette: March 14, 1957 Lampe Construction Company Monday began remodeling the Sumner Creamery Company building on Wapsie St. to accommodate new equipment that will be needed when the company begins purchasing whole milk. Alfred Buenzow, a member of the company board of directors said that the remodeling is expected to be completed within a month and that the company will start purchasing whole milk at that tune. The local creamery plans to continue buying cream as well as whole milk. Installation of the new equipment will be started as soon as remodeling is completed. A 4,000 gallon milk holding tank, a surge tank of approximately 1150 gallon capacity, a can washing machine, stainless steel drop tank and a scale will be included among the new equipment to be installed in the creamery building, also an ice building machine. Total 36 patrons now serve the Sumner Creamery and others are expected when the whole milk purchasing service is started. The whole milk will be trucked to the Rochester Dairy at Rochester, Minnesota, Buenzow said. C. H. Loomis will be retained as operator-manager of the Sumner Creamery. Kingsley Brother‘s Creamery Jefferson Township Deep Setting of Milk The Waverly Republican: July 1, 1880 The Republican has long been aware of the benefits derived from setting milk in deep cans, in tanks of cold water, and has repeatedly invited those gentlemen who were experimenting with cans last summer, to give their experience to the public through this department. Deep setting of milk is no new thing, as it has been practiced in European countries for years, especially in Denmark, where the best butter in the world is made. The milk men who supply some of our large cities place their cans in cold water, and as the cream will all rise in three or four hours the dairyman (but oftener the middleman) if not honest, removes the cream and the consumer gets what he often thinks is watered milk. Raising cream by surrounding the milk with water at 60 or 70 degree temperature is the proper way of getting pure cream whether a flat or a deep pan is used, but the can system is very popular on account of its cheapness. To S. H. Kingsley, more than any other man, belongs the credit of introducing the can system among farmers of Bremer County, especially the western half of it and if his directions as to management are followed, it will result in raising all the cream and having it sweet, pure and fresh, for making good creamery butter. Kingsley Brothers‘ Creamery The Waverly Republican: July 1, 1880 The Kingsley Brothers‘ Creamery, located in Jefferson Township, H. W. Kingsley, proprietor, commenced operation May 12, 1879 and closed November 22, 1879. The Tripoli Creamery Fremont Township Section 4 The History of Tripoli: 1976 S. H. Kingsley organized the Tripoli Creamery in 1880. The steam engine was a blind horse hitched to an overhead sweep. An old cook stove served as the boiler and heater. In the first month of business they made twelve tubs of butter. W. H. Lobdell started making cheese but the farmers

wanted the skim milk. He then bought a De Lavel cream separator with a capacity of only one thousand pounds and went back to making butter. The Waverly Republican: March 13, 1890 Our Tripoli Creamery is in a flourishing condition and turning out on an average of eight hundred pounds of number one butter each day. The Waverly Republican: January 15, 1891 The proprietor of the Tripoli Creamery is quite ill with Typhoid Fever.


The Waverly Republican: January 5, 1893, Tripoli News J. T. Wolf, traveling agent for the commission firm of Davis & Schuyler Company Butter, Cheese, Egg and Poultry Dealers, is in the vicinity soliciting and buying butter. He speaks very highly of our creamery man, F. C. Oltrogge who learned the art of making butter in the same factory at Elgin where Mr. Wolf used to work. Mr. Wolf expects to visit this vicinity four times a year hereafter and guarantees to pay top prices for fine goods. 1894 F. C. Oltrogge is butter maker at the Tripoli Creamery. The Waverly Republican: January 31, 1895, Tripoli News Our farmer‘s creamery organization has been completed. They have bought a piece of land of John Schroeder north of the depot where they will build an icehouse at once and a creamery in the spring. Mr. Oltrogge our present creamery man will make their butter, which will insure them top prices. The Waverly Republican: February 21, 1895, Tripoli News The new Creamery Company has their icehouse up and is now filling it with ice. Our iceman Will Keeler is doing the work. F. C. Oltrogge our popular creamery man was happily surprised the 19th by about 20 families calling at his residence in memory (did they mean in honor) of Mr. Oltrogge‘s 24th birthday. The afternoon and evening were happily spent and all returned home wishing Mr. Oltrogge a number of such events. The Waverly Republican: March 14, 1895, Tripoli News F. C. Oltrogge, our creamery man, received the following letter from G. W. Martin & Brother Commission Merchants, New York: Dear Sir-I notice by the paper that you drew first prize on separator goods at the convention at Rockford, Illinois where a large display of manufactured stock was exhibited. I notice you had some very strong competitors in the contest and must have had some very fine butter to score 98 in such a contest. We would like to handle your make the coming year. Yours truly S. W. Hoyt Tripoli‘s Big Jubilee The Waverly Republican: June 6, 1895 The new Farmer‘s Cooperative Creamery at Tripoli was dedicated on Monday. It was no tame affair either. On the contrary, the people of the town were out en masse and the farming population of central Bremer for miles around crowded into town to enjoy the jollification. There was music in the air and hilarity was rampant. The merchants, hotels, restaurants and saloons were in clover all over. It was a field day for Tripoli. The procession was an imposing affair. Decorated floats carrying cleverly arranged samples of their stocks and goods represented the business houses of the town. These were preceded by a car of state upon which were seated little girls representing all the states of the Union. The Tripoli and Nashua Cornet Bands and the Waverly Drum Corps made the air melodious and their best productions. Among the floats we noticed the following houses represented: C. Hildebrandt, hardware; F. Schuknect & Sons, hardware; C. Wilharm, blacksmith; Schultz & Bany, general merchandise; J. C. Garner, McCormick Reaper; C. Wilharm, Tripoli Water-works; J. F. Keough, dairy; Koeneke Brothers, furniture, The Union Transfer Line; W. H. Notdorf, lumber; The Central Great Western Railway; John Claus, liquors; The Tripoli Leader; Jungblut & Robinson, drugs; Hale Brothers, restaurant; Wynhoff & Berg, general merchandise; F. W. Nauman, liquors. After the parade came dinner, and at 2 p.m. the people assembled at the Bowery for the speaking and singing. Thos. J. Loveland was chairman of the meeting. Rev. Neusch invoked the divine blessing; the German Glee Club sang a song after which Rev. Neusch made some remarks in German, which were well received. The American Glee Club sang and their selection was followed by an able address on Dairying and creamery matters by State Dairy

Commissioner, Boardman. The Tripoli Cornet Band played and was followed by the American Glee Club with a ―Jolly Old Farmer‖ which rendered with great spirit. Editor Fairburn of New Hampton then closed the exercises with an eloquent speech full of pointers for farmers and farmers‘ wives. After the literary exercises there was a bicycle race, Harvey Dean and The Page Brothers of this city being the contestants. Dean won it. A heavy shower then drove the people under cover and the foot races and other amusements were abandoned, except the Bowery dance in the evening which we presume was a big thing. The new creamery building is several rods north of the depot. Its dimensions are 26x72 feet with 12-foot posts. It has a brick smokestack and cement floor, is provided with an ample icehouse and refrigerator of the most approved pattern. The engine and boiler are of the Erie City make. Two Little Alpha separators will twist the cream out of the milk with neatness and dispatch. With this faultless outfit and the champion butter maker of the United States, F. C. Oltrogge, in charge Tripoli Creamery butter ought to command a high price in the market. The officers and directors of the creamery are: E. A. Kelsey, president; F. W. Meier, secretary; directors Ernest Hagen, Charles Piegors and H. Lester. The Waverly Republican: June 6, 1895, Local News Mr. and Mrs. Frank Russell took in the Tripoli celebration on Monday. Frank built the brick smokestack and cement floor of the creamery and has a similar job for the Fremont Creamery. The Waverly Republican: March 19, 1896, Local News F. C. Oltrogge has been experimenting for sometime to improve upon the flavor of his butter and has at last succeeded in his results. He has made a home starter. Mr. Oltrogge made some butter with it last week and shipped it to Chicago for inspection with the result that it scored 88.6 out of 100 points or 996 out of 1000 points. He only lost two-sixths on his flavor from being perfect. Who can beat that score? A. Davidson, the Chicago Produce Inspector, scored it. The score card can be seen at the Tripoli Creamery. The Waverly Republican: February 24, 1898 The Tripoli Creamery received for the month of January, 396,747 pounds of milk for which 76 cents per hundred was paid. Frank Hale was elected secretary and Wm. Grabein was elected director at the February meeting. The Waverly Republican: December 1, 1898, Local News The Tripoli Creamery is shipping small consignments of butter to Cuba where it sells up towards a dollar a pound. This


seems like a fabulous price but the expense of shipping, commission, etc. likely leaves the net returns a trifle below that figure. Who‘s Who in Iowa: 1940 1900, 1901-03, 1910 William Ambrose was employed by Tripoli Cooperative Creamery in 1900 and from 1901-03. In 1910 he became manager according to his family. The Bremer County Independent: February 5, 1903 Tripoli News The Tripoli Creamery Company held their annual election Tuesday. E. A. Kelsey, president; Charles Jahnke, secretary, J. H. Martin, treasurer; F. W. Meiers, August Krueger, Wm. Jahnke, directors; F. C. Oltrogge, butter maker. The Bremer County Independent: February 2, 1905 Local News The creamery at Tripoli paid last week $1.15 per hundred pounds for milk, the Spring Fountain Creamery paid $1.14, Potter Siding paid $1.15, Maxfield $1.15, Bremer $1.13, Climax $1.06 and Siegel $1.05. Special Car for Bremer County The Waverly Republican: October 12, 1905 F. C. Oltrogge of Tripoli, Iowa called at the Creamery Journal office recently. Mr. Oltrogge is arranging for a special car to carry the butter maker, creamery secretaries and dairymen from Bremer County to the Cedar Rapids convention. Mr. Oltrogge has influenced the creamery folks from his neighborhood to attend conventions in goodly numbers before. He secured a special car for the St. Paul and Milwaukee National conventions and for the State convention when it met in Dubuque. Mr. Oltrogge has been butter maker for the Tripoli Creamery for nearly 15 years, ever since it started and during this time has given the right start to something like a dozen butter makers who are now recognized as among the best in Iowa. Mr. Oltrogge has become interested in a canning factory being erected at Tripoli. This is a good thing for the cow-keeping farmers. They can grow from 4 to 6 tons of sweet corn (this weight applies to the ears) to the acres, which will bring in the neighborhood of $4 a ton. This in itself is a good business, but the stalks which the farmer has left, are mighty fine feed and increase his receipts from the creamery. The Waverly Republican: February 8, 1906, Tripoli News The Tripoli Creamery Company held their annual meeting Tuesday afternoon and the business for the year, as reported by the secretary was very satisfactory to the company. The following officers were elected: F. W. Meier, president; Charles Jahnke, secretary; J. H. Martin, treasurer; August Krueger, Will Schultz and J. H. Schmidt Trustees and F. C. Oltrogge, butter maker. The Waverly Republican: February 18, 1909, Tripoli News The Tripoli Creamery Company is second to none in Iowa. They have installed a cream pasteurizer that will soon be in running order. The Bremer County Independent: April 14, 1910, Tripoli News F. C. Oltrogge, our popular butter maker has resigned his position and himself and family will move to Waterloo where he will take charge of the Sindlinger Dairy and Ice Cream establishment. H. C. Koeneke of Waterloo will succeed him as butter maker in our creamery. The Bremer County Independent: June 15, 1911, Tripoli News Wm. Ambrose, butter maker of the Tripoli Creamery, J. H. Ambrose butter maker of the Potter‘s Siding Creamery and H. J. Hankner butter maker of the Fremont Creamery were at Waverly taking an examination on testing cream and creamery work on the 7th. The Tripoli Leader: February 20, 1924, Local News

H. C. Ladage returned Saturday from Ames where he has been the past two weeks instructing in butter making at the Iowa Dairy Short Course. Buttermilk to Be Sold at Public Auction The Tripoli Leader: March 12, 1924, Front Page There will be a public auction at the Tripoli Creamery Tuesday, March l8th at 10:00 o‘clock. The buttermilk will be sold to the highest bidder for the coming year. The Tripoli Leader: March 12, 1924, Local News The Tripoli Creamery Company held their annual meeting Tuesday at the creamery and the following directors were reelected for three years: Wm. G. Hagen, C. E. Prestein and C. H. Schmidt. The yearly report of the creamery under the capable management of H. C. Ladage was found to be very satisfactory and last years business showed considerable increase over any other year.


Wapsie Valley Creamery is taking in 12,000 pounds of milk daily as of May 17, l889. Local Creamery Takes Up Cream Scoring The Tripoli Leader: April 23, 1924 With a few exceptions the milk and cream delivered at the Tripoli Creamery is exceptionally good according to F. M. Sheldon of the extension service of Iowa State College who was in Tripoli on Tuesday morning to score the milk and cream at the local creamery. Mr. Sheldon states that he believes that the patrons are actually doing their best to retain the splendid reputation that both the Tripoli Creamery and H. C. Ladage have gained as manufacturers of the best quality butter available anywhere. The procedure of this work is rather interesting and very important from the standpoint of quality products. The extension service, through the Bremer County Farm Bureau and cooperating with the patrons of the creamery sends specialists to do the work. Mr. Sheldon was here early Tuesday morning so as to take a sample of all the milk and cream delivered by the patrons. He took a sample of the milk, which was forced through a small layer of cotton, which retained any dirt that might be present. This cotton disk was placed on the score card showing every patron just how much dirt was present in a pint of his milk. He took the temperature which would indicate whether or not the milk was too warm and tested the milk for flavor and possible acidity in hot weather. There were 24 patrons with a score of 90 or better while there was only one who scored below 80 with a score of 79. Of the cream samples tested there was only one below 90 while the remaining 6 scored 90 or better. Mr. Sheldon believes that with proper cooperation from the patrons, Mr. Ladage will be able to continue finishing amongst the leaders in butter scoring contests. He congratulated Mr. Ladage on his showing at Sheldon, Iowa on March 5th where Mr. Ladage got first prize with competition open to every butter maker in Iowa. The cream and milk scoring at the local creamery will be continued throughout the summer. Ladage Wins First Again The Tripoli Leader: May 14, 1924 At the meeting and scoring contest of butter makers of District No. 8 held at the Tripoli Creamery here this afternoon Herman Ladage received high honors with a score of 95. Ernest Rohrsen of Siegel and Walter Spurbeck of Denver tied for second place with a score of 94 each. Nineteen tubs of butter were scored. July 1, 1935 Robert Ewing of Postville, Iowa, is the newly appointed butter maker at the Tripoli Creamery. Ewing began work on July 1, 1935, succeeding William Krueger. 1935 Lorenz Bunger is the new assistant at the Tripoli Creamery in 1935. August, 1948 Butter maker W. B. Dilley, sends most of butter made in Tripoli to New York markets. Some cream is also sold to Waterloo dairies. June, 1949 Paul Pockels of Los Angeles, California is the new Tripoli Creamery butter maker. Previous Tripoli Creamery Butter Makers Previous butter makers not mentioned in the newspaper articles are: E. M. Guiney, H.C. Koeneke: 1910, William Kruger, and Lynn Wilson: 1949 – 1963. Wapsie Valley Creamery Franklin Township Section 7 The Waverly Democrat: May 10, 1889 The Waverly Republican: March 20, 1890 George Vanderwalker gives us the following creamery items. During the month of February the Wapsie Valley Creamery of which he is secretary handled 200,000 pounds of milk, paying 95 cents net for the month. John Tiedt milked 80 cows and brought to the creamery 12,010 pounds of milk for which he received $115; Chas. Spear and Aug. Klemp both received, the first $110 and the last $103 for the month. The weekly shipments of butter averaged 37 tubs of 62 pounds per tub. From the creamery items published this winter in The Republican our readers will plainly see that our farmers from cooperative creameries properly managed receive very handsome revenue. The Bremer County Independent: September 12, 1895 Local News Fred Farwell butter maker at the Wapsie Valley creamery slipped and fell upon the floor and broke his shoulder blade last Friday. The Waverly Republican: April 2, 1896, Local News The Wapsie Valley Creamery Company has been shipping 30 tubs of butter a week the past month with good returns for its patrons. O. McCumber is president of this company, George Vandewalker, secretary, Charles Hagenow, treasurer and Daniel Bluer, butter maker. The Waverly Republican: January 21, 1897, Local News Rudolph Tiedt has been elected secretary and treasurer of Wapsie Valley Creamery Company of Franklin Township. The Waverly Republican: March 4, 1897, Grove Hill News Wapsie Valley Creamery has hired Frank Huntley for the coming year. The Bremer County Independent: August 2, 1900, Local News The Wapsie Valley Creamery and contents belonging to Mr. Lehmkuhl was destroyed by fire yesterday morning. The fire was discovered at about 1 o‘clock and it had gained such headway that it was impossible to save anything in the building. It is thought the outfit was insured a short time ago for $1600. The Bremer County Independent: October 11, 1900 Maxfield News Fred Bahe bought of C. Lehmkuhl the buildings, brick smoke stack, well, etc., part of the Wapsie Valley Creamery which was destroyed by fire for the sum of $200. Mr. Lehmkuhl has moved onto a farm near Minkler. Excerpts from: The Abandoned Post Offices of Bremer County, Iowa: 1995 Wapsie, Bremer County, Iowa was located on Highway 3 one mile east of Readlyn. At one time Wapsie had a general store, a blacksmith shop, saloon, and a creamery. The creamery was across the road to the south in section 7. The owners, H. Lehmkuhl and Charlie Koschmeder, lost it in a fire in the early 1900‘s. Washington Creamery Washington Township Section 5 Hilton Avenue & 230th The Waverly Republican: May 10, 1894, Local News Fred Meier‘s team ran away from the Creamery Supply building on Friday with a boiler that was going to be delivered to the Washington Creamery. They left the boiler and most of the wagon in‖ditch gap canal‖ and ran up the steep hill to Wm. Mores residence. A wire fence stopped the front wheels. Not much damage was done but it took nearly all day Saturday to get the boiler out of the ditch. The Waverly Republican: April 9, 1896


Washington Creamery receives about 12,000 pounds of milk a day. Charles Gors is president: Ed Thies, secretary and S. M. Lehman, O. Thomas and Will Kohagen, directors. The Waverly Republican: April 9, 1896, Local News Henry Piegors has resigned his position as butter maker at Washington Creamery and accepted a similar one with Lafayette creamery to begin April 15, 1896. Mr. Wagner is the new butter maker. The Waverly Republican: March 3, 1898, Local News H. J. Freie butter maker at Washington Creamery has attached a contrivance of his own invention to the creamery boiler for the capture and return to the boiler of all escaping steam and thus utilize the full steam product and saves largely on fuel. The Bremer County Independent: July 4, 1901 Dick Botterman began work Monday as butter maker at the Washington Creamery east of town. The Bremer County Independent: June 2, 1904, Local News Referring to the item under the heading ―The Condensed Milk Factory‖ published in these columns last week: D. A. Botterman, butter maker of the Washington Creamery says that his creamery paid its patrons 89 cents per 100 pounds of 4 per cent milk for the month of April, 1904 and therefore he objects to the statement that 85 cents per 100 pounds for 4 per cent milk was the highest paid by any creamery in Bremer County. The Washington Creamery is not the biggest institution in the country, but Mr. Botterman and some of the rest of us are going to kick if you undertake to shove it out of Bremer County. The Washington Creamery is one of the institutions that are helping to keep Bremer County all right. The Bremer County Independent: March 30, 1905, Local News Butter maker D. A. Botterman of the Washington Creamery was in on business Tuesday. The receipts of milk have increased greatly at that institution lately. During the winter they churned four days each week, now they churn every day. They receive 12,000 pounds of milk daily. The past month the patrons received $1.34 per c.w.t. for 4 per cent test. The Bremer County Independent: September 20, 1906 The Washington Farmers Cooperative Creamery Company contemplates building a new creamery at the old site three miles east of Waverly. The new building will be of cement blocks or brick. November 8, 1906 The new Washington Creamery where Mr. Woodring had charge of the carpenter work, and where the Russell Brothers did the brick and cement work, is about completed. The Bremer County Independent: March 21, 1912 The business at the Washington Creamery has so increased lately that it was necessary for them to install a couple of separators last week of larger capacity than they had been using and the work was completed last week. Carl Gamm and Wife are Given Anniversary Surprise The Waverly Democrat: March 8,1923 The home of Mr. and Mrs. Carl Gamm at Washington Creamery was the scene of a jolly surprise party on Friday


evening, March 2. A company of friends made up of six families of the neighborhood gathered there to show Mr. and Mrs. Gamm just how an eighth anniversary should properly be celebrated. The uninvited guests comprised the membership of a five hundred club, which had been holding regular meetings during the winter. The visitors brought with then the ―makings‖ of a delicious oyster supper, flanked with all the ―dainties‖ one could wish for. The evening was spent visiting and playing cards. Mr. and Mrs. Gamm were presented with a handsome cut glass water set. Creamery Will Install Modern New Dial Scale Washington Elected Becker President, Reelected Gamm Butter Maker, at Meeting Thursday The Bremer County Independent: January 17, 1929 Carl Gamm was unanimously reelected butter maker, election of officers and directors was completed, and various items of business were taken up at the annual meeting of the Washington Creamery, held at the schoolhouse Thursday, January 10. John J. Becker, who was the senior director, automatically became president. Mike Rosol was elected the third director, the other two being Fred Volk and Dewey Racker. Ernest Lampe was reelected secretary; John Mether and Ernest Thoms were reelected as test supervisors. In order to keep the creamery up to date it was decided to buy one of the most modern dial scales available. In order to take care of the big increase in business it was decided to continue the system that was started some time ago of having milk and cream shipped every other day. Ten years ago when Mr. Gamm started, as butter maker there were forty-one patrons while at present there are seventy-six, and the creamery is working to its full capacity. The county agent was present and led in the discussion on feeds and feeding of dairy cattle, as well as giving a review of his observations on the work of cooperative creameries in some of the European countries. Butter maker Agreement between Washington Creamery and Otto Schaefer: November 23, 1929 This agreement, in duplicate, made this 23rd date of November 1929, by and between Washington Creamery Company and Otto Schaefer. Washington Creamery Company hereby engages Otto Schaefer as butter maker for period commencing December 1, 1929 and terminating February 1, 1931. Said Otto Schaefer to churn butter of 92% or better, to print or tub butter as designated by said Washington Creamery Company, to furnish his own truck and to do all trucking except coal, he is to engage and pay his help after January 1, 1929, and to perform his duties in a diligent and effective manner. For such services the Washington Creamery Company agrees to pay Otto Schaefer $100.00 per month, one-half cent per pound of butter churned, furnish coal, butter and milk for his family use. Said Washington Creamery Company or Otto Schaefer may terminate this agreement by giving 30 days written notice. Washington Creamery Company By John J. Becker, presidentOtto Schaefer Over 3,500 lbs. at Washington Had Been Moved Burglars Get Nothing in Attempt Made Monday Night Excerpts from: The Bremer County Independent: August 5, 1936 Because more than 3,500 pounds of butter with a value well over $1,000 had been loaded in a pool refrigerator Monday afternoon, butter thieves who visited Washington Creamery some time during the night Monday got exactly nothing for their pains. The thieves, believed members of the gang which in the last four months has stolen more than 45,000 pounds of butter from 15 northern Iowa creameries, passed up 1,000 pounds of printed butter which carried the Washington Creamery wrapper, presumably because the butter would be ―hot‖ and almost impossible to dispose of.

They also passed over four 90-pound boxes of butter, which were ready for printing. Fifty-seven tubs of 64 pounds each had been removed from the creamery Monday afternoon and loaded in the pool car. The thieves gained entrance through a window, using a stepladder belonging to the creamery, which was lying nearby. Tracks of a truck equipped with what seemed to be ribbed-tread Firestone tires were found west of the building, and also on the road leading south from the creamery. It is thought that while the men was breaking into the creamery the truck drove down the road and returned in about the time necessary for breaking into the usual refrigerator. Shoeprints were found on the ground outside the window, but Sheriff Frank Sager obtained no fingerprints. It is thought the men wore gloves. Butter maker Otto Schaefer shortly after work was begun in the morning discovered the robbery. This is the first visit of the gang to Bremer County. However, Monday night, July 30, the Nashua Creamery was robbed of 1,500 pounds. Creameries this week were giving consideration to installation of alarm systems which would ring whenever anyone entered the building and purchase of burglar insurance at a rate estimated at about $12 per 1,000 covered per year. August 1948 Otto Schaefer, butter maker, sold 9,000 pounds of butter each month to Waverly grocery stores. More than 400,000 pounds of butter was shipped to Dubuque, Iowa. Washington Creamery Butter Maker Retiring The Waverly Democrat: May 20, 1965 Otto Schaefer, butter maker at Washington Creamery for 35 1/2 years, is retiring this week. If he could have accumulated sick leave over that many years he might have quite a bit of time coming because, he relates, he only missed 11 days due to illness in all that time. More remarkable is the fact all 11 days absence occurred just a few weeks ago when he was disabled by a case of mumps. Mr. and Mrs. Schaefer are moving onto an acreage at Bremer where they will garden, raise a few sheep and enjoy some leisure in their retirement. New butter maker at the creamery is Fred Benz. He started about 2 years ago at Fredericksburg. But, for the past 13 years he has been butter maker for the Frederika Creamery. He and Mr. Benz have moved into the house adjoining the


local creamery and Berz has been working with Schaefer to ensure a smooth transition in the management and operation of the butter maker operation. Washington Creamery Closes after 78 Years Herds, Volume Gone Washington Creamery halted operations on May 31, 1968 and will hold an auction this Saturday to sell equipment and supplies. The Waverly Democrat: June 6, 1968 Closing of the creamery, 2 _ miles east of Waverly ends a business that operated for 78 _ years and produced approximately 28 million pounds of butter. Reasons for the closing are many. The creamery had only 20 patron herds this past year as more and more farmers got out of the diary business or found new markets for their milk. Washington Creamery was still buying cream, one of the last neighborhood operations to do so. The three remaining creameries in Bremer County, at Denver, Bremer and Potter Siding, are all geared to whole milk processing. Curiously, the past year was one of the biggest for the Washington Creamery from a butter-making standpoint as more than 250,000 pounds were shipped. Except for butter sold locally, bulk of the product went to a firm in New York City, which marketed the butter under its own brand name. Reason for the big production the past few years was that the creamery was purchasing cream from Carnation‘s plant in Waterloo. This year Carnation contracted with another market and this supply was cut off. ―There just isn‘t enough volume available to continue operating,‖ explained Harry Thoms, longtime secretary of the Cooperative Creamery. When Waverly marked its 100 anniversary in 1956, Washington Creamery joined in the celebration. At that time it was one of 18 creameries operating in Bremer County. But the demise of the local creamery had already begun, because only a few years earlier there had been 20 creameries operating in the county. For the next 10 years the mortality of this local operation was steady. Several of the old creameries though no longer making butter, served as milk collection points for the big operations. How long can the remaining three local creameries last? Thoms thinks they‘ll continue as long as they can maintain an adequate volume. Being equipped for whole milk processing is another advantage. Thoms added that recent legislation on creameries also added its weight to the decision to close down the Washington Creamery. The big churn is made of wood. New law requires stainless steel. Other equipment changes would have made a big investment necessary, he added. The Washington Cooperative Creamery was formally organized on December l6, 1889, at a meeting in the John Brandenburg home. A private creamery was operated on the same site previously by Louis Dickman. First butter maker was Henry Piegors; First officers were Louis Busching, president; John Brandenburg, secretary; H. H. Steege, treasurer; Charles Gors, F. C. Meyer and William Baskins, directors. Current officers include Leo Shipp, president; Virgil Graeser, vicepresident; Harry Thomas, secretary-treasurer; Arthur Brandt, Jack Reynolds, directors. Thoms has held the post of secretary/treasurer for 22 years. Before that Ernest Lampe held the post for about the same time. Forrest Corwin has been butter maker most recently. Washington Creamery; Carl Gamm, Butter Maker Carl Gamm was born at Strawberry Point, Iowa. He was married, March 2, 1915, to Lily Hesner and they made their home in Strawberry Point. Carl was taught the butter making trade under Herman H. Ladage of Strawberry Point. He and his wife Lily took charge of the Washington Creamery in 1919 and remained there for ten years. They lived in the house provided by the creamery where they raised their three children, Vera Elizabeth, Geraldine, and Robert. Eldon Benning, Carl‘s assistant in the creamery, boarded with them also. In 1929 Carl became butter maker at Spring Fountain, which was located 3 miles west and one mile south of Sumner. After 14 years at Spring Fountain, Carl retired October 1949 due to ill health. After moving to

Sumner, he ran a refrigeration business until his death on July 21, 1951 at 58 years. Maxine Iserman Brase, niece of Carl Gamm, and her family lived one mile north of the creamery in the time that Carl was butter maker at Washington. She remembers playing games in the ice and sawdust in the creamery icehouse. As her father, Harvey Iserman, would haul cream mornings he would take Maxine and her sister, Eileen, along to the creamery. They would walk the path to Washington #7 school, which was close by. After Carl accepted the position of butter maker at Spring Fountain, Otto Schaefer took over his duties at Washington Creamery. The Washington Creamery was located 2 1/2 miles east of Waverly on Highway 3. After being in business for 78 1/2 years, the Washington Creamery closed on May 31, 1968. Submitted by Maxine Iserman Brase [81 years of age], July 2002 The Western Douglas Creamery Company Douglas Township Section 30 Hawthorne Avenue & 140th 1890 The Western Douglas Creamery was established in 1890. The Waverly Republican: March 8, 1894, Horton News The West Douglas Creamery Company held a meeting at Roxie and elected the following named men as officers: Captain Potter, Will Luhring, Mr. Wilson, Henry Barney and Walter Empson as secretary. The Waverly Republican: July 5, 1894, Horton News The Western Douglas Creamery caught on fire one day last week but was quickly extinguished and no damage done. The Waverly Republican: August 16, 1894, Roxie News Western Douglas Creamery has a new churn and butter-worker that works the butter inside the churn. She is a dandy.


The Waverly Republican: November 1, 1894, Roxie News Western Douglas Creamery Company will run their creamery with one hand after November 1 on account of shortage of milk. The Waverly Republican: December 6, 1894 George Green of Frederika has accepted a position in Western Douglas Creamery as second man. He began work on December 1. The Waverly Republican: April 4, 1895 Arthur Sadler has hired to the Western Douglas Creamery Company to make butter for the coming year. The Waverly Republican: May 26, 1898 Western Douglas Creamery is being repaired and having a cement floor laid therefore the patrons have sent their milk to the Horton Creamery since Tuesday. The Waverly Republican: December 8, 1898, Horton News Western Douglas Creamery Company will put in a new separator costing $1,000. The Waverly Republican: May 21, 1890 The Western Douglas Creamery Company is a new cooperative creamery company now doing business in Douglas Township. The creamery is located one-half mile east of Marvin Potter and is said to be one of the largest and best-equipped creamery establishments in the county. The officers of the company are M. Potter, President; H. K. Barney, Secretary; A. A. Dickenson, Treasurer; August Hoppenworth, W. Buls and P. G. Cummings, Directors. The Waverly Republican: February 10, 1898, Northern Douglas News Western Douglas has a new butter maker and Mr. Sadler will engage in farming the coming year. The Bremer County Independent: February 16, 1899 Roy Youmans will be the second butter maker at Western Douglas Creamery. The Waverly Republican: February 2, 1905 Northern Douglas News The patrons of Western Douglas Creamery filled their icehouse last week. The Waverly Republican: February 9, 1905, Frederika News Mr. Frank Finch has been running the Western Douglas Creamery while Mr. Sadler attended the butter maker‘s convention at Mason City. The Waverly Republican: March 21, 1907, Northern Douglas News A. F. Claus has moved into the house vacated by Charles Cole and will draw milk to the Western Douglas Creamery. The Waverly Republican: October 7, 1909, Northern Douglas News The patrons of Western Douglas Creamery hauled the lumber for the new creamery building on Monday of this week. The cement blocks are being made and soon the new building will be ready for use. The Bremer County Independent: March 7, 1912 The Western Douglas Creamery held its annual election on Monday, March 4. The following officers were elected: President, Wm. Oberheu; Secretary, Carl Oberheu; Treasurer, J. G. Joens; Directors, A. D. Hartman, F. H. Hartman and Wm. Waltemate. The Western Douglas Creamery is one of the things that have made Bremer County come to the front. It is one of the institutions of which its patrons and its officers are

proud, and well they may be, for it has made them a market close at hand for one of their principal products. It has always been carefully managed; it is now ranked as one of the leading creameries of this county. Western Douglas in 50-Year Celebration First Butter Sold at 14.5 Potter, Barney, Dickenson, Hoppenworth, Cummings, Buls ―Founders‖ The Bremer County Independent: July 3, 1940 With more than fifty families in attendance, the Western Douglas Creamery Company celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the cooperative organization at a picnic at its plant three miles east of Horton. Windy weather interfered somewhat with the program, which had been arranged, but everyone had a good time in spite of the changed plans. Signed Notes Housed today in a modern concrete-block structure built in 1909, the Western Douglas Creamery got its start on June 2, 1890 in a frame structure after six ―founders‖ had personally signed notes for $3,000 so that the new cooperative could get into action. These men were Marvin Potter, President, Henry Barney, Secretary, A. A. Dickenson, Treasurer, and A. C. Hoppenworth, P. G. Cummings and Wm. Buls, directors. Records of the company, according to Ernest Buls, the present secretary, show that James Shane erected the building, that the late J. C. Gardner (who had yards at Bremer, Plainfield and Waverly) furnished the lumber, and that the late Ike Woodring of Waverly sold the machinery. Will Hicks, a patron of the creamery living to the west and a little north, helped haul lumber and rocks for the foundation, and was present Friday for the fiftieth anniversary celebration. John Cole, who had one of the first milk routes and now is a member, residing three miles north of the creamery, also attended the anniversary meeting. Walter Empson of Waverly, brother of Mrs. Hicks, cashed the first milk check written by the creamery. F. H. Hartman is the ―longest continuous patron‖ having been a patron since 1892, 48 years ago.


Butter makers who have served the creamery are: Tom Carroll 1890-1894 W. Burgess 1894-1895 A. F. Sadler 1895-1898 A. M. Bethke 1898-1901 Frank Finch 1901-1904 A. F. Sadler 1904-1905 John Ambrose & Nichols Short time in 1905 Christ Wedemeier 1905-1910 Robert Kerr 1910-1914 Ernest Hesse 1914-1922 George Heine 1922(In a month Mr. Heine will have been with the creamery 18 years.) Early sales of the company were to Hunter & Walton, who got 5 tubs, and to Zimmer, Biler and Dunkirk, who got 8 tubs. The return shows the butter brought 14.5 cents a pound. Now the creamery sells all its butter to the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, outside of sales in local outlets at Horton and Plainfield. In a year the creamery makes about 175,000 pounds of butter. The total milk checks for the first half of June in 1890 were $553.16, Mr. Buls said. This year they will be about $2700. June 1940 was the ―best June for a long time,‖ he added, not only for production but also because the creamery has added a number of patrons this year so that the total is now about 85. The creamery remains free of indebtedness, maintaining a record of many years in this respect. Western Douglas May Start ―Milk‖ Route Whenever Load is Big Enough Patrons OK Plan, Some Express Interest in Selling Milk The Bremer County Independent: November 12, 1941 Part of the patrons of the Western Douglas Creamery, in a meeting held Friday night at the creamery, agreed to sell whole milk to the Carnation Condensery in Waverly. A route will be started as soon as enough members can be lined up to make the route a paying proposition, Erwin Bergmann, president of the creamery, informed the Independent this week. This means that the creamery will act as a ―whole-milk gathering center‖ for the Carnation plant at Waverly when enough whole milk is available to make the plan worth while. Spring Fountain Creamery, west and south of Sumner, will meet tonight at the creamery for discussion, and Klinger Creamery, south of Readlyn, will meet Thursday evening. The Carnation Company is making an effort to work through the creameries of the county in order to produce more whole milk for lend-lease sales to less fortunate countries. The company has recently paid 60 cents a pound, less the hauling cost for butterfat. Creameries have paid 40 to 45 cents, less hauling expense, but patrons retain their skim milk for feeding in this case. Several creamery boards have discussed the plan, and some patron meetings have considered it, but Western Douglas is the first to O. K. a truck route, even on a tentative basis. Western Douglas Creamery, August, 1948 Located 3 miles North of Bremer the 1947 output of butter was 266,000 pounds. George Heine was the butter maker. Like most creameries buttermilk was sold back to the farmers and the butter was shipped to the East Coast.


BREMER COUNTY FAIR & 4-H The First County Fair The first county fair was held in the court house in October 1859[7], at which a wonderful display of vegetables, grains, cookery, needle work, old family relics of a curious sort, as well as several coops of poultry and a few choice pigs were on exhibition. My contribution to the show was a head of cabbage weighing 38 pounds, that I sold to G.W. LeValley for five cents. The court house was crowded with people who rejoiced over what could be produced in Bremer county. It was a meeting of people who got acquainted with each other and it tended to cement them together in developing the resources of the soil and the industries of the people. The weather was very bad, rain with snow fell and the temperature was low, but all cheerfully faced the weather, as they did the hardships of pioneer life. I recollect a discussion between Mace Eveland, Horace Wallace, Samuel Lease, Parker Lucas, Samuel Case, Solomon Renn, John Wile, W. P. Harris and others, as to whether or not timothy and clover would ever grow in the climate and soil of this section. Each one of them was a paragon of wisdom on the subject and the general belief was that they had passed out of the timothy and clover belt and they must depend upon the prairie grass for hay, of which they all agreed there would always be enough, for the prairies would never all be settled and farmed. If those wise old farmers' foresight had been as good as their hindsight was, when mowing heavy swaths of timothy and clover a few months afterwards, they would have been better prophets, and when some of them had lived to see every acre of prairie land under cultivation and teeming with ripe crops, they would have tried to forget their predictions.. The fair was a success as a beginning, and it was agreed that it was the starter of an organization that would be permanent and be the means of advertising Bremer County. But the rapid changes that came because of the election of Lincoln relegated the fair project to the scrap pile for a good many years... From Pioneer Days of Bremer County by Col. Wm. V. Lucas Arvella Kammeyer F W Mueller Live Fair For many years the fair rated near the top in Iowa, right behind the State Fair, Dairy Cattle Congress, and the fair at Spencer, from the standpoint of receipts and no doubt also for the quality of the exposition. The first Bremer County Agricultural Fair Association was organized in 1857 and the first fair was held October 7th and 89th that year. It was well attended, even though premiums at that time consisted only of diplomas and small cash prizes ranging from $.50 to $3. There were some cattle exhibited, some horses and swine, sugar cane, dairy products and other farm articles. During the next 20 years there were years in which no fair was held. Finally in 1875 the fair was reorganized and promoted by the Bremer County Industrial Association. In 1895 the Waverly Driving Park Association was organized. Their regular meetings were held on the fairgrounds, this land having been purchased by the city. The first officers of this group were W.R. Bowman, Leo Levy, C.J. Fosselman, and H.S. Burr. One of the first things they did was to plant a lot of trees and shrubs. Buildings were also erected and one of the best half-mile tracks in the state was constructed. The Bremer County Fair Association was organized in 1909. The Driving Park Assn. merged into this group although they continued to hold separate meetings.


File 6a The success of the 1913 fair boggled many minds. The Independent ran an article declaring that ―When a county fair can in one day have paid attendance of over twice the population of the whole county, something is doing…The gate man reported over 1,000 cars parked in the infield of the racetrack that day. The attendance throughout has been phenomenal, people coming in autos as far as 75 miles to see the Live Fair. There was always a huge fireworks display, much larger than most fairs. The budget often exceeded $1,500—a lot of money in those days. However, the high spot of the fair was the racing program. The horses which ran in the State Fair usually showed up on the Waverly track. Later there were big time auto races too. Editor Grawe recalled that another aid to the fair was the fact that the association never permitted a carnival to come on the grounds. Instead all the concessions in his day were booked on an independent basis. The man who had the merry-go-round and ferris wheel concessions paid $500 for the privilege. It was always a gamble for the fair board because rainy weather could ruin the best of plans. They never took out rain insurance because there were too many loopholes in those contracts. Many were the spectacular vaudeville and free attractions that thrilled fair goers. One of the outstanding, perhaps, was a triple parachute jump followed by a balloon ascension. On another occasion at a balloon ascension a youth was killed when he failed to make the jump and dropped to the Illinois Central tracks on the west edge of Waverly. Married at the Fair For $2 adults could get into the fair in 1930; children only had to pay $1. For the price of the ticket they could see auto racing, horse racing, exhibits of animals, daytime fireworks, free acts, vegetables, flowers, etc. And, for those who attended the first night, a public wedding. It was a fad that was sweeping the state in an effort to draw crowds during the depression years. The first night the grandstand was jammed, temporary bleachers filled, and the race track lined with a crowd estimated at from 5,000 to 7,000. S. Richard Reiter and Alice R. Hulse of near Shell Rock, were married on the free act platform at the fair grounds in a public legal wedding ceremony performed by the Rev. Elmer E. Tiedt of the Waverly Baptist Church. There were fifteen attendants for the ceremony: Della Moehling, Oraglee Mohling, Mary Ellen Weires, Bonnie Miller, Arlene Miller, Arlene Buhrow, Marie Orth, Zenobia Anderson, Dorothy Tegtmeier, Lorena Schiefelbein, Leota Mishler, Leona Sohle, Irma Smay, Beulah Webster and Anne Nygren. Miss Florence Schultz sang a wedding song specially prepared for the ceremony, and special music was played by the Fair band. Verne Soules was in charge for the Ernie Young productions which staged the wedding. Mr. Reiter, formerly of Grundy Center, had lived near Waverly Junction for several years. Miss Hulse was from Finchford. The couple did not plan a wedding trip, nor were they certain where they would make their home. Auto Racing at the Fair Seven big events marked the opening day of the auto races at the county fair in 1930. A dozen or more famous drivers of speedway, beach, and dirt track fame competed on the oval track. Waverly had joined the major auto race circuit of the United States. Those links brought the promise of "hot" speed wagons and the fair management was expected to work harder than ever to "protect the public from the danger element which is bound to creep into the races with the fast racing machines competing." The Midwest Motor derby was to be the classic race of the afternoon with drivers from all over the United States, a Canadian,


and a Frenchman racing their Reno Specials, Duesenbergs, Frontenacs, etc. In 1935 the fair announced that in addition to the regular races, sprint races would be held. Real action from the drop of the starting flag would make up the six-event program.

The Bremer County Fair One of my first memories is of going to the fair with my Grandma and Grandpa Miller, my folks, and some of my brothers and sisters. My grandfather had been an active member of the Bremer County Fair Board. He had been stricken with something like Parkinson's disease and couldn't walk so he went to the fair in a wheelchair! This must have been about 1938. Everyone wanted to talk to Grandpa and needless to say for a five-year-old it wasn't much fun to stand there and listen to adults talk! The Bremer County Fair started in about 1875. I really cannot find much about the fair until in the early 1900s. We have the share that Grandpa John Arns bought in 1909 for ten dollars. I cannot find how many shares were sold. The shares were sold so buildings could be built. The Fair owned 12 acres in 1909 and it was located in the same place as it is now. The grandstand was built in about 1910. A Floral Hall was built over by the gates on Highway 218. Here many businesses had big booths of vegetables, fruits, and flowers on display. Some of the people who had booths were Wright's Greenhouse [now Ecker's], Ludale Farm of Janesville. The 4-H building for girls' projects was a small building over by the drive up to the golf course. At one time there were 5 wells to provide enough water for livestock and people. One of the interesting facts I found was on the 3rd day of one fair there were over 1,000 cars on the fairgrounds with 26,032 people. Some sources say it was 1909, others say 1910 or 1914. People came to the fair by car, horse and buggy, train, or walked. They camped on the land that is now the golf course and in the middle of the race track. The track was an important part of the fairs. The girls played basketball on the track in 1910. Auto polo was played on the track in 1915. There were sulky races, and harness racing was held on the track. Sometime only horses from Bremer, Butler, Black Hawk, Chickasaw and Fayette Counties could enter the races. The bands marched around the track to open the parade. The fair then was held in the fall and so all the country schools had floats. Also the track was used by the Jimmy Lynch Death Dodgers in the late 30s and early 40s. They would race cars up ramps and jump over cars. I wonder how many kids went home and tried to imitate them with their bicycles. This same track was used by the high school track team into the 1950s. Another building at the fair was the pioneer cabin. It was a log cabin built by Charles McCaffree, who was the 1st white man in Bremer County. This was McCaffree's 2nd home. It was built in 1847 in Jackson Township. It was moved to the fairgrounds in 1910 and used as a museum until after World War II. There was also a Tourist Kitchen. It was a small 3-sided building with some stoves where you could make coffee or heat up food. It was about where Kid's Kingdom is now. During the Depression the fair had hard times financially and so in about 1933 the fair became mainly a 4-H fair, not so much an open fair. Other interesting facts about the fair: The fair had lots of vaudeville acts, bands, a 1,000 pound hog, etc. In 1913 one the fair had 32,000 people who paid to get in. That was 5 times the size of Waverly. It cost $.25 to go to the fair. In 1947 premiums paid for dairy at the fair was $7 for blue ribbons, $6 for a red, and $5 for white. The same as it is now. The women wore long, light colored dresses to the fair. In 1939 John Droste was winning awards and still is. Our family has been active at the fair since 1910 except for the 50s. It still is lots of fun and excitement for our grandchildren, and our children still like to come back to the Bremer County Fair. I have talked to different people about the fair and most have very good memories of it. It is truly a learning experience.

The fair has been fortunate to have had such good fair board members. Skeets Walther and John Droste have been among the best. I have been a 4-H leader for 39 years and I find it hard to believe how the fair has improved in that time. The buildings and the grounds could not look better. The way things are displayed at fair has also improved. When Grandpa and Grandma come to fair it is so much easier to find their grandchildren's projects. A special thanks also needs to go to the families of the fair board members. They give up vacation time so they can work at the fairgrounds and they also help out at the fair. I hope the fair will continue to improve like it has the last 125 years. Submitted by Betty Arns

4-H Clubs Celebrated 100th Anniversary One hundred years ago in 1902, 4-H was created to teach boys and girls in rural America, and their parents, how to more effectively run their farms and homes. Today, the youth organization has evolved to teach youth across the nation to reach their full potential in leadership, citizenship, and communications. In 2002, 4-H celebrated its 100th birthday nationwide. Bremer County had their birthday celebration at the Bremer County Fair in August with a Family Fun Night, former members, leaders, and other 4-H volunteers were invited


for a night of fun and celebration. Historian books, scrapbooks, 4-H uniforms, and other 4-H memorabilia were on display in the 4-H building. 4-H was born at a time when agricultural production technology was being researched at the land-grant university experiment stations. It was then discovered that new ways of doing things could be shared with parents through teaching their youth. 4-H keeps pace by training youth in robotics, aerospace, virtual reality and communications—as well as the tradition areas of food and nutrition, livestock, and many other project areas. Along the way, leaders are created. Through summer camps, school enrichment programs, community clubs, and trips, youths get the chance to learn and practice citizenship and leadership. Today‘s 4-H members frequently conduct service projects in their local communities; some travel to State Conference at Iowa State University, Ames. Members may apply for the Citizenship Washington Focus Trip [CWF] to Washington, D.C., to view national leaders at work. The 4-H program in Bremer County is open to youth in kindergarten through 12th grade, regardless of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, or handicap. Bremer County has 284 members, grades 412, enrolled in 20 Community Clubs. In addition to that, there are 51 Clover Kids, grades K-3, enrolled. Clover Kids can be members of a regular community club and/or enrolled in a 4-6 week special Clover Kids Club. Clover Clubs have been held in Denver, Plainfield, Sumner, Tripoli, and Waverly. Clovers can participate in almost every aspect of the 4-H program but on a smaller scale. In addition to the members there are 40 adults who receive personal satisfaction from serving as volunteer 4-H club leaders and another 100 volunteers who support the 4-H program in other ways. 4-H allows the members to give back to their community through the adoption of cemeteries, roadside ditch cleanup, and collecting supplies for kits for Red Cross. The Bremer County 4-H community service project for 2002 was collecting pop tabs for the Ronald McDonald House in Iowa City. One hundred and thirty-two pounds of pop tabs were collected. It takes over 1,000 pop tabs to make a pound. The tabs are sold and the money is used for supplies at the Ronald McDonald House. 4-H supports the development of all youth and is a family oriented program, providing positive ways for you to meet the four basic human needs of belonging, mastery, independence, and generosity. As the needs and interests of youth evolve, so too will the program areas which will provide them with the information and life skills needed to be productive adults of tomorrow. More than 150,000 youth and adult leaders/volunteers in Iowa celebrated National 4-H week in October 2002. In Bremer County, 4-H club members and County Council members visited 4th grade classrooms to spread the word about 4-H activities and opportunities. The Bremer County Extension Office in Tripoli is a coordinating point for the Bremer County clubs. Tripoli Leader; 9 October 2002

The Jefferson Superiors Records from the past tell us that the Jefferson Township/Denver area had been home to four girls' and one boys' 4-H clubs. The girls started as early as 1929, the boys started in 1944-52, then for some reason they restarted in 1961 and have been active to the present day. The Jefferson Superiors, as they named themselves, are no long just a boys' club, they include the girls and besides doing the traditional 4-H activities, such as fair, meetings, presentations, and demonstrations, they also participate in community projects. Submitted by Gayle Rector Sumner Hustlers Elizabeth Leisinger and Emily Flory waited for cans in the spring of 2002 when the club sponsored a paint pick-up in our community. Over 100 cans of paint were kept out of the landfill! So the slogan ―4-H…More Than You Ever Imagined‖ certainly holds true for this nearly 50-year old club, and we hope it will continue well into the future.


The 4-H stands for Head, Heart, Hands, and Health. The program for the club was set up in three year segments: one year was the sewing project for the whole year; another year for food study with emphasis on nutrition, handling and serving foods; a third year was devoted to home furnishing. Miss Anna Hatch was the leader for many years. Lucille Harris Wescott took on the leadership after Anna married Harold Leach. All girls were expected to learn leadership through holding an office in her club and choosing projects to work up and demonstrate [now known as presentations] to others on some phase of the year's programs. An annual demonstration day was held each year before county fair time to see which team or single person was chosen to go to Des Moines. To accomplish this one had to use the head, hand, and the heart and be mindful of one's health and appearance. Bernice Meighan and Mildred Creager made up a team to demonstrate "How to Make a Makeshift Closet Out of Boards and Orange Crates," earning them a trip to compete at the Iowa State Fair. That same year Frances Blume was chosen as Health Girl to represent the Summer Hustlers 4-H Club of Bremer County. The Sumner Hustlers 4-H club. Back row, L-R: Hulda Schwerin, Merceds Rockdaschel Buenzow, Meta Roberts Staack, Emilda Borcherding Niewohner, Mildred Rief Traeger, Frances Blume Klammer, Marie Webster Block, Verla Scott Flentje, Hazel Johnson Borcherding, Esther Harms Vaughn, Dorothy Treloar Sisom. Middle row: Mabel Kirchman Fojka, Vollie Schwerin Gaede, Anna Hatch Leech [leader], Alma Schwerin Thode, Violet Schott Smith. Front row: Bernice Meighan Murphy, Genevieve Reeve Schwartz, Elsie Fiest Chapman, Helen Rockdaschel Wescott, Mildred Creager Hill.

Our Days in the The T.N.T. 4-H Club Becoming members of the T.N.T. 4-H Club was a good thing for my sister Ellanor Hirsch Phillips and I, Shirley Hirsch Crooks. We lived on farms by Frederika and Plainfield. We always knew how to garden, sew, and do for ourselves. Our parents, Harold and Corrine Deetz Hirsch, had taught us well. But with 4-H we learned to enjoy the final result. Projects that we could show at 4-H fairs and use for ourselves. I still use the picture and the rug is a treasure to enjoy. I also had the pleasure of attending the 4-H camp. What a great experience for this farm girl. Our sons, Richard and Michael, were members of the Ionia Rustlers. Our lives were enriched by all the members and their parents. Our daughters, Shelley and Debra, even enjoyed most of the activities of a 4-H family. Submitted by Shirley Crooks. Shirley Hirsch working on a 4-H project. T.N.T.ers Elain Brase, Shirley Hirsch Crooks, Arvella Kammeyer, Miss Krug. Hulda Schwerin, Mercedes Rockdaschel Buenzow, Meta Roberts Staack, Emilda Borcherding Niewohner, Mildred Rief Traeger, Frances Blume Klammer, Marie Webster Block, Verla Scott Flenje, Hazel Johnson Borcherding, Esther Harms Vaughn, Dorothy Treloar Sisom, Mabel Kirchman Fojka, Vollie Schwerin Gaede, Anna Hatch Leech, Alma Schwerin Thode, Violet Schott Smith, Bernice Meighan Murphy, Genevieve Reeve Schwartz, Elsie Fiest Chapman, Helen Rochdaschel Wescott, Mildred Creager Hill


File 7a FAITH UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST 408 S. Main, Tripoli St. Peter‘s Evangelical Church When the state of Iowa was being settled by Germans, many coming from the old country and others migrating from the states east of the Mississippi, the German Evangelical Synod of North America felt it their duty to attend to their religious needs and sent missionaries, sometimes called circuit riders, to minister to them. Thus it was that Rev. N. Severing of the Maxfield Church, now the United Church of Christ of Denver, and Rev. H. Becker of the Siegel Church and the Rev. C.F. Off of the Black Hawk congregation, now known as the St. Paul‘s United Church of Christ, Mt. Vernon Township, began holding Sunday services in the Tripoli public school house that stood where Hwy. 93 turns to the west at the south end of the city. In the summer of 1880 a number of the people banded together and organized a congregation, adopting the name of ―The St. Peter‘s German Evangelical Church of Tripoli, Bremer County, Iowa‖. In the summer of 1881 the congregation began building a 50‘x30‘ church. Maxfield Church pledged $215. The church was finished that fall at a cost of $2,009.00 of which all but $950 was paid for. It served the congregation for 28 years until 1910. From the time of the organization of the church the congregation was concerned about preparing the children for confirmation. Sunday school was held every Sunday whether or not there was church. When the church building was completed in 1881, the pastor held confirmation school 4 days a week from 9 to 3 in the church through the winter. Children were to attend confirmation school for 2 years before confirmation. In 1884 after a room, a kitchen, had been built on to the house, the new room above the kitchen was used for their school until 1891 when the new schoolhouse was built. It was used for confirmation school and also Sunday school. In 1917 the requirement for confirmation school was changed to attending on Saturday and 5 weeks in the summer from 9-3. In 1910 the building of the present church was undertaken. It was completed at a cost of $17,395.75. All of the beautiful stained glass windows were purchased for $768.00. The old church building was sold to Dr. Youngblut and was moved and converted into a hospital. The building still stands east of Grace Lutheran Church and has been converted into an apartment building. In 1918 under the leadership of Rev. Stech, the English language was established in the Sunday school and church. During his ministry two of the sons of our church, Rev. Walter Koch and his brother, Rev. Edwin Koch, were ordained into the ministry. The number of English services was increased during WWII. Two services were held each Sunday. One in German and one in English. In 1934 the Evangelical Synod of North America and the Reformed Church of North American merged and our church became known as St. Peter‘s Evangelical and Reformed Church. In 1951 a third son of the church, Gerald M. Bock was ordained.

Churches was led by Rev. Gatch. After much discussion on the national and state levels, the congregation

First Congregational Church In 1869 there were no English speaking churches in the settlement of Tripoli. Because of this need the Baptist church was organized. The congregation consisted of the following members: Eastman A. Kelsey, his wife, their sons, George and John Kelsey, Mrs. C.C. Cooke and Mrs. Eli Eisenhart. The services were held in a schoolhouse, including a Sunday School which was started by Mrs. A.J. Martin, enrolling her three daughters Emma, Mary & Ella. In 1900 the congregation adopted the doctrines of the Congregational Church. The charter members were J.C. Sterling, S.E. Preston, Ferd Buesing, J.H. Martin, E.C. Bennett, J.H. Carstensen, Elvira Martin, Mrs.Bertha Martin, A. Stevenson, Alice E. Dunkelberg and Amelia D. Bennett. They were to be known as the First Congregational Church. At the annual meeting in 1956, the first discussion of the national merger of the Evangelical and Reformed and Congregational Christian


cast a unanimous vote for the merger in 1961. Rev. John Nansen, our last full time pastor was serving the church at this time. In June of the same year, a special offer was made by Rev. E. F. Puhlmann, then pastor of the E & R Church. This was to supply the pulpit of both churches. He also agreed to teach the confirmation class of ten members and to visit the sick. His offer was accepted. The last annual meeting was held January 14, 1962. The pews, organ, altar, dossal curtain and pulpit chairs used in the Chapel of our present Educational Unit of Faith United Church of Christ, were formerly used in the First Congregational Church.

On February 18, 1869, there was unease in the Syracuse Community church. Members wanted their church established in Plainfield, 2 miles South. In August 1870 a church was built there. It still stands in its original place with much of the original structure still being used. In January of 1872 the first service was held. The church continues to grow today, encouraging new membership.

Faith United Church of Christ The First Congregational Church and St. Peter‘s Evangelical and Reformed Church merged, under the leadership of Rev. E.F. Puhlmann, November 19, 1961, with a combined membership of approximately 700. At the first meeting, the congregation officially voted to adopt the name, United Church of Christ. On September 16, 1962, a new constitution was adopted and Clarence Kimbal submitted the name Faith United Church of Christ. It was unanimously accepted and an incorporation certificate was issued September 28, 1962 (to September 28, 2012). On August 8, 1965, groundbreaking ceremonies were held for a new educational unit. At different times during the year Bingo is played with the Tripoli nursing home residents. Bible study is held for all residents who wish to attend. At the birth of each new baby a rose is placed on the altar and then presented to the mother. When the child is baptized, Vina Bennett, ninetytwo years of age, crochets around the edge of the baptismal handkerchief and it is given to the parents. On June 14, 1970, Faith Church observed the service of ordination for Larry Bunger, son of Mr. and Mrs. Lorenz Bunger. During Larry‘s Sunday school years he had the honor of having perfect attendance.

FAITH UNITED METHODIST CHURCH Originally Located At 124 – 3rd Avenue N.W., Waverly Faith United Methodist Church was originally known as the ―Evangelical Association‖. Starting in 1861, the beginning of the Waverly church started with 6 German-speaking people, who met in homes or the courthouse until the new church was built in 1871. The first women‘s group was the ―Sewing Society‖ which had beginnings before 1884. They became officially organized in August of 1889. Membership was ten although up to 25 would attend the meetings. They would meet in homes for an afternoon of sewing. Charging a 75-cent fee, their earnings were contributed to missions, orphans homes and other needy organizations. Devotions were also held. The group later reorganized in 1903 as the Women‘s Missionary Society of the Evangelical Association. There have been several mergers and name changes over the years. In 1922 the church merged with United Evangelical Church and became the Evangelical Church. Another merger in 1946 gave them the name of the Evangelical United Brethren Church. In 1961 after a merger with the Methodist Church the church became the United Methodist Church. In 1997-1998 Warren United and Faith United Methodist united into Heritage and built the new church west of Waverly known as Heritage United Methodist Church.

FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH 809 Main Street, Plainfield Many of the first pioneers came from East, some from New York State. They missed their Baptist affiliation and attending church on a Sunday basis.


GRACE LUTHERAN CHURCH 208 - 1ST St., Tripoli Grace Lutheran Church had its beginning with Pastor P. Bredow of Maxfield township and J. Dilges of Siegel conducting services in private homes, in the former school building, and in the former Congregational Church. After the church was officially organized in 1901, Pastor A. F. Karsten was installed as the first resident Pastor of St. John‘s Lutheran. In August of 1901 the first corner stone was laid for the church. October 30, 1901 before the church was completed, it was engulfed in flames. The congregation resolved to build again. On May 22, 1902, the building was dedicated. The first Worship Service in English was held on April 19, 1914. In January of 1922 it was resolved to build to build a new church. Until dedication services on December 17, 1922, services were held in the opera house. From 1925 until 1931 a partial parochial school was opened for grades 6 to 9. It closed because of financial problems. The first 50 years the church was known as St. John‘s Lutheran Church. On February 14, 1951, the name was changed to Grace Lutheran. During January 1976 German services were discontinued.

to Horton Baptist Church using a horse-drawn wagon in the summer and a sleigh in the winter. He hauled between ten and twenty people every Sunday morning and evening until the automobile came along in 1915. In 1924 Lillian Strauser wrote a song about the church. It was called, ―The Little White Church On the Hill‖ and was dedicated to Mrs. May Hall. The present membership of the congregation is around 65. The Church offers Sunday School for all ages, Morning Worship,

HERITAGE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH 1201 – 230TH St, West on Hwy No. 3, Waverly Nate Frazee is the pastor. Sunday at 9 a.m. is Adult Sunday School followed by 10 am Worship/Sunday School. Heritage United Methodist Church is the merged churches of Warren and Faith United. Their articles appear separately in this church section.

HORTON BAPTIST CHURCH 1413 140th Street, Waverly As of March 2002 the church has been in existence for 144 years. It was organized on March 25, 1858, at the house of C. A. Lease in the village of Horton by Rev. A.K. Moulton. The first clerk notes recorded twenty names on the membership. The church has gone through some changes through the years. Free-Will Baptist was the original name given to the church, but it was later changed to Horton Baptist. The church was in fellowship with the Free-Will Baptist churches until 1910 when it joined the Cedar Valley Baptist Association. The church is presently associated with the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches, which they joined in 1938. The Church meets in the same building, which was first built in 1868, although improvements have been made through the years. The bell was removed from the tower in 1992 and placed in front of the church. A building addition is being planned this year. Twenty-four individuals and families from the church have gone into Christian service. They went out as missionaries, pastors, pastor‘s wives, and dean of men at a Bible college, president of a Bible college, Christian schoolteacher and caretaker for a Baptist camp. Forty-three pastors have ministered in the 144 years of its history. The present minister is Pastor James Ackerson who started in April 1990. One pastor was killed while repairing the auditorium ceiling in 1878. He fell from the scaffolding, landing on the pews below. His name, A. Palmer, was inscribed on the church bell that can still be seen today. A unique part of the church history is the "Booster Wagon‖. A Church of God group meeting in the Smith Grove Schoolhouse disbanded about 1912. Bert Hall, who lived near Smith Grove, offered to take the people


Evening Worship, and prayer Meeting. It has summer Bible School and Joy Club through the winter months for the children. The Church has proclaimed Jesus Christ as Savior and the Bible as the inerrant Word of God during its 144-year history.

IMMANUEL LUTHERAN CHURCH MAXFIELD TOWNSHIP 1873 - 2002 2683 Quail Avenue, Readlyn In 1872 Pastor Kraemer of Artesian conducted divine services in the Klinger public schools. The congregation was formed in 1873 with electing of officers. In 1875 Articles of Incorporation were filed in Waverly to name the church ―Immanual Church of the German Evangelical Lutheran Congregation‖ in Maxfield Township, Bremer County. Four acres of land was purchased from Fred and Sophia Brandt. In 1879 this church was accepted as a member of the Lutheran Synod of Missouri, Ohio, and other states. The first church was built in 1879. In 1891 one acre of additional land was purchased to build a school and a house for the teacher. In 1893 the church was too small for this growing congregation. The new building was built at the present site. The old church was dismantled and rebuilt as shelters for the teams of horses in those horse and buggy days. A new parsonage was built in 1912. In the following year the teacherage was rebuilt and enlarged. In 1921 the one room school was enlarged to the two-room school. The Pastor taught the lower grades. During those years all worship was in the German language. In 1922 the English language was begun with one English service a month. In 1932 the ―Ladies Aid‖ was organized to help the church. In 1935 a young Peoples Society was organized to keep the youth close to the church. In 1947 a full basement was dug with a kitchen for social and other activities. In 1983 a new brick school was built and together with St. Paul of Readlyn, the new school was called ―Community Lutheran‖ School. In the year 2000 a Multi-Purpose building was constructed, which consists of a gymnasium, kitchen and dining room plus a computer room, all to aid the school to teach it‘s children. From the very beginning this congregation has provided for ―Christian‖ education for its children. We always believed as the Bible teaches, ―Train up a child in the way it should go and when they are old, they will not depart from it‖. Through these 129 years, many pastors and many teachers have served this congregation. Also, many sons and daughters have trained themselves to serve as Pastors and Teachers. We thank God for preserving this small flock of Christians. Founding families with last names and still members or names like Diercks, Happel, Hesse, Huebner, Kehe, Knief, Matthias, Meyer, Moeller, Otto, Piehl, Poock, Rathe, Schmidt, Schweer, Steinbronn, Warneke and Widdel. We press forward with our slogan, ―PRAISE FOR THE PAST, FAITH FOR THE FUTURE.‖


MESSIAH LUTHERAN CHURCH 229 Chestnut St., Janesville While Janesville is the oldest city in Bremer County, it is also home to one of the younger churches of the area. Messiah Lutheran had its start in 1956, when a number of Janesville families desired to have a Lutheran Church in town. With the active support of the Rev. W.F. Schmidt and the Rev. William Weiblen, pastors of St. Paul, Waverly, and the Rev. R.W. Seifkes, Iowa District President of the American Lutheran Church, a group of interested people met on December 6 at St. Paul, Waverly, to discuss the possibility of forming a new Lutheran Church in Janesville. The first services were held at the Janesville High School on January 1, 1956. The first congregational meeting took place on January 12. At this meeting, the fledgling congregation adopted a constitution, called Pastor Karl Schmidt of Wartburg College to serve as their acting pastor and entered into a joint parish relationship with Faith Lutheran, Shell Rock. Things moved quickly once the congregation got organized. They broke ground for their ―bungalow chapel‖ on April 22, 1956, called their first full-time pastor, the Rev. Otto Reitz, and installed him on July 8, and then, on October 21, dedicated their new worship facility. The congregation became self-supporting in 1958. (Historical Sketches, Iowa District of the A.L.C. June, 1959, Iowa District Historical Committee) Pastors who have served Messiah are: Karl Schmidt, January-July 1956; Otto J. Reitz, 1956-1962; Clifford O. Taylor, 1963-1966; Rolf Brende, 1967-1971; Paul Tobiason, 1971-1975; Denny Brake, 1975-1984; Vincent Fricke, 1985-1988; Harold Tegtmeier, 1988-1991; Ray Ehlers, 1991-1995; Beth A. Olson, 1996-present. Messiah has also been served by interim pastors, pastors called to specific ministries and who fill in while the search for a permanent pastor is underway. Those include the Revs. Guetzlaff, David Johnson, Dean Hoferer, Ray Harms, Paul Schaedig and Ray Ehlers. Charter members still connected to Messiah include: LaVera Benzine, Don and Roberta Rockwood, Ethel Roever, James Stokes and Ray and Joan Thoren. Like many younger congregations, Messiah had its share of ups and downs. The economic downturn of the 80‘s, combined with some pastorates that didn‘t click, were a test for this persistent congregation. Their bungalow chapel that was to become the parsonage never did see the conversion to a residence and instead, became the worship home for 43 years. That changed, however, at Easter, 1999, when the congregation moved into its new worship home. Since moving into their ―New Church for a New Century‖, Messiah has witnessed slow and steady progress toward becoming a healthy, vital and viable church once again. The congregation whose attendance hovered in the 30‘s and 40‘s now regularly averages 80-90 at worship. In 1997 the congregation set a goal of growing its membership from the current 130 to 300 over 10 years. That goal sounded incredulous! But by the fall of 2002 the congregation could count more than 260 members on its roster, with more interest all the time. The congregation received support from area churches too numerous to mention as its building program gained momentum. Two major gifts came from congregations celebrating anniversaries. St. Paul Waverly, was again instrumental in getting things moving. They gave Messiah an anniversary love offering of $16,000 in honor of their 125th Anniversary and St. John Nashua, gave the congregation an anniversary offering of $10,000 to celebrate their centennial. The move from the old church to the new has been a catalyst for increased community, conference and synodical involvement. For example, the men now share leadership for the monthly community prayer breakfast and the women now quilt weekly. The congregation also became a corporate church for Bartels Lutheran Retirement Community in 2002. The youth program has seen a tremendous surge since the congregation added a youth worker position to its budget. What started as a small combined junior/senior high group has grown into an active program with groups for both middle schoolers and senior high. These groups meet for fun, education, Bible study and conversation. They are also involved in service, such as a mission trip to Savannah, Georgia, in the summer of 2002, and seeding a lawn for Habitat for Humanity in the fall of 2002.

The new facility has also meant an increased presence in the community. When we built the new church, we made a statement of belief in the community of Janesville. Thankfully, that commitment has not gone unnoticed. Messiah is the chartering organization for Boy Scout Troop 103 and has been for some time. Additionally though, we also host the Janesville Super Stars 4-H Club and open the doors for many community events. Recently, the church was the meeting place for the Levy Boosters, a group of citizens who worked to ensure passage of the school levy, and for the ―Teens Against Tobacco Use‖ workshop for area high school students. This writer could continue about the amazing transformation that has occurred at Messiah Lutheran but time and space are at a premium. Suffice it to say that God has been hard at work at Messiah and that God will continue to stir up the congregation to move them forward in faith and mission for the sake of the gospel. Thanks be!

OPEN BIBLE CHURCH OF WAVERLY 1013 E. Bremer Ave., Waverly After much prayer and seeking the will of God, the Open Bible Church of Waverly began with about twenty families in attendance at the first service on February 9, 1986. They met in a rented building at Park Village, southwest of Waverly. Rev. Mike Reeves provided the first pastoral leadership. Bob Gaston was the worship leader with Bruce and Kathy Epley and Ruth Burchett assisting with music. On May 25, 1986, District Superintendent Ivan Rogers and his wife came to present the church with its official Open Bible charter. Those desiring to do so signed up as charter members. In September 1986, Pastor Mike left to fulfill other obligations and Pastor Jack Nation and his wife Dorothy were called to continue the church ministry. The elders were Chuck Clewell, Bruce Epley and Bob Gaston. The vision of the church was to ―go forward‖, centered in Christ Jesus, with an emphasis on ―love and forgiveness‖. It became apparent as the Lord blessed and gave increase that a larger facility would be needed. The church then purchased R-J‘s Lounge in February 1988. The building was modified into a church for worshipping God, and the first service was conducted in it on July 10, 1988.


God continued to bless the church. More babies were born, and more people joined us in praise and worship. In keeping with its vision, the church agreed to expand and add to the present sanctuary. It was finished and dedicated October 14, 1990. Pastor Jack retired in May 1997, after almost eleven years of service to his church family. Pastor Jim Brewer, his wife Sharon, and children Kevin and Natalie came to Waverly in July 1997 in answer to the Lord‘s call. In 2002 Open Bible Church will have reached its 16th year with about 120 family units and 400 men, women, and children in all. We give all thanks, praise and glory to God for all He has done.

PEACE UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST FORMERLY KNOW AS EVANGELISCHE FRIEDEN GEMEINDE & PEACE EVANGELICAL & REFORMED CHURCH - 315-1ST St. N.W., Waverly One Century ago fourteen men, interested in the advance of the cause of righteousness, organized the ―Evangelische Frieden Giemeinde‖ on September 16, 1902. It was established as a mission of the German Evangelical Synod of North America to serve persons of German language background moving into Waverly from the surrounding countryside. The founding fathers were William Steege, Carl Juergens, Christian Eickemeier, August Dietrich, Albert Lindner, William Lindner, William Sohle, Henry Schroeder, Gustav Lindner, John H. Meyer, E. W. Telschow, W. Kruse, Gustav Buls and Reverend Fischer. A committee, consisting of Reverend A. Schlueter of Tripoli and Reverend J. Fischer of Siegel, was appointed to buy the church on North Harlington Street (now known as 1st Street NW). For many years this structure, built in 1871, was the property of the Evangelical United Brethren Church, prior to their congregation erecting a new building on the opposite side of the block. The original building structure is still part of the enlarged church building. Over the years, Peace Church experienced several name changes. By 1927 the German Evangelical Synod had become simply the Evangelical Synod of North America. English language services became more common during the 1930‘s. But as recently as 1944 in the midst of the Second World War, the Church Board required the pastor of Peace Church to provide a German language Worship Service on the first Sunday of every month! ―Frieden‖ became Peace, as the transition was made from German to English. In 1934 the Evangelical Synod joined with the Reformed Church in the United States to form the Evangelical and Reformed Church. And in 1957 that body, together with the Congregational-Christian Churches, formed the United Church of Christ. In 1943 in order to bring the congregation nearer to financial independence, a God‘s Acres Plan was begun. Under the leadership of Mr. Win Mueller the men of the congregation, with additional hired help, farmed 25 acres on the J.H. Meyer farm. Corn was raised on a 50-50 basis. Mr. Meyer purchased the congregation‘s share (750 bushels). At a congregational meeting on June 22, 1947, action was favored for church improvement. By November 1st the work of remodeling had advanced to the place where the church was no longer usable for worship. An invitation was received from the First Evangelical United Brethren Church in Waverly to worship with them while our church was under construction. Plans for the union services were made and carried out with Reverend C.W. Dehne and Reverend R. R. Winkelman sharing the services. This arrangement worked out with great success. By February 15, 1948, the work of the construction was far enough along that the church could be used for worship, so the union services were discontinued. The Ladies Aid Circle, the organization with the longest history, celebrated its 40th anniversary on February 5, 1950; it stood by the church in its dark periods and is still (in 1948) recognized as an active organization. This group purchased the clerical chairs, and a private communion set in the fall of 1949, hymn books for the choir and one communion tray in 1951. By our 50th anniversary in 1952, there had been 220 Baptisms, 175 Confirmations, 93 Marriages and 118 Burials. At that time the membership numbered 224 individuals.

In 1957 a merger took place between the ―Evangelical and Reformed‖ and ―Congregational-Christian‖ denominations. We were then known as Peace United Church of Christ. By 1995 Peace was close to closing its doors for good, almost unable to keep the bills paid. With several members having transferred out it looked bleak. But once again the faithful members came together and decided that the members of Peace were not only a congregation but also a family, doing what was needed to stay together. By January 30, 2002, there have been 21 resident called pastors, 564 Baptisms, 207 Weddings, 311 Funerals and 453 confirmations. Our membership number is 145. During the 100-year history of Peace United Church of Christ there have been 22 resident pastors. The first 12 pastors were fluent German speakers and regularly conducted German Worship Services. The first English Service was not held until the time of the First World War when Pastor Hilligardt was compelled to have the first English service during 1917. His command of English was very limited, and this has been recorded as having presented a real problem for him.

REDEEMER LUTHERAN CHURCH 2001 W. Bremer Ave., WAVERLY Rejoices in Christ, Renews Hope, Responds through Mission. The year is 1963. One by one, a small group of Christians arrived at the State Bank of Waverly that evening. The mood


was one of camaraderie and anticipation. The basement of the bank was just the right size for this gathering. This was the beginning of many wonderful things to come, mainly that of the establishment of a new ALC (now known ELCA) church in Waverly. The plans made that evening by those committed people set the path toward their objective…Serving Christ, Serving Community. The first pastor was called, the church was named (Redeemer) and groundbreaking for the structure began. Thousands of volunteer hours were spent with all sharing talents with which they had been blessed. Some did woodworking, building cabinets and the altar. Loving hands gently stained and polished to bring out the beauty and patina of the wood that would serve such a sacred purpose. Others painted the cement block walls, coat after coat being soaked up by the rough texture as the walls changed from gray to a soft cream color. Others laid flooring upon which would set gray, metal chairs (this memory always brings a smile to the founder‘s faces, as there was no way to keep those chairs quiet when moved!). One member added wooden racks to the backs of these chairs to hold the hymn books (30-some years later, when the chairs were worn and retired, another member made bird houses from this wood, thus savings the memories locked within). Some served meals and refreshments to those laboring so diligently. Working late into nighttime, Saturdays from sun up to sunset, the building took shape. Conversation was ongoing as the work continued. ―Anyone have A BandAid?‖ ―I‘m ready for a cup of coffee‖, ―Somebody help me up!‖ ―Who spilled the paint?‖ ―I apologize. My pie isn‘t up to par tonight‖ and ―I‘ll either sleep like a baby tonight or not sleep at all!‖ Then the cleaning up process followed, with a sense of excitement and urgency in the air. The bonding of friendships for many of these people has lasted lifetimes. On June 20, 1965, 272 fellow Christians joined in their first worship service as Redeemer Lutheran Church, Waverly, Iowa. That morning the hymns took on a new meaning and the prayers were filled with thanks and praise. Voices lifted in song on that bright, sunny Sunday carried through the sanctuary, out the open windows and doors and onto Bremer Avenue. It was indeed a day of celebration. With Titonka Lutheran Church cosigning a financial loan, and a budget of $15,500, Redeemer Lutheran Church was on its way. The Titonka loan was paid off within 8 years, an almost unheard of feat. In 1985, Miracle Sunday, a one-time Sunday offering, brought in $117,000 from Redeemer members. Several additions have since been added to the church to accommodate its growth and community commitment. As of June, 2002, 910 members carry on this tradition of Serving Christ and Serving Community in the ways set forth by the small group who met in that bank basement in 1963. SERVING CHRIST: 4 members ordained at Redeemer as Lutheran pastors with financial and spiritual support from the congregation; Bethel Bible training for adult members; Stephens Series; The support of Lutheran Missionaries; Providing a ―home‖ for intern pastors; Emphasis on youth and family; Care and Share Program (1 to 1 Care Group); Learning Never Ends and Golden Agers (for those senior members over 50); Koiinia Groups, Women and Men‘s, Bible Study/Prayer groups; Promise Task Force (bringing generations together), W.E.B. (5th & 6th Graders - West End Bunch); Mighty Lutherans - 1st to 4th Grades; Junior and Senior High Youth Groups; Senior choir, youth choir, bell choir, men‘s double quartet, women‘s trio, mixed sextet; Little Lambs PreSchool. SERVING COMMUNITY: Following the commitment of its founders, Redeemer shares its facilities with many of the Waverly area non-profit organizations, either on a regularly scheduled basis or as needed: Bremer Children‘s Home, Lutheran Social Services, United Way, Cedar Valley Hospice, Cedar Valley Friends of the Family, Bremer County Nursing Agency (W.I.C.), MS Support, Breast Cancer Surviors, Red Cross Headquarters (flood of 1997), Polling Location, Waverly Municipal Hospital Auxiliary. An Anniversary Song was commissioned and written by John Ylvisaker for Redeemer‘s 25th Anniversary in 1990. The words to this song say it best:

―Remembering the past, rejoicing in the present, And renewing for the future and a world in harmony. Reclaiming our desire, restoring our compassion, And responding to the mission of the One who sets us free‖ Join Redeemer Lutheran Church in celebrating our faith at 2001 W Bremer Avenue, Waverly, Ia. 319+352-1325 ST. ANDREW‘S EPISCOPAL CHURCH 717 W. Bremer Ave., WAVERLY St. Andrew‘s Episcopal Church, the oldest church in Waverly, had services beginning in 1854. The congregation met in the original Waverly Court House, which was a covered frame building with an oak floor of green boards, which were not milled. The first church was built on the corner of 1st Avenue and 2nd Street N.W. It was a 24 x 24 foot brick building, which cost all of $2000. After the original church was razed, the second church was built at the same site in 1885. It was a much more elaborate structure seating 300 people with native wood. The chancel featured hand carved walnut and there were glorious stained glass windows. In 1917 a guildhall joined the church on an adjoining lot. It was the social center for the congregation as well as the city. Clubs, dances and even school classrooms were held there.


Several times schools were over crowded. The stained glass windows were removed and plain glass installed to give the students adequate light. This structure was torn down during World War II since it was hard to heat and needed repair. From 1871 to 1881 and from 1947 to 1961 St. Andrew‘s was known for elaborate bazaars given by the Ladies Guild. Amazing profits for the times went for needed church projects. A tragic fire destroyed the second church on a bitterly cold, windy night on March 14, 1957. Faulty wiring was the cause. The following Sunday the congregation decided to build and later brought a site at 717 West Bremer Avenue. A modern flying buttress red brick building with white trim was completed with the first service held on Easter Sunday, April 6, 1958. Memories abound in the centennial publication ―Remembrance and Renewal‖ enjoyed by readers who learned in detail about past activities during 149 busy years.

like it was out in the country. The building was completed and dedicated in 1969 under the leadership of Rev. Leon Hodges. Through the years the town has continued to grow, until now, no one would ever consider it ―out in the country‖. In 1995 an Educational Unit was added to the south side of the building, along with a Schumacher Elevator. The building is now completely handicapped accessible, and a large Adult Bible Class meets in the basement Fellowship Hall every Sunday. In 1999 the building was completely airconditioned. The current pastor, Rev. Don Illian, has been our pastor since October of 1983. A Contemporary Worship Service is held the first Sunday of every month, and Holy Communion is offered on the second and fourth Sundays of each month. Sunday School and Bible Classes are at 9:00 a.m. and the worship service is at 10:00 a.m. During Advent and Lent Midweek Services are held at 7:30 p.m., preceded by light lunches served by the Youth Group. Midweek Classes are held from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. every Wednesday during the school term. ST. JOHN‘S LUTHERAN SPRING FOUNTAIN 1490 Tahoe Avenue, Sumner

ST. JOHN LUTHERAN CHURCH MISSOURI SYNOD 641 Lincoln Street, Denver St. John Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod, Denver, dates back to September 28, 1920, when a small group of Lutherans living in and around Denver invited Pastor Louis Yockey of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Klinger, to meet with them to discuss the formation of a congregation in Denver. Although Klinger was only 7 miles away, those were the days when much of the travel was done behind the plodding hooves of the plow horse which moved only three or four miles in an hour. The outcome of the meeting was the resolution to take the necessary step to request Pastor Yockey to conduct services in Denver. The first service was held two weeks later on Oct. 17, 1920, in a hall above the grocery store on the northwest corner of State and Main. The congregation originally consisted of 18 adults (communicants) and 8 children. One of the original members was quoted as saying, ―With a congregation this size, you definitely knew when somebody was missing‖. Shortly after its founding $2000 was borrowed toward the purchase of a white frame church building that another congregation had outgrown for $1900. The total cost of the building, including the purchase of land, basement, and the cost of moving the building was $5000. Total seating of this new facility was about 150 people. Annetta Jaschen plainly remembers the day it was dedicated. She was a member of the choir from Klinger that came to help with the festivities. She remembers that the entire congregation waited outside for the ceremonial unlocking of the church door, and that the ladies from Immanuel Klinger helped serve the lunch for the dedication. Through the 81 years that followed the congregation has been served by 13 pastors or pastoral candidates. It has always been noted for being a conservative denomination, that is, it bases its theology on the inerrant Scriptures, and bases its Way of Salvation upon the gracious gift of God in sending His Son Jesus to be our Redeemer, and bases its key to Salvation purely upon the faith that Christ has paid the full price for our adoption into God‘s Family, and promised the gift of eternal life to all believers. Until 1935 the minutes of the Voters Assembly were always written in German and services conducted in German. At that time English hymnals were purchased, and minutes recorded in English, using English script. Actually, St. John was slightly ahead of the times, since most churches were still conducting their services in the mother tongue of the nation from which the bulk of its members had come. Christian Education has always been of major importance to St. John. From the beginning classes were held to teach the children so that they could later confirm their baptismal vows. In 1955 ground was broken for a parochial school to be built next to the church building. At that time the congregation included 209 baptized members, and 139 communicant members. There were 50 children enrolled in Sunday School, and 27 pupils attended the Christian Day School. For the next several years the congregation struggled to keep the school open, but a lack of qualified teachers finally closed the school. The facility would then be used as Sunday School rooms and for meetings. In 1964 under the leadership of Rev. Ron Fink the decision was made to build a new church on the southeast edge of town, which seemed


Rev. Wm. Kanning from near Klinger founded St. John‘s Evangelical Lutheran in 1875. The original 14 members were Henry Steege, Henry Schnadt, Henry Keding, Martin Hunemiller, Fred Buhrow, Joseph Voelker, Carl Bremer, John Drier, John Huenerberg, Christian Doss, Conrad Wilharm, Fred Voelker, Theodore Hagen and William Schwake. In the year of 1879 under the leadership of the first called Pastor Theodore Haenschke, a frame church school, parsonage and barn were built. In 1914 a new brick church was built and the old one was moved to Sumner for the newly formed St. Paul congregation. In 1925 the parsonage burned and was rebuilt the following year. Through the years the school was moved and remodeled. In 1957 after 77 years of teaching the word of God daily it was closed and was auctioned off. It was moved to near Buck Creek and became a farm home. In the 1930‘s German services were still held once a month. In the 40‘s this gave way to all English. Mission festivals with two services and dinner at noon are a thing of the past. Also chicken suppers are no longer held. In 1961 we became a dual Parish with St. Paul‘s Lutheran Church of Sumner. We now share a pastor with them. The youth group and Vacation Bible School is also held jointly. During the last 127 years 14 pastors have served us. Our pastor since 1989 has been Pastor George Volkert. Sons of the congregation who became Pastors were Herman Kirchmann, Erwin Goede and Arnold Ashbrenner. In the past 127 years there have been 905 baptisms, 668 confirmations, 226 marriages and 230 burials. Several of our members are descendants of the founding fathers of our congregation. We are members of the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod and still believe the Bible is the true and inspired Word of God.

ST JOHN LUTHERAN CHURCH OF WESTERN DOUGLAS 1760 130TH Street, Plainfield, Iowa The St. John Lutheran Church of Western Douglas near Plainfield, Iowa, was organized in January of 1905. It is a daughter Congregation of St. Paul‘s Lutheran Church of Siegel. The separation from the mother church proceeded in a peaceful and orderly manner. The reason for the separation was the great distance that these members had to travel to St. Paul‘s Lutheran Church at Siegel. In the days of horse and buggy, this distance was not insignificant. It was considered too great, particularly for the children who had to travel to the St. Paul‘s Church in the cold winter months for the purpose of receiving confirmation instruction. For this reason the members felt the need to establish a church and school in their midst. St. John Lutheran Church was organized with a charter membership of seventeen families. Over the past niney-eight years of existence the Western Douglas congregation has been blessed with continual growth so that its records now show a membership of 100 families. The original church was destroyed by fire on February 23, 1941. It was located on the north side of the road, west side of the present cemetery. At the congregational meeting of March 6 of the same year, the congregation decided to buy an acre of ground on the south side of the road across from the then present church property from Mrs. Christina Bergmann. The new church was built there and dedicated on November 16, 1941. Most


equipment in the church was destroyed in the fire. However, individuals that responded to the fire call managed to save the altar and down stairs pews. These items may be found in the present church, with the pews being used in the balcony. The old church grounds are used for cemetery purposes. Since its origination, many changes have taken place to the original structure that was built in 1941. In 1973 a new entryway was added, including several Sunday school rooms. During the summer of 1999 a copper clad steeple was built onto the bell tower with a beautiful gold cross on top. The church at Western Douglas is affiliated with the ELCA. It currently has a WELCA organization, Luther League and a Sunday School that is held nine months of the year. The congregation will be celebrating their one hundredth anniversary in 2005. We give thanks and praise to God for the many blessings that He has bestowed on the St. John‘s Congregation during these past ninety-eight years. ST. JOHN LUTHERAN (BUCK CREEK) 2025 Viking Avenue, Sumner In the 1850‘s, the pioneering founders of St. John Lutheran emigrated from the area of Mecklenburg, Germany, and established a settlement along Buck Creek. The Reverend Paul Bredow of Maxfield Church, was the first Lutheran pastor to preach to these people. He made a call within a home and announced that on Sexigesima Sunday, 1873, he would conduct a service in the Marsh schoolhouse, located one mile south and one mile west of Buck Creek. Although the attendance was small, he announced at the close of the services that in two weeks he would return the twelve miles to conduct another service. He continued this practice via horseback for one year, weather and road conditions permitting. At the close of the year, a controversy ensued when the pastor of another synod attempted to gather his small membership in the Maxfield area and unite them with the settlers of the Buck Creek area. The small group attending Pastor Bredow‘s worship services became very discouraged at this chain of events, since they could hardly call one pastor, to say nothing of two. After a period of controversy and division, a vote was taken and by a majority of only two votes, the gathering voted to join with the Iowa Synod. Pastor Bredow felt it imperative that the congregation should build a church and become organized. In the fall of 1874 Articles of Incorporation were drawn up and several acres of land were donated by Louis Buhr for a church site. For a gathering of a congregation at Buck Creek to succeed it was imperative to conduct services on Sunday mornings. For this, Pastor Bredow needed a suitable assistant, for which he requested from the Synodical President. Candidate William Adix of Wartburg Theological Seminary arrived to assist Pastor Bredow in February, 1875. Dedication services for the newly constructed church building were held on the 21st Sunday after Trinity, 1875. Dedication services for the newly constructed church building were held on the 21st Sunday after Trinity, 1875. The church was completed by late summer, and the parsonage by November 1875. Up to the time of dedication, 14 families made up the membership of the congregation, although 20 families took part in the service. The new church was a plain building, 30 x 40 feet, without a steeple. Since the carpenter could not be paid much, the interior was roughly finished. The top of the altar had been smoothed with a common ax, but it was a house of God, adequate for the congregation. The parsonage was also a simple structure, 16 x 20 feet, without paint or chimney. A stovepipe through the roof emitted the smoke from the stove. Part of the new parsonage was made to serve as a schoolhouse, which did not allow for bedroom facilities, so the family spread straw ticks on the floor for sleeping. The schoolroom was also used by Mrs. Adix to prepare meals while school was in session. This was the beginning of the Christian Parochial School here at Buck Creek. St. John enjoyed such a sound, steady growth, reaching a membership of 80 families, that by 1891 it became necessary to enlarge the church. It was lengthened by 30 feet on the west end, and a 90-foot steeple was built to hold the church bell. Prior to this time a school building 20 x 30 feet was constructed to the north of the church. A post office was also

incorporated in the school for a number of years, with Pastor Adix serving as postmaster.


In 1900, Buck Creek congregation celebrated its 25th anniversary, and also purchased and installed a pipe organ for the sum of $800. The organ still serves the congregation today, although it has been rebuilt and improved a number of times since. Enrollment in the Christian Day School had grown to such proportions that a new brick schoolhouse was erected on newly acquired land across the roadway from the church at a cost of construction of $4,628.12, including the acre of land purchased from Mr. Jacob Glatley. During this period (1915 on) the language question became a constant source of controversy, ―Should the services be changed from the German language to English?‖ This was not an easy question to resolve, and was not answered completely until 1950, when the German in church services was dropped completely. In 1918 the present parsonage was built at a cost of $5,233.26. To celebrate the 60th anniversary of St. John to the glory of God, the divider was removed from the pews, which segregated men and women in the past, and a center aisle was placed down the middle. The interior was redecorated, and Rev. Gerhardt S. Kuhlmann and family donated a new, hand-carved oak altar and pulpit to the church. These items are still in use today. February 1, 1940, the schoolhouse was gutted by fire, but since the walls remained intact, it was rebuilt the same year. As the 75th anniversary of St. John approached, plans were begun for a thorough renovation of the church. A new sacristy was built, the chancel enlarged, and new stained glass windows were installed. New pews and carpeting were added, and the organ was completely rebuilt and relocated. The basement was renovated and new siding was installed on the exterior of the church. Landscaping was done as well. In 1951 it was decided to close the parochial school. In observance of the 90th anniversary of St. John the congregation supported a missionary school in New Guinea. Another project was to remodel the interior of the schoolhouse from two large rooms to eight small classrooms for Sunday School. In 1969 a new entrance on the west side of the church was dedicated. In 1975 the 100th anniversary of St. John Lutheran occurred. Again, many improvements were made in preparation for this celebration milestone. The organ was rebuilt again, the church completely repainted inside and outside, insulated and landscaping completed. July 6, 1975, a morning and afternoon service earmarked the centennial celebration, with former pastors and Synod officials participating in the services. A dinner was serviced to approximately 500 persons at noon. St. John Lutheran, Buck Creek and St. Peter Lutheran, Oran yoked in 1988 to share a pastor, since it was becoming difficult for both churches to individually support their own pastor, with changes in the rural economics. St. John observed their 125th anniversary in 2000, with morning and afternoon services, a noon dinner and also a confirmation class reunion. Former pastors and also our present pastor, Pastor Carlton Shaw led the worship services. As we at St. John, Buck Creek, look to the future, we are optimistic about the future, with the grace of God, and while our numbers have dwindled with the changes in rural America, we anticipate being a viable presence for many years to come. ST. JOHN LUTHERAN CHURCH (CRANE CREEK) 2286 210th St., TRIPOLI The beginning of this rural congregation dates back to January 11, 1865. On that day, eleven housefathers from this vicinity met to organize a Christian congregation. The actual beginning of the congregation, however, was on April 2, 1866, after a church house 32 feet in length and 24 feet in width had been built and a pastor called. The building erected was a substantial structure. The first floor served as a home for the pastor with the upper story for church and school purposes. The congregation joined the German United Evangelical Synod of the Northwest with Rev. Dietrich Behrens serving as the pastor. In 1868, Rev. Hunzicker was called. Differences in religious beliefs and convictions rose

among members during the ministry of Rev. Hunzicker. Some members left and joined other congregations. Rev. Hunzizcker resigned and a new beginning was made under the leadership of Rev. Paul Bredow of Maxfield, who led the congregation to join the former Iowa Synod. A more peaceful and active church life now began.


In 1881, a new church was built, and a parsonage was built years later in 1907. Through the years, many improvements and additions were made on the church and parsonage. Due to the stormy beginning and geographical location hemmed in from all sides and surrounded by much stronger congregations, St. John Lutheran was unable to gain many members. Yet this small rural congregation has kept pace with many large and progressive congregations. The 1980‘s brought changes to St. John. By a vote of the congregation, St. John joined the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America in 1987 and in 1989, it was decided by a vote to have a shared ministry with Grace Lutheran Church, Tripoli. A milestone was reached in 1991 when the St. John congregation celebrated their 125th anniversary. During their long history, this small country church produced two of their sons into the ministry, the Rev. Paul G. Fuchs and Rev. Dennis Buchholz, TH.D. Rev. Miles Renaas is the current pastor. St. John‘s present membership is approximately 218 baptized with 165 confirmed members. We are grateful to the Lord who has guided and protected St. John congregation through all these years.

congregation. A 1915 notation shows an enrollment of 40 students in the parochial school. During World War II more and more pressure was put on people of German descent to give up their customary dialects and German language services. For a time both German and English services were conducted; but, by the end of 1917, it became mandatory that all services be conducted in the American language. Thus the first English confirmation service was held in 1918. The congregation voted in 1937 to relocate to the town of Frederika. Several lots for the new church were donated by Mr. John Wendt Sr. and Mr. Fred Rewoldt Jr. A church building was purchased from the disbanded Evangelical and Reformed congregation in Leroy Township. This building was moved to Frederika. Funds to move and refurbish the church were donated by local citizens of Frederika and surrounding vicinity. The Lutheran Church in Frederika was dedicated on November 21, 1937. The congregation voted in January of 1938, to move the church building from the rural Williamstown site and place it as

ST. JOHN EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN 309-4th Avenue, Frederika The beginnings of St. John Lutheran Church date back to the late 1870‘s. The first pastors of St. Paul Lutheran Church of Douglas Township (Siegel), particularly Pastors A. Albert and J. Dilges, conducted services in the Frederika area. Many of the German Lutherans in the Williamstown community, who had been attending services in New Hampton considered the distances too great and, consequently, attended the services of the Frederika congregation. These services were conducted in a little red schoolhouse one-half mile North and two miles East of Frederika. The congregation had grown to a size large enough to consider building a church by the early 1890‘s. Deeds recorded in the Chickasaw County courthouse show that land was donated to St. John‘s Lutheran Church by Henry Trieweiler and his wife, Minnie; and Mr. Robert Kalkbrenner and his wife, Johanna. The site was to be used for church and cemetery purposes. The original site was locatetd one mile north of the Bremer-Chickasaw County line on Highway 63 and one-half mile east and became St. John Evangelical Lutheran. A cyclone completely demolished the first church building as well as several farmsteads in the vicinity in early summer of 1892. Fortunately, John Zickuhr had made a special trip to New Hampton only a few days before to take out insurance on the church. The $300.00 insurance gave the congregation a good start to rebuild the church. The spirit of determination of these dedicated worshipers could not be discouraged. That same year their church was rebuilt. Pastor Haferman became St. John‘s first resident pastor. He lived with the families of the congregation until the parsonage was built next to the church and completed in 1898. Pastor Haferman and subsequent pastors conducted German confirmation instruction in the parsonage each year from November until Palm Sunday. Pastor Engelke, who served the congregation in the early 1900‘s, recalls how he dared to perform a marriage in the English language for a young couple who desired it; and how he delivered it; and, how he delivered an address at a 4th of July celebration in Frederika. His German parishioners were very skeptical of these activities. The year 1908 became known as ―the year of the bell‖. This exciting improvement to the church was donated by Mrs. Sophie Wendt and family for approximately $100.00. In those days a church bell had great practical value. Many a parishioner would set his watch, which he carried only on Sundays and special occasions, as the church bell was rung each Saturday evening and an hour before Sunday services to call the members together for worship. During the week the bell was tolled at sundown to announce the death of a congregation member. The Rev. Henry Finke preached his first sermon as pastor of the congregation on April 10, 1910. During his pastorate it appears that a schoolhouse had been built to accommodate the young people of the


an addition to the East end of the Frederika church. The belfry was removed and in December of 1938, Claude Carroll moved the church to Frederika at a cost of $150.00. The woodshed and schoolhouse at the Williamstown site were sold. The congregation retained title to the property which is still used as the congregational cemetery. The congregation elected in 1965 to remodel the church entrance. Almost everyone in the congregation assisted the committee as they called for volunteers to dismantle the steeple, paint the church, and landscape the grounds. The women too, scrubbed and varnished and did all manner of work that our 75th Anniversary services and all future services may be held in a place of beauty and inspiration. A seven-member committee was elected on January 18, 1976, to look into the possibility of permanent housing. The congregation voted on March 6, 1977, on plans for the new parsonage and the project was underway with a full head of steam. Rev. Percy Kvitne and wife, Mary, moved into the new parsonage in 1978. A decision was made at the January 16, 1983, annual meeting of St. John Lutheran Church to appoint a committee to investigate the possibility of doing some major renovation to the church basement. The church had struggled with water problems for many years. After several votes extended over a period of time, the congregation of St. John voted on April 8, 1984, to lower the entire church so that it was all on ground level and to build an annex that would be attached to the south side of the church. A groundbreaking ceremony was held on July 15, 1984, for the new addition. After much support (time, talents and financial) the remodeled church building and new annex was Dedicated to the work of our Lord on June 9, 1985. St. John‘s Lutheran Church celebrated their one-hundredth year anniversary during the year of 1992 with several centennial activities during the year and climaxed by a reunion of all confirmands, ex-members, current members and pastors and friends. It is our prayer that we may continue to be faithful to the call of our Lord Jesus, to minister to the needs of our members and of our community, to provide knowledge and God‘s wisdom to our youth, and to care for our neighbors as ourselves.

congregation until the congregation closed the school in the late 1920‘s. The building now houses the memories of the congregation, having been refurbished by the Luther League in 1976 to serve as the congregational museum. The care for people - both clergy and lay - is evident in the move to establish insurance companies for the benefit of the area. CUNA, formerly Lutheran Mutual Insurance, was first established at a meeting at Maxfield, as a means of support for clergy families in crisis. First Maxfield Insurance of Denver was also established by members of the congregation. In 1963, the congregation faced its greatest challenge to date. The large, brick edifice that towered over the countryside, was struck by lightning and burned to the ground. Should the congregation rebuild? Could the congregation rebuild? After much prayer and conversation, the congregation built a new sanctuary near the site of the previous structure. There were years of struggle, as the congregation sought to find a voice for mission. Then, in the early 1990‘s, St. John Maxfield Lutheran found a calling. Families were moving into the Denver community and were seeking a place to connect with the community. The congregation deliberately designed a program that would treasure children, and that would foster a sense of belonging. Now as the congregation begins to prepare for sesquicentennial celebrations in 2006, the members of St. John look forward to sustaining the legacy of the Christian caring that reaches back beyond the mission efforts of Loehe and Neuendettelsau, Bavaria to the life, ministry, and mercy of Jesus Christ.

ST. JOHN EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH MAXFIELD TOWNSHIP 2286 250th St., Denver St. John Evangelical Lutheran, Maxfield township, began its life in 1853, when a group of immigrants from Germany, who had first settled in Cook County, IL. moved to Bremer County, IA. More settlers from Schaumburg, IL. came in 1855, and local conversation soon explored the need for spiritual leadership. They invited their pastor in Illinois to come to visit; he arrived in April 1856, and celebrated the sacraments with them. As he took leave of them, he promised to communicate to the Mission Board of Missouri Synod that they needed pastoral leadership at Maxfield. In the fall the first of many pastors arrived to serve the congregation. After two years of service to the congregation, Pastor Graetzel left suddenly. The congregation, now growing and vibrant, was left without leadership, and nothing was heard from the mission board of the Missouri Synod. It happened that a student at the newly organized Wartburg Seminary, located at St. Sebald, north of Strawberry Point, discovered the congregation and the needs, and brought the concern to the Professors Fritchel and Professor Grossman, who provided guidance until a student could be certified, ordained and called to Maxfield. Thus began a long and vibrant relationship with the Iowa Synod, the ALC, and finally the ELCA. Wartburg seminary had been established by pastors sent from the Bavarian town of Neuendettelsau. In 1871, Pastor Paul Bredow, who had been educated at Neuendettelsau, came to serve the congregation, and during his tenure, many of the daughter congregations were established in Bremer County. The influence of the Neuendettelsau mission runs deep in the congregation, and in the daughter congregations in Bremer and Black Hawk Counties. Earlier in 1871, the congregation established a parochial school that would serve not only the families of the congregation, but also the neighborhood. Classes were held in both German and English. A new schoolhouse was constructed in 1881, and this building served the


ST. JOHN LUTHERAN CHURCH 109 Washington, Sumner St. John Lutheran Church was established in 1878. It will celebrate 125 years in 2003. At the present time there are 1492 members. There are 3 services: 5:00 p.m. Saturday, 8:00 a.m. Sunday and 10:30 a.m. Sunday Praise Service. The pastors are John H. Sorenson and Deborah Patricka.

ST. JOHN LUTHERAN CHURCH MISSOURI SYNOD 415 - 4th St. S.W., WAVERLY In 1913 a number of members of St. Paul Lutheran Church, Artesia had moved to Waverly and attempted to travel back to St. Paul every Sunday. This was difficult due to the distance, mud roads and winter travel. Seeing the need for a Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod in the town of Waverly eleven men founded a Church building Society of October 19, 1913. That same day the cornerstone of the church building was set at the corner of 4th Avenue and 4th Street SW in Waverly. As soon as the basement portion of the building was ready, worship services, meetings and a day school met in it. By the Spring of 1914 the new white frame structure was completed and dedicated. In 1915 the congregation called Rev. Otto F. Koch as the first fulltime pastor. During the 5th year of Pastor Koch‘s ministry a parsonage was built north of the church. Horses pulling a huge metal bucket dredged out the basement. Most of the work was done by congregational members and the house was completed in 1920. Also in 1920 the first women‘s society was formed. The Ladies Aid group was active for 40 years, disbanding in the 1960‘s. In 1932 another ladies group, called the Dorcas Society was formed and in 1942 was affiliated with the Lutheran Women‘s Missionary League. This society still serves as a very vital organization within the St. John Congregation today. St. John has been served by six pastors and two assistant/associate pastors over the past 90 years. Rev. August C. Mueller followed Pastor Koch and three years later Pastor Louis Walper was called. Rev. Harold Roschke served St. John faithfully for 36 years, beginning in January 1940. Rev. John Philipp was Assistant Pastor 1972-1977. Vicars (student pastors) assisted the pastors in one year terms for twenty years. The 1940‘s brought new and exciting changes. During this time the parish was slowly turning from German to English, but many of the old traditions continued. Worshipers were seated with women on one side of the church and men on the other. Young children sat with their mothers, but school age children sat in the front under the watchful eye of the pastor. Couples and families began sitting together in the mid 40‘s, but the old German services did not stop completely until 1956. A Reuter pipe organ was purchased and a new hymnal was also introduced in 1941. This hymnal contained not only the words but the music for the liturgy and each hymn. A Men‘s Club was organized for Bible study, fellowship and many rousing games of dart ball. The Adult choir was formed and Sunday church bulletins were used regularly. WW II touched the lives of many in the congregation. Envelopes were used to collect for Army/Navy Commission. Men‘s Club was discontinued for the duration of the war and ―God Bless Our Native Land‖ was sung at the end of each English service. Throughout its early history St. John tried to maintain a Christian Day School which was often taught by the Pastor. Three teachers were hired to teach during the years of 1946-1957. After the 56-57 school year the Day School was disbanded. The first St. John Lutheran Church Missoiuri Synod, Waverly 1913-1914. Parsonage 1920


Plans for a new church, parish hall and education building were agreed upon and groundbreaking ceremonies were held on Sunday May 5, 1957. The new building was completed and dedicated April 20, 1958 when the congregation held a brief farewell service in the former church and then all the worshipers walked together to the new building located east of the first structure in the same block. The older church building was removed. The 1970‘s brought the biggest changes yet to St. John Congregation. By this time the church owned the entire block of land containing the new church building, the parsonage and garage. The Sunday morning services began to be recorded on audiocassettes and were taken to shut-in members from around the area. In 1972 women suffrage was debated and during that year women were accepted into the voting assembly. Pastor Lewis Wunderlich led the congregation from 1976-1983 and during this time St. John turned its attention to building an educational wing. In the spring of 1981 work began on the education wing and by the spring of 1982 the addition was completed and dedicated. In 1984 the congregation voted to install stained glass in the 12 sanctuary windows, the cross windows in the balcony and the overflow windows. The church office became ―computerized‖ in 1987. That same year a large midweek program for children of all ages called WINGS, ―Witnessing in God‘s Service‖ was established with 80 children attending. A similar midweek program continues today. The late ‗90‘s brought air-conditioning to the church building. Members banded together to fight the floodwaters that swept into the basement in 1993 and 1999. In 2002 the gray block walls of the chancel, nave and overflow were covered with a plaster coating and painted in shades of cream. Rev. Gary Arp who had served St. John for 17 years retired in the year 2000 and the congregation continues under the leadership of Rev. Larry Sipe, Associate Pastor. As St. John congregation looks forward to it‘s 90th year we take time to remember the past, thanking God for his many blessings throughout the years. And as we look toward the future, we offer a prayer for continued guidance as we grow strong in the Spirit and continue to move forward in His Word. ST. JOHN‘S UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST SIEGEL 1529 Killdeer Avenue, Waverly In the 1860‘s German immigrants settled in what was known as the Siegel Community. Siegel had been named for a Midwestern Civil War General and congressman. Franz Siegel was also a German immigrant. St. John‘s United Church of Siegel was organized February 21, 1874. The founding members were Frederick Hildebrandt, Jochim Buls, Henry Bergmann, John Schunemann, Frederick Bergmann, Detrick Kerkhoff, William Kallmeyer, Peter Carstensen, Frederick Schultz, Frederick Boeckmann, Rudolph Fennemann, William Nolte, John Propp, Jergens Joens, Henry Moeller, Carl Schmidt, Frederick Haase and William Boeckmann. A five-acre lot was purchased from Henry Moeller for the church ground. This was large enough to include a cemetery and pasture land for minister‘s horse and cow. The first church built was a 30 x 40 frame building with living quarters in the rear. The second pastor, Rev. J. Becker, was a lover of trees and planted many shade trees during his short tenure. By 1897 a parsonage and enlarged church were finished. During the next 13 years a schoolhouse was built south of the Fred A. Biemann, custodian in late 1948, standing on the front steps of St. John‘s United Church of Christ Siegal


house. December 10, 1922 a new church building was dedicated. In 1925 a new parsonage was built. The Rev. W. G. Mauch (1942-1949) is remembered for his large bed of iris planted between the church and parsonage. ST. MARY‘S CHURCH 112 - 2nd Avenue S.E., Waverly Bishop Mathias Loras, the first bishop in Dubuque, bought a block of land in Waverly on December 8, 1855. This was only 2 years after the town land was surveyed into lots. In 1854 Mass was celebrated in the home of W.O. Smith for the first time. When the congregation grew too large for services to be held in private homes, the services were moved to a schoolhouse. A church building was then erected. Bernard‘s Academy was opened with the Sisters of Charity, B.V.M. in charge. Because of financial problems the academy was closed. It reopened at a later date with the Sisters of Mercy in charge. It closed in 1913. In 1904 the St. Joseph‘s Mercy Hospital was founded under the direction of Rev. E.J. Dougherty. A new church was built in 1913 and a new rectory in 1918. ST. MATTHEW‘S LUTHERAN CHURCH 2649 230th St. Readlyn We will be celebrating our 125th Anniversary on July 27, 2003. Our first church was built in 1878. It was quite small (20‘X30‘). Ten years later a larger church was built, later several additions were added. The original church was used as a parochial school and continued for some years. When the English language began to be used, sparingly, the German finally was not used so the parochial school (German) wasn‘t needed anymore. It was then used for Ladies Aid and Luther League. Ice Cream Socials became a special event, also one act plays by the women, plus bazaars. Some of the earliest memories of St. Matthews were the women always wore hats to church. Men sat on one side and women (with the children) on the opposite side. There were two artificial palm trees, one on each side near the altar. Across the highway from the church were 2 horse barns. The first years members came to church with horse and buggy. It was at one time known as the largest rural church in Bremer County. Our motto is ―We stand by the road to be a friend to all.‖

ST. PAUL LUTHERAN CHURCH 120 West 4th Street, Readlyn History, as gathered from interviews: In 1908 Pastor R. Piehler of Immanuel Lutheran-Klinger, conducted the divine services which were held in the public school house in the fastgrowing town of Readlyn, three miles north of Klinger. When Readlyn was five years old, St. Paul was the first church formed in the town. Dedication services were held on September 25, 1910. In the fall of 1912 Pastor Herman Maas became the first resident pastor. Services at that time were held solely in the German language. Very early in the congregation‘s history the importance of Christian education was recognized. A Christian Day School was held in the church


basement until the 1915 when a separate school building was built and then dedicated in November of 1916. Pastor Maas and students from the teacher colleges served as teachers until 1925 when Fred Torgler became the first ―called‖ teacher/principal. In the early school years, students were grouped according to ability. The principal later followed the county guidelines and became ―modern‖ as classes were changed to grades. There was no kindergarten at that time. Tests by the County Superintendent, Grace Beebe (Tofte) were started in 1920‘s. The first students didn‘t think this was necessary. The parsonage was erected in 1912, electric lights were installed in 1917 and the teacherage was purchased in 1948. In 1928 an addition to the church was built and a Rueter pipe organ was added. In the early days communion was celebrated every 3 months. Intention of partaking in the sacrament was announced by the head of each household by personally going to the parsonage the day before services. The annual Mission Festival was a big affair in the 1930‘s in the summer months. Three services were held - morning, afternoon and evening each with special speakers. Usually invited were missionaries and pastor-sons of the congregations, as they were the speakers whom most wanted to hear. In 1932 the first confirmation classes were held in English. Previously they were in German and English and the classes learned the complete catechism in both German and English, as well as a number of hymns. Before the sermon on Sundays, the service included a ―Christenlehre‖ in which doctrines were reviewed for the congregation in the form of children‘s lessons. In 1940 the men and women finally began sitting together at church. Previously the women sat on the left and the men on the right with the children in the front on the right side. The girls would be in the first two pews and the boys in the next two. Sermons were at least an hour long. Women always wore hats and dark dresses and the men wore dark suits, white shirts and dark ties - even when it was hot. No ushers were used for Communion, but instead, during the Confession of Sins, participants turned around to kneel facing the back of the altar. The pastor would then serve the bread and the three communicants would go around the back of the pew and each row would come up the middle aisle and three persons at a time would present themselves at the altar. The pastor would then serve the bread and the three communicants would go around the back of the altar on the right side to receive the wine before returning to their pews via the side aisles. In the summer there was a collection of offerings with a long-handled green velvet pouch with a gold tassel (called a ―Klingebuhl‖) that reached the full length of the pew. In later years two shorter handled white wicker baskets were used by a deacon on each end of the pew. A new building for the school was erected during the 1960‘s and in August of 1965 the dedication of the new school was held. In 1977 by ballot vote, it was decided to reorganize as Community Lutheran School (along with Immanuel-Klinger) with school buildings at both sites and to have a joint school board. A new church building was erected in 1914 with a meeting


and quilting on the second Thursday afternoon of each month. An evening women‘s group, Mary Martha Circle, formed in 1967. The two women‘s groups join together for larger church events such as dinners and funerals. Information gathered by Berniece Schumacher by interviewing: Paula Widdel Wehling (member from 1917 to 1940 and was the organist at Readlyn and St. John-Waverly of 50+years) Ruth Matthias (Member from 1925 until moving to Eichhorn House) Anneta Jaschen (Member since 1925) ST. PAUL‘S LUTHERAN CHURCH 700 4TH St. S.W., Tripoli St. Paul Lutheran was organized October 1, 1871, in the Siegel community by twenty five charter members of German background. The congregation celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1971. On September 18, 1988, the congregation installed Rev. Robert Salge as its present pastor. One of the most difficut events in the congregation‘s history occurred on October 11, 1990, when a fast-moving fire destroyed the church building on Hwy. 63. After several meetings it was voted to rebuild in Tripoli. The new building was first used on April 12, 1992.

God‘s protection has been evident through the years as two fires have threatened the building. In the 1930‘s a barn fire across the road made so much heat it caused the church bell to ring. The night sky was so bright that the ducks and geese at a farm a

ST. PAUL LUTHERAN CHURCH - ARTESIAN 2022 Larrabee Avenue, Waverly St. Paul Lutheran Church - Artesian was organized in 1871 with a house of worship and parsonage soon being constructed. The present building was built in 1885 with various improvements made since, such as electricity, running water and a modern heating system. It is located along U.S. Highway 63, two and three-quarters miles north of Iowa Highway 3. The original structure is part of the present school. In 1914, seven families were released to organize St. John Lutheran Church, Waverly. More families left in 1916 to form Trinity Lutheran Church in Bremer. St. Paul and Trinity were a dual parish for 26 years, until Trinity closed in 1985. The congregation joined the Missouri Synod in 1885. Services were in German until 1918, and then were conducted in German and English until the 1930‘s. The men sat on the north side of the church and the women on the south side. The children sat in front. Everyone came dressed in their best clothing, suits for men and hats and dresses for women. Eighteen pastors have served the congregation along with several vacancy pastors. The Rev. E.F. Melcher was the pastor at St. Paul‘s for more than 40 years - so long that the church was sometimes called ―Melcher‘s Church‖. His services were much longer than an hour so he had a stool to sit on. Travel in the early days was by horse and buggy so a stable was built across the road to protect the horses. The snow was sometimes so deep that they traveled across fields and fences, rather than following the roads. Worship was an important part of their lives. Praising God with singing has always been special. The story is told of one parishioner who became so engrossed in singing that he forgot to pump the organ and it stopped playing! Perhaps it‘s the tin wall covering that makes a rousing hymn sound as if it‘s being sung by a huge choir even though some singers may not even be able to carry a tune. The Christmas services were and still are very meaningful. The children memorized their ―pieces‖ and songs and led the Christmas Eve worship. Now the children lead a Sunday morning service. They still receive their bag of ―goodies‖ at the end and they‘re still filled with nuts, fruit and candy. For several years in the 1980‘s, an advent service was held in the barn at the Oscar Kohagen farm. The beautiful old carol, ―Silent Night‖ is sung by candlelight to close the Christmas Eve service each year. A verse is sung in German as a reminder of our German heritage. ―Love they neighbor‖ continues to be a mission of the people. Whether it‘s a ride to church, a meal, planting or harvesting a crop for someone in need, whatever the need, they pull together to fill it and lighten the burden. God‘s love in action!


quarter mile away followed the men as they ran toward the fire. It is said Denver‘s new pumper fire truck was able to spray water to the peak of the roof and saved the church. In 1989 a passing trucker discovered a fire in the neon cross on the front of the church. Somehow he managed to get on the entry roof to spray water with a garden hose. A state trooper with a fire extinguisher climbed the bell rope to fight it from the attic until the fire department arrived. Damage was minor. A Christian day school was maintained at the site from 1871 to 1963. Memorization of Bible passages and hymns were stressed every day along with the basics of arithmetic, writing and reading. The first teachers were the pastors and they were strict taskmasters! Disobeying could mean a spanking or a strike on the hands with a paddle. A later punishment for whispering was to write the multiplication tables many times. School wasn‘t all work - there was time for play too. Some hurried to be first to school so they could bat first. The softball diamond was located west of the cemetery and saw many a game! Ante-over, throwing a ball over the church or school roof, was a fun game too, but it came to a halt when a window was broken. Every morning a rush was made to claim one of the swings; if you were late, you might get to ―pump up‖ with a friend. The wooden swings provided room for 2 students to stand facing each other to ―pump‖ and make the swing go - the higher, the better. Children still rush to the swings after services today. Winter brought snowball fights, a game of fox and goose in freshly fallen snow and sledding or sliding down roof-high snow banks. Snow banks were great for games of ―king of the hill‖ too and making snow angels was fun! The evergreen grove provided a wonderful place for playing hide and seek, building huts and even stealing that first kiss! A highlight of the school year was the spring field day. It was a whole day devoted to games and races for everyone. The friendly competition, athletic fetes and camaraderie were long remembered. Some children traveled several miles to school, walking, riding a bicycle, by horse and buggy, and some even rode with the milk hauler on his way to the Artesian Creamery. One bashful boy wouldn‘t talk around girls and even went so far as to ride on the back axle of the neighbor‘s buggy, so he wouldn‘t have to sit beside a girl! Because of the distance, some children went to the public country school until fifth or sixth grade when confirmation instruction began. They then went to the parochial or ―German‖ school. In the early years classes were taught in German. Parochial school consisted of all grades through Confirmation (7th or 8th grade). Some of the older boys missed school to work at home during harvest and planting season so attendance wasn‘t always good. Children brought their lunch to school. Early containers were covered metal syrup pails. Homemade sausage on homemade bread, a homegrown apple and home-baked cookies were typical. Sometimes pancakes were substituted for bread when flour was scarce. Most families had their own livestock, orchards and gardens and shared their bounty with the pastor and his family. A ―food shower‖ at Christmas is still an important tradition. Confirmation examination Sunday in front of the whole congregation has always been an important day, and for many a terrifying one. Young adults to be confirmed are asked questions to see how well they have learned Luther‘s Catechism. No matter how well you knew the answers, you were nervous! Vacation Bible School is a highlight of each summer, whether it‘s a week long event at the church or an overnight stay at Camp IO-DIS-E-CA. The VBS picnic is always a fun culmination to the week with a multigenerational softball game and treats to ―buy‖ with tickets. The Altar Guild women care for the altar and prepare vessels for baptism and communion. The Lutheran Women‘s Missionary League first began meeting in the 1930‘s with the pastor reading from the Bible as the women quilted. The summer ―Come As You Are‖ Breakfast was a much-anticipated event with a number of women rising early every morning to be ―ready‖. The Men‘s Club, now the Lutheran Laymen‘s League, meets monthly for Bible study, food and fellowship. It is now both men and

women. Dart-ball, cards and other games have been played as entertainment following the meeting. Picnics, mission festivals, pancake, spaghetti, chili and oyster and soup suppers and potluck dinners have all been popular. Food and fellowship just seem to go together. So much so that at the end of one voter‘s meeting, instead of beginning the Lord‘s prayer, the chairman began, ―Come Lord Jesus, be our guest‖, the common table prayer. God has truly blessed St. Paul‘s congregation with many dedicated pastors to preach and teach His Word and with many hardworking faithful members. The opportunity to offer worship and praise and study God‘s word remains for adults and children today. Jesus Christ is and has always been foremost in the lives of His people at St. Paul‘s. The theme of the congregation‘s 125th Anniversary ―Grace for Generations‖ is truly appropriate. ―For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.‖ Ephesians 2:8 ST. PAUL‘S LUTHERAN CHURCH 212 2ND Avenue NW, WAVERLY St. Paul‘s Lutheran Church was organized on May 9, 1872. The first resident pastor was M. Gerlsch installed on August 25, 1872. Eight heads of families who signed the constitution as charter members were Carl Bodecker, August Friedemann, John


Friedemann, Henry Maas, M. Koeberle, John Mahnke, E. Seybold and John Voigt. On September 1, 1872, St. Paul‘s opened a parochial school and the pastor served as its teacher. The congregation acquired its first real estate for a cemetery in 1876 in southeast Waverly for $125. It was 1886 before the congregation acquired its own church building, formerly occupied by a Universalist congregation. The building was located on a lot behind what is now St. Paul‘s present building. On March 1, 1908 the current church building was dedicated. A frame school building was erected in 1890 near the site of the present education building. It was enlarged 10 years later. In 1900 a modern parsonage was built on that site. With later enlargements and improvements, the building, along with a parish Hall built in 1941 served the congregation‘s educational needs until the present Education Center was dedicated in September, 1964. Early pastors were connected with Wartburg College and Wartburg Seminary. Also St. Paul‘s was actively involved with the Lutheran Orphans Home and took keen interest in the transformation of the home from care of orphans to care of disturbed children from unwholesome home environments. It is now known as Bremwood. Following a legacy from Mrs. A. Bartels, St. Paul‘s acquired a large home in northwest Waverly, which opened in 1964 as Bartels Lutheran Home for care of the aged. St. Paul‘s has broadcast Sunday morning worship live over Waverly station KWAY since September, 1959. It has had many changes of buildings, pastors and staff, forms of worship, etc. A complete history of St. Paul‘s can be found in St. Paul‘s Lutheran Church office, the Waverly Public Library or in the homes of many of its members. ST. PAUL‘S MISSOURI SYNOD LUTHERAN CHURCH 612 W. 3rd St., SUMNER The church history at St. Paul‘s Missouri Synod Lutheran Church in Sumner is forever linked with that of St. John‘s Missouri Synod Lutheran Church, Spring Fountain. Before St. Paul‘s church existed the Pastor from Spring Fountain, Pastor Schaller, was conducting worship services in Sumner homes and in rented churches. In 1915 St. John‘s Spring Fountain built a new church and offered the material of the old one to the Sumner members. When Spring Fountain‘s congregation moved into their new church, the old church was dismantled and moved to Sumner. A new church was built from this material on a piece of land donated by Henry Stahlhut on the corner of Third and Madison. In 1916 the church‘s first resident Pastor, Pastor Hempel, was installed and the first Christian Day School began in the basement of the church. The school continued until 1947. The church services and the parochial school were conducted in the German language for many years. By 1937 English services were held every Sunday and German every other Sunday. By the late 1950‘s the German services were discounted. There have been two major construction projects through the years, one in 1949 and one in 1970. In 1957 one and one half lots were sold to the Sumner Community Schools. In January 1961 the house east of the church was purchased for the purpose of using the building as educational unit. The connection between St. Paul‘s and St. John‘s Spring Fountain continued in 1961 when the two congregations adopted a proposal to call one pastor, thus forming a dual parish. This has continued since October 1, 1961. Lester Kuker and Greg Rogahn, sons of the congregation, served many years in the ministry. Patrick Poock is presently serving as Pastor of the Messiah Lutheran Church in Ewa Beach, Hawaii. Three women from our church have served the Lord as parochial school teachers. Rhonda Dedor is teaching preschool at Christ Lutheran Church in Millford, Michigan and Diane


(Fagenbaum) Wilson is teaching second grade at the Immanual Lutheran School in Kahului, Hawaii. Shirley (Stahlhut) Buschena is retired from teaching. From 1982-1990, Ken and Joyce Poock served in Liberia, West Africa as support personnel for Lutheran Bible Translators. Every summer the two congregations offer a combined Vacation Bible School for the children with a meaningful service at its conclusion. The Youth Group (LYF), a Quilting Group and several Bible studies are also combined. St. Paul‘s church conducts and supports its own Sunday School, adult Bible class, and Ladies‘ Aid. The church has 230 members. Pastor Volkert and his family have served St. Paul‘s faithfully since 1989. May God continue to bless the church through his ministry.

In September of 2002 we celebrated one hundred forty years together. In honor of the occasion, our pastor, Vicki Kessler, wrote this poem. It honors the past and names the hopes for our future. MILESTONES Germans in the country, immigrants far from home, Set their sights together on rich and fertile loam. A place for God and family, in their language, ―kirch‖, Making a time for Sabbath, pausing from their work. Timbers for a building in the year eighteen sixty two, Looking out over prairie grass, it‘s really quite a view. Satisfied members meet and pray; pastors come and go, The country church in Maxfield continues to thrive and grow. A second church is needed to accommodate the flock; A parson‘s home is added to the same one acre block. Six months it took to build the place, with tower to the side, Dimensions are much larger now, fifty by thirty-two wide. In the decade of 1880, they add five acres of land, Turn twenty-five and party; hatch a daring plan. ―To the town of Denver!‖ they shouted; at first just a few. Persistent, persuasive voices convinced others of this view. They hooked up mules and horses, to harness their great strength.

ST. PAUL UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST 300 Washington Street, Denver In the early days of Bremer County, a group of German immigrants banded together to form a church. Names of founding members are familiar, as many of their descendants still live, work and worship in this area. Charter members listed in the records include: Bruns, Borchert, Clausing, Fink, Kasemeier, Ohlendorf, Heine, Stumme, Koehler, Mohling, Seegers, Poock, Steege, Tegtmeier, Wittenburg, Milius, Wilkening, Rohlwing, Severin and Kaben. The first church was built on land given by John Mohling. The first fifteen years in the life of the church saw pastors come and go, yet the young congregation grew and became stronger. In 1877 the decision was made to build a new church to better accommodate the needs of the congregation. Additional land was purchased and a much larger building, with a tower of corresponding height was begun. The original church was refashioned for use as a school. By the time of the twenty fifth anniversary, the parsonage had been enlarged, an additional five acres of land had been purchased and a pipe organ was in place in the sanctuary. The joyful occasion was marked by a church full of members, friends and visitors; speeches and recognition by Synod delegates; a bountiful noon meal served by the women of the church and a closing bymn, ―Now Thank We All Our God‖ sung with heartfelt appreciation for the occasion. At the turn of the century, a proposal began to circulate. Some in the congregation wanted to move the church into the town of Denver. It took time for people to come to agreement on this idea, but in the spring of 1902, the old church building was loaded onto logs, and horses began to pull the church toward Denver. Unfortunately, high water halted the project until the fall, when the frozen ground allowed the completion of the task. Once settled in town, the organization of the congregation began in earnest with the addition of a Sunday School, Women‘s Guild and Men‘s Brotherhood. In the 1920‘s the congregation began their transition from German language to English. It was not until 1945, however, that the constitution was translated into English. That same year, the congregation established a building and improvement fund. In 1957 the church members voted to join the newly formed denomination, the United Church of Christ. The UCC is composed of four denominations: the Evangelical, Reformed, Christian and Congregational. Members of any of these original groups could become a part of the new church. In 1960 a new building was dedicated for use by the membership of St. Paul United Church of Christ. In the decades since much has changed in the culture around us, and in the life of the local church. The changing circumstances of church life in the twenty-first century require innovation and adaptation. While we are grounded in the traditions that have served this church in the past, we also have made adjustments that fit the lives of people in this time and place. While we still worship and praise God together on Sunday morning, we have made room for the participation of our youth, and a variety of lay people. Our worship is sometimes less formal, and often filled with a variety of music or drama presentations. Our vocal and bell choirs fill the sanctuary with joyful expressions, as well as quiet and reflective moments. Our Sunday School, youth fellowship and men‘s and women‘s organizations function with the spirit of the present. We are active in mission and have a variety of programs and activities to meet the needs and nurture the spirits of our members of all ages.


They pulled the building across the land; a nine month journey length. The water had come up high in spring with no way for them to pass, Till in the fall the frozen ground let them reach Denver at last. In the 1900‘s work was done through the ministry of all; Mission Society and Women‘s Guild faithfully answered the call. The Brotherhood and Sunday School, all of them did their part. This was surely a congregation of strong hands and willing hearts. They saw a need to welcome in their neighbors and their friends. By the middle 1930‘s ―German language only‖ would end. In ‘37 another change brought the women voting rights. All this happened peacefully, without protracted fights. Like growing churches on the move, always change in store; By 1960 another new church was built right next door. In the decades swiftly following, time‘s unfolding hand Brought improvements everywhere - to church, people and land. No sitting still for people here, ―Forward!‖ their rally cry. Trusting in God‘s guidance, on the Spirit they rely. So we gather once again, pews full of young and old, Anticipating our future and all the joys yet to unfold. What can we say for all that‘s past; all that‘s done and gone? It‘s made us the people we are today, willing to go on In the name of Christ, our brother good, our friend, our help our own. In keeping faith and holding hope, we‘ve claimed the true milestone.

Theodore Krueger, Trustees; Carl G. Pries, Secretary; William Oestmann, Treasurer, and Herman C. Eick, Financial Secretary. Two acres of land were purchased for the church. In the spring of 1916 the foundation was laid. The church was completed in October. A parsonage was built the same year. On Sunday, March 19, 1950, a Reuter pipe organ was dedicated in the memory of three men of the congregation who had given their lives for their country during World War II. They were: Lt. Edwin Pries, Sgt. Emil Wente, and Pfc. Milton Schaefer. When the church was no longer able to remain open, it was purchased and renamed the Candyland Chapel. It was used for weddings, receptions and gatherings.

UNITED METHODIST CHURCH 209 2ND Avenue, Frederika The Early Heritage 1852-1924 Pastors W.A. Gibbens & C.M Crowell Frederika Methodist Church

ST. PETER ELCA 540 E. Franklin St., Denver St. Peter ELCA of Denver is celebrating ―100 years of Still Building on the Rock‘‖ in the year of our Lord 2002. Founded in 1902, served by 20 pastors and 1 lay associate in that time and home to 1012 baptized members, the church has many varied stories to share in the adventure of life. The women‘s group started out as the Frauenverein and later changed their name to the Ladies Aid. One of the more interesting stories from the past took place in 1945 at the close of World War II. Pastor Schoenbohm and many of the members had emigrated from Germany, or were sons and daughters of immigrants. The letters they received from their relatives who still lived in Germany told of their severe lack of food and clothing. The Ladies Aid responded as a group and voted to can food to send to them. They spent $25 to buy some time cans, someone brought her can sealer and they held canning days at church. A total of 275-quart cans and 39pint cans of fruits and vegetables were sent, along with many boxes of clothing. In 1947 and ‘48 the letters from Germany reported shortages of sewing thread. Again the women responded and sent boxes of thread. People today continue to use their time, skills, and goods to share with those in need. Lutheran World Relief annually sends quilts and other goods wherever in the world people are affected by war, floods, earthquakes and disasters of all kinds. Many churches participate in quilt making, recycling used fabrics and other donated materials to piece and tie quilts. The people of St. Peter have been able to make more than 400 quilts each year for LWR in the last decade.

TRINITY LUTHERAN CHURCH 1781 - 190TH Street, Waverly On January 27, 1916 ten people gathered in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Carl G. Pries in Bremer to discuss the possibility of organizing a congregation. At the next meeting on February 11, eleven people met and adopted a constitution. Those charter members were: William F. Wente and


This appointment was known as Lime Rock and was so incorporated and so recorded. It was a school house appointment (McDonald S. House) and Republic-Williamstown. These all were dropped. Prior to Hiram Bailey, Rev. Barnard - a local preacher - served the people. Then W.W. Robinson, under whose administration occurred a gracious Revival of Religion - 1975. The outcome which was born the buying of the Dance Hall - now the main part of the church. William Hinkley did most of the raising of the money to purchase the hall, but Pastor Robinson, he went along. The dance hall had two stories and Rev. Robinson lived in the lower story. Much of the back under the interior of the hall was taken out and constructed into the main part of the present parsonage. There was a lumber lien on the dance hall of $800 and a mortgage of $300. The mortgage was foreclosed by Mr. Curtis. The Lime Rock trustees held the property. Under Pastor Hiram Bailey was organized the Frederika Board of Trustees. The claims of the property were all met. The father of Rev W.W. Smith gave a quitclaim deed of the church. Mr. Curtis had held the mortgage of the church, but granted Rev. Bailey permission to take out the lumber partitions without following it by his mortgage claim. There were three carpenters then on the charge - Michener, Mowatt, and unknown. Much labor was donated by unemployed men. Bailey preached in the schoolhouse. His family was sick much of the time. When he came he was met by one of the church officers (Mr. Henry) who said, ―We won‘t receive you, because we can‘t support you‖. But Bailey said, ―We have come to stay and divide with you‖. Henry gave him part of the rooms in his house til the parsonage was built and was the best man he ever had as a steward and so generous. Mrs. Ide gave the church $1000 to put in the metal ceiling and new seats, shingle the south part annex to the church. Ross built the south annex. In 1914 W.A. Gibbens purchased and set out 10 apple trees on the church lot and 8 concord grapes, 12 rhubarb plants, built a chicken park and put cement cellar steps and put up the lightning rods on church and parsonage, put in a class of 50 in vocal and church music. Bought a tract of timber for church fuel for $30 - enough to last 3 years. Twenty eight N.W.C. advocates were taken here at Frederika. In the winter of 1915 we had in the church a course of 5 lectures by these speakers: (1) Rev. Dr. R. Watson Cooper, Pres. Upper Ia. University. (2) Rev. A.B. Carran, pastor of Charles City, Iowa. (3) Rev A. B. Kepford, State lecturer on tuberculosis. (4) Rev. W.F. Spry, Dist. Supt. Waterloo Dist. (5) Dr. J.W. Bussell, Ex-Pres. Upper Iowa University. Sold full course family tickets for $1 - entertained the men - paid their R.R. fare and cleared $60. This scrap of history of this charge I have gleaned and written this Sept. 26th, 1916. Wm. A. Gibbens. On Feb. 15, 1917, we purchased 100 new ―Joy to the World‖ hymn books for $25. The Epworth League paid $3 and the Social Hour paid $5. The balance was paid by the pastor and members of the church. In the year 1917, the Epworth League was reorganized - also the Junior League. The Epworth League organized with 30 members and the Junior League with 25 members. The men‘s bible class was organized on Oct. 25, 1916. We were compelled to increase the Sunday School supplies to nearly double the old orders. Dr. Shank was appointed choir leader on Feb 8, 1917. The membership of the choir at this time was about 30 and doing a splendid work. Beginning on the 11th of Feb, 1917, we conducted a two weeks revival meeting. The pastor speaking every evening except two, which were given over to Prof. G. Purvitz. 15 came out in the meetings and were received into the church. It was a very spirited meeting. During this time Dr. Shank had charge of the choir and did very good work. The choir were in their places every evening. The faithful choir and leader was great help to the pastor. C.M. Crowell We can only recall two members of our church going into ministry. One was Lloyd Holm, now deceased, who was the son of Mr. And Mrs. Lee Holm, also former members. The other is Beryl Hokel, who is now a pastor. Many of our members of our parish heeded the call to service. They went to fight for the freedoms that make our way of life possible. Elwin Alcock lost his life in WWII in 1945 and Steven Kerr in 1974. From the Tripoli Leader January 30, 1924: The M.E. Church at Frederika burned to the ground on January 28th. Very little was saved from the fire which was believed to have started

from an overheated furnace. Since the town had no public water supply very little could be done to save the church. A bucket brigade did manage to save the parsonage and plans were immediately underway to rebuild.

UNITED METHODIST CHURCH 4TH & Sycamore St., Janesville On the banks of the Cedar River in the Big Woods, the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Janesville began in the years 1850 and 1851. In 1939 the name changed to Methodist Church and in 1968 the name changed to United Methodist Church when the United Brethren and Methodist churches merged. The first church services were held in the homes of the faithful and later on alternating Sundays in the schoolhouse. The first Quarterly Conference was held on December 18, 1852 at the home of William M. Payne. It was called the Big Woods Mission and the presiding elder was the Rev. A. Young. He appointed Solomon W. Ingham, a local deacon, to be preacher in charge for the ensuing quarter. In 1855 the trustees reported that a deed had been secured for lots 3&4 in Janesville. These lots had been donated to the Methodist society by John T. Barrick, the founder of the town of Janesville.


A meeting was held in 1864 for the purpose of arranging to build a church home. The building was commenced in April of that year and was completed in February of 1866. Before the structure was completed it was used as a banquet hall to welcome home the Civil War Veterans. A rough floor had to be laid and benches and tables built for the occasion. The JUMC has a long history of opening its doors to the community. For thirty-six years the building completed in 1866 served as the church home for the Methodists. By then the church membership numbered 180 with a similar Sunday School enrollment and the congregation felt the need for a larger more modern edifice. For that reason, plans were made, funds were raised and on June 13, 1902, the corner stone was laid for a new house of worship. On October 26th of 1902 the new ME church was dedicated free of debt. The total cost was $4,300. A church is people not a building, but the church building reflects the needs and dedication of those people. Thus it was that under the leadership of the minister, Dr. Frank Court, a decade of progress began in 1952. At that time the basement was enlarged and improved to make it into a church parlor (now called Fellowship Hall) along with a better kitchen area. The chancel area was also extended 14 feet. The first Church School and Church Service was held in the renovated sanctuary on December 19, 1952. Church School attendance reached 168 with as many as 46 attending the adult class taught by Dr. Court. It was apparent that more space was needed. A planning committee for a new educational wing was formed in 1958. The cornerstone was laid on July 10, 1960, and on January 15, 1961, the new addition was consecrated. Total cost for the education wing and remodeling of the parsonage was approximated $38,000.00. Improvements since the decade of progress have included the installation of vinyl siding, combination storm windows, air conditioning, interior chair lift plus regular maintenance and upkeep. Music has always been of prime importance to United Methodists and the congregation enjoys the sound of a Rogers organ which has been updated with the latest technology. This wonderful instrument is played expertly by organist Sue Stapleton. The membership of the Janesville United Methodist Church as of December 31, 2001 was 317. The congregation is proud to have two of their members become pastors in recent years. They are Beth Brownson Straw and Patty Reninger Eastman. Three couples have joined the Nomands which is a volunteer group that travels in RV‘s or campers to do mission work at various locations. Those couples are: Helen & Neal George, Lois & John Boeck, and Arvylla & Norman Fink. The Janesville United Methodist Church began celebrating its sesquicentennial (150 years) in 2001. On Saturday afternoon, September 15, 2001, ceremonies included the opening of the cornerstone of both the church building and the education wing and the sharing of a fellowship meal prepared by members of the congregation. The highlight of the evening was a pageant, written, produced, and performed by church members. The pageant portrayed 150 years of church, local, and national history. On September 15, 2002, the sesquicentennial celebration was concluded with the relaying of the cornerstones and a celebration meal served by the United Methodist Women. The church is now in the 21st century and has seen many changes but no matter what changes occur the message and love of God and of our Savior Jesus Christ is unchanging and constant and will sustain the United Methodist Church as it serves the Lord through the next 150 years.

Christian education. At the beginning, there were about ten boys, but during the next five years it grew to 16 to 18 members. They often had friends from other churches join them as the group always had a good time. Mr. Hatch wanted the Live Wires to work on projects that would help beautify the church and inspire a more meaningful Christian fellowship. The first project was the purchase of the beautiful painting in the sanctuary of ―Christ in Gethsemane.‖ The fireplace was the second project. For the next 3 or 4 years, the group started collecting unusual rocks and piled them outside the church. They had six farm boys in their group so they could collect rocks from their farm fields. They also put out notices to people in the church and community

UNITED METHODIST CHURCH 115 N. Pleasant, Sumner The following is the story of the fireplace that is located in the basement fellowship hall of the United Methodist Church, 115 N. Pleasant Street, Sumner, Iowa. Around 1929 a Sunday School class of young boys around the ages of eleven and twelve was started in the United Methodist Church, and they called themselves The Live Wires. Mr. Frank Hatch, the teacher, was a local farmer and a dedicated Christian who was willing to help youths with their


that they could contribute any special stones they had to the project. Included in the fireplace are rocks from many different states including mineral from a mine, meteorite, petrified wood, tomahawk, quartz and shale. One couple brought back coral from their Hawaiian vacation, and they weren‘t even members of the church. The Live Wires also started raising money for the project by having breakfasts, chicken dinners, and whatever else they could do as a group to raise money. The leaders of the church were not involved with the project and the fund raising. All the work was done by Mr. Hatch and the Live Wires. After 3 or 4 years of collecting rocks, the group decided they had enough money raised and needed to start the fireplace as many of the group would be graduating in 1935. The fireplace was built by hand. They had a mixer with an engine to mix the cement, but the mortar was mixed by hand. Dr. J. Milner Murphy‘s class, who was the youngest class, did help with the actual building of the fireplace. Mr. Littell, the monument salesman in town, gave a granite piece and Mr. Murphy‘s class paid to have the words ―Friend, This Hearth is Yours‖ engraved on it. The wood for the mantel came from local oak trees and was cut and sawed into planks locally. After it had cured, Mr. Hatch‘s son, Herbert, took the wood to Manual Training Class where it was planed and sawed. The corners were put on by dowels. Mr. Hatch carved the cross out of marble with a hacksaw, set it in a metal frame and mounted it on top. Initials were placed in secret in the fireplace by Everett O‘Brien - EO & AD. They were the initials of Everett O‘Brien and Avis Dirksen. The initials were a secret until after the couple married in 1941 on Pearl Harbor Day. Everett was the pharmacist in Sumner until 1972 when he and Avis were killed in a car accident. The fireplace never burned wood. Because this was during the depression, funds ran out before all of the inside hardware of the fireplace could be purchased and installed. Also, most of the boys graduated in 1935, and the Sunday School Class disbanded. Later a gas log was installed in the fireplace so it could be used. It is now a favorite spot in the church to hold Bible Study or to gather for fellowship with other members of the church. Members of the Live Wires and their friends who worked on the fireplace were Richard Creager, Herbert Hatch, Norman Hurmence, William Hurmence, Jr., David Chadwick, Marion Hill, Everett O‘Brien, Norman Creager, Merrill Robbins, Leonard Diedrich, Ed Mike, Rex Lucas, Harold Milligan, Leo Roberts, George Roberts, Charles Marks, William Burrow, Norman Mike, Charles Ritche, Lynn Robbins, and a boy with the last name of Dean. Richard Creager is the only member of The Live Wires who is still a member of the Sumner United Methodist Church. DAD‘S BEAUTIFUL HANDS written by Herbert R. Hatch in 1959 as a tribute to his father Frank E. Hatch (1886-1939) Folded hands, rough and cracked, remained clasped after grace was said. Mother reached across the table, patted Dad‘s hands and murmured, ―what beautiful hands‖. It has taken me twenty years to realize how Mother could find beauty in Dad‘s hands. Hands that grew large and thick from hard work. Fingers swollen with cracks developed while picking corn in the snow and cold. Fingernails flat and hard, a symptom of long illnesses. No ring ever lent a glow to his fingers yet Mother found beauty there. As I look back on Dad‘s hands I begin to share some of the beauty Mother saw in those hands. Hands made beautiful by devoted love for Mother and we boys. Dad was a tower of strength during the depths of depression. Never did my brother and I realize the immensity of the task facing Dad in those dark days. Hands that fashioned a large snow sled for me when there was no money to buy Christmas gifts. Hands that drove our old team miles for gravel; hands that built the forms, pulled the hoe in the mortar box, then strained to carry heavy pails of cement. With trowel in hand he fashioned a concrete milk house, then slowly, painfully built a water storage tank on top so mother could have running water in the house. Devoted, beautiful hands! Hands that proudly led his boys to church.

Hands that held the Bible in boy‘s class in Sunday School. Rough, cracked fingers that held the pencil with which he underlined both in his worn Bible and in the hearts of his class such passages as ―God is Love‖ and ―God loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.‖ God fearing, beautiful hands! Hands that grew rougher as he picked up stones and rocks. Fingers were scratched and often torn as he cleaned and studied the rock structure to determine if they were suitable for God‘s house. Hands, now older, more cracked and a bit slower, loaded with a great pile of the stony ―treasure‖ in the wagon and hauled


them four miles to pile them carefully in the church basement. The hands that directed innumerable waffle breakfasts and bake sales finally held enough money to start on the dream of many years, a fireplace in the church basement. Hands that lovingly laid each stone in place. Hands that now, a year older, proudly cleaned the mortar from the finished stones so he could read the inscription, ―Friend This Hearth is Yours.‖ Hands dedicated to serving youth by helping to provide a place for Fellowship in a Christian setting. Soiled, chapped beautiful hands. Hands that drove tent stakes, dug a barbeque pit, prepared mulligan stew, directed our games and illustrated our campfire devotional hour on our overnight trip with the ―Live Wire Class‖. Tired but beautiful hands! Hands that directed our Sunday School class to earn money and purchase the large, beautiful picture of Christ in Gethsemane. Fingers that pointed out the power of prayer as a source of strength for Christ in his hardest hour and a source of strength for us. Prayerful, beautiful hands! Hands that were destined to hard toil. Hands that struggled to make old worn machinery go on planting, cultivating and harvesting year after year with no hope for new. Hands that were forced to brush aside a dream for purebred cattle, a new barn, a tractor and even electric lights. Hands that held little material wealth but had a tremendous impact on the spiritual lives of those with whom he came in contact with. Yes, Dad did have beautiful hands!

UNITED METHODIST CHURCH 404 2nd St., PLAINFIELD On January 24, 1869, the first class of the Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in Plainfield. It was a part of the former Horton charge, and it was organized in a schoolhouse. The Plainfield circuit was formed in 1870. In 1872 Spring Lake was added to the circuit and during that year services were held in Plainfield, Spring Lake, Prairie Valley and Pleasant Valley. During 1873-74 Spring Lake was dropped and Pearl Rock was added. The first church building was erected in 1872 and dedicated on Nov. 29, 1874. T he cost of that building was $3,500 and it served the congregation until 1920. It was then moved from its Main Street location one-half block north and one block east, to the corner of 2nd Street and Center Street. At a cost of $12,000, it was entirely remodeled and all expenses were met on the day of dedication June 19, 1921. The church edifice at Warren, no longer used, was wrecked and furnished 19 loads of good lumber in the reconstruction of the Plainfield church. That church building served until March 29, 1949, when the church was being heated for choir practice, fire broke out and, despite efforts of local and neighboring fire departments, the entire building was destroyed. Immediately church officials met and commissioned Paul Schweikher of Roselle, Illinois, as architect, and early in 1950 the congregation approved plans for a new church. Ground was broken in July, 1950. The new building was consecrated on Sunday, May 13, 1951. Six years later the entire cost of the building $67,000 was paid. The building was dedicated on April 14, 1957. A special celebration for 100 years was held on Sunday, October 5, 1969, and Plainfield became a 2-point charge with Frederika. Many changes have been made in this new building. The original folding chairs have been replaced with movable pews, carpeting was added to the chancel and in 1987 a second carpet was laid there. In 1980 a new roof made of steel was put on and in 1983 a ramp was built to make the building accessible to the handicapped. The office has been remodeled with more shelf and storage space, with carpeting both in the office and in the nursery room. In 1983, the kitchen was remodeled and a new curtain put on the stage. Insulation and panels have improved the Sunday School rooms. The chancel area had rock installed behind the 1921-1949 Plainefield United Methodist Church


cross with redwood siding to cover the cement blocks in 1985. Recently the kitchen was again remodeled with oak cabinets and new lighting. The church has stained glass windows and a new enclosed entry. What began as a congregation of the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1869 became the Methodist Church in 1939 and in 1968 when the Evangelical United Brethren and the Methodist Church united, it became known as the United Methodist Church. Pastors who have served: Robert Davies 1944-50; Robert Moss 1950-52; Wm. Lane 1952-53; Herbert Bryant 1953-57; Jack Speer 1957-60; George Youtzy 1960-62; Delbert Dawes 1962-65; Fred Brown 1965-66; Wayne Kamm 1966-72; James Pittman 1972-75; Russ Eldridge 1975-80; Ken Suetterlin 1980-84; Karen E. H. Merrill 1984-92; Nina Pulatie 1992-95; Jim Davis 1995-01; Douglas Tharpe 2001-the present. The Plainfield United Methodist Church is open, alive and alert to the needs of the community and the world around…both spiritual and physical. Through the years it has been a three-point charge with Nashua and Republic, then in 1995 became a church by itself.

Land was purchased for a cemetery one half mile west of Readlyn. The first lots were sold on May 30, 1917, for $15.00 with each lot having 6 burial spaces. The first burial was on December 2, 1918. A 1,400-pound bell and a pipe organ were purchased for the new church. An electric motor was installed on the organ in 1919. The congregation began as an all-German congregation. English services were begun in 1918 and were held once every four weeks on Sunday evening. In 1923 it was increased to two services per month. In 1926 the evening services were discontinued. English services were then changed to the last Sunday of the month, with an English service at 10 a.m. and a German service at 11 a.m. From time to time more English services were added and in 1966 the German services were eliminated. In 1927 the parsonage was enlarged by adding a kitchen, two bedrooms upstairs and a basement. Pastor Kumpf preached his farewell sermon on April 7, 1929, and a call was extended to and accepted by pastor Harry Schultz.

WARREN UNITED METHODIST CHURCH formerly at 1845 - 210th, Waverly The oldest membership records from Warren were dated 1867. Records from that time are quite sketchy. At that time Warren was known as the Salem class. It was divided into East Salem and West Salem with a membership of 60. Some of the early recorded family names are: Iserman, Schroedermeier, Miller, Eichman, Gors, Trumbauer, Mether, Kohagen, Nutt, Hartman, Desgranger and Albrecht for the East Class. The West Class was Klages, Weber, Keller, Niedermeier, Bacher, Arns, Raecker, Nolte, Thoren and Andreas. The Trumbo Grove schoolhouse northeast of Waverly was the meeting site for the first Warren class. In 1861 a log cabin was built there for the meetings. They worshipped here until 1871 when a frame building was built one mile west and on the opposite corner. In 1894 the parsonage was built. At this time families were also allowed to sit together. Previously the men sat on one side of the room and the women and children on the other. Each had a potbellied stove to keep them warm in the winter. Quartets in the church in the early times included Fred Iserman, Frank Thoren, Walter Menzel, Henry Schroedermeier and George Schroedermeier. In 1904 the cost of buiding the present church was $4000. The horse barns were torn down in 1948. This same year the name Warren was formally adopted. In 1922 the Evangelical Association combined with the United Evangelical Church. The result was the Evangelical Church. In 1946 the Church merged with the United Brethen and became Methodist. In 1997-98 Warren United and Faith United Methodist united into Heritage and built the new church west of Waverly known as Heritage United Methodist. The Warren Church was remodeled into a home.

ZION LUTHERAN CHURCH 240 Elmer Avenue, Readlyn The first steps toward forming a new congregation in Readlyn, Iowa, were taken at a meeting on March 12, 1917, at the farm home of Mr. And Mrs. Rudolph Tiedt under the leadership of the late Pastor Max Jahr. At this meeting the constitution of the Iowa Synod was adopted and the name Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church was chosen. The constitution was signed by thirty-eight charter members and officers were chosen. Ten and one-half lots with an existing house in the east part of Readlyn were purchased from Mr. Tiedt. At a meeting on April 6, 1917, it was decided to extend a call to Pastor Paul Kumpf. He received a salary of $800 per year plus free house rent. The church building was erected in the summer of 1917 and dedicated on Sunday, October 7, 1917.


Annual reports and an offering envelope system were introduced to the church in 1930. Pastor Schultz served Zion until the fall of 1932. The congregation then extended a call to and was accepted by Pastor Ernst Arhelger. He served the congregation until September of 1939. Pastor A.H. Landgrebe accepted the call of Zion to serve as Pastor and arrived in late November, 1939. In June 14, 1942, Zion congregation celebrated the 25th anniversary of the church. The church basement was remodeled in 1945. In 1946 a new oil furnace as installed and in 1947 new kitchen cupboards, shelving and other equipment was installed. In June, 1951, Pastor Landgrebe left Zion congregation. Pastor Elmer Jacobs was called to serve and was installed as the Pastor on October 21, 1951. In the summer of 1954 colored art glass windows were installed in the church. Pastor Jacobs preached his farewell sermon on October 25, 1964. Professor Waldemar Gies of Wartburg College served as the interim pastor until the summer of 1965. Pastor Paul Schaedig graduated from Wartburg Seminary in May of 1965 and accepted the call of Zion and was installed on July 4, 1965. In 1966 the members voted for a major addition and remodeling for the church building. The new annex consisted of an overflow area for worship, office space for the pastor, new restrooms, cry room, enclosed entryways, new kitchen in the basement and an all purpose room and classrooms. Our church property was also enlarged with the gift of twenty-six feet of land to the south of our church by Mr. And Mrs. C.H. Hagenow. The enlarged church was dedicated in August of 1968 along with our 50th anniversary celebration. In 1970 the congregation began using the individual communion cup at communion services. Pastor Schaedig left Zion on October 24, 1971, and in the spring of 1972 Pastor B.E. Petrick was called and installed as the pastor on June 25, 1972. In 1974 the congregation approved the right of women to vote and approval was given to lower the voting age to 18. A public address system was purchased in 1978. Improvements were also completed in the parsonage and a new garage was built in 1980. In 1983 we began the format of continuous serving for the distribution of communion except for the four times a year when the commom cup was used. The use of the common cup for communion was discontinued in 1987. The church was carpeted in June, 1983. Pastor Petrick preached his farewell sermon on April 22, 1984. On November 11, 1984, Pastor Dave Nerdig was installed as the new Pastor at Zion Lutheran. A three-foot extension and diagonal parking in front of the church was completed with the street-paving project being done in Readlyn. In 1985 we purchased new hymnals, ―The Lutheran Book of Worship‖. Ventilators and a storm window project were completed in 1985. A copier was purchased for the church office in 1986 to replace the mimeograph that had been used for many years. A sign for our church was erected along the blacktop on the east side of our church property. Zion approved the ―Agreement and Plan of Merger‖ in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. In 1988 Zion Lutheran along with St. Matthew Lutheran of Readlyn were accepted for the Ethiopia Pastor program and Rev. Akineda Gebre Medhin of Ethiopia shared in our ministry from January 6 to April 4, 1989. In 1990 the church was sided, the steeple was repaired and a new pitched roof was put on the overflow area. On March 18, 1990, Pastor Nerdig preached his farewell sermon. Pastor Jerome Godson was installed as the Pastor on August 26, 1990. Parsonage improvements, including air conditioning, were done in 1990. A new fence with new gates was installed at our cemetery. Members submitted recipes for a cookbook, ―Family and Friends of Zion Lutheran‖. This is still an ongoing project with over 4,300 copies sold to date. Weekly lesson sheets use was begun in 1990. In January of 1992, Pastor Godson resigned as Pastor. Pastor Robert Browne served as our interim pastor and a call was extended to him and he was installed in August of 1992. On July 12, 1992, the 75th

anniversary of Zion was observed. A morning worship service was held, a catered dinner and an afternoon anniversary program were held. On May 9, 1993 members voted to approve the handicap access project to include an addition to the front of the church to include an elevator. A handicap ramp on the street and sidewalks has been completed. Major improvements to the parsonage were completed in 1996. In 1998 a new roof was put on the church and a computer was purchased for the church office. Additional land was acquired for the cemetery and new fencing was put around the new land and trees have been planted at the cemetery. The use of ―With One Voice‖ hymnals was begun in 1999. In 2001 members were offered the ―Simply Giving‖ program whereby contributions could be made by electronic transfers from their banks to Zion. A new boiler was installed at the church in 2001 and currently in 2002 we have completed a new sign for our church along V-49 and are working on enlarging and improving the garage. Material growth at Zion is very evident. Zion also grew over the years in numbers of members. From the beginning in 1917 with 38 charter members signing the constitution, we have now grown to a congregation of 467 baptized members and 351 confirmed members. Worship services are held at 9 a.m. during the summer and from the first Sunday after Labor Day until the last Sunday in May we have Sunday School at 8:45 a.m. and worship at 10 a.m. We have two ELCA women‘s groups, Luther League for our youth and a dart ball team for our men. Vacation Bible School is offered in the summer. Members also participate in the choir at Zion. Members of Zion who have gone into the ministry of the church include Dr. Paul Moeller who was ordained on June 17, 1928 and Pastor Karl Landgrebe who was ordained on September 10, 1944. Pastor Jeff Ungs was ordained in May of 1999. With grateful hearts and God‘s guidance we have labored and grown in the past 85 years. We look forward with confidence that God will continue to bless us as we grown stronger and larger in furthering His Kingdom in the years ahead!





CEMETERIES BY TOWNSHIPS Dayton Township 1. St. John‘s Buck Creek – Sec. 28 2. St. Paul‘s United Church of Christ – Sec. 16 Douglas Township 3. Alcock – Sec. 14 4. St. John‘s United Church of Christ (Pfieffer) – Sec. 35 5. St. John‘s Western Douglas – Sec. 17 6. St. Paul‘s Siegel – Sec. 35 Franklin Township 7. Grove Hill – Sec. 4 8. St. Peter‘s Oran – Sec. 10 Frederika Township 9. Faith United Church of Christ (St. Peters Evangelical – Sec. 33 10. Walling, Fifield, Gillett (Abandoned) – Sec. 19 Fremont Township 11. Fremont Township – Sec. 15 12. Grace Lutheran – Sec. 10 &11 13. St. John‘s Crane Creek – Sec. 31 Jackson Township 14. Jackson Township/Sewell – Sec. 21 15. Oakland – Sec. 35 16. West Point – Sec. 30 Jefferson Township 17. Fairview – Sec. 25 18. Messenger – Sec. 25 [No record] 19. St. Peter‘s Lutheran – Sec. 25 20. Lafayette Township 21. Andrews – Sec. 15 22. Spring Lake – Sec. 17 23. Leroy Township 24. Mentor-Fay – Sec. 11 25. Mt. Olivet – Sec. 13 26. Pinhook/Leroy Township – Sec. 13 27. St. Paul‘s – Sec. 22 Maxfield Township 28. Immanuel Lutheran – Sec. 26 29. Sharp (Abandoned) – Sec. 13 [no record] 30. St. John‘s Maxfield – Sec. 19 31. St. Paul‘s Readlyn – Sec. 14 32. St. Paul‘s Evangelical, Denver – Sec. 18 33. Zion Lutheran – Sec. 15 34. St. Matthews – Sec. 2 Polk Township 35. Craine/Jackson – Sec. 8 36. Horton – Sec. 27 37. Leaman (private) – Sec. 8 [no record] 38. Syracuse (Abandoned) – Sec. 4 [no record 39. Willow Lawn – Sec. 30 Sumner Township 40. Lease Estate (private) - Sec. 17 41. Mt. Calvary Catholic – Sec. 26 42. St. John‘s Lutheran – Sec. 13 43. St. John‘s Spring Fountain – Sec. 29 44. Union Mound – Sec. 23 45. Wilson Grove – Sec. 12 46. Zion – Sec. 17 Warren Township 47. County Farm (Abandoned) – Sec. 24 48. St. Paul‘s Lutheran, Artesian – Sec. 26 49. Town Line (Abandoned) – Sec. 30 50. Warren Evangelical – Sec. 33

Washington Township 51. City (Abandoned) – Sec. 35 52. Harlington – Sec. 2 53. Spencer-Martin (Abandoned) – Sec. 12 [no record] 54. St. Josephs – Sec. 1 55. St. Mary‘s – Sec. 2 57. St. Paul‘s Lutheran – Sec. 1 There are two ―out of county‖ additions to the Bremer County Cemeteries. The St. John‘s Lutheran Cemetery, Frederika, IA is located in Dresden Twp., Chickasaw County, IA. The Fairbank Cemetery, located in Fairbank, IA, is a unique situation, in that the cemetery is located in both Fayette and Buchanan Counties. However, because of the location, many Bremer County residents may be buried there. Fairbank cemetery is a city owned cemetery. Many of the Cemeteries are owned by churches and are used for burial of the church members and their families. The churches are responsible for the maintenance of the grounds and the fences. Other cemeteries are township cemeteries and it is the responsibility of the township to maintain the grounds and fences. There are contracts for mowing the cemetery during the summer and contracts are let for opening and closing graves. In 1887, a cemetery superintendent was interviewed about styles of graves. He indicated there were three, the plain grave, where no box is used and the coffin is covered up with earth, the box grave, in which a pine box encloses the casket, and the brick grave. Of these the box grave is used in about 65 per cent of the burials, the plain in 15 per cent and the brick in 30 per cent. The Town Line Cemetery, which is listed as abandoned, has been restored to its former condition as a prairie. It has been seeded with native grasses and wild flowers and is not mowed during the summer. It is burned off each spring. This decision was made to reflect the way the land looked when the original burials were made. There are also cemeteries that have organized Cemetery Associations, in which the organization sets the lot fees, keeps the plat map of the cemetery up to date and may decorate graves on Memorial Day. Wilson Grove Cemetery Association, Sumner, celebrated its one hundredth anniversary in 1958. The minutes of the first meeting indicate the cemetery was originally one half acre, but was increased to a full acre later that same year. The names of those early members of the association read like a page out of The Oakla Cemetery in Janesville, Iowa


Sumner‘s history and an early listing of lot owners reflects the names of many of the pioneer families of this area. In Jan. 1859, the price of a lot was fixed at $1.50. The oldest section of the cemetery is to the extreme west where many of lots are no longer marked; however the original plat map still indicates the names of those buried in these unmarked graves. Wilson Grove also has four graves marked simply Potter Field. Another long-established active group is the Horton Cemetery Society, Polk Twp., which was formed by the women of Horton. The society sees that the cemetery is mowed and cared for and keeps the records. The Willow Lawn Cemetery of Plainfield also has an active cemetery association. Fremont Cemetery, Fremont Twp., has a small group of local residents that meet once a year. Fremont Cemetery is a very old cemetery, with the first burial in 1860 of John Franklin. The cemetery was first located in Sec. 11, but in 1878 was moved to Sec. 15. The land for the cemetery was either donated and/or purchased from Andrew Carstensen, Geo. Carstensen, Charles Franklin and L. Stagner and wife, at intervals from 1860 to 1878 to 1902 to 1917. The cemetery association first met once a month, but now meets once a year. Fremont Cemetery is the only rural cemetery that has its own chapel, which was built in 1937 on the cemetery grounds. Fremont Cemetery was also the designated burial ground for the Bremer County Farm residents. There are 37 graves in the northwest corner of the cemetery that was reserved for this use. The Alcock Cemetery Association, Douglas Twp., is yet another active association. The cemetery was originally 3.5 acres of land, donated by Charles Alcock Sr. when his wife, Elizabeth, died of typhoid fever. She had asked to be buried on the family homestead, and her daughter Hannah joined her 18 days later in November 1870. At that time Mr. Alcock reserved an area 28‘x50‘ for the graves of the Alcock family. There was a row of lots on the west side of the cemetery reserved for Potters Field burials, but there is no record of any such burials. In 1877, the price of a 10‘x10‘ plot was $8.00. If a half plot was purchased, the cost was $4.00. Some graves were moved to Alcock Cemetery from the Walling/Fifield/Gillett cemetery, but no record exists as to the exactly number of graves that were moved. The Alcock Cemetery Association was formed June 2, 1906, even though the first lot was sold in 1871. The first officers were L.E. Loose, George Cronkhite, John Harker and J.W. Alcock. The ladies first took care of the cemetery funds, but the men took it over later. The Association was incorporated July 11, 1939 with Wm. Ager as President, E.E. Henry as Vice-President, Lee Alcock, Secretary, Joe Alcock, Treasurer, and Thomas Alcock, Claude Clarey and J.L. Harker, trustees. Years ago, before weed whips and power lawnmowers, volunteers from Frederika would go to the cemetery the week before Decoration Day and clip around the markers and pull weeds. Alcock is a nonperpetual care cemetery and occasionally an estate may leave a donation to the association to cover the cost of upkeep. The contract for mowing for the summer season is $1800, which includes trimming around the grave markers. The cost of burial in 2003 is $150 for a double plot and $75 for a single plot. A new entrance to the cemetery was necessitated in 2002 by the Iowa DOT because of the widening of Highway 63 and the amount of traffic made the old east entrance unsafe. The cemetery entrance is now on the south side of the cemetery, with a new exit. Harlington Cemetery, Waverly, is the largest cemetery in the county. Henry Harlington Couse, who named it for himself, founded it and H.S. Hoover plotted it. Ferdinand Lane became superintendent in 1869 and was succeeded by his son, C.E. Lane in 1896 and finally by his grandson, Geo. E. Lane until at least 1931.The property was originally owned by S.H. Curtis, Mr. The Gruben family mausoleum in Harlington cemetery.


Couse‘s son-in-law, until 1921, when the city of Waverly purchased it for $30,000. It is also the only cemetery in Bremer County that has a Baby land exclusively for infant burials and a mausoleum. The Gruben family mausoleum was built in late 1938. The stone used to build the mausoleum is estimated at more than 75 tons. As of April 1, 1931, the cemetery contained 2,950 bodies. The oldest grave in Harlington is that of a man who died in 1839 and whose body was later moved here, according to a record book which details each burial, giving name and age of deceased, cause and date of death, and a description of the exact location of interment. This book has been maintained by the office since 1877. There is a brick building at the cemetery entrance that had served as an office, with a large inner room, which was used on occasion as a chapel for last funeral rites. By October 2002, the cemetery had grown to include 7,661 graves and Babyland had 207 small graves. Years ago during the winter, caskets were placed in a cemetery vault built for that purpose. Harlington has such a vault, built in 1887, one of only two in the state, where undertakers kept bodies over the winter months before technology allowed them to bore into the hard-frozen ground. This often caused problems in the spring, with the rush to bury those who had lain in the vault, not counting those which would be interred by regular funerals. The vault was improved in 1922 by cementing both the inside and outside of the structure, which was pebble-dashed, on either side of the door and the walls on either side of the doors. The vault or ―winter casket storage‖ can‘t even be seen from the cemetery‘s south side or from Highway 218, except for the curiously small ―little house‖ on top of the hill. About three feet high, the little house ventilates the tomb below. A cool dry room, with a stone floor, it was used to store about 16 coffins. The cave like vault is ventilated on both sides of the entrance and in the far back, in the ceiling leading up through the little house. The last time the vault was used was in the late 1960‘s. A tragic event occurred on Thursday, July 31, 1902, at the cemetery about 7:30 am, when Sexton C. E. Lane found Mrs. Belle Aborn dead on a bench. At her feet was found a large 38 or 44 caliber revolver with which she had undoubtedly killed herself. Mr. Lane had observed her about 15 minutes earlier, in the cemetery, carrying a package done up in a newspaper. That package was later determined to have contained the revolver. The victim had been sickly for some time and it is thought her rash act was the result of physical suffering. Submitted by Karlyn Armstrong


BREMER COUNTY RURAL SCHOOLS File 9a RURAL SCHOOL MAY FRANCIS POLITICAL ACTIVIST AND COUNTRY SCHOOL CHAMPION By Bill Sherman Bremer County produced the first woman elected to statewide office in Iowa. May Francis began teaching in a one-room country school in Bremer County in 1910 following her graduation from high school in Blue Earth County, Minnesota. During the summers Francis continued her education by taking classes at Iowa State Teachers College. Very quickly Francis demonstrated her competency as a teacher and school administrator. While serving as superintendent of the Denver Community Schools, Francis decided to apply for the position of Bremer County Superintendent of Schools in 1915. Following interviews with each of the county school board members, Francis received support from 25 of the 28 board members and became one of the first women to serve as a county superintendent. One of the main responsibilities of the county superintendent was supervision of the one-room schools which totaled nearly 100 in Bremer County. Francis worked hard to improve the country schools. She gained statewide recognition for these efforts and in 1919 State Superintendent of Public Instruction, P.E. McClenahan, asked her to become the supervisor of rural schools for the state of Iowa. During the two years she held that position Francis inspected approximately 1800 of the more than 10,000 one-room schools operating in Iowa. Francis successfully lobbied the legislature to pass the standard school program as a way of improving educational opportunities for students attending the country schools. She then wrote the implementing standards that were used to evaluate country schools and determine which schools would receive state aid to improve their program. Schools had to score 80 points on a 100 point checklist. Those that did received $6 per student from the state. In 1921 Francis shocked the educational establishment by announcing she would be a candidate for state superintendent. Francis was opposed in the Republican primary by two veteran educators – her boss, McClenahan, and W.H. Bender, the director of vocational education. The issue of what to do with the 10,000 one-room schools in the state emerged as a key issue in the campaign. Both McClenahan and Booth favored school consolidation. Francis opposed that idea saying that farmers could not afford to pay higher property taxes. Instead Francis said the standard school program was the best way to improve the country schools. When the votes were counted, Francis emerged as the upstart victor. She went on to defeat the Democratic candidate by nearly a two-toone margin. That win enabled Francis to become the first woman elected to a statewide office in Iowa and one of the first in the nation. That success was short lived. The educational establishment was angered that they lost control of the administrative machinery at the department of public instruction. They recruited another woman – Agnes Samuelson – to oppose Francis in the 1926 Republican primary. Francis lost that election by a narrow 52-48 per cent margin. Shortly thereafter Francis left Iowa for the University of Texas where she earned a PH.D. Degree in 1934. Following her graduation Francis taught at a college, served as director of adult education for the New York City Schools, and worked for the department of labor. She authored two historical novels and a fourth grade-spelling book. Dr. Francis returned to Iowa in 1942 and again raised eyebrows in the political community by announcing she would be a candidate for state superintendent, this time as a Democrat. But she was no match for the popular Republican incumbent, Jessie Parker. Francis lived her retirement years in Waterloo where she died of natural causes in 1968. She was buried in a cemetery near Littleton. She is survived by a niece, Margaret Ormord, of Frederika. Settlers coming into the county in the late 1850‘s and 1860‘s were anxious to provide education for their children. Many of the early schools of those years were started in the homes, where a room was rented to be used for schooling. From the beginning the many township districts supported one-room schools because the Iowa constitution had designated the township as the unit to support schools. The schools came into being when neighbors got together to elect a chairman, a secretary, and one additional member to comprise a school board. That board was delegated the tasks of establishing a levy, hiring a teacher, building a school as the years and more settlers followed, and overseeing the responsibilities of the operation of the school and paying the expenses. An example was a meeting in Lafayette Township in 1869, when the directors levied a tax in the sum of $600.00 to build a school. Additional taxes were levied the following years to complete the school and hire a teacher for $25.00 per month. Presently those neighbors were renting a room from a local resident for $3.00 a month for their school. Twelve cords of good hard wood were bought at a price of $2.00 a cord in 1869 for that Lafayette Township school. Inflation was an issue then, as wood went up to $2.50 a cord in 1870, and in 1871, the same district paid $5.00 a cord for wood. Pot-bellied heating stoves were used in the room for heat during the day, and the teacher had to light the fire each morning. Later coal came into use, so the teacher could ―bank‖ the fire. It would still have some heat the following morning. The next heating system was the fuel oil burner which was a square furnace-type room heater, and could be turned to ―low‖ overnight to keep the building warm for morning. Oh, how nice not to have to carry wood or coal into the schoolroom! Electricity was an unknown in the rural areas, thereby exercising the use of a kerosene lantern or kerosene lamp on the dark days or for the evening programs. As schoolhouses were built, the directors inherited the dubious distinction of having to clean the building before each new term and mowing the lawn with their horse-drawn sickle mower. Needless to say the wives were brought into this cleaning process. The school terms were set up to accommodate the work schedules of the farming community, resulting in a fall, winter and a spring term. With the terms thus set up, the boys would be home during the fall and spring terms to help with the farm work. They could attend school during the winter term. These young


people did not enter their rural neighborhood school assigned a grade, but were assigned to readers. They passed from one reader to the next as their promotion. A young person who passed the fifth reader was considered to have sufficient schooling, having also studied spelling, arithmetic and geography. By 1894, 109 rural schools had been established in Bremer County. Teacher tenure was short. Often times, a different teacher was hired for each term. If a female teacher was hired, her job was terminated if she married. There were many male teachers in the early history of rural schools. When possible, a man was hired for the winter term, the thought being that a man could better handle the older boys than could a young woman. One-room rural schools were outfitted with single desks for each student, and in some schools, double desks were used to accommodate two students, and to save room as enrollments grew. Standard equipment furnished was a large slate blackboard all along one wall, a large assortment of maps, charts, globe, dictionary, a case for library books, and most had an organ, piano, or a windup record player. Music and poetry reading were a part of rural school training. Classroom books were purchased by the student. Coats were hung on a hook with the student‘s name above it, and in the muddy or snowy weather, four-buckle overshoes stood in order below the coat. It took a ―fourbuckle‖ to be tall enough to tread the deep mud or snow – no gravel on roads in those years! Mothers packed the lunches which were often carried in a gallon-sized syrup or molasses tin pail. The homemade bread and homemade wurst provided sturdy nutrition for the walk to and from school and the day in between. Students of later years had the luxury of a black ―dinner pail‖ with a handle on it, and a thermos tucked into the top. An alternative to the township public financed rural schools was the one-room church-supported schools which were mostly of the German Lutheran denomination. They were under the jurisdiction of the State Superintendent of Instruction guidelines, but were privately supported through their church affiliation. Other than studying religion, their course of study was much the same as the public schools. Most were taught in the German language. Elmer Peters An interesting mandate of 1881 from the State Superintendent read thus: ―We urge upon the attention of the boards of directors the wise, yet mandatory provisions of the school laws of Iowa. The board of directors of each district township and independent district shall cause to be set out and properly protected, twelve or more shade trees on each school house site where such number of trees are not now growing. Two good men with a team can do, in a single day, a work whose influence will be felt for fifty years after they themselves are forgotten.‖ In 1895 a course of study was put in place by the state superintendent of Public Instruction, John P. Riggs. He updated the instructions in 1900, and again in 1906. At this time, the course of study was to include arithmetic, writing, language, reading and nature study, and was changed to a 9-month course instead of the previous 8 months. There were to be 4 divisions of study to include: Primary division to be 1st & 2nd year; First intermediate division to include 3rd & 4th year; Second intermediate division to include 5th & 6th year; Advanced division to be 7th & 8th year. Bremer County Superintendent Kate Sullivan‘s 1910 report shows there are in Bremer County 100 rural schools and 45 graded rooms in the town schools. Teachers employed were 21 males and 183 females. Total monthly revenues to the men were $964.12 and total monthly payments to the 183 females was $2,533.58 or $61.82 per month average for the men and $42.64 for the females. The total enrollment was 5,063, with an average daily attendance of 2, 399 (not a good average). Two new buildings were erected last year, 1909; one in Fremont and the other in Jefferson Township, and at this time new buildings are in the course of construction in Douglas No. 1 and Warren No. 4. In 1921 students still had the choice of three school terms during a school year. But in the late 1920‘s changes came about as county superintendents were instructed by the state to consolidate the dates of the terms, and introduced the two-semester system Daily registers of attendance and grades were recorded in the appropriate columns of books that came from Matt Parrott and Sons Co. of Waterloo. The school district board of directors was required to submit its yearly financial report to the County Superintendent of Schools who was appointed by a board of education, and

served a term of three years. This superintendent was to serve as the organ of communication between the Iowa superintendent of public instruction and the township independent schools. 1921 salary for Superintendent, $1,774.98. 1921 total budget was $3,087.75. 1950 salary was $4,400.00 for County Superintendent. 1922 to 1929, Grace Beebe, later Mrs. Tofte, succeeded Mary Cretsmeyer as county superintendent with Rachel Smith as deputy. Mildred Smith became superintendent in 1930, and served until the demise of the rural schools in the 1950‘s. She is remembered as a stern superintendent who put the students on best


behavior as she quietly entered the room unannounced. She would listen to a recitation, or have the children sing a song for her, and tell them to do their best. Janesville school system was the first school in the county to consolidate and take a rural area into their school district, so students within that system went into Janesville to school. Frederika consolidated in 1926 after they built a new schoolhouse. Parents were responsible for getting their children into town to the school. Many times students could stay with a Grandma and Grandpa who had retired from the farm to town. By 1927 the townships had named independent school districts within the township. About four sections of land comprised each district, thus developing a distance of approximately two miles between schools. At this time teachers were required to have a high school education, and could teach after a summer college course. They often had to board at the home of a family in the district. Students in that home often thought they had too much ―teacher‖ in their lives and looked forward to weekends when the teacher would go her parental home. Schools in the years of the 1920‘s saw an increase in enrollments that numbered anywhere from 20 to 35 students. Enrollments dropped by the 1940‘s to enrollment numbers of 7 to 15. Teacher‘s salary of $80.00 a month was common in 1941. The demise of the rural schools had begun in 1932-33 showing 82 schools with an enrollment of 1, 286 and by 1944, 76 rural schools remained in the county and the 1947-1948 rural school number was down to 67. Each of the towns in the county had well-established elementary schools by 1900, and high schools had come into existence as students elected to further their educational pursuits. Rural school districts paid tuition to town high school for the students of their district who attended a high school of their choice. Tuition in 1941 was $40.50; 1942, $47.25; and $54.00 per year in 1944. Mandated from the State Superintendent of Instruction and the state legislature in 1953, public rural schools were to be drawn into a new ―Community School District‖ to include the area town with the rural schools. Students within that area would be transported to their new town attendance center on a school district financed ―big yellow‖ bus. Thus the days of the one-room schools became a precious memory. Bremer County Historical Museum has a collection of rural school registers. Some of the teacher‘s remarks, as follows, sound much as teachers today would remark, and some are relative only to the rural school. The moisture in the chimney condenses and runs on the floor. I have found the chart and map of very much use. Have used the map on the west wall nearly every recitation in geography. More desks and seats are needed as there is not convenient seating capacity for all the pupils. The ___ children would do much better if their mother would not meddle with their studies. A good worker. Should review percentages. Needs supplementary reading. ____excused from grammar at mother‘s request (speak German at home). Quick to learn. Anxious to learn. Absent a great deal. Should be encouraged to continue school. General condition of schoolroom is good, but the condition of outbuildings; boys, poor, and girls, poor. Special memories of the rural school experience: Recess and the variety of games played out-of-doors with all of the students participating. Valentine exchange with much thought given to each valentine and its recipient. Preparations for the Christmas program to which all of the people of the district were invited. A small stage was set up with curtains hung on a wire strung across the room and selected students would ―get‖ to pull the curtains between each recitation or ―play‖. Mothers and Others Club of each district.

The honored students who were chosen to carry water each day from the closest neighbor, and the water cooler, which was a large round crock jug with a spigot. The drinking cup was a common tin cup with a handle used by all the students. The outdoor plumbing – two small square buildings with two or three different sized holes in the seat, so that students of all ages could be accommodated. One student remembered the time a woodchuck looked up through one of the holes at her. SHE RAN. Students listed: Eldor Niedert, Matinda Tegtmeier, Charles Peters. Larry Bunger, Elsie Peters, Alma St____, Roy Stromer, Henry P. Raising, Amunda Peters, Linda Peters. Edwin Peters. Louie Busching, M___ Behn (?), Louise Tonne, Alfred Kass_____, kCharles Dettmering, E. M_______, L. Koschmeder, Teacher Emma Bunger.




Morning exercises of pledge of allegiance and songs to be sung, sometimes accompanied by a record on the square desk-type or upright victrola, which had to be wound up with a crank, and sometimes would wind down before the song was over. Desks with ink wells, but we couldn‘t use ink until 8th grade – then with a pen that we dipped into that ink. Carving on the desks. Box socials and the worry of who will buy my box and be my companion for lunch. Autograph books in which the favorite writing was: roses are red, violets are blue, sugar is sweet and so are you. Eighth grade exams that were taken in the county court house and the worry of whether we passed. Spelling bees for all county rural students. Penmanship and the use of ovals and push-pulls to establish us as students whose writing could be read. Reading time and the limited supply of books, so we read our favorites over and over. Tom Sawyer and Little Women always seemed to be favorites.

Dayton Township: The first school building erected in Dayton township also went in to commission as a place for religious services in the Buck Creek area. Elder Reardon, a Baptist clergyman, preached the first sermon and baptized several persons in the school. Frederika Township: D.P. Walling taught the first school in the township of Frederika, at his home on Section 19 during the winter of 1855-6. The first schoolhouse was built in the summer of 1858 on Section 19, and was placed in charge of Porter Bement, who taught a few pupils then in the neighborhood. Maxfield Township: St. John‘s congregation of the Lutheran church must be given credit for the inauguration of schools in Maxfield township, for in the spring of 1857 they erected a building. The upper story was devoted to religious meetings, and during the weekdays the pastor taught the children of his congregation reading, writing, arithmetic. In 1865 a schoolhouse was erected on the southwest quarter of Section 17. Here both English and German were taught. The building was moved in 1866 to the church lot on Section 19. Washington Township No. 1, organized on April 8, 1858, had a library of 50 books with titles varying from scholarly books, human interest and fiction. Sumner No. 3 at Buck Creek: On July 1, 1931, $900.00 was levied for the ensuing school year. Maple Grove 1904: the board of directors voted to partition off the east end of the entry for a coal room. A bill for cleaning of the schoolhouse for $2.50 was paid. In 1916 H.F. Ihde‘s bid of $3.50 to clean the schoolhouse was accepted. A scrapbook by Donald till in 1944 is reminiscent of the effect of World War II on students during that time. The book is now in the Bremer County Historical Museum, along with a 1931 drawing book entitled ―Practical Drawing‖ used by Miss Wedemeier in Fremont No. 7. Sumner Township: The first two schools in the rural Sumner area were begun in 1871. One was known as the Rowe school located near Wilson‘s Grove, just north of present-day Sumner. In 1873 the Rowe School was moved away and another erected. The second school, known as the Wescott School, was one mile south of Sumner. The two schools were merged into the Sumner Independent School in 1876. The Methodists used the Rowe schools for some years, and it was later sold to S. F. Cass. Teachers were required to use a daily register for attendance, lesson plans and grades. THE REDLINE SERIES was the most commonly used for such recordings. Many of these county daily registers are now part of the school display at the Bremer County Historical Museum. Douglas No. 2 in 1933 had a daily schedule of hygiene, geography, civics, phonics, reading, arithmetic, history, language,

TIDBITS Warren Township, District No. 2, 1903: The work on the new schoolhouse in District No. 2 is progressing nicely and it is expected that it will be completed by September 2. The main part of the building will be 18 by 28 and there will be a cloakroom in addition to this. WARREN TOWNSHIP – ONE MILE WEST OF BREMER, SCHROEDERMEIER SCHOOL It was built in 1902 at a cost of $1,000.00. The schoolhouse faces east. The porch is 5 ft. x 5 ft.; the entry is 5 ft. x 7 ft.; the main room is 18 ft. x 28 ft. A slate blackboard extends along the south wall. It is provided with single desks and is thoroughly equipped with maps, charts, globe, dictionary, a fine case for the library of 98 volumes and an organ. About 40 children attend this school during this year. The present teacher‘s salary is $45.00 per month. Warren No. 8 enjoyed a winter enrollment of 26 students with an average daily attendance of 14 in 1883. May enrollment was 19. Leroy in 1865: School was first taught in District No. 1 by Mrs. Perkins of Waverly. The attendance of eight scholars only lasted about two weeks, as Mrs. Perkins, becoming homesick, gave up her ambition and returned to Waverly. Polk: A frame schoolhouse was built at Horton in 1859. This was the first schoolhouse of that character located in the township. Fremont: The pioneer school of the township was taught by Miss Juliet Wells in a log schoolhouse on Section 23, in the summer of 1858. There were 24 scholars in attendance. Later a second school was taught in the building erected for the purpose on the southeast corner of Section 3. Here Miss Emily Higgins taught during the summer of 1859. In 1860 the school mistress married Albert Sykes. Douglas Township: This township has always been blessed with school of a high grade. The first attempt at teaching the young in Douglas was made by Helen J. Acken, daughter of the pioneer, John Acken. She taught the first term of school in a log house, formerly used as a dwelling by religious services for the people of the Freewill Baptist persuasion. Warren Township: Lottie Crawford gave instruction in the first school in Warren township, a log building built by the neighborhood during the winter of 1854-5 on Section 34.


music, Iowa History, seatwork, currents events. A list of visitors was listed in the term register book. In that year of 1933 there were 7 visitors. Teacher tenure again was for only a few years as they terminated their job when they married or moved to another school. Washington Township, 1888: 1888 note in register: If school was less than six months, students who wished a full year were sent to Waverly with tuition paid by the district. Lafayette No. 3, 1903: Known as the Bowers School, No. 3 had a 1903 Spring term enrollment of 10 students, fall term, 8 students, and winter, 15 students. In 1906 the fall term was 14 enrollments, the winter term went to 17, and the spring term enrollment numbered 11. Remember When: In 1927 many Bremer county townships had named independent school districts within the township. About sour sections of land comprised each district. Names of School districts in Frederika Township were Central, Union, Old Tripoli and Rima. In Lafayette Township school districts were Penn, Bowen, Spring Lake, Lincoln, Grove and Eveland. Independent school districts in Polk Township included Jackson, Six Mile Grove, Smith‘s Grove, Horton, Maple Grove and Terry. Sumner Township hadBuck Creek, Ray, Pioneer, Excelsior and Wescott districts. In Warren Township there were five independent districts: Liberty, Union, Laird‘s Grove, Trombo Grove and Crane Creek. Washington Township had: Lenn, Pleasant Valley, four Corners, and Grove Independent school districts. Many other districts used numbers as names for their school districts. Polk No. 2: March 18, 1957: The last minutes of Polk No. 2 were recorded. Lorenz Brase had served as president of the district, and a budget of $7,000.00 had been levied for that year. Franklin Township: The first school was taught by the Widow Greeley in the winter of 1855 at the residence of Ichabod Richmond. Another pioneer school was taught by Mrs. J. M. Ellis at her home in the winter of 1856. A pioneer schoolhouse was built on the northwest quarter of Section 10 in the fall of 1857. It was constructed of logs. The benches and desks were made of inverted slabs, with wooden pegs or pins for support. Maple Grove School: A budget of $3,200.00 for 1945-46 was proposed and passed for the Maple Grove School. 1923 teacher Harold Briggs made a notation that the school year was now in 2 terms first beginning August 23, then February 2. Bremer County Superintendent 1922-23, J.R. Scoles: Eighth grade exams now being given to all county rural students. A box social netted $15.80. supplies bought to include boards for seats, volley ball and net and two pictures. Sumner No. 3: board met on March 6, 1865, to levy a tax of 5 mills on the dollar for the payments of debts contracted for the erection of a schoolhouse to be called Sumner No. 3. Teacher Emily Conrad hired for $20.00 per month. It was noted that a change of directors occurred frequently, evidence of the frequent moves of families in the area. Maxfield – note to new teacher in 1929: You will have $15.27, which was collected by means of a sociable to expend for school equipment. The director, Mr. Stumme, now has this money. Ethel Elliot, teacher salary per month this year was $80.00 and 1921, $85.00. Douglas: A Douglas township school raised $23.17 at a box social in 1923 and spend part of it as follows: $1.00 for curtains, $3.25 for a flag and $2.75 for construction. The teacher noted that nearly all pupils have a very small vocabulary. Jackson Township: 1894 They are building a new schoolhouse 20x26 on Charles L. Stewart‘s farm in Jackson township. Lot Newell and Eugene Rish are the builders. The first school taught in the township was at Janesville by Rev. S. T. Vail and this was a subscription school. The first

regular district school was taught by Dr. Loveland in a log schoolhouse on Section 35. It was the first building erected in the township. In 1914 the school in Janesville was talking of consolidation. Janesville was the first consolidated school in Bremer County. Jefferson Township: The first school in the township was taught at the home of Aaron Dow on Section 25 in the winter of 1850. There were six pupils in the school at the time. They were taught by Richard Miles. From Sumner Gazette, Thursday, July 3, 1884 (county report): In our rounds this summer we have observed carefully the schoolhouse surroundings. Too often, we have found the condition of the privy a disgrace to the neighborhood. We have also found the privy vault, which cost several dollars, filled with firewood, fence boards, and stones, which cost several dollars, too, perhaps. These are facts, and who is to blame? Who is delegated to, and paid for, the looking after, and preventing if possible, such vandalism. The last of the five graded schools of Bremer County closed last week: also many of the county schools. Directors and teachers are coming to realize the July and August weather is too warm for school and that school taught during those months is time and money thrown away.We are glad to say that many more schools will close this week. From the State Board of Education, 1884: There are no holidays during which teachers are exempt from teaching, unless excused by the board of directors. A legal contract requires twenty days of actual service for a month. Pioneer School District No. 4, Sumner Township: Fall report: At end of first month so many quit to go to a German school, so it was necessary to make a new program. Spring Report: supplementary readers are needed. The money from social is in the bank and could be used for books. Wilma M. Kroblin. 1884 County Board of Education Report: We like to see teachers have an ambition to set up in the world, but we do not like to see them sit on the table, stove or desks. It sets a bad example both for the pupils and the Superintendent. The older and more experienced teachers are greatly needed in all our normal institutes first, for their influence on younger teachers, secondly, for the freshness the reviews will impart to their own methods of instruction. Where school boards are likely to have the question to determine of rehiring former teachers, it is their duty to visit the school and see for themselves what kind of work the teachers


are doing. It is not justice either to the teacher or the district to be guided exclusively by what pupils say to the school and teacher. Still this is all that many boards go by. They have no personal knowledge of the merits or defects of their teachers. (by Superintendent Fitch) Last week we saw two schoolhouses with last winter‘s banking-raw horse manure- still surrounding them and extending up on to the clapboards, rotting out the house and stinking out the school. It is strong surroundings, however, for hot weather, but might entail a doctor‘s bill because of it‘s vigorous disease-bearing odor. No person ought to attempt to teach who has not attended at least two annual sessions of the Institute (Normal Institute of Bremer County, Iowa, Waverly, August 11, 1884). To become a teacher means to undergo an educational growth – not of the cottonwood style, but more like the oak. The teachers chief business is to make pupils think, not to think for them; to make them talk, not to talk for them; to draw out their powers, not to display your own. If vexed with a left-handed child when instructing it, try to write with your left hand. Remember that child is all left-handed. Our country schools are not yet ready for the taking on of elocutionary accomplishments, but are sadly in need of better methods in reading. Reading was the poorest taught study in the schools of Bremer County the past term. A person teaching in Iowa to be able to draw a fair map of the state from memory, so likewise with Bremer County. Every school ought to be provided with a globe and every teacher ought to know how to use it. The enemy of the common schools – matrimony – not because a married lady may not teach, but because she will not teach. Just as she becomes thoroughly competent, some bachelor picks her out as death does a shining mark, and she dies – to the profession, and a green hand takes her place. September 25, 1884. Franklin township voted at the last regular meeting to pay for next winter $30.00, $27.00 and $25.00 per month according to grade of certification. State of Iowa Questions for Eighth Grade Examinations Each year the 8th grade students could take the test to pass the grade and to be accepted into high school. 1921 Geography [Answer six not omitting Number One] 1. Draw a map of your county showing the townships. 2. Explain how railroads have helped the people of Iowa 3. Explain why Chicago has become the leading city of the middle west. 4. Locate and tell what each of the following is: steppes, llanos, tundras, prairies. 5. What influence does the Gulf Stream have on the climate of Ireland? 6. Explain why the United States is largely a self-supporting nation. 7. Where are the following cities: London, Paris, New York, Cairo, Rome? For what is each noted? 8. What causes rain? Dew? Frost? Fog? February 6 and 7, 1930 Reading [Answer 5 questions] Reading 50%--Oral Reading 50% I. Jane‘s father bought three strips of bacon weighing 18 1/2 pounds in all. He cut off a piece weighing 2 1/2 pounds. How much of the 18 21/2 pounds was left? [1] Is the weight of each strip given? [2] Did Jane‘s father cut off as much as one half the bacon? [3] Is the weight of all the bacon given? [4] Does the problem tell how many strips of bacon Jane‘s father bought? [5] Is the total weight given? [6] Should you add, subtract, multiply, or divide to solve this problem? II. Arrange the following words in the order in which they appear in a dictionary:

Dominate, display, grammar, midland, squalid, tenant, italicize, mastiff, gorilla, shallop, wisteria, crystal, lanquid, importance, imitation, monster, ogre, necessity. III. Replace the underlined words in the following paragraph with antonyms—words having the opposite meanings: It was a cold, dreary day. The pale sunlight shining through the trees on the snow covered ground below seemed to make the scene even more desolate and cheerless. The children trudged gloomily to school silent and scowling at the prospect of such a long, unpleasant walk over the ugly country roads. A tall girl with dark hair seemed especially sorrowful. Her sober little face seemed always to be on the verge of tears as she plodded on, a few steps behind the others. IV. Copy each selection placing the name of the author after each one: 1. Uncle Tom‘s Cabin 2. Snowbound 3. Christmas Carol 4. Treasure Island 5. Hiawatha 6. The Bells 7. Rip Van Winkle 8. Courtship of Miles Standish 9. Gettysburg Address 10. Ivanhoe The test continued with more questions. And from the tests given on February 7 and 8, 1935 Hygiene [Answer 10] 1. List 5 rules or ways to prevent bad colds. 2. Tell about the proper care of the teeth. Why is care of the teeth so necessary from a health point of view? 3. [a] What safety rules should one observe when walking along the highway. [b] How can the safety of bicycle riders on the highway be best safeguarded? 4. [a] What advantage is gained by using adjustable seats in schoolhouses? [b] What good is a ―jacket‖ around the schoolroom stove? 5. Write a paragraph on the effects of alcoholic stimulants and narcotics on the human system. 6. What name is given to the cord which [a] Joins one bone to another bone? [b] Ties the muscles to the bones? 7. [a] What does sanitation mean as refers to health? [b] Why is the common house fly harmful to human health? 8. What organ of the body secretes each of the following: saliva, bile, pancreatic juice, gastric juice, perspiration? 9. What is the function or work done in the human body by each of the following: cerebrum, spinal cord, capillaries, eyelashes, finger nails? Plus additional questions.



Dayton N. 2 February 5, 1951. Old school burned eary Jan. 1946. This one brought in for fall scholl term 1946. Located ½ mile sout Verlynn Rader farm. From Shirley Lampe.


Veryl Sell, Donna Kasemeier, Ruby Sell, Merlyn Kasemeier, Joan Eick, Mrs. Mariam Hatch, Corrine Rader, Virgil Sell, Mary Kay Rader, Daryl Kasemeier, Vernetta Eick, Lyle Kasemeier, Gerhardt Meier, Flora Rader, Janice Kasemeier, Leon Korte, Clarence Meier, Kenny Kasemeier. Lavern Spier, Daphine Schweer, Bernita Judisch, Norma Spier, Victor Schweer, Lorna Somerfelt, Lester Mohlis, Arlene Judisch, Mildred Judisch, Lucille Mohlis, Wilbert Brase, Lavern Meier, Chester Ackerman, Gladys Mohlis, Luella Brase, Berdina Judisch, Elviera Meier


SCHOOL MEMORIES By Helen Buhr Brase Dayton #5 On a wintry morning my younger brother and I were walking through our pasture to go a school when I decided to take a short cut by climbing over a tree trunk which had fallen across the creek. It was covered with ice but I made it safely over with our lunch pails, then went back to help ElRoy across. We made it safely to the trunk where we had to slide down, when suddenly we lost our balance and fell into the icy cold water below. We knew that we had to go back home but were afraid that we would get a spanking for trying the shortcut. However we trudged through the snow hoping that they would be gone because we knew that they had plans to spend the day with the Fred and Esther Piehl‘s. Our hearts sank as we neared our house and saw that they had not yet gone. Imagine our surprise when they met us with open arms, helped us remove our icy clothing, rubbed us down, and put us in their bed. Then they left for Piehl‘s. Suddenly my oldest brother, Arnold, came in from doing chores. Upon seeing us in our folks‘ bed he scolded, ―What are you doing in bed! You‘re supposed to be in school!‖ One day while walking home from school we had Verla‘s little sister with us. We crossed a field of oats stubble with lots of grasshoppers. The little one was so scared of them that she screamed loudly and we had to take turns carrying her. Another time when ElRoy and I were coming down the hill in our pasture near home, I heard someone mocking me. Eventually, I learned that it was an echo. Sometimes we would see bluebirds and/or meadowlarks in the pasture. In bitter cold weather we sometimes saw sun dogs in the western sky on the way home. We girls dared not wear pants, so in walking to school, our legs would get very cold from the snow that lodged in our boots. Verla Schultz, LaVera Buhr, and I were in the same grade together until Verla moved away to the Spring Fountain area. Verla learned to whistle so easily; I really had to struggle. It hurt my pride because school was easier for me than for Verla. Also, she had beautiful handwriting whereas mine was rather scrawly. Betty Buhr, Jerald Volker, Eugene Judisch, Darrell Haar, Dale Thurm, Charlotte Kirchoff, Carol Echardt, Bewtty Judisch, Jean Buhr, Janet Kay Volker, Mary Buhr, Kathleen Buhr, Judy Haar, Lyle Burr, Steven Buhr, Sharon Volker, Nancy Hoppenworth, Joyce Westendorf, Bruce Buhr, Jeffery Hoppenworth, Jeanette Haar, Richard Buhr, Allen Elsamiller, Geo. M. Lindsley


One day Reinhard Buhr, an older student, had to sit beside me for a punishment in our double desk. I cried, because I was really punished instead of him. He thought it was really funny, until the teacher scolded him for making me cry. I remember using a slate to do numbers on. For spelling class we did oral spelling. It was such an improvement when we went to spelling workbooks. We had a contest to see who was the best speller in school and I won a small 6‘x4‖ oval picture of Holland, which I still treasure. Schultz‘s moved to the Spring Fountain area, so their oldest son Arlan was not walking to school anymore with us. He and my brother, Herb, had teased Roy Schroeder, who was handicapped. His mother finally complained to our teacher and rightly so. When my dad found out about it, he made Herb quit school to work at home. So now ElRoy and I were at the mercy of the Schroeder‘s. They tormented us daily from that time on. We were too proud to tell our teacher or our parents. When the Schroeder cousins started coming to our school, things got even worse. I took the 7th and 8th grades in one year. Herbert Hatch, who was a grade above me, and I crammed daily from Miss DeLuhery‘s complete lists of tests from previous years. I did well on the 8th grade tests, one of the three 2nd high in the county, but later in High School I found that I had missed a great deal, especially in History. Also, that put me a grade ahead of Verla, which was too bad. So we were never in the same class again, even though we were in the same High School. I had my first teaching experience subbing for a week in two different schools when I was 18. This really helped me when I started teaching in my own school, Dayton #6. Even then I had so much to learn. My pupils taught me many things. Also, I remembered back what Miss DeLuhery had done when she was my teacher. DAYTON NO. 6 By Verla (Seehase) Jurgensen Our one room country school was known as Dayton No. 6 in Bremer County. It was 1 mile west, 5 miles south, and 1 mile west of Sumner, Iowa. The years I attended were the last half of the 1940‘s and first half of 1950‘s to the eighth grade. Starting high school was my first experience going to Sumner on the school bus. We had no running water at Dayton No. 6 so we had to take turns going to the place across the road for 6 gallons of fresh water every morning. My home place was one mile from school so we carried brown bag lunches and rode our Schwinn bike or walked. In winter when snow was too deep to walk our father would take us on the tractor. The two teachers I remember most by name are Mrs. Bonnell and Miss Erna Hagenow. Mrs. Bonnell had large buckteeth and wore her long gray hair up in a bunch on top of her head. Miss Hagenow had such very soft skin and always had her hair combed so beautifully. My father was director of the school and would sign her paychecks so I could take them when I went the next morning. The main entertainment during recess and noon hour was our game of softball or anti-anti-over in which we would throw the ball over the woodshed. There were usually 16 children in our school and by listening to each class as they would say their lesson we learned so much from each grade. I was the only one in my grade. During the years of the late 1990‘s and early 2001 I took care of Erna Hagenow in a local nursing home because I was a nurse‘s aid. This was so more special because I could repay her some kindness. She now lives in a nursing home in western Iowa with her husband, George Salmon. At the end of each school year a family picnic would be held with all families and neighbors coming with so much home cooked food. With no running water of course we had no bathroom so we would have to visit the ―outhouse‖ during recess time. Our school building was moved into Sumner and remodeled into a home for a couple. I think of the good years and precious friends every time I drive by it. Those were very good and fun years when life was not so hectic and the friends we made were friends to keep all our lives.

Vernon Zell, Daryl Kasemeier, Verla Seehase

Merlyn Kasemeier, Mariam Frahm, Mary Kay Rader, Norman Bohle, Verlyn Rader, Lorraine Schneider, Arnetta Bohle, Donna Kasemeier, Corrine Rader,


DAYTON NO. 8 By Wilma Buhr The first day I taught in Dayton No. 8 Mrs. Ernest Knoploh, the Director‘s wife, came to see if everything was all right. I asked her what I should do with the oil burner over the weekend when it got cold enough to use it. She said ―Why, just leave it on or it will be cold when you come in on Monday morning‖. Bless her – The schools I had taught in before had furnaces which had to be started each morning. Teaching arithmetic was usually a bit hectic. It seemed just about every hand went up – each student needed a little help. Eugene Knoploh was in eighth grade and I knew I could trust him so I told him that when he needed help, he should just go and get the answer book and work the problem backwards. It worked and saved time for me. Maybe this wasn‘t the proper way to teach but teaching in a rural school had to innovative. Sad little things happened. Judy Lantzky, a little second grader, came one morning crying. I asked what the trouble was. She said, ―My little kitten caught his paw in the refrigerator and really got hurt‖. I could have cried, too. Larry Warnke was always so neat. Other boys came in pretty dusty after sliding home while playing ball – not Larry. He always brushed off all the dust and washed his hands before going to the desk. I drive by his home now and yet – it is so neat.



DOUGLAS NO. 1 By Arvella Pipho How education has changed! Just shortly before the rural school era ended, I taught in Douglas No. 1, a one-room schoolhouse located just off Highway 63 before entering Chickasaw County. There were 21 students which were in 8 different grade levels. I believe 4 students in a class was the greatest number. The good families coming to this school while I taught there were Garbes, Haverkamps, Heffernans, Lahmanns, Neuendorfs, Rewoldts, Schnursteins and Zekoffs. The school directors I believe were Darrell Neuendorf and Rueben Schnurstein. I‘m not certain who taught there before me but do know that Margaret Nagen followed me in this position. Teachers during this era were the principal, teacher and custodian. Miss Mildred Smith, the county superintendent, would stop occasionally to evaluate what she saw. She always entered the building very quietly. I remember once playing the piano as the children stood behind me singing. I heard another voice sounding like an adult and when I turned around there was Miss Smith!! In this schoolhouse there were windows only on the north side so we usually used electric lights daily for better lighting. The bathrooms were the two outhouses to the back of the schoolhouse. When it was very cold, they were not a popular place to go! One day one of the older children tried teaching some of the younger children how to smoke a cigarette in this ―little house‖. Our heat was an oil burner that on bitter cold days could not keep us warm, and so the children sat around the stove with coats on trying to keep warm. Studying was not easy on those days! The children made good use of the oil burner‘s top by baking potatoes on its top for their noon meal. It certainly smelled good! This created a nice variety to the usual cold sandwiches, and fruit and some type of dessert. There was no means of getting water on the grounds so daily the older children would walk to a nearby home to bring a covered pail of water back for the daily drinking and washing supply. If the children didn‘t walk in step ofrstumbled, the pail‘s contents were skimpy and we‘d run short of water. In the winter months I brought the water supply from my residence. The children walked to school usually every day except rainy or blizzardly days. There were some very cold toes some mornings! In the spring bicycles were frequently ridden. A mile to a mile and a half was not frowned on, only accepted as the thing to be done. Scheduling the classes was certainly complex. The lower grades had reading and phonics daily and the older children met for reading possibly two or three times a week. All the other subjects met two to three times a week also. Assignments for the older children would be partially written on the board and partially given verbally and so the children had to listen carefully. The family-like structure of students lent itself to the older students listening to any younger students who needed more oral reading practice. We tried to have some hands on experience learning situations, but they were not very prevalent. In all schools there were remedial and learning disabled students as we know them today, but education was not developed to that point of identification and aid, so it was one big happy family of mainstreamed children. Kindergarten through second grade students were allowed to go outside for a separate recess daily just before the noon hour. Without adult supervision outside, classes continued inside. Having gone to a rural school as a student myself, I remember that we liked playing without the older students around. After the noon lunch was eaten, everyone played games such as work-up, ante ante over, pump-pump-pullaway and softball games. Physical education was a weekly lesson many times taught during the noon recess. One day the lesson would be for the upper grades and another day the lesson would be for the lower grades. Music was usually a part of the opening exercises of the day. Some patriotic songs were learned by everyone. A county dictated list of songs for each grade level was expected to be learned each year. These songs were on records played on the phonograph. Each child was required to sing along with the record to prove they knew the songs.

Each school had a school program centered around a holiday theme. Douglas No. 1 had a Christmas program tradition. So there were songs, poems, verses, and plays memorized, practiced and acted out. Oh, what fun to prepare for the big night!!! Curtains were put up to create a stage and when the big night came everyone performed their best for parents, grandparents and friends. The problem of the night usually was finding enough seating space for the guests. I know it is hard to believe but there was a scarcity of teachers during the end this era. Yes, education has certainly changed!! I‘ve changed with it as I returned to teaching after our family was in the teen years.

SCHOOL DAYS, RURAL SCHOOL DAYS By Arlene Rewoldt Moeller ―School Days, Rural School Days, Dear Old Rural School Days, Readin‘ and Writin‘ and ‗Rithmetic, Stokin‘ the furnace to make it click. Such were my experiences in rural days, Wonderful, nostalgic school days.‖ Teaching rural school in the late 1940‘s was an experience I‘ll cherish forever. The teacher had not only the responsibility of educating her charges, but also was the custodian stoking the fire, cleaning the classroom, the school nurse, purchasing agent, also the school psychologist.


After a brief stint at Iowa State Teacher‘s College in Cedar Falls, an all day workshop in Waverly led by County School Superintendent Mildred E. Smith, I was on my own. With a signed contract in my hand, I was given the schoolroom keys. The responsibility was overwhelming I thought, and yet a challenge I totally felt up to. I had armfuls of books from which to study, to use my ingenuity to create artwork, language lessons, spelling lessons to tie the curriculum together to make it meaningful. There were no machines to duplicate materials, but the good old carbon paper came in mighty handy. The blackboard also became a useful tool to disseminate daily lessons. Children‘s parents bought the workbooks and textbooks that the students used, along with pencils, crayons, scissors, and writing pens. The daily routine was usually the same. Designated children (usually the older ones) went to a neighboring farmhouse to get the water to be used for the day prior to the start of school. The school bell atop the schoolhouse was rung, the children lined up and came into the cloakroom to hang up their coats, hats, or sweaters. The children went to their assigned seats and desks and the day began with the flag salute and pledge of allegiance was spoken in unison. Usually a song was sung before studies were underway. Reading was the first class of the day, phonics for the kindergarten students. All of the subjects were taught, with health and science on Tuesday and Thursday‘s only. Friday was a day for formal music, played on the victrola. (I always had a piano, so used that.) Also arts and crafts day was held on Friday, with the entire school working on similar projects. It was also a day for recitation of appropriate poems learned by students on their level. Each recess, I joined in the games. We did not have concrete to play any ball games, but did play games involving all the children. Of particular note on cold, frigid, winter mornings, the students and teacher huddled around the stove to get warm. We played games, such as telephone, spelling games on such occasions. There was no money allowed for special projects, those came from my meager salary. As I recall my salary was $1920.00 for the school year. None-the-less, teaching those children was a wonderful, satisfying, experience for me. Knowing the parents of these children was also a plus. There never was a discipline problem, and the children were polite and courteous. The Christmas season was celebrated by having a musical performance, with Christmas music and carols sung by the students, also a playlet for their parents. Even Santa Claus appeared to wish the students, their parents and friends a Merry Christmas. MEMORIES OF DOUGLAS NO. 1 By Shirley Muench Beam The rural school was the center of the educational, political and social system of rural Iowa. I am proud to have played a small part in this drama. During the 1951-1952 year I taught at Douglas #1. It was located on a gravel road south of the S curve just off of Highway 63. It was destroyed a couple years later when the area was consolidated and the students were bused to town schools. These changes brought an end to this special era of education, which had been practiced since colonial days. In those days you could teach with as few as five quarters of college. This was a change from the forties when a high school graduate, who passed a competency test, could teach. It was quite common for teacher training programs to be part of a high school curriculum – they were called ―Normal Schools‖. I had attended Iowa State Teacher‘s College at Cedar Falls for five quarters. I was only a few years older than my eighth grade boys. Looking back it seems like a formidable task to be the administration, faculty, playground supervisor and janitorial staff at age 19! (All this responsibility and my salary was only $1875.00 for the year.) However, I had attended Douglas #2 for my first eight years, so this was not foreign to me. The floor plans of most rural schools were quite similar. The entryway included hooks for coats, shelves for lunch pails (which were usually syrup pails) and the Red Wing water cooler. We had no running water, so I brought water from home, which was four miles from the school. Between the doors into the classroom, hung the rope for ringing the bell. I don‘t remember ever ringing it, because the kids were always on time and I was outdoors with them at recess time.

The classroom was sparsely furnished. A freestanding book shelf was in the back corner with very limited selections. Individual student desks were facing the blackboard at the front of the room. I had only twelve students, so the room was not crowded. Pictures of Washington and Lincoln hung on either side of the typical diagonally shaped classroom clock. ―Palmer Method‖ alphabet cards were posted above the blackboard. In addition, there were the oil burner, the teacher‘s desk and a small arrangement of chairs for individual classes. There were tall narrow windows on each side of the room, which were necessary before electricity was available. The school grounds were as sparsely equipped as the classroom. The building site was about a half of an acre with homemade swings and a teeter-totter for equipment. There were two outhouses set behind and away from the school. Even though the facilities were very meager by today‘s standards, learning was taking place. The curriculum emphasized the basic reading, writing and arithmetic. The students learned at an early age that they were expected to work independently. Daily assignments for each grade level were written on the blackboard. They were to read the instructions and begin working. If a new unit or concept was assigned, I would meet with that grade for the explanation and discussion. This arrangement worked well for the upper grades, since they could concentrate for longer periods of time. My four kindergarten boys needed a variety of hands-on activities. It took a lot of time to prepare meaningful seatwork for them. We used the lessons in categorizing, sequencing and fine motor activities. High-speed copiers were not even thought of in those days! We used a hectograph to make multiple copies. A special indelible pencil was used to write the text. This paper was then pressed, face down, on a jelly-like pad. The ink would then be absorbed into the jelly. The original paper would be removed, and a blank paper would be pressed on to pick up the ink from the jelly. This was done over and over to make duplicates. The jelly would have to be cleaned with some special cleaner but I don‘t remember the details. This procedure made for wonderful conversations in later years when my colleagues complained about the blackline copier! In order to graduate from eighth grade, students had to pass competency tests administered through the county. We spent a lot of time preparing for them. Both of my boys passed the tests on the first try so they could participate in the countywide graduation ceremony. They were so proud!


Our curriculum was pretty basic, but we had a few enrichment activities. We had Physical Ed every day; Art on Fridays and Music twice a week – which was always a total disaster! Since I especially liked Physical Education (most of my students were boys) we played a lot of action games such as Pom-Pom Pull Away, Red Rover, Whip the Rope, Last Man Out and softball. We would go across the road to play ball in an open field. I remember one game in particular. I was playing catcher and went down on one knee to catch the ball just as my 180 pound eighth grader ran in to home plate. His knee hit me right in the chest and knocked the wind out of me. I couldn‘t speak for a few minutes – but I can still remember the look on his face. I‘m sure he though he had killed the teacher!! Art was not exactly an exercise in creativity but was a break from the routine. We made seasonal decorations, using construction paper and watercolors, and gifts for their parents at Christmas. We had some suggestions from the county office, but we were pretty much on our own to get creative. Music was a definite weakness. We had a list of required songs for the students to learn and the accompanying records. The records usually featured mature female voices. The kids were to sing along to show that they knew the words. The older boys hated the whole thing and I could understand! I had no musical talent – so I was no help. At Christmas time we put on a program for the parents (and anybody else that might want to come). We picked holiday plays, poems and songs (we chose the familiar ones). For a few weeks we turned the school into a theater. The performance was far from polished, but it was a really big deal to speak in front of a ―crowd‖. The parents brought wonderful treats and seemed to enjoy the ―grand performance‖ no matter how humble! The kids exchanged inexpensive gifts and Santa came with a little bag of candy for all. The parents played an important role in their children‘s education. They taught them respect for others and a respect for learning. Discipline was certainly no problem; the kids were there to learn and they knew it! At home the kids were learning responsibilities by being involved in all phases of homemaking and farming operations. They were learning life skills from day one. Over the course of my thirty-year teaching career, I went from a one-room school with twelve students to a large urban school with 1800 students. I have seen many changes in education – that‘s a whole other story – but the one-year I spent at Douglas #1 has always been very special to me. PARENTAL COUNTRY SCHOOL SUPPORT By Arvilla Pipho In the early 50‘s with a drastic shortage of teachers, I signed a contract at the school known as Douglas No. 1. With only two summers and one full year of college preparation for teaching I began teaching in the fall of 1953. So young, no car of my own, no place to live other than with my bighearted parents, I felt as if I were in the frontier of my adult life. Before signing the contract with a discussion with my parents, they encouraged I begin my teaching career driving the family car to the school, and on weekends helping with housework and cleaning chicken eggs. Maybe if time on weekdays, helping with housework also. I will never forget the support from my dear mother who was deprived of a high school education but was always supportive of any manner that my brother and I could learn. I always felt very fortunate to be able to go to college with her encouragement as there were very few in my high school graduating class that were able to attend college. The very first fall in the very hottest of an afternoon, here came my Mom, Esther Winzenburg Kammeyer, driving the old pickup to school with several very cold watermelons. There were 21 students with all nine grades, kindergarten through eighth grade, who had big smiles as Mom and I cut and served the watermelons. At one point I remember standing back looking at her interaction with all the kids and thinking what a great teacher she had been in my life and had she had been able to have an education what a great teacher she would have been in a country school! Joyce Schunurstein, Linda Garbes, Sylvia Zekoff, Jean Heffernan, Arvella Kammeyer Pipho, Vern Garbes, Carolyn Lahmann, Keith Heffernan, Billy Kappmeyer, Jerry Neuendorf, Susan Garbes, Phyllis Rewoldt, Julie Garbes, Dennis Haverkamp, Donald Rewoldt, Carrie Garbes, Mary Lahmann, Marcial

Haverkamp, Duane Haverkamp, Donna Kappmeyer, Kathryn Zander, Ronald Rewoldt, Gary Schnurstein, Curtis Neuendorf 1946 MEMORIES OF A RURAL BREMER COUNTY SCHOOL TEACHER, DOUGLAS NO. 2 BY SYVILLA HANAN HEWITT One morning in the coldest of the winter months, I walked across the road to start the fire. I had ―banked‖ the fire the previous evening as I always did. I opened the ‗damper‘ and placed some small sticks on the red embers. Nothing happened. It did not ‗take-off‘ and burn brightly and warmly as it always had. The students came before 9:00 a.m. They took off their winter coats. School started and they sat in their seats getting


colder and colder. I had hoped that we could get through the day by wearing our ‗winter coats‘ as they sat in their seats in their heavy winter coats while trying to study. By eleven o‘clock in the morning, it was so cold that I knew that I would need to send them walking home on the snow-packed roads and in those very cold temperatures. I opened the stove door to see if I could make the ‗log‘ break down into smaller pieces. I could NOT do that. I then looked underneath the main door where every evening I would pull out the tray that held the ashes that had accumulated from the day. That tray was filled with ashes and was not allowing any oxygen to the under-side of the fire. I, obviously, had not emptied the ashes for two days. I quickly dumped the ashes outside, returned the empty tray below the fire allowing oxygen to ‗fan the flames‘ and I very quickly had a toasty, warm room for the children and myself. Our coats came off and we enjoyed a comfortable, normal winter day in a normal Country School House in 1946. THE LIMITED ELEMENTARY CERTIFICATE By Syvilla Hanan Hewitt Vivian Straw, Dale Straw, Helen Hughes, Jeanette Oberheu, Norma Hansen Lillian Lang, Doris Muench, Donna Muench As a confident young lady who was 17 years and 11 months of age – with my L.E.C. in hand (my ―Limited Elementary Certificate‖) from Teachers‘ College in Cedar Falls, (now presently called University of Northern Iowa), my first Country School that I was to teach – was in in Bremer County called the Dietz School. I had been hired to teach all nine grades under the tutor ledge of Miss Smith, our Bremer County Country School Superintendent in the year of 1946. I began in October due to the fact that I would not be 18 until then. The School Board hired a ―substitute teacher‖ to teach the children in September so I would be ―legally‖ their teacher by Iowa Law in October. It was during ―The Second World War‖. Too many of our Country School Teachers had abandoned their Country Schools and went to California to become a ―Rosie, The Riveter‖ to help the Government build airplanes for the War Effort so that our young men in the factories could be released to serve their country on the battlefields, on the sea and in the air. The young ladies (schoolmarms) had been told that they also were helping with the War Effort (with the lure of increased pay above their annual Rural School Income.) It was the ―patriotic‖ thing to do! The Iowa State Legislature had a dilemma ―on their hands.‖ Too many little children living in the rural areas would cease to continue their education if teachers were not available. This period was in the days when a teacher required two years of college to qualify to teach school; but the desperate Legislature in all of ―their infinite wisdom‖ remembered the days when young students in High School could take ―Normal Training‖, graduated from High School with the automatic qualification by the State Legislature to teach in the Rural Schools. So the ―new rules‖ enacted by the Iowa Legislature were:‖ Take 3 months of summer schooling and you will be certified to teach Country School for two years; but if you wish to continue your career of teaching, you must take three more months in the summer of further education to prove to your School Board that you are actively seeking your two-year that you could teach the following September…then continue to do so each year until you had acquired six quarters of formal education which would give you the full ―two-year degree‖. Many a young maiden was grateful for the responsibility of teaching young minds the ―basics‖ of ―reading, phonics, writing skills, the Palmer Method of Penmanship, and mathematical capabilities‖ where the ―basics‖ of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division were memorized. She could administrate the ―nuts and bolts‖ of sequence of events with nine grades in one room because she undoubtedly was a product of the rural school (as was I) and could merely recall what her teachers did and therefore, would also do ―likewise‖.

Many a young maiden was grateful for the Legislature‘s role in providing the rules for obtaining a Limited Elementary Education Certificate. Armed with an LEC in the fall, many were beginning their place in productive lives and financial security. At the age of 18 many a young lady was very proud of her L.E.C. Irene Bettsinger, Mildred Betsinger, Charles Betsinger, Paul Robinson, Edith Dietz, Clarence Dietz, Bob Muench, Doris Muench, Carol Muench \


Edith dietz, Vivian Straw, Dale Straw, Doris Muench, Carol Muench, Lillian Lang, Lawrence Little, Wendel Little

Ray Dinelli, Elmer Lampe, Alphio Dinelli, Elwin Briggs, Helmuth Brase, Lena Oberheu, Albino Dinelli, Paul Oberheu, Theodore Oberheu, Bob Wilson, Lena Gebert, Laura Gebert, Leona Bergman, Wilbert Hoppenworth, Maleta Hoppenworth, Nora Oberheu, Luella Hoppenworth, Mary Dinelli


would skate on ice ponds, build snow forts (sometimes they were dug in the ditches) and Fox and Goose. Every year all the students would participate in a school play and the parents would come to watch. All the girls and women would pack a lunch in a fancy decorated box (could be made out of a shoe box and covered with crepe paper or fancy wall paper). After the play, the boxes would be auctioned off and the boys and men would buy them and eat lunch with that person. Sharon Biermann, Chester Funk, Larry Buchholz, Duane Haverkanp, Mary Buls, Marjorie Funk, Donna Funk, Allen Mueller, Mary Ann Buchholz, Roger Ager, Dennis Haverkamp, Helen Kreis, Marcia Haverkamp, Mark Buls, Everette Funk, Alan Alcock, Elinor Stumme, Kenneth Buhrow, Jerry Biermann, Robert Funk, Bonnie Alcock, Roger Buchholz Teacher, Mrs. Ida Schlichling

SCHOOL DAYS AT THE ONE-ROOM SCHOOL By Elinor Moeller I was the youngest of five children when I was growing up; therefore, I was also the last in the family to ―get to go to school‖. The oneroom schoolhouse was 1/2 mile north of the farm where I was raised. I remember sitting by the north living room window, watching and waiting for hours for my siblings to return from school. Then the day finally arrived, I got to start kindergarten, and yes, it was all day. The hours were from 9:00 – 4:00. In the spring and fall when the weather was nice, the older siblings rode bike (it was along Hwy. 63) and us younger siblings would walk. We usually got to start out before the bike riders so they couldn‘t get there too much earlier than us. In the wintertime my parents would ―car pool‖ with the neighbors. Students in the one-room schoolhouses were Kindergarten through eighth grade. There was anywhere from one to five students in a grade. A schoolhouse was centrally located with kids from a four-mile section attending. The desks/seats in the schoolroom were in rows and attached to wooden strips that were bolted to the floor. There were rows of small ones for the smaller children and they gradually got bigger for the bigger children. As the teacher would have one grade of students come to the front and sit by her desk for a reading, math, social studies, etc, class, the rest of the students would work on their assignments at their desks. They could get books from the ―Library‖ which consisted of just a bookshelf with about four shelves. We couldn‘t walk around the classroom just as we pleased; we had just stay sitting and only get up if we had permission. If we had to go to the toilet, we would hold up one or two fingers, indicating that we either had to go number 1 or number 2. We also weren‘t allowed to talk to each other. In fact, I remember as a first grader, raising my reading book up over my head so the boy behind me could see my book, and then pointing and asking him what a particular word was. I had to stay after school for 15 minutes as punishment for talking that day. Everyone in school had ―duties‖ which changed each week, and were usually done in pairs. Some duties had to be done in the morning, like put up the flag outside on the flag pole or walk to a neighbor (1/4 mile away) with a big tin pail and get water for drinking and washing hands. Other duties that were usually done at the end of each day included dust the erasers, sweep or dust the floor, sweep the outside toilets, clean the sink, and make sure all the playground equipment was put away. We took our lunch each day but we had cartons of milk delivered. Fridays we were treated with chocolate milk. We each took our own drinking cup. I remember having one of those collapsible cups and thought it was really a big deal. Once in a while the teacher would bring a hot plate and boil hot dogs for us for lunch, also a real big treat to have a hot sandwich. Games we played at recess were Broom Stick, Pump Pump Pullaway, softball, Annie Annie Over, Bear in the Den. In the winter time we


DOUGLAS NO. 5 In 1870 Charles Alcock was owner of the farm west of the now Alcock Cemetery. His wife, Elizabeth, died from diphtheria. She got sick from the water in the dug well. She requested to be buried on their own land. Charles gave 3.5 acres from their farm for the cemetery. The schoolhouse was built about 1903 on the corner. When Douglas No. 5 went in with Tripoli Community School, Leigh Alcock bought the land where the school was and gave it back to the cemetery. The schoolhouse was bought by Oscar Kries and moved to his farm. This Charles Alcock was Leigh Alcock‘s great-grandfather. Leigh is Leland Alcock‘s father. Some of the teachers that taught at Douglas No. 5 are as follows: Carol Lindfield, Beulah Van Haven, Alice Thompsen, Elaine Fuller Wilson, Mr. Auld, Mary Gebert, Ted Oberhue, Ida Schlichting and Dorothy Bany.

German school, they would be playing on the other side. There was always a little excitement when that happened. We like to bat it over the road. We had family picnics at the end of the school period, with lots of good food. In visiting with Edna Thoms, she said the families treated her well and we all tried to be good students. I‘m sure there were things overlooked, but we did our best and this is what we remembered and found out.

DOUGLAS NO. 6 Douglas No. 6 was located 2 miles north of 63-93 junctions. The families at that time were Sievers, Hoeper, Schwem, Gerlach, Moeller, Boeckman, Pfeiffer, Drape, Quade, Biermann, Brase, Grebien, Miller, Hoppenworth, Bockhaus, Rodemeyer, Oshlager and Bergmann. The average attendance in the 1920‘s was 18-20 pupils. The following were teachers: Alice Driscoll, Lea Simpson Wedeking, Verla Alcock West, LuElta Hemmingson, Valitha Schnurstein Rogge, Amy Young, Lillian Pape Dorn, Edna Lambert Thoms, Hedwig Gerlach Holm, Elda Brandt Oberheu, Esther Joens, Elinor Kelsey Black, and Vera Caudle. Mrs. Jandry was the last teacher and it was closed in 1955. Bill Waltemate was president over all of Douglas schools in the earlier years. Around 1924 officers were elected in each district. Past officers of the school were: Bill Biermann, Fred Biermann, Carl Boeckmann, Emil Biermann, and Erwin Drape. Ervin Bock was the last president when it was closed. Grace Beebe was superintendent before Mildred Smith Tofte about the years of 1929 and 1930. Some of the teachers stayed at the Bill Grebien and Bill Biermann homes when the weather was very cold. Mr. Grebien often started the stove and had the room warm when the teacher got there and she liked it very much. Our lighting was kerosene lamps fastened to the sidewall with a reflector in the back. When we had programs and other entertainment, some people would bring a gas lantern and that really brightened the room. They would be hung in the center of the room. Some students had to walk one and a half to two miles to school unless it was real cold and rainy. Everyone carried their own lunches with sandwiches, fruit and goodies. We had programs for our parents and friends. One particular act was when Romane Biermann sang to Bernita Biermann Schwarze ―Put on Your Old Gray Bonnet‖, which she did and it sounded great and off they went (to Dover!). The teacher Edna Lambert Thoms brought the gray bonnet. We also had box socials, which was fun. Most of us had to wear long underwear and stockings in the wintertime to keep warm when we walked, but if I remember, some pushed the underwear up while at school so it looked smoother, and put it down again before going home. No slacks were worn in those days. We had a huge rock on the school grounds where we would sit when weather permitted. Also, the Kingery Construction workers used it while they had lunch. It was buried a few years ago. They couldn‘t use dynamite because of the parsonage, but Alice Bock had her picture taken on it before they buried it. We had to carry water from the parsonage. We had a round oak heater which used coal, and also had to use cobs and wood to get the fire started. I heard they soaked some corncobs in kerosene then it started easier. I guess some teachers knew how to handle that. Our school was sold to Henry Wendt, northeast of Frederika, where he made a garage from it. We had the usual games, such as Andy-Over, Fox & Goose in the snow. During the ball games we had to be careful not to throw the ball on the cemetery, and over the fence because when the kids had


Fred Drier, Herman Pheiffer, Bernard, Miller, Arlon Boeckmann, Romaine Biermann, Herbert Miller, Oscar Gerlack, Paul Drape, Alice Biermann, Florence Biermann, Elda Moeller, Esther Biermann, Margaret Grebien, Bernita Biermann DOUGLAS NO. 7 By Maxine Brase Our schoolhouse was also a one-room school with an entrance and a cloakroom in the front, with no basement. It was heated in its earlier days by wood and coal, and later changed to an oil heater. There was a row of windows along the east side with two smaller upper windows on the west. Of course, the traditional outhouses sat at the back of the school grounds behind the schoolhouse, on either corner. Water had to be carried in a pail for drinking and washing. According to the school disbursement records, in the very early years, beginning in 1907, the teachers were paid only for three months in the fall and three months in the spring, indicating they only had about six months of school each year. Prior to 1929, the school months were very irregular. Beginning in 1929, I found there were eight months of school quite regularly. Starting in 1939 the school went to nine-month terms and most of the teachers stayed for the whole school year and more sometimes. Some of the families in the later years, who sent children to Douglas No 7 were: Walter and Theo Oberheu, John Munsterman, Edgar Bergmann, Conrad Stumme, Paul & Helmuth Brase, Elmer & Edwin Joens, Alfred & Gustave Boeckman, Edwin Buchholz, Stanley Bockhaus, Ferdy Klenzman, Clarence Bolte, Arnold Garner & Everette Watermann. Our older children (Paulette, Lynn & Stephen) attended this school until it was consolidated into the Frederika and Tripoli Community School System in 1957. The Children had to dress warmly because it was hard to heat a room with no basement. They carried their lunch buckets to school and on special occasions a parent would bring a hot dish for them. We teachers of the different neighboring schools would come to this school, also called Douglas Center, once a month to exchange library books. This gave a variety of reading material for the children, which they eagerly looked forward to each month. The school is located at the corner of Joplin Ave. and 130th Street, or as it would have directed people a few years back: one mile north of U.S. 63 and 188 Junction and two miles west. Directors back in 1917 were: Otto Kuethe, President; H.J. Joens, Treasurer; J.G. Joens, Secretary. Conrad Stumme, Alfred Boeckman, and Gustav Boeckman served on the board in later years. Mrs. John Munsterman served as secretary for many of the last years of the school‘s existence. Joyce Stumme, Santa, Steve Garner, Stephen Brase, Mary Bergman Elda Bramdt, Loren Bergmann, Burdene Bockhaus, Renetta Buls, Melba Solwich, Helmut Lampe, Edgar Kuethe, Norma Brandt, Alveda Bergmann, Lyle Bergmann, Eldora Bergmann


DOUGLAS NO. 8 By Kathy Crooks Although my brother and I only attended country school for the early years of our educational career, it was an experience leaving fond memories. Like a bus on foot, Gary and I would walk to school by joining the families living south of us as they walked by our farm, coming home as a group the same way. Students were in one room and I remember being busy with projects while other students in other grades were getting their instruction from Mrs. Joens. Recess was as a group, too, with all students enjoying the break, playing games outside and eating lunch on the merry-go-round in nice weather, or staying inside and using the basement as our playground when the weather didn‘t allow us to go outside for fresh air. I remember playing ―Duck, Duck, Goose‖, screaming when someone put a snake under the door of the outhouse, and wearing long pants under my dresses (girls didn‘t wear slacks then) when the weather was cold. I‘m sure our current system of education has many advantages over the country school, but . . . . .

DOUGLAS NO. 8 Douglas No. 8 country school was located in section No. 28 of Douglas Township at the corner of Joplin Avenue and 150th Street. The land on which the school was built was owned by August Wm. Tegtmeier, the Herman Tegtmeier family and is now the Vernon Buchholz land. The school is first shown on the 1894 atlas. The first structure was small and a new school was built around 1929. After closing, the structure was purchased by the Wedemeier‘s, moved east of Horton and remodeled into a home. The new 1929 school was built with a full usable basement. There was a gravity coal and wood furnace installed and separate coal and wood bins. Students were assigned the duty of starting the furnace fire during the winter months. A floor register on the first floor was a favorite place to warm up as the students came in each morning after their walk from their farm homes. There was a division built for hanging of coats and the water cooler area, thus separating that part from the days supply of water from the nearby Winzenburg farm. Programs, plays, box socials and picnics were a regular part of the school years activities. Parents brought sandwiches, cake and jello for a social time following the programs and plays. Indoor times for eating took place in their nicely finished basement. A picnic was always held on the last day of school with parents bringing baskets of food. After eating the men usually had to hurry home to plant corn, for the school year ended between May 15-20 and that was corn planting time. Thru the years teachers often boarded at the Carl Westendorf home. He was among others who are remembered as being members of the school board. Others named are Clarence Westendorf, John Hoeper, Adolph Lenius, T.C. Reucher and Leslie J. Peters. Peters was the last secretary of the school. His wife Lorena (Luhring) Peters attended Douglas No. 8 as well as did her father before her and three of their children. Teacher Esther Joens, Duane Peters, Vernon Buchholz, Judy Whitney Maloy, Karla Busse, Davis, Rosalee Buchholz, Kathy Whitney Ory, Elaine Buchhholz, Roberta Whitney Haverkamp, Diane Peters, Kathy Berger Crooks, Gary Berger, Diane Buchholz, Daniel Whitney


Duane Petersen, Larry Luhring, Ruth Boeckmann Rowe, Judy Whitney Maloy, Karla Busse Davis, Shirley Buchholz, JoAnn Buchholz, Kathy Whitney, Roberta Whitney Haverkamp, Cheryll Winzenburg, Sandra Buchholz, Kathy Berger Crooks, Diane Peters, Marvin Luhring, Dean Petersen, Gary Berger, Roger Luhring, Daniel Whitney Some teachers known to have taught at this school are Dorothy Dana (1926), Ethel Holmes (1926-29), Edith E. Green (1929-31) Hillis Noon (1931-32) Esther Joens (1932-35 and again 1952-59, the last teacher before the school closed), Melva Lau, Malida Buls, Esther Kappmeyer, Agnes (Gardner) Rief, Mrs. Elsie Shellhorn) Warneke, Ted Oberheu, Elda Oberheu, Mrs. Wilbert Meyer, Mrs. Helmuth Brase, Mrs. Robinson, Phyllis Greeley, Mrs. Russell Wright, Miss Wadell (1950-1951). DOUGLAS NO. 9 By Helen Brase The rural school Douglas No. 9 was located northwest of Frederika in Sec. No. 4 at the corner of Joplin Avenue and 110th Street. People driving by couldn‘t fail to notice that the brick buildings were quite new and in excellent repair. If these passers-by had the opportunity to go inside, they quickly observed that the interior also was attractive and well furnished. Children attending here had access to many items not found in many schools. The active PTA raised funds for a radio, film projector, hot plate, piano and phonograph. There was a full basement in which was an oil furnace for convenient and comfortable heat, also children could play there if the weather was bad. There was even a well, but since it was used so little, the water was not good to drink, so drinking water was brought in. At the time that Helen Brase taught there, the students were all quite young, so it was not unusual for the girls to bring their dolls to sit beside them at their desks.

In the lower classes if some of the pupils needed more reading time, some of the older pupils were called on to listen to them read quietly in a corner of the school, where they wouldn‘t disturb others. This is where in a smaller school a teacher had time to hear all of the classes herself. I remember the Armistice Day snowstorm in 1940. It started out as a rainy weekend. Monday morning was still rainy. I drove my father‘s Ford pickup as my Model A was in Rasmussen‘s

DOUGLAS NO. 9 Remembrances from a Teacher By Maxine Iserman Brase This was a well-built brick schoolhouse with a basement for a coal furnace and coal bin and cistern with plenty of room for rainy day play area. We used the cistern water to wash our hands in which saved carrying extra water to the school from a nearby farm for drinking. In the back of the school were 2 outhouses; a boys and a girls. On the east side of the schoolhouse were a row of windows and 2 windows on the north side. On the S.W. corner in the front was an alcove with a window left of the entrance door and one on west side of the room for library and kindergarten activities. If I remember correctly I had all the grades from kindergarten through 8th grade and only one or two in some of the lower grades. You didn‘t have time to hear all of the upper grades with their subjects everyday. They had to hand in written answers to questions that required the Teacher‘s evening attention (There was no TV.) besides class plans to be written out for the next day. In October of my first year we decided to have a program – decorations and all including a shock of corn, etc. and of all the times for a visit from Mildred E. Smith (the County Superintendent) right away the next morning after our program. I had intended in our spare time and recesses during the day we would have the schoolhouse with its decorations etc. cleared away and everything back to normal. She didn‘t like this very well. I didn‘t have discipline problems with the children in those days. The children were made to mind at home and the teacher was respected. We had spelling B‘s during spelling classes to prepare for county spell contests. Our spelling workbooks were arranged for a certain number of words each week and by the end of the week they were expected to get a hundred per cent for which most of them did. Music and physical training was taught at the opening of school in the morning. Songs were taught from records played on the phonograph which were patriotic or other songs which the County Superintendent suggested for us to learn.


Bernice Biermann, Marian Jensen, Martha Brase, Lucille Dietz, Dona Jean Morse, Wilma Brase, Florence Dietz, Kenneth Dietz, Jim Tucker, Jim Hutton, Robert Dierz, Mary Stevens, Wendell Dietz, Darrell Morse, Eldon Dietz, Rosamond Brase Herbert Hagenow, Erich Harms, Mrs. Ethel Holmes, Alvin Blasberg, Henry Pipho, Harry Tiedt, Anna Bruns, Irma Kelling, Alita Pipho, Elmer Bruns, Paul Harms, Erwin Platte, Lucile Voelker, Lorene Blasberg, Eldora Geweke, Paulene Harms, Florence Koellling, Elner Kelling, Alma Pipho, Dorothy Platte, Evelyn Platte, Robert Nieman, Melvin Platte, garage in Bremer, being winterized. I tried to open the schoolhouse door, but it was swollen shut and also the cellar door from the outside. I went to the closest director‘s home (to the Carl Hoppenworth farm) whom you called upon when you had a problem. He came right away. He tried the front doors also and could not get them open either. He crawled into the coal bin door which was a small iron door where the coal was shoveled into the bin for the furnace. He was able to push the outside doors open from the inside. I was able to get in and get the furnace started, and we could resume our normal classes. By noon we had a windy blizzard outside. During the afternoon my father brought my car back and took his pickup back home and suggested I stay with some family there. I was acquainted with the Dietz family and they, of course, asked me to stay with them and they really had no extra room for me. I was glad to have a place to go. For the rest of the week I was offered another place, which was great as the snow was piled pretty deep. The snowplow worked all night the 2nd night and maybe more nights. I moved to a smaller school for 1942 to 1943. Jerry Brase, Jim Hutton, Stanley Hagedorn, Rosamond Brase, Stella Timmer, Irvin Brown, Robert Brase, Darol Hagedorn, Keith Brown, David Hagedorn WALKING TO SCHOOL By Eugene Eick One of my earliest memories of going to school in Douglas Township, Bremer County, Iowa, is walking to and from school with my older sisters, Marcelle and Geneva. The school was located about one mile west of my farm home. We walked to and from school most days, weather permitting. It was probably the mid 1940‘s and one of the rules at this school was we were not allowed to slam the screen door. The door was an old tin screen door with a spring attached. I remember one particular day when coming in from recess, I accidentally let the screen door slam. Punishment for slamming the door was staying after school for 5 minutes. This was a problem because my sisters definitely wouldn‘t wait for me. As I stayed after school I watched the clock and was out the door the minute my time was up. I had to catch up with my sisters and was probably only 5 or 6 years old. You guessed it – the door slammed behind me again, but I didn‘t stop. The teacher ran after me in her high heels. There was lots of mud, so she lost her shoes in the mud. But catch me, she did, and I had to stay another 5 minutes. As I recall she was more upset about losing her shoes than about the slamming of the door.


Carol Little, Bill Starr, Donna Liddle, Eugene Eick, Mrs Martin, Sharon Smith, Joyce Schlutter, Floyd Liddle, Virgil Eick, Sharon Liddle, Ronald Liddle


Franklin No. 1 Franklin No. 2


Franklin #2 Richard Salisbury, Dorothy Koschmeder James Boevers. Franklin #3 Key School Betty Craun, Dophine Oltrogge, Arnold Hoar, J.A. Lobeck, Ilene Oltrogge, Marvin Craun, Barbara Salisbury, Kathleen Salisbury, Larry Craun. Alma Benedix, Miriam Cook, Henrietta Ivens, Carl Lobeck, Randolph Tiedt, Ralph Tiedt Wilbert Lobeck, Robert Leistikow, Arthur Leistikiw, Rosetta Judas, Elmer Leistikow, Garret Ivens, Emil Leistikow, Lee Williams, Floyd Albrecht, Erwald Moeller, Andrew Ivens, John Albrecht, Evelyn Leistikow, Dorothy Albrecht, Edna Albrecht, Ruth Riecks, Veleska Lobeck, Anita Tiedt, Johanna Ivens, Johanna Leistikiw, Esther Reicks, Vorona Tiedt, Ellen Judas, Raymond Leistikow. Bertha Judas Klemp, Dora Lettigther Reith, Herman Judas, John Lettigther, Henry Albrecht, Joe Breckner, Ernest Moeller, Fred Bierie, Will Berger, Mrs. Nick Cook, Carrie Albrecht Behrens, Emma Albrecht Strottmann, Louie Tiedt, Henry Leistikow, Herman Albrecht, Bertha Leistikow Buhr.


Franklin No. 3 No. 6 No. 7 Edwin Westendorf Meta Mundt



FREDERIKA NO. 1 The Lau School is located approximately a half mile north on corner of Navaho Avenue and 150th Street. It is across from the Ray Bloem farm to the west. In 1923 the school board members were: Henry F. MeierPresident, John Henning-Secretary, Henry T. Lau and Wayne BravenerDirectors and Ed Mundfrom-Treasurer. In 1939 Wayne Bravener was the president of the school board and Edwin (Barney) Kammeyer was treasurer. Some of the teachers who taught at Lau school are the following: Alice Balvanz, Martha (Wedemeier) Johnson ‘28, John Simpson, Eva (Simpson) Henning, Lucille (Good) Briggs ‘23, June Paulsen, Ruth (Rudebeck) Schwartz ‘39-40, Gladys Tonn ‘26, Margaret Cruthers ―23-24, Viola Johnston ―18, Effie O‖Connell, Clara Croyel, Ella Radar, Miss Pape, Anita Holms, Arlene Zander, Dorothy Schroedmeier, Sylvie Smith ‘43-44, Alice Westervelt Balvanz, and Mildred Hankner Ambrose.

FREDERIKA No. 1 By Ellanor Hirsch Phillips It couldn‘t be! That was my first reaction when my family moved back to the Frederika area. I soon discovered rural county school Central #1 was gone as was Douglas #3. Ellanor Hirsch Phillips and Shirley Hirsch Crooks with black


lunch boxes. Ready to walk the mile from the farm that father, Harold Hirsch, rented from Hank Meyer to Central #1. Notice the feed sack shorts that mother Corrine Deetz Hirsch made for us. Remember making cone cups from paper to drink water from? Oh, the outhouses, one for the boys and one for girls. I had a wonderful childhood living on that farm south of Frederika.

FREDERIKA NO. 1 & DOUGLAS NO. 3 By Shirley Hirsch Crooks The country was a great place to get an education and the older children always watched over us. I went to Frederika #1 until 2nd grade, Public school in Frederika and 8th grade in Douglas #3. Graduated from the Plainfield High School in 1958. My parents moved to the Meier farm in 1944. My sister Ellanor Phillips and I both enjoyed going to the Bremer county schools. My best memory is how the older children were. They always made sure the younger ones were included in the outdoor games, marbles, softball, fox and goose, etc. I had a deck of cards with W.W.II airplanes on the backs which the boys loved to draw. Of course we can‘t forget the trips to the outhouse. My bad time was when I put a broom in Ellanor‘s face. This made lots of red dots on her face. Of course when the teacher saw this Ellanor was sent home because the teacher thought that she had the measles. I think that I was in big trouble. In the public school I always remember putting our wet mittens on the heat register to dry. Mom and Dad moved to the Homan farm in the 1950‘s, so we always went to school in Bremer County. File 11a Files are out of order. Had to put 11 before 10 Lyle Kammeyer, Bob Moran, Marlin Bloem, Marguerite Bloem, Hermine Bloem, Eldon, Nancy Schwarze, Wilma Lou, Gordon Kammeyer, Raymond Bloem, Bob Kammeyer, Lou, Paul Bany, Shirley Hirsch Crooks, Ellanor Hirsch Phillips, Harriet Schwarze, Barbara Schwarze, June Lou GAMES AT SCHOOL 1920 COUNTRY SCHOOL told by Valeria Bravener Schwartz to her daughter, Marilyn Lahmann During recess we played as hard as we could. Only had 15 minutes and had to go to the toilet too. At noon we had 30 minutes or more. Afternoon school was from 1 to 4 except in the winter when it closed at 3:30. We played running games like ―Pump, Pump, Pullaway‖ and tag, kittenball (baseball), racing and Ante-I-Over. We chose sides and went on each side to the schoolhouse. Then we would throw the ball over the schoolhouse to the other side. If they caught the ball they came running around to our side and anyone they ―tagged‖ had to play on their side. We never knew when they would come running around or which end they would come from. Leslie Meier was the ―Manager‖ for our games. He would tell us,―Keep your eyes peeled!‖ I don‘t remember that they ever cheated – to many to tell on them. In the winter we did different games in the snow. Fox and Goose or Dog and Fleas. We made paths in the snow to follow a leader (Leslie) and we would all follow. We had a home base but it was hard to get to it. Sometimes we would trace a snow path like a pie cut in 10 to 12 pieces with a home base in the center. In the morning 2 kids took their turn getting a pail of water from the neighbor. It was very hard to pump and they said the well was really deep. It was cold water. Everyone or every family brought a cup at last but at first there was a common dipper. We three older girls had to miss school to help with husking corn and many other things. Cleona and I would change off going to school. Veletta was alone in her grade. Cleona was also alone in her class so she and Veletta never had to do makeup work. But I had 2 other girls in my class so it was a different story. Spelling was the worst to catch up on. Some of the teachers were good or I should say kind (realizing it wasn‘t our fault) but others were not. Teachers in those days only had to go for training in the

summer, about 10 weeks, but they had to work hard for small wages so only the good ones kept on. Every once in a while we‘d have 2 different teachers in one year. The county superintendent said we had 3 years in a row of bad teachers. I did love school. My sister Cleona and I took turns going to school. We would alternate days. We were needed at home to baby sit the younger children while Ma worked out in the field. At our school programs we all had our ―piece‖ to speak. We worked real hard, it was important to do it right. In our one room schoolhouse we had wires strung up across the front and loaned sheets were hung with safety pin. This separated us from our ―audience‖. I remember one program that I liked especially was one in which I was given a small iron and lines about my dollies clothes. I pretended to iron while a few lines were spoken from ―Mommy‖, and then she asked, ―Do you think you should do that work on


Sunday?‖ My lines were, ―But don‘t you suppose the Good Lord knows that this little iron ain‘t HOT!!‖ Lawrence had a very hard time in school. His parents only talked German at home and their children were taught that language first. When he started school he didn‘t understand English and his teacher didn‘t understand German. It was hard for him and he never liked school. Margaret Cruthers, Harold Hackbarth, Oretha Schwarze, Leslie Meier, Randolph Schwartze, Velita Bravaner, Floyd Hackbarth, Mildred Henning, Esther Meier, Veleria Bravaner, Cleona Bravaner, Gerald Mundfrom, Edward Muldfrom, Lucille Meier, Florence Hackbarth, Valeria Schwartz Henry F. Meier, John Henning, Henry T. Lau, Ed Mundfrom

ruptured appendix), Emma (Buhr) Warner, Caryle Lindfield (sister of Grace), Elsie Ladwick, Florence Lease, Edna Petersen, Blanche (Pape), Mrs. Floyd Sauerbrei, Josephine (Mrs. Vern) Donahue. Throughout the school‘s existence some of the teachers boarded in Frederika.

FREDERIKA NO. 3 This country school was also known as the Rima Rattlesnake School, and was located north of the corner of Piedmont Avenue and 130th Street which is north of Tripoli. Piedmont Avenue joins Frederika and LeRoy Township. The schools actual location is in Section No. 15 of LeRoy Township but was known as Frederika #3. The school was built on the former Cal Waterman farm which is now owned by Roger Reed. After closing of the school, it was taken down. An 1875 Atlas shows a school then called Rima District School House #3. No electricity or water was available at the school. Daylight coming through the windows was the light. Each morning some students had to get their pail of water for the days use, most often getting it from the nearby Herman Krueger farm. Throughout the year there were box socials, spelling bees, plays and picnics. Producing the plays was a big project for even the stage had to be built, using a wire to thread a hemmed cloth for the curtain. The reason the name rattlesnake was attached to the school has several stories. One story relates that the infamous Miss Smith came with horse and buggy to visit the school. Upon leaving that day she witnessed a rattlesnake entwined around the spokes of her buggy wheel. Of course, that story was told often with delight. Melvin Ohlendorf of Sumner, was the last person to graduate from 8th grade from this Rima school. He related that he was the only student in his class throughout most of his grade school education. He says it was a pleasure for him to join others in a class when he came to high school in Tripoli, for he no longer had to answer every question. Melvin also recalls the following – The school closed in May of 1948. The last school picnic was well attended by all the families in the school district as it was a milestone in the school‘s history. After the picnic dinner, the afternoon was spent visiting, playing games, (the men played horse shoe) and taking pictures. Families that attended were Floyd Sauerbrei family (Blanche S. was the teacher), families of Fred Thies, John Ohlendorf, Erick Poock, ―Bing‖ Miller, Ralph Drewis, Clarence Bahlmann, Cal Waterman and Alfred Hahn. One thing sort of special is that students Fred Thies, John Ohlendorf, and August Krueger all remained in the school district, and as adults were long time members of the school board up to and including the last years when the school was closed. Some family names and many second generations attending were Thies, Ohlendorf, Krueger, Bahlmann, Schroeder, Niemeyer, Zickuhr, Poock, Struck, Waterman, Hahn, Miller, Johnson, Kehlner, Bell, Harms, Kohagen, Dilly, Zabel, Winzenburg, Warneke, Zell, Guhlow, Betty Peters Wascheshahn. Some school board members known to have served are John Ohlendorf, Ralph Drewis, Fred Thies and Ernest Bahlmann. Ernest served as treasurer for many years. Board members often continued to serve for many years. Former students remember some teachers as follows: Bert Bennett was a teacher of Mr. & Mrs. Ernest Bahlmann. Their children also attended this same school. Other teachers were Elsie (approx. 1917), Maida Schanewise (late 1920‘s), Margie Buckendahl, Mamie Winters, Verna Iserman, Ethel (Mr.s Alfred) Griffin, Patrinilla (Cavannaugh) Ward, Helen (O‘Day) Chadwick (1926), Marvel Beck (1931), Verna Basley, Grace Lindfield (got sick while teaching, died some days later after surgery for a


Kate E. Sullivan G. Kyle Pierce, Emma Adermann, Lew E. Chaplin, Amanda Schuknecht, Mattie Grant, Amy Wamsley, Lillian Clark, Nellie Bushby, Alice Sinderson, Jennie Johnson, Anna Rhode, Ida Kraushaar, Elizabeth Meyers, Susan Ellis, Arthur Fortach, Ethel Saterlee Catherine Kaufmann, Kenneth Ginther, Alfred Gish, Helen McCaffree, Bessie Nelson, Green, Woodring, Hunt, Leigh Alcock, Ella Arns, Floyd, Ager, Martha Brockholt, Ray Brown, Harley Barnard, J.M. Briden, Carrie Burman, Ruth Farris, Esther Finch, Alonzo Gleason, Florence Holden, Bessie Hamilton, Alice Jennings, Floyd Johnson, Harold Kelsey, Edward, Kerns, Alice Koenig, Brant Kent, Elsie Ludwig, Jessie Meyers, Edith McCann, Faye Phillips, Ida Presser, Lela Shepard, Earl Strawser, Geneva Saterlee, Mabel Stiles, Ira Whitman


FREDERIKA NO. 4 By Charles Schumacher I started school in Kindergarten in 1939. My first and only teacher was Miss Marie Kuhrt in Frederika No. 4. Several times during the year a lady came from Waverly, Iowa, to see how the school and pupils were progressing. Seems her name was Mildred Smith? She was the County Superintendent. Miss Marie Kuhrt said the Lord‘s Prayer with us every morning at the start of the school day! Saying the Lord‘s Prayer ever day did not hurt us! Mother and Dad, I think, tried to start me in kindergarten one year sooner but I would not stay. Once a year at close of school year we could bring our pet to school for a few hours or maybe even half a day. One year my dog, Mitzy, and another time a pony. I still have a map of the U.S.A. made in school about 2 feet by 3 feet and have different things glued to it – like a piece of coal, wood and cotton. These are things that the states were popular for. There was a small book we had to read. Everyone liked it except me. I think some words were hard for me. I liked math best. It may have been the Palmer Method to practice penmanship? Recess time in winter we made a pie in the snow and cut it in pieces. Then one was it and had to tag someone else. If I remember right center of pie was the safe area or goal. Called Fox and Goose? Then in the Summer hide and seek. Also would throw baseball over the school roof and sometimes would throw it in Bell (Tower) by accident. Of course we had outside toilets. One for the girls and one for the boys on the back two corners of our schoolyard. We had to go a neighbor farm to get water to drink every day.

Charles Schumacher Miss Kuhrt Wilbert Bergman, Grace Moeller, Duane, Pook, Mildred Bergman, Veris Schultz, Charlotte Bergman, Ruben Plagens,


FREDERIKA NO. 5 TERRIBLE BLIZZARD By Arvella Kammeyer Pipho I do not remember which year it was but the Ray Schwartz and Randy Drewis kids along with my brother Lloyd Kammeyer and I were attending Frederika No. 5. The day started out cold and I remember Lloyd and I walking to school as usual. We learned how to dress for the cold weather or take the consequences. Anyway I know Mrs. Hazel Chapin was the teacher and sometime in the afternoon a blizzard set in with a tremendous amount of snow. Our teacher told us not to walk home that someone would come for us as we could get lost in the snow and freeze to death. My Dad, Bill Kammeyer, knocked on the door having walked nearly 3/4 of a mile in the blizzard and had in his hand a long rope. I knew what he was going to do with it. He instructed all the younger ones to get dressed up really good, and then he told all the younger ones in our mile to take a hold of the rope and not let go! Dad took the lead and I had the end of the rope and was told to watch for the younger ones that might fall down as he would lead us home. We were the last ones in the mile and so we first left off the Drewis kids and then the Schwartz kids and finally we were home. It was a long, dangerous walk home but we all arrived home safely due to the efforts of my protective Dad. Later when I was teaching second graders and we attended the Waterloo Cattle Congress I used the same method to keep my class together. Marian Lahmann Barnes, Dennis Kirchhoff, Arvella Kammeyer Pipho. Marian Drewis Lampe, Marlene Tegtmeier Miller, Darlys Buls, James Lahmann, Jolane Tegmeier Drape, Marlene Drewis Snelling, Jerry Oberhue Allen Buenger, Verlon Buls, Lloyd Kammeyer, Hazel Chapin, Marlene Tegtmeier, Darlys Buls, Paul Lahman, Mary Zander, Marian Drewis, Wyla Schwartz, James Lahman, Jerry Oberhue, Marlene Drewis, Jolane Tegtmeier, Martin Drewis, Diane Schwartz, Marvin Drewis, Mark Schwartz


Whyla Schwartz, Ann Lahmann Schwartz, Tamara Schwartz Rosol Evergreen Lasola Buenger, Fred Westendorf, Erwin Kirchhoff, Luella Vogt, Leslie Vogt Jerry, Oberhue, Fred Lahmann, Martin Drewis, Mark Schwartze, Martin Drewis Marlene Tegtmeier Miller, Lloyd Kammeyer, Jolane Drape, Allan Buenger, Darlys Buls, Mark Schwartz, Marian Drewis Lampe, Verlyn Bulls, Tamara Rosol, James Lahmann, Marlene Snelling, Martin Drewis, Ann Lahmann Schwartz, Fred Lahmann, Marvin Drewis, Jerry Oberhue, Terry Ambrose


Alice Johnson Bravener LIME ROCK SCHOOL According to a 1875 Atlas a school called Lime Rock School House No. 4 was located in Section No. 8 of Frederika Township at the corner of Navaho and 110th Street. The school is not shown on an 1894 Atlas. At this point, no other information has been uncovered.



BREMER COUNTY HOME SCHOOL Bremer County Care Facility provided a school for the two years of 1936 and 1937. The Facility was then known as the Bremer County Home, and at the same location in Section No. 24 of Fremont Township at 1951 Larrabee Avenue. At that time families were housed in individual cottages, and it was these children who attended this country school. Pearl Hunemuller was the teacher and had 12 pupils, two of whom were still residents at the facility at the time of it‘s closing. After the school was closed these students attended surrounding schools.

FREMONT NO. 1 By Betty (Snelling) Koschmeder Fremont No. 1 was located two miles south of Tripoli and one and three fourths miles east on the farm now owned by LaVonne Meiners. According to Bob Chapin, his grandfather, Arthur Chapin, owned the farm at the time that the buildings were originally built. The first school house built was only used a couple of years when it was considered inadequate so a new one was built about one and a half blocks east of the existing one. After the second building was completed, Art bought and moved the original one to his son, Myron‘s farm, (now occupied by Myron‘s son, Bob and his wife) and used it for a chicken house. The second building was used for over 50 years. Fremont No. 1 also known as the Pioneer School, holds a special place in my memory; first because my father, Lawrence, his sisters Ida and Marie, my two brothers, Jerry and Clark and I attended school there and second because my grandmother, Caroline, and her sister, Myrtle, and my Aunt Ida, and I all taught there. Great-aunt Myrtle Franklin Palmer and Grandmother Caroline Franklin Snelling may well have been the first two teachers (1902-1910) while I was the last one.The consolidation of the Tripoli schools ended a need for the rural buildings. A last-day-of school souvenir given to her students by my grandmother in 1910 lists the students as John, Helena and Gibson Hazlitt; Walter and Edwin Kock; Lena, Ernest and Anita Boevers; Dorothy, Elston, Myron, Marion and Gleason Chapin; Ida, Bertha, Louis and Anita Rathe; Linford Franklin; Rudolph Pavelec, Henry, Arthur and Erna Schroeder; and Edwin Strottman. Other teachers known to have taught there are: Rosemary Brewer, Leona Keough, Dorothy Chapin Kirchhoff, Emma Buhr Warner, Alene Kelsey Duncomb, Lillian Bathke Finder, Herbert Hatch, Minifred Chapin, Merrill Bennett, George Lindsley, Mavis Selck Bunger, Gertrude Mallie, Bernice Platte Ludwig and Ida Snelling Schlichting. Toward the end of the summer vacation each family would make a trip to the Sorg Drug Store in Tripoli to buy textbooks and a few necessary supplies for the upcoming school year. Most of the books were used as we could sell our books back to the store at the end of the year. It was an exciting time as we‘d look through our new books, purchase new crayons, and choose the tablet of writing paper that had the neatest picture on its cover. Winter was lots of fun as the teacher would let us bring our sleds, open up the gate leading to a pasture which was downhill for about a block to a creek. We‘d ―Belly-flop‖ or get a big push from a friend, speed downhill, turn left on to the frozen creek, and coast till our sleds came to a stop. If the bell rang when we were at the far end of our sledding trail, we‘d run as fast as we could, pulling our sleds, and arrive breathless at the building. Wet snow pants, mittens, sometimes even socks, were hung on and around the oil heater to get dry and warm for the next recess.


Each spring we would bring rakes and coaster wagons and have a clean-the-school yard day. After the raking was completed, we were rewarded by getting to roast wieners over the bonfire. Although it was difficult for a teacher to give each student as much class time as she or he would like to have, the room was full of ―teachers‘ aides‖ as the students flashed math and vocabulary cards to each other, reviewed for tests together, and spelled words and read to each other. Also, the upper classes enjoyed helping the primary students with their colors, numbers and printing. Each year we would have a series of ―spell downs‖ to determine who would be the one to represent our school in the Bremer County Spelling Bee. We always looked forward to ―Play Day‖ with another township school. It was usually held toward the end of the year and highlighted by a softball game between the two schools. Once a year we‘d give a program for families and friends, complete with a homemade curtained stage. Sometimes the wires that held up the curtains would pull from the wall during the program but the fathers would quickly make repairs and we‘d finish our recitations, rhythm band presentations and plays. Frequently the program would be followed by an auction of beautifully decorated box lunches. The money taken in would be used to buy supplies and equipment for the school. The men of the school district would meet and elect a director from among them who would hire the teacher, and prepare the buildings and school yard for classes after the summer break. When I was young and Dad was director, I recall Mom sewing pretty white dotted Swiss sashes on her treadle sewing machine for the eight schoolhouse windows. As a teacher, I remember well going in late summer to prepare for my students‘ first day and being greeted by Mrs. Ed Brocka who was mopping the wooden floor with a rag mop. Needless to say, the building was sparkling clean by opening day. Directors also handled problems that arose on the property such as fixing a broken seal on the pump which allowed grasshoppers to end up in our drinking water, and righting the bell in its track when the teacher, me for one, pulled the bell rope too hard and the bell tipped over. Betty Snelling, Mr. Shruver, Lee Selck, Lois Bronka, Diana Shonk, Marilyn Schwartz, James Rathe, Janet Peters, Larry Shonka, Marlene Shonka, Robert Brewer, Susan Lohmann, Clark Snelling, Robert Schwartz, Charleen Shonka, Barbara Rathe, James Brocka, James Lohmann, Helen Mallie, Joan Broncka Rudy Pavelec

We had an outhouse and water had to be pumped from the well. ―Sheep in the Pen‖ was played by all grades at recess. My brothers, sisters and I had to walk to school. We could have taken a short cut through the neighbor‘s field but you had to watch out for their bull. Our school was about a 1/2 mile walk but we like to tell our kids that it was a 5-mile walk and uphill – both ways!! Hot lunch consisted of a potato put on the oil burner to slowly bake all morning until lunch.

Toward the end of the year, the eighth graders of the Bremer County Rural Schools would gather for testing. Eighth graders LaVonne Meiners and I took our test in Tripoli High School with several others. Then a few weeks later the townships each held graduation at one of their rural schools. Each graduate provided some entertainment such as singing, playing the piano or reciting a poem. Then we were presented our diploma and an Iowa High School Admission Certificate which entitled us to attend the area high school. We enjoyed singing with the wind-up Victrola and the pump organ, and playing instruments in the rhythm band. Records of John Phillips Sousa‘s marches were always favorites to march and keep time to. The school building was bought by a Tripoli farmer, moved, and later burned to the ground. As I drive by the site which has become overgrown by vegetation, I wonder, ―If I stop and searched would I find a remnant of the past?..a piece of pretty glass or stone that we once used for hopscotch?…and ink bottle…a paste jar?…I wonder…‖

FREMONT NO. 1 BY Marilyn Schwartz Lahman All grades kindergarten through the 8th grade went to school in the one room building. When the teacher would call a certain grade that grade level would move to the front of the class for their lesson.


FREMONT NO. 1 By Janet Peters Ladage, Tripoli, Ia. The first four years of my school life were spent in the rural school, Fremont No. 1. The site still remains, even though the school has been gone for many years. It is located two miles south of Tripoli and two miles east on C33. The yard looks so small now, but when you were five years old, it seemed like you had to walk a long ways from one end of the lawn to the other, or to use the outhouse in the corner of the lot. We were also allowed to play down at the creek in the adjoining pasture. That too, seemed like a long ways away although it is only a short distance. The tall pine trees and overgrown lawn still mark the spot where the school once stood. My dad, Walter Peters, also attended the same school for all of his eight or nine elementary years. I started Kindergarten in 1954 and for that year and first grade I had George M. Lindsley as my teacher. He was also the superintendent of the rural schools and ran the movie theatre in Tripoli. In second and third grade I had Betty Snelling for my teacher. In third grade she was married and was then Betty Koschmeder. She later started teaching in the Wapsie Valley School district in Readlyn and my daughter Tina and son Aaron both had her for a teacher. The memories of rural school seem good even to this day. It was a simple education system, and sometimes you learned as much from listening to the older kids‘ lessons as you did from your own. We all ate our lunches together, which I ate from my tin Roy Rogers lunch box. We played together and learned together. I remember one special Easter when we drew a name and made Easter baskets. We were then allowed to go to the creek area and hide them. I didn‘t get to go, because I came down with chicken pox. I was devastated for weeks. I never had more than one more in my class in those four years. The first two years, the Walkers lived close to us and Bobby Walker was in my class. When they moved away, Shonkas moved in and Larry Shonka was in my class. We remained classmates all through school and graduated together in 1967 from Tripoli High School. I always walked with the neighbor kids if the weather was good. That meant two miles in the morning and two miles at night. In the winter our parents would car pool and ―haul us to school‖. Today‘s education is much advanced, but the rural schools of years past were the best way to start your years of education.

down the road got stuck in the mud. He used whatever he had to get himself worked out so he could continue on, and burning some of the remains to cover the evidence. But in doing so he had dropped one of his business cards among the rubble, (he was a contractor) so it was not hard to locate him. Teachers often boarded at the home of a director. Some of the directors thru the years were Fred Schuldt, Otto Buenger, Art Bunger, Leo Schuldt, Lorenz Brandt, Alfred Blasberg, Clarence Buchholz. Some other teachers in addition to Marie Kuhrt were Linda (Koch) Kirchenhoff, Emma (Buhr) Warner 1922, Amanda Meswarb 1926-27, Luella (Kuethe) Collins 1928-30, Vivian Colburn 1930-31, Bardene Nolte, 1931-33, Irma (Schetler) Meyer 1933-34, Irene A. (Bishoff) Misuraco, Edna Thieking, Arlene (Fink) Jacobsen, Erna (Hagenow) Salmon, Lorene (Buenger) Klemp 1943-46, Bordene Chestnut, Evelyn (Lageschulte) Boyken, Alma (Huber) Uhlenhoff, Mrs. Herman, Janette (Ressler) Roettger, Norma (Oberheu) De Lavergne, George Lindsay, Mrs. Oren Larson. Mrs. Larson was the last teacher when the school closed in 1958.

FREMONT NO. 4 By Mavis Bunger Fremont No. 4 was probably one of the smallest rural schoolhouses. That area just didn‘t have enough families with children so they could afford to keep the school open every year. It was located just 80 rods east of the Mike and Sue (Siggelkov) Kirchhoff farm home. The section of land from the Wapsi east was originally owned by Koch‘s. One of the Koch girls was a

FREMONT NO. 2 Fremont No. 2, also known as the ―Crane Creek School‖ was located in Section #31 of Fremont Township just south of the corner of 210th Street and Navaho Avenue. According to a 1875 Atlas the school at that location was then called District School House No. 2 built on John Bunger land. The original brick structure still remains at the same location and is now the home of the Mel Anderson family. Some former students remember taking turns, two at a time, getting drinking water with a pail and carrying it from the nearby house of the Pastor of St. John Lutheran Church, and from nearby farms of Merv Buss, Otto Buenger, Leo Schuldt, and Reinhart Michael. One of the teachers, Marie Kuhrt, drove a horse and buggy to school each day. She lived with her parents on their farm which was approximately 3 miles from the school. Each day at noon a student was assigned the duty to provide a drink of water for the horse. The following is a recollection of Rosetta Schwerin, a former student: In the spring of 1931 Fremont No. 2 burned to the ground from a faulty furnace. Starting in the attic it was not noticed. The pupils at the nearby German school noticed smoke, so the pastor sent the boys down and others also came to help. Everything from the inside of the building was carried out. Later it was hauled to the Michael home and was stored in the upstairs of the machine shed until the new building would be finished. Later in the summer when they were building, one night someone hauled some of the building materials away. Leaving, he drove west of the school and about one half mile


teacher. She married John Morris. They only had one son, Cecil. He and his family lived there when I taught the school. Kathy (Morris) Hunemuller tells that she had a Miss Bush and Mayme DeLurey and Edna (Sell) Strike as teachers before 1941-42 when I taught there. There were only 6 students that year, Geneva Bock, Kathy, Marjorie and Phyllis Morris, Duane Cuvelier and Betty Lou Bodermann. Walter Bodermann was the director. In a small school like this the teacher was able to give each student one-on-one attention. They could set their own pace and we felt they had many advantages of having more time for class periods and we enjoyed being able to work on unit projects. The school closed in 1942, so the students came to the Tripoli Grade School. To teach in a rural school in the 1940‘s we had to take Normal Training, which was offered in some high schools or go to Teachers College for three months. If we attended Teachers College for one year we got a Special Teachers Certificate. After attending Teachers College for one year we were prepared to teach classes, but what we didn‘t realize was that when we were hired for $60.00 per month, we would be expected to start the fire, shovel snow, get fresh water for drinking from the nearest farm home and do all the janitor work. In case of accident or illness we acted as nurses. And above all, we had to handle our own discipline problems. The experiences I had as rural schoolteacher have given me some of my most treasured memories. It has been interesting to me to watch the students grow up and become prosperous leaders in our community. I would like to thank each and everyone of you for the courtesies of kindness and respect, I repeat, respect, that is still shown to me today. It was a challenging, yet very rewarding profession. If you have never been in a one room rural school may I suggest that you take time to visit the School House Museum in North Park. FREMONT NO. 6 By Janet Peters Ladage, Tripoli My memories of Fremont No. 6 are not of attending the country school, but rather living in the converted school. I have lived in this brick school for approximately 32 years. When my husband at that time, and myself looked at the school building, the owner Emil Tiedt, rural Readlyn, was using it for storage. Emil liked to ‗save‘ things and so there was everything from nuts to bolts to vague reminders of the school building on the premises. Along with a few remains from the critters that also had called it home. We hoped that he would leave some of the things that we found but he took them with him. It would be nice to know where the old school bell is today, as Emil has since passed away. You could tell where the blackboards had been and the two closets (one for boys and one for girls) still held the hooks that hung their jackets and coats. There was no well and we were told that water was carried from a farm nearby across the road from us while it was a school. Outside we found one of the outhouses, which we moved and converted, into a doghouse. If you concentrate real hard, you can almost see the kids playing in the backyard on the merry- go -round or swings. Many of the neighbors around here, went here to school and still fill me in to this day on what it was like when they attended school here. My dad, Walter Peters, helped us design it into a house and after many, many months of planning and work, we were able to move into our ―new to us‖ 2 bedroom house. We later added two more bedrooms and a garage. After my divorce, I continued to live here and my husband of 25 years, Larry Ladage and I, still live here today. We raised my daughter Tina and our son Aaron in what was once a one-room schoolhouse. It is very solid and well made and holds many family memories over the years. I wouldn‘t change for the world, having had the opportunity to live in a one-room schoolhouse.

I started school when I was four. Uncle Ted Oberheu was my teacher the first three years. I was alone in my class except for part of the fifth grade when Duane Morris attended our school. Erna Hagenow taught my 3rd and 4th grades. Neadean Fredricks

FREMONT NO. 7 By Geri (Lohmann) Oltrogge


was my 5th and 6th grade teacher and Anna Axberg was 7th and 8th grade. For math in 7th and 8th grade, Anna told me to do the work and get the answer book and check my work. She didn‘t check it. I can recall Ted chasing Marcus Segebarth down the road for some misconduct one day. We had a one-room school with a full basement and two outhouses located two miles west and one mile south of Tripoli. We got our drinking water from Lavern Hunemuller‘s parents farm, and there was a cistern in the basement of the school that provided water for the sink to wash hands. We had a swing set with two swings, bar and rings. Also a merrygo-round and a teeter totter. We played fox and geese; pump pump pole away; May I; and Red light-green light, built grass houses in the northwest corner so we could watch Mandy Behrens in her ―weird‖ clothes as they did field work in the adjoining field – we were a little afraid of her. Also, we feared the Co. Superintendent, Mildred E. Smith, in her rounds to spy on us and listen to us sing for her. In 8th grade, Miss Axberg helped us build a teepee and we studied Indians. FREMONT NO. 8 By Lloyd Oltrogge Geraldine Lohmann, Roxie Beisner, Donna Kuethe, Alice Kuehe, Betty Hay, Lavern Hunemuller, Gladys Kuethe, Dorothy Henning, Carl Beisner, Wendell Kuethe, Heraldine Lohman, Glennis Holm, Leslie Hunnermuller, Franklin Koch, Ted Oberheu, Nadine Buchholz

I attended Fremont No. 8, 4 miles south of Tripoli, 1/2 mile east, from 1938 to 1947. Ours was a brick building, newer than many. We also had our own well, plus a cistern in the basement. As best as I can remember, my teachers were Edna Sell (2 years), Mayme DeLuhry (1/2 year), Eleanor Colony DeLuhry (1/2 year), and Bernice Platte Ludwig (6 years). We were always fearful of the County Superintendent, Mildred E. Smith, because she would come in so quietly during school time that no one would notice her sitting there making notes in her notebook, which we assumed were always bad, and about us. Recesses and noon hours were filled with games (Fox and Goose, in the snow), building of grass and snow houses, Handy-Handy Over, and Stink Pot. A certain unnamed contingent of boys (of which I was not a part) did pick up cigarette butts on the walk to school, take out the tobacco, and reroll it – which is the reason the snow houses in the ditch had to have smokestacks. Occasionally, the desire to smoke on the part of some became so great that just plain rolled up toilet paper was smoked. One day the teacher had to take a sick pupil home, so someone needing a smoke, set a grass house on fire. Fortunately for him, the fire was put out and everything was back to normal by the time the teacher returned.

Vernon Everding, Shirley Blasberg, Gary Stromer, Lou Ann Everding, Maryln Oltrogge, Gladys Hennings, Orville Tonne, Janice Peters One winter morning we boys decided that it would be great sport to shovel the snow off the driveway (as we usually had to do), but to shovel one side of it over the ditch (where the driveway wasn‘t of course). Sure enough, about the first car in ran off the driveway on his way out. We felt so bad. We all helped push. Throughout many years, Halloween nights, the outdoor toilets had a habit of ―falling over‖, so one year my father, Clarence Oltrogge, Bill Peters and Henry Blasberg (all parents) decided to wait in the dark inside the school to catch the culprits. They waited until daylight, and of course, nothing happened. During one of my first years in country school, I occupied one of the front seats in one of three or four lines of desks. I turned


around to look one day, and there in the next row a little further back was one of the 7th & 8th grade girls apparently squeezing a pimple on the inside of her upper thigh. (This was perhaps what could be termed my first sexual experience!) Could one suppose that this is the very reason the teachers always scolded the students for ―turning around?‖ My two brothers, sister and I walked 3/4 of a mile to school every day. These trudges were a time for talking and arguing. On one of these walks, I was assured that a hoop snake could form itself into a hoop and travel faster than a car. I had trouble with that theory. I will always think that the one-room school system offered a kind of learning that no other, to this day, provides. When ―class‖ was called, it was normal to listen and to review either classes of younger students, or to listen to more advanced lessons discussed by grades higher than one‘s own. From thus listening to the recitations of more advanced students, I would already know the answers for my next year‘s courses. Roamine Lee I also remember some of the books I read while in grade school: ―Robinson Crusoe‖, the ―Boy‘s Life of Will Rogers‖, ―I Married Adventure‖ by Osa Johnson and the Encyclopedia set ―Book of Knowledge‖ during times when I had no class work to do. Our school also had a player piano, which I loved to play with rolls, especially ―Battle Hymn of the Republic‖. One of the exciting times of the year was when we would put on a play, usually in the evening and all the parents and friends, and often grandparents would come. A stage would be constructed, and a wire strung upon which to hang draw curtains. A preparation room beside the stage would also be curtained off so the audience couldn‘t see. Two things I remember doing: The skit ―Little Black Sambo‖ (which would not be possible today), done with Vernon Peters, and group singing a brand new song just out as a piano roll: ―Don‘t Fence Me In‖. To graduate from grade school was something else. All country school kids in 8th grade had to go to the town school for about two days and take a battery of tests. This was scary – and town school kids were not so treated – they didn‘t have to take any such tests to graduate from eighth grade. Following that, after all tests had been graded, a school exercise was held at the high school auditorium in Waverly. We kids were all together in a room. The horrifying County Superintendent, Mildred E. Smith, came over to me, without explanation took me out of the room, put me in a big room by myself, and left. This was scary for a poor kid from the country who used to go barefoot to school. Finally she came back into the room and asked me if I knew why I was there. I said, ―No.‖ ―Well,‖ she said, ―You had the highest grade in the county in those tests.‖ I was taken into the auditorium, where a group of us sat on the stage, and I was awarded a gold pin which says, ―Highest Honors, 1947‖ by that County Superintendent, Mildred E. Smith, whom we feared and abhorred. I still have that pin today, and I treasure it! Phyllis Greenlee, Margorie Oltrogge, Lois Blasberg, Glenn Wolfgram, Lavern Hennings, Eugene Oltroge, Leroy Platte, Orville Tonne, Gary Stormer, Marlyn Oltrogge, Vernon Tonne, Vernon Everding, Erwin Hennings, Gladys Hennings, Alice Hennings, Shirley Blasberg Robert Welsh, Beverly Drewis, Jerry Seelhammer, L Everding, Ralph Bolte, Shirley Blasberg, Vernca Tonne, Danny Drewis, Gary Strome, Marlyn Oltrogge, David Bolte, Vern Bolte, Robert Everding




Harold Briggs, Janesville consolidated, Jackson Polk Frances Oberdier, Lawrence White, Clarence Storing, Lydia Jackson, Lulu Terry, Lena Storing, Minnie Napiecek, Lela Fox, Walter White, Glen White, James White, Guy Burke, Virginia Becker




COUNTRY SCHOOL TEACHERS CELEBRATE THE PAST AT DENVER By Angela King Imagine coming upon this classified advertisement: Help Wanted: Schoolteacher. Must teach every subject, including music, art and health. Must act as school nurse, playground and lunch supervisor and janitor. Must shovel snow and sweep roads. Salary: $50.00 per month. Sound like a job you may want? Of course, that job description does not include the fringe benefits. To be a country schoolteacher in Iowa, you also had to stay single, wear your hair long and never attend a dance. ―And you could never go into any place where liquor was served,‖ said Evelyn Bartlett. Bartlett was one of four former country teachers who recently spoke to students at Denver Elementary School. ―We didn‘t have the modern conveniences,‖ said Bartlett. ―No electricity, no water, no phones. But we were a happy group. We were like one big family.‖ Peg Heidt taught both country and city school, but she said the adjustment was difficult. ―I missed the closeness with the (country school) kids,‖ she said. ―We didn‘t have any discipline problems. A teacher‘s word was law. Of course, we had the same kids all the way through,‖ she said. Lorene Krueger started teaching at country school in 1937. She was forced to quit two years later when she married, but she was reinstated in the 1950‘s. Krueger said the worst time for janitor jobs in country school was winter. ―I had to shovel paths to the wood shed, the bathrooms and the school house,‖ she said. ―We had a pot belly stove, and I had to take the ashes out. We had no insulation in the school house either.‖ Evelyn Ducker agreed that winter was difficult, but she remembered the warm weather more. ―We had no fans, no air conditioning. And if you opened the windows you were covered with flies,‖ she said. Ducker told the students of today about country school recess games. Not many kids had heard of ―Anti I Over‖, ―Drop the Handkerchief,‖ or ―Pump pump pull away‖. All seemed to enjoy her demonstrations of baby steps, scissor steps, elephant steps and kangaroo steps in the ―Captain, May I‖ game, however.


While the country schoolteachers may have had a lot of hardships to endure, all recalled their experiences with fondness. ―We had super attendance. Many students went on to get their degrees,‖ said Peg Heidt, proudly. The country teachers‘ presentation at Denver‘s elementary in March of 1996 was part of the Read a Million Minutes program. The theme that year examined Iowa‘s history. Lafayette




Lafayette Eveland Bowen


LeRoy Mentor


LEROY NO. 4 By Sharon Johnson, Keokuk The Leroy No. 4 School was located where Paul and Verla Schwake now reside. The board of directors were Theodore Bock, Adolph Mohling, Leonard Osborn and Vic Nacke. The teachers I had while attending were Gladys Huck, Helen Dreyer and Hazel Chapin. Other teachers were Edna Strike, Vera Guyer, Alene Duncomb and Lasola Buenger. Some of my schoolmates were Elaine and Shirley Meyer, Lyle Schneider, Robert and Betty Osborn, Jerry and Roger Mock, Mary and Steve Hagen, Sharon and Diane Nacke, Robert, Gerald and Beverly Mohling (Alan and Linda?), Marvin and Martin Drewis (Marian and Marlene?), Ruth Zabel, Betty Lou and Mary Jean Thies, Larry Huck, Joe Rausch and Robert Volker. We all walked to school unless the weather was bad and then usually the parents gave us a ride to school. We carried our lunches to school in a dinner bucket. Usually it included a thermos for a drink and everyone had sandwiches, fruit, cookies or cake, drink and sometimes chips. In the last few years, we would take a potato during the winter and lay it on top of the stove and it would bake during the morning. It would be turned about midmorning. Some would even bring soup or a meat wrapped in foil (like a hobo dinner) to cook on top of the stove. This was our teacher‘s suggestion. Water was carried from a neighboring farm in a covered pail and poured into a crockery container with a spigot from which we could draw a drink. There was a pan in the sink in which we could wash our hands with a small amount of water from the cooler or water storage container. We had electric lights and large windows which provided the light. Bathroom facilities were 2 outhouses set toward the back of the school property, one for the boys and one for the girls. Usually there were from 1 to 3 members in a class, with the total number for the school being less than 20. We were given assignments and worked on them while each grade had a scheduled time to meet with the teacher to go over reading or other class work at the front of the room near the teacher‘s desk. I can remember that the chalkboards were black when I first started to go to school and then later on, they were painted with a special green paint that was supposed to make it easier to see. I always liked the black slate better than the green. At times during the years, we had special school programs. Bed sheets were hung for stage curtains and fastened to overhead wires with big safety pins. We would practice to prepare for these and then the parents would come for the presentation. After the program, there would be a box social to help raise extra funds for the school. I can remember being embarrassed at having to share a box lunch with one of the older boys. We would have a Rhythm Band which consisted of all types of rhythm or percussion type instruments. Everyone always wanted to play the special ―warbling bird whistle‖ that was filled with water. As I remember, the famous song that we played along with the phonograph was the ―Jolly Coppersmith‖. In later years we would have our music and a couple of other lessons on special days during the week with a radio program from Waverly. I‘m not sure why this was supposed to be better than what the teacher had been doing before. We had a County Superintendent; her name was Miss Smith. It seemed like she would come through the wall because no one ever saw her come in. She was so quiet and the concentration of the students must have been great because we would look up and there she was. The floors were cleaned with sweeping compound. The teacher would sprinkle it on the floor and then let us shuffle our feet through it or slide around in it to work it in with the dirt and dust. Toward the end of the school year, we would meet with at least one other rural school for a fun day. We would challenge the other to a game of softball. The older boys were usually the pitchers and the younger students were the outfielders. I seemed to get poison ivy every year when spring came, probably from chasing the balls to the edge of the school yard fence where the poison ivy grew.

Leroy No. 4 was a school for 3 generations of my family. My grandmother, Bertha (Hagen) Nacke and her siblings went there, my father and his brother, Victor and Laverne Nacke and my sister and I, Diane and Sharon Nacke, all attended school there. If any of us completed the full 8 grades there, it would have been my grandmother because my father moved away from the neighborhood before the eighth grade and the school was closed after by 6th grade year, spring of 1957.






MAXFIED PAROCHIAL (from a Sept. 1976 News Article) Rededication services for the 95-year old historic Maxfield parochial schoolhouse three miles northeast of Denver have been set for 3:30 P.M. Sunday. The women of the church are sponsoring a lawn supper in the church immediately following the rites. The old schoolhouse was built in 1881 and was dedicated when St. John Lutheran Church of Maxfield Township in Bremer County was celebrating its 25th anniversary. Youth of the congregation became interested in the old building when they realized its age and historic importance, and they decided to restore it and make it a showplace and museum to symbolize the life of the pioneers. This caught the imagination of people in the church as well as two institutions which had their beginnings at Maxfield – Lutheran Mutual Life Insurance Company of Waverly and First Maxfield Mutual Insurance of Denver. These companies, which were organized at Maxfield in the year 1879, made substantial financial contributions to help the young people with their project. Steve Teisinger had the schoolhouse on his mind all summer and many of the items which had been a part of the building originally have been located and placed into it. Very recently he found an appropriate desk similar to the one the teachers formerly used. He also found old kerosene lamps, an organ and old stove. When Readlyn was not yet a town, the Maxfield school provided a place where non-church children could get their elementary education. The church was also the post office for the community and people got their mail there about once a week.




POLK NO. 3 By Kathryn (Cagley) Finley The old Terry School (Polk No. 3) was located about 1/2 mile east of the original Cagley house and three generations of Cagley children walked to and from school (in all kinds of weather) on the road passing in front of the Cagley house. That included my grandfather and his five older siblings – who lived on farms farther west down the same road. My sister Karen and I (and some of our cousins, the children of the cousins from the previous generation) comprised the third generation at the school. No wonder the area was called ―Cagley Flats‖! Mother decided to move me to ―town school‖ (Plainfield) when I was in 7th grade, feeling that I didn‘t get enough competition being the only student in my grade. My sister Karen finished 8th grade at Terry School (Polk #3), but that was the last year it was open. When school was out in the spring of 1956, the old school was closed forever. Eventually, it was torn down and a house was built on the site. I will always have fond memories of my childhood years in that country schoolhouse. The not-so-fond memories were of the trips to the outhouse in midwinter. But at least the girls‘ toilet was closer than the boys‘, which was in the farthest corner of Jackson, Smith Grove, Terry, Syracuse, Maple Grove, Six Mile Grove,, Horton


the school property (way beyond the baseball ―diamond‖)! The best memory is of the yearly Christmas party when we all got up in the front of the room (which had a big curtain drawn across it for the occasion), put on little Christmas skits, read poems and sang songs. One year, when we had a particularly ambitious teacher, we presented Dickens‘ ―A Christmas Carol‖ for our parents and guests. I usually played the mother, being the oldest (and biggest) girl in school. And the best part of the Christmas parties was the homemade candies, Christmas cookies, apples and popcorn balls served after the presentations. Half a century later, the memory of the creaminess of the homemade fudge mixing with crispness of the sweet red apples lingers on as one of my life‘s most delicious memories! My mother was a country schoolteacher in Bremer and Butler counties for several years after we moved back to the farm (before getting a job in Nashua teaching in ―town school‖). Because she thought it a waste to have a Christmas tree in her schoolroom and another at home, we only got our ―second-hand‖ tree at home when her school had closed for Christmas vacation. She then removed the lights and the breakable ornaments and hauled the thing home in her car trunk – bedraggled but pre-tinseled! How I resented those other kids having our tree before we got it! That‘s probably why Christmas trees are still such a big deal to me, even at age 64!

In 1872 an addition was built to the school making it a two-room school. About $350 was spent on this. Following Amanda Folks and Nell Boardman were Porter Hocum and Flora Larkin, O.H. Hobbs and wife, then D.M. Daly and Lizzie Head, then Jeremiah and Mrs. George, J.E. and Mrs. Davis. During the teaching of Mr. Davis, dissatisfaction arose and some parents took their children out of the school and started a ―select school‖ which was held in the place formerly known as the Edwin Smith house. Then the next year, 1878, they went back to the public school, when Irving Bice and sister taught. In 1880 Mr. And Mrs. George F. Harwood taught and during this year it was decided to build a new schoolhouse as a larger one was needed. So a two-story building of four rooms was erected at a cost of about $3,400.00. This was considered a large amount of money to spend and the Board of Education was divided on the wisdom of it. John Roach, Sr. moved that the building be provided and that a bond issue be sold to pay for it. He remarked that they might just as well have the advantage of the new building and then grow up and help pay for it in their own tax assessments. This now sounds like quite a modern speech. These bonds were all retired by 1904 when W.W. Taylor was President of the Board of Education. Three rooms of the

CENTENNIAL FEATURE NO. 3 HORTON HAD FIRST SCHOOL SCHOOL TERM ONCE 4 MONTHS In the article this week we propose to tell about the first schools. Because of the amount of material available on the churches and lack of time to prepare it, it was decided to postpone these accounts until a later date. For resource material, The History of Butler and Bremer Counties, was used, having been compiled by citizens of the counties, with great care. It was printed in 1883 by Union Publishing Co., Springfield, Ill. The preface states ―this volume (of 1323 pages) is respectfully dedicated to the pioneers with the hope that their virtues may be emulated and their toils and sacrifices be duly appreciated by coming generations.‖ Also ―that the lessons of the present and future are made up from the experiences of the past, and that matters which seem of little importance to the present generation, may be of great importance to future generations. Great results often hinge upon little things.‖ In addition the History of Plainfield Public Schools, compiled in 1939 by the Alumni Project Committee which included Hazel Boyd, chairman; __. B. Orcutt, Ethel Holmes, Pauline Roach, Marguerite Satterlee, H.L. Roach, and J.K. Lynes will be used. H.D. Matt was superintendent of the School at that time. All were descendants of Bremer county pioneers except Mr. Matt. The first school in the township was held in a log cabin built gratuitously for that purpose by the people. The doors and windows were furnished by the district, for which a tax was assessed. The building was completed and a summer school was taught in the summer of 1854 by Mrs. Louisa Nutting. The building was also used for various purposes: educational, social, religious and political until 1860 when a new building was erected. Another reference says that the first frame schoolhouse in the township was in the township at Horton in 1859. But in Plainfield, settled later, the first term of school was taught in the winter of 1866 in the home of George Ketchum, by Rev. L.M. Swan, a Methodist preacher. Then he taught the next year in the store building owned by Charles Folks. At the end of the school year of 1867, it was decided to build a school building. Their term of school was four months. However, in 1869 two terms of four months each, winter and summer, were taught. Miss Lovie Sornberger taught the summer terms and Rev. Swan the winter terms through 1869. Claude Merriam and Mattie Lucas taught in 1870. Among familiar names noted were Charles Folks, Frank Churchill, M.F. Head, Will Pierce, Frank Holmes, A.L. Wanamaker and Frank Ringleb. A teacher the next year was discharged because he sat all day with his feet on the stove and let the school conduct itself, much to the joy of the big boys who went to school only in the winter.


new building had been used for teaching purposes. The fourth room later used for Home Economics, was rented as a lodge room to various organizations. Many happy times were had there with the Friday Lyceum Club, a Home, Talent Dramatic Club, Good Templars, G.A.R., W.R.C., and others. Dr. T.D. Ford acted as drama coach for all the school plays, etc. One episode is of a situation of modern interest. In 1896 the ladies of the W.R.C. (Women‘s Relief Corps) were serving their famous chicken pie dinners and Doc Ford was called out just as he had his plate filled. He hastily gulped his food, grumbling a little, ―It never fails‖. By and by he returned with the announcement that ―Bud Roach‘s have a boy.‖ Thus the President of the Board of Education, Howard L. Roach was inducted into this world. This account was written in the Plainfield School History in 1939. This week‘s account takes the schools up to 1880. Marlys, Oberheu, June Carpenter, Loren Oberheu, Barbara Dickman, Roger Lindner, James Oberheu HORTON SCHOOL By Marlys Oberheu Krueger My first years began the fall of 1944 as a kindergartner at the Horton School. I remember the school was a two room building with the lower grades taught in one class room and the upper grades in the other classroom. My family lived approximately 1/2 mile west of Horton (now known as 188). I remember walking to and from the school when the weather was good. I don‘t remember a lot about my school days at the Horton school, but I do remember the walk home wasn‘t much fun. A couple of older girls would step on my heels on the way home and I‘d arrive at home crying many afternoon‘s. My mother would tell me to wait at school until they were gone, but then they‘d wait also. I don‘t remember much about any of the older students, but a boy in my 1st grade class moved during the year and I thought he had moved half way across the country. (The boy was Bob Grosse and years later I found out the family had moved to Cedar Falls. We found out we each had a daughter at the Denver schools when the grandmothers visited for a ―Grandparent Visitation Day‖ and they knew each other and visited.) In the middle of my 3rd grade year my family moved to my grandparent‘s farm about 4-3/4 miles from Bremer and I finished my grade school years at Warren #3.

end of the evening to the mutual enjoyment of adults and kids. Presents were under the tree for everyone and each child went home

REMINISCENCES COUNTRY SCHOOLS By Vicky Bossom & Linda DeVries All the plumbing was outside the schoolhouse, which required student helpers to carry in drinking water each day; it also meant a fast sprint in the wintertime to the outhouse if you couldn‘t wait to put on your coat and mittens before dashing into the cold. The pump out front was not only a good place for a drink at recess time, but was also used to wash dirty hands and sweaty faces after playing Duck, Duck, Goose. After the big boys carried in the drinking water each morning, it was kept at the back of the room in either a bucket with one ladle or a large earthen crock with a spigot. If your school had a crock to drink from, you also had the privilege of your own personal paper cup. It was shaped like a cone and had a pointy bottom. It squashed easily and you got a clean one next time. Students were warned to check for 4-legged critters in the outhouses and watch for snakes in the grass on the playground. The tall outdoor bathrooms were favorite targets on Halloween night. Many a school director found his duties included replacing the school‘s outhouse. A single teacher taught 8 grades with perhaps only 1 or 2 students in each grade level. There were no teacher associates to help them, so older students helped the younger ones with flash cards, etc., along with their daily duties which were assigned to help the school run more smoothly. Christmas programs brought the entire school community in to celebrate the season. From youngest to oldest, each child had a part in the program. It was a nervous evening as we stood behind the blanket curtain separating the ―stage‖ from the audience. Santa Claus always made an appearance at the


exhausted but pleased with the night‘s success. Children played games at recess: Pump, Pump Pull Away; Annie Annie Over; Captain May I; Red Rover, Red Rover; Blind Man‘s Bluff; Keep Away; Hide and Seek: and Freeze Tag. When the winter snows came, Fox and Geese trails covered the school yard. Parents car pooled the children to and from school or students would ride their bicycles when the weather was pleasant. Teachers often entertained students in their homes. Irene Judas is remembered for sharing the exotic animals on her farm with her class and then treating them to orange flavored cake. The end-of-the year softball game, another school highlight, followed a potluck picnic. Students and parents chose up teams and went into stiff competition in a nearby pasture or on the school playground. The game‘s only obstacles were an occasional cowpie to be leaped over or keeping popflies out of the creek.




Sumner Pleasant Valley, Pioneer


Bernhard Nolte Rachel Jones, Annette Nolte, Rich Gehrke, Kenny Jones, Bonnie Nolte, Lavina Albrecht, Leola Jones, Mary Jones, Ralph Jones, Lee, Rausch, Dickie Johnson, Miss Bonnell Ray Buck Creek, Wescott Emory Creager, Dave Hochberger, Paul Buhr, Harry Buhr, Harold Harding, Lucille Harding, Mildred Creager PLEASANT HILL SCHOOL Emilda Borcherding Niewoehner was born 29 January 1910 & went to Ray School as a young girl and was hired by the year to teach in the Pleasant Hill School in 1925 for $65.00 a month and in 1926 for $75.00 a month. To become a teacher in 1924 you could take the class Normal Schooling in High School. Emilda had 23 children in 1st grade to 8th grade. She had to do all her lesson planning after school for the next day as she was too busy during the school day. Her Dad said, ―He didn‘t know school teachers worked so hard.‖ The children were graded by percentage instead of ABCDF. On Monday Emilda begun the school day early to start the fire using wood or coal so the building would be warm by the time the children came, and the fire was banked at night for the next day. There was an outhouse for the boys and one for the girls. Emilda and the children all walked to school, unless the weather was too bad. Then her father would take her to school in a bobsled in the winter, surrey in the summer. All the girls wore dresses, no pants for the girls back then. Lunch was carried in a lunch box and included homemade bread with a cold meat, a sauce in a jar, cookie or cake, and a piece of fruit. Water was carried from a nearby farm home by 2 of the school children everyday. The school and outhouses were cleaned by someone in the fall. Doing the school year Emilda did all the cleaning. Emilda took time to play with the children during 15-minute recesses


and the one-hour lunch breaks. Baseball was everyone‘s game at Pleasant Hill. At Christmas time after the children‘s program, Santa would come with candy for all. All of her 8th grader‘s passed the final test for graduation and most of them went on to high school. At the end of the school year a program was given by the students for the parents, with a picnic for all. Emilda taught 2 more years in the Richman, Iowa, area before getting married. She then went to Upper Iowa University and taught school for 10 more years.





RUTH ARNS RECALLS WARREN NO. 2 I was born in the farmhouse my grandfather Pothast built on the farm he homesteaded in Warren Township of Bremer County. I attended a country school, Warren #2, one mile west of Bremer, and I lived 1/4 mile north of the school. The school had one large classroom, a cloak room, and a small hallway, or entryway as we would call it today. The school had kindergarten and eight grades, one teacher, and at one time had 40 students, although 30 was the usual number. There was a basement and a coal-burning furnace. Sometimes children from other districts were enrolled, but when the numbers grew too large, they had to return to their own districts, as the classroom was too small for so many desks. The older children had to go across the road to get drinking water from a farmer. Some of the older children helped stoke the furnace in the winter, under the teacher‘s supervision. Older children also had to help the younger children. In the wintertime a bucket of water left standing overnight or over the weekend would be frozen solid. After the furnace was heating, the teacher would set the bucket on the register to thaw. This gave us warm water in which to wash. The teacher was teacher first, also janitor, nurse, schoolyard monitor and a friend. She also was the arbitrator over our fights and disagreements on the schoolyard. Some of the teachers I remember include: Mrs. Young, Miss Epley, Petronilla Cavanaugh Ward, Rachel Kohlmann, and Arland Thieking. [Yes, some men were rural school teachers.] We had some big boys in school and they liked to tease and cause mischief. [Sometimes little ones did too.] One time when the big boys caused trouble, a school board director brought a switch to school and told the teacher to use it. Later he found out his daughter was the first one the switch was used on. He took the switch home. We also had a girl who had quite a temper if things didn‘t go her way. Sometimes when the teacher reprimanded her she would run away and go home. The school board told her parents to straighten her out or she‘d be expelled. She never ran away again. The games we played were ―Drop the Handerkchief,‖ ―Pump, Pump, Pull Away,‖ ―Blind Man‘s Bluff,‖ softball, football, basketball, soccer, and many others. We also brought our sleds to school in the winter and slid down the hill of the schoolyard, across the road, and down the hill in a pasture. The farmer had opened up the fence and removed posts for us to go through. We also could skate on the creek below the schoolyard. The teacher taught reading, phonics, numbers, arithmetic, geography, history, language, hygiene, art and penmanship. We also had music and were given a list of songs to memorize each year. The county superintendent would come out to listen to us. If we passed all the songs we were given a certificate. In the fall or the spring we would walk two miles to the woods, where we were taught about wild flowers, trees, and the birds and animals living in the woods. It was called ―Wild Life Study.‖ We took our lunches along sometimes and had a picnic in the woods. To graduate from country school we had to go to the Bremer County Courthouse and take the 8th grade examination. When it came time to take mine, as it was always done in the wintertime, I had to stay at the teacher‘s home in Waverly as the roads were closed due to a snowstorm. When I started kindergarten there were six in my class. Two were transferred back to their own district, two had to repeat the grade, and two of us continued on. We both passed the 8th grade exam and were on the honor roll. We attended and graduated from Waverly High School. Some boys and girls had to stay home during planting and harvest seasons to help on the farm. Some of them were older when they graduated from 8th grade, as they had to put in full terms and pass all the grades. When one child came down with mumps, measles, whooping cough, chicken pox, or the good old flu, it would travel through the whole school. Yes, colds were very common every winter.

One winter when I was in the upper grades my grandmother gave me a fur coat with a long collar, which a neighbor lady of hers was going to throw away. Oh, how I loved that coat, the only fur coat I've ever had. Now, to get back to why I brought this up. In the wintertime we has snowball fights, and we chose sides. You see, I could go in and trump the opponents as I would pull the collar over my stocking cap. No snow would go down my neck, I‘d lead the charge and we'd whip the other side. In the wintertime the roads were often impassable, except for the main road from Bremer to Waverly. The roads weren't graded up as now, so when snowstorms hit the snow piled up from the fence on one side of the road clear across to the fence on the other side. A neighbor who lived a mile and a half from school brought his children to school in a bobsled with everyone under a pile of blankets. If we didn't want to walk to school through the deep snow and strong wind, we'd be sure to be out to the road and catch a ride. Bobsledding was great fun. Every morning we started school with the pledge of allegiance to the flag and a prayer. We also sang songs. As all grades were in one room, we were able to hear the recitations of the other grades and learned from the older children. There were spelling contests, math contest, and others. A birthday meant a treat was brought to school, and there would be a party before school was dismissed at the end of the day. Yes, there were bugs, frogs, toads, sometimes a baby snake, that found their way to school and into someone's desk, clothing, or just turned loose in the schoolroom. Oh, what fun we had in the rural schools in the 1930s!!! Submitted by Ruth Pothast Arns


ST. PAUL‘S PAROCHIAL SCHOOL DAYS By Harley Meyer Clarence Hoeger, Leo Behrens, Robert Keough, Esther Hoeger, Gerhart Hemple, Ruth Hoeper, Mabel Behrens, Martha Tietge, Loretta Hemple, Lester Kuker, Viola Kuker, Ervin Kuker, Mertle Stahlhut, Elda Meyer, Clarence Gaede, Reinhart, Behrens, Norma Tietje, Alma Stahlhut, Rev. Hemple After sixth grade we came to school in Waverly where we went to St. Paul‘s Parochial School for confirmation instruction in the 7th and 8th grades. The old school building was south of the alley in the same block where the new school now stands. On the south end of that block was an old red brick house with an iron fence around it. A man by the name of Henry Woodford lived there. He looked like a recluse, a long white beard and tacky clothes, even though he was known to have money. He had a housekeeper, Delilah Fails who lived with him during some of this time. According to a story around, she had killed a man and served time. There was a small kerosene light that was always on at night. It was like a haunted house. The schoolyard playground was small when playing ball. If a ball was batted over the fence, you did not go after it, and it never came back. It was gone. You never saw it again. One of my most embarrassing moments was in seventh grade when we were playing ball. I was wearing a gray pair of corduroy pants that were heavy and stiff as a board. I was the catcher and when I bent over, the seat of my pants ripped with open and my underwear showed. Grandma Meyer lived across the street where we now live and came to the rescue. She sewed my pants back together. Cebert Fox, Willis Buhr, Martn Heller, Wilbert Schroeder, LeAnn Schult z, Leonne Heller, Carol Reuter, Marilyn Hannah. Marilyn Buhr, Joan Reuter, LuVerne Behrens, Mercedes Tegtmeier, Corrine Pipho, Cordelle Fox, Lois Meyer, Olga Flanscha, Leila Bock, Lois Aschbrenner, Phyllis Benzine, James Reuter, Norman Flanscha, Milan Aschbrenner, Bill Benzine, Robert Pipho, James Kirchman There were some Loeb boys who lived across the tracks by Carnation. They went to public school and always tried to pick a fight. One morning on the way to school they picked on Art Henning and he took that notion out of them on the corner by the Woodford house. Art later boxed as an amateur. That old school house is south of Waverly on Highway 218 across the road to the east of Walker‘s salvage yard.


WARREN NO. 2 By Grace Carolus The 35 children and the 1 teacher assembled this float and then they all rode on it from Warren No. 2 to Waverly and back again to the school. The ride was about a full day of activity. The children had to get back home to help with evening chores. Drivers of the teams of horses were Simon Raecker and Henry Pothast. Some of the Koening Girls were involved. Where was Warren No. 2? Where Dick and Babs Ormston have built a lovely home. WARREN NO. 3 By Wilma Dettmer Ingersoll Waverly, Iowa My parents were Herman & Ella Dettmer. There were three children in my family. Our names were Walter, Wilma and Melvin. We lived across the road from Warren No. 3 School. The three of us went to school there from kindergarten through eighth grade. The schoolhouse was one big room for our classroom and a large hall for the outside and basement entrances. The sink, water fountain and a place for our hats, coats, boots and lunchboxes were also in this area. It had a full basement with a furnace and room for a coal bin. My dad would bank the furnace at night to keep the furnace going during the winter. Sometimes the teacher would stay during the week if they didn‘t have a car. When the weather was bad, we played in the basement, otherwise we played outside. Everyone played together. Some of the games we played were Anti Anti Over the Schoolhouse, Red Light, Green Light, Hide and Go Seek, baseball and so forth. In the winter we also made snowmen and had snowball fights. A winter game we played was Fox and Goose. After the snowplow went through, we would slide down the snow banks. We had an outside toilet with two holes for the girls, as well as two for the boys. There was no toilet paper, but a catalog was provided for each outhouse. Students took turns carrying water from our house everyday. In the winter we shoveled the steps and a path to the toilets. We helped clean blackboards, sweep the floors and clean the drinking fountain and sink. We didn‘t have electricity until I went to high school. In the spring we had a Clean-Up Day with a marshmallow and weinie roast. The students put on a school program for the parents and whomever else wanted to come. After the program, a lunch would be served. In the summer we‘d have a school picnic and everyone in the school district would come. After the potluck, the men would have a ballgame and the women would cheer and visit. The school didn‘t have a lawnmower, so my dad would take the horses and a grass mower over to cut the grass. My brothers and I always went home for lunch, so when we got to carry a lunch to school it was a real treat to eat with the other kids.

I had 3 boys in my class during my school years at Warren No. 3 so could always say, I was the smartest girl. During my 5-1/2 years at this school, there were 15 to 20 students in the school in the different grades. I had several different teachers at the school – Esther Kappmeyer, Namoi Johnson (Kingsley), Delores Tjarks, and Edith Vosseller. I can remember as one of the younger students, listening to the class participation in front of the teacher and learning from that. It was always hard to concentrate on your own schoolwork. The years at Warren No. 3 were some fun years. Recesses were fun times. Students would also go to school early and

WARREN No. 3 By Marlys Oberheu Krueger I transferred into the Warren No. 3 school during my 3rd grade year, when my family moved to my grandparent‘s farm (Otto and Ida Leisinger). One thing I remember was, I now had 1-3/4 miles to get to school, rather than the 1/2 mile at the Horton School. This meant walking or riding a bike a much longer distance when the weather was good. My brother, Norman, was in kindergarten when we changed schools, so we made the trek together. In the transition I remember the school building as being much smaller than where I had previously gone and that the drinking water had to be carried by pail from the Dettmer farm across the road. In the school entrance was a place to hang coats, place dinner buckets and the water cooler was located there with the students drinking cups. Inside the school the students had desks that were connected and you were usually assigned to areas by the grade you were in.


Ronald Lebeck, Donald Lebeck, Andrea Kappmeyer, Ronald Gabe, Gary Brandenberg, Mardell Brandenburg, Judy Epley, Larry Epley, Norman Oberheu, Sharon Epley, Sheldon Cruse, Karlton Kappmeyer, Carol Boerschel, Jim Cruse, Marlys Oberheu, Lauren Peterson, Dick Epley, Carolyn Jones sometimes stay after school to play games of baseball, softball and football. Many balls were thrown over the school building as the game of Anty, Anty Over was played. In the winter, Fox and Goose was played. At Halloween time the ―two holer‖, which had sides for the boys and the girls, was always tipped against the trees behind the toilet. I remember my dad and other dads, always having to put it back in place. One highlight of the school year, was the school play when all the students had a part and parents would attend the performance. It was a time when you got to dress up and have a good time. At the end of the school year, there was a picnic Interesting note for me, is that my grandmother‘s sister (my grandmother had finished school when they moved to the area), my dad (Gus Oberheu) and his 9 siblings, my mother (Lucinda Leisinger) and her 3 siblings, myself and 2 of my siblings (Norman Oberheu and Marilyn Oberheu Mueller) all attended Warren #3.

Sharon Cruse, Andrea Kappmeyer, Judy Epley, Mardell Brandenburg SCHOOL DAYS, WARREN NO. 3 By Mildred Busse Bergmann I went to Warren No. 3 country school from kindergarten through sixth grade and my sister Carolyn went from kindergarten through second grade. My parents, Harold and Viola Busse, lived 1-1/2 miles from school. When the weather was good I walked home at night. I had 3 or 4 classmates in my grade with about 20 students in this one-room schoolhouse. We would have our lessons up front on chairs in a semi-circle with the teacher. We had a full basement in our school so when it was cold we played down there. The older students had wood working projects going in one small room. I had fun making simple things with thin plywood, a cooping saw, sandpaper and a little paint. I enjoyed it when we would work on getting a school program ready to give to our parents. We made a small stage, put a wire up for the curtain that was white sheets. We did short skits and had a small band. One year after the program we had a box social for lunch. All the mothers and girls decorated a box and packed it with sandwiches, cookies or cake, food for two. The pretty boxes were auctioned off and the fathers and boys bought a box not knowing who made it and that is whom you ate your lunch with. I remember it to be a fun night. Andrea Kappmeyer, Mardell Brandenburg, Karen Leisinger, Mary Arns


Every day I carried a black dinner bucket with a thermos in the top half with milk or soup in the thermos. My mother made my sandwich from cold beef or pork roast, maybe a fried egg, usually a cookie and some kind of fruit. I remember wearing feed sack dresses made by my Grandmother Busse. If it was cold I wore slacks under my dress.

Mildred Kappmeyer, Ernie Gabe, Martha Gave, Billy Winzenburg, Laura Segebarth, Mary Fowler, Lavern Whitney, Robert Nitcher, Mildred Busse, Clarion Winzenburg, Marlene Winzenburg, Melvin Dettmer, Marion Kappmeyer, Orville Nitcher, Dorothy Kappmeyer, Willis Nolte , Raymond Nitcher Sharon Epley, Carolyn Busse, Mildred Kappmeyer, Mildred Busse, Marlys Oberheu WARREN NO. 3 SCHOOL LIST BREMER COUNTY A list of people going to school at Warren No. 3 prior to 1933 was gathered by Loren Leisinger, Valthia (Leisinger) Buhr, Rose (Oberheu) Devries, Eldora (Waschkat) Eick, Wilma (Segebarth) Wedeking and Wilma (Dettmer) Ingersoll. List of names as follows are as near as we can recall: Harold Waschkat Gwendlyn, Evelyn and Gilbert Walthers Ed & Irwin Gade Edna Christophel Wilbert Nolte Mary & Edith Armstrong George & John Segebarth Elda Propp Lucinda, Loren & Valthia Leisinger Lavonna, Lavera & Glen Bierman Lenna, Ellen & Ralph Schmadeke Bill, Marie, Anna, Otto, Bertha, Adoph, Gustav, Ernest, Albert & Rose Oberheu Edwin Kappmeyer Velda Flege Loren & Lavern Krueger The teachers as follows: Thelma Star Mrs. Sciplen Marjorie Marsh Hilda Brandt Mrs. Schaffer Luelta Hemingson Viva Schroedemeyer Mildred Stickman County Superintendent was Mildred Smith. The school burnt down in the late 1920‘s and was rebuilt.

WARREN NO. 4 Warren No. 4 country School was located in the northwest corner of section 10 of Warren Township. After reorganization, the students were integrated into either the Tripoli or Waverly School districts. The actual school building also found a new home approximately one-half mile west at the present George Kaiser farm where it still stands today. The exact founding date for this school was not located. However, Edna Drape, alumni of Warren No. 4, related that her


mother Katherine Buchholz, attended that school beginning in about 1894. It is thought that electricity may have been provided in about 1937. Students who attended Warren No. 4 in the fifties recall that the old kerosene lanterns and reflectors were still on the walls, although unused. The school had no basement and in the later years was heated with an oil burner. Earlier a coal potbelly stove provided heat. A partial list of families whose children attended Warren No. 4 School include: Ernest Dettmer family, LaVern Dettmer family, Katherine Buchholz as a child, Katherine Buchholz (Drape) children who include Edna Drape, Ruben and Edna Drape children, Lyle Bergmann family, Wendell Wente family, Orville Eick family, Ralph Bolte family, Lorenz Buchholz family, Edwin Wente family, Roy Boeckmann family, John Eick family, Art Kaiser family. Mrs. George DeVries of Plainfield related that she taught Warren No. 4 in 1935 after graduating from high school earlier that year and receiving three months of training at Teacher‘s College in Cedar Falls. She recalled having to make the coal fire each cold day and bringing water to school. Two students would also walk to a farm home during the day to get more water. A particular memory that is vivid in Mrs. DeVries‘ mind is a day when a student or students decided to throw mud balls at the north side of the school building where there were no windows. Mrs. DeVries was responsible for cleaning the mess off the building because she could not determine who had done the bad deed. Some students came to Warren No. 4 unable to speak English, having only been exposed to the German language in their homes. LaVern Dettmer recalls being slapped by his first teacher for responding to questions in German. A partial list of teachers who taught in Warren No. 4 include: Bertha Ticking, Mrs. George DeVries, Elda Pries Garner, Ethel Pothast Foust, Mrs. Bill Moffett, Mrs. Dreyer (she and her husband owned the drug store in Tripoli), Eileen Iserman Fuerstenburg, Evelyn Lageschulte, Birdie Arns Platte, Mabel Bogan. Many teachers lived with families in the Warren No. 4 School District during their teaching tenure.


WARREN NO. 8 By Maxine Buchholz Warren No. 8 Independent School District was located on the corner of Hwy. 63 and C-33. The land was part of the late August Pries farm. The schoolhouse was sold and moved to a farm half mile east, where it is now used as a farm building. The land was later used as a rest area. All that remains is a large rock that was used as 2nd base for ballgames at recess. Teachers were hired by the month. Some teachers taught only one month or three months, then a different teacher was hired. Teachers were single and in earlier years could not be married and teach school. The earliest salary recorded is Emma Iserman at $28 per month. Each school set their own teacher‘s salary. The dates of the Winter Term and the Spring Term were decided at the school board meeting. Each school was required to have seven pupils to stay open. A census of families and children‘s ages was taken annually. In this district, there was another school. It was located at the Bremer County Farm. The children who attended were from the poor families living in the cottages at the farm. These children later attended the Warren No. 8 School. I remember going there to play ball. Teachers in the earlier years were required to take agriculture and domestic science as part of their schooling. Our school subscribed to the ―Wallace Farmer‖. Sewing was taught two times a week. Some teachers taught knitting, crocheting and embroidery to the students. This was taught to the boys as well as the girls. Pictures of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington were on the wall. Later a picture, ―Head of Christ‖, was added. There were two former elder pupils living in nearby towns. Arnold Pries of Sumner, and Clara Kallenbach (Niemeyer), who lives in Waverly. Roger Dale Buchholz, assistant principal at River Falls High School, Wisconsin, was the last pupil to begin at the school before it closed. Several students became teachers, Karen & Verla Zander, Dorothy Schlichting, Diane Heideman, & Roger Dale Buchholz. Some of the students still remain in the area in agriculture. They are Romaine & Roger Buchholz, sons of Emil Buchholz, Lester Leisinger, Leo Beisner & Paul Zander , son of Walter Zander. Paul Homan, son of Arnold Homan is working directly with agriculture research on land near the former school. Maxine Thiemann (Buchholz) still resides on the farm near the school. Pupils who attended in 1940 were: Berdene Homan (deceased), Maxine Thiemann, Darlys Clausing, Hearldean Redies (Niemeyer), Dorothy Schlichting (Lutz), Garold Drewes, Lavern Drewes, Robert & Lester Leisinger, Glen & Louis Floden, Marvin Harms, Lavern Platte (deceased), Marlyn Platte (Mummelthei), Elmer Clausing, Bernita Drewes (deceased) Lauterbach. Many interesting school stories have been passed down through the generations, always bringing a smile of remembrance. Four sisters who taught in what is now the Tripoli Community School District, came from Fayette County. They were the daughters of the late Dietrich Pape of West Union. The first to come was Erna Pape, (Mrs. R. F. Thiemann), Lillie (Mrs. Louis Dorn), Gladys (Mrs. Leslie Huck), Blanche (Mrs. Floyd Sauerbrei). Erna and Lillie taught at Warren No. 8. The following teachers served Warren No. 8 school. Also included is some of the monthly salaries: Most of these teachers were ―Miss‖: Lenora Rice (1882), Lizzie Cruthers (1883), Ella Hanchett (1887), Nellie Ancer (1883), Ida Arns (188\99), Emma Iserman (1903), Isabella Besmer (1904), Lenora Konovan (1906), Merle Farmer (1907), Margaret Taylor (1910), Ruth Sewell (1911), Ruth Farris (1911), Ruby Sumner (1912), Miss Cretzmeyer (1913, with a salary of $37/mo.), Vera Diestlor (1914, $37/mo.) M. Miller (1914, $35/mo.), Grace Easter (1914, $38/mo.), Erna E. Paper (1916, $47.50/mo.), Hazel Husband (1917, $45/mo), Anna Fritchel (taught 1 month in 1917), Violet Heineman (1917, $52/mo.), Erna E. Pape (1917, $47.30/mo.), Arlene Stafford (1917, $48.40/mo.) Ruth Leitha (1918, $46.75/mo), Janet Jackson (1918, $60/mo.), Mrs. Erna E. (Pape) Thiemann (1919), Bessie Philips (1919), Marion Chapin (1920), Blanche E. Leitha (1920), ruth Schaffer (1922-25), Josephine Homan (1925-27), Edna Byram (1927), Lillie Pape (1927-29, $65/mo.), Erna Westendor (1929-31), Gertrude Griese (1931-1933), Olga Forglor (1934-35), Lillie Pape (1936-37), Edna Christopher (1937), Ehyl

McCoy (1938), Bernice Westendorf 1939-40, Elda Oberheu (1941), Eileen Iserman (1942), Evelyn Lageschulte (1946-47), Margaret Schlichting (194748), Mrs. Howard Parmer (1948-49), Anna D. Fantz (1949-50) and Mrs. Louis Ingham (1950-58). Mrs. Ingham was the last teacher of Warren No. 8. To all our dedicated teachers, we say ―thank-you‖.

WARREN NO. 9 TRIPOLI COUNTRY SCHOOL MUSEUM In April of 1975 a meeting was held in Tripoli to determine what the community might do to commemorate the nation‘s bicentennial the following year. Shortly thereafter it was decided to investigate the possibility of preserving a country school and establishing it as a museum. The nearest of a very diminished number of country schools existing, was located on the west side of highway 63 at the junction of 63 and 93. It was known as Warren No. 9 and served as a rural school from at least 1899 to 1957. The owner of the land and schoolhouse at this time was Gloria Sell Bruns who, when approached, offered the building to the Bicentennial Committee for their project at no cost. Throughout the remainder of 1975 and during the first six months of 1976 many people participated in planning, raising funds, moving, restoring, and refurbishing the school building. By July 4, 1976, the country school Warren No. 9, found a new home in the North Park of the town of Tripoli. The Schoolhouse Museum is a tribute to the efforts of a community working together. It is open to the public from May through September or by appointment at other times.


The grade students from Tripoli Elementary Schools spend a day at the Tripoli Schoolhouse Museum where information is presented about a normal school day in the days of the country schools. The students dress up in the style of clothing worn during an earlier era in Iowa. In the top photo Kathy Bremner (left) talks to the students as teachers Mrs. Bratten and Mrs. Capper are seated in the background. Garnetta Snyder stands at the right. Students are Emily Sauerbrei, Spencer Brookman, Nathan Pieters, Brady Lahmann, Jacob Ludemann, Jacob Axon, Lucas Lohmann, Delta Lahmann, Whitney Figanbaum, McKinna Benson, Jessica Bremner, Grace Wadding, Savannah Davis, & Erica Ollendieck.




SCHOOL DAYS AT WASHINGTON NO. 7 By Harley Meyer Washington No. 7 next to the creamery was known as the Little Red School House. It was already stuccoed when I started. Some of the names of the people who attended that school were: Volks, Hoppenworth, Brandenburgs, Gamms, Lampes, Monaghans, Hennings, Deitrichs, Meyers and Steeges. One year we had Ed Yockstick who lived one mile east and one half mile north. Also when Highway 10 (now 3) was under construction we had a Fortner boy and girl attend, as their bunkhouse was located 1/2 mile east by the Thoms‘ sawmill on the south side of the road, just east of the WCF&N Railroad tracks. There also used to be a clay pit there from which several cars of clay were loaded out every year. The clay was for the John Deere factory where it was used for moulds. They used to load that on a conveyor belt with two teams of horses and slip scrapers. It seems like they discontinued that just before WW II. We walked a mile to country school and I will never forget my first day. On the way home Art Henning, a neighbor boy a few years older, was swinging his ball bat and broke my nose about a quarter of a mile from home. They didn‘t go the doctor in those days; they just pushed it over. That‘s why I have a crooked nose and have an obstruction in my right nostril. I got off on the wrong foot, as I never liked my teacher from day one. She was sick a lot and we had many substitute teachers. She stayed with and was related to the school board president. Otherwise I don‘t believe she would have kept her job. I had her for a total of 6 years; I can still see her freckled face and red hair. As a result of that I hated every day of school with a passion. The schoolhouse was one room with a pot-bellied stove in the middle for heat. By the entry on the west side, wood was stored for the stove. Also in the back of the room was a clothes closet and a place for the water pail and a dipper. Water came from the creamery, so two kids were delegated every day to get water. Cleaning the blackboard erasers was also done by students. All eight grades were taught and there was no kindergarten then. The two old hole toilets were so cold in the winter that you didn‘t dally around. It was the teacher‘s job to sweep the floor, build the fire when heat was needed, check the mousetraps – as we always had mice in the woodpile. The water pail always was frozen in the winter unless it was emptied before the teacher went home at night. The teacher most of the time had the flag up before the kids came to school and she usually had a path shoveled to the gate after a snow.


Every year there was a school play and a box social for a fund raiser. The boxes would be decorated and filled with goodies and sold at auction. Most never knew whose box they were bidding on and they ate with the person who bought the box. At least once a year in the winter we all would bring vegetables and the teacher would make soup on the stove. It was sure good having something hot after eating from a cold lunch pail. There were no fancy lunch pails or back packs then. Your lunch pail was a gallon syrup pail, a couple of cookies and an apple. At Christmas time we may have gotten a few oranges. As to school dress the boys usually wore bib overalls and chambray shirts and the girls wore gingham dresses when it was warm and in cold weather it was blouses, skirts and sweaters. It was no style show then. In the winter one of the games played was fox and goose and we made snow huts. In the warmer weather we‘d play ball in the Volk pasture west of the school, as the schoolyard was too small. Chasing striped gophers was another thing done. In the schoolyard they played ante-over. This consisted of choosing sides, throwing a rubber ball over the school. If it was caught you run to the other side and tag someone, then change sides. Then there was drop the handkerchief. This consisted of a group in a circle and all facing in. One would go around the outside and drop it behind someone; they in turn would have to pick it up and try to catch you. If they didn‘t catch you, then it was their turn to drop it. Nora and Alvin Frie, Louise and Glenda Dietrick, Tom and Ed Monaghan, Fred, Bill and Carl Henning, Arthur Iserman and Harry and Hulda Steege In those days we had one pair of shoes and wore cloth overshoes in the winter as we had a lot of snow and it was very cold. When the roads were blocked we would walk through the field as it was shorter and the snow was so hard that you could walk across it. The roads blocked very easy then as the roadbed was lower than the field and fence rows, so they plugged up very easily. We had a homemade snow plow that we used to make a path through the field to the highway. It was No. 10 then (now No. 3) and Highway 63 was No. 59 then. I have no idea what year the numbers were changed or the reason for it. One night on the way home from school, about a 1/2 mile south of the creamery, a bootlegger from Denver was stuck in the snow. We pushed him out and he gave us all a quarter. Were we in high cotton. This was about the time of the 1929 stock crash. We were poor as church mice but didn‘t know it as everybody else was in the same boat. Nobody had any money. Living on the farm we always had food on the table as we had a big garden and orchard and our own meat and milk and eggs. In those days you took a 12-dozen case of eggs to the grocery store; bought groceries and came home with money to spare. You bought flour by the 50pound bad and everything was in bulk then. The only cereals we knew were oatmeal and corn flakes. Home baked bread was always on the table. It was mixed in the evening in a large bread pan that held at least 8 loaves and would raise over night and then put in pans and baked the next morning. Oh, what an aroma that put out. Hot bread and butter and honey still make my mouth water. When we came from school we were always hungry so a piece of bread with jam would tide us over till suppertime as we had chores to do when we got home. We usually milked the cows before we came in for supper.

Blanche (Balsley) Burman was one of the first that I found and she taught in 1923 for just one year. She was our neighbor; her daughter Mable was my babysitter on many occasions. Her husband, Kenneth, gave me her school bell and I gave it to brother Ed.

WASHINGTON NO. 8 SPRING BRANCH The old brick schoolhouse is located in Bremer County and the property is now owned by Ron Kratchmer, who was married to Lester Fails daughter, Mary Lee. It‘s not too far from the Boy Scout Camp Ingawanis and is a school that was attended by my brothers, Wayne and Ed Harmening about 1936-37. I have done some research but haven‘t found any specific records or teachers other than the following that were from the memories of former students and teachers themselves.


Charlotte (Balsley) Jameson also taught about 1934 for 1 year. She was a sister to Blanche. Mrs. Evelyn Barkley, don‘t know what year. Mrs. Ida Schlichting, 1936. Married to Bill Schlichting and related to mom. They lived in Tripoli and I called to ask her about her year. Bill was a barber in Denver when Ida taught school. She would park her car in Mike Rosol‘s yard in the winter when the roads were bad and walk to the school. Rosol‘s is just south of Highway 3 East of Waverly. She was the boys teacher. Edna Rosol was mom‘s half sister. Evelyn Jensen, 1938. Married Clarence Ducker of Waverly. Talked to her as she also taught my daughter Cheryl in 2nd grade at Denver schools. What a small world. She was just 18 years old and it was her first job. She lived with her parents not too far away and still lives in the SE part on the edge of Waverly. She was at Denver for 28 years. Her father Axel Jensen was a milk hauler for Rogers folks at one time. Very active lady yet. Lois Colburn, 1937 and also 1944, we think. Delight McDowell, 1939. Married a Diestler. Grace Young. A good friend of my folks and also an Aunt of Leo Baker who is married to my Aunt Edna. She taught George Fails and Henry Homeister. Lavon Wendt, 1940. Married to Erwald Peters of Waverly.


0COMMUNICATIONS Spreading the Word

__ All or part on microfilm

The Sumner Gazette In 1853 a traveler might spread the news from farm to farm, community to community. Perhaps a newspaper from back east might be shared. Socials, dances and community gatherings were a chance to learn what was happening elsewhere. It wasn't until 1855 that the first newspaper was published in Bremer County, and that paper only lasted a few weeks. The advent of the Waverly Republican in March 1856 gave the first continuous flow of news via a local printer. Without good roads it was still sometimes a slow process to pass information from one end of the county to the other. Imagine walking or riding a horse through the Wapsie and the swampy area around it. Bremer County residents have progressed through stagecoach, horseback rider, railroads, telegraph wires, telephone lines, radio, television, and now the internet to spread the word. The pioneers sometimes waited months for letters from loved ones. Now a farm wife in rural Bremer County can not only send or receive mail instantaneously, with the proper computer equipment she can send or receive photographs only minutes old. We've come a long way. And we even have junk mail, something else the pioneers had to do without. The first Sumner Gazette, Vol. 1, No. 1, was mailed Jan.5, 1881, from the Sumner Post Office. It was originally intended to be called the Sumner Review by its first owners, J.O. Stewart and Ed Madigan of Clarksville. However, the paper was transferred to E.H. Yarger prior to its first publication date, and he named it the Sumner Gazette. G.P. Linn was an early editor and his family were early supporters of the enterprise. He remained the editor until Oct. 24, 1907, when he relinquished editorial control because in his words, ―a consequence of broken health.‖ Homer Branch took the reins of the enterprise. He was described by Linn as a ―good and worthy man.‖ In his opening column, Homer Branch promised that the ―high moral tone of the paper will be maintained.‖ He asked his readers and subscribers to ―please do not ask us to insert items which may contain a ‗josh‘ on anybody, for the Gazette is not a humorous paper nor will we take items of a spiteful or sensational nature, liable to hurt the standing a defeat the best purposes of a family newspaper.‖ Vernon M. Vierth purchased the Gazette from Branch in May 1917. Actually Vierth had started a rival paper, the Sumner Herald, in August, 1915. However, Vierth consolidated it with the Sumner Gazette with his purchase from Branch. Vierth explained in later writings that Branch [who called himself Uncle Ho] had ―alienated a sizable segment of Gazette circulation, because he had been rather aggressively editorially in the field of religious differences.‖ Vierth was the editor-publisher for 13 years until 1930, when Charles O‘Neal and G. Wiley Beveridge purchased the enterprise. Beveridge bought out O‘Neal in 1940 and became the sole owner. Beveridge commented, ―For a few months during the depression we had no commercial printing. So, after we had thrown in the type, we shut up the back shop. For about five months we printed only six pages weekly. Advertising was a very scarce item.‖ The nephew of Vernon Vierth purchased the paper from Beveridge in 1947. James R. Heyer began his 41-year journey as editor-publisher of the Sumner Gazette. During that 40 years, he had two partners, Herbert J. Forsman from the late 1960s until the early 1980s, and Janet Gitch from the early 1980s until 1988.

Bremer County Press In 1883 in an article on the press the author states that ―papers are the repositories wherein are stored the facts and the events, the deeds and the sayings, the undertakings and the achievements that go to make up final history.‖ The Denver, Sumner, Tripoli, and Waverly newspapers have served our county very well. Although not all the issues have survived, Bremer County is more fortunate than some areas in this regard. Previous county histories gave in considerable detail the history of the earliest newspapers, their editors, political affiliations, etc., so included here is a list of all the publications documented as of 2002 and the time span they covered. Janesville Bremer County Herald 1855-1856 Waverly Waverly Republican 1856-1915 Waverly Bremer County Argus 1860 Waverly Bremer County Phoenix 1862* Waverly Waverly Democratic News 1867-1870> Waverly Bremer County Independent 1870-present Waverly Deutsch Volk-Zeitung G 1874-1877> Waverly Volks Blatt G 1877-? Sumner Sumner Camera 1875 Waverly Waverly Demokrat G 1879-? Waverly Waverly Democrat 1880-present Sumner Sumner Review 1881> Sumner Sumner Gazette 1881-present Waverly Waverly Tribune 1882-? Waverly Waverly Phoenix G 1884-1924 Janesville Janesville Clipper 1893-1909> Tripoli Tripoli Leader 1894-present Sumner Sumner Eagle 1896-? Plainfield Plainfield Bell 1900?-1903 Denver Denver Post 1901-1902 Denver Denver Independent early 1900s Plainfield Plainfield Progress 1903-? Janesville Janesville Banner 1910-? Waverly Waverly Journal 1932-1945 Denver Denver Times 1953 Denver Denver Bulletin 1964 Denver Denver Forum 1976-present * Waverly Republican briefly used this name > signifies paper changed names G German language newspaper


The Sumner Gazette Publishing Company had expanded during this period. Along with the Sumner Gazette, it was also publishing the Hawkeye Booster and the Fredericksburg Review. Cal and Katy Milnes purchased the publishing company from Heyer and Gitch Jan. 1, 1989. Cal Milnes served as the managing editor and Katy Milnes was the advertising director. April 1, 1997, Vanguard Publishing Company was formed with Cal and Katy Milnes taking on partners, Ken and Rosalie Schmith. Vanguard owns the Sumner Gazette, along with two other newspapers, the Tripoli Leader and the Fredericksburg Review. Cal Milnes was the editor-publisher of the Gazette, until January 1, 2003, when Doug and Angie Daniels became the publishers.

Tripoli Leader On December 14, 1894, a weekly newspaper known as the Triopli Leader was established by P.J. Butler. Other publishers have been J.G. Sterling and S.E. Preston [1900], E.G. Baker [1903], G.L. Kirkpatrick [1910], L.R. Reid [1915], L.C. Hullman and J.J. Hoeger [1919], Lee O. Peacock [1923], Lee O. Peacock and Max Oldham [1946], until Oldham died in November in 1949 at which time Peacock resumed full ownership, William Buckley [1953], Robert J. Sassman [1965], Ken and Raslie Schmith [1997], and Douglas and Angela Daniels [2003]. The Tripoli Leader was first located in the 200 block on Main Street N.W. and after a number of years, it was moved to a location just west of the Jack & Jill [the former Mercantile building]. In the year 1925, Lee O. Peacock purchased a building at 301 South Main Street [next to City Hall] where the newspaper was published until 1968 at which time the Sassmans purchased a larger building at 204 S. Main Street, and the business and equipment was moved in October of 1968. The Leader location was formerly occupied by Juel‘s Briardale Grocery Store. This building is 124 _ feet long and 23 feet wide with a basement under the back half of the building. The building is of brick and hollow tile construction with the front finished in light-colored brick. The building was designed by Harry Juel, and he moved his grocery store into the new location in October 1947. Following the closing of the grocery store, the building was remodeled to serve as the newspaper and commercial printing plant. The Tripoli Leader moved their operation to this location in October of 1968, from their previous location at 301 South Main. Since that time, new energy-efficient front windows have been installed, also a new roof, furnace, and air conditioner. In the early years of the newspaper, the typesetting was done entirely by hand, ―letter by letter,‖ until sometime in the 1920s when a Model 8 Mergenthaler Linotype was purchased to set lead type ―line by line.‖ The hot lead was remelted every week to be used the following week, thus, the term ―hot metal‖ or ―letterpress‖ printing. Peacock was the owner/publisher for the next 30 years, to the day, from October 1, 1923, to October 1, 1953. William A. Buckley, who was publisher of the newspaper in Schaller, Iowa, purchased the Tripoli Leader on October 1,1953, and retained ownership of that business until July 1, 1965. In the year 1962, Buckley purchased another newspaper in his hometown of Rockwell City, Iowa, and actively became publisher of that publication. Buckley retained ownership of the Leader and appointed Robert Sassman, who had been an employee of the Leader since 1954 as its Editor. On July 1, 1965, Robert Sassman and his wife Donna purchased the Tripoli Leader as co-owners. The first issue in 1894 was a six-column, eight-page edition containing four pages of home print and four pages of ready print. In the late 1920s the increased amount of local news and advertising allowed the publisher to reduce the ready print service from 4 pages to 2 pages. In 1930 the ready print service was discontinued, and the newspaper was transformed into an all home print publication with 8 or more pages of 6 columns. In 1931 the format was changed again and became a 7 column publication.

The first major upgrade for the Leader came in July 1976 when the newspaper was converted from the traditional ―letterpress‖ method to ―offset‖ using photographic paper to produce the entire publication. At this time the page format was changed to 8 columns to conform to the photographic paper widths. At this same time the old 2-page newspaper ―letterpress,‖ used to print the paper, was retired and the newspaper was taken to another site to be printed and folded in one operation. Until this 1976 conversion, the newspaper was always printed on a 2-page letterpress and then folded by hand by Leader employees. The next change came in September of 1983 when the facial change of the newspaper was converted to a 6 column format. A second major upgrade came in April of 1991 when three Macintosh computers and a laser printer replaced the photo typesetters used since 1976. The Macintosh computer generated typesetting continues to be used at this time for all news stories and advertisements produced for the newspaper and commercial printing departments at the Leader. On July 1, 1997, Vanguard Publishing Company, which also owned the Sumner Gazette and Fredericksburg Review newspapers, purchased the Tripoli Leader from the Sassmans. Owners of Vanguard Publishing Company were Ken and Rosalie Schmith and Cal and Kathy Milnes. Ken and Rosalie became publishers of the Tripoli Leader. Vanguard Publishing owned a web printing press at its Sumner facility, and the Tripoli Leader has been printed there since 1997. Further advancements in technology resulted in a continued upgrade of equipment and methods of producing the local newspaper. Illustrations and artwork for much of the advertising in the newspaper now comes from compact discs and are placed in the ads with the use of computers. The Tripoli Leader also has switched to completely digital photography for all its news pictures, thus no longer requiring the purchase and processing of films, etc. The digital images are transferred from the camera into computers where the photos can be sized and enhanced before being printed for inclusion in the newspaper‘s pages. On January 2, 2003, Douglas and Angela Daniels purchased the stock of Vanguard Publishing Company from the previous owners and have assumed ownership and operation of the Tripoli Leader.


History of the Waverly Newspapers Since 1856 when the Waverly Republican first debuted, Bremer County has had a plethora of different newspapers. Newspapers of different political beliefs and even different languages have made their mark over the past 146 years. At many times, in fact, Waverly alone had multiple newspapers that were published. At one time there were an astonishing four papers in print at one time. While the names, owners, formats, and focuses of the newspaper have changed over the years, the purpose has remained the same. It has been the uttermost source of communication between citizens and has served as most possibly the best way to record history. The newspaper was and continues to be a reflection of the tone and character of the community. The Waverly Republican, est. 1856 First appearing March 5, 1856, the Waverly Republican was the first newspaper in Waverly. Herman A. Miles was the publisher who, even though was not a printer by trade, saw the need for a newspaper. Miles handed over one-half interest to C.T. Smeed the next fall, and he took over the editorial control. After moving to Texas April 17, 1857, Miles sold the rest of his remaining interest to J.O. Stewart. The firm then took on the name ―Smeed and Stewart.‖ Four years later, during the time of the Civil War, Smeed sold his interest to J.K. Maynard and Louis Case so that he could join the army. He never again returned to Waverly. A fire broke out in the old wooden building where the Republican was based out of December 31, 1861. The office was destroyed and publication was suspended for the only time in its history. Maynard revived the paper April 26, 1862 under the name of the Bremer County Phoenix. Maynard‘s reasoning for changing the name was because there were many other newspapers in the state that carried the name of the Republican. At the start of the new paper, Maynard took on the role of editor, publisher, and proprietor. The newspaper was changed back to The Waverly Republican when Maynard sold the paper to Stewart, the former owner of the newspaper. Ezra Moulton took on the editorial duties. Daniel Fichthorn and J.B. Scott purchased the newspaper November 25, 1869. Scott remained in the firm for only a brief time. Fichthorn remained in charge of the Republican until it was sold to C.F. Case April of 1874. Case was not the owner long, however, when he handed it over to W.H. Tyrrell in September of the same year. J.F. Grawe purchased the Republican from Tyrrell. The Republican was then joined with The Bremer County Independent to form The Independent-Republican. Democratic News, est. 1867 The Democratic News, which was owned by Gancelo C. Wright and W.A. Stow, first appeared June 27, 1867. In what seemed to be the common trend, the newspaper was soon handed over six months later to a very intelligent man by the name of George Lindley who ran the paper for three years. The Democratic News, which was a six-column folio, was then sold to Maynard, former owner of the Republican and Lord. The name was then changed in the Bremer County Independent in 1870. The Bremer County Independent, est. 1870 After owning the Bremer County Independent for a year and a half, Maynard and Lord sold it to the current owner of the Waverly Republican, Fichthorn. He influenced Captain W.V. Lucas to join the business. Lucas took on the management of the Independent. Lucas bought out the paper in January of 1872 and took over full control of the institution. W.H. Tyrrell bought into the Independent in the fall of 1873. The firm was then called Lucas & Tyrrell until Fichthorn came to the business. The firm was then called Fichthorn and Tyrrell. Fichthorn took over full management responsibilities when Tyrrell became associated with the Republican. Lucas withdrew from the Independent in January of 1876, leaving James Fletcher in charge, who purchased Lucas‘s interest. J.F. Grawe purchased the Bremer County Independent in July of 1890 from C.S. Linn, who had acquired the paper from Fichthorn two years earlier. The Bremer County Independent was then joined with the Republican to form the Independent-Republican. The Waverly Democrat, est. 1880

The Waverly Democrat made its debut Friday, February 27, 1880, when the population of Waverly was approximately 2,330. G.C. Wright and his son, James W., who was a practicing attorney in Bremer County, published the paper. The Wrights published the paper from an office on South Water St. (now First St. SE). Wright‘s original investment for secondhand equipment was $250. One man set the entire Democrat‘s print by hand. Until the Democrat got a press of its own a year later, it printed at the office of the Waverly Republican. In the first edition of the Democrat, G.C. published a column that he wrote to the citizens that stated that, ―[The Democrat] will be a free, outspoken and fearless paper; controlled by the editor and by no other persons, having a due regard for the opinion of others.‖ The paper was much different from today‘s newspaper. In the beginning the paper followed a very similar format from week to week. The front page was not adorned with the latest local news. It was, however, covered with a lot of political news and advertisements. The second page covered more political issues, and it also displayed many ads, which were and continue to be the backbone of every newspaper. On the third page, many random ―local matters‖ were addressed. Thoughts such as, ―Roads are muddy,‖ and ―Lots of strangers in town‖ were commonly addressed. Unlike today‘s newspaper, the paper printed many fictional stories and pieces of creative literature. The fourth page of the Democrat was usually covered with these fictional stories and poems. The Democrat was very biased and opinionated in a fashion that would not be accepted by society today. Ownership of the Democrat changed hands many times over the years. Charles W. Miller and Frank Taber took over the operation in April of 1886. When Taber retired in May of 1909, Miller became the sole owner of the Democrat. In January of 1911 Miller sold the Democrat to Henry J. Hoeger and Frank W. Westphal. Six years later Westphal sold three-fourths ownership of the Democrat to A.G. Studier, O.R. Ernst, and T.C. Hullman. Hullman was appointed as editor of the paper at this time. Hoeger continued to own one-fourth of the operation. J.F. Grawe purchased the Democrat in 1930. Publishing both the Democrat and the Bremer County Independent, he was one of the first in Iowa to put out a biweekly publication. The


Independent was distributed on Wednesday, and the Democrat was distributed on Friday. After his death in 1933, Grawe‘s two sons, Carl and Joe P., and his daughter, Adelaide, continued to publish the paper. Leslie G. Moeller took over the editorial duties. Upon returning to Waverly after duty in the Marine Corps, Carl‘s son, F.C. Grawe, took on the publisher position of the newspaper in 1946. In April of 1981 the newspaper was sold and F.C. retired. The newspaper office was located north of the old State Bank building. In 1963 the office moved to its present location which was the old Miller Hatchery. Charles Gebhard, Ned Disque, Ed Heins, and Don Huston all served as editors between 1946 and 1981. Huston continued to be editor of the paper until 1993. Macintosh computers were incorporated into the Waverly newspaper office in 1988. Desktop publishing was a breakthrough in the newspaper business. For expense reasons, it would not be possible today to publish a newspaper without computers. Mike Bryson was the editor of the paper from 1993 until 1994 when Ray Locke took over the paper for the next four years. Terri Lambertsen edited the paper between 1998 and 1999. Greg Sieleman edited the paper from January of 1999 until 2001. Jori Wade-Booth came to the newspaper in June of 2001 and continues to be the editor. Sieleman is currently the publisher of the paper. The Community Media Group in West Frankfurt, Ill. purchased the paper in 1997. Larry, Jodi, and John Perrotto are the current owners. This group owns four papers in Iowa and in various other states. In late 2000, the printing operation was moved to Oelwein, where the paper continues to be printed. The Independent-Democrat‘s total market circulation is roughly 13,000 today, including both the paper and the shopper. It is distributed to households and businesses in Bremer and Butler County. The newspaper office currently employees 11 full-time and three part-time employees. The Waverly Phoenix, est. 1884 Besides having multiple English newspapers in circulation, Waverly also had a German based newspaper called The Waverly Phoenix. H.C. Krech formed it in Oct. of 1884 during the political campaign after the current democrat based German newspaper, Volks-Blatt, was sold to republican Herman Rust, who put a heavy republican influence on the paper. Consequently, Krech, a democrat, formed the Phoenix in 1884 along with many other area democrats. Gustave von Pockels served as editor, while Henry Schultz was in charge of the mechanical aspects of the paper. Krech sold out to Leopold Ille two years later. A year later, in 1892, Schultz became the sole proprietor. The newspaper was again handed over in September of 1892 to G.A. Grossman and later to A.C. Grossman. Because Bremer County was largely a German county, the subscription list of the Phoenix was the largest in the county. The Phoenix eventually merged with the Waverly Democrat in 1922, where the newspaper was printed at the Waverly Publishing House. The Independent-Republican, est. 1915 After buying out the Waverly Republican and the Bremer County Independent, Grawe consolidated them to form the Independent-Republican. After Grawe‘s death in 1933, his sons Fred and Joseph took over the direction of the paper. They worked until March 31, 1981 when the Waverly Newspapers was sold to Woodward Communications Inc. The Waverly Journal, est. 1932 The Waverly Journal was founded in 1932 by T.C. Hullman and Leslie and Louis Hull. When the Independent and the Democrat Company bought the Journal in 1932, it ceased publication. By Lyndsay Legel; September 2002

fifty people had phones in 1900, and that was usually only in town. Limited technology and cost prevented rural telephone service from becoming widespread until the Rural Electrification Administration sponsored loans for rural telephone co-ops in the 1940s. Often 20 farms were hooked onto the same line. The operator would use a different type of ring so each family would know who the call was for. That didn't keep the other 19 families from getting on the phone line and listening in. Since then advances in technology have eliminated that problem and many others. Invented in 1947 by Bell Lab, the first transistor was made of paper clip-like metal twists. Today 7.5 million transistors fit in a square computer chip the same

On the Line In 1900, "Ring Down" phones had to be cranked to ring the operator who would then make a connection for the caller. The phones cost around $50. Phone calls at that time cost about $.05 a minute. About one in


size as that first transistor. A major development for phone companies has been fiberglass wiring. Each fiberglass strand is smaller than a hair, and will hold over a million conversations. More recent developments include cordless and cellular phones.

The Party Line and Our First Radio Our first telephone was the old hand crank magneto type and was quite an invention. To call a number other than local you had to ring Central first [later called the operator.] Each party had their own ring to go by as when a call was placed every body's phone would ring. Our ring was 2 long and 1 short. The neighbor's was 3 long and another was 5 short. It seems like we had 12 parties on the line. The one with the 5 short rings occupied the line more than all the rest combined. There was a married daughter living about one mile from her mother and she would call every day and some days twice. She would call her mother and say, "Hello, mamma. How are you?" and then talk for at least an hour. In those days there was a lot of listening in on the conversations; they called it ―rubbering‖ then. When you picked up the phone to use it and somebody was already on, you listened to see if there was any news. If there was an emergency, you rang in and asked for the line saying, "This is an emergency." Also in case of a fire there were several long rings and then people were told where it was at and everyone responded. Our first radio was an Atwater-Kent in a metal box and a separate speaker that we bought from Herman Propp in 1927. He ran an auto repair shop on East Bremer Ave. and sold radios on the side in the little grey building just east of the Ritchie Garage [now Elsamiller Electric.] We had electricity, so ours was electric, where most of the early ones were battery operated. He brought it out for a trial and we picked up WHN, Chicago; KDKH, Shenandoah; the Henry Fields station; WHO, Des Moines; and on Saturday nights the WLS barn dance from Cincinnati. We had a neighbor who just loved to hear that barn dance music and would come over every Saturday night to hear that program. Most of the time he walked. He would call and ask if we were going to listen to the barn dance. If the answer was yes, "I'll be right over." If I recall right, it cost $225, a lot of money then, but once it got in the house it stayed. Sometimes late at night we could pick up a station in New Orleans; ten o'clock was late them. I know we had that radio for quite awhile. Submitted by Harley Meyer ―Good-bye, Central‖ It is February 1963. There will be no operators to take your calls after February 18. All telephone calls thereafter will be through the Sumner exchange will be handled automatically by the United Telephone Company‘s Stromberg Carlson dial telephone system. It will be the close of another chapter in local history. Sometime during the day or night, the common battery switchboard that handled Sumner‘s calls since 1940, will cease to exist. It was ten years ago [in June 1953] that ownership of Iowa State Telephone was transferred. Sumner is the last exchange in this area to convert to dial. Most everyone who has used a telephone has probably telephoned by dial at one time or another. However, in some towns, it is necessary to dial only the last four numbers. Under the system in Sumner patrons will have to dial all seven numbers. All in all the switch to dial marks a major change that will have nostalgic implications as well as the physical and mechanical differences involved in the change. No longer will patrons have the opportunity to hear the ―voice behind the magic wire‖ when placing a call. The telephone operator has been an integral and important part of the daily life of the community. It would be almost impossible to name an event of special significance in which an operator did not participate. The operator employee with the longest period of service is Mildred Rowe, now cashier at the exchange. She began as a night operator on April 1,

1928, for the Hurmance Telephone Co. The following year the company was sold to Iowa Telephone Co., and she became cashier and chief operator. Phone service for Sumner actually preceded these companies by quite a few years. According to a newspaper clipping date July 29, 1881, ―Sumner is to have a telephone exchange in connection with Waverly next month. Already, S.F. Cass, J.C. Garner, and T. P. Emmons have subscribed and will have instruments placed in their offices. The cost of this luxury is $4.00 per month.‖ Nineteen years later the Sumner Independent Telephone Company had no less than 14 patrons, plus the central office in the store of M. Robish & Co. The $5,000 investment covered


14 towns: Fredericksburg, New Hampton, Boyd, Lawler, Frederika, Williamstown, Hawkeye, Waucoma, West Union, Alph, Westgate, and Maynard. The number of patron had climbed and the cost per month was now $1 per month. In 1926 operators gave up their practice of repeating the number to be called and substituted a ―cheery thank you.‖ It was considered a public relations coup by the Bell system. In 1940 a new switchboard had a heat coil that prevented lightning or other heavy discharges from reaching the switchboard—and the operators. Operators who were employed at the time of automation included: Emma Hurmance, Mrs. Carl Rogahn, Mrs. Sam Fridley, Mrs. Marvin Thomas, Mildred Rowe, Mrs. Robert Anderson, and Mrs. James Leistikow, Mrs. Rex Lucas, Mrs. Frank Dodd, Verla Schultz, Mrs. Fred Heller, Mrs. Willys Fritz, and Sandra Schultz. Arlin Schultz was then the manager.

the situation as it progressed. With more and more people carrying cell phones, reports of local road conditions can be reported with greater speed and accuracy. KWAY is also ready to join the Amber Alert system for a missing child as soon as the program is ready for operation by local law enforcement officials. With its news satellite connection KWAY is also now able to provide up to the minute news from anywhere in the world as it did during the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001, and the military campaign in the recent Afghanistan. Providing all these services to the residents of Bremer County and other are current employees: Mike Parker, mornings; Kelly Neff, mid days and sports; Chris Adams, evenings music director; Steve Hatter, traffic, billing, programming; Ael Suhr, owner, general manager; Patrick Raymond, sales manager; and James Fritcher, sales representative. Part-time sports play-by-play persons and part-timers include Tim Hildebrandt and Scott Suhr.

Radio Fills the Need Radios are fast becoming a necessity as well as being used for entertainment purposes. The last few days people in Tripoli unable to get newspapers owing to no train service have been receiving a great amount of news over the radio. The Associated Press finding it impossible to send news reports over a number of their wires on account of being down caused by the fierce blizzard of Monday and Tuesday, resorted to the radio to give their patrons the news. Many Tripoli folks are fast becoming radio fans and receiving sets may be found in many of the homes. Tripoli Leader; 6 February 1924 And Then There Was Televison In 1853 news traveled by word of mouth and through newspapers that were brought in by stage lines or via an individual passing through. For weather predictions the pioneers looked to the skies, watched the leaves, and used other primitive methods to determine the forecasts. By 1856 the Waverly Republican was able to pass along some of the news, although much of the paper was devoted to national and international news with a serialized story often covering most of the front page. Following the Civil War telegraph wires went up in Bremer

KWAY AM and FM In April of 1958 the FCC authorized KWVY radio to begin broadcast operations in Waverly, Iowa. KWVY was on the air at 1470 on the AM radio dial. Licensed as a 1000 watts daytime directional station with a 6 a.m. 500 watt pre sunrise authorization. This means that every morning at 6:00 a.m. in the months that sunrise does not occur by 6:00 a.m., KWVY could legally sign on the air with 500 watts of power. Then when sunrise occurred KWVY could legally raise its operating power to 1000 watts until sunset, at which time it would sign off the air until the next day's legal sign on time which was either sunrise or at 6:00 a.m. pre sunrise authorization depending on which occurred first. The Cedar Valley Broadcasting Company owned and operated KWVY from its beginning in 1958. The station's original studios and building site is its present location 1 mile south of Waverly and one quarter mile east of Highway 218. The current address is 110 29th Ave. SW, Waverly. Original personnel involved with the operation of station KWVY include: chief engineer, Burt Murphy; station manager and program director, John Talbott; announcers, Bill Struyk and Jerry Meyer; sales manager, D.E. Mercer; sales representatives, Larry Butzlaff and Larry Mong, and copy writer and traffic Pat Mills. On December 18th, 1970, KWVY was granted call changes and became KWAY. 99.3 KWAY-FM was granted a broadcast license on the same date at 3000 watts and was located in the same facility as the AM station. KWAY AM and FM were owned and operated by Cedar Valley Broadcasting until 1984 when AEL and Julie Suhr purchased both KWAY AM and FM. KWAY AM and FM are locally owned and operated stations. As of 2003 and remain one of a small number of independent broadcasters nationally. Currently KWAY AM is a classic country music format with low power evening authorization. That now allows for 24 hours a day operation. KWAY FM is a light rock format, soon to be authorized at 6000 watts and, and it is also operating 24 a day. In its early years the station was a part of the Emergency Broadcast System which was primarily focused on civil defense. KWAY is currently a member of Emergency Alert, a system that has expanded to include weather warnings and other civic alerts. A relatively recent example of this was during the floods in Waverly during 1993 and 1999 when the station worked closely with city officials, passing along information and keeping residents aware of


County. Weather predictions were still made in much the manner except that now it was possible to learn of big storms in the surrounding area and of the possibility it was headed for Bremer County. Later still, radio was added to the options for learning what was happening near and far. The Farmers‘ Almanac kept people posted on the phases of the moon, sunrise and sunset times and weather information, and more and more people read the Waterloo Courier or the Des Moines Register. On November 29, 1953, when KWWL went on the air, a new medium was added to the pool of local information providers. In the beginning the station news gathering equipment was a 16mm film camera, one speed graphic camera, and three black and white polaroids. But now Bremer County residents could not only read the news, they could see it in pictures. Today we can see footage of events taking place anywhere in the world—or even in manned satellites above the earth—as it happens via network news. Locally, for over twenty years Ron Steele and his co-anchors have kept us abreast of what‘s happening. Sports fans can see the highlights of events and catch up on the final scores each evening through the news as reported by Rick Coleman and the other sportscasters. And no longer must we check the thickness of the fur on raccoons or learn to read the clouds to know whether or not to take an umbrella with us. Since 1979 Craig Johnson and the other meteorologists give daily reports on the weather. Through television it is now possible to know immediately if school classes or other events are cancelled or postponed. Road conditions are given out when the need arises. Warnings of potential storms let the people of Bremer County know of the danger in time to take precautions.

Tripoli Public Library, established 1937 Waverly Public Library, established 1857. Plainfield Public Library was established in 1968 and added officially to the county contract in 1976. The contract for library services to the residents in unincorporated areas of Bremer County continues in 2003 with an annual re-evaluation and the basic provisions to secure funding from the County Board of Supervisors to provide 1. Library service throughout the county. 2. Service particularly to the residents of the unincorporated areas of Bremer County. 3. Materials and equipment so that patrons have access to information, education and ideas countywide. 4. Continuing education for trustees, staff, volunteers, and Friends of public libraries in Bremer County.

Forget the Mail, Telegram, Radio, Telephone, Television. We‘ve Got the Internet In 2003 the way to send news and receive it from family member to family member, friend to friend, business to business is via the Internet. Residents of Bremer County have the option of several servers depending on where they live. It is a service that was beyond the realm of imagination to our pioneer forefathers. The scope of the Internet was unheard of even twenty years ago by many. Now we can click on and get news, weather, information, even check traffic reports in distant cities if we are so inclined. By 2053 this fast connection with anywhere in the world will probably seem extremely antiquated.

Bremer County Library Association 1962 to 2003 In 1962, and in keeping with state legislation, Bremer County libraries formed a county association to A. Improve the functions of individual libraries in Bremer County. B. Improve services to all county residents through cooperative action. C. Express needs in library services to city and county decision-making bodies, to the Regional library system, to the State Library, to the State Legislature and to other individuals or groups as deemed necessary by this Association. D. To seek an annual contract with the Bremer County Board of Supervisors for library services to residents of unincorporated areas of Bremer County. E. Collect and present in an effective manner, statistics and reports necessary to the securing of an adequate county contract appropriation. Bremer County Library Association members in 1962 were: Denver Public Library, established 1959 Janesville Public Library, established 1962 Readlyn Community Library, established 1965 Sumner Public Library, established 1938

DENVER PUBLIC LIBRARY 1959-2003 December 6, 1959 the Mayor of Denver, Mr. Wilbur Gielau, appointed 7 people to serve as a temporary Library Committee. They were: Dr. E. H. Stumme, Mr. Ramon Green, Mr. Laverne Kurtt, Mrs. Marie Buss, Mr. Harold Kehe, Mrs. Albert Brandt, and Mrs. Elmer Kueker The committee along with the mayor met with Miss Leona Funk, State Librarian Field Representative, to discuss plans and means available from federal and state aid to establish a Public Library in the town of Denver. December 8, 1959, a meeting was held in which the mayor announced that the City Council had approved the plans to establish a Public Library for the town of Denver. The location was to be a room in the City Hall. The committee elected officers for the Denver Library Board. They were: Dr. E. H. Stumme, President; Mr. Harold Kehe, Treasurer; and Mrs. Elmer Kueker, Secretary. The board was cut to five members following instructions from the City Clerk. So in addition to the officers, Dr. Stumme and Mrs. Kueker, others were Marie Buss, Laverne Kurtt and Ramon Green. The board continued to have help from Miss Funk and a librarian, Mildred Kurtt, was hired March 4, 1960 at minimum wage of $1.25 an hour. She continued at the library until March 4, 1995. Shelving and lighting and tables were installed and the library was open 15 hours a week. Open house was held May 10, 1960. Many books, periodicals and other materials were donated and purchased. Madelyn Bruns, an assi