Try the all-new QuickBooks Online for FREE.  No credit card required.

Bremer 150th

Document Sample
Bremer 150th Powered By Docstoc
					COUNTY OFFICES                                                                                      Mr. Wadding reports that the last few years have also seen a
Bremer County Assessor                                                                   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
           The assessor‘s primary duty and responsibility is to make sure all            under the age of eighteen.
real property, which includes residential, commercial, industrial and                               Criminal cases in 2001 were up by about one hundred cases over
agricultural, is assessed except where the law provides otherwise.                       2000. Charges of possession of methamphetamines, almost non-existent in
  Real property is reevaluated every two years. The effective date of the                Bremer County in the mid 1990s, are now becoming more common. Bremer
assessment is the first day of January of the current year. The assessor                 County‘s policy is to take a very proactive approach to the problem.
determines either a full or partial value for new construction and                                  In addition to Mr. Wadding, the staff includes Assistant County
improvements depending upon their state of completion on January 1st.                    Attorney, Christine DeLorme and Kathleen Frank, secretary. An annual grant
           County assessors are appointed by a conference board composed                 since November 2000 has also funded Norma Westendorf as a Crime Victims
of the county board of supervisors, the mayors of all incorporated cities, and           Witness Coordinator. She works with victims of violent crimes, explaining
a board member from each school district who lives in the assessor‘s                     their rights regarding legal procedures, retribution, and impact statements
jurisdiction.                                                                            given to courts when prisoners are sentenced.
           Assessors are appointed to six-year terms. To be eligible, they must                     With such serious concerns it is hard to imagine a day in which
have a high school diploma or GED and pass an examination administered by                dances rated high on the list of problems for officials. At least in 2003 the
the Iowa Department of Revenue and Finance. To be re-appointed, they                     county attorney and sheriff no longer have to worry about the following issue
must successfully complete a continuing education program equal to 150                   which plagued law enforcement in January 1923 according to Waverly‘s
hours of classroom instruction during their six-year terms.                              Independent-Republican. ―Sunday night dances must stop. This is the
           The assessor‘s office is also responsible for handling the forms for          decision of County Attorney H. L. Leslie, and if he cannot bring this about in
tax credits and exemptions. Some of these are homestead, family farm,                    a peaceful way he proposes to use every means in his power to stop the
wetland, forest or fruit tree, and disabled veteran homestead tax credits, and           public dances on Sunday evening…This is to inform you that hereafter the
the military exemption.                                                                  [state] law against Sunday public dances will be rigorously complied with.
           Residential, commercial and industrial real estate is assessed at             The sheriff has been instructed to arrest all violators of this law in Bremer
100% of market value.                                                                    county, and to bring prosecution against them in the proper court…‖
           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                 Bremer County Auditor
which have sold recently. Analyze sales of similar properties that were
recently sold. Determine the most probable sales price of the property being                      Beginning in 1846, when Iowa became a state, affairs relating to
appraised.                                                                               Bremer County were handled in Buchanan or Fayette counties. In 1851 a
•          Cost approach: Estimate how much money at current labor and                   county judge took over management of
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.

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               Jim Block, District 2 Supervisor is Gaylord Hinderaker and District 3
court and the courthouse. It was during this time that the first permanent                Supervisor is Steve Reuter.
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
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
•          Tabulate taxable valuations for each property in the county,
including all exemptions and provide this information to state officials for
•          Prepare tax list for county treasurer based on computation received
back from the state.                                                                                 The total amount of the first tax levied in 1853 was $653.52. At this
•          Maintain assessment records, drainage district                                 time all the property in the county listed for taxation amounted to only
           records, etc.                                                                  $43,168. The next year the taxes levied amounted to $1,194.75. The total
•          Prepare an annual ―State of the County‖ financial report                       amount of taxes levied in 1918 was $362,511.42. The taxes levied for fiscal
•          Audit all claims against the county coffers.                                   year 2003 amounts to $4,166,862 with the taxable valuation of property being
•          Issue warrants for all approved claims.                                        $829,606,051.
•          Act as clerk for the Board of Supervisors.                                                The Board placed on the October, 1861 election ballot the question
•          Prepare and monitor paper work for the Board of Supervisors‘                   of purchasing a ―poor farm‖. This was defeated with 205 yes ballots and 359
budget.                                                                                   no ballots cast. This appeared to be an election issue for many years with the
•          Oversee the maintenance of the courthouse.                                     same subject being broached until a ―poor farm‖ of 200 acres at $10.00 per
•          And since 1972 the auditor is also the Commissioner of Elections               acre was finally purchased in June, 1869. The present county farm is 252.4
with all that entails for all federal, state, county, school and special elections.       acres.
           Austa White served as county auditor from January 1981 till                               The committees that the Board members sit on today are quite
December 1988. She was succeeded by Kathy Thoms, who served from                          different then they were in the 1900‘s. The committees at that time were:
January 1989 until April 1996. At that time Ann Dolphin was appointed to                  Wood Committee (for poor in Sumner, poor farm & asylum, and wood yard
serve until the election in November. The current auditor, Marilyn Schnell,               at Waverly); the Bridge Committee to superintend the building of all slough
has officiated since November 1996 with Dorothy Hansel, Roger Bauer and                   and iron bridges ordered by the Board; Poor Farm Committee for all matters
Shelley Wolf completing the office staff.                                                 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               money. If problems are found the department will work with the owner to
county asylum.                                                                         determine what measures might be taken to correct the situation. Using
           The committees that the Board members participate in today are:             guidelines set by the state, they can also assist with information required
Bremer-Waverly Public Safety Board; North Iowa Juvenile Detention Center               when unused wells are filled in. Here again, a grant helps fund this service.
Board; Regional Housing Authority; Iowa Northland Regional Council of                  Emergency Management
Governments; Regional Transit Authority; Waverly Area Development                                 The primary responsibility of this position is to create and maintain
Group Revolving Loan Fund; INRCOG Economic Development; Department                     a hazard mitigation plan to be applied during such events as floods, fires, or
of Human Service Decat Planning Council; Northeast Iowa Response Group;                chemical spills.
T.E.A. 21; Northeast Iowa Community Action; Second Judicial District;                             Working with various organizations throughout Bremer County, a
Pathways; Workforce Development; Board of Health; INRCOG Solid Waste                   plan was recently drawn by Scott LaRue, Emergency Management Director.
Comprehensive Planning; Economic Development Revolving Loan Fund;                      To be used in cases of emergencies , it includes such information as contacts,
and several short term committees that develop from year to year.                      equipment and service capabilities. Coordination of this data not only allows
           The first Boards met in session quarterly, then moved to once a             the ability of a more speedy response, but a far more effective one. Copies
month and today the Board is in the office three times a week in addition to           were placed with a number of agencies throughout the county to ensure rapid
the time spent on the above Boards and Commissions. The grand total of all             access wherever a situation might occur.
expenses in the county in 1900 were $50,887.13. In 2000/2001 the grand total
of all expenses was $11,704,067.                                                       Bremer County Central Point of Coordination
           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                               The Bremer County Central Point of Coordination office
under the New Road Law and adopted the map designating the County Road                 coordinates county funding of developmental disabilities, mental health,
System.                                                                                general assistance and substance abuse services for residents of Bremer
           Although some things remain the same over the past 150 years,               County. This coordination of funding allows low income individuals and
with growth and development come new opportunities and new                             individuals with disabilities to access services to meet their need. The intent
responsibilities. In the early years of organization the Supervisors developed         of coordinating funding is to create individualized service for each consumer
forms of Veteran Affairs (originally Volunteer Fund and then Soldier‘s Relief          by working closely with Bremer County Case Management. Persons are
Commission); County Engineer; Paupers Fund (changed to Poor Farm, then                 treated as individuals with unique potential and needs. The system does not
to County Home now General Assistance) and Asylum Fund (now Mental                     fund services that persons neither need nor want, but rather those services
Health Fund). Through the years the following departments have been                    that help consumers realize their potential. The principles that guide this
added to county government. Public Health, Home Care Aide Service,                     system are choice, community, and empowerment within the confines of
Geographical Information Service; Managed Information Service; Landfill,               county funds, and with the least restrictive environment possible for the
Recycling, Maintenance, Conservation, Building and Zoning, Sanitarian,                 consumers. Director Russell Wood and Tammy Albers currently comprise
Emergency Management, Finance and Management, Dispatching, Case                        the CPC staff.
Management, Central Point of Coordination (mental health services) and                 Case Management
Community Based Services.                                                                         Director Kayleen Symmonds and Supervisor Cheryl Elsbury-
           Through the past 150 years the County has grown significantly and           Reiher have a support staff comprised of case managers Bruce Gregory, Jan
the needs of the citizens have grown beyond roads, bridges and pauper                  Heideman and Jennifer Byrd. Their mission
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.

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
  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.
           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                Jim Brodie, W. H. Coates
planning and implementation of services. These services include supported
community living and employment services. The basic components of the                                As might be expected, the earliest court records were entered into
community living service are academic services, advocacy services,                        the books by hand--and by men. Lois Slater, who began as a deputy clerk in
community skills training, personal environmental support services,                       1954 and later served for many years as the Clerk of Court, recalled how the
transportation services, and treatment services. A ―job coach‖ assists in                 job was made easier when each record could be entered on loose leaf pages
providing each individual with competitive work an integrated work setting                which were then inserted into books. It wasn't until the 1950s and the advent
with on-going support services. Human Resource Manager, Judy Stevenson;                   of this loose page system that typewriters could be used for recording in the
Service Coordinators, Mary Dietz and Michelle Weber; Senior Service                       fee books, judgment books, etc. The advent of the photocopier was another
Managers, Marv Haack and Dave Shepherd; and their staff handle the many                   boon to the ever growing amount of paperwork. As the population of the
and various aspects needed to accomplish the department‘s goals.                          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
Clerk of Court                                                                            the County Recorder.
                                                                                                     Years ago Justices of the Peace were appointed throughout Bremer
            Although the position of Clerk of Court has been a state appointed            County, and they often sat in judgment of such misdemeanors as public
office since July of 1985, the offices and courtroom of the Second Judicial               intoxication, trespassing, driving recklessly, etc. In some cases there was also
District are still located in the courthouse. For the years preceding 1985, the           a Mayor's Court where similar offenses were deliberated upon by the mayor.
Bremer County Clerk of Court was a county officer and was elected by the                  Now those offices no longer exist. Depending on the offense those types of
residents                                                                                 cases are now handled by the magistrates or
of the county.                                                                            district judges.
            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           Bremer County Conservation Board
most cases. The Iowa district court is composed of different kinds of judicial
officers with varying amounts of jurisdiction--judicial magistrates, associate                      In earlier years families on a Sunday outing might pull to the side of
juvenile judges, associate probate judges, district associate judges, and district        a road and have a picnic under the shade of a roadside tree. Ball games might
court judges. Currently, Bremer County has two resident judges, Hon. Paul                 be held in city parks or a pasture found to be free of a bull who might take
Riffel, a district court judge appointed in 1984 and Hon. Peter Newell, a                 offense at trespassers. Most property owners didn't object as long as the
district associate judge appointed in 1995. There are also two part-time                  guests did no damage, but as the population grew so did the awareness that
magistrates in Bremer County, James Brandau and Steven Egli.                              the natural resources of Iowa needed to be protected so that everyone then,
            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

 now, and in the future could enjoy them.                                              of the mud."
           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                      The County Engineer is appointed by the Supervisors and serves at
were acquired in March 1973. From that beginning the number of public                  will. He is responsible for creating a 5-year plan for approval by the
parks, preserves, wildlife areas, prairies, river accesses, and greenbelts in          Supervisors.
Bremer County has grown to over 3,400 acres--all of them available to area                         For the purposes of road maintenance, Bremer County is divided
residents and visitors. This has been possible through public funding, gifts,          into 10 zones with 8 county garages located in Buck Creek, Douglas, Horton,
and in large part to a REAP grant received in the last decade.                         Janesville, Readlyn, Sumner, Tripoli, and Waverly.
           In 1988 the board also began its Environmental Education [EE]                 Several years ago the County Engineer's office was moved from the
Program to provide outdoor recreational programming. The Bremer County                 courthouse to the county garage north of Waverly. From there, Todd
Naturalist develops programs for school groups and the general public                  Fonkert, County Engineer since January 1986, oversees the inspections and
covering topics such as fishing, camping, hunter education, canoeing, bird             maintenance of 700 miles of farm-to-market and gravel roads. [All state and
watching, wildlife identification, and nature hikes.                                   federal highways are the responsibility of the DOT.] Some years this means
           Bremer County originally had many more acres of woodlands and               spending the summer repairing all the frost boils provided by Mother Nature,
wild flowers bloomed profusely on the prairie. Farmland naturally replaced             who capriciously replaces them the following spring. Grading the roadbeds is
much of that. By maintaining the parks for picnickers, campers, hikers, bikers,        a constant process. The pioneer men, serving their hours for poll tax, used
fisherman, and hunters Frank Frederick and his staff, whose home base is               their horses pulling a drag to remove the ruts and lumps. The engineer's
located in Tripoli, insure the residents of Bremer County that the opportunity         department now uses the big motorgraders. Even with a cost of $170,000 to
to experience the out-of-doors will not be lost. They are supported in this            $190,000 each, and that includes trade-ins and government discounts, the
goal by current board members: Don Freeman, Lowell Syverson, Kevin                     equipment is a bargain because they make it possible to travel throughout the
Dorman, Jim Peters, and Millard Pries.                                                 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
           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.                                                  Bremer County Home Care
          With his staff of 33 employees, they also plan, inspect, and
maintain 225 bridges [any span over 20 feet] and culverts. The bridge crew                        In the fall of 1980 the Bremer County Nursing Health Aide
also constructs the smaller bridges.                                                   Advisory Board members, R. Juhl, Board of Supervisors; C. Hollensbe,
          In order to protect our land and water for future generations, the           Waverly Hospital; V. Weiden, Department of Human Services; L. Brocka,
county engineer's office, using regulations by the EPA [Environmental                  Board of Health; C. Kleve, Waverly Hospital Social Services; and M. Zelle,
Protection Agency], also issues about 300 permits a year to farmers to "oil"           Nursing Agency met and heard from Verlyn Weiden that his department
the road in front of their homes to cut back on dust.                                  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
Bremer County Finance & Management Director                                            service because of lack of providers and money. After months of discussions
                                                                                       regarding appropriate funding, cost of running the program and finding
           Over the past 150 years the roles and responsibilities in many of the       appropriate staff, it was decided to go ahead with plans to establish a county
offices of county government has changed significantly. The work load of               program. Rose Hess, Advisory Board member for the Nursing Agency
Board of Supervisors has changed from quarterly meetings to meeting                    HHHA Advisory Board, was hired as Administrator, starting her position on
monthly to meeting three times a week with duties of attending various                 April 20, 1981. She was asked to write policies and procedures for the new
committee and board meetings which they are assigned to. The funding and               program; Bremer County Homemaker-Home Health Aide Program. It was
budgets have grown from $50,887 in 1900 to $13,292,816 in FY2002. Many                 based out of the courthouse, where it is still located. Rose researched how
grants and funding programs rely on continuity and financial oversight. With           other counties were operating and started what has been a strong, reliable and
one or two Board members being elected every two years and the                         well-respected service for residents of Bremer County.
responsibilities of the Board members to be out of the office to attend various                   Services were started on July 1, 1981, with two part-time HHHAs.
board and committee meetings the position of Finance & Management                      They made 52 home visits the first month and gave 85.5 hours of service. At
Director was developed to provide that continuity and financial and                    present two full-time and five part-time HCAs, plus two Homemakers make
administrative functions.                                                              an average of 500 visits and over 550 hours of direct service.
           The position of Finance & Management Director was established in
April, 1996 to plan, organize and direct the county‘s financial functions,                        Funding was provided through a Purchase of Service contract with
including activities involved in preparation, implementation and amendment             the Department of Social Services and by funds received from clients on a
of county budgets. The Director also serves as the coordinator of                      sliding fee scale. In time grants from the State Department of Public Health
administrative responsibilities of the Board with oversight and administration         and Hawkeye Valley Area Agency on Aging were received to help provide
of several county funds. The Finance & Management Director provides                    services to residents of Bremer County. In December 1993 the Advisory
oversight of the Management Information Systems Department, oversight of               board voted to change the name to Bremer County Home Care, due to
financial and administrative services for Bremer County Case Management,               changes in the Iowa Code Chapter 80 for Home Care Aides. Social Services
Bremer County Community Based Services, and Bremer County Waste                        no longer funds this program, but grants are still received from the
Reduction and Recycling Program. This position also serves as secretary to             Department of Public Health and Hawkeye Valley Area Agency on Aging.
the Bremer County Board of Health and Project Coordinator for Board of                 Donations also remain a main source of funding for this agency.
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

                                                                                        Important to maximizing the years of use is the degree to which the public
           Admission criteria for becoming a client was and still continues to          commits to recycling.
be that you had to be a resident of Bremer County and need assistance with                          When the day does come that the landfill is deemed ―full‖ a four-
one or more services that were offered. These included, but were not limited            foot layer of clay will be spread over the top of the open area. After another
to: bathing, skin care, nail care, hair care, range of motion exercises, walking,       two-foot layer of soil is to be laid over that. Vegetation will be planted for soil
transfers, laundry, grocery shopping, respite care and transportation to                retention, and inspections will continue to assure public safety.
medical appointments and running errands in the county. The only service                            The three full-time employees: Brett Vette, Bret Bienemann and
discontinued was the transportation because of the liability issue.                     Marc Kazda handle the duties at the landfill and those relating to the
           Parenting and supervision of child services are offered, usually             Hazardous Waste Recycling Center located there. After making an
under the supervision of a registered nurse or DHS case worker. These                   appointment residents may bring designated hazardous waste to the center
services are offered on a referral basis or through a court order.                      where it is stored in fifty-five gallon DOT shipping barrels until it is removed
           Services are also provided through contract agencies. These are the          to Kansas City. A majority of the materials are then recycled.
same services offered to other residents, but are under a doctor‘s order and            Recycling Center
supervised by an RN from a Medicare certified agency and covered by a third                         In 1989 a plan was submitted to the DNR for a county recycling
party reimbursement. Services are provided to area nursing agencies and                 program [excluding hazardous waste.] Basing its figures on the year of 1988,
local hospice agencies.                                                                 a volume reduction of 50% by July 1, 2000, was mandated by the state. For
           Rose Hess was a strong force behind the program in making it what            planning purposes Bremer joined Black Hawk and Buchanan Counties.
it is today. She continued as Administrator until 1995. When she resigned,              Bremer County was one of the few counties that managed to meet
Jan Matthias, who had been with the agency since 1985, took over as                     the goal.
Administrator.                                                                                      The countywide recycling program provides for the collection of
           Since the start of the program it had steadily grown and has a               glass, tin, plastic, paper and cardboard, and includes all costs associated with
caseload of over 125 active clients. Average age of the clients seen is 75 years        transportation and containers for collection. Each community provides space
old. Clients range in age from newborn to 97 years of age.                              for its own collection site and can individualize its own programs to meet its
           The retention of the staff shows they are dedicated and committed            needs. The recyclables are then picked up from the individual centers and
to serving the residents of Bremer County and offering continuity of service.           transported for sale or to be stored for future sales. Rural residents may take
Office staff consists of Jan Matthias, Administrator [17 years]; Brenda                 their items to a nearby town or directly to the recycling center located at the
Pothast, Administrative Assistant [7 years]; and Glenda Busching, Case                  former county farm.
Manager [3 years.] There are five Home Care Aides and two Home Helpers:                              In 1990 Bremer County Recycling assisted the City of Waverly in
Susan Strottman [19 years], Mary Harms [12 years], Stacey Kettwig [9 years],            writing a grant for recycling. The grant was for equipment and a building for
Jodi Sherburne [9 years], Linda Hennings [9 years], Shirley Franklin [16                the County Recycling Program and equipment and a recycling vehicle for the
years], and Agnes Benning [12 years.]                                                   City of Waverly. The Bremer County Recycling Program received a $122,500
           Submitted by Jan Matthias                                                    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.
            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                handled by law enforcement. Needless to say, all the particulars regarding the
multiple benefits to the communities. Monies collected from the sale of the             office now consume three pages in the Code of Iowa.
various products is returned to the towns based on their tonnage recycled. In             In 1883 the coroner had no doubts as to what caused the deaths of Ike and
2001 that amounted to a total of $38,784.02. More jobs are created by                   Will Barber; they were hung by the neck until dead. Someone even kept track
recycling than by burying all waste. Environmentally Bremer County and the              of their pulse rates. The inquest did try to provide the grand jury with enough
rest of the world benefit by reuse of materials: our waste paper may go to              evidence to determine if charges should be filed and against whom.
parts of Asia where forests are scarce; tin cans [steel cans covered with tin]                       The future of the driver of a gravel truck was at risk during an
may be made into cars; battery casings may reappear as lawn edging.                     inquest in 1932. His truck had struck William Milius as he crossed Highway 3
           Tammy Turner, Bremer County Recycling Coordinator, together                  East to his mailbox. In this case the only issue was could he have prevented
with Jim Keeran and Ronald Drewes oversee the current Bremer County                     the accident. The jury ruled that the elderly gentleman seemed to be waiting
recycling program. And looking to the future, educational programs                      for the truck to pass, but instead started back across the road. The truck
extolling the virtues of recycling and conservation of resources are offered to         driver was exonerated from any responsibility.
youth from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.                                                      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
Bremer County Management Information Systems [MIS]                                      proceeding or action in a court of record. These same duties were still listed
                                                                                        in the 1950 county booklet.
           When Bremer County officially took over the management of its                             Now the county medical examiner must be a licensed physician and
own affairs in 1853, the number of departments could be counted on one                  chosen from a list of two names submitted by the county medical societies.
hand. Those officers required several types of record books, pen and ink, a             He is appointed annually by the Board of Supervisors. Years ago anyone
few official forms, desks and chairs and a roof overhead. One hundred and               could run for the office and political party affiliation was a factor. In fact, it
fifty years later, the number of accumulated records are staggering. Storage            was once an elected office. In 1932, F.C. Koch of Waverly was county
space within the courthouse is at a premium, some offices are now in satellite          coroner. According to the Sumner Gazette on May 5, 1932, "A fourth
locations, and every year the volume of records grows.                                  candidate from Sumner for a county office made his announcement Tuesday
           In order to create a more practical operation and provide more               when Louis Evans, proprietor of the Home Cafe, entered the race for county
easily accessible retrieval of information, the use of computers was                    coroner on the Republican ticket."
introduced into the courthouse some time ago. In August of 2001 the office                           There is the story of the man whose death was ruled natural causes
of MIS was instituted by the Board of Supervisors. Nathan Koehler was                   by the coroner, yet a doctor later found a small, self-inflicted bullet wound.
hired to fulfil the duties of that position. His responsibilities include               If this is true, medical knowledge is a definite improvement over political
recommending types of equipment suited to the needs of each service, setting            affiliation.
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                  Bremer County Public Health Nursing Service
county web site is also managed
through MIS.                                                                                     Early in 1975, a group of Bremer County citizens met with the
           Currently some departments are beginning to store records using              Bremer County Board of Supervisors to request nursing services to care for
optical storage systems. Eventually all county departments will enter past,             persons confined to their homes. No such
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

 services were available in Bremer County and there was a growing need for                R.N. was added to the staff in February 1981. Pricilla Bishop, R.N. was
someone to start and to fund such services. There were funds available to pay             employed during the summer of 1984.
the salary of a Public Health Nurse for one year through the C.E.T.A.                                In January 1985 the R.N. Director, Marie Zelle, took a medical leave
[Comprehensive Employment Training Act] if the supervisors would agree to                 of absence from her position. Glenda Busching, R.N. assumed responsibility
start the service. The supervisors did decide to fund the start of the program.           for the nursing services until May 1985, when Eleanor Seich, R.N. became the
Ads were placed in the county newspapers for a Public Health Nurse.                       new director. Glenda eventually left to work with the home health aide
Response to the ad was slow. Nurses were in demand in area hospitals and to               program. When Priscilla Bishop left she was replaced by Linda Hall, R.N.
utilize the C.E.T.A. funds, the R.N. to be hired had to have been unemployed              Linda left after about a year and a half. She was replaced by R.N. Barb
for at least six months. Few nurses could fill this portion of the requirement.           Ripley who was employed for almost two years. When she left, Linda Hall
            The Board of Health approached Marie Zelle, R.N., of Waverly to               again rejoined the staff. Jan Kreiner, R.N., one of the current public health
see if she might be interested in the position. An interview was also arranged            nurses serving Bremer County residents, also began her employment in 1985.
with Margaret Kapler, R.N., Regional Consultant for the Iowa State                                   In the late 1980s the Senior Health Program was started. Partially
Department of Health, to further explain what county public health nursing                funded from the Iowa Department of Public Health and local county
involved. Following the interview, a meeting was held with the Bremer                     matching dollars, this program originally provided comprehensive physical
County Public Health Nursing Service and Marie Zelle began her employment                 examinations to elderly citizens of Bremer County who were not receiving
on April 8, 1975.                                                                         services elsewhere. Referrals were made to local physicians when needed.
            The first two weeks were spent in Fayette County with their Public                       Eventually this program was expanded to provide partial
Health Nurse, learning the specifics of how to begin a County Nursing                     assessments and foot care for elderly. The demand for these services has
Service. Margaret Kapler, R.N., also made weekly visits to Waverly to assist              continued to increase with over 200 assessments annually. Foot clinics are
in the start of the program.                                                              presently held the second Tuesday of each month at Mitchell Manor.
            The first office was located in a portion of the Social Services Office                  Barb Voights, R.N. became the public health nursing administrator
at 107 3rd St. SW, Waverly. On Wednesdays, the office was shared with the                 in the early 1990s. The demand for public health nursing and home health
county food stamps dispenser. There was no privacy on that day, so the                    services continued to increase in Bremer County. Several additional nurses
nurse soon learned to schedule her Sumner visits then so as to be gone most               were hired in the next few years to meet these demands. They included R.N.s
of the day. In July, 1976, the office was moved to the vacated sheriff‘s                  Rachel Kuhn, Lori Henning, and Julie Dreesman. These nurses helped with
apartment on the second floor of the courthouse.                                          the clinics, home visits, immunizations for children including hepatitis B in
            The first request for nursing service came from Allen Memorial                the schools and mass adult immunizations for flu and tetanus. Public
Hospital in Waterloo, for assistance with a patient                                       education was conducted, especially in regards to AIDS and hepatitis. In
in Sumner.                                                                                1994 the lead screening program with Black Hawk County began.
            Homemaker-Health Aide services were provided at this time by the                         Both Barb Voights and Linda Hall left the public health agency in
Bremer County Department of Social Services.                                              the spring of 1995 to start a home health agency for the Waverly Hospital.
            By 1976, the need for nursing services had increased beyond the               With the need to continue public health nursing services in Bremer County,
capabilities of one R.N. and the Board of Health hired Nita Aasen, R.N., to               Board of Health members approached the Visiting Nursing Association in
work part-time. It was also decided to pursue Medicare Certification.                     Waterloo.
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
            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 home-
health 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,

           Started in the United States in the late 1800s, Visiting Nurse                             Accessibility is a must for all the data kept by any county recorder.
Associations were the first public health nursing organizations with nurses               Bremer County is fortunate in that our records are well organized and
going into homes stressing sanitation, teaching disease prevention, and caring            indexed. This allows searches within a minimal amount of time by any
for the sick. The Waterloo Visiting Nursing Association had been formally                 realtor, attorney, or genealogist. The staff: Lynn Brase, Nancy Maifield and
established by local citizens in Waterloo in 1932 in the midst of the Great               Melissa Davis, under the direction of Recorder Donna Ellison continue to
Depression. Since that date nursing services had always been provided to                  offer the congenial assistance of predecessors Jackie Juhl and Lois Leary.
those in need regardless of their ability to pay.
           The nurses at the Visiting Nursing Association were very willing to            Bremer County Sheriff‘s Office Composition and History
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                              The office of the ―Sheriff‖ existed in England before the Magna
signed between the Board of Health and the Visiting Nursing Association.                  Carta. The name is derived from two words ―Shire‖ meaning ―County‖ and
Public health nurses Jan Krieger, Rachel Kuhn, and Julie Dreesman came to                 ―Reeve‖ meaning ―keeper of bailiff,‖ and arrived in this country by the
work with the VNA, continuing to provide services in Bremer County. This                  ―common law‖ with the colonists who fled from England.
arrangement is continuing.                                                                           The Bremer County Sheriff‘s Office had its first elected sheriff in
           Public health nursing services include home visits for skilled                 August of 1853 with Sheriff Austin Farris serving a total of one year and four
nursing on an intermittent basis. The nurses provide assessments, care of                 months. Bremer County has since had a total of twenty-one individuals serve
wounds, intravenous therapies, medication management, teaching, and care                  its people as Sheriff.
coordination. The nurse may also make arrangements for home care aide and                            In the early days the sheriff provided the local law enforcement and
homemaker services through Bremer County Home Care and for therapies                      operated the common jail. As the county grew, local law enforcement
such as physical therapy in the home if needed.                                           developed in those communities desiring more services that was available
           In addition the Bremer County nurses provide immunization clinics              from the county sheriff. While the sheriff is ultimately responsible for all law
for children and adults including flu and hepatitis clinics, senior health foot           enforcement activities in the entire county, he is able to accomplish this
clinics, school immunization card audits, communicable disease follow-up,                 through local police agencies performing these services if available from local
and numerous education programs. One of the nurses is involved with                       government. With the growth of local law enforcement, there had been a
SAFEKIDS, child safety and safety seats. The nurses also work with the                    change in the role of the sheriff.
Health Opportunity for Parents to Experience Success [HOPES] program, a                              The sheriff‘s office has progressed towards doing those police
home visitation service which is available to pregnant women and all new                  functions that have county wide implications and are best handled county
parents in Bremer County. Bremer nurses serve as case managers for a                      wide. These would include sheriff‘s patrol, jail, civil process, criminal
number of individuals in the Frail Elderly Projects in Black Hawk and Bremer              investigations, weapons permits, D.A.R.E and school resource offices,
Counties for elderly persons with multiple service needs.                                 accident investigators, consumer fraud as well as all other generated law
           Current Bremer County Public Health Nurses are Jan Kriener and                 enforcement duties. The sheriff takes an active role in facilitating the
Linda McMahon. These experienced nurses provide the majority of nursing                   coordination of law enforcement activities in his county.
services to Bremer County residents.                                                                 In Bremer County the sheriff accomplished the above tasks by
           Submitted by Joann Chapman                                                     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
Bremer County Recorder                                                                    common practice in rural Iowa counties. Although all deputies are
                                                                                          responsible for a basic understanding of all elements of law enforcement, two
           John Hunter, elected in 1853 as the first recorder of Bremer County,           deputies primarily focus on investigations including criminal investigations
also served in a dual capacity as county treasurer.                                       and drug investigations. Three deputies focus
           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                 Lisa Lampe, Records Clerk [ _ time Law center records, _ time sheriff‘s
will be added soon to work as the county school resource officer, serving                   office]
seven school districts throughout the county. This position has been made                   Jail Staff
possible by the award of a federal grant. The sheriff‘s office also has two                 Mary Muller, Jail Administrator
secretarial positions and five jail staff under his direction. The sheriff also is          Rodney Minikus, Jailer
in charge of communications for Bremer County which included                                Angela Bartels, Jailer
communications for all emergency services and requires a staff of five full-                LuAnn Weitzenkamp, Jailer
time employees.                                                                             Ashley Iserman, Jailer
Civil Division                                                                              Radio Operators
              Bremer County serves in excess of 3,000 civil proceedings a year.             Connie Kennedy, Disptacher Supervisor
These include original notices, court orders, writs, general executions,                    Richard Dudolski, Dispatcher
sheriff‘s sales, condemnations, subpoena and all other papers related to civil              Terea Diercks, Dispatcher
process. Civil fees are charged and collected and documentation is very                     Sharon Scherwin, Dispatcher
critical. One secretary is responsible for processing and overseeing each of                Charlene Harms, Dispatcher
these                                                                                                  Submitted by Duane Hildebrandt, June 2002
civil proceedings.
Patrol Division                                                                             Sheriffs – Bremer County, Iowa
              Patrol deputies are responsible for all general law enforcement
duties ranging from responding to calls for service, accident investigation,                Sheriff                        Dates of Service               Years
traffic enforcement, initial burglary and theft investigations, prisoner                    Austin Farris                  Aug 1853-Dec 1854              16mos
transports, mental commitments/transports, vacation checks,                                 Daniel Lehman                  Dec 1854-Aug 1855              8 mos
building/business checks, etc. Deputies patrol approximately 20,000 to                      Joseph G. Ellis                Aug 1855-Dec 1861              6 years
24,000 miles per month to fulfill their duties. Scheduling of patrol officers is            J.W. Eldridge                  Jan 1862-Dec 1863 2 years
done to accommodate the best possible coverage for law enforcement for our                  N.M. Smith                     Jan 1864-Dec 1866 3 years
citizens.                                                                                   D.W. Cowan                     Jan 1867-Dec 1867 1 year
Investigations Division                                                                     C.M. Kingsley                  Jan 1868-Dec 1871 4 years
              Two deputies are primarily responsible for all follow-up                      James S. Conner                Jan 1872-Dec 1875 4 years
investigations. One deputy works primarily drug investigations, the other all               L.S. Hanchett                  Jan 1876-Dec 1881 6 years
other criminal investigations including criminal mischief cases, child and                  James Adair                    Jan 1882-Dec 1885 4 years
sexual abuse, burglary, fraud, etc. Drug investigators work undercover as                   A.H. Jarvis                    Jan 1886-Dec 1889 4 years
needed to detect and arrest drug users and dealers.                                         John Sager                     Jan 1890-Dec 1893 4 years
Jail. Division                                                                              J.C. Messenger                 Jan 1894-Dec 1895 2 years
              The Bremer County jail was built at its current location in 1975 after        Henry Parrott                  Jan 1896-Dec 1905 10 years
having been located in the courthouse previously. The jail houses eleven                    Henry Knapp                    Jan 1906-Dec 1909 4 years
inmates in six cells and can hold an additional four inmates temporarily                    J.A. Krause                    Jan 1910-Dec 1924 15 years
overnight. The jail has a library and indoor exercise area for inmate use. The              John Hallowell                 Jan 1925-Dec 1928 4 years
jail is under the direction of one civilian supervisor and four full-time jailers           Frank Sager                    Jan 1929-Dec 1938 10 years
who are on the premises 24/7. Jailers provide for the needs of the jail and                 Harley Ehlert                  Jan 1939-Dec 1964 26 years
enhance the security of the jail by their presence and their knowledge of the               James A. Leeman                Jan 1965-Dec 1972 8 years
job. Bremer County jail staff are responsible for upholding the established                 Wm. L. Westendorf              Jan 1973-Dec 2000 28 years
rules for inmates and for receiving and releasing all prisoners brought into the            Dewey L. Hildebrandt           Jan 2001-present
facility by law enforcement officers. Jail staff assists is scheduling for court
appearances, medical appointments and visitation privileges.
Records Department                                                                          Bremer County Treasurer
              The records department is responsible for the maintenance,
computerization and storage of all records generated by patrol and                                      Although Bremer County was still attached to Buchanan County
investigative and jail personnel. The records include, but are not limited to,              for civil and judicial purposes in 1851, the twenty-five eligible voters met in a
incident reports, investigative reports, correspondence related to an incident,             cabin and held an election. When the tallies were done Elias J. Messinger was
citations and internal documents. The records department maintains inactive                 the first county treasurer.
jail files, fingerprint cards and mug shots as part of its centralized records and                      Soon after a second election in April 1853, it was determined
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

 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               Bremer County Veteran‘s Affairs
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                          Many of our earliest pioneers were veterans. Not long after Bremer
group was the nominee. This procedure was followed for each office.                       County came into existence, men marched off to save the union. On June 6,
           The following month in a general election John Hunter emerged as               1861 the Board of Supervisors established the County Volunteer Fund. The
a combination treasurer and recorder. From this point forward Bremer                      Committee‘s special duty was to look after the families of volunteers and see
County handled its own affairs.                                                           that they were supplied with all the necessary comforts of life while their
            Skipping ahead 150 years, the offices of the treasurer and the                fathers and husbands were in the service of the United States. The
recorder have long since been separated. Other things have changed too.                   Committee appointed was: O. C. Harrington of Horton; R. J. Barrick of
Primarily the vast difference in the amount of work required by the increased             Janesville; L. J. Curtis of Dayton; E. J. Walling of Frederika; and B. M.
population and revenues. Even taking inflation into account this can readily              Reeves of Waverly. A fund of $500.00 was established to pay for this
be seen by assessed valuations.                                                           program. One year later the Committee was changed to be each member of
1853                            January 2001                                              the Board of Supervisors (one from each township at that time).
                      cities           $ 653,557,982                                                 On August 21, 1862 the Board of Supervisors approved a
                      rural                554,189,554                                    Volunteer‘s Bounty of $50.00 for each volunteer that enlisted under the
$43,437 total                   total $1,207,747,536                                      present call of the Governor of Iowa as soon as they have been received and
For the year 2001-2002 the total tax collected by the county was                          mustered into service. In January of 1864 the Volunteer Bounty was raised to
$18,302,708.00.                                                                           $100.00. At the same time the Supervisors levied a tax of two mils additional
           The county treasurer who must balance these sums is elected every              to cover ordinary and extraordinary expenses incurred by reason of the
four years. The treasurer must be able to give an accounting of funds                     present rebellion, and asked the Legislature to legalize the same.
available in any account on any given day. In addition regular financial                             As the veterans who returned aged or were disabled they were in
reports are provided to the Board of Supervisors. Reports on the numerous                 need of assistance. The federal government could grant small monthly
property tax credits are sent to the state in order to obtain reimbursements.             stipends to the veterans. Often it was not enough, or a temporary situation
As taxes are collected any excess designated for special purposes, but not yet            required more help. In those instances petitioners could approach the County
in use, are placed in CDs or money market certificates. Managing these                    Board of Supervisors for additional aid. Widows‘ names also appear on the
finances is also the treasurer‘s responsibility.                                          roles, and in several cases orphaned children were cared for until other
           All property taxes are collected by the treasurer‘s office. For the            provisions could be made for their care. After the requests were approved by
convenience of residents some of the banks in the smaller towns of Bremer                 the Board, then the clerk would be advised to authorize payment.
County have collected payments and forwarded them to the courthouse.                                 On September 3, 1888, there was the appointment of the first
Plans for the future include a statewide Internet website where property                  Soldier‘s Relief Commission made up of three members. The terms were to
owners may access their record and pay online by use of a credit card.                    be for three years. The following members were appointed: J. W. Hanchett
           Vehicle licenses are also issued through this department. These                (3 years); E. W. Tyler (2 years); and John Tiedt (1 year). In November of
funds, however, are forwarded to the Iowa DOT. Only a small portion of                    1888 the Board of Supervisors authorized payment of $2.00 per day for
each fee remains with the county to help offset the costs of staffing and                 meetings of the Soldier‘s Relief Commission. This group oversaw the
equipment. At the time each license is issued the data is fed directly into a             process of helping veterans fill out forms and advising them of their options.
state data bank. In the year 2000 with a total county population of 23,325 the            In 1921 the three Commissioners were John St. John of Waverly; Adam Land
treasurer‘s office issued 30,084 licenses for automobiles, buses, motor homes,            of Sumner; and John J. Chadwick of Tripoli. They dispersed $2,561.11 that
motorcycles, mopeds, trucks, etc. Of these 16,510 were for cars.                          year.
                                                                                                     In searching through the records of the 1920-1940s, the monthly
John M. Hazlett Wm. Graening                                                              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 1967-
1976), 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

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.


                                                                                                       It was still a time of recovery from economic depression in the
                                                                                            United States and the workmen were hired through the auspices of the
Why Bremer County Is Small                                                                  National Reemployment Services as dictated by the WPA contract.
                                                                                                       The block comprising the courthouse square was made of limestone
           Bremer County is one of the smallest counties in the state, being 18             and it took 28 pounds of dynamite to dig the basement. As moving day
miles wide from north to south, and 24 miles long from east to west. In the                 neared, all the records and assorted files needed to be sorted. Because
organization of counties in the north part of the state in a struggle for territory,        nothing could be sold, the Board of Supervisors determined what would go
Black Hawk grabbed a row of congressional townships on her north border                     and what would be burned. Exhibits from long ago trials were sent to the
that logically and fairly belonged to Bremer. This was done by a system of                  burn pile.
legerdemain that was too deep or obtuse for Uncle John T. Barrick and his                              Dedication ceremonies were held on June 10, 1937, and attended by
helpers to understand until it was too late to change the slate, and John T. lost           over twelve hundred people. The offices that had been scattered throughout
the townships, and with them went glimmering the prospective county seat                    the city were again under a
[for Janesville.] Zimri Streeter (father of author, Bess Streeter Aldrich,) of              courthouse roof.
Cedar Falls, was the smooth manipulator who euchered Uncle John T. Zimri                               The old courthouse was razed. The winning bid was $495 plus
was playing Cedar Falls for a county seat, and got left in the final wind-up, as            salvage. All the work was done by ―relief‖ workers from Bremer County.
well as did Barrick. The road never was wide enough for Barrick to have                     The records building on the southwest corner of the square was also removed.
Streeter and himself travel on it at the same time after the division of territory          The bandstand was moved to a park. Other than the Civil War cannon which
was made.                                                                                   was removed during
           Taken from The Janesvillians V.1

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

 a World War II scrap drive, the square today looks much as it did in 1937.                         Mr. Moulds died October 13, 1939, and I was named to succeed
           The jail was moved across the street to the new law center in 1975,           him. I thoroughly enjoyed the Recorder‘s office, being certain everything
and the sheriff and his family no longer were required to live in the                    was indexed and recorded properly. I considered every person who came
courthouse to oversee prisoners.                                                         into the office as my boss because it was their votes that gave me the position.
           With older wiring, window air conditioning units, etc. it became
apparent that renovation was in order. In 2003 the 3-year remodeling plan of             BREMER COUNTY RECORD BOOK A
the offices has been completed. Service                                                  Page 1
counters opening onto the hallways replaced the individual offices. Thus,
more room is available for staff use. The ceiling in the old courtroom was                          Know all men these present that I John Miles of the County of
lowered, with the space above allowing storage facilities on the 3rd floor.              Bremer and State of Iowa have this day bargained and sold... Do by these
There are now 2 jury courtrooms and 1 magistrate court. The 2nd and 3rd                  present bargain and sell unto Joel Sumner of the same place the following
floors are dedicated to court related matters and security measures are in               described property one bay mare about twelve years old with black mane and
place. All county offices [with the exceptions of Engineer, Conservation,                tail and white left hind foot, one iron gray colt about six months old with a
Landfill, and Sheriff] are again located in the courthouse or the annex                  white spot in each hip, one black cow three years old last spring, two heifers
building on 1st Ave. NE.                                                                 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
Volunteers Pitch In to Build Road                                                        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
            A half a hundred teams with wagons, drivers for all of them,                 receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged. Also covenant with the said Joel
shovelers to keep them filled up and men to level off the dirt in the road               Sumner that I am lawfully seized of the said property and have good right and
succeeded last Thursday in making a fine new road approaching Sumner and                 legal authority to fill the same the conditions of the above is such that where
at the same time made history for this section.                                          as I have this day given my promissory note to the said Joel Sumner for the
            The mile stretch of road directly north of town from Pleasant St. has        sum of one hundred and sixty five dollars with ten percent interest payable on
been in bad shape all summer and has been constantly shunned by travelers.               the fifteenth day of October $185.5 now if I shall pay the said one hundred
To get it fixed seemed almost an impossibility until some of the farmers                 and sixty five dollars with ten percent interest per anum then on or before the
decided recently that a ―bee‖ would be the only method. The farmers and                  …given under my hand this 15th day of October 1853. John Miles
citizens solicited for work donations, the businessmen provided the
wherewithall to feed the men at noon and Thursday morning the work was                   MISCELLANEOUS RECORD ―A‖
started.                                                                                 Page 51
            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                       Know all men by these Presents that We Joachim Kelling and
end of the road was taken from the Cass farm pit that for the south end from             Wilhelmina Kelling his wife of Bremer County, State of Iowa for and in
the municipal pit in Sumner. Eight teams worked from this end of the line, 42            consideration of the giving and delivery to us by Frederick Kelling and Anna
from the other…At the pit in Sumner, so zealous were the workers that                    M.D. Kelling his wife of all their personal property and farming implements
wagons were loaded in from 25 to 30 seconds…                                             consisting of four horses, ten cows and including all farm machinery and live
            From the Sumner Gazette; 1 November 1917                                     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:
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.

                                                                                                    It is hereby certified that in conformity with the laws of the United
           Four (4) dollars each and every month during the natural life of the           States Zebrina Z. Bryant who was a private Co ―B‖ 7 Regiment Iowa
said Frederick Kelling and Anna M.D. Kelling his wife or either of them. Also             Volunteer Infantry, is entitled to a pension at the rate of Sixteen dollars per
two fat hogs each and every year and every year during their natural life. Also           month to commence on the Seventh day of August one thousand eight
all other provisions for the maintanance of the said Frederick and Anna M.D.              hundred and ninety, and Twenty four dollars per month from April 1, 1891.
Kelling also feed and pasture and shelter for one horse. Also all such other              This pension being for ―Rheumatism and disease of heart.‖
things as may be necessary from time to time for their proper support and                           Given at the Department of the Interior this Thirteenth day of July
comfort.                                                                                  one thousand eight hundred and ninety one and of the Independence of the
           In Witness Whereof we have hereunto set our hands this 29th day                United States of America the one hundred and Sixteenth.
of May A.D. 1883                                                                                    Geo. Chandler, Acting Secretary of Interior
           Joachim Kelling & Wilhelmena Kelling
                                                                                          MISCELLANEOUS RECORD B
MISCELLANEOUS RECORD A                                                                    Page 633
Page 98
                                                                                                      I, Geo. L. Davis having been duly sworn do depose and say that I
            Contract of Apprenticeship…This Indenture of Apprenticeship                   am 71 years old and reside in Janesville, Iowa and state that, in 1880-81 I built
made this 15th day of November 1884. Witnesseth that Irvin E. Baldwin of                  a dam about five hundred feet long on the site of the Janesville Mill, that said
the town of Bradford, the County of Chickasaw and State of Iowa, father of                Dam was from the top of the water wheel to top of said dam nine and one-
Jesse Baldwin, does hereby bind the said Jesse Baldwin unto A. A. Dickinson               half feet, and no objection was made by those who owned the land
of Douglas Township, Bremer County, Iowa until the said Jesse Baldwin shall               overflowed and the dam remained that height till washed out.
have attained the age of twenty one years which will be on the 16th day of                             Geo L. Davis
June 1898 during all of which time the said apprentice shall serve the said
master faithfully, honestly and industriously his secrets keep and lawful                 MISCELLANEOUS RECORD C
commands everywhere readily obey at all times protect and preserve the                    Page 203
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                     War Department – Adjutant General‘s Office, Washington, May
apprentice …to do during the said term and said master shall clothe and                   9th, 1889,
provide for the said apprentice in sickness and in health and supply him with             Hon. D.B. Henderson, Dubuque, Iowa
suitable food and clothing and shall cause the said apprentice to be properly             Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 3rd,
instructed and that he receives a good common school education and the said               instant, enclosing one (herewith returned) from C. Cadwallader, of Janesville,
A. A. Dickinson further agrees to give to the said Jesse Baldwin when he shall            Iowa, inquiring whether one Charles Van Bramer was killed in the Custer
arrive at the age of twenty one years provided he shall remain in the employ              fight; and in reply to inform you that the records of this office show that
of the said A. A. Dickinson a good serviceable team of horses harness and                 Private Charles Van Bramer, Troup I – 7th Cavalry, enlisted January 3, 1872 –
wagon to be of the value of three hundred dollars or the said A. A. Dickinson             and that he was killed in the battle of the Little Big Horn River, Montana,
may pay the said Jesse Baldwin three hundred dollars at his option instead of             Custer‘s massacre, June 25, 1876.
the team harness and wagon. And for the true performance of all and singular              Very respectfully, J.C. Kelton, Asst. Adjutant at 11:30 O‘clock AM General
the covenants and agreements aforesaid the said parties bind themselves each                         Filed for record the 7th day of Sept, A.D. 1914.
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                                    Grave Matters

MISCELLANEOUS RECORD A                                                                               Beginning with Bremer Counties first newspapers, word of the
Page 141                                                                                  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,
            Know all men by these Presents: That I, Fred C. Wente of Bremer               could read of his bout with ―lung Fever‖ or ―putrefication of the bowels.‖
County, State of Iowa, party of the first part, For and in consideration of Two           Although many survived both their illness and the publication of
Hundred Dollars, in hand paid and for other valuable considerations in hand               embarrassing details, some souls did not.
paid by William Wente and Frederika Wente my father and mother of Bremer                             If death followed an illness, the death might or might not be
County, Iowa, parties of the second part, Witnesseth; That the said party of              mentioned in a later issue. In 1880 the State of Iowa decreed that all deaths
the first part agrees to deliver unto the said second party annually – two good           should be recorded at the courthouse in the county in which the death took
marketable Fat hogs and Twenty five Dollars worth of cream annually during                place. Doctors did not always find it easy to go to the courthouse regularly,
the life time of the said second party or either of them. Also to provide Board           and so sometimes turned in their files in batches relying on notes and
for the said parties of the second part during the time the said second party             memories to complete the form. If the doctor did not keep a written record, a
may desire the board from the said first party for themselves or for either of            death might not be recorded at all.
them. And the said party of the first part also agrees to give the said parties of                   These records were to include a cause of death. Looking through
the second part the South West and North West rooms in the house on the                   the earliest records of Bremer County many of the entries are sad but not
premises this day deeded to the said first party by the second party during               unexpected for the era: rattlesnake bite, typhus, cholera, diphtheria, whooping
their lifetime.                                                                           cough, childbirth and cancer. Other diagnoses might even be given in 2003:
            In Witness Whereof I have hereunto set my hand this 3rd day of                cancer, pneumonia, heart attack, etc. It is the entries that seem unique that
November 1886.                                                                            disprove the familiar adage ―the good old days.‖
                  Fred C. Wente                                                           Decedent Age
                                                                                          Male                   80 years
MISCELLANEOUS RECORD A                                                                       Cause: senile gangrene
Page 231                                                                                  Female                 61 years
                                                                                          Cause: simple continued fever [if it was simple, why death]
          No 621,979                     Original                                         Female                 17 years
United States of America Department of Interior                                           Cause: pelvic abscess caused by bathing in cold running water
Bureau of Pensions                    Invalid Pension                                                at menstrual

Male      48 years                                                                                 Soups, vegetables, fruit, and such other lower-cost foods have to be
  Cause: heart disease caused by bullet striking rib over                               used generously to make the allowance do. In speaking of fruits and
          heart                                                                         vegetables, Mrs. Ehlert said, ―Of course I do my own canning. We have to
Female 90 years                                                                         serve home-canned foods to make ends meet.
  Cause: LaGrippe [so much more refined than the flu]                                              For breakfast the guests of the county occasionally receive rolls or
Female 1 year 7 months                                                                  doughnuts, but usually cereal, bread and coffee constitutes the menu.
  Cause: Poisoned from nursing too long                                                 Prisoners get one pat of butter. The noon and evening meals, as is customary,
Female               2+ years                                                           are somewhat heavier.
Cause: Paralysis of brain by cold water being kept a long time                                     Mrs. Ehlert is constantly on the alert for good, cheap food. She‘s
          upon the head and a blister upon back of neck                                 typical of housewives in that respect. The sheriff smiled and said, ―She just
Female               5 days                                                             got a big batch of rhubarb put away in the deepfreeze.‖
  Cause: ―not known‖ [brief but accurate]                                                          Last year‘s average of prisoners on hand at one time was three.
Female               71 years                                                           ―This year the average won‘t run quite as high,‖ remarked the sheriff.
Cause: coup de so leil [sunstroke, but the Buck Creek doctor                                       Having ―guests‖ brings on other problems. The prisoners
          knew French!]                                                                 sometimes scrub their clothes since the jail has no washing
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
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
            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.‖

machine. Some of them send their clothes home. Blankets are always sent                           Even though we had no prisoners at times we had to be available in
out to be cleaned.                                                                     case one would be brought in. Most Saturday nights we could count on
          The men sometimes wish to buy items of food with their own                   having a few overnighters.
money. The Ehlerts take such orders anytime and buy what the prisoners                            Since the Sheriff‘s office did not have 24 hr. dispatchers at that
want.                                                                                  time, the phones had to be answered from our apt. after the courthouse closed
          Visitors days occur nearly any day except Sunday. ―After all,‖               at 4:30 each day and on weekends. Sitting in a permanent cabinet in the
remarked Mrs. Ehlert, ―we like to have a little time to ourselves.‖                    corner of the dining room was a police radio so we could call directly to the
          The State Sheriff‘s Association recently tried to get the daily              patrol cars. Many times I was the link between the Sheriff or deputy at an
subsistence limit raised, but the legislature failed to enact such a law,              accident scene and the phone as I dispatched ambulances and wreckers for
according to Sheriff Ehlert.                                                           them.
          In case any women might still want the job of feeding prisoners,                        Serving as matron, I had to be present and search all female
Mrs. Ehlert reminds that the food is paid for but she gets nothing for cooking         prisoners when they were brought in and booked. Sometimes I went with an
it.                                                                                    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
Escaped From County Jail                                                               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
           The year 1856 was marked by Waverly‘s first real jail break.                see Florida.
           Three men were waiting in the old log jail for the next term of                        Living in the courthouse with its high ceiling, cement floors and
district court and they decided to save Sheriff Hayden and his deputies the            clanging heat radiators on Bremer Avenue near downtown was usually a very
trouble of any further watching. So when Saturday night came they broke up             noisy place and the sound of prisoners rapping against the steel enclosure one
the old floor and dug their way out.                                                   floor above would echo through the building. Early one evening I could hear
           It was later suggested that they must have had some outside help            a lot of noise coming from the jail. Loud music was coming from the radio
although the floor had been considered somewhat insecure for some time. At             they had and I could hear water running. Thinking they were only taking
any rate two iron bars were found in the jail which must have been furnished           showers I didn‘t get alarmed about it. Bill happened to be in California
the prisoners by some friends.                                                         attending the National Sheriff‘s Academy at the time and our 8-yr. old son
           The inmates of the jail objected apparently, to their boarding              Greg and I were left to mind the jail. Still hearing loud music and water
arrangements because they were ―thoughtful‖ enough to leave a note for the             running some 3 hours later, I became suspicious and went up the stairs to
sheriff to explain their departure. The note read:                                     check on them. Thinking the music and the water was a diversion and not
           ―Dear Mr. Hayden: We the undersigned do not consider ourselves              wanting to open the doors myself I radioed for a deputy to come and help.
guilty of any crime whatever, and we are losing our health and liberty by              Some how the man being held for armed robbery had gotten a saw blade and
staying in this dungeon, besides getting the leavings of a Dutch boarding              had already cut through 2 bars and was on his way through the 3rd. I was so
house which not a dog in Dubuque would eat unless starved to it. It is our             glad the deputy was standing next to me with his gun drawn. All prisoners
intention to appear at the next term of court, if not before. [Signed] C.F.            were then put into solitary confinement and they banged on the steel for the
Foster, Jackson Morgan, James Day.‖                                                    rest of the night.
           It seems, however, that the boys were never heard from again                           Sometimes when the jail was unoccupied, the large room at the top
because court records fail to disclose any sentence ever being meted out to            of the courthouse was used as an indoor play facility for our son and his
the trio.                                                                              friends. They could bat a tennis ball around and not have to worry about
           Bremer County Independent: 7 March 1956                                     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
Living in the Courthouse                                                               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
           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.

laundry room until the judge in the courtroom below sent a deputy up to see              tan shoes, besides a lot of other fun, the city of oil wells on the Wapsie was
what the noise was all about. The court continued in session, but the                    reached. An inquest or diagnosis was held on the old bridge, and the
stomping had to adjourn.                                                                 supervisors decided on a 90 foot steel bridge to span the west channel.
            Many evenings our son and the neighborhood boys would have                              The fun came on the trip from Tripoli to Frederika, and vice-versa,
football games on the front yard of the courthouse. Summer time brought                  about 6 1/2 hours being taken up making the round trip, about 13 miles.
band concerts to the courthouse steps and we had beautiful music coming in               There were two loads with four in each. Knapp drove one and the writer
our 2 front bedroom windows.                                                             [Grawe] tried to drive the other. A mile north of Tripoli we were told that we
            During the day when the courthouse doors were all unlocked there             ought to have come with sleds or stone boats, instead of wheels.
were a few startled visitors as they opened the door and walked into the                            One of the left-over, web-footed natives of the Wapsipinicon
sheriff‘s residence by mistake. After hours when our son would go outside to             bottoms, whom we met, volunteered the suggestion that this octagonal
play, he would ring the doorbell so we could let him in. Going down two                  aggregation was an interesting bunch, but it was his deliberate belief that the
flights of steps got a little old after a while and propping the courthouse door         entire caravan had escaped from the state asylum at Independence; anyway,
open was not an option, so we put a master key to the courthouse on a chain              he reckoned we had more wheels than those on which we rode. He said he
around his neck. Ten years later when he was hired as a new employee in the              reached this conclusion because sane men remained at home when the roads
Engineer‘s office they would not at first trust him with a key to the office.            were as they are now, or else they went on foot or on stone boats. All in the
            After the Bremer-Waverly Law Enforcement Center was built and                crowd applauded this remark except the supervisors who didn‘t see the point
there was 24 hours dispatching we no longer had to live in the courthouse to             until it was too late.
be near the prisoners in case of an emergency. Part of the apartment was                   An ―evener‖ and one of the whiffle trees broke and it began to look as if we
made into offices for the County Attorney and the other part for the County              would not be able to get back to Tripoli in time to connect with the
Health Nurse.                                                                            westbound train for Waverly. While Knapp and Herman, with a borrowed
            Submitted by Dode Westendorf                                                 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
The Bremer-Waverly Law Enforcement Center                                                mother!‖
                                                                                                    From an article in the Bremer County Independent; 16 March 1905
           The facilities shared by the Bremer County Sheriff‘s Department
and the Waverly Police Department is known as the Bremer-Waverly Law                     Concerns regarding roads and bridges occupied the majority of the
Enforcement Center. Opened in July of 1975 it included a squad room,                     supervisor‘s time in the early years.
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

                                                                                                   The Board made the following classification of real and person
                                                                                        property to be assessed for purposes of equalizing the same:
Excerpts from the Minute Books for the                                                  Average work horse                                $35 each
Board of Supervisors                                                                    3 year old colts                                  $25 each
The Building of the County                                                              2 year old colts                                  $20 each
                                                                                        1 year old colts                                  $15 each
January, 1861                                                                           Average work mules                                $50 each
           Ordered Clerk to furnish lights for evening session.                         3 year old mules                                  $40 each
           By order of the Board the Clerk of said Board is authorized to               2 year old mules                                  $30 each
receive specifications and bids for erection on a livery on the courthouse              1 year old mules                                  $20 each
square to be constructed of either brick, wood or stone.                                Average work cattle                               $35 per yoke
January 12, 1861                                                                        3 year old steers                                 $10 each
           Louis Case ordered to procure wood for use of the county offices             2 year old steers and heifers            $6 each
during the winter months. $1.00 for splitting 3 cords of wood.                          1 year old steers and heifers            $4 each
           Claim of W. W. Norris for $3.75 for pens, candles, etc. furnished            Average cows                                      $8 each
Treasurers office allowed.                                                              Average sheep                                     $1.50 each
  $2.92 paid for wood for courthouse.                                                   Average hogs [per hundred]               75 cents
  1861 salary of Treasurer 2 months $91.68 and salary of W. W. Lucas,                   Average wagons                                    $20 each
Deputy Treasurer – 55 days at $82.50.                                                   Average improved lands in the several townships as follows:
October, 1861                                                                           Warren                         $5.00 per acre
           Motion that all clerks and trustees of elections in different                Dayton                         $4.00 per acre
townships be paid as follows: Township where over 100 votes were cast to                Polk                           $7.00 per acre
receive $2.50 each. Those where less than 100 votes were cast receive $2.00             Fremont                        $4.00 per acre
each.                                                                                   Lafayette            $7.00 per acre
January, 1862                                                                           Sumner                         $4.00 per acre
           Clerk authorized to hire a fire builder for the session.                     Washington                     $10.00 per acre
           Matter of the vacation of the town of Bremer brought before the              Leroy                          $5.00 per acre
Board for consideration.                                                                Jackson                        $11.00 per acre
           Claim of $1.00 for services in repairing shackles for prisoners in           Frederika            $5.00 per acre
county jail.                                                                            Jefferson            $8.00 per acre
           The following rule adopted: That members who neglect to appear               Douglas                        $4.00 per acre
at the time to which the Board shall have adjourned from time to time, shall            Maxfield             $4.50 per acre
not be allowed to consume time by unnecessarily overhauling business that               Franklin                       $4.50 per acre
may have been disposed of in their absence.                                                        Average timber lands in several townships same as average
June, 1862                                                                              improved farms, average unimproved lands at one half the value of improved
           On motion the Clerk authorized to present Floyd County a bill at             lands.
the rate of $1.00 per month for the use of the jail for Floyd County prisoner or        June, 1863
at the same rate for prisoners from any other county confined in the Bremer                        Claim of Robert D. Brown of $4.00 for cleaning out the chimneys
County jail.                                                                            to courthouse allowed in full.
August, 1862                                                                            January, 1864
           Resolved that the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors be authorized                       Ordered that N. M. Smith dig or cause to be dug a well at or near
to issue a County Warrant for the sum of $50.00 in favor of each volunteer              the southwest corner of the courthouse.
that may have enlisted or shall enlist from this county under the present calls         June, 1864
of the Governor of Iowa as soon as they have been received and mustered                            On motion the clerk was authorized and instructed to sell the
into service.                                                                           county building and lot known as the sheriff‘s house and old jail. Terms of
September, 1862                                                                         sale are one half down and the balance in one year at 10 percent interest.
           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.

                                                                                                     Ordered that if any member of the Board be absent for one hour
           Resolved that the Board of Supervisors of Bremer County, Iowa do              after roll-call he shall forfeit pay for one half day.
hereby allow N. M. Smith, Sheriff, the sum of $65 per year as a salary for               June, 1869
services that he has performed for which the law makes no provision of                               On motion the committee on poor farm report in favor of a
compensation.                                                                            purchase of SE 1/4 and S 1/2 of NE 1/4 Section 24, T92, R13 240 acres at
September, 1864                                                                          $10.00 per acre. Motion to purchase was passed.
           Mr. Reeves suggested the purchasing of property of Louis Case,                            On motion the Clerk of the Board was authorized to have the
Lot 5 in Block 24 in the town of Waverly, for the purpose of erecting thereon            courthouse insured with A/ J/ Tanner Agt of Hartford Company at $5,000 for
a stable for the Sheriff of this county after being duly considered the clerk was        3 years for $125 premium and that the clerk issue county warrants thereof.
instructed to issue to Mr. Case the sum of $55.00 in county orders for the               October, 1869
same and warrant No. 1358 was issued.                                                                On motion the Clerk of this Board is instructed to notify the
November, 1864                                                                           Trustees of several townships in the county, that in cases of applications of
           After adjournment of the election canvass three hearty rousing                poor and needy persons for county aid, the Trustees if considering the
cheers were given to the citizens of Frederika Township in honor of their                applicants entitled to aid shall furnish them with the necessaries but not the
having polled every vote for the union.                                                  luxuries of life.
January, 1865                                                                                        The Sheriff is authorized to procure matting for the courtroom and
           During this session the Supervisors voted to set the salary of the            make necessary change in the location of
Treasurer at $800 per year in County orders in lieu of the percent now allowed           the stoves.
by law and thus he turn over to the county said percent. (previously the                 September, 1870
Treasurer kept a percent of collections as salary)                                                   On motion the Sheriff is authorized to publish notice of reward for
June, 1865                                                                               capture of Fred Antoine murderer of Fred Oltroge and the auditor is to issue
           On motion Mr. Roberts was allowed to put up lightening rods on                the $500 in county warrants in case of arrest and delivery to sheriff of said
the courthouse at a cost not to exceed $45.00 in                                         murderer.
ounty orders.                                                                            September, 1871
           On motion of B. M. Reeves, it was resolved that Mr. A. Y.                                 Whereas a 5% tax has been voted in Washington and Sumner
Stevenson be allowed to place his patent sash lock fastenings upon all the               Township and 2 1/2% in Fremont Township in Bremer County, Iowa under
windows in the courthouse at $3.50 per dozen.                                            Chapter 102 of the Acts of the 13th General Assembly to aid the Iowa Pacific
January, 1866                                                                            RR Co in construction of their road, and whereas a 5% tax has been voted in
           Mr. Call presented the report of John M. Ellis, Trustee of Franklin           Douglas and Frederika Townships and 2 1/2% in Leroy and Fremont
Township in the matter of the seizure and sale of the property of Noah Porter,           Township in said county and state under the Acts aforesaid to aid in the
an absconding husband. On motion of Mr. Chaplin the action of Mr. Ellis                  construction of the Grinnell Cedar Falls & Winona RR and whereas the same
was therein set-fort was approved. (In June, 1866 the seizure of property was            has been certified and returned to the Auditor of the county to be levied at the
rescinded and the balance of the property not already disposed of was to be              regular September session of this Board; therefore it is ordered by the Board
returned.)                                                                               that in accordance with the certificates on file with the Auditor a tax of 5%
           On motion of W. A. Reeves the Clerk was instructed to sell any of             upon the taxable property of said townships of Washington, Sumner,
the Swamp Land in the county at $1.25 per acre provided that the same has                Douglas, and Frederika and 2 1/2% upon the taxable property of Leroy and
not heretofore been sold or contracted by the Trustees of the respective                 Fremont Township to be collected.
Township in which said is located and provided further that the party                    October, 1871
purchasing any of said land furnish the said Clerk with a certificate from the                       Resolved that all persons are hereby forbidden to pasture the
Trustees of the Township in which said land is situated that the same has not            courthouse yard or turn stock of any kind in the same and the C. M. Kingsley
heretofore been sold or contracted by them to other parties.                             be required to pay to Bremer County the sum of $50 for damage done to said
June, 1866                                                                               yard by his horses and cattle.
           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
           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
January, 1869

                                                                                        sale and particularly said consent is granted to the Waverly Brewing
November, 1900                                                                          Company.
Costs for all elections - $654.25                                                         Resolved by the Board of Supervisors of Bremer County, Iowa, that the
Livery for the county - $68.25                                                          county road fund be raised by a levy of one mil on the dollar on the taxable
Total county fund expenses - $31,971.89                                                 property of the county, for the improvements of the highways, shall only be
Insane fund - $2,034.69                                                                 used to improve highways in the Supervisors district wherein the fund was
Soldier‘s Relief Fund - $1,437.00                                                       raised; that is, the county road fund raised in one district shall not be
Farmers Institute - $50.00                                                              expended by the supervisors in another district without the consent of this
Teachers Institute - $435.00                                                            board. And when one supervisors district uses, one year, more than the
County Road Fund - $1,959.30                                                            amount raised by that district, the amount shall be paid back in the following
Bridge Fund - $12,999.25                                                                years to the district from which it was overdrawn.
Grand Total           $50,887.13                                                        July, 1905
Supervisors Salaries (all three) $1,585.13                                                         W. C. Schlaberg and C. C. Kohagen were appointed a committee to
County Officers Salaries - $7,450.97                                                    burn the ballots cast at the general election of 1904.
Sheriff and Bailiffs - $1,693.28                                                        February, 1906
1901                                                                                               A number of representatives of bridge companies appeared before
           Contract with County Telephone & Telegraph Company to give                   the Board and submitted bids for furnishing the iron work and piers for a new
county offices use of it‘s toll lines in Bremer County for county business for          bridge to replace the old ―Stockwell‖ bridge north of Waverly. The contract
$12.00 per quarter.                                                                     was awarded to the Clinton Bridge and Iron Company the lowest bidder, for
           Banks for depositing county funds – 1901                                     the sum of $6,000, the plans calling for three 128 ft. spans with tubular piers
                      The First National Bank of Waverly                                and an 18 ft. roadway.
                      State Bank of Waverly                                             June, 1906
                      German American Loan & Trust Company‘s Bank of                               Prof. A. Engelbrect, chairman of the finance committee of the
                                   Waverly                                              Waverly City Council, and Henry Woodring, representing the Robbins Post,
                      Bank of Sumner                                                    G.A.R., interviewed the Board in regard to the matter of procuring two large
                      M. Robish and Company Bankers of Sumner                           siege cannon from the Boston navy yard to be placed in the courthouse park.
                      Tripoli Savings Bank                                              Resolved that a sum be appropriated from the county fund sufficient to pay
                      Savings Bank of Janesville                                        the loading and freight on two siege cannon from Boston Navy Yard,
                      Savings Bank of Plainfield                                        Massachusetts, to Waverly, the same to be placed in the courthouse part,
                      German Savings Bank of Tripoli                                    provided the City of Waverly pay the expense of unloading and mounting the
                      Citizens State Bank of Sumner                                     cannon.
           The first typed pages of Board of Supervisors minutes were March             April, 1907
4, 1901.                                                                                           On motion the Board ordered that the County Attorney be allowed
1901 Officers and Salaries for the year:                                                $150 per year for office rent, light and fuel for the year of 1907.
Treasurer:                       $1,500                                                   On motion the Board ordered that the Corn Belt Telephone be installed in
Auditor:              $1,200                                                            the Sheriff‘s office at the annual charge of $9.00
Sheriff:              Fees from office plus $400                                        per year.
Attorney:             $700                                                              July, 1909
Clerk of Court:       Fees of office up to $1,300 also $150                                        Resolved, that the County Treasurer is hereby authorized and
probate fees                                                                            directed under the provisions of Chapter 91 Acts of the 33 General Assembly
           County Farm Report –Average cost of keeping 1 person yearly                  of the State of Iowa, to collect from each of the several banks of the county in
ending March 1, 1901 $71.94; inmates in insane asylum 18; inmates in poor               which the funds of said county are deposited, two percent interest per annum
house 22.                                                                               on ninety per cent of the daily balances in said banks, the same being payable
June, 1901                                                                              to the County Treasurer at the end of each month.
           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

                                                                                                             Waverly 5             City Polling Bldg
July, 1911                                                                             March, 1913
            Resolved that when the time of the present insurance policies on                      The county home report showed the cost of the Electric Lighting
Bremer County property expires, the County will not renew said policies, that          System at the County Home to be $1,400.
is, after the expiration of the present policies, Bremer County will carry her         May, 1913
own risks on the property at the County Home and on the Courthouse Square                         Contract was entered into the Northey Mfg Co for the purpose of a
in Waverly.                                                                            refrigerator for the County Home at a price of $240.
November, 1911                                                                           On motion C. A. Cook of Waverly was unanimously appointed County
            H. C. Schlutsmeyer appeared before the board in behalf of the City         Engineer under the New Road Law with compensation being $100 per month
of Waverly asking permission to stretch two electric light wires across the            and expenses.
Stockwell Bridge, after due consideration the board granted permission on the                     On motion the map designating the County Road System was
condition that the wires be hung on cross arms extending away from the                 adopted and ordered with the County Auditor, and copy of the same filed
bridge out of reach, so that there be no danger to people under any conditions         with the Highway Commission, Ames.
in coming in contact with the wires, that two lights be installed on the bridge        June, 1913
by the City, the County agreeing to pay the costs of bulbs, and the further                       Contract was entered into with J. D. Adams Co. for the purchase of
condition that the City will hold the County harmless from all damages that            four two-wheeled steel scrapers at $40.00 each and two two-wheeled steel
may arise on account of their wires on said bridge.                                    scrapers with aprons at $45.00 each.
January, 1912                                                                          August, 1913
            On motion the bid of F. G. Ladd was accepted as Steward of the                        All bids filed for traction engines, for road grading purposes were
County Home at an annual salary of $975.                                               opened and considered the bids being as follows:
  F. E. Farwell presented two petitions signed by H. A. Pothast and others                                   International Mogul             $2,340
pledging 259 days labor and $15.00 in cash, as a bonus offered to the Board                                  Hart Parr             $2,392
of Supervisors to be used in connection with funds to be received from the                                   Rumley                          $2,650
State, for improving and choosing the road from Waverly northerly to the                                     Twin City                       $2,700
McFarlane Farm, thence east about _ miles, thence north 2 miles on TWP                                       Fairbanks Morse                 $2,700
line, thence east through Bremer to C. Moeller farm, thence north 2 miles,                        On motion it was decided to ballot on the choice of engines,
thence east 4 miles to Tripoli, this road to be improved under the provisions          resulting in one vote for Twin City , one vote for International Mogul and one
of the Motor Vehicle Road Fund Account.                                                vote for Fairbanks Morse. It is finally decided after thirty days trial and the
May, 1912                                                                              engine proving satisfactory this board will purchase the Twin City engines.
            The meeting being held for the purpose of consulting with residents        April, 1914
along the two proposed routes to Tripoli and determine which should be the                        In the report of the County Farm permanent improvements
route established and improved by the Motor Vehicle Trust Fund. On motion              included:
the following road was established as the road improved under the provisions                                 Ice House complete              $386.85
of the Motor Vehicle Trust Fund Law, from Tripoli to Sumner, beginning at                                    Refrigerator                    $240.00
the south west corner of Section 34, Township 92, Range 12 thence north                                      Gasoline Engine                 $522.50
following the road now in use up to the section line on the north side of              August, 1915
Section 27, thence east on sections lines to the town of Sumner. On motion                        Bids were received for tiling 1,328 rods on the county farm and was
one weeks time is taken before decision is made on either the Bremer-Tripoli           awarded to Paul Berg for $700.00.
route or the Knittel-Tripoli route.                                                    November, 1915
            Petitions signed by residents of Denver, Readlyn, Jefferson and                       On motion the Deputy Sheriffs‘ salary was fixed at $15.00 per
Maxfield Townships were filed by various people, contributing cash and labor           month dating from July 1, 1915.
for the improvements of the Knittel-Tripoli route.                                     February, 1916
  Additions were also made on petitions previously filed on the Bremer-                           Whereas, the Citizens in and about Waverly, donated $3,500
Tripoli route. The balance of the forenoon was spent discussing the merits of          towards the construction of Bridge Number 1904A, to be erected across the
the two proposed routes.                                                               Cedar River, at the foot of Harmon Street in Waverly, Iowa and Whereas, this
            On motion the Bremer-Tripoli and the Knittel-Tripoli routes were           sum has been deposited to the credit of the County Bridge Fund for the
established as two roads to be improved under the provision of the Motor               purpose named, Therefore Be it Now Resolved that in view of the foregoing
Vehicle Road Fund Law.                                                                 fact, we, the Supervisors, hereby pledge ourselves and our successors in
September, 1912                                                                        office that Bridge 1904A will be erected and completed for traffic by January
  The election precincts for the 1912 elections were established as:                   1, 1918.
                       Dayton Center School House                                      October, 1916
                       Douglas Center School House                                                Bridge bids, seven in number, were received for the construction of
                       Franklin Center School House                                    the steel bridge at the foot of Harmon Street, Waverly, Iowa, filed by the
                       Fremont Town Hall-Tripoli                                       following companies: International Steel and Iron Co; Frank J. Miller; Des
                       Jackson Vacant Store-Janesville                                 Moines Bridge and Iron Co; Waterloo Construction Co; Federal Bridge Co;
                       Jefferson Towns Hall-Denver Lawn Farm                           Iowa Bridge Co and Illinois Bridge Co/ The bid of Illinois Bridge Co at
                       Lafayette Spring Lake School House                              $18,780 was found to be the lowest bid filed, and on motion the contract for
                       Leroy     Pin Hook School House                                 the construction of the Harmon Street bridge was awarded to the above
                       Maxfield Chris Moeller Hall-Readlyn                             company.
                       Polk      Horton Hall – Horton                                  June, 1917
                       Sumner #2           Buck Creek Center School                               Whereas, the county fund of Bremer County on June 1, 1917 is
                       Sumner Council Rooms-Sumner                                     overdrawn in the sum of $15,000, therefore, Be it Resolved that the same be
                       Warren School House Warren #5                                   refunded by the issuance of county bonds in the sum of $15,000 in
                       Washington          Blacksmith Shop-Willow                      denominations of $500,000 each, three of said bonds to become due and
                       Waverly 1           Council Room-City Hall                      payable on the 1st day of October, 1918, and thereafter three to become due
                       Waverly 2           Basement – Opera House                      and payable on the first day of October of each year until the entire issue has
                       Waverly 3           City Polling Bldg                           been paid, said bonds to bear interest at the rate of 5 _% per annum payable
                       Waverly 4           Brooks Lumber Co Office

semi-annually and said bonds to be issued in the form prescribed by Section               half of the cost of improvement. The following order was given: That the
403 of the Supplement to the Code of Iowa.                                                Committee be given the privilege to build a band stand about 50 or 60 feet
February, 1918                                                                            north of the walk leading to the old Courthouse. And that the Board will
            E. A. Schiefelbein was appointed delinquent tax collector and                 make an appropriation for one half of the cost of the improvement, but not to
allowed 15 percent for collecting said delinquent taxes.                                  exceed $250. The Committee is to try to get the band stand put up for less
May, 1918                                                                                 than $500. the stand is not to be denied for public, political or other meetings
            Resolved that the County Road Patrol be established at once and a                        The County Auditor asked to be relieved of the duty of custodian of
patrol man appointed in each Supervisor District.                                         the courthouse park, pleading that he really did not have the time to spare to
August, 1918                                                                              give proper attention thereto and recommended the Sheriff be made
            The bid of Standard Hardware Company of Tripoli was accepted                  custodian of the courthouse park as he has more leisure time to devote to the
for the heating plant at the County Home. Said bid being $4,075 (if cast iron             matter. The Board resolved by unanimous vote that the Sheriff be given
boiler be used $265 less and if an advanced condensation pump is installed                custody of the Courthouse Park.
add $350).                                                                                January, 1923
April, 1919                                                                                           The board by unanimous vote passed resolution to employ the
            Whereas request has been made by the Court Reporters of the 12th              Patrolmen for the year 1923 as follows:
Judicial District that they be furnished typewriters, and upon investigation it is                              H.D. Hograbe                 Section 1
found to be a proper and legal obligation of the county; Therefore, be it                                       Will Orcutt                   Section 2
resolved that the county of Bremer by its Board of Supervisors authorize the                                    Frank Mederes                Section 3
purchase by George A. Black of Charles City, one of such official shorthand                                     R. C. Auner                  Section 4
reporters, of three machines with carrying cases and that the County Auditor                                    Louie Heine                  Section 5
of this county be directed to pay one-eighth of the cost thereof upon bills                                     H. Wm. Oltrogge              Section 6
submitted to him by the seller of said machines; which bills are to be certified                                Wm. Beu            Section 7
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
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

                                                                                                 Moved that Van Herman be appointed overseer of the Courthouse
                    W. F. Sassman                 Section 8                           Park at 40 cents per hour.
                    C.G. Schwemm                  Section 9                           May, 1928
                    Sieble Sievers                Section 10                                     Awarded the contract for printing the Primary Election ballots for
                    Henry Matthiesen              Section 11                          the bid price of $113.50 to Tripoli Leader.
                    Henry Dawson                  Section 12
                    E. E. Siebert
                    Louie Hoeper                                                      Keep Off The Grass!
                    Henry Piehl
                    Wm Kirchmann                                                                ―On motion resolved, That no stock shall be allowed to run in the
                    Theodore Hartmann                                                 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
           Patrolmen are to be paid $5.00 per day and Road Draggers $0.75             admitted to them.‖
per mile. Road Laborer single man $0.35 per hour; Road Laborer with team                        Board of Supervisors: 10 September 1883
$0.50 per hour.
February, 1923
           Resolved the Grader Crew are to receive for the grading season the         Where did all the money go?
following rates per month. C. E. McFarlane, Engineer $145 and mileage at              Bremer County Treasury Robbed
$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.                                Where did all the money go? No, it isn‘t an advertising campaign for
March, 1923                                                                           election. I am talking about the 1861 robbery of the Bremer County
            Moved to buy a patrol grader from the Galion Iron Works.                  Treasurer‘s office. I am going to try to relate the story as told by Mr. Lucas
October, 1923                                                                         and excerpts from the Board of Supervisors minutes.
           Purchased a new road tractor from Twin City Company for $3,671               Prior to a bank being established in Waverly the county money was kept in
and accepting old tractor.                                                            a safe in a vault in the courthouse. There were two
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

 sets of keys for the vault and safe –one for the Treasurer W. W. Norris and                         Stephenson was promised immunity if he would tell what he knew
one set I had as Deputy Treasurer.                                                       about the affair. He resigned from the Board of Supervisors and a year or so
            Treasurer W. W. Norris liked to drink and strong drink proved to be          later left the county for parts unknown.
his ruin. During the last year of his term he neglected his office and duties,                       The newly elected Treasurer Caleb Morse gave notice to the Board
and for two or three days at a time would not appear about the office more               that he had no safe place for the funds to be received and was authorized to
than to drop in to inquire how the business was getting along.                           deposit the funds in the N. P. Ellis & Co safe until the locks were repaired on
            As the time approached when he should turn over his office and the           the vault and the safe to the Treasurer‘s office.
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                     Working in the Treasurer‘s Office
treasury robbery, Norris was in company of Robert J. Stephenson, chairman
of the finance committee of the Board of Supervisors. Stephenson was a                               In June of 1957, the Bremer County Treasurer, Sadie King, was
cool, calculating schemer. While there was no thought of Stephenson                      advertising for a person to work in her office, collecting taxes, registering
mediating the crime, the belief was that he was a dangerous associate.                   vehicles and issuing auto licenses. I thought, ―Why not go for it? I will
Stephenson‘s brother was the man who burglarized the county treasurer‘s                  apply‖. I had had 8 years of office experience working at the CaPhenin
office in West Union and while Robert was never connected with the robbery               Chemical Co., so I was ready for another challenge. I applied and got the job.
he was suspected of having a hand in the crime.                                                      At that time, the tax and auto departments were located together, in
            For two days Norris spent time with Stephenson most of the time              the front office, so you had to learn how to wait on customers who wanted to
about town and in a saloon. With them were several men who participated in               register a vehicle or to pay taxes. The bookkeeping was done in a small
their hilarity and drinking. The night of the action was spent until about               adjoining room and was done by Ethel Hart. (In the 60‘s, Rubenna
midnight or later in carousing in the saloon. When it was closed Stephenson              Stufflebeam and Amy Walton handled the bookkeeping.)
accompanied Norris to his home about one o‘clock, left him there and went                            As I said, Sadie King was the Treasurer when I started in July of
to his own home.                                                                         1957, and she had worked in that office for several years before she was
            About 5:30 a.m. Norris and Ezra Williams, a constable, appeared at           elected Treasurer. Sadie knew all aspects of the office. She knew how to do
my home and called me out of bed. Norris stated he had lost his keys and                 the bookkeeping, counter work, auto and tax work, and spent many hours on
asked me to hasten to the courthouse to be assured that all was safe, adding ―I          a Posting Machine. She posted all of the taxes on this machine (in the proper
fear the safe is robbed‖.                                                                district), and we balanced all collected taxes from this posting. It definitely
  When I reached the courthouse they were waiting. I unlocked the office                 was a fore-runner of the computer, as was the full-key adding machine that
door and felt my way to the vault, which was locked. I called to them ―All is            was used in the Treasurer‘s Office when I started in 1957. Ten-key calculators
safe, the vault is locked.‖ Norris called out ―Thank God‖. I unlocked the                were purchased a few years later. It wasn‘t until about 1980 that a computer
vault door and reached the safe in the pitch dark, and found it also locked,             was used for computation and collection of taxes.
which I announced and again Norris called out ―Thank God all is safe.‖                               When I started working in the Treasurer‘s Office, I was soon made
When I opened the safe I felt for the drawer which I knew contained the                  Deputy Treasurer, and enjoyed earning ―big money‖—about $1.35 per hour!
$30,000 in bills that were placed there the day before in readiness to be turned         We were paid monthly at that time, so I really had to budget my money as I
over. The drawer was empty. Williams had found and lighted a candle. I                   had been used to a weekly pay-check. The office was open 8:00 - 4:00,
was speechless for a moment before calling out ―All is gone‖. The wail that              Monday through Friday, and on Sat. from 8:00 til 12:00. It was thought that
Norris uttered was one of despair and desperation. ―My God, all is lost and I            we
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 co-
conspirator 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.

 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                                                                           Gleason, Alonzo-Cedar Falls 1851
Century Farms in Bremer County                                                    Gors, Florence-Waverly         1869
                                                                                  Greeley Duane & Evelyn-Janesville    1899
          Since the inception of the Century Farm program in 1976, these          Haar, Erhardt-Sumner           1892
people have been recognized as living on a farm that has been in the same         Hagenow, Henry & Mildred-Readlyn 1873
family for a hundred years or more. In some cases the farm is still in the        Happel, Richard & Florene-Denver     1866
possession of the same family while others have been passed on to the next        Harmening, Alfred-Tripoli 1874
generation. In a few instances the farms have since been sold to unrelated        Harms, Eric F.-Readlyn         1863
buyers.                                                                           Harrington, Francis L.-Plainfield    1880
                                                                                  Haun, Alice & Clair-Fairbank 1863
Albrecht, Harley-Waverly      1899                                                Haverkamp, Verla Mae & Erwin M., Sumner      1900
Albright, Russell & Karen-Readlyn     1876                                        Heine, Lawrence-Waverly        1867
Arns, Dora M.-Waverly         1892                                                Heinemann, Kenneth & Pearl-Readlyn 1869
Ball, Gleora A. Buls, Waverly 1902                                                Hennings, Erwin A.-Waverly 1868
.c.Beam, John H. & Wilma C.-Ionia     1870                                        Hobson‘s Inc.-Plainfield       1855
Becker, Kenneth-Waverly       1869                                                Homeister, Henry-Waverly 1888
Benton, Clyde E.-Janesville 1874                                                  Huebner, Paul-Readlyn          1883
Berger, Ida L.-Waverly        1873                                                Hunnemuller, Albert J.-Tripoli       1869
Bergmann, LeRoy & Mildred-Waverly                1891                             Judisch, Lawrence & Dorothy, Sumner 1891
Biermann, John A. & Marlys-Tripoli 1877                                           Kaiser, George A. & Nancy-Waverly     1896
Biermann, Romane-Tripoli 1890                                                     Kasemeier, Ella-Sumner         1872
Bigelow, Margaret C. & Ted E.-Waverly            1854                             Kehe, Virgil H. & Joyce R.-Readlyn   1864
Blasberg, Alfred & Erna-Tripoli       1872                                        Kimm, Hilda-Denver             1865
Bloeser, Lloyd & Irene-Denver         1875                                        Kirchhoff, David & Ruth-Tripoli      1893
Blume, Herbert E.-Tripoli     1884                                                Knief, Lawrence & Darlene-Waverly 1854
Bock, Erwin & Alice-Waverly           1868                                        Knoploh, Ernest & Elda-Sumner        1874
Bockholt, Larry L.-Fairbank 1860                                                  Koschmeder, Erwin & Carol-Readlyn 1879
Bockholt, Renae I. Boevers-Readlyn 1892                                           Kuhlmann, Harvey & Heraldine-Readlyn         1888
Boeckmann, Orlyn & Elaine-Waverly 1874                                            Kuhlmann, Werner W.-Readlyn          1874
Boevers, Burton W.-Tripoli 1883                                                   Lageschulte, Fred A. & Alice-Waverly 1869
Bossom, Howard E.-Plainfield          1864                                        Lahmann, Henry C-Tripoli 1868
Brandenburg, John C. A.-Waverly       1869                                        Lambert, Dwight O.-Waverly            1865
Brandt, Harold & Florine-Waverly      1867                                        Leach, Derwood-Fredericksburg        1855
Brettmann, Jerald-Denver      1854                                                Lease, Leon-Sumner             1857
Briden, Ethyl-Janesville      1854                                                Leistikow, Emil R.-Fairbank 1874
Buezenow, Merlin-Sumner 1878                                                      Lobeck, Pauline & Laverne-Tripoli    1874
Buhr, Allen A.-Sumner         1870                                                Lohmann, Walter & Larry-Tripoli      1867
Buhr, Clara-Sumner            1876                                                Luhring, Arlan-Waverly         1883
Buhr, Maynard-Readlyn         1869                                                Luloff, Oscar & Gladys-Waverly       1883
Buhr, Merla R.-Denver         1856                                                Matthias, Lorenz & Regina-Readlyn    1855
Buls, Clarence W.-Waverly 1883                                                    Matthias, Merlin-Readlyn       1878
Burns, Elmer J.-Denver        1854                                                Mether, Mary L.-Waverly        1884
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

                                                            Sassmann, Mervin:
Meyer, Irma M.-Sumner         1876                          Iserman, Marian
Meyer, Milton E.-Sumner       1888                        Tiedt, Arnold-Readlyn         1873
Meyne, Gerhard-Waverly        1864                        Tiedt, Lu Vern A.-Waverly 1863
Michael, Wendell & Hilda, Waverly      1902               Tonne, Robert & Marleen-Tripoli        1887
Milius, Wilson & Lorene-Denver         1870               Traetow, Roger & Kathy-Waverly         1897
Miller, Cletus A.-Sumner      1869                        Vosseller, G. Edward-Plainfield        1874
Mohlis, Leonard-Sumner        1873                        Vosseller, Loey-Plainfield    1866
Mueller J. Howard & Richard-Waverly           1894        Walther, Russell & Norma-Waverly       1900
Muether, Virginia-Sumner 1882                             Warneke, Melvin-Readlyn 1877
Neil, Dale & Diane-Fairbank 1856                          Wedemeier, Clarence & Dorothy-Waverly            1868
Neil, Gordon-Fairbank         1856                        Wente, Edwin & Agnes-Waverly           1891
Niebuhr, Gene R.-Fairbank 1865                            Wente, Fred H.-Waverly        1891
Nolte, Evelyn;-Waverly        1881                        Wente, Lavern W.-Denver 1864
  Nolte, August & Harvey;                                 Westendorf, Marvin Carl-Waverly        1873
  Gordon, Stanley;                                        White, Roger H. & Jeannette-Plainfield 1857
  Grochowski, Janet Nolte;                                Wilharm, Norvin & Arlise-Sumner        1883
  Johnson, Marcia Nolte;                                  Wilharm, Robert-Waverly       1867
  Stern, Ardyth Nolte                                     Wittenburg, Marie V.-Readlyn           1886
O‘Connel, Cecil-Fredericksburg         1860               Wolter, Donald-Denver         1883
Ohlendorf, Alma-Sumner        1885                        Wolter, Laverne-Janesville 1893
Oltrogge, Eldo & Lavera-Readlyn        1871               Wright, Russell K.-Ionia      1868
Oltrogge, Florence-Readlyn 1867                           Young, Perry-Plainfield       1867
Oltrogge, Orville H.-Waverly           1856               Zander, Amos-Tripoli          1871
Otto, Mrs. Elmer-Readlyn      1869                        Zander, Arnold & Mary Ellen-Tripoli 1871
Peters, Virgil & Joyce-Readlyn         1861               Zander, Walter-Waverly        1867
Pipho, Ernest C.-Denver       1854                        Zwanziger, Edward E.-Plainfield        1870
Platte, Olga-Waverly          1868
Pollock, Kenneth & Brenda-Denver       1855               Lageschulte Century Farm
Poock, Arthur H. & Gladys-Denver       1855
Poock, Herold & Esther-Readlyn         1891                          The first deed to the Lageschulte Century Farm was recorded to
Prestien, James-Denver        1865                        George Matthews and Darius Cornwell on July 2, 1855. That 80 acres was
Pries, Arlitha & John-Sumner 1872                         sold by Ludwig Leesberg for $1,050 to Frederick Lageschulte, Harold‘s
Pries, Millard & Ernestine-Tripoli     1875               grandfather, on July 20, 1869. He then bought two 30-acre parcels across the
Rathe, Reinhold H.-Readlyn 1870                           road in 1881, each for $600. October 24, 1885, he purchased 40 acres to the
Ray, William & Jean-Waverly            1869               west from William and Sarah Nicholson for $1,440. The Nicholsons had
Reiter, Henry Walter-Fairbank          1866               originally come from England and brought King Edward roses with them.
Reith, Leo James-Fairbank 1863                            The roses live on at the farm and in Waverly with Harold and Marcella
Richards, Mrs. Earl-Fairbank 1865                         Lageschulte.
Riechmann, Fred J.-Sumner 1872                                       At one time Frederick owned 420 adjoining acres that they farmed
Robinson, Paul W.-Plainfield 1874                         with 16 horses. He gave his six children, five sons and one daughter, all 160
Roder, Ray & Betty-Sumner 1874                            acres within a five-mile radius. On January 31, 1914, 180 acres was deeded to
Rollins, Maxine Krause-Sumner          1870               Fred Lageschulte, Harold‘s father.
Rundle, Eileen;-Fairbank      1869                        The Henry Homeister Homestead Century Farm Family-1991
  Ponsar, Dorothy
Schmidt, Robert L.-Tripoli 1882
Schnurstein, Gertrude [Rover]-Waverly         1855
Schuldt, Lorraine C.-Tripoli 1877
Schumacher, Arnold-Denver 1872
Schumacher, Charles & Laurale-Sumner          1884
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          1867
Steege, Lorenz H.-Waverly 1863
Stromer, Arnold & Florence-Tripoli     1870
Strottmann, Lorenze-Readlyn            1867
Teisinger, Merle E. & Viola R.-Waverly        1868
Thies, Herman F. & Viola-Readlyn       1873
Thurm, Esther:-Tripoli        1880

             In June of 1925 the farm was hit by a tornado. One hundred thirty-         Early Day Farming
five 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                             If your grandfather or great grandfather was a farmer he might have
damaged but still livable and then replaced the following year.                         been familiar with trade names like Kirby, Seymour & Morgan, and Beedle &
            1929 brought the first tile to the farm. They were dug in by hand           Kells. For those were the names of the early manufacturers of farm
and are still in use at present. Also that year 12,000 square feet of cement            machinery.
cow yard was put in. Gravel was hauled to Bremer by train and then hauled                         The earliest source of power for the farmer was oxen. The animals
to the farm on wagons. The cement was all hauled from the mixer by                      were less expensive than horses and subsided more easily on prairie grass.
wheelbarrow.                                                                            As the country developed, horses rapidly replaced the oxen.
            In 1936 the first hybrid corn was planted on the farm. Vocational             As a companion feature with this switch to horse power agriculture, great
Agriculture [FFA] was started at Waverly High School, and being part of it,             changes also took place in the farm machinery used to plant and harvest
Harold got 1/4 bushel of both Iowa 939 and 942 to try. It was received from             crops. The cradle was used to cut the early grain fields, but it was soon
the college                                                                             replaced by the McCormack and the Kirby reapers. A few Seymour and
in Ames.                                                                                Morgan hand-rake reapers were also used. Prior to the cradle were the
            The first tractor, a Minneapolis Moline Z [with rubber tires] and a         ―scythe and sickle‖ days.
threshing machine each costing $1,000 were purchased by Fred in 1939.                             Labor savers: Further saving of labor followed the introduction of
            In 1948 a double corncrib with overhead storage and an elevator             the Marsh harvester into the county. This machine was constructed in such a
were added to the farm.                                                                 way that two men could ride as they bound the grain elevated to them by the
            On March 25, 1963, Harold Lageschulte and his wife Marcella took            machinery which cut it. Later, John F. Appleby perfected a self-binding
over the farm on contract. They continued ―farming,‖ raising hogs, dairy                attachment which was added to the harvester. The first self-binders used light
cattle, chickens, and everything needed to feed all of those. In 1965 or 1966           wire
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

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
           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                by man over the brute creation. Upon the walls of his subterranean home,
left in the straw after the threshing of the bundles, and died as a result. Before        carved in the imperishable rock, amid rude sketches of mastodons, of cave
long twine binders replaced these wire binders. Threshing began in July and               bears, of reindeer and other objects of his dread or of the chase, again and yet
lasted till corn picking time in the fall.                                                again man draws the picture of a bridled horse.‖
            The early pioneer sowed the small grain by tying a sack over his              ―Before kingdoms were conceived, before social order was known, before
shoulder, taking the seed from the sack with his hand, scattering it as he                tribal law recognized, horse and man proclaim the coming civilization. The
strode across the fields. In the late 1850s the two shelled broadcast seeder              domestic tool of the earliest agriculturists and the weapons of the first
was perfected. This seeder enabled the farmer to sow faster and do a more                 warriors are ornamented with the head of a haltered horse.‖
uniform job.
            Corn was first planted by using the hoe or a single-row hand                  So far, so good. Prehistoric man is about as ancient as one could ask for.
planter. A four-row marking sled was used extensively in 1865. The rows                   Wentworth gets along pretty well with antiquity. He is better at that than with
were marked at right angles to each other with the cross lines and the corn               prophecy. He concludes his somewhat longer essay with these lines:
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                  ―Together they have endured the privations and hardships to toil; together
one man drove the team of horses, another man manipulated the dropper as                  they shared defeats, the spoils and victories of war. Together they shall enjoy
the marked lines came into view just beneath him.                                         the fruits of their labors and together divide the honors of eternal peace‖.
            The Champion corn planter was introduced into the county in 1880.
The manufacturer of this planter, Beedle & Kelly of Troy, Ohio, advertised                           Where unrelenting toil on either the street or field or forest is
their product with the punch line slogan, ―It drops every time.‖                          concerned, that has been over for most horses for some time now. But where
            Fencing the land: One problem with which the early farmer had to              eternal peace is concerned, I have to conclude that Mr. Wentworth was overly
deal was that of fencing his land. Small patches of land were enclosed by rail            optimistic.
fences, but after the prairie became extensively settled and the number of                           But we do find the legacy of the horse all around us, sometimes in
cattle increased in proportion, the rail fence proved to be inadequate. Fences            the most unexpected places. Take for, instance, the expression ‗horsepower‘.
made from trees or tree posts then became common.                                         So far as I know that is the name of the energy unit used to rate all forms of
            It seems pathetic to contemplate the vast amount of seemingly                 steam and gasoline engines…in this relatively horseless age. Here is how that
unnecessary, wasted labor, the hardships and lack of remuneration that these              came about.
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.

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
            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
            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

                                                                                          80 acres is about as much of a task as you can accomplish with horse
            James Watt, a very clever Scotsman, is credited with the first                farming…depending on your ability, strength, and size of family.
practical steam engine. He is also credited with being the first to make the                 Someone will be living on and FROM each of those farmsteads. Two, or
steam heating of buildings practical He also loaned to posterity his last                 even three generations may be found on some, perhaps some bachelor
name…‖watt‖, the electrical unit. He died a wealthy man. That seems fair.                 brothers on another, a young couple on another, and so on None are
But, back to the expression ―horsepower‖. Here is the story of its birth taken            occupied by commuters. You didn‘t wake up and ―go to work‖. You woke
from the U.S. Bureau of Standards Bulletin No. 34:                                        up surrounded by work. As rural populations go, it is dense by today‘s
            When Watt began to place his steam engine on the market (in the               standards, with 20 to even as many as 35 people living on each of those
1700s) it became necessary to have some unit by which its capacity could be               seemingly endless sections.
designated. As the work to which the engine was first put had mostly been                             The towns, generally located on rail lines, are not as small as they
done by horses, it was natural that the work of the engine should be                      appear. For they serve as trade centers, in a rather complete sense of the
compared with that of the horse. The value of ―horsepower‖ was arrived at                 word, for that fairly dense rural population. Those towns (trade hubs) serve
experimentally by Watt and his business partner, Boulton, in the following                the folks in roughly 3 to 5 miles in each direction and are thus the ―home
manner.                                                                                   town‖ to from 36 to 48 sections…or a rural population of upward to a
   ―Some heavy draft horses were obtained from the brewery of Barclay and                 thousand humans, along with some townsfolks. Make that 300 in a small
Perkins in London, and were caused to raise a weight from the bottom of a                 town serving a radius of 3 miles and you wind up with a township (36
deep well by pulling horizontally by a rope passing over a pulley. It was                 sections) with a population of about 1000 to 1200 people…without any
found that a horse could conveniently raise a weight of 100 pounds attached               manufacturing to speak of. The trades people and merchants in town and the
to the end of the rope while walking at a rate of 2 1/2 miles per hour, or 220            surrounding farm population were dependent on each other. Nobody was
feet per minute. ―This is 220 times 100 or 22,000 foot pounds. Watt,                      driving 35 miles to shop at Wal-Mart.
however, in order to allow for the friction in his engine and for good measure                        For a town to succeed it also needed to be on a railroad track that is
added 50% to this amount, thus establishing 33,000 foot-pounds per minute,                going somewhere else.
or 550 foot pounds per second as the unit of power‖.                                                  So from your eye in the sky you note this (now considered)
            I‘m sure many of us can recall the days of loose hay wherein the              overabundance of small towns with one every 5 or 6 miles. Why so many?
team that delivered the load to the barn would be transferred to the hay rope.            Because the horse rather than some planning commission was the architect.
In some instances a third single horse was simply kept on standby to pull the             A working horse on a light load should be able to walk about 3 miles an hour
hay rope. As the horse (or team) pulled the big heavy hay rope over the                   all day. A road horse (Standardbred trotter) will go considerably faster but is
pulley it did, sure enough, take a sling or fork load of loose hay off the rack,          incapable of drawing heavy loads hour after hour…so many farmers didn‘t
raise it vertically (at about 2 1/2 miles an hour) until it coupled with the track        have a road horse.
in the peak of the barn, wherein it would be moved horizontally, to wherever                          A trip to town was either an occasion or an errand, certainly not an
the man in the mow would yell ―trip it‖ to the fellow on the ground, and the              impulse. That is one reason farmers were
fellow on the ground would release it more or less where you wanted it. I                 even more enthusiastic buyers of automobiles circa 1920 than many
doubt that any kid driving on the hay rope horse had ever heard of James                  townspeople. They had farther to go.
Watt.                                                                                       If you live four miles from town it will take an hour and twenty minutes to
            As for some of these present day commercials selling SUV‘s with               get to town with a team and another hour and twenty minutes to get back
more than 100 horses bursting out from beneath the hood of the automobile,                home, and that is without any intermediate visiting stops. That, in a nutshell,
that is nonsense. And has been so proven by the dynamometer, a machine                    is why Bremer County (and thousands of other rural mid-west counties) has
constructed by the engineering department at Iowa State College in the early              so many towns.
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

  When columnists in metropolitan papers wring their hands in puzzlement                  seconds for a $1500 stake in Buffalo, New York. Retired to stud in 1885 he
about ―too many towns‖ and suggest that this is just one more example of                  sired several outstanding turf performers and died in 1891.
rural contrariness, they betray their rather complete lack of historical                     But Abe Downing never quite died in this town. This most famous of our
awareness.                                                                                equine citizens has a fine Steak House named after him at the Red Fox Inn.
            My calculations on equine population led me to think that in that             The décor is all about Abe and his times. You are a few steps from his grave,
1900-1920 time frame (maybe even up to the ‗30s) you could expect to find                 which is in what I consider the courtyard. The whole thing is pretty
from 15 to 25 working age equines, one for every 30 tillable acres, on any                whimsical and it is a fine place to eat.
typical section in the mid-west…plus some foals and yearlings either for                             My memory of those old publications tells me that a man named
replacement purposes or sale. I suppose a ratio of one such youngster for                 Knott from Waverly was also in the business of importing draft stallions from
every four or five adult animals. So one comes up with over 700 working                   Europe. But as of this moment I can‘t lay my hands on any supporting
equines (give or take a hundred) per standard township.                                   evidence…such as ads in the BREEDER‘S GAZETTES of that period. An
            To see if these crude calculations were ―close‖ I dug out the 1915            awful lot of adventurous folks tried the importing game.
and 1935 IOWA YEARBOOKS OF AGRICULTURE. The 1915 edition tells                               Another Bremer County citizen who left his mark on the horse business in
me that Bremer County had a total of 12,334 equines at that time of an                    the early days was J.J. Lynes of Plainfield. He gained regional, if not national
average 771. That was about time the truck, tractor, and automobile started               attention as a breeder, exhibitor, and promoter of fine Morgan horses. J.J.
making inroads into the employment for horses business.                                   also sired two sons, J. Kendall (known as ―Buster‖) and William, know as
            The 1935 YEARBOOK tells me the number of equines in Bremer                    Bill. They were both pretty fair country politicians. Buster was majority
County had dropped to 8566 in the intervening 20 years. By that time the                  (Republican) leader in the Iowa Senate and Bill was speaker of the House. As
automobile had put the ‗road horses‘ out of business, the truck had taken                 for being competent ―horse traders‖, which any successful politician must be,
over nearly all the grain and livestock hauling and the tractor had make                  I reckon they learned that at their daddy‘s knee. Or maybe, as with Abe
considerable inroads into the horse‘s role on the farms, taking over much of              Downing, it was bred into the bone. So far as I know neither one of them
the heavy tillage, harvesting and belt work. Nonetheless there were still 8566            carried on with Morgan horses but both did breed some fine Ayrshire cattle.
horses and mules in Bremer County...or an average of 535 per standard 6 x 6               By the time they reached maturity the automobile had pretty well knocked the
mile township. So it didn‘t exactly happen overnight. By 1935 the horse had               trotting horse and the Morgan horse business into a cocked hat.
lost the battle of the streets but was still making a strong case for himself on                     The automobile took out the buggy horse much faster than the
the farms.                                                                                truck and tractor crippled the draft horse business. The draft horse end even
            I had stated earlier that there was ―romance‖ to the horse business,          had a spirited recovery in the early 1930s culminating in about ‗36-‘37, when
and there still is but of a different sort. In Pre-World War I the trade in horses        the fortunes of the draft horse began to fade for the second time. The first
and mules was nothing less than a great arm of commerce, effecting every                  time was immediately after World War I.
town, farm and household. Basic to it were the farmers depending on them                             The reason for this mini-renaissance was a product of the Great
as their power units. Beyond that were the country buyers and shippers to                 Depression. Farmers were broke. Those who weren‘t were headed that way.
the city stables in the east that often numbered into the hundreds of                     It was a grim time for farming. Gasoline costs out-of-pocket money…corn
animals…as well as nearby Waterloo, Des Moines, etc. Every bottle of milk;                and oats were nearly worthless. Mechanization was, at that point, partial.
every load of coal was delivered by horse. For the farmer who raised foals it             While it had taken over the heavy tillage, belt work, and harvesting jobs on
was an early case of ―value added agriculture‖. It produced its stallioners.              large farms, many were still completely horse powered and all of them had
Most every township required the use of two or three stallions to come calling            some horses or mules. The county was also filled with
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 _

 unemployed people and a good many of them still had horse skills. So the                           Over time, the show was dropped, partly from time restraints, as the
draft horse made a substantial comeback...for a while. Then as government                number of horses grew. The one day sale grew into a two day sale, spring
programs righted farm prices somewhat and war clouds gathered in Europe,                 and fall. In the early ‗60s a tack and horse machinery sale was added and
the wind went out of the sails of the little renaissance in the late ‗30‘s.              that, too, quickly grew into one of the largest sales of horse related machinery
           By 1941 we still had a reasonably strong Iowa Horse & Mule                    in the nation…and
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.

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                         He joined the Free Baptist Church. He bought 234.38 acres of
for saddle horses and ponies to the twice-yearly classic…for that is what it             ground for $1 per acre. It was mostly trees and prairie grass with a creek
became. And that is what it remains some 54 years after the inaugural                    running through it. He cut down many trees to have a spot for a new home
―experiment‖ as it attracts bidders and sellers from all parts of U.S. and               which was built from the wood from the trees, which they took to the
Canada.                                                                                  Waverly saw mill to make an 18 feet wide, 24 feet long, and 12 feet high
           Arnold also became a dealer and showman of Percheron horses. In               cabin. After they got the logs sawed they started to build their home. They
the 1960s and early ‗70s he campaigned one of the top gray six horse hitches             had some basswood sawed for the house but most was oak. They had some
on the continent. He was the first American to win with a Percheron six at               red oak sawed in blocks to make shingles. They split the blocks with a frow
Canada‘s Royal Winter Fair in Toronto. And his hitch was one of the first                then every shingle was finished with a draw knife. The shingles were made
such outfits to be a part of the Rose Bowl Parade.                                       by hand and it took 3,100 to cover the roof. Then they had to have a
           In 1964 Hexom and another immigrant, Bill Dean from Kansas,                   chimney, so they went to Cedar Falls for the brick and built the chimney
bought out Wilbert Oberheu, Ted Bany, and Ed Engelbrecht, the original                   themselves. They broke up some ground of prairie grass so they could plant
three previously mentioned. Bill brought great energy and organizational skill           some corn with 2 horses and a one-bottom plow which they walked behind to
to the business. With regular weekly livestock sales and occasional dairy                keep the plow in the ground. They planted the corn by hand and also hoed it
sales, and hundreds of farm sales, they were two of the busiest men in                   by hand.
Waverly for years. It was also about that time that the machinery and fall                          In the winter they split rails. In the long winter evenings they made
horse sales were added to the menu                                                       household furniture, etc. They had a cook stove and a heater that burned
           In the mid-70s Arnold was wanting to slow down, so Bill and Elsie             wood so they also cut their own fuel. As their home had no plaster, it took a
Dean acquired 100% ownership of the barn. But for the horse sale. That                   lot of wood to keep it warm enough for them.
remained a joint venture for a couple years until each went their own way in                        They had running water, but they did the running, carrying it in and
the horse sale business. And just recently another transaction took place with           carrying it out. They dug wells that were sixteen to twenty feet deep, and
Ron, the Deans‘ son, and David Beyer their son-in-law becoming full owners.              they lasted about twenty years. Then they had to dig a different well 150 feet
           Bill Dean also fielded an outstanding Percheron six-horse hitch at            deep.
major shows throughout the country for a few years. So the torch has been                           The schoolhouse was built in 1864 and cost $476. Everyone in the
passed again and again.                                                                  neighborhood helped build it.
           Today, instead of a couple hundred—many of them ―last team‖,                             They made hay out of slough grass, no fertilizer had ever been put
the draft horse sale attracts several hundred in sale after sale. It is not              on the ground. They used a cycle mower to cut the hay down and raked it in
uncommon for 1,000 or more equines to change hands in Waverly twice a                    piles and then picked it up in a wagon and stacked it near the barn. The
year.                                                                                    wagon was a high-wheeled wagon, so they could feed their cows and horses.
           In the meantime the draft horse has made a remarkable recovery                           By now they had more horses that needed to be curried and
throughout the United States and Canada. It would be foolish to say or even              harnessed and watered each day they were used. They got 60 loads of what
think that this modern miracle started in Waverly or Waverly alone. For                  they called good hay. By now they also had sheep so shearing them was
today the sale calendar reveals that there are dozens of big auctions from one           another job. They had big sheep with long tails and someone told them they
coast to the other. But Waverly did it first. Outside of the many Amish                  thought that ox tail soup was very good, so they thought that sheep tails
settlements throughout the country, there has been no significant return to              should make good soup too. So they skinned the sheep tails and cooked
horses for farm work. But they do find their jobs and their buyers. Just as              them and made sheep tail soup and everyone thought it was very good. They
light horses and ponies do.                                                              had sheep tail soup real often.
                     There is one more Bremer County connection to the draft                        When J.P. passed away on October 8, 1888, at the age of 77, his son
horse story, namely the Draft Horse Journal. Just as Hexom and Dean, this is             Martin took over the farm. J.P.‘s funeral was held at the
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
           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….

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           to cut for the cook stove and the heater. They had rag rugs on the floors
1899.                                                                                  which needed to be pulled up each spring and taken out on the clothesline
            Martin married Amanda Gibson on January 2, 1869. They had two              and beaten with a carpet beater and then taken back in and tacked down with
sons, Clarence [who was killed in an auto accident in Hancock, MN, in 1924],           what were called carpet tacks. That was a big job each year during spring
John, and a daughter who died in infancy.                                              cleaning. The rest of the year these carpets were swept with a broom creating
            The Six Mile Grove church was organized in 1875. Services were             lots of dust.
held at the grove school till 1901 when the church was built by friends and                       1933-1999: The farm was left to Alva Lorrence and Claude when
neighbors. Martin and his wife were charter members.                                   their father died in December 1932. Alva and his brothers, Claude and
            By this time they had chickens which they raised by setting hens           Lorrence became owners of the farm. Alva was the housekeeper and helped
with eggs to hatch the babies. The hens took care of their babies by                   with the farming, which stayed about
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
            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

 the same for awhile. Then Alva married Marie Oleson in 1933, and they                     gravel on the plants and drive to the road and dump it out by raising the
made the Fritcher farm their home, with his brothers living with them till their           planks one at a time as the horses pulled the wagon. They also had a slip
deaths. Lorrence passed away in 1983 and was buried in Horton. Claude                      scraper that they used to loosen the gravel with. We really worked together. I
passed away in 1987 and was buried in Horton also.                                         think we have lost that part of life, but we need that part back, as we do not
           During their lives there were many changes in farming. We started               neighbor like we used to. I‘ve enjoyed every part of what I learned in the past
out with 4 horses and all horse-drawn machinery and later got our first Ford               on how to love your neighbor as yourself. Hope this will be some help on
tractor and mower, a new hayrack, and a 4 bottom plow. Soon it was time to                 what it used to be like. Everyone should appreciate what their forefathers
get a disk and the rest of the tractor machinery that was used for the tractor.            have done to make this a better world that we live in now.
Our next tractor was an Allis-Chalmers and a little bigger. Later on it was a                        Submitted by Marie Fritcher
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               Bremer County‘s First Cash Crop
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                                Would you believe that Bremer County‘s first cash crop wasn‘t
pulling was done by horse power and the process was repeated until the                     corn nor beans, nor meat, nor milk? Rather, it was maple sugar.
wagon was empty. It was very hot when the hay needed mowing and to be                                 In the spring of 1849, according to the 1883 History of Butler and
put up for winter to feed the cows and horses.                                             Bremer Counties, John Clark came to the Big Woods of northeast Iowa, and
           We also planted oats which meant we needed an oat binder to cut                 staked a claim on the north edge of the Big Woods. It can be located more
the oats with when it got ripe, and to put it into bundles so we could put it              precisely as about one mile east of Waverly, just south of Highway 3 [Section
into shocks to dry out till it was time to thresh it. That was done with a                 8, eastern Washington Township.]
threshing machine which one of the farmers owned and did threshing for a                              After selecting his claim he returned to his home in Delaware
group of farmers. We helped one another get our oats and straw for the                     County, Ohio, north of present day Columbus. He made the entire trip on
winter supply. In those days they stacked the straw in a stack. So someone                 horseback. The next few months were spent in preparing to return to the Big
had to work to stack it up so that it would be just right to stand the winter as it        Woods of Iowa. In the fall of 1849 Mr. and Mrs. Clark and their eight
was used for bedding the cows and horse and sometimes for the pigs. We                     children made the trip to their new home. It was the frontier—no one lived
also had chickens that need straw in the hen house. We raised our own                      north of them in this part of the state, and no one to the west until Sioux City.
chickens by setting the setting hen with 15 eggs and the mother hen would                             In the spring of 1850 Mr. Clark and his sons tapped 400 maple
take care of her own family after they were hatched. When they were grown                  trees, and boiled down the sap until they had 1,100 pounds of sugar. It was
some were roasters and some were used the next year for laying eggs. Later                 sold for six cents a pound, a total of $66.00. That doesn‘t sound like much to
on we bought baby chicks from a hatchery and raised them up. We started                    us today, but in 1850 Iowa land was selling for $1.25 per acre. The Clark‘s
buying what they called straight run baby chicks that meant there would be                 two months of work making maple sugar would have allowed them to pay
hens and roasters. Later you could buy either hens or roasters. Roasters                   cash for over 52 acres of land!
were usually sold at the market or you dressed them and sold them to                                  The making of maple syrup and sugar continued in the Big Woods
someone. We later bought capons and dressed them and they would weigh                      until 1930 or so. Most families made syrup for their own households, and
10 pounds or more. We raised many of those also. We needed to dress them                   sold or traded whatever surplus they might have.
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

Friedrich Richmann Joseph Schneider Rudolph Schneider Herman Meyer                         The article is a good glimpse of the progress of farming standards during the
Barnes Thompson A. Collins A. Maynard Isaac High Abiather Fairbrother                    late 1910s and early 1920s.
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

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
   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
   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.

                                                                                                    Oats had to be run through a fanning mill to remove the chaff and
Johnnie Nerge‘s Silage Recipe                                                            weed seeds. It was also tested in the same manner. There was a lot of work
                                                                                         to farming in those days.
           After a two-year silage shortage, Johnnie Nerge of Leroy Township,                       After the corn plowing started then there was also hay to be made.
decided that in 1924 he would try a different strategy.                                  It was cut and let dry before it was windrowed. We had a tedder that was
           He experimented with a new silage mixture of corn [which was to               used if the hay got rained on a few times before it was windrowed. This
be drilled,] cow peas, sugar cane, and two other ―out of the ordinary‖ crops.            machine would kick the hay up in the air and fluff it so it would dry. Once it
           Mr. Nerge planned to drill this mixture for silage. When it was               was windrowed it would have to be checked for dryness in the morning and
about a foot high, the plan was to use it as a hog pasture. He also expected             usually turned over again to make sure it was dry on the bottom. You did not
that the feed shortage for his 92 dairy cows would be solved.                            put wet hay in the barn as it would go into a sweat causing mold and in
                                                                                         several cases even burning the barn down.
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
            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
            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.

            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
            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

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.                1924 - Horses Down; Soy Beans Up
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                           A lot about society can be told by taxes. In 1924 the county
then.                                                                                      assessor‘s records showed that there had been a steady decline the number of
            In the fall, silos were filled, another big job as the green corn              horses in use in Bremer County during the previous four years.
bundles were very heavy.                                                                             In 1921 there were 21 stallions assessed in the county. By 1924 the
            The farm wife worked hard too as she fed a big noon meal to the                number was down to 15, prompting the reported to quip, ―If the decrease
threshing, silo filling, and later, the shredding crews. She also served a big             continues it will be only a few years until the owner of a stallion can charge an
afternoon lunch which consisted of sandwiches and cakes. Everybody had a                   admission fee for a look at the animal.‖
good appetite and you knew who the good cooks were in the neighborhood.                              On the other hand, A. C. Epley, Warren Township, was
            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
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

 becoming one of Bremer County‘s strongest promoters of soy beans. The                  his father and continues in that industry for about 17 years and retired in
previous year he had planted 15 acres of beans, five of Midwest and ten of the          2001. He often had a herd of 45 milking cows at one time. Many government
Manchu variety. It was noted that they were planted in rows and cultivated.             requirements and regulations are demanded for sanitation and quality milk.
          During the next season Mr. Epley, despite a poor crop of Midwests,                       Today there are fewer, but much larger, milking operations in
had put in seventeen acres of Manchus. ―I planted my soy beans this spring              Bremer County and they meet all required regulations to ensure the Grade A
with a grain drill at the rate of one and one-half bushel per acre. The rows are        milk.
six inches apart. They will be cultivated only with the harrow.                           Submitted by Gladys Rettig
          According to the Wapsie Valley testing association, nearly 50% of
their members had put in alfalfa and 100% planned to plant soy beans.
                                                                                        Farm Chores 1920s

The Milking Business                                                                    Chickens:
                                                                                                   In the fall chickens could be gathered and moved into the chicken
           Milking cows was an important part of life on a farm. It regulated           house. To help control chicken mites, the house could be sprayed and a
the daily routine of those who did the milking, for the cows needed to be               powder dusted over the nests. Treating the nests helped to keep the mites,
milked twice a day and there could be no exceptions. To do otherwise would              who didn‘t bite but crawled around, from getting on the arms of the person
cut the milk production.                                                                gathering eggs.
           Edna Kuethe remembers being taught to help with the milking                     Gathering eggs in the summer took some time because the hens laid their
chores at an early age of 10 or 12. Her parents, Henry and Marie Meier, and             eggs all over the farm. If they were in the feed boxes, they might be eaten by
her siblings, Martha, Olga, Clara, and Lorenz, all were expected to be a part of        the horses.
work on their farm which is located several miles south and a mile west of              Corn Planting:
Tripoli. Edna remembers the milking was done by hand while seated on a                             It took a fast walking team pulling a two-row planter to finish 20
three-legged stool, and 5:00 a.m. was the time to arise for the milking. In the         acres a day. A wire was used so the corn could be planted in hills, making it
summer the cows were out in the pasture and it always seemed they were as               possible to cultivate the field crossways and length ways. At the end of each
far away from the barn as they could get. Part of her job was to go out there           row it was necessary to get off the planter and move the wire so it was
and herd the cows to the barn, so they could be put in the stalls. In the               fastened to a stake over two rows. With a goal of the straightest rows around,
wintertime the cows would be kept in the barn, so were there ready for the              it required a team of horses driven with a tight line in order to keep them
milking. They moved from cow to cow and when the pail was full it was                   going straight on the trail mark.
emptied into a milk can. In the summer that can was immediately put in a                Corn Picking:
tank full of water so the milk would cool. The milk from the evening milking                       Using a team of horses and wagon, a husking hook, and maybe a
and the next morning milking would be brought to the creamery in Artesian.              pair of cotton flannel gloves the corn was picked by hand. Sometimes a
Neighbors took turns hauling each other‘s milk. In the earlier 1900s Edna               leather band on the wrist was used to help avoid sprains. The gloves could be
remembers that the hauling was done by a team of horses and a wagon and in              bought by the dozen, since one pair usually lasted about two days. One man
the winter a sleigh was used. Once there was a terrible snowstorm and no one            could pick about an acre a day. All the daylight hours were spent in the field
could haul, so the milk was left for the next day. There was no chance the              until the picking was done. The other chores would be done by the light of a
milk would get too warm to spoil, they actually had to watch that it would not          lantern in the early morning and after dark in the evening. After the chores
freeze. Later when the automobile came into use, the farmer could haul milk             were done at night, the corn still needed to be unloaded using a scoop shovel.
in more comfortable conditions.                                                         The corn went into the crib. One reason for the long days was that the corn
           At the creamery the cream was taken off and the skim milk that was           didn‘t get dry enough to crib until the latter part of October and it needed
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

 to be in before snow fell. George Corwin‘s brother worried about                                  Hoards of flies were around the farmsteads. One method of
oversleeping would set his alarm clock on an upturned dish pan so it would              keeping them out of the house was to hang near the door a foot-long stick
ring louder.                                                                            with strips of cloth nailed to the end. Each time the door was opened the
Hogs:                                                                                   stick could be swished to scare off as many flies as possible. The flies
           In the teens and twenties everyone had a barrel that sat by the hog          haunted the hog lot and the barn. Fly nets were used on the horses when
house. It was kept full of water and skim milk, ground grain, and sometimes             they were working.
linseed meal was mixed in. It was called a swill barrel—or if you were                  Threshing:
German, a slop barrel. A long wooden paddle was kept to stir it before it was                      The man who ran the big threshing machine was called the
poured into the troughs. The hogs were swilled two or three times a day. The            separator man. He always tried to set it with a tail wind so the end where you
barrel was a favorite hangout for flies. Main feed for the hogs, however, was           pitched the bundles into was facing the wind. There was always a man on
corn. Ears were thrown into the hog lot. They ate the corn and left the cobs            both sides of the feeder unwadding at the same time. That meant the men
which then had to be picked up to be burned as fuel in the house. Picking up            unloading didn‘t have to pitch quite as fast to keep the machine running at
the cobs was often the children‘s chore. Although corn was the main food,               capacity. Nor would the machine be empty and the any grain in the separator
the hogs would eat anything, grass, weeds,, vegetables, fruits, eggs and any            wouldn‘t blow over into the straw.
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              Husking Corn
waterer and the self-feeder were manufactured, that ended the era of the swill
barrel and picking up the cobs.                                                                    Picking corn by hand was hard work. You used a triple wagon box
Milking:                                                                                and added three 12" bang boards to the right side of the wagon box. This is
           If cows stayed in the barn during the winter, the floors had to be           what you threw the picked ears against and then they fell in the box. Before
cleaned twice a day. When the cows were out to pasture and brought in for               the elevator they had a shoveling board in the rear rather than the end gates.
milking, they seemed to know which stanchion was theirs.                                When you had a full load you would lower the end gate and some of the corn
  Sitting on a stool in front of the cow‘s hind leg with a milk pail between            fell on the ground. You would then stand on this and start shoveling off your
your legs, it wasn‘t a hard job. George remembered it as somewhat relaxing.             load by hand with a scoop shovel. After you were unloaded you picked the
He used to sing or whistle while milking, and it seemed the cows were more              corn off the ground and threw that in the crib.
contented if there was music in the barn. Some cows tended to kick. Then                           We usually picked with double thumbed gloves and a husking peg.
the milker could stand up and put his head against the cow‘s flank.                     There were two types of pegs. One was a straight peg with leather sewed so
Sometimes he tied the cow‘s hind legs together. Later a chain came on the               you had holes for your fingers. The other one had an offset peg constructed
market, a short chain with a hook on each end.; it hooked around the legs and           the same way. Then there were hooks riveted to leather that you buckled on.
then was pulled tight. Then the cows couldn‘t kick the milker.                          One was a thumb type and the other a palm type. There were also double
           Separating the cream from the milk was quite a chore. The                    thumbed mittens. When you wore mittens you had to use the hook. When
separator was an iron machine that stood about four feet high with a large              the thumb wore a hole in it you turned the glove over. You wore out a lot of
crank on the side that turned a spindle in the inside. When you started to turn         gloves before you got done.
the crank, the machine turned real hard until you got up to a certain speed that                   The first corn I remember was the Reeds yellow dent, open
would separate the milk correctly. The whole milk only went through the                 pollinated. When you picked that, half of the ears were on the ground. It laid
separator at a certain speed, so if you had 30 or 40 gallons of whole milk, it          in every direction. It was really a mess once we got snow. When you picked
took awhile to get the job done. When electricity reached a farm, separators            downed corn out of the wet snow, your hands cracked so bad they bled.
were made with electric motors and it was no long necessary to crank them               When it got really cold
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
           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
Shooing Flies:

 and you switched over to mittens after using gloves, it felt about as handy as                         The water supply on the Schield farm is approximately 250 from
a bear cub with an armful of shell corn. You had to get the hang of it.                     the field, and a lift of about 40 feet is required…
            Picking corn your hands chapped. Meyer‘s Pharmacy had a                                     Total cost of the system runs about $1 per foot of pipe, including
Meyer‘s corn husker‘s lotion made with a lot of glycerin. It was Ed‘s own                   fixtures…
mixture, but it really worked.                                                                          The entire system will put out 250 gallons of water per minute. A
            About 1934 Grant Becker of Janesville, a seed corn salesman for                 20-horse-power gasoline engine is used with a high pressure pump…
Pioneer Hybrids, came around and talked my dad into trying Pioneer 315.                                 Bremer County Independent: 6 October 1948
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.                                         The original homestead of John Sr. and Mary Kodoka Pavelec,
            Once we got our elevator, a lot of back work was eliminated. You                where the four Pavelec sons grew up. Later it was the home of Rudolph Sr.
watched the elevator take it up into the crib instead of shoveling it. In 1935              and his wife Erdena Neuendorf Pavelec and their family.
and 1936 we rented more ground from the neighbors, so we had 85 acres of                              The threshing operation was in progress on the farm which was
corn to pick by hand. Alfred and I started picking in late September and                    located south and east of Tripoli. John Sr., who came from Checkoslavakia.
spread in out in the crib to dry. We would help with the milking; get our                   His wife Mary came from Austria. They lived their until their deaths.
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


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
            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.

                                                                                                    Standing in the twelve-stall milking parlor were twelve contented
          L-R: Rudolph Sr., Edward, William and John Jr. [Jack] Pavelec.               bovines being milked mechanically. As if that would not be enough to cause
The four brothers worked a threshing ring in Fremont Township from the                 wonder, as each cow entered the barn her identification number was punched
early 1930s till late 1940s.                                                           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
The Turkey Farm                                                                        recorded, and, the volume was matched against the cow‘s average. Any
                                                                                       deviation let the farmer know there might be a problem.
           In the early to mid forties my parents, Bill and Esther Kammeyer,                        The Ruths also kept a charting system that kept track of
ventured into turkey raising. Not just a few hundred, but thousands of them.           vaccinations, breeding dates, pregnancy check dates, dry off dates, and
My parents were risk takers and enjoyed all animals. The Second World War              freshing dates. Plans for the future were being made hoping that the
was in swing and there was a need for turkeys. So, carpenters were hired and           capabilities of the relatively new computer system would grow to include
there were a total of 12 brooder houses built with raised feeding enclosed             tracking other aspects of their 72-head dairy operation.
areas attached to the outside after they were old enough to go out on the                           The Bremer County farmers of 2003 know that technology has
wired floors and feed from feeders built on two sides of the feeding floor. An         advanced by giants steps since 1853, but the pioneer farmer would be relieved
old building which was part of the ―Old House‖ was made suitable for many              to know that the cows still have to chew their own cuds.
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
           Submitted by Arvella Kammeyer Pipho

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.

                                                                                          perfection. Feeding a family of eight, she got enough practice. If I remember
                                                                                          right, a batch of bread was 8 loaves.
Moving Day                                                                                           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
           March 1st was the official moving day for farmers who were                     foot board placed on a chair with a washtub to catch the meat. The cranking
renting. When they moved, all the neighbors pitched in. You helped                        was done by hand, so we took turns on the crank. Two would have to sit on
wherever you were needed. Some with the household, some with the                          the chairs to hold the grinder in place, and they fed the meat into the grinder.
livestock, some with the machinery, whatever you were assigned to when you                           The pork hams also had to be processed in a salt brine before going
came to help.                                                                             to the smokehouse.
           Some farmers paid cash rent so there wasn‘t any big problem.                              In the making of the different sausages they
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

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
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

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.

                                                                                       weather was around zero. We also cut and split for my grandpa Oltrogge.
Growing Up on a Farm                                                                   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
            Fred Meyer and Mary Oltrogge were married March 20, 1907, and              time we got to sawing it up, a few times we ran into a civet cat or skunk nest
started farming on his folks, Conrad and Louise Koelling Meyer‘s, farm. This           which really fouled things up. We usually had a big enough pile that it took
farm consisted of 160 acres 1/2 mile south and 1/2 mile east of the old                two days of sawing. You stacked so you could get much more in because it
Washington creamery on Highway 3. They also had 50 acres of timber                     took up less space. Filling the wood box for the kitchen stove was one of my
pasture 1/2 mile south of the creamery, 1/4 mile west and then 1/2 mile south          jobs. With the filling of the wood room for the furnace and the wood shed
which was then divided by the Chicago Great Western RR, now the bike                   and stacking of the wood it produced heat several times.
path. There are several new homes and timber there now in what was pasture                         We all had our assigned jobs. We took turns washing and drying
ground where we kept cattle.                                                           dishes. We didn‘t think so then, but we were really lucky to have hot and
            To this union were born six children: Alfred, Louise Liebau, Carl,         cold running water and a bathroom in the house, especially in winter.
Luella Boevers, Willard and Harley. We were all born at home. Dad died                             Dad always had cold feet when he came in from the outside, so
Thanksgiving Day 1959 of a heart condition and Mother died on Labor Day                after supper he would open the oven door, put some split wood pieces in the
1965 after suffering a stroke in June. She was hospitalized in the old hospital        oven and on the door, take off his shoes, pull up his rocking chair, put his feet
all that time. Alfred, Louise, and Carl are all deceased.                              in the oven and read the daily paper.
            I can remember the folks telling that when Alfred and Louise were                      We would sit around the large kitchen table and do our homework
small, the Indians would camp across the road in the Steege timber. At that            and then play with our little tractors we made with wooden spools. These
time there was a clearing on the hill which is now all grown over. They would          were made by driving two carpet tacks across from each other and then
come and get water from our place and would play with Alfred and Louise.               making a round piece of paraffin about 3/4 inch in diameter and make a hole
            I can vaguely remember the old house, as I was 4 years going on 5          in the center. Through the spool you shoved two bands and hooked them to
when they started building a new house in 1922 and 1923.                               the tacks. Then you would take a wooden match stick and push the rubber
            When we were building the house, all 4 of us boys slept in the             bands through the spool, lace them through the wax and slide a wooden
garage in a makeshift room made with canvas. This room had a wood stove                match through the ends. Then you would wind it up and set it on the table
in it. They took one of the glasses out of the 4-pane window and put a tin             and it would move. We would cut notches in the ends and it then would
insert in it. They ran the stove pipe outside through the tine and up fastening        climb over things. Another toy we made for outdoors was made from a lath
it to the building.                                                                    about 3 feet long. To this we would nail another piece of lath a foot long
            In 1918 we got electricity from Central States Power Co. at                which made a T. With a ring off of an old wood wagon wheel hub we would
Clermont. We were the end of the line, so we had a lot of power outages.               start this down the handle and chase it all over the yard trying to keep it
Just about every time there was a thunder storm we had an outage. Ernest               upright and going. We improvised a lot in those days. Sitting around the
Stein of Tripoli was the lineman. He even read the meters and occasionally             kitchen table a lot of popcorn was consumed.
would come about noon, so he was invited in for dinner too. The wiring                             One thing I remember very well was when Luella and I were
those days was covered with braided cord and consisted of a shade and only             scuffling. When I bumped Dad‘s rocker, he raised his voice then. ―What‘s
one bulb. The switches were push type or a round porcelain toggle type. I              going on here.‖ My reply, ―I, I, I, she, she hit me in the mouth.‖ If you say it
can remember our first bills were about $7 before we started adding motors.            fast, it comes out sounding all together
            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
            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

different. I was teased about that for a long time. Growing up in a big family                   The following article was written by Maurice Telleen and Don
wasn‘t all bad. You learned to share and you were not finicky when it came              Huston. It was published in the April-May 1959 issue of The Iowan and is
to eating. There was none of this, ―I don‘t like this.‖ When we were all home           reproduced here with their permission.
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                             Nearly everyone agrees that the draft horse, like gaslights and
bowl might be empty by the time it got back to you.                                     Chautauqua meetings, has fallen victim to the onrushing twentieth century;
           We learned to appreciate what little we had.                                 that, in this machine age, the business of buying and selling heavy horses is,
           Submitted by Harley Meyer                                                    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
Jack, the Dog                                                                           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
            We got Jack as a very small pup, a cross between a bull dog and a           this date, what is probably the largest sale of quality draft horses in the
shepherd. He was a white short-haired dog with a bulldog face and neck with             country takes place, annually attracting about 200 of the big horses and
brown spots over the eyes and the build of a bull dog. I don‘t know whose               thousands of visitors.
idea it was, but his tail was cut off so he had a short tail. His ears were                         This remarkable sale owes its existence to the efforts of Arnold
bobbed with a pair of fencing pinchers by being pinched off. They hardly                Hexom, an auctioneer and horseman who simply refused to allow fate to
bled. He was so small he hardly knew what happened. We got him when I                   cheat him out of his favorite pastime—horse trading.
was about 6 or 7 years old and so I grew up with the dog. When the snow                             Hexom is not a nostalgic ―old timer‖ living in the past. A vigorous
was very deep he would try and follow our tracks and would get stuck so                 young businessman, he manages the Waverly Sales Barn where biweekly
we‘d go back and get him. Anytime we were outside he had to be a part of                dairy sales and weekly market sales [all classes of livestock] are conducted.
the group.                                                                              In addition, he is one of the busiest farm auctioneers in northeast Iowa.
            Our cattle pasture at home consisted of a lane about 200 feet wide                      The horse sale is simply an ―extra dividend‖ for auctioneer Hexom,
that ran to the creek, 80 rods east and 80 rods to the north along the creek.           who explains that he entered the horse business at 13 years of age when he
There were 3 trees near the north end where the cattle stood after spending             bought a black colt with $40 of the $49 he had deposited in a Decorah bank.
time in the creek and switching flies with their tails that hung in the water.          He kept the colt for two years, during which time he won $79 in prize money
Usually when it was time to milk the cows were still under the trees so we              on the animal at the county fair. With the greater part of this money, he
would ride a horse to get them. When Jack was full grown he always went                 bought a gray mare, broke her, then traded the team for a span of mules. Two
along.                                                                                  weeks later, the mules were sold at a neighbor‘s farm auction for $275, and he
            On our south line fence we had a rock dam so the fence didn‘t               was launched in the horse business. He has been in it ever since, even to the
always wash out with the spring high water. This made for a swimming hole               extent of serving with a horse and mule outfit during World War II.
about 4 feet deep that we used quite often as the cattle never went near the                        Hexom cites two experiences that shaped and sharpened his trading
line fence that went to another 15 acre field east of there which ran up to the         instincts at a rather tender age. Shortly after he drew his $40 out of the
next north and south road by the Beckers. By the dam and along the line of              Decorah bank, the bank folded. His brother had $69 in the same bank.
rocks there were usually woodchuck dens.                                                Arnold had his black colt, whereas his brother had nothing but regrets.
            When Jack was full grown and a few years old, he loved to fight                         The other youthful experience concerns a team of well-matched
with them and won out. I remember one time Willard and I were down there                bay mares owned by his father. A lumber dealer in Waukon offered the elder
when Jack really tangled with a big one. They ended up in the creek and the             Hexom $500 for the team and the offer
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                          The hitching is an essential part of any draft horse sale and goes a
through the threshing season since there was at, that time, considerable rivalry         long way in determining the value of a team. It is the only available means
about who drove the fanciest team in the threshing ring. One of the Hexom                prospective buyers have of testing the product before bidding on it.
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
            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.

                                                                                                   Our emphasis now in dairying is in the large herds of a few hundred
           Horsemen, like schoolboys, are incurable showoffs. that being the            or more. We have many outstanding herds that are sixty to eighty cows.
case, a horse show, complete with trophies, ribbons, and prize money, is a              They are producing milk at the rate of about 27,000 to 30,000 pounds of milk
natural. This has been particularly popular with the breeder type of consignor          per cow per year. That is great. They are real progressive dairy farmers.
who loves to show his horses anywhere, any time, to almost anyone. Nor is                          We do have a real good program of growing hay in the State of
he blind to the fact that a winner in the morning will be measured by the more          Iowa. Bremer County is a good hay growing area. We are probably #2 or #3
commonplace yardstick of dollars and cents in the afternoon.                            in Iowa in growing good hay. Northeast Iowa, namely Alamakee, Clayton,
           Three classes are shown from 11 o‘clock until noon—directly                  and Winneshiek Counties are the ones leading us in production per acre. At
following the hitching. They are for heavyweights [horses weighing more                 one time when I was county agent, we had a hay growing contest here. I told
than a ton,] medium weights, and colts [animals three years of age and                  them after two years I was going to open it up to all northeast Iowa, and we‘d
under.] For amateurs, Hexom employs several professional showmen to                     lose. The farmers all laughed, but we lost right away. Those counties had
braid the manes and tails and to decorate horses for the show ring. The ―old            better soil types and more soil conditioned for growing hay. They knew how
pros‖ are, of course, quite able to do it themselves. The rivalry among this            and had been doing it for longer, so they were doing well. We do have good
small band of professionals is intense, and good-natured.                               hay, just not quite as good as those counties.
           The auction takes place outside in the afternoon. Only once in ten                      Our program today in agriculture is primarily corn and soy beans,
years has the sale been forced to go into the sale barn. The horses are sold            and we do have a lot of hogs raised on individual farms. They have been
either harnessed or on the halter at the consignor‘s option. If he has a well-          mechanized to the point they can feed and then let the sows that are gestating
matched team, it is generally sold in harness. Here again, the horses are               farrow in the building or in huts outside during the nice weather. We have
moved on the walk and the trot, enabling the buyers to get a good look at               become very well adapted to a good pig crop. We are mainly into farrowing
their action.                                                                           sows. At one point we were big in selling feeder pigs, but now we raise quite
           Every horse has a card which accompanies him from the time he is             a few pigs. We import pigs from other states, namely Wisconsin and
unloaded at the sale barn until he is sold. As he is unloaded, he is examined           Minnesota. They don‘t raise the corn like we do.
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

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

 We can bring pigs and feed them the good Iowa corn. Corn is the #1                                  Also in the last few years we wrap the great big bales that they
ingredient in raising good pigs. There are more things, soy beans, minerals,              make so that they weigh maybe 1800-2000 pounds. They wrap them with
salt and a few other ingredients, but corn is extremely important.                        white plastic, and that preserves them from the rain. Because if heavy rains
            Iowa is one of the leading states in corn production. We always               get on the bale, you lost the top 6‖, or a 1/3 of the bale if it‘s rotted when it is
battle Illinois to be #1 or #2 in total corn production. We, in Iowa, have been           opened. So by covering the bales it saves money.
blessed with very good soil for growing corn. We do fertilize the ground well.                       We‘ve really made great strides. Agriculture is a science. The more
We take care of the manure; put it back in the ground in good shape. We                   science the farmers use, the better off they are. It was my job as county
have learned that it is a very good asset, so we don‘t have to buy as much                extension director to help farmers take advantage of all the good things that
commercial fertilizer as we use to. We utilize our manure instead of piling it            came along. And teach them how to use them. One of the big things that
and letting it rot. Then distribute it. That‘s the old fashioned way. Now we              came along was the advent of chemicals in the farming business. That was a
get it into the ground and build up the soil with humus at the same time. We              real big change. Each one of the farmers had to come and learn about the
are at an advanced state of agriculture. We‘re fortunate to have good people              chemicals. We put on sessions so they could understand how to use them
and the young people that came along after dad retired are doing a great job              properly. One of our goals was to teach safety regarding the chemicals, so the
on the farm. They have been able to mechanize their operations so it isn‘t as             farmer himself would not be exposed or contaminated by the chemical. They
back-breaking as it use to be. But still, let me add, when it comes to making             could suffer serious health problems. One of the safety rules was always
hay, it is hard, sweaty work and you need a big strong guy to help.                       having a pan of water, soap and a towel with you, so you could wash your
            I‘ve really enjoyed my time here. I became the county agent [now              hands in between handling chemicals. Later it progressed to the point the
county extension director] in 1974. Iowa is unique in that the whole state is             farmer had to have 2 _ hours of special testing in order to get a license to buy
suited to agriculture. There are places that vary products and methods from               the chemicals. That‘s still in effect today. I remember in the early days they
Bremer County. Southern Iowa concentrates on having brood cows, raising                   would flock into Bremer County for the classes. I ran them five-six days a
and selling the calves. Because they don‘t have the conditions to grow corn               week, sometimes even on Sunday.
there, we buy them and feed them out on our good corn crop.                                          The chemistry of all these chemicals has changed tremendously.
            Bremer County is blessed with many of the good soils. In fact,                Farmers have to keep up by talking to the dealers about uses and safety.
there‘s five types of soils here that would be rated among the top ten in the             They have new things now where they put the chemicals into sealed
whole United States. That‘s why we can raise good corn and soy beans. We                  containers and they are put on the planter so the chemicals go down without
use to raise a lot of oats, but there isn‘t as much money in selling oats as there        the farmer having to handle them. It goes down through tubes and directly
use to be. There‘s not as big a market. In the days when everybody was fed                into the ground. The containers are then returned to the dealer where the
oatmeal for breakfast, that‘s when oats could sell for a lot of money. Now                farmers had had to sign for them.
there‘s not as big a demand for pure oatmeal. It is used with other cereals,                         One of the things that is a hazard nowadays is anhydrous ammonia.
but the amount of oats used is far less. We used oats as a nurse crop by                  We have used it many, many years in growing corn, injecting it into the soil.
seeding oats and alfalfa at the same time. Then harvested the oats. Then the              I always told the farmer to take his dog along. If the dog wouldn‘t follow the
alfalfa could grow. So you actually had a double crop. But now we‘ve found                tractor, he was losing anhydrous ammonia. But now people come out and try
out that we could seed alfalfa into a field by getting lime on ahead of time so           to steal the anhydrous to make drugs. So locks have to be on tanks, 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
            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
  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.

no one can come in at night and steal it. We do have another chemical called              Brandenburg,M        Live Fair View 16 Feb 1914                    Jackson
28% liquid. It is not as dangerous and does not get used to make the drugs                Township
for the drug addicts. A lot of farmers have switched from anhydrous                       Brandt, L. H.        Cedar Lawn Stock Farm        7 July 1915
ammonia, which is dangerous in itself, to 28%. We‘re working to make the                             Jefferson Township
switch, so the drug dealers don‘t have their supply. It makes for good                    Bruns, H, C,         The Old Home Farm            23 Mar 1916
agriculture besides. And we‘ve found out we don‘t need as much chemical                              Jefferson Township
as we use to because we have better agronomic practices.                                  Buhr, Wm. F.         Laneview      17 Jan 1917
           When I started a lot of farms were 80 or 160 acres. Today the term                        Franklin Township
family-size farm, a term used by the federal government and that‘s talked                 Countryman, R        Maple Leaf
about, is 800 to 1,000 acres. Sometimes that‘s dad and a son or two sons.                            Leroy Township          6 May 1915
That is what we‘re seeing more of. That‘s a big change. It takes a lot more               Dove, W.C.           Maple Grove Farm              8 Feb 1913
money to operate a farm today. A combine can cost $150,000-$160,000,                                 Jackson Township
sometimes more. The tractors cost $120,000. With a combine you can                        Fay, F. J. Maplewood Farm                7 Jan 1915
harvest your corn and beans in a month. Then you can go out and do custom                            Leroy Township
work. The farms with one or two sons work more than a few hours a day.                    Janssen, Jerry       Cedar Tree Farm 17 Dec 1976
They go out with lights on and work through the night, working in shifts.                            Lafayette Township
They utilize their combine a lot more efficiently.                                        McCaffree, H.A. Log Cabin Farm 1 July 1911
           Years ago we could never plant corn in April because of wet soil.                         Jackson Township
Now they can plant 3-4 weeks earlier that they could when grandpa was                     McCaffree,W.H. Center Valley Farm                  6 Oct 1911
young. Corn is tolerant of cold ground. Much more so than soy beans. In                              Jackson Township
regards to soy beans we have found through medical research that the soy                  Milius, John         Sunny Ridge             8 Aug 1921
bean seed can be used to make real healthy foods for human beings. And,                              Washington Township
people who are allergic to dairy products can tolerate soy products. They                 Pipho, John          Clover Leaf            28 Feb 1920
have soy milk and soy ice cream. I must say it does taste different. They do                         Maxfield Township
have many, many different uses. They sprinkle soy bean flour on foods to                  Robinson, L.R.       Maple View Farm              9 Jun 1928
enhance the nutritional value of the foods. So soy beans have been very, very                        Douglas Township
good. Also we export soy beans to foreign countries for human food                        Schroedemeier,Henry            Maplehurst         2 Aug 1911
consumption, so soy beans are a good crop to grow here. When you see on                              Warren Township
the market soy beans are $5 a bushel and corn is $1.90 a bushel, you wonder               Smith, Chas. H.      Nirvana 4 Dec 1916
what is the difference. Well, there‘s a lot of difference because you don‘t                          Fremont Township
have the same nutrition in a bushel of corn as you do in a bushel of soy                  Vosseler, Geo.       Cedar Valley Farm 18 Sep 1911
beans, and there are so many more things that they are used for in the                               Lafayette Township
medicinal field or the human nutrition side. Corn is grown also, and look                 White, Roger &       Century Hill Farm 28 May 1975
how many corn flakes are eaten every morning. When they say it is a seven-                  Jeanette           Polk Township
grain 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                Bremer County, Dairy Spot of Iowa
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                   Most farms in the ‘30s and ‘40s had dairy cows and they were
these young people take the growing of their products seriously and they try              milked by hand. There wasn‘t electricity and we used kerosene lanterns for
to do things in the right way. That‘s important. I look back and see the                  light. A few farmers had their own generating systems.
young people taking over. They‘ve expanded this and have done that. The                              The milk was separated into cream and skim milk. Calves and hogs
dad looks back and says, ―Why didn‘t I do that.‖ I said, ―Dad, you grew up                got the skim milk and the cream was taken to a creamery and made into
in a different era. You risked a lot in your day, and they are taking the risks           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                plus 20 dots] contained 60 dots or 3 square inches; area 4 contained 80 dots
done with horses and wagons at that time.                                               or 4 square inches.
           The creameries would put the butter into 1 pound packages and the                       To use the grid it was necessary to:
excess was put into 40-pound boxes and shipped away. Dad and I loaded                   1.         Place the grid over the actual loin eye or over a               tracing
these 40-pound boxes at the Douglas creamery and took them to Bremer to                 of the loin eye.
load on the railroad and it was shipped out East. You bid on this job at the            2.         Lay the grid so that one or more of the areas blocked
annual meeting.                                                                                    out by the heavy black lines fell within the loin eye
  Milking machines were used in the late ‘40s by our farm— after we got                            outline.
electricity. This helped considerably in time and work.                                 3.         Count the dots within the loin eye outside the
           After the butter was made a byproduct from this was buttermilk.                         clocked out areas. Count only those dots that lie               within
You bid on this also at the annual meeting. You would haul this home to feed            the loin eye.
to the hogs.                                                                            4.         Add the number of dots to the 40, 60, or 80 dots
           The barn was cleaned by hand by putting manure in a litter carrier                      enclosed by the heavy black lines. Divide the total
[a big bucket that rolled on a cable that went outside], pushed it out the door                    number of dots by 20 to get the area in square inches.
and tripped it to dump it out in the cowyard on a pile.                                 5.         For lambs, measure both loin eyes and divide the                areas
           Later in the ‘50s we sold whole milk. Then a milk hauler with a              by 2. For pork, measuring one loin eye was                     sufficient.
truck would pick it up after it was cooled. The cream earlier, and the milk was         A Bite Out of the Hog Market
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                         The farm crisis of the 1980s hit Bremer County just as much as
cold water over the cans..                                                              elsewhere. Prices for finished hogs dropped to the point where some farmers
           Later farmers got bulk milk tanks. At first we had a transfer system.        lost money on each hog sold. One farmer looked at his lot with 100 feeders in
You‘d pour the milk in a portable little cart and it would pump it into the bulk        it, down from about 750. Still, Darwin Peters could recall, ―I remember
tank. Then pipelines were installed which piped the milk directly from the              buying feeders at $45 and selling finished hogs at $19 a hundred‖ in the late
machines to the bulk tan in the milk room. Most farmers increased their                 1970s, so he considered himself down but not out. The prospect of cheap
herds also at this time. Now the milk was picked up by tanker trucks.                   corn, he figured, would possibly bring about an increase in production, and
           In the ‘60s a lot of dairy farmers put up the blue Harvestors for            his farm had recently tested a corn yield of over 200 bushels per acre.
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

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
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

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

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                     Those interested in the welfare of Waverly, including the farmers in
late inventions prove the accuracy of his opinion.                                       the surrounding county are invited to meet at the Council Rooms, Saturday
            The thing sought by all manufacturers of creamery fixtures is to             evening, January 15 at 7:30 o‘clock for the purpose of taking steps to secure a
cool the milk rapidly, thus increasing its weight by condensing it, and cause it         creamery. This is something that interests every businessman and every
to settle, leaving the cream at the top.                                                 farmer in this vicinity. There should be a large attendance.
            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.           The Waverly Republican: May 3, 1900, Klinger News
Those listed and compared in the article were the Gold Medal Pan, The                            Frank Russell of Waverly who is doing the cement work at Riddel‘s
Economy Pan, Clark‘s Revolution Pan, The Hawkeye Pan and the S. H.                       Creamery in Crane Creek was a caller here Friday evening.
Curtis Pan each claiming to be the best.
                                                                                         The Waverly Republican: May 17, 1900, Klinger News
Compiled from the Letters to the Waverly Democrat                                                   Riddel‘s Creamery started up last Tuesday after a few weeks stop
By Col. W. V. Lucas, Santa Cruz, CA                                                      for repairs.

Col. Lucas purchased the                                                                 The Waverly Republican: August 30, 1900, Local News
Independent & Democrat in l872.                                                                    H. C. Braun has moved to Davis Corners, Howard Co. Iowa where
This was the beginning of his editorial writing career.                                  he has started a creamery. Mr. Braun is a good butter maker and creamery
The Pioneer Days of Bremer County book was published                       by            man and with his experience in the business there is no doubt that he will
The Waverly Democrat in June, l9l8.                                                      succeed in his new location.
          About the year 1880 dairying in connection with stock raising,                 The Waverly Republican: November 22, 1900, Slippery Corner
began to engage the attention of farmers. At first private parties operated the                   There is to be a new butter factory located near Denver on the A.
creameries, but soon they became cooperative enterprises. Since the time                 Gleason estate. Bremer is a great creamery county.
when this method of farming became really established, Bremer County has
prospered wonderfully. It is claimed for the county that more milk is                    The Waverly Republican: December 13, 1900
produced here per square mile than in any part of the United States.                               Bremer County has 22 creameries and shipped 2,652,977 pounds of
                                                                                         butter to market during the year.
The Waverly Republican: February 7, 1890
              Editor Republican: Seeing a statement in your paper last week, of          National Creamery Butter Makers Association
milk sold by M. H. Robinson, I thought I would send you mine as I can beat               St. Paul, MN February 19-22, 1901
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                The Bremer County Independent: January 24, 1901
milk at 80 cents per 100 which amounted to $23.33: from Jan. 20th to Feb. l, I                    For this annual convention the Chicago Great Western R. R. will on
milked 20 cows and sold 3462 pounds at 75 cents per 100 which amounted to                February 18th & 19th sell excursion tickets to St. Paul, good to return
$25.96 or 40.29 for the four weeks. Had I received the price that Mr.                    February 25th at one fare for the round trip. For further information apply to
Robinson did, $1 per 100 pounds, it would have brought me $63.78.                        any Chicago Great Western Agent or F. H. Lord G.P.A., Chicago.
              C. A. Fulks, Plainfield, Iowa, February 8, l890
                                                                                         The Bremer County Independent: May 16, 1901,
The Waverly Republican: May 22, 1890, Local News                                         Local Greene Recorder
          Douglas Township now has three cooperative creameries, The                               A big creamery deal has just been consummated whereby the two
Douglas Center Creamery, The Western Douglas Creamery and the one                        creameries at Nashua and the ones at Powersville & Republic have been
formerly owned by T. J. Dorn which is now owned by a new cooperative                     bought up by George H. Gurier an experienced creamery man from Illinois.
creamery company organized by the leading farmers of that vicinity.                      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 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.

                                                                                                   The butter makers & creamery men of Bremer County have
                                                                                         chartered a special car over the Chicago Great Western for their trip to the
The Bremer County Independent: May 23, 1901, Local News                                  National Buttermakers Association to be held at Milwaukee, October l6.
          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                Drastic Decline in Butter Market During the Past Week
came off its axle and the northeast quarter of his load came down with a                 The Waverly Democrat: March 8, 1923
sickening thud. After the driver found himself he discovered that the nut had                       The butter market experienced one of the most severe and drastic
come off & he started out to find it. He found it at the creamery where he had           declines that have been noted for a long time. The U.S. Department of
been doing some backing. The wheel remained on its axle for half a mile after            Agriculture, in its review of market conditions dated March 2, reports a
the nut had been lost.                                                                   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 Bremer County Independent: December 26, 1901                                                    The domestic supply of butter will probably be augmented by a
Local News                                                                               cargo of 50,000 boxes, or 2,800,000 pounds, of exceptionally fine butter from
          Although Fayette County is credited as being the premium Butter                New Zealand, due to arrive at New York about March 7.
County in the state, little Bremer challenges her claim. It puts its basis on the                   Storage stocks of butter in Chicago, New York, Boston and
number of pounds per square mile of territory. Its production is 5700 pounds             Philadelphia on March 3 were:
for each square mile. The claim is no doubt well founded-Decorah                                               Last year 15,040,000 pounds
Republican. Of course the claim is well founded if the report of the state                                     This year 5,296,000 pounds
dairy commissioner is well founded.                                                                            Shortage              9,744,000 pounds
                                                                                                    Due to lighter supplies in storage, it is probable that values will
The Waverly Republican: January 22, 1903, Local News                                     average a little higher than last year, until such time as current production
          Is your butter maker to take part in the butter maker‘s contest at             materially increases.
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.                      Bad Roads Mean Poor Cream
                                                                                         The Tripoli Leader: April 2, 1924
Bremer County Has A Lot of Good Butter Makers                                                       Poor roads cause poor cream and poor cream causes low cream
                                                                                         checks, says C. A. Inversion, diary expert of the dairy-manufacturing
Eldon Ottersheim George Heine Otto Schaefer Carl Meier Pual Schroeder                    department of Iowa State College.
Carl Gamm H. A, Griese                                                                   ―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
The Bremer County Independent: November 9, 1905                                          exceptionally bad condition of the roads in many parts of the state and by low
             Bremer County was remarkably well represented at the Iowa State             production. Such cream produces a lower grade of butter, which of course
Dairy & Butter Makers meeting in Cedar Rapids last week. Fred Zell of                    means a lower price to the producer of cream. No creamery can pay more
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              93
F. H. Wehling    Knittel 92 1/2

The Bremer County Independent: October 9, 1902
Local News

for cream than the cream is worth for the manufacture of good clean, well-                         Ida Mercedes                     15,308 560.3
flavored butter. The price received for the butter by the creamery is based               Carl Kuethe
primarily on its quality. The flavor and acidity of the cream are the most                         Black                15,694 516.0
important factors controlling the quality of the butter.                                  Chester & Son
           ―Because of the cool weather at this season, many people are under                      Ugla                 12,562 514.2
the impression that cream need not be delivered more than about once a                    W. B. Loveland
week. Even though the cream does not sour quickly, it should be delivered at                       Doris                13,466 508.3
least twice a week even in the winter. Stale and dirty flavored butter will               Wylam & Son
result when old cream is churned, even though it is not sour.‖                                     Barbetta Pet                     12,192 476.2
           Extra care is necessary,‖ says Mr. Iverson, in case the time between         The cows appeared on the top the following year, although in a different
delivery is lengthened. Cool the cream immediately after separation and                 order:
deliver as soon as possible. Do not run the newly separated cream into the                Owner and Cow Age             Milk        Fat
older cream, as it warms all of it thus causing the most favorable conditions             Chester & Sons
for bacteria to develop. Keep the new cream by itself until it has cooled to the                   Ugla      6          27,612 1,154.0
same degree as the older cream. When it has cooled, the new cream can be                  Wylam & Son
added to the old.‖                                                                                 Ida Mercedes         6           29,604 1,112.5
                                                                                                   Barbetta Pet         4           29,603 1,093.9
Butter Makers of District No. 8 Win Banner                                                W. B. Loveland
The Tripoli Leader: October 1, 1924                                                                Doris     6          29,039 1,007.9
           Again the butter makers of Bremer County have put this county                  Carl Kuethe
and state on the map for being known as the home of the best butter makers                         Black     5          30,353 1,010.8
in the world. At the Iowa State Dairy Assn. and Cattle Butter Exhibit held at                      The important things about these records are the fact they were
the Dairy Cattle Congress in Waterloo, Iowa last week, the butter makers of             made under normal farming conditions. The final question was whether the
mostly Bremer County men, won the banner for having the ten highest butter              dairy herd produced a profit as well as milk. Ugla provided Chester and Sons
scores in competition with the rest of the United States. This makes the                $251.30.
fourth straight year that this district has received the highest averages and                      By averaging production it was found that it took 60 of the poorest
have walked away with the banner.                                                       producers to equal one of the champion cows. By careful management of
                                                                                        breeding, the entire herd could become top producers.
When Every Day Was Dairy Day                                                                       TB was still a worry in 1924, but was hoped that by the following
            The success in the early 1900s of one farmer, C.A. Nelson, was a            year research would free the farmers from that plague.
main factor in convincing other Bremer County farmers that dairy herds                  Milking Machines
could be a profitable operation.                                                                   Not many years before the mechanical milker were declared to be
            Mr. Nelson had already raised crops for a number of years when he           an important achievement. By 1924 there were 200 or more mechanical
became interested in purebred dairy cattle, and he bought some foundation               milkers in use in Bremer County.
stock. His neighbors believed him foolish. They said, among other things                           ―I consider my milking machine the best paying piece of machinery
that he would never win out with his ―fancy cattle.‖ But he was not moved               of the farm,‖ said W. M. George. ―We are starting the seventh year now, and
from his plan.                                                                          during that time have had no serious trouble.‖ He was milking a herd of 25
            The cows purchased were good individuals, well-bred and capable             cows.
of good production, including a sire for which he paid a record $3,500. Then                       ―After 10 years and three months use of mechanical milker, I can
Mr. Nelson began to study and observe and advance. His efforts were well                say that I have never regretted making the purchase,‖ W.V. Dove, Janesville,
rewarded in the matter of profits. Cedarside was named, and people began to             said. ―The first few days our cows increased in milk flow and they kept it up.
hear of the herd. The success that followed good plain, practical dairy work            They milk longer and give more milk per year in my opinion. Heifers break in
attracted attention and Mr. Nelson was in demand upon the programs of                   easy and a cow with an injured udder gets well quickly, for the milker never
farmer‘s institutes, dairy meetings and gatherings where the cow was                    breaks open the cut after it starts to heal.‖
            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
            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.
            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
  Owner and Cow                 Milk       Fat
  Wylam & Son

                                                                                         The Bremer County Independent: August 31, 1911
            Mr. Dove claimed he had never found a heifer with teats so short or                     Bremer County fared well at the buttermaking contest at the State
a cow so hard to milk that the machine did not milk them. One man will milk              Fair this week. In the whole milk class, fifty-six tubs of butter were entered,
from 18 to 22 cows giving 35 pounds per day, in an hour, depending on how                several from creamery men of Missouri, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
fast he is in changing from one pair to another. ―I would not go back to hand            Inspector‘s Ross, Clarke and Forrester acted as judges.
milking even if I had only eight or ten cows.‖ Another farmer, L. C. Warneke,                       The following Bremer County boys scored over 90. E. B. Olds of
of Maxfield Township, agreed.                                                            Sumner, with a score of 98 took first prize. H. C. Ladage of Plainfield scored
Land Values                                                                              97. Robert Wagner of one of the creameries near Sumner was marked 93. E.
            According to an article in a 1924 issue of Wallace‘s Farmer the              H. Homan of the Artesian creamery scored 93. A. Griese of Readlyn also
prosperity of Bremer County was about the best in the state. Two                         scored 93. W. W. Day of Dayton 93. B. F. Bentley, whose creamery is on
outstanding reasons for that were the dairy cow and land values. In 1900                 the eastern line of the county scored 93. F. W. Bremer, Sumner Township 92.
Bremer County land was worth slightly more than the average of the state; in             C. A. Day also in the eastern part of the county was marked 95. Our
1910 it sold for 19 per cent less that the state average while in 1920 [a year of        neighbors at Fredricksburg, whose butter maker L. L. Flickinger, scored 93.
a land boom] it sold for 38 per cent less than the state average. Credit for this                   Our butter makers generally give a good account of themselves
was given to the farmers and bankers of Bremer County.                                   wherever their butter is entered. Every farmer in Bremer County who sells
            Since the dairy business was a part of the farming industry that             milk can well afford to cooperate with the buttermakers when they suggest
withstood the hard times better than others, prospects for Bremer County                 better and cleaner methods in the barn and wherever milk is kept to build up a
farmers were good.                                                                       reputation for cleanliness.
            Bremer County was rapidly getting a reputation as being the leading
dairy county in Iowa. In number of creameries it excelled all other counties.            The Waverly Newspaper: June 5, 1913
In quality of butter it ranked first. The Farm Bureau not only provided                            Professor Mortensen of Iowa State College has offered a prize of
feeding schools where the feeding of balanced rations was discussed, but it              $20 to a Bremer County Creamery that will show the most attractive
was instrumental in getting the cheapest form of protein in Bremer County by             surroundings.
getting a large acreage of alfalfa started.                                                        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
The Bremer County Independent: March 10, 1910                                            necessary trees.
            Though one of the smallest counties in the state, yet Bremer heads             Creameries wishing to take advantage of this offer should level and prepare
the list as the number of creameries operated, being credited with twenty-five           grounds this summer and be ready to plant next spring. I will gladly assist in
which, during the year 1909, received 65,374,381 pounds of milk and 356, 650             planning of the grounds and select the trees.
pounds of cream making 3,160,122 pounds of butter therefrom. The average                           E. M. Reeves, county arborist
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           Butter makers attending the Bremer County Association Meeting 1927
to them, this item in itself being valued at thousands of dollars. Only three                     Buck Creek          Edward Henning
other counties in the state produced more butter than did Bremer and this was                     Center Valley       R. J. Allenstein
brought about by receipts of cream shipped in from outside counties, while                        Denver W. J. Spurbeck
the butter made in this county was from milk within its borders and the                           Fremont H. S. Dettmer
farmers are to be congratulated on having a home market that insures the                          Garfield Nate Tibbitts
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
            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

                                                                                       (Prepared by the United States Department of Agriculture)
         Klinger Henry Segebarth                                                                  An interesting example of the use of psychology in securing cream
         Knittel William Boevers                                                       of better quality from patrons was recently observed at a creamery in one of
         Readlyn H. A. Griese                                                          the northwestern states. Attempts at grading at the creamery met with but
         Maxfield F. C. George                                                         indifferent success. The manager of this creamery talked better quality to the
         Siegel    William Behrens                                                     patrons, but with little effect: and even a differential in price of 3 to 4 cents a
         Western Douglas George Heine                                                  pound butter fat in favor of sweet cream delivered at the creamery failed to
 Assistant butter makers:                                                              secure the desired change in quality.
         Artesian Fred Boevers                                                         Interest in Scheme
         Readlyn Randolph Buhr                                                                    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.
Bremer County Butter Maker‘s Picnic                                                    Naturally such a color scheme aroused the patrons‘ interest. Upon inquiry
Denver, Iowa                                                                           they were told that the red vat was to be used for the sour, poor cream. They
Feasting, Speaking, Music, Street Sports and All                                       were also informed what particular patrons brought in the cream that was
 Around Good Time Featured the Day                                                     being put into this vat. When a patron found out that his cream was being
Labor Day, 1922                                                                        placed in the dark-red vat and that it was common knowledge that his cream
           The annual picnic of the Bremer County Butter Makers Association            was of poor quality, this knowledge acted as a spur and an incentive to try to
was held at Denver on Monday. During the early hours of the day everything             have his cream placed in the other vat.
was hustle and bustle about the town, getting in readiness to entertain the            Improvement Soon Seen
crowds that were anticipated. Shortly before noon the meeting was called to                       Inasmuch as only a limited number of patrons delivered their own
order in Denver‘s beautiful little park, which by the way is the finest park in        cream, routes being operated to bring in the greater number of the patrons‘
the county for holding such a meeting.                                                 cream, the manager carried out the idea of using different colored paint to
           The Denver band livened things up in good shape with several                reach the route patrons. Route operators were using twenty-gallon jacketed
selections. Mayor H. C. Bruns of Denver then gave the address of welcome               cans; so when these cans were repainted one can on each route was painted a
in such language and in such manner that all understood that Denver had                bright yellow and taken on the route each day. Naturally this can of
determined to give their visitors a good time. S. W. Rudnick butter and dairy          outstanding color caused comment and inquiry, especially on the part of the
expert of Ames responded to the address of welcome in fitting words, and               women folks, while the hauler was weighing and sampling cream. As a result
then preparations for the picnic dinners were made and various groups in               of this scheme the women, who generally attended to the cream, set about to
different parts of the park was a feature of the day that was much enjoyed.            improve the quality, and often within a week cream that formerly had arrived
           After the dinner hour the meeting was again called to order and a           at the creamery sour and in poor condition began to arrive sweet and in good
male quartet gave several selections that were highly appreciated by the               condition. Within two weeks 75 per cent of all cream received at the
crowd, which by this time had reached large proportions---many estimated               creamery was sweet when before the system was inaugurated only about 40
that there were 2,000 people on the grounds.                                           per cent had been so.
           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

                                                                                         above 769, 500,000 pounds of the American whole milk variety. In their
                                                                                         record-breaking operations, these principal manufacturers of dairy products
Creamery Men Have Stormy Session                                                         utilized 520,650,000 gallons of whole milk, according to the Chicago
Large Majority Present Fail to Approve                                                   Mercantile Exchange.
Land O‘Lakes Cooperative Plan
Heads of Iowa and Minnesota Concerns Have                                                Food Stampers Buy 2,700,00 lbs. Butter
 Verbal Battle over Merits of Companies                                                  That‘s one months buying.
The Waverly Democrat: April 11, 1929                                                     Plan Boosts Use of Butter, Eggs, Pork, Vegetables Sharply
           At a meeting held last Thursday by about sixty officers and butter            News, 1941 mentioned, No paper listed
makers of the twenty-two creameries in Bremer County in the basement of                             The equivalent of over one-half of the amount of butter produced in
the Community building there was considerable fireworks. After a very                    Bremer County annually was distributed in January under the food stamp
stormy session C. L. Warneke of Klinger was named to replace C. D. Adair of              plan, County Agent D. D. Offring said this week.
Shell Rock to preside at the meeting.                                                               The purchases with blue stamps during January, 1941, representing
  John Brandt of Litchfield, Minnesota President of the Land O‘Lakes                     new outlets for surplus farm commodities was 2,700,000 pounds of butter,
Cooperative concern, was to have been the chief speaker of the day but in this           and the surplus food buying passed the $7,000,000 mark for January under
he was opposed by Herbert Harmison of Mason City, manager of the Iowa                    the food stamp plan.
Brand Butter Marketing Association.                                                                 Blue surplus food stamps added more than $7,000,000 worth of
           Charges and counter charges flew thick and fast. It was a very                farm products in January to the diets of approximately three million members
stormy session during the morning. All but three of the creameries in the                of families eligible to receive public assistance.
Bremer County organization of which there are twenty-two, Shell Rock,                               During January families taking part in the food stamp plan used
Janesville and Bremer voted to continue shipping their cream to the Producers            blue stamps which increased their expenditures for agriculture products
Milk Company of Waterloo, which now is operating in the hands of a                       approximately 50 per cent, as follows: 14 per cent for butter; l3 per cent for
receiver. It is said that the Waterloo concern now owes the Bremer County                eggs; 31 per cent for pork products; l6 per cent for flour and other cereals; 14
creameries the sum of $85,000.                                                           per cent for fruit; and l2 per cent for vegetables.
           The verbal action of the day occurred between John Brandt,                               Purchases with blue stamps in addition to the 2,700,000 pounds of
Litchfield, Minnesota, president of the nationally known Land O‘Lakes                    butter, included 3,6000,000 dozen eggs; 24,000,000 pounds white and graham
creameries and Herbert Harmison, Mason City, manager of the Iowa Brand                   flour and 8,600,000 of other cereals; 10,400,000 pounds of pork and
Butter Marketing organization, following Brandt‘s talk on cooperative                    27,800,000 pounds (approximately, 465,000 bushels) of potatoes, 3,500,000
marketing in the afternoon session.                                                      of dry beans, and 6,600,000 pounds of other vegetables.
           Harmison charged flatly that a cooperative organization, in order to            Other blue stamp purchases included fresh oranges, fresh grapefruit, fresh
take precedence over another must first pay a higher price to the farmer for             apples, fresh pears, dried prunes and raisins.
the butterfat. This, he charged, the Land O‘Lakes system is not doing. The                 In addition to purchases of commodities by blue surplus food stamps the
Mason City man quoted instances where he claimed butter from Land                        surplus marketing administration continued in January to purchase farm
O‘Lakes warehouses sold under the price received for Iowa Brand butter. He               products and to distribute them for use in free school lunches, and to needy
also charged that Land O‘Lakes creameries manipulated the market for butter.             families in areas not served by the food stamp plan.
           The pooling system of selling butter is not the best plan, was
Harmison‘s statement. If this system was used by the Iowa organization,                  Waverly Newspaper: August, 1948
now comprising fifteen creameries, it could become as large as Land                               Approximately 3,300,000 pounds of butter was shipped out of
O‘Lakes, he said. The Iowa brand organization finds individual special                   Bremer County in 1947.
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
           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
          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
          The output of cheese factories, quickened as a result of the marked
reduction in imports and a surprising gain in domestic consumption, ran

                                                                                        local farm. In 1978 the Wilbur Eckenrod farm near Sumner was the subject
                                                                                        of review.
Erwin Kuker Heads Association                                                             Wilbur and his son, Marvin, maintained a Holstein herd of more than 70,
The Waverly Democrat: December 19, 1952                                                 based on 34 milking cows. Though they admitted it was continual hard work,
           Erwin Kuker, Shell Rock was elected president of Section No. 2 of            milk had always been the most reliable source of income on the farm. Marvin
the Iowa Creamery Association at a meeting held last week at Janesville. Otto           didn't foresee any change in that belief and touted dairy cows as the surest
Schaeffer, Waverly, was elected vice-president and Norman Richman,                      way to get started in farming.
secretary-treasurer.                                                                               Marvin, though he had helped on the farm as a youth, had become
           The men‘s business meeting featured a talk by John Quist, Ames,              a full partner several years before after graduating from Sumner High School.
executive secretary of the association. He gave his views on the bill to                Together they also farmed nearly 700 acres and farrowed to finish about 800
legalize colored oleo, which will come up before the next session of the state          pigs. Considered by neighbors to be among the best farmers in the area,
legislature. The association is vigorously opposing the measure.                        Wilbur and Marvin also owned other property in the vicinity, but still thought
           It was decided to invite the butter makers of Butler & Grundy                dairying the most important phase of their operation.
Counties to join this session of the association.                                                  Wilbur and Marvin switched to a "Grade A" milking program in
  The meeting was concluded with a dinner and exchange of Christmas gifts.              1972. By 1978 they were producing a herd average of 16,653 pounds of milk
The next meeting will be held January 14 at Janesville with Mr. & Mrs.                  and 606 pounds of butterfat, based on twice daily milking of 34 cows.
Marvin Arenholz, Spring Fountain, as hosts. The host of the Janesville                             A typical day at the Eckenrod farm began at about 3:15 a.m. when
meeting was C. W. Pennington, Sumner.                                                   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
Creamery Men Cooperating in Ring Tests                                                  poured small amounts of feed along in front of each stanchion. Then with the
April 10, 1953                                                                          help of his dog Buddy, brought the herd into the barn.
           County Extension Agent Ralph Paynter expects to spend a large                           He figured it took about an hour and ten minutes to milk. He used
amount of his time during the next two weeks contacting creamery operators              two DeLaval milking units. Moving steadily along as one cow filled a pail, he
in Bremer County regarding the countywide ring test slated for the second               was hooking up another. The milk was poured into a traveling container and
week in May.                                                                            then pumped automatically directly into the 400-gallon holding tank in the
           More than half of the creamery operators getting milk or cream,              milk room. About 4 p.m. the entire process was repeated. Their milk was
from Bremer County herds, have already signified their willingness to                   picked up every other day. And every other Sunday the men each had a day
cooperate in the plan to locate brucellosis infection in their dairy cows.              off.
           All creamery operators thus far contacted have indicated their                          From the Sumner Gazette: 15 June 1978.
willingness to cooperate in the program, Poynter said Wednesday.
                                                                                        The Creamery Supply Company
To Help Dairymen                                                                        Waverly, Iowa
How should we get rid of present surplus of                                             The Waverly Republican: January 5, 1893, Local News
butter and cheese?                                                                                 The Creamery Supply Company, Ike Woodring, President and
The Bremer County Independent/The Waverly Republican:                                   General Manager employs eight hands during the year and did upwards of
June 14, 1953                                                                           $50,000 worth of business during the year. The company contemplates
           Wallaces Farmer and Iowa Homestead likes two suggestions made                making improvements in the near future and increases their capacity to turn
by a subcommittee of the conference of dairy industry representatives.                  out a large amount of work. They manufacture vats, churns and creamery
           This sub-committee made these recommendations:                               supplies generally and do a general line of machine repairing.
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

                                                                                       A. D. Baker, Butter Maker in the Working Dairy.

The Waverly Republican: January 26, 1893, Local News                                   The Waverly Republican: August 2, 1894, Local News
          The Creamery Supply Company now heats their building by steam                          The Disc Churn Company was organized in this city last week with
having just finished putting in pipes, radiators etc. for that purpose.                F. W. Woodring, President. Next spring they will build on lots east of the
                                                                                       Iowa Creamery Supply Company and manufacture Disc Churns and other
The Waverly Republican: February 2, 1893, Local News                                   light creamery supplies.
          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             The Waverly Republican: October 11, 1894, Local News
Iowa on business connected with the company and Sam Smith was at                                The Creamery Supply Company has added a new lathe to their
Sumner Monday and Tuesday repairing a boiler. Frank Woodring Jr. fixed                 machinery equipment.
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 department made a quick run to the factory when the alarm
                                                                                            was sent in which was not until after the fire had gained considerable
The Waverly Republican: November 29, 1894, Local News                                       headway. But the work of the men made little impression on the blaze as the
           The Creamery Supply Company this week delivered a 40 H.P.                        water pressure was so low that the streams could not reach the heart of the
Hazelton boiler to the Artesian Creamery; a 15 H.P. boiler, vat, pump and                   fire.‖
heater to the Little Valley Creamery Company of Buck Creek and repaired                                ―The flames were bursting from both sides and firemen facing a
and set up an engine for the Wapsie Creamery Company.                                       blistering heat crawled close to the walls in their endeavor to subdue the fiery
The Waverly Republican: December 13, 1894, Local News                                       monster which was gradually getting beyond their control.‖
The Creamery Supply Company sold two separators                                                        The report added, ―This factory furnished tubs to all parts of the
to the Fremont Creamery on Monday.                                                          country, some of their product even going to Canada and it is said there is not
                                                                                            a large butter-tub factory in the state.‖
Hohnsbehn Creamery Supply Factory                                                                      Since new methods of marketing better were replacing butter tubs,
Old Butter Tub Factory coming down in Waverly                                               Claus Honsbehn did not rebuild the manufacturing facility. He replaced it
Makes Way for Mini-Mart                                                                     with a one-story warehouse and storage area and continued to operate the
The Bremer County Independent: July 11, 1978                                                machine shop in the front portion of the building. According to Miss
            In its grander days, it housed one of Waverly‘s leading turn-of-the             Babcock, he was experimenting with car motors and a kerosene-burning
century industries. In its most recent rein-carnation, the now timeworn                     carburetor at the time of his death, during a grave flu epidemic in 1919.
building on East Bremer Avenue has spent its declines as a used furniture                              After his brother‘s death, Hans Hohnsbehn closed the business and
store and an antique shop, catering to the publics renewed interest in its days             rented out the building. It eventually became the property of Miss Babcock,
of glory.                                                                                   whose mother was a daughter of Christian Hohnsbehn.
            The frame building just east of the railroad tracks and across the                         Tenants have been many and varied in the building in the years
street from the Bremer County Court House is coming down to make room                       since Claus Hohnsbehn‘s death. It has housed garages and car dealers, farm
for a Mini-Mart which will sell gasoline, groceries and automotive supplies. It             implements dealers, and flood distributors
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
            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
            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.‖

 and has provided warehouse and storage space for seed corn and fertilizer             Fraser guarantees that the facilities of the factory will keep pace with all
companies, the Waverly Sugar Company and Schield Bantam.                               demands on it. He also gurantees to pay more for milk than any creamery
           Miss Babcock sold the building in January to L. K. Wolter of                does. He will make his own cans and boxes and employ at the start 15 to 20
Denver, and construction of the Mini Mart will begin as soon as the old                hands. The factory will run every day in the year. As condensing factories in
structure is taken down. Doug Marsh and Elmon Tatroe of Waverly have said              other places have grown to be large institutions, employing 150 to 200 hands
they plan to use some of the materials salvaged from the structure to build a          and using as high as 100,000 pounds of milk daily, there is a good prospect
garage.                                                                                that the Waverly Condensing Factory may grow to like proportions. It‘s a big
           And though it will soon be relegated to the pages of Waverly                thing for Waverly.
history, remnants of the old building will find new use in a community which                      Work will begin immediately on the building. The main building
has changed drastically since the days when butter tubs were a necessary part          will be two stories high, 40 feet wide and 90 feet long. It will be well built of
of dairy operations.                                                                   wood, with cement ground floor. There will be an engine and boiler house,
                                                                                       30x30 feet.
Hohnsbehn Butter Tub Factory                                                                      An order has already been placed with a good house for an outfit of
The Waverly Republican: January 5, 1893, Local News                                    high-grade machinery and it is calculated that the factory will be ready to
          Hohnsbehn‘s Butter Tub Factory employed 15 hands during 1892                 operate by December 1.
and did an extensive business.                                                                    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
The Waverly Republican: March 23, 1893, Local News                                     every farmer that they met. They were unable to reach all, but lists may be
           A. Hohnsbehn and Sons received four carloads of staves this week            found at Broadie‘s and Garner‘s. Farmers who desire to are invited to call and
for their butter tub factory. They employ 16 hands and turn out 2500 tubs a            sign as patrons of the new factory.
week.                                                                                             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
Condensing Factory                                                                     it in a Wisconsin town. The association is a good thing. Keep it up.
Waverly, Iowa
Washington Township                                                                    The Waverly Republican: Oct 27, 1898, Local News
Section 35                                                                                        The Fraser Condensed Milk Factory is about enclosed. It is a fine
The Waverly Republican: September 20, 1898                                             building and when completed will be a credit to the town. The factory will
          The Creamery Package Company, of Chicago, notified their agent,              have a 200 horsepower boiler instead of 100 horsepower as was before stated.
Anson Peck, that a customer of theirs was looking for a location to start a            The first shipment of new machinery was made from the manufacturers in the
milk condensing plant. Mr. Peck showed the letter to some of the members               East last Saturday and will arrive in a few days.
of the Waverly Improvement Association, and at their request wrote his
company for fuller particulars.                                                        The Waverly Republican, November 24, 1898, Local News
          In reply he received the following:                                                     Work is progressing well on R. G. Fraser & Company milk
          Chicago, September 24, 1898                                                  condensing plant in the city. It is now thought that everything will be in
          Dear Sir: Yours of the 23rd with reference to location for                   readiness to start up about the middle of December. Anyone desiring to
condensing plant received. ―We are looking this up for our customers,                  arrange to haul milk is requested to call at the factory where Mr. Fraser would
McCanna & Fraser, and we have referred your letter to them. It might be well           also be pleased to see patrons. The company has secured a valuable assistant
for you to have the president of the council or the mayor write them with              in the person of Anson Peck who is popular with the farmers as well as the
reference to the matter. They are going to locate very shortly, and it would be        townspeople.
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.

                                                                                        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
The Waverly Republican: December 15, 1898, Local News                                   build their track to the factory in the near future.
           Carpenters, painters and machinists are busy at the Milk
Condenser. Mr. Fraser still hopes to be able to start up next Tuesday. He has           The Bremer County Independent: January 25, 1900
secured a Blake pump with a pumping capacity of 100 to 147 gallons per                  Local News
minute for the well we mentioned last week and which he says was put down                        The Great Western expects to begin work on their sidetrack to the
to help relieve the city from its contract to furnish the factory free water for        Milk Condensing Factory this week.
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                 The Waverly Republican: March 22, 1900, Local News
factory is not likely to use much more city water than some of our large                            The Waverly Condensed Milk Factory received three carloads of tin
residences.                                                                             this week representing an outlay of about $6,000. The large force of hands
The Waverly Republican: December 22, 1898, Local News                                   employed in the tin shop will soon convert this big pike of tin plate into cans
           The Condensed Milk Factory expects to start up on Tuesday, the               to be filled later on with the finished product of the factory. They turn out
27th. Each patron who has already intimated his intention of bringing milk              about 25,000 cans a day and girls who earn good wages do most of the work.
will be personally notified on what day the factory will be ready to take in his        Three carloads of sugar was received this week and it can be safely said the
milk and he will also before that date receive a strainer. Any dairymen who             Waverly condenser is not only the sweetest but also the busiest place in town.
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          The Waverly Republican: March 22, 1900, Tripoli Leader
have a strainer delivered to him by sending his notice by mail or otherwise to                    H. C. Braun who has been butter maker at the Siegel Creamery for
the office of R. G. Frazer & Company.                                                   over a year is with his wife visiting in Howard County. In a short time he will
           The price to be paid for 4% milk from the date of starting until             work for the Condensed Milk Company in Waverly.
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 Bremer County Independent: May 24, 1900, Local News
                                                                                                  The milk condensing factory folks are drilling another well and they
The Waverly Republican: January 26, 1899, Local News                                    are preparing for water works of their own. It takes lots of water to make
          The Fraser Condensed Milk Factory started up on December 31,                  condensed milk as well as in other branches of the dairy business.
1898 with 44 patrons. The business has increased steadily until now over 90
patrons are bringing milk to the factory.                                               The Waverly Republican: August 2, 1900, Local News
                                                                                                   It having been apparently reported that the Condensed Milk Factory
The Bremer County Independent: April 20, 1899, Local News                               had or was about to close or stop condensing for the summer. The writer
          The Condensing Factory at Waverly, Iowa has been paying 30                    called on them for verification, instead of finding the institution contemplating
cents per 100 pounds more for milk then the creameries are paying, which                a move of this kind we found them running full blast employing 75 people.
means that the creameries can not compete with the condensing factory.                  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
The Bremer County Independent: April 20, 1899, Local News                               able to keep up the high standard of their product on the market they have
           The foundation walls for the second building of R. G. Frazer and             obtained. For the balance of the year we are assured the patrons may expect
Company‘s Milk Condensing Factory, 28x120 feet, two stories high will be                higher prices for all milk delivered making more than good the claim of the
finished today. The largest amount of milk taken in on any one day came                 company that they would average for the year 20 cents per cwt. over
Monday, 32,000 pounds. The average is 26,000 pounds. They are making                    creamery prices.
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

                                                                                                      H. H. Hopkins, President, and F. W. Woodring, Secretary, of the
                                                                                           Dubuque Butter and Milk Company were in Waverly last Thursday, looking
The Bremer County Independent: September 20, 1900                                          after business for their factory. This company wants to encourage farmers to
Local News                                                                                 buy hand separators to separate their milk and ship the cream to the factory in
          The milk-condensing factory is getting ready to put a milk route on              Dubuque. We have not learned whether any of the farmers look upon this
the C.G.W. Railway. They are taking in 20,000 pounds of milk daily and they                plan with favor or not.
would like to get twice as much. The prospects are good for high prices for                           The general impression is that some steps will be taken to keep the
milk for winter. They now pay $1.05 for 4 per cent milk.                                   milk-condensing factory running here.

Ice Harvesting                                                                             To the Patrons of the Waverly Condensed Milk Factory
The Bremer County Independent: January 31, 1901                                            Waverly, Iowa, April 19, 1904
           The Waverly Milk Condensing Factory and creameries of Bremer                    The Bremer County Independent: April 21, 1904
County have harvested a bountiful crop of good ice and the meat markets and                  The undersigned having been obliged to take charge of the Condensing
storage and other establishments which use ice during the summer months                    Factory at Waverly on very short notice (being the owner and proprietor of
have filled their ice houses. The man who was afraid that the ice crop would               the plant heretofore operated by the Wisconsin Condensed Milk Company)
be a failure can now select some new trouble to worry about.                               and being desirous of continuing the business, submits the following
A Bit of Bad Local News                                                                      That temporarily he will receive and solicits the milk of all patrons and
The Bremer County Independent: April 7,1904                                                others for the purpose of manufacturing butter. That he expects within a
          The patrons and employees of the condensed milk factory in                       short time to complete permanent arrangements for the continuation of the
Waverly received the following notice last Friday and Saturday:                            manufacture of condensed milk or evaporated cream (which is considered a
                                                                                           more valuable product than condensed milk.) That he will pay for milk
Waverly, Iowa: April 1, 1904                                                               during the time of the manufacture of butter prices equal to or better than that
          The Wisconsin Condensed Milk Company beg to announce to their                    paid by creameries in the territory from which the milk is obtained.
patrons and all other parties interested that they will close the Condensed                  That whenever the factory resumes the manufacture of condensed milk or
Milk Company operated by them at Waverly, Iowa, on April 20, 1904.                         evaporated cream the price of milk will be advanced.
Payment for March milk to be made April 20th, the same as heretofore. The                    It is the intention to make this plant a first-class market for milk, and would
company will pay for April $1.15 for 4 per cent milk, and other tests at the               respectfully solicit your aid and support to that end.
same ratio. Payment for April milk will be made May 2, 1904 at their office in             Respectfully Submitted
the factory.                                                                                           S. S. Swartley
C. B. McCanna, President
                                                                                           Mohawk Condensed Milk Plant
           To the people of Waverly, and to about 300 farmers living within                Waverly, Iowa
ten miles of Waverly, this comes as a very unwelcome surprise.                             New Superintendent at Milk Condensery
           It was supposed that the factory was doing a paying business. This              The Independent Republican: February 20, 1920
condensed milk factory caused a number of creameries in this county to be                              A change has been made at the Mohawk Condensed Milk plant in
abandoned. The factory paid good prices for milk and the management                        this city, whereby Mr. Willis Meabon, of Sherman, New York became
encouraged the farmers to get more cows, by giving assurance that this milk-               superintendent of the plant. Mr. Shafer, the former superintendent, will go to
condensing factory would be a permanent institution in the community. Fifty                Nashua to take charge of a receiving station, which the company is putting in,
or more people are thrown out of employment. It looks to us at the present                 at that place.
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
           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.

                                                                                                   The figures given above are the dimensions of the main part of the
           Mr. Meabon is a pleasant appearing young man who thoroughly                  plant only. This will be completed at once and new and modern machinery
understands the business. He is single and makes his home with his mother,              will be installed therein to care for the milk during the entire process of
who will come to Waverly as soon as a house can be procured.                            condensing, canning and packing. The old building will be used as a
           E. J. Ballinger, the general superintendent of the company, of               storehouse until such time as the new building for that purpose can be
Sherman, NY and the manager F. D. Peiffer, of Corry, Pennsylvania came                  erected. C. T. Schmidt of Chicago, expert construction engineer, arrived last
Friday morning and superintended the transfer of superintendents. Mr.                   week to take charge of building operations.
Ballinger left for the East Tuesday night, but Mr. Peiffer will remain for
several days.                                                                           Art Chandler retires after 26 years
           The company is now handling about 38,000 pounds of milk daily.               1965
There is something like thirty-five people now employed at the factory and it             Art Chandler retires as Superintendent of Carnation‘s Condensery in 1965.
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               Nestle Acquired Carnation Company in Waverly
milk you are encouraging the ―Trade at Home‖ spirit.                                    1985
                                                                                                   Nestle acquired Carnation Company in 1985. The Carnation
Carnation Milk Products Company                                                         acquisition brought dry mix productions such as Carnation Instant Breakfast,
1921                                                                                    Flavored NesQuick, hot cocoa mix, iced tea and products for dairies and food
         Carnation Milk Products Company bought the Mohawk                              service items.
Condensed Milk Company in Waverly.                                                                 At Nestle, ingredients were ordered, received, mixed by
                                                                                        formulation, packaged and shipped.
History of Nestle in Waverly                                                                       The south side of the Nestle building was operating in the 1920‘s
January, 2003                                                                           under the Carnation name. During that time the operation was mainly turning
           Carnation Company, founded in 1899 at Kent, Washington, began                fresh milk to evaporated milk. In the 1950‘s the production turned to instant
operations in Waverly as a small condensery in 1923. Fresh milk was                     milk.
received from local dairy farms and processed into evaporated milk.                                In the 1960‘s a second plant was built across the street from the
           The Company pioneered and marketed Instant Milk in 1955, which               original building. The second produced Carnation Instant Breakfast. The two
was an immediate success. The consumer demand was so great that a new                   plants combined in 1989 to create one of Waverly‘s largest employers.
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 1958-
           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
           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.

                                                                                                      Many persons have said that the fire was justified by the need of
                                                                                          impressing upon people the condition of the butterfat market, while others
Nestle U.S.A.                                                                             feel that it was wrong to destroy food in such a way.
1990                                                                                                  A conference top discusses voluntary limitation of the sale of
          Many acquisitions of companies contributed to the 1990 formation                oleomargarine in Bremer County. ―The Dairy Spot of Iowa‖ will probably be
of Nestle U.S.A. This brought together companies such as: Wonka Candy,                    called this week or early next; the Independent learned this week from D. D.
Curtiss Brands with Baby Ruth, Butterfinger and Pearson Candy; Stouffers;                 Offringa, county agent and a leader in the battle to ―put the butter price up
and Ortega to form what is now considered Nestle.                                         where it belongs.‖
                    The Nestle U.S.A. Beverage division includes Libby‘s,                    Some such action as that taken at the meeting of the Frederika Creamery
Kerns, Carnation hot cocoa and malted milk, Taster‘s Choice and Koala fruit               Monday is planned. Here the members took up a subscription to advertise
beverages.                                                                                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.
The New Butter                                                                            No More Fires
Oleomargarine                                                                                         It is probable that no more oleomargarine fires will be held in
The Waverly Republican: May 22, 1879                                                      Bremer County. The blaze at Readlyn, while it attracted considerable
  The Western Rural is still firing away in heavy editorials at the                       attention, also brought out many defenders of oleo who feel that it still has its
oleomargarine compound. It publishes numerous cuts of the crawling                        rightful place.
―skillputs‖ and wriggling worms, which the microscope detects in it. The                  Bremer County merchants will be asked to advertise butter in their newspaper
Prairie Farmer pokes fun at both the Rural and the ―bull butter‖ as it calls the          copy and in displays and will be asked not to advertise oleomargarine. This
stuff. This new name is forcible, but it seems to us a ―leetle‖ inelegant for             butter substitute is preferably to be kept out of window displays and oleo
company use.                                                                              stocks are to ―stay under the counter.‖
                                                                                          Radio Program Monday
Farmers Hold Big Bonfire for Oleomargarine at Readlyn                                                 County Agent Offringa will be a speaker on a half-hour ―butter
Money to Advertise Butter Raised in Waverly Meeting                                       program‖ to be sponsored by Bremer County dairy interest over station
The Bremer County Independent: February 27, 1930                                          WMT at Waterloo Monday evening from 7 to 7:30.
           A crowd of more than 250 or 300 enthusiastic farmers at Readlyn                            Songs about the worth of butter, dialogues bringing out points in
Wednesday afternoon inaugurated Bremer county‘s campaign against                          the butter struggle, and other novelties have been suggested for the program,
oleomargarine by taking up a collection to buy all the oleomargarine in town.             which has not been completed.
           The oleomargarine was accordingly bought and a lively bonfire                  Inserted Butter Ad
held. The action followed a talk by County Agent D. D. Offringa on the                                The committee of five made up of D. D. Offringa, Ewald Mueller,
butter situation, at a power farming entertainment being held by the Miller               D. H. Murphy, J. J. Guiney and Leslie G. Moeller made a trip to Waterloo
Implement Company.                                                                        Friday afternoon.
           The action is the first step in a vigorous fight on the use of                             An advertisement on Bremer County butter, using a map of the
oleomargarine, planned by dairy interest of the county.                                   county, which shows the entire county‘s creameries, was inserted in the
           The fight is being considered, it was said, because of the fact that           Waterloo newspaper, which had not used the oleomargarine copy. The
decrease of oleomargarine sales will in most cases automatically result in                newspaper also used a news story on the Waverly meeting: the ad and the
increase in butter sales.                                                                 story appeared in Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning editions.
           It is possible that all retail stores in the county will be asked to                       The committee also visited the office of the newspaper that had
discontinue sale of oleomargarine. The plan has been followed in other towns              used the oleomargarine advertising. Here it was learned that protests against
in northern Iowa.                                                                         the oleomargarine copy had been so vigorous that the contract had been
           The fact that the butter surplus must be removed before May l if               canceled Thursday evening, with no advertising appearing after that time. The
butter prices are to be benefited was given as one reason for the necessity of            oleomargarine was not used in the cooking school Friday. The newspaper in
immediate action.                                                                         its
           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.

Saturday morning edition used a front-page story on the Waverly meeting.                   Dairy Spot of Iowa" most Bremer County residents took the "butter war"
Oleo Consumption Grows                                                                     seriously. Our dairy farmers needed to get the best prices possible for their
           Offringa in his talk at the meeting, reported that while butter prices          product. With so many creameries in the county every farmer had a ready
were now down, the production of oleomargarine had increased 70 per cent in                buyer and his profit in turn fed the local retail and service businesses. And
the last seven years. He pointed out that Bremer County has twenty-one                     besides, butter was yellow and oleomargarine, invented by a French chemist
Cooperative creameries while there is not one butter substitute factory in                 in the 1860s, was definitely not butter, nor should any consumer be confused
Iowa. More than 60 per cent of the raw materials come from the Orient.                     into thinking it was! Oleo in its natural form was white and should remain so.
           ―The farm population of the United States uses 40 per cent of the                           The first legislative measure over the matter in Iowa began on
oleomargarine consumed,‖ Offringa said, ―and are so in direct competition                  March 27, 1886, when the Iowa legislature passed a law regulating the
with themselves.‖ He went on to say that patrons of Bremer County                          manufacture, packaging, sale and serving of butter substitutes. The United
Cooperative Creameries use more than twice the United States average for                   States Congress with a similar law followed that law in August of the same
butter.                                                                                    year.
           Following Offringa‘s speech, which was vigorously applauded, J. J.                          On Independence Day 1894 the Iowa Legislature passed the anti-
Guiney made the proposal that a subscription be taken to raise a fund to                   yellow color ban for butter substitutes. Even though there were also federal
advertise butter,                                                                          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
Legislature Finds Storm Brews Fast                                                         22, 1895, when he was charged with policing the oleo business. These orders
The Waverly Democrat: January 30, 1953                                                     included prohibiting the use of brand names that suggested neither the
           There‘s more than one storm brewing in the legislature halls of the             product was connected with cow's milk, nor could their advertising infer such
State of Iowa as the senate and house got into their third week of the biennial            a connection.
session on Monday.                                                                           In the early days of Bremer County the issue was more or less a moot one.
           Oleomargarine, gasoline taxes, the legislative budget committee and             Plenty of good butter was readily available and oleo would have to be shipped
opening of welfare rolls to public scrutiny are four items that threaten to stir           in. Gradually as radio advertising, magazine ads, etc began to tout the use of
things up in the legislature as bills already on file indicate.                            oleo; the battle lines were drawn. By 1930 farmers felt a cause for concern.
           And if they aren‘t enough, one can always count on such                         In February a crowd estimated at 250-300 met at Readlyn "and inaugurated
controversial old stand-by as appropriations, taxes, and liquor, to resurrect              Bremer County's campaign against oleomargarine by taking up a collection to
their usual arguments.                                                                     buy all the oleomargarine in town."
           Oleo interests, seeking to nullify the restrictive color bans and the 5-                    Once the purchase was complete, the offending product was placed
cent per pound excise tax on their product are pressing for open public                    on a bonfire and set fire. The action was promised as a first step in a fight that
hearings in the legislature before the oleo bills come out of the senate and               was being considered because a decrease in sales of oleo would mean an
house committees.                                                                          automatic increase in butter sales. The suggestion was also made to ask all
           Dairy people, meantime, are marshaling their forces in an effort to             retail stores in the county to discontinue the sale of oleo. The fact that the
halt any movements to either toss out the ban on yellow oleo or remove the                 butter surplus had to be removed before May 1 if butter prices were to be
5-cents per pound tax on the product.                                                      maintained was another reason.
           Dairy and butter people are as active in the legislative lobbying                           Farmers also financed as large ad campaign in a Waterloo
efforts as the margarine interests are. The other day the dairy industry feted             newspaper to promote butter. They pointed out that Bremer County alone
the wives of legislators at a downtown luncheon. ―That‘s one way of getting                had 21 creameries while not one factory in Iowa produced margarine. In fact,
at the ―boss‖.                                                                             more that 60% of the raw materials for margarine came from the Orient.

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

                                                                                                     Ladage & Mellinger             Section 29
            Members of the Frederika creamery met in March and planned to                            Farmer‘s Stock Company         Section 19
ask merchants to promote butter and discourage the use of margarine, which                           Plainfield Hy-Grade            Section 30
they hoped would "stay under the counter."                                                           Horton Section 27
            The campaign did not eradicate the use of margarine in Bremer                  Dayton Township
County, and the subject arose again during World War II. There was a great                           Climax Section 9
need for canned and powdered milk for shipment overseas. The Carnation                               Buck Creek – Little Valley Section 28
plant in Waverly was paying top prices for milk, but the supply for the local                        Dayton Section 13
creameries was cut proportionately. The solution was reached by having the                 Fremont Township
farmers sell to the creameries who then supplied Carnation. The creameries                           Tripoli Section 4
stayed in business and Carnation paid each creamery, which then handled all                          Fremont Section 28
the paperwork involved in paying each farmer. However, this left less milk to              Warren Township
be churned into butter and the price of butter went up. Perhaps even more                            Potter Siding        Section 1
important the number of ration points increased also. A housewife might part                         Bremer Section 16
with an extra nickel, but ration points were another matter. The use of oleo               Lafayette Township
went up.                                                                                             Lafayette Section 11
            Carl Grawe wrote a weekly column in the Waverly paper addressed                Franklin Township
to the boys overseas. He felt supplying the troops with real butter was a                            Wapsie Valley        Section 7
patriotic act. United States servicemen should ―have to eat that                                     Grove Hill           Section 22
conglomeration of cotton seed oil, axle grease and tallow that is put on the               Maxfield Township
market under various names as a spread for bread."                                                   Readlyn Section 11
            The troops came home after defeating the Axis powers, but the                            Maxfield Section 20
controversy over margarine continued.                                                                Klinger Section 26
            The federal law removing federal taxes from oleo went into effect                        Knittel                                  Section 10
on July 1, 1950. However, when oleo was served in a public place a placard                           Meyerhoff            Section 14
announcing that fact was to be displayed, or the margarine was to be cut into              Washington Township
triangular shaped pats so the consumer would be aware of the substitution for                        Washington           Section 5
butter.                                                                                              Waverly Milk Condensing Section 35
            In Iowa it was still sold white, but a little yolk packet was included.        Jefferson Township
The housewife could open the packet and blend it in with the margarine and                 Artesian Section 2
the yellow substitute could be placed on the table. The process took about                 Denver Section 24
ten minutes.                                                                               Farrington           Section 35
            The subject came to a head in Iowa in 1953 when the House of                   Jackson Township
Representatives held a hearing and debated the issue. The debate in the                              Janesville Section 35
house chamber went on for two and half-hours before a packed crowd of                                Fowler Cheese & Butter Factory
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.

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

                                                                                      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
Artesian Creamery                                                                     this gain in milk has been accomplished by feeding corn stalks in the shape of
Jefferson Township                                                                    ensilage and fodder, but we believe that Mr. Homan‘s work is testing the
Section 2                                                                             individual cows of his patrons, and his advice to the farmers to weed out the
The Waverly Republican: 1905, News                                                    poorer cows and keep only the better ones and raise the calves from these,
          Will Matthias erected the first creamery in 1887. Will Matthias sold        has had considerable to do with the increase. The fellow who offers
his creamery in March 1890 to the Artesian Creamery Company.                          suggestions and gives advice for the betterment of the public at large is
          From the Constitution in the Secretary‘s minutes:                           usually called a crank and scoffed at by many, but his advice and suggestions
(The Constitution was written in English and the minutes in German.)                  usually do good in the community in which he lives, even if his hearers are so
  Artesian Creamery Company                                                           obstinate that they refuse to openly follow his advice.
October 1, 1889                                                                       Herman Brandt
          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
          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.

          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
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

                                                                                       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
1959-1966                                                                              degrees. The cooler was also a good place to cool watermelons in the
         Erwin Kueker was butter maker at Artesian Creamery from 1959 to               summertime.
1966. He learned the butter making trade at the Sumner Creamery in about                            One of the fun things, and maybe the only fun thing of having milk
1935.                                                                                  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
September, 1966                                                                        milk as it was emptied inside the creamery. The number ―12‖ was painted on
         September 1966 the Artesian Creamery was dissolved and in                     every milk can we took to the Artesian Creamery, 1 1/4 mile west on
October 1966 the creamery, land and buildings were deeded to the Hudson                Highway 63. When arriving at the creamery there were at times 2 or 3 other
Cooperative Dairy Association. Melvin Bond brought the property in 1967.               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
Artesian Creamery located in                                                           slide the cans on a roller type slide into the creamery. As it came your time to
―The Big Little Town in Iowa‖                                                          unload your milk, you would back the truck as close to the door as possible.
           Artesian was called ―The Big Little Town in Iowa.‖ The Artesian             The butter maker, Charles ―Chuck‖ Bird, in the late 1950s, would dump each
creamery was built in 1887. The farmers in the area brought milk in large cans         farmer‘s milk into a holding tank to be weighed before dumping it in the milk
to the creamery in their wagons pulled by teams of horses. The creamery was            vat. Just before emptying the smaller holding tank, the butter maker would
located on the West Side of the road, and across to the East Side a man by the         take a 1-ounce sample of the milk. The sample was put into a test tube with
name of Harry Boedecker built a store, including a post office. A team                 the farmer‘s number on it. Then once a week the butter maker would check
brought the first mail to the Artesian post office from Waverly. F. F. Moeller         each farmer‘s sample for the amount of butterfat in the milk. The more
bought the Boedecker store in 1900. The post office was reestablished with F.          butterfat, the more the farmer received for his milk.
F. Moeller as postmaster.                                                                           One of the byproducts of making butter is buttermilk. At the
           In 1916 Carl Meier accepted to become butter maker in the Artesian          Artesian Creamery, the buttermilk was pumped into a 200-gallon tank. An
creamery. The home was south of the creamery. He moved from the Grove                  auction was held about once a month to sell the buttermilk to any farmer who
Hill creamery with his family. During the thirty-two years he was butter               was a member of the creamery. Dad would act as the auctioneer, although he
maker a lot of changes took place, from the patrons bringing in whole milk to          did not do the chant. Only 5 or 6 farmers would attend the sale. The price of
having it separated at the creamery and filling their empty cans with skim milk        the buttermilk would be about 5 to 10 cents per gallon. The sale would last
to feed to their pigs, to when the farmers invested in separators and brought          only 5 minutes, as there was enough buttermilk for each bidder. As we got
their cream in cans delivered by truck or car. There was a flowing artesian            our empty milk cans from inside the creamery we would drive around to the
well in the creamery and also one in the store across the road. It was the best        other side of the creamery to fill the same cans with buttermilk. Dad usually
tasting water you could get.                                                           bought 50 gallons of buttermilk. When we got back to the farm we would
           Many pounds of butter were printed and packed in boxes and                  dump the buttermilk into the hog troughs. The fatting hogs would push each
delivered to Waterloo stores besides what the patrons would order. Some                other aside just to get a place at the trough. In less that 5 minutes the
was packed in tubs and shipped out east.                                               buttermilk would disappear. With the corn and protein we fed the hogs, plus
           There was a certain time in the winter when the river near by would         the buttermilk, they gained weight fast and would be ready for market in
freeze over, and the patrons would have a session to cut ice and haul it to an         about 5 months. We felt the combination of the three put a little extra curl in
icehouse next to the creamery. They packed the ice in sawdust to keep for              their tails, Grandpa also helped on the farm in the early 50‘s. He would come
the year. The chunks of ice would be taken into the creamery to place in a             out to the farm from Denver each morning about
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

the time we would come back from the creamery with the buttermilk. He                            Any omissions are unintentional. Research was contributed by Bill
would always bring a cup and get a cup of buttermilk out of a can before we             House, Dick Ormston and by Mindy Johnston, great-granddaughter of Mrs.
would give it to the hogs. He said it tasted so good because it was fresh from          and Mrs. Herman Meyne, former creamery patrons.
the creamery.
          Submitted by Darrel J. Brandt                                                 The Bremer County Independent: November 15, 1900,
                                                                                        Front Page News
Bremer Cooperative Creamery                                                                        The cooperative creamery at Bremer Station continues to do a
Warren Township                                                                         paying business for all connected with it. J. C. Pries is the efficient butter
Section 16                                                                              maker. The fact that he has managed the creamery for ten years indicated that
Ivory Avenue & 190th                                                                    he is doing good work. The company pays Mr. Pries $85 per month and he
Article: History of the Bremer Cooperative Creamery                                     hires and pays his own help. The 72 patrons of the creamery brought in
Bremer, Iowa, 100th Anniversary, 1892 –                                                 18,000 pounds of milk Monday morning. They make 38 sixty-one-pound
            The Bremer Creamery was established in 1892. The first manager              tubs of butter per week and the clean appearance of everything about the
and butter maker was John Pries. Former butter makers and managers were:                creamery makes you feel that butter is good enough to eat and that‘s what
Herman Eick, John Wedemeier, Adolf Allenstein, Carl Gamm, Kirk Turner,                  they think in New York City where their butter brings the top of the market.
Eldon Otterstein, Don Geisema and Bill House. Present manager is Ralph                  The 72 patrons are a sturdy lot of farmers, anyway that‘s the impression we
Mohlis.                                                                                 got while watching them unloading milk Monday morning. They are not
            The first creamery building was wooden and burned in 1926. It was           inclined to take any steps that will weaken their creamery and in this they do
then replaced with the present building. An icehouse, where the ice for                 right.
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.                   The Bremer County Independent: June 27, 1901,
            In the 1930‘s the farmers would haul their whole milk in cans to the        Bremer News
creamery daily where it was separated into cream and skim milk. The cream                       Our creamery shipped about 37,000 pounds of butter last month.
was used to make butter, and the farmer hauled the skim milk back to the
farm where it was used as hog feed.                                                     The Bremer County Independent: June 15, 1905
            In the late 1940‘s, the creamery began using refrigeration, and the                    H. L. Kelley secretary of the Bremer Creamery asked the
icehouse was sold to Ralph Juhl, who moved it to Irma, Iowa, for use as a               commission house of A. R. Duncan Jr. Company, Cleveland, Ohio about the
home. The farmers then began separating their own milk and hauled only the              advisability of feeding malt to dairy cows when the milk is used to make
cream to the creamery. Several of the farmers worked together picking up                butter. They answered as follows: We
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.

have investigated in regard to malt through a reliable party and advise you by                         The creamery serves about 200 dairyman in the area. The Farmer‘s
all means NOT to have any of your farmers feed it. We know of one                            Dairy & Butter Coop in Fredericksburg transports the milk in semis. It takes
creamery that lost over $5,000 one season on account of it being fed to the                  approximately 20 minutes to load
cattle. It is hard to detect it at the factory but it shows up in the butter after it        47, 000 pounds of milk into the trucks.
stands a short time. We got this from a very reliable source.                                          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
The Waverly Republican: February 2, 1905                                                     coffee. His ―Community Center‖ provides a sofa, some chairs & a table and
          F. C. Kohagen, secretary of Bremer Creamery Company, hands us                      of course a coffeemaker. He said he calls it the ―loafing department.‖
the following interesting items. At the annual meeting of the Bremer                                   Each day his routine is filled with dumping and weighing milk run
Creamery Company, which was held on the 24th of January 1905 the                             through the plant on a venerable conveyer and washer system. Six cans a
following business was transacted; F. C. Kohagen resigned as                                 minute is about what House and his machinery can handle.
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
           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.‖

          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

           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.

                                                                                         ―Some smaller farmers with less land and more time hauled milk on a
                                                                                       regular route for their neighbors,‖ said Paul.
Denver to Have New Creamery Coming Summer To Erect $13,000 Building                               The butter makers at the creamery separated the cream, which was
on Lots Near The Standard Station                                                      churned into butter, and most farmers took the skim milk back home to feed
The Bremer County Independent: February 7, 1929                                        to the hogs, according to Paul. In this way butter was supplied back to the
           The Denver Creamery Company will build a new creamery;                      farmers and the balance was sold to local merchants or transported by rail to
fireproof and modern in every respect, on the lots recently purchased                  major cities.
opposite the Standard Oil Filling Station on primary No. 59 through the town.                     ―Most farmers belonged to one co-op in their township,‖
It was decided at the annual meeting of the company in the Denver City Hall            commented Christy. Thus, the names of many of the old creameries recall
Thursday, January 31.                                                                  the present day townships: Maxfied Creamery, east of Denver and Farrington
           The building will be constructed during the coming summer, it was           Creamery once located south of Denver are both examples.
decided, with operations probably beginning in June.                                              Paul remembers how busy the early machine kept him.
Committee of Seven in Charge                                                           ―At one time, we used a steam engine to power all the machines in the
           The new structure is to cost approximately $13,000. A committee             creamery (Denver), said Paul, ―the churners, the vats, the separators and even
of seven creamery members was chosen to supervise the work. It is made up              the ice machine.‖ Later, these machines were all motorized.
of Fred Brettman, Fred Bartling and Henry Sassmann, directors, W. J.                              In the separation process, copper coils which ran through the milk
Moehling, secretary, P. G. Bloeser, Christ Luther and Will C. Steege.                  carried hot water to bring the liquid to animal body temperature: then, icy well
           ―To build an up-to-date structure that Denver will be proud to have         water was run through the coils to pasteurize and cool the substance rapidly.
on the main highway through the town,‖ was the objective of the committee.                        ―In the early 1920‘s,‖ said Paul, ―many farmers purchased their
           Fred Brettman was named president of the company at the annual              own separators.
meeting. Wm. Graening was chosen treasurer, and W. J. Moehling secretary.                         Creameries, in some places, stopped separating the cream
           W. J. Spurbeck was reelected butter maker and Otto Schaeffer is to          altogether. I remember that for awhile in Denver, we took in some milk,
be his assistant.                                                                      which I had to run through the separation process, while at the same time we
                                                                                       received cream only from other patrons.
New Denver Co-op Creamery                                                                         In the mid-fifties, the Denver Creamery produced whole milk only,
The Bremer County Independent: September 12, 1951                                      selling their supply to Rochester Dairy in Minnesota.
           A two-story, 42 x 62 foot, seven room building, was recently                           ―The Dairy used to sell a packaged ice cream mix, and we (Denver
completed for the Denver Cooperative Creamery at Denver. In addition to                Creamery) used it to make Denver Pride ice cream which was sold mostly to
the churn room there is a stock room, ice machine room, boiler room,                   local stores and patrons,‖ recalled Paul.
refrigerator room, office and a reception room. The Denver Co-op was                              In the early sixties the market picture changed, according to Paul‘s
organized in 1916 and now has expanded to include 85 members. Present                  son Dennis, who now teaches economics at Dubuque Hempsted High
officers of the corporation are Melvin Judas, president: Elmer E. Steege,              School.
secretary: and Harold Paul, vice-president. Paul Schroeder has been with the                      Because there was more profit in making butter, the Denver
creamery for l6 years as butter maker.                                                 Creamery separated the farm fresh milk for butter once again and sold it to
Butter makers at Denver                                                                local stores and a distributing company which shipped it to some of News
(Not all, just those we found listed in articles)                                      York‘s & Chicago‘s best hotels.
           Herman Braun                    1901                                                   ―Dad‘s butter won best in state several times,‖ said Dennis, ―and
           Alec Mooney                     1918                                        was favored in a Minnesota competition as well.‖
           Walt Spurbeck                   1929                                                   Paul explained that he suspects the high quality of the butter was
           Charles F. George                                                           due to the fact that he made butter everyday in Denver, while some
           Paul Schroeder                  1951                                        creameries only processed one or two times a week, storing the cream in vats
           Lynn Wilson                             1967 – December 31, l976,           between times.
                                                     when it closed.                              Paul recalled that the skim milk in the 60‘s was sold

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.‖

to Meinerz Dairy in Fredericksburg, which converted it to a dry powder and                            At all stages of handling butter your hands had to be clean and a
also made cheese.                                                                         pail of water was kept by the churn so if you touched anything you must
           ―It was said that the powdered mix was put into large sacks for                rinse them before returning to the butter. The water was strongly chlorinated
distribution to poor people in foreign countries,‖ commented Paul‘s son,                  also. After the butter was in the walk-in cooler it was necessary to wash the
Dennis.                                                                                   churn with a special cleaner, then rinse and return it to a position where the
           ―When I quit in 1967, the Denver Creamery was selling skim milk                doors could be left partially open to ―air out.‖ By this time you also had to
to Meinerz,‖ said the veteran butter maker. Many of the 24 creameries in the              have the can washer set up and all pumps, etc. in place to take cream. So you
county had already gone out of business.                                                  could not stand around and drink coffee! Once the farmers started to arrive
           Paul offered a couple reasons for the decline of the creameries in             you did not have time for much else. Cream had to be weighed and credited
Bremer County.                                                                            to the farmer‘s patron number. Also a sample of cream was taken from each
           ―Well, a lot of farmers just stopped dairy farming in this area,‖ he           batch of cream and placed in a numbered bottle to be tested for butterfat
said. Paul‘s wife, Norma added, ―Yes, a lot of farmers just felt too tied down            content at the end of the day. Once the cream started to come in it also had to
in the business. You can‘t ever leave home when there are cows to milk both               be pasteurized in a vat to 180 degrees, allowed to stand for 30 minutes at that
morning and night.‖                                                                       temperature then cooled down to 40 degrees. It stood overnight in an
           The second reason, according to Paul, is simple: better roads and              insulated vat to be churned the next morning. Running cold water through a
refrigerated trucks and railroad cars.                                                    rotating coil in the vat did this. We then had a special tank of calcium
           Denver‘s butter maker remembers packing the butter in barrel                   chloride solution, which was cooled by an ammonia compressor to about 10
shaped containers and storing it in coolers until the railroad freight cars pulled        degrees below zero, which we pumped through the vat coil until it was down
into town.                                                                                to 40 degrees. There were lots of pipes and valves involved in this system.
           ―We loaded the barrels onto a truck and hauled them to the                     Then all the equipment, pipes, tanks, etc. had to be cleaned, rinsed and put on
refrigerated freight cars. Refrigerated in the early days meant somebody had              racks to dry.
to dump a load of ice into one side of the railroad car,‖ explained Paul.                             Floors had to be cleaned and hosed down and butterfat tests had to
           ―A fella can see why it changed,‖ said Paul, ―Big tank trucks do a             be made which took quite some time as total fat for the day was necessary in
lot of the work now,‖ he added.                                                           order to churn the next day. Boxes had to be made up and taped for the next
           There aren‘t any more butter maker picnics in Bremer County, but               morning‘s churning. Some of the boilers that we had to also watch were oil
there are still two major creameries providing quality dairy products for                 fired and some used coal for fuel.
Iowans (Carnation and Potter Siding). In addition, Bremer County has at least                         There was always something that you had to be sure was OK at all
one veteran butter maker who remembers for us all how it used to be done.                 times. Then there were special wooden boxes with telescoping bottoms.
           The Denver Creamery closed on December 31, 1975.                               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
Article from:                                                                             special jack was used and a steel frame spaced with wires was clamped on
The 125th History of Denver (Jefferson City), Iowa,                                       top. The jack was forced up to the telescoping bottom and the butter came up
1855-1980                                                                                 like ―lipstick‖ through the wires and a special cutter was carefully pulled
Compiled and written by:                                                                  through the butter and pressed to cut off 15 pounds which had to be wrapped
The Denver Thimble Bee Club in 1980                                                       and put in cartons for the stores and anyone else that might want to buy
           The farmers of the community organized the Denver Cooperative                  some.
Creamery in January, 1916. Its purpose was to make butter and process the                             If all went well you could count on being out of the creamery in
milk for resale to dairies. Early refrigeration used ice cut from the Denver              about ten hours, ―if you hustled.‖ I always arranged it to try to get home to
Creek. An electric refrigeration system was installed in 1936. In 1950 a new              dinner at noon, but had to go back to finish up the work at hand. If all went
building was erected (this is now known as the Mil-Han Building) and in 1954              well and no machines broke you could
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.

 make it. One thing for sure if you left something not done you soon learned                    F. G. Ladd has resigned as butter maker for the Creamery at
who had to do it if it was to get done.                                                Republic and has accepted a similar position with the Eastern Douglas
           My wife wrapped all the butter when I was at the Tripoli creamery.          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             Excelsior Creamery
and sometimes sold as much as 10,000 pounds per month. She did not get                 Sumner Township
paid for her work. She did that to help me.                                            Section 5
  When I was at the Denver creamery I wrapped the butter but we only                   2979 110th St
supplied Kurtt‘s Store and our patrons so I did not have much to wrap. At              The Abandoned Post Offices of Bremer County, 1995
the same time in Tripoli there were four grocery stores that sold our butter as                   The Excelsior Creamery Association was formed in 1889. Stone for
well as Gus Bul‘s store at the junction of 43 & 63.                                    the foundation was hauled to the site in December. B. J. Farnham was the
           At the Denver creamery we only took in raw milk, which had to be            president, and Hartwell Bassett served as vice-president. Other members
separated, and the cream pasteurized to make into butter. There was always             included J. E. Stevenson, John Dawson, F. Ladwig, M. Congdon, J. J.
something you had to get done.                                                         McConkey, George Hemmetter and W. A. Robinson. Within a short time the
  The years I was in Tripoli the pay was $350.00 per month. I finally received         association had 56 members. John Smith, Jr. was hired to manage the
a raise to $400.00. The last years I was in Denver I was paid $725.00 per              creamery, which was built at a total cost of $3,500. With three separators,
month.                                                                                 they processed 15,000 pounds of milk on the first full day of operation. The
           This about covers what a butter maker was expected to do.                   cooperative was still in business in 1948 with Orville Herman serving as butter
           Butter makers at Denver: Lynn Wilson [10 years], Walt Spurbeck,             maker. The annual output was about 100,000 pounds of butter, most of it
and Paul Schroeder                                                                     sold to the A&P chain of Philadelphia.
           Submitted by Lynn Wilson [86 years of age] of Tripoli, IA
                                                                                       The Bremer County Independent: April 20, 1899,
Douglas Center Creamery                                                                Mentor News
Douglas Township                                                                                 The Excelsior Creamery residence, which was occupied by butter
Section 30                                                                             maker F. G. Huntley caught fire last week Tuesday and burned to the ground.
The History of the Abandoned Post Office of Bremer County                              They saved all their household goods except a stove. Mr. Huntley has moved
Iowa Sesquicentennial, Bremer County, 1995                                             into a house owned by F. Ladwig.
           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             The Bremer County Independent: June 15, 1899,
group of farmers formed a cooperative and bought the Biermann Brothers                 Mentor News
Creamery. With the many farmers making regular trips to the spot, it was a                       Excelsior Creamery Company‘s new house for their butter maker is
likely choice for a post office. According to United States Postal Service             almost finished.
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              The Bremer County Independent, January 30, 1902,
of Roxie was Walter Burgess who took over on June 8, 1894. He remained in              Mentor News
authority until December 27, 1894, when the office was discontinued and all                       Our butter maker, Mr. F. G. Huntley got the first premium for best
services were transferred to Horton three miles straight west.                         butter at the Farmers Institute at Waverly last week. That is a good
           Both Burgess and Carroll are known to have worked at the                    recommend for Excelsior Creamery.
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

                                                                                         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 Waverly Republican: February 10, 1898, Denver News
          The Excelsior Creamery Company filled their icehouse a short time                        The Farrington Creamery Company at their annual meeting held on
since, and reports the ice is of good quality and very thick.                            Thursday, January 27, elected the following officers for the ensuing year; H.
                                                                                         T. Briden, president, Conrad Faust, vice-president, E. L. Farrington, secretary,
The Bremer County Independent: February 15, 1906,                                        George Hausman, Geo Bolte and J. T. Reinhart, directors.
Mentor News
           The Excelsior Creamery Company is fortunate in having a good                  The Waverly Republican: May 26, 1898, Supplement News
butter maker, Mr. C. Mills. He had the third best test in the state for the year.                  The Farrington Creamery Company has recently replaced their old
Of course he feels proud of it as he has a right to be for he has worked hard to         box churns for a No. 5 Victor manufactured by F. B. Fargo and Company of
learn it. Hope he may get a big prize in Chicago.                                        Lake Mills, Wisconsin. They paid 67 cents for standard April milk.

The Waverly Republican: March 7, 1907, Sumner News                                       The Waverly Republican: May 31, 1900, East Janesville News
         George Green, who has had charge of a milk route to Excelsior                             The directors of Farrington Creamery Company are putting in a
Creamery for several years, has given up that work and moved back to his                 cement floor in the creamery.
farm south of town.
                                                                                         The Bremer County Independent: August 11, 1904,
1909                                                                                     Denver News
          Robert Wagner was butter maker at Excelsior Creamery in 1909.                            B.O. Squires and family have moved to Manchester, where Mr.
                                                                                         Squires has a good position in a creamery. Charles Woodworth has taken his
News, January, 1930                                                                      place as butter maker at the Farrington Creamery.
           Excelsior butter maker, F. G. Huntley, got 1st premium for best
butter at the Farmers Institute in Waverly. Bremer County butter makers who              The Bremer County Independent: January 26, 1905,
also entered the contest, F. C. Oltrogge of the Tripoli Creamery, C. E. Carr of          Local News
Frederika, Fred Wills of Knittle, and Fred Sommers of the Spring Fountain                         The creamery on the Farrington farm in Jefferson Township, south
Creamery.                                                                                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
Excelsior Creamery: August, 1948, News                                                   broken by the robber. There is a slight clue that leads the authorities to
          Located northwest of Sumner, Orville Herman was the butter                     believe Waterloo artists did the work. That‘s what comes of advertising
maker. Over 100,000 pounds of butter was sent out East.                                  Bremer County butter as the best in the world.

East Janesville Creamery                                                                 The Bremer County Independent: March 2, 1905, Local News
The Waverly Republican: January 18, 1894,                                                          The Farrington Creamery paid $1.18 per hundred pounds last
Janesville News                                                                          month for milk that tests 4 per cent butterfat.
           The East Janesville Creamery men have been taking out large                   The Farrington Creamery Fire
quantities of ice during the past week, having some days as many as forty-five           South of Denver, Iowa
teams after ice at one time.                                                             The Bremer County Independent: April 18, 1912
                                                                                          The Farrington Creamery, in Jefferson Township, on the county line two
The Waverly Republican: March 24, 1894                                                   miles south of Denver, together with the ice house and contents, was wholly
          The engine, boiler and machinery for the new creamery southeast                destroyed by fire Sunday afternoon about
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

four o‘clock. The butter maker observed the fire and flames were bursting                the creamery and across the road from the Gartons. He said there were a lot
from each end of the main structure at the time. The origin of the fire is               of nice girls going to that church, and he would introduce them to me. He
unknown, although thfre is a theory that it started from lightning. No flashes           did, and my choice was Florence. Besh had a buggy and a span of ponies,
of lightning had been observed, but the sky was overcast with rain clouds at             and he told me I could take them anytime and go anyplace I wanted. So, one
the time. In the creamery, two cream separators, the large churn, and two                Sunday afternoon, I went over to the Gartons and got a date with Florence.
days collection of cream were destroyed. The icehouse had been filled during             We went together all that summer and fall. I soon bought myself a horse. We
the winter and this was also destroyed. It is estimated that the total loss will         were married January 1, 1903. I hired out to the creamery again. We lived in
reach $2,000.                                                                            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.
An Early Bremer County Butter Maker                                                                  From there I went to Spring Branch Creamery in Parkersburg. We
Excerpts from the reminiscences of                                                       stayed only a few months and ended up renting a house in Janesville. I
Bradley Oscar Squires                                                                    started looking for another job and got one two miles north of New Hartford
                       Farrington Creamery: Bradley Oscar Squires was born in            at the Crescent Creamery.
Franklin County, Vermont, January 24, 1874. He was raised on a farm and                    New Hartford started to build a creamery in the spring of 1906, and the
moved to Trinidad, Colorado, at age 17, where he worked on the railroad. He              Crescent Creamery sold out to it. I might have gotten this job, but Janesville
subsequently worked on farms in South Dakota, Missouri, Iowa, and                        was starting to build a creamery at the same time, and we preferred Janesville.
Vermont. After returning to Richmond, VY, he got a job in a condensed milk               I got the Janesville Creamery and took charge June 1, 1906, for $50 a month,
factory. There was a salary dispute, and he came back to Delaware, Iowa, to              coal and cream. We had to pay $5 a month house rent.
work on a farm, but he soon found a job at the Spring Branch Creamery.                               We had four haulers and nearly 200 patrons. I did all the work
However, the butter maker didn't teach Squires much about the profession, so             alone. In the spring of 1916, the creamery installed a power separator, and we
he quit. There was another short stop in South Dakota. Squires then went to              started taking milk. Business increased, and our son, Forrest, helped me
work for a Will Davis, who knew the butter maker at Fredericksburg. He tells             before and after school and on Saturday. Ralph, our son-in-law, started
the rest of the story in his reminiscences, written in July 1959 when he was 88          working for me, and I gave him half of what I made. I don't remember just
years old. Squires and his wife, Florence, had three children: Forrest, Valeda           how many years we worked together. He took over the butter making at a
and Myrtle. Squires served as butter maker at the Farrington Creamery and                straight salary of $180 a month. I did the secretary work and a little light
Janesville Creamery in Bremer County.                                                    work in the creamery.
            The butter maker at Fredericksburg told Mr. Davis he would give                          When I quit I went to Waterloo to see how much Social Security
me $20 a month and board. That was on a Saturday afternoon, and the butter               we would get. I received $24 a month and Florence $12.
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

                                                                                           advancing the premium on the butter 1/4 of a cent per pound. Good for
                                                                                           Frederika Creamery.
Frederika Creamery News
Frederika Township                                                                         The Bremer County Independent: October 29, 1903,
Section 7                                                                                  Frederika News
503 2nd Avenue                                                                                        At the request of the writer the secretary of the creamery
The Waverly Republican: February 25, 1897, Frederika News                                  association, Mr. James McDonald has kindly furnished the report of Frederika
          The farmers of this vicinity have organized for a cooperative                    Creamery for the month of September as follows:
creamery. They have purchased five lots in the south part of town and have                            Pounds of milk       237,773
the icehouse ready to fill and as soon as this is done they will start to build the                   Pounds of butter 10,994
creamery.                                                                                             Butter yield         4.62
                                                                                                      Average test         3.87
The Waverly Republican: April 8, 1897, Frederika News                                                 Per cent overrun 19%
        The Frederika Creamery will be ready for the machinery next week.                             Price paid for 4 per cent test $ .80
                                                                                                      Total amount of sales including-
The Waverly Republican: May 13, 1897, Local News                                                        Patrons butter $2,114.92
          The new farmer‘s cooperative creamery at Frederika will be opened                           Paid butter maker, help &
for business on the 17th of May 1897. Frank French will be the butter maker.               Secretary $ 85.00
                                                                                                      161 tubs at 31 cents each                 $ 47.61
The Bremer County Independent: 1899                                                                   Estimated running expenses                $ 75.00
        William Ambrose was butter maker at Frederika Cooperative                                     Payment on ripener $ 50.00
Creamery.                                                                                             For milk and hauling                      $1,848.26
March 16, 1899, Frederika News                                                                        Amount left over.                         $ 6.75
          The creamery company elected their officers for the ensuing year                 The Waverly Republican: May 4, 1905, Frederika News
last week as follows: A. E. Johnston, president, J. H. McDonald, secretary, J.                        Martin Donovan left Tuesday, April 25 for Montana where he has a
J. Adams, treasurer, D. L. Bowers, director.                                               position as butter maker. He leaves a host of warm friends who wish him
                                                                                           well in his new home.
The Bremer County Independent: March 29, 1900,
Frederika News                                                                             The Bremer County Independent: May 25, 1905
          Frederika Creamery is doing well. It receives 11,000 pounds of milk              Local News – Frederika
daily and markets 35 tubs of butter per week exclusive of what is used by                            Frederika Creamery is taxed to its utmost capacity to care for the
patrons. Has 93 patrons and paid 95 cents per hundred for milk last month.                 supply of milk coming in at this time, and Mr. Carr is calling for more storage
Average 4.10. Mr. Farwell is an expert at butter making. His butter grades                 room and more separators.
―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 creamery did a flourishing business and was later incorporated. This
                                                                                       took place May 22, 1937 and was known as Frederika Cooperative Creamery
The Waverly Republican: June 8, 1905, Frederika News                                   Company. The Board of Directors was Carl Hoppenworth, Ernest Bahlmann,
          The creamery association is building a new smokestack of brick.              Alvin Bergmann; Secretary was Leigh Alcock.
Fredricksburg parties do the work.                                                     Leon Qually

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

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

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 of Frederika served a long and useful purpose to local
  While operating during World War II, the creamery was accountable for                dairy farmers until the closing in l968. Butter makers who served the
collecting the ration stamps from companies such as A&P in Philadelphia, PA            creamery included Leon Qualley, Alvin Meier, Fred Benz and Harold Meyer.
to return stamps to the government OPA (Office of Price Administration). In                      The buildings have been sold several times since the closing and
1945, A&P was paying 23.5 cents per pound to the creamery. Production                  they are now occupied by Roger, Pat & Aaron Goodrich.
varied from $14,000 to $24,000 depending on the time of year. January
seemed to be the biggest production month.                                             Fremont Creamery
           Merle Smock of Greeley, Iowa was a butter maker at one time.                Fremont Township
           Another butter maker was Alvin Meier from August 1946 until                 Section 28
March 1950. He and his wife, Lou, had three small children and no running              The Waverly Republican: May 23, 1895, Tripoli News
water in the house.                                                                              The stockholders of Fremont Creamery hauled brick for a new
           Fred Benz was butter maker in the 1950‘s. He and his wife Zoella            smokestack last week.
had two girls and they did have modern plumbing.
           In l969, the creamery was dissolved. Trustees were Kenneth                  Obituary from Henry John Hankner, 1897, 1913
Wedemeier, Irl Haynes, and Fred Buss. It was sold to Farmers Butter and                          Henry John Hankner was employed as a youth as a butter maker
Dairy Cooperative of Fredricksburg. Martin Weidler was president and Frank             and was employed in that position at Fremont Creamery for 16 years.
Rosonke was secretary. The last butter maker, Harold E. Meyer and wife,                According to the family he started at the Fremont Creamery in 1897 and
Marian R. Meyer, purchased the buildings on September 15, 1969.                        worked there until 1913.

A Real Butter Maker                                                                    The Waverly Republican: December 27, 1900
October, 1938                                                                                     Fremont Center Creamery in Bremer County has thrown out the
          A Frederika, Iowa butter maker, Leon Qualley, topped the 176                 test or rather patrons voted not to pay by the test after having used it for some
butter makers who submitted samples in the annual Waterloo Dairy Cattle                five years. Some very good men are liable to do the wrong thing occasionally
Congress contest, it was announced last Friday. His score was 96. Entries              and it is very sure three per cent milk is not worth as much as five per cent
came from as far away as Oregon and California.                                        milk and no fair man with a normal brain and half a conscience should ask to
  Ratings attained by other butter makers in this area include the following:          receive as much for it.
           C. J. Meier        Waverly               93.66
          Albert Kruse        Tripoli               94.00                              The Bremer County Independent: April 4, 1901, Tripoli News
          Floyd Nefzger       West Union            93.50                                        Mr. Smith of Sumner is butter maker at the Fremont Creamery this
          Albert Harms        Oelwein               94.00                              year. His brother-in-law, Mr. Olds is his assistant. They moved over last
          L. R. Waskow        Denver                93.00                              week.
          Otto Schaefer       Waverly               92.33
          George Heine        Waverly               92.50                              The Tripoli Leader: January 9, 1924, Fremont News
          Paul P. Schroeder Denver                  92.83                                         The annual meeting of the Fremont Creamery Company was held
          Melvin Steege       Denver                92.16                              at the creamery January 7th and the following were elected as officers: J. C.
          E. H. Behnke        Westgate              93.16                              Peters, president; J. P. Snelling, vice-president; Myron Chapin, Emil Tiedt and
          C. W. Turner        Waverly               93.16                              Fred Hackbarth directors and G. V. Chapin, secretary for the coming year.
          B. F. Bentley       Plainfield            93.16                              Mr. Zell was rehired as butter maker at the last board of directors meeting.
          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 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                                                             The Waverly Republican: December 22, 1898,
         Fremont Creamery‘s barn burned to the ground Friday while the                  Grove Hill News
butter maker, Mr. Hankner was in town. The barn was insured but household                        The Creamery Company has their ice house filled. They have
goods Mr. Hankner had stored there were not insured. The cause of fire is               about 1200 cakes of as nice of ice as any one would wish to see.
                                                                                        The Bremer County Independent; February 7, 1919
News, August, l948                                                                                Dick Botterman, who has been the butter maker at the Grove Hill
           Ray Dilley is the butter maker and sends over 120,000 pounds of              Creamery the past few months, has moved to Readlyn, the Grove Hill
butter to New York butter buyers. M. A. Woodcock is President and Leslie                Creamery having been closed in order that the milk and cream of that
Lohman is Secretary of the cooperative creamery.                                        neighborhood may be shipped to Waterloo. The creamery still separates
                                                                                        milk, but no butter is churned, all the cream being shipped to Waterloo.
News, March, 1951
          Gene Wilson was hired in March of 1951, as the new butter maker               The Bremer County Independent: April 29, 1921
at the Fremont Creamery, succeeding Ray Dilley.                                                    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
News, March 31, 1957                                                                    will rebuild.
            Fremont Creamery discontinued operation on March 31, 1957. A
sale of all equipment was held on April 7, 1957.                                        The Grove Hill Creamery Burned
                                                                                        The Bremer County Independent: April 29, 1921
Grove Hill Creamery                                                                                The creamery at Grove Hill was burned to the ground shortly before
Franklin Township                                                                       midnight Saturday. The origin of the fire is unknown as the butter maker W.
Section 22                                                                              Spurbeck says that he left the building at about 7 o‘clock and that everything
The Waverly Republican: February 2, 1893                                                was all right at the time. Joe Oelinzake passed the place at about 11 o‘clock
           The Grove Hill Creamery paid $1.30 net, Oran $1.30 net, and                  and discovered the blaze. He aroused the neighbors, but the flames had
Wapsie $1.20. Our butter maker, Mr. Huntley, Wednesday begins operation                 gained such headway that nothing could be done. In addition to the
at Wapsie. We are sorry to lose him as he is a first class butter maker and his         machinery, there were several tubs of butter, all of which were destroyed.
butter from our creamery has always brought the top price. Mr. Blunt goes               There was about $3,000 insurance on the building but will not cover the loss.
into a creamery near Fayette; Wapsie‘s loss is Fayette‘s gain. I. I. Chase is to        This was one of the oldest creameries in this section of Iowa and its fame for
operate the Grove Hill Creamery.                                                        making good butter was spread far and wide. The building will be replaced
                                                                                        with a strictly modern structure and with up-to-date equipment.
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

                                                                                              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                                                                        The Waverly Republican: September 22, 1898, Horton News
Section 27                                                                                    The creamery at Horton is under repairs. The directors met
Dayton St                                                                            Tuesday to decide the condition of the boiler.
One of the first creameries in the county
The Waverly Republican: March 23, 1893                                               The Bremer County Independent: February 16, 1899,
           The Horton Creamery Company elected officers last Saturday as             Horton News
follow: J. F. Spalding, president; C. S. Haines, vice-president; Barnes                      Ovid Lovejoy and partner will run the Horton Creamery.
Thompson, secretary; W. P. Black, treasurer; F. H. Bunth, H. S. Ingham and
Amos Lynes directors.                                                                The Bremer County Independent: March 23, 1899,
                                                                                     Horton News
The Waverly Republican: October 26, 1893, Horton News                                           The Horton Creamery has been rented to R. G. Frazer and
          At a meeting of the Directors of Horton Creamery, Clyde Spalding           Company of the Waverly Milk Condensing Factory.
was elected secretary to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Barnes              The Waverly Milk Condensing Factory folks have leased the Horton
Thompson.                                                                            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
The Waverly Republican: January 11, 1894, Horton News                                here and partly to make butter so that those who want skim milk to take home
        The Horton Creamery has just added two very large separators.                can have it and those who want to sell the whole milk can do that.

The Waverly Republican: July 26, 1894, Horton News                                   C H Hastings
           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.

          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,

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, vice-
president; 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

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 Fowler Company of Waterloo sustained a heavy loss of fire
                                                                                 Sunday night but business will continue as usual and the cheese factory here
The Bremer County Independent: November 23, 1899,                                is still in operation.
Horton Local News
         George Ogbin and wife are moving over to the creamery.                  The Waverly Republican: September 8, 1898,
                                                                                 Janesville News
The Bremer County Independent: May 24, 1900, Horton News                                    The Fowler Company is having a brick chimney built at the cheese
        Mr. Brown of Siegel came Monday to work in the creamery.                 factory. D. J. & L. R. St. John are in charge of the work, which insures a
                                                                                 good job.
The Waverly Republican: July l9, 1900, Local News
        The Horton Creamery has been closed.                                     The Bremer County Independent: March 29, 1900,
                                                                                 Janesville News
The Bremer County Independent: October 11, 1900,                                            The Fowler Company‘s Factory is the principle enterprise that
Horton News                                                                      brings in money. At present 1100 pounds of milk is received four days in the
        Will Runyon Jr. have moved into the creamery building in Horton.         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
The Bremer County Independent: October 17, 1901,                                 of gluten feed, bran and corn meal for dairy cows. His first step was to buy
Horton News                                                                      10 head of Red Polled cows of Messrs. Jennings Brothers. In seven days by
          The new blacksmith Christ Holmes has moved over to the                 feeding a balanced ration the cows increased from 20 pounds of milk per day
creamery.                                                                        to
                                                                                 27 1/2 pounds per day for test. The factory will soon receive and work the
The Bremer County Independent: March 20, 1902,                                   milk seven days in the week.
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

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

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

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

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

                                                                                   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
Janesville News, March 29, 1900                                                    most.
           The Fowler Company has sold two carloads of gluten feed within
the last month. Those who have used it report good satisfaction.                   The Waverly Republican: February 22, l906, Janesville News
                                                                                              The cooperative butter factory is a ―go.‖ On Monday the balance
Bremer County Independent: January l6, 1902, Janesville                            of support needed was secured and preparations were at once commenced for
           A. M. Royer has resigned his position with the Fowler Company           putting up ice. A meeting was held Wednesday for the election of officers
and has contracted with the Waverly Condensed Milk Factory, assuming his           and the completion of the organization. The factory will handle gathered
new duties in February. Mr. Royer has been with the Fowler Company 12              cream only. Much of the cream that will come to this factory has heretofore
years, ten of them as manager of this Janesville Cheese and Butter Factory.        gone to the Mt. Vernon and other creameries and some of the promoters
He has made many friends in Janesville who will regret his departure, but          assert that it is not their purpose to solicit patronage from those who are
appreciate his ability to fill a better position.                                  selling milk to the Fowler Company‘s cheese factory at this place. It is hoped
                                                                                   dairying will
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

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

so increase in this locality that both factories will continue in operation and
yield reasonable profits to the owners.                                             The Janesville Creamery

The Waverly Republican: March 8, l906, Janesville News                              History of Bremer County, 1985
          Permanent officers of the new butter factory were elected March l.        (From notes by Janice Strauss) 1963
President, John Jennings, Vice-president Wilbert Loveland, Secretary Howard                    The Janesville Creamery with an icehouse behind it was established
Stine, Treasurer Dan High, Directors O. Burman, H. D. Ford, Harry Stiles.           in 1912. Bradley Squires was its first supervisor, forming a cooperative with
                                                                                    farmers in the surrounding area. Hank Loomis and Harry Wilson,
The Waverly Republican: April 5, l906, Janesville News                              respectively, followed Squires in the supervision of the creamery. Mr. Wilson
        At a stockholders meeting held Saturday, the new Farmers                    built the boiler room and the supply room onto the creamery.
Creamery Company engaged B. O. Squires as butter maker.                                        The creamery closed in August 1966. It was located adjacent to the
                                                                                    Illinois Central Railroad tracks in Janesville. Jack Haley owned the railroad as
The Waverly Republican: April 26, l906, Janesville News                             of the summer of 1984.
          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.                        B. O. Squires
                                                                                    He‘s Worked Every Weekday for 34 years;
The Waverly Republican: May 23, l907, Janesville News                               Now He Gets a Vacation
           The Farmer‘s Cooperative Creamery is doing a constantly                  Has never been away for an entire day
increasing business, many new patrons having recently been added to their           The Waverly Democrat: December 13,1940
list. Mr. B. O. Squires, who has charge of the factory has proven himself                      After 34 years of working full-time every day with the exception of
capable in that position. Two cream haulers are now employed, J. E.                 one half-day holiday, B. O. Squires, secretary of the Janesville Cooperative
Greenlee and J. E. Briden. H. W. Stine is the secretary.                            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
The Waverly Republican: January 30, l908, Janesville News                           since he started making butter at Janesville over 34 years ago. Mr. Squires
           At about 7:30 o‘clock Tuesday evening fire was discovered in             will join his wife at the home of his daughter and son-in-law in Los Angeles.
Bowen‘s wagon repair & blacksmith shop on lower main street. The alarm                         About ten years ago (Mr. Squires could not give the exact year) he
was given & many were soon at the scene & it was at once evident that the           took a half-day off and went to Des Moines to a creamery operator‘s
Farmer‘s Cooperative Creamery plant would also be destroyed. The                    convention. He has never had to stay away from work
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.

because of sickness, and nothing else has seemed important enough to make             that the creamery is quite a distance from Waverly was one factor in the
him stay away from his work.                                                          attitude although others also entered.
           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           News, August, l948
much discussion as to whether or not he should be made butter maker.                           Butter maker Arnold Poock churns 245,000 pounds of butter per
           When Squires came to work at the Janesville Creamery, the plant            year. Most of the butter is sold to A & P Grocery Stores in Philadelphia,
was equipped to take in cream alone. Farmers brought in their cream only              Pennsylvania.
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

                                                                                   Knittle Creamery Company
Knittle Creamery                                                                   Information from:
Maxfield Township                                                                  The Readlyn Museum and Erwin Koschmeder
 Section 10                                                                                   The creamery‘s name was Maxfield Creamery Company from l895
Piemont Avenue & 230th                                                             to l912, and then from l913 to l941 it was called Knittle Creamery Company.
New Creamery Burned                                                                From 1942 to l966 its name was Knittle Cooperative Creamery Company.
Waverly Republican: April 4, 1889                                                             At the annual election of the Maxfield Creamery Company,
           The farmers of western Franklin, eastern Maxfield and southern          February 11, l895 the following officers were elected: Charles Jahnke,
Fremont formed a cooperative company last winter for this purpose of               secretary, term of two years, January, l895-1897; F. Selck, W. Oltrogge were
building and operating a creamery. The officers are: Fred Burger, president,       elected as directors, term of two years, January, l895-97; F. C. Oltrogge,
Charles Hagenow, vice-president, George Vanderwalker, secretary, directors,        president, term of two years l895-l897.
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           The Bremer County Independent: October 11, 1900,
machinery placed in position and everything in readiness to make butter, last      Maxfield News
Saturday afternoon.                                                                           The Knittel Creamery Company is busy putting on an addition to
   Monday was to witness the inauguration of the work of two of those              their icehouse.
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         The Bremer County Independent: September 25, 1902,
collection of twisted, melted and ruined machinery and a huge pile of partially    Local News
melted ice.                                                                                   Fred Wills, the butter maker at the Knittel Creamery was in town
           This is all that is known of the origin of the fire: A farmer‘s wife    Tuesday to attend a meeting of the Butter Makers Association of Bremer
living a half mile northeast from the creamery was up between 12 and 1             County at the Fortner House. He brought with him a tub of butter from his
o‘clock Sunday morning with a sick child and discovered the blaze. Others          creamery that scored 95. His creamery paid 80 cents per hundred pounds for
soon saw it and soon the whole neighborhood was aroused. However, it was           milk last month. Mr. Wills makes good goods and the diary men of his
too late to save anything. As John Tiedt came up he saw two men skulking           neighborhood
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

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/

benefit by it. The Knittel Creamery is doing a good business.                         buttermaking indeed. To make doubly sure of this they have engaged the
                                                                                      services of John Hildebrandt as butter maker. The officers are: President, B.
The Bremer County Independent: March 10, 1904,                                        Cornforth, Vice-president, W. S. Grover, Secretary, A. H. Sheldon, Treasurer,
Local News                                                                            J. H. O. Steege, Directors, John Abraham, Chris Sohie & J. M. Miller.
          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.           The Waverly Republican: March 16, 1893, Local News
Wehling, who has been his helper in the creamery, will now take charge as                       Lafayette Creamery elected the following officers at their annual
butter maker.                                                                         meeting Tuesday, March 7th: F. C. Sohle, President, A. H. Sheldon, Vice-
                                                                                      president, Bate Cornforth, Secretary, J. C. Steege, Treasurer, J. P. Oberdorf,
Butter Maker for years---will start farming                                           Wm. Foster and R. D. Pelton, Directors.
The Waverly Democrat: January 4, 1923
           F. H. Wehling who for the past twenty-three years has filled the           The Waverly Republican: March 23, 1893, Local News
position as butter maker at Knittel, has resigned and will move to his farm a                   The Lafayette Creamery patrons were in town on Tuesday for
half mile north of Knittel. He will make this change about March 1, and               lumber to build a residence for the butter maker C. W. Stockwell.
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,                The Waverly Republican: February 8, 1894, Local News
surpassed that of any other butter maker in the State of Iowa. Though they                     The brick arch under the boiler of the Lafayette Creamery broke
regret his decision to retire from the work in which he has been so eminently         down on Monday and the creamery has been idle all the week while repairs
successful, his host of friends are free in their prediction that he will meet with   were being made.
equally good success in the line he intends to follow.
                                                                                      The Waverly Republican: March 1, 1894,Local News
Butter Maker Wanted                                                                             Patrons of Lafayette Creamery used $3,336.75 worth of the butter
The Waverly Democrat: January 11, 1923                                                made at their creamery the past year. Their total sales of butter for the year
          As our butter maker is leaving on March 1, 1923, his position will          amounted to upwards of $25,000 net after paying freight, cartage and
be open for applicants and his successor will be hired at a meeting of the            commission. A neat sum to distribute in one neighborhood. With thirty-
stockholders to be held Tuesday, January 16, 1923, at one o‘clock at the              three creameries distributing cash for their products each month in Bremer
Knittel Creamery building. The company reserves the right to reject any or all        County, prosperity is assured.
applications. Applicants may get any further information desired by calling
or writing:                                                                           The Waverly Republican: March 14, 1895, Local News
                              John Strottmann,                                                 The directors of Lafayette Farmers Creamery last Saturday voted to
                              Secretary Knittel Creamery Company                      engage their genial and capable butter maker C. W. Stockwell for another
                              Readlyn, Iowa                                           year.

         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

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, Vice-
president, 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

                                                                                            The Lafayette Creamery is doing a good business the supply of
                                                                                  milk has lately increased so that the directors are thinking of putting in
The Bremer County Independent: December 12, 1895,                                 another separator.
East Lafayette News
          The Lafayette Creamery Company has been making many                     The Bremer County Independent: March 7, 1901, Local News
improvements this fall among which we can mention. A new drain with                          The Lafayette Farmers Cooperative Creamery Company held a
about 400 feet of large size sewer pipe, a new churn and have recently            meeting at the creamery Tuesday and elected the following officers: John
purchased a new Babcock steam milk tester. The company is now out of debt         Selensky, President; A. H. Sheldon, Vice-president; H. N. Eichman,
and they have an up to date creamery plant. They have a special trade on          Treasurer; L. C. Oberdorf, Secretary; Directors, R. R. Watkins, Bremer
their ―Stockwell‘s Culture Butter‖ in the east.                                   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 Waverly Republican: March 4, 1897, Lafayette News
          Officers elected for the Lafayette Creamery; W. P. Foster,              The Bremer County Independent: December 19, 1901,
President; J. Selinsky, Vice-president; Chris Sohle, Treasurer; B. Cornforth,     Local News
Secretary; Directors, J. P. Oberdorf, A. H. Sheldon and G. A. Chambers.                       The Lafayette Creamery folks are enlarging their icehouse and
                                                                                  filling it with ice. The ice crop is O.K. and growing larger.
The Waverly Republican: April 1, 1897
         F. W. Russell has the contract to lay a cement floor, built a brick      The Bremer County Independent: October 30, 1902,
smokestack and boiler arch for the Lafayette Creamery.                            Local News
                                                                                             The Lafayette Creamery continues to do a good business. Henry
The Waverly Republican: May 6, 1897, Local News                                   Piegors is the thorough and efficient butter maker in charge. The 62 patrons
          The Lafayette Creamery started up again on Monday morning with          bring about 7,000 pounds of milk daily. The creamery is run on the
a new engine, 40 feet brick smokestack, new churn and new cement floor.           cooperative plan and last month the patrons received 88 cents per hundred
The patrons who had been compiled to haul milk to more distant creameries         pounds of 4 per cent milk.
while repairs were being made are feeling good over a return to their own
conveniences with the added improvements.                                         The Bremer County Independent: January 22, 1903
                                                                                             The patrons of the Lafayette Creamery had two fine days in which
The Waverly Republican: March 3, 1898, Local News                                 to haul ice for the icehouse.
          At the Lafayette Creamery annual election on Tuesday officers
were elected as follows; W. P. Foster, President; John Selinsky, Vice-            The Bremer County Independent: March 9, l905, Local News
president; L. C. Oberdorf, Secretary; A. H. Sheldon, Treasurer; Directors,                  Lafayette Creamery held their annual meeting at the Rew
Henry Eichman, J. P. Oberdorf and Bremer Abraham.                                 schoolhouse on last Tuesday at which time they elected the following officers
                                                                                  for the ensuing year: President, John Selensky, Vice-president, H. N.
The Waverly Republican: April 14, 1898, Local News                                Eickmann, Treasurer, Aug. Albright, Directors, James Lemon, Wm. Wendt,
        Lafayette Creamery has added a new Springer separator to its              and Ray Cutshaw. It was voted to build an additional coal shed, of about
outfit.                                                                           two-car load capacity, to supply the creamery with enough coal to carry it
                                                                                  through a time of bad roads.
The Waverly Republican: June 9, 1898, Local News                                  The Waverly Republican: June 29, 1905
          A 30-day separator contest ended at Lafayette Creamery last                       On account of the increased supply of milk Lafayette Creamery has
Friday. The contestants were the Alpha set up by I. Woodring and the              been obligated to put in another separator which was installed last week. The
Springer set up and operated by Mr. Springer, the inventor and manufacturer.      creamery now has three separators and is receiving from 25,000 to 30,000
The Alpha came out ahead in every test, skimming more milk per hour and           pounds of milk daily. The sales of butter to others than patrons amount to
skimming much closer. The Lafayette people bought two Alpha separators.           110 tubs each week. Lafayette Creamery now has 150 patrons and is doing a
                                                                                  flourishing business.
The Bremer County Independent: April 6, 1899,
Lafayette News                                                                    The Bremer County Independent: August 3, l905,
          At the creamery board meeting last Saturday night Will Watkins          Bremer News
was hired to draw the butter for the coming year.                                         Roy Kinney will work in the Lafayette Creamery as milk weigher.
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 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.

                                                                                              Eleanore & Martin Piehler, E. W. & Viola Bruns, Dora & Herman
                                                                                   Bruns Jr., Elvira & Roy Schulz, Alida & Albert Brettman, Arlen & Esther
The Tripoli Leader: September 10, 1924                                             Bruns, Marion & Rollis Schutte, Roland & Barbara Boedeker, Paul Boedeker,
          Mr. and Mrs. Ed Henning moved their household goods and effects          Louann Boedeker Kleiss & Hadwen Kleiss
to Buck Creek on Monday where Ed has accepted the position as manager of            to
the Buck Creek Creamery. Taking up his new duties there this week. Ed has          Maxfield Cooperative Creamery            June 10, 1954
been assistant to H. C. Ladage, manager of the local creamery here for a                      Renewed, amended and substituted Articles of Incorporation of the
number of years and is well qualified to take up his new work. While this          Maxfield Cooperative Creamery Company, September 21, 1950.
community regrets the loss of this estimable family the best wishes of all go      Affidavit
with them in their new field.                                                       J. W. Stumme to the Public November 27, 1954

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
Charles Bruns        June 10, 1854
Subject to sale at Dubuque, Iowa       June 15, 1855
  United States
Charles Bruns        June 15, 1855
War Deed
  Carl Bruns & Engel Marie Bruns
John H. Bruns        July 6, 1859
  John Bruns
Little & Hubner      July 2, 1880
Used as grounds on which to establish a butter and cheese factory.
Yearly rental of $1.00
  John Bruns
  H. C. Wente & Company June 3, 1884
Purpose of manufacturing butter or cheese.
Yearly rental of $1.00

          The Maxfield Cooperative Creamery Company was first organized
as a corporation under the name of the First Maxfield Creamery Company.
War Deed

War Deed                                                                                      Maxfield Creamery was producing nearly 200,000 pounds of butter
          Maxfield Cooperative Creamery Company                                     annually under the direction of butter maker, George Carolus.
By Ervin Koelling, President
Attest: Henry O. Pipho, Secretary                                                   The Maxfield Butter Maker
  to                                                                                by The Butter Maker‘s Daughter
Harold J. Wente & Marilyn M. Wente, December 7, 1954.                                          Orval Landsverk was the last butter maker at the Maxfield
The History of Bremer County, 1883                                                  Creamery. In December of 1947 we moved to the house provided for the
          The first creamery was established in the spring of 1880, and was         butter maker and his family. What a change! A warm apartment in Waterloo
built by Little & Huebner. In 1881 Mr. Little bought the interest in his            to a big country house with no indoor plumbing! We all adjusted well
partner, and is now exclusive owner of the factory. An average of 1,200             though. The neighbors, patrons and church members made us all feel
pounds of butter was made each week.                                                welcome.
          Huebner & Leehase established the second creamery in the spring                      Dad had to get up way before dawn to get the boiler heated up
of 1881. Two thousand pounds of butter was made each week.                          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.
The Waverly Democrat: March 7, 1884                                                 Then Dad would carry the cans in, empty and steam clean them and take
             Mr. Van Hone, the manager of the Maxfield Creamery, is missing         them back out again. Certain days he had to test for butterfat in the cream.
and with him about $2,000 which the owners of the creamery and the farmers          When he churned, the butter was packed into lined cardboard boxes and
are a little anxious about it. His wife went East on a visit and in about one       picked up by a refrigerated truck but some was put into one-pound rectangles,
week after he was called away and has not returned at last account. It is a sad     air holes carefully patched in and then wrapped with the labels in just the right
blow to the people in the vicinity of the creamery. The Sheriff has the effects     spot. Farmers took some home and once a week Mom and Dad delivered
in charge, we understand.                                                           butter to the stores and cafes in Denver.
                                                                                               We were always known as ―The Butter Maker, The Butter Maker‘s
The Waverly Democrat: 1889                                                          Wife, The Butter Maker‘s Son, and The Butter Maker‘s Daughter.‖
          Louis Dietman, of Maxfield, got his finger caught in a belt at one of                I‘m not sure but I think the creamery closed in 1954.
the creameries. With his finger torn off, he traveled to Waverly where a                       Orval died of cancer in 1965 at the age of 59.
doctor performed an amputation. The newspaper printed the news that the             Submitted by Helen Landsverk Krueger [The Butter Maker‘s Daughter],
patient ―was placed under the effects of chloroform during the operation.‖          Waverly; August 2002

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.

          F. H. Wehling is butter maker at First Maxfield Creamery.

                                                                                  creamery, the house, a barn like garage, and buttermilk shed. Our monthly
                                                                                  house payment was $38.19.
To Sell Maxfield Creamery Property at Auction                                                Before the auction the creamery had just received a new shipment
October 16, 1954                                                                  of butter boxes. They told me the new butter boxes went with the creamery,
The Waverly Democrat: October 8, 1954                                             so we got 10,000 new butter boxes. Needless to say we never ran out of
           A familiar sign will probably be removed and a landmark over 50        containers to freeze the vegetables from our garden and still have a lot of
years may change with the times two miles east of Denver after the property       them.
of the First Maxfield Creamery is sold at public auction Saturday, October,                  My father-in-law, Bill Sassmann, remodeled the creamery into a
16. The old cooperative creamery, founded on June 13, 1894, quit operating        welding shop. We remodeled the house and lived there for five years.
early this year.                                                                             Submitted by Harold and Marilyn Sassmann Wente; 6 June 2002
           The old creamery is essentially a casualty of changing times,
changing families, and changing farm businesses. Some of its former               O. E.Meyerhoff and Brothers Creamery
members moved away. Some began milking fewer cows or feeding beef                 Otto, H. William, George & Henry Meyerhoff
cattle instead. Some of the newcomers found other creameries more                 Maxfield Township
conveniently located. The farmers who formerly took their cream to the            Section 14
Maxfield Creamery now take it principally to creameries at Knittel, Crane         Excerpts from: The Meyerhoffs in Germany and America
Creek and Denver instead.                                                         Written by: D. Steven Meyerhoff; Christmas 1998
           Bids were sought on the creamery property last month. The three,                  The Meyerhoff family can be traced to the region of Schaumburg
which were received, were believed too low by the board of directors. The         Lippe, near Hanover, in northwestern Germany. The small town of
auction has been scheduled next week to finally dispose of the property. To       Wendthagen was the village where they made their home. They were
be sold at 2 p.m. Saturday, October 15 at the creamery site are a partly          involved in farming and coal mining operations in that area of Germany and
modern two-story house, a 25 by 56-foot creamery building and barn, and           were members of the Lutheran church.
about one acre of land.                                                                      The story begins with Johann Otto Meyerhoff and Anna Dorothea
           Henry Pipho, Readlyn, secretary of the cooperative, said               Senne who were married in the early 1760‘s. Between 1821 and 1848 the
Wednesday that the auction was decided upon when it was found that the            local population more than doubled and the job market could not keep pace.
bids were not as high as expected.                                                Many people from that region began to look to America as a source of
           The creamery‘s old record book is an interesting document. It          economic opportunity.
contains the names of the first cooperators along with the original articles of              In the 1840‘s Ernst Meyerhoff left Germany to find work in
incorporation and the by-laws. Many of the early entries were made in both        America. Ernst had worked in the coalmines in Germany before leaving for
the German and the English language.                                              the New World. When he arrived in America he made his way to the coal
           According to the records, the first officers of the creamery were      mining area near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and was killed in a coal mining
John Bruns, president; W. M. Milius, secretary; and H. C. Matthias,               accident on September 21, 1847. Ernst was the first member of his family to
Treasurer. Directors were H. C. Matthias, H. A. Platte and J. F. Kehe.            come to America.
           The butter fat purchase records tell the story of the business as it              Ernst‘s nephews, 21 and 15, left Wendthagen for America in 1858.
grew and then became smaller. The creamery reached its peak in purchases in       They first settled in St. Louis but later made their way to Schaumburg,
1941 when it bought 183,370 pounds of butterfat. By 1944, this amount had         Illinois.
declined to 131,048 pounds and the volume was down to 102,137 pounds five                    While some Meyerhoffs remained in Illinois to farm and raise their
years later in 1949.                                                              families others moved on to Iowa during the 1870‘s.
           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

  Land was available in large quantities at about half the price of Illinois land.   Section 14
When they arrived in Iowa they settled among family and friends that they            The Bremer County Independent: August 10, 1899
had known in Illinois. The Meyerhoffs, Spiers and Diekmanns were part of                       The Meyerhoff Creamery in Maxfield Township was totally
this great migration of people to Iowa. It is likely that favorable reports from     destroyed by fire last Sunday morning. On Saturday morning Henry
family influenced the Meyerhoffs to sell their Illinois farm and travel to the       Meyerhoff discovered fire in the building and extinguished it or at least
newly settled area. They came to Bremer County to farm.                              supposed he did, but on Sunday morning between the hours of three and four
            E Wilhelm and Caroline Diekmann Meyerhoff came by covered                o‘clock the building was again discovered to be on fire and had gained such
wagon with their seven children. They soon bought land in Maxfield                   headway as to make it impossible to save anything. The loss is about $1800
Township, Sections 13, 14, and 16, a total of 485 acres for $7200. Carl              with insurance of about $1000.
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          Minkler Creamery
original deed is unclear.) He married Wilhelmine Thielking on March 16,              Located on the line between
1864. Maxfield would be home to Carl and Wilhelmine for the rest of their             Bremer and Fayette Counties which is now
lives.                                                                               Highway 3
            The Meyerhoffs worked hard to establish a home and farm their            The Abandoned Post Offices of Bremer County
new land. After living for a brief period along Crane Creek they established a       1995, August, 1892
homestead on one of the largest pieces of land in Maxfield Township, Section                   In August 1892, the creamery was destroyed by fire. Two carloads
14. Four sons were born to E. Wilhelm and Caroline, Otto, H. William,                of coal had just arrived. The coal fueled the fire so that the building burned to
George and Henry.                                                                    the ground. Proof that it was quickly rebuilt is found in a newspaper item the
            Up to the time of his marriage to Minnie Spier, Otto Meyerhoff had       following, December, which gave the prices being paid for milk.
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              Plainfield Creameries
early creamery establishments of the Township. The partnership built a               Written by: Dorothy Smith, Plainfield, Iowa, May, 2002
creamery near the homestead in Section 14. They introduced the first cream           1872 – Lots 1 and 2 – North part of town on East Side.
separators in that part of the County and added creameries at Lester in Black        Farmer‘s Stock Company established a creamery that manufactured cheese
Hawk County and Maxfield (later renamed Knittle.) The Maxfield Creamery              and was later purchased by C. A. Kingsley.
was purchased shortly after Otto‘s marriage to Minnie and the young couple           1883 - Sold to Charles Morse and Mr. Kennedy will be the proprietor.
moved into a house built next door to it. The first four children all boys,          1884 – Tom Carroll and Dan Logan were making butter.
Arthur, Elmer, Hermann, and Emil, were born at this home. Otto built a               Farmers met to organize a cooperative creamery with intent to buy buildings
prosperous business with his brothers. His obituary states that he won local,        from Waterbury & Pierce. Repairs were made.
state and nationwide recognition for his creamery products.                          1894 – Sold again and used no more. Made it into a residence, feed barn and
            The Meyerhoff and Brothers Creamery partnership was dissolved in         livery.
1890. H. William and Henry Meyerhoff, the youngest boy, kept the creamery            May, l908 - Herman Ladage and James Mellinger erected a tile block
at the home place, George took the one at Lester and Otto remained at                creamery East of town. They furnished butter for the Navy during WW I.
Maxfield. That same year in 1890 their father, E. Wilhelm, who was alone             1921 – Fred Stickman came to work as the butter maker and bought it. They
since Caroline died in 1877, decided to sell his sons the four hundred acres he      named it Gilt Edge Creamery
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
            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

                                                                                   but lately introduced: Jan. 23 1/4, Feb. 24, March 21 1/4, April 18 1/4, May 15,
1938 – Bentley is sole owner until early 40‘s when it closed.                      June 14, July 16, Aug. 17 3/4, Sept. 20,
1940‘s – Hy-Grade built on south edge of town (Plainfield) with cheese             Oct. 20 1/4, Nov. 23 1/2, Dec. 24 1/2. The average for the year was 19 3/4.
processing done there.
Sold out before l982 to Meinertz Creamery Company of Fredricksburg. The            The Waverly Republican: March 9, 1893, Plainfield News
building was torn down by l983.                                                                        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 Plainfield Butter and Cheese Factory
Plainfield, Iowa                                                                   The Waverly Republican: January 4, 1894, Plainfield News
The Waverly Republican: June 26, 1879                                                      John Powers sold his creamery here to Waterbury & Pierce of
           Messrs. Editors-Knowing your columns to be open for any                 Nashua who took possession, January 1.
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   The Waverly Republican: March 8, 1894
is one of our institutions, little known and less understood.                                 In 1872 Farmers Stock Company established a creamery that
           Something over a year ago Messrs. Pierce and Larkin erected it, and     manufactured cheese. C. A. Kingsley then purchased it and he processed
have spared no means to make it one of the best of its size in the State. It was   butter also. This creamery was located 1, lot 1 and 2, on the East Side in the
run last season as a cheese factory, with indifferent success, owing to the        northern part of Plainfield.
inexperience of its managers, as is usual in most new enterprises. This spring                In 1883 the creamery sold to Morse and Mr. Kennedy was the
they have expended nearly four hundred dollars in fitting it up for making         proprietor.
butter as well as cheese. Mr. A. Ditts, a competent operator well acquainted                  Tom Carroll and Dan Logan were making butter in 1884.
with the requirements of the business, now runs it. He will be happy to                       The farmers met to organize a cooperative creamery with intent to
receive all the milk the patrons are pleased to bring to him, even to the extent   buy the buildings. Officers elected were W. E. Balsley, president and J. F.
of 14,000 a day.                                                                   Potter, secretary.
           Now, suppose the farmers within a radius of six miles of the factory               In 1894 S. S. Waterbury and E. A. Piece sold the creamery to Cedar
should bring 10,000 pounds per day—and they could do that easily—at even           Valley Cooperative. There was a great deal of repairs done at this time. The
40 cents per 100 it would be $40 per day or $1200 per month. This,                 creamery was in business for a short time and in 1898 Parker Smith bought
distributed among the patrons, would make trade lively, and supply                 the old creamery property and remodeled it and made it into a residence, feed
themselves and families with the comforts of life, while waiting for the hay       barn and livery.
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.

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 Gilt Edge Creamery of Plainfield, was owned and managed by
                                                                                     Mellinger & Stickman. The phone number of the creamery in 1922, was 4-55
The Waverly Republican: Local News, March 12, 1896                                   and its motto was ‖Service and a Square Deal‖.
           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     Hy-Grade Food Products Corporation
several days leaving Monday.                                                          Plainfield, Iowa
                                                                                     Polk Township
Herman Ladage & James Mellinger Creamery                                             Section 30
Plainfield, Iowa                                                                     New Creamery at Plainfield to Make Cheese
           Herman Ladage and James Mellinger built a tile block creamery             The Bremer County Independent: August 16, 1944
east of town in May 1908. During WWI they furnished butter for the Navy.                          The Hy-Grade Food Products Corporation of Cedar Rapids, owner
           Ladage left the firm and James Mellinger became the sole owner            of a number of creameries, has purchased the Gilt Edge Creamery at
sometime before 1921.                                                                Plainfield from B. F. Bentley and his sons, Lowell and Laurel, and will make
           In November of 1921 Stickman of Ionia bought part interest in the         cheese as well as butter. The business is to be moved to a new building,
business and became butter maker. The name of the creamery was changed               which is to be erected in downtown Plainfield within the next three months.
to the ―Gilt Edge Creamery.‖ Stickmann bought the Mellinger house next                            E. J. Primus, who had been butter maker for the Bentleys, continues
door to the creamery in 1922.                                                        with the company as local manager.
           Mellinger left the creamery in 1924 and Bert Bently became butter                      Skimmed milk cheddar went into production five days ago and
maker. Bert Bently was sole owner of the creamery in 1938.                           other types of cheese may be added later. The cheddar is shipped to New
           The Bently Brothers owned the Gilt Edge Creamery until the early          York where it is used in the manufacture of processed cheeses. It is made by
1940‘s when it closed.                                                               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.
Ladage & Mellinger Creamery                                                                       New machinery has been installed for the cheese process, replacing
Plainfield, Iowa                                                                     that which the Bentleys used for the making of casein.
The Bremer County Independent: November 5, 1908                                                   Primus, the new manager, has been butter maker in Plainfield, two
            H. C. Ladage & James Mellinger have formed a partnership and will        years and before that, had the same work for 11 years at Earlville. When he
start a creamery and gristmill at Plainfield. The well and the foundation walls      was learning the butter making trade he worked at Buck Creek and Fairbank.
for the creamery have been completed and they are making the cement blocks           The creamery staff now includes also B. F. Bentley, who expects to retire
of which the building will be made. They have purchased a complete outfit of         soon, Herman Eick and Roselinda Primus. Arthur Unruh of German Valley,
the most improved machinery and will conduct a first class, up-to-date               Illinois is the cheese maker. Haulers are Ralph Reeves, Burr Shepard, Roland
creamery. Mr. Ladage is one of the best butter makers in Bremer County and           Evans and Vernon Platte.
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                Plainfield, Iowa: August, 1948
workmen in their line we can see no reason why they should not make a great                     Each day 16,000 pounds of milk was turned into 1,600 pounds of
success at Plainfield. They expect to have the creamery in operation by              cheddar cheese. F. G. Holliday and four other men make the cheese at the
January 1, 1909.                                                                     Hy-Grade Food Product Company.

The Bremer County Independent: November 26, 1908                                                  Hy-Grade Food Products Company
           H. C. Ladage and James Mellinger are building a good creamery at          Plainfield, Iowa
Plainfield. Cement blocks constitute the most of the building material. The                     Hy-Grade was built on the south edge of Plainfield with cheese
blocks were made on the ground with washed gravel and sand from the Cedar            processing done there. They sold out before 1982 to Meinertz of
River and the best cement on the market. The floors are also made with               Fredricksburg and in 1983 the building was torn down.
cement. Woodruff & Gugenbuel are the builders. Ladage & Mellinger have
bought new machinery, which will be set up as soon as the building is

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

                                                                                     August, 1948
                                                                                      Walter Kruse is the butter maker at Potter Siding. Potter's Dairy in
Potter Siding Creamery                                                               Waterloo gets most of the cream. Cream is brought to the creamery by 54
Warren Township                                                                      patrons.
Section 1
Midway Avenue & 170th                                                                Kerr & Rathbone Re-elected at Potter Siding
The Bremer County Independent: April 1, 1897                                         The Tripoli Leader: February 9, 1972
          Herman Wilbrandt got too near the separator in the creamery near                    Annual meeting of Potter Siding Cooperative Creamery Company
Potter Siding one-day last week. His coat was caught in the machinery and            was held Tuesday, February 1 at the creamery. Robert Kerr and Robert
the blamed thing came pretty near getting the better of Herman, but he               Rathbone were re-elected for three-year terms.
anchored himself to a post while the pesky little bugger stripped his coat off.               At the re-organization meeting Kerr was appointed president and
He was not seriously hurt but says the thing is not to be monkeyed with.             Rathbone as vice-president. Erwin Hennings as treasurer and W. H.
                                                                                     Kallenbach is secretary. Floyd Primus is plant manager.
The Bremer County Independent: October 14, 1897
          The new creamery at Potter Siding is nearly completed and will be          Potter Siding Creamery, 1982
in operation by November 1.                                                                    John Meier, Potter Siding butter maker, made 300,000 pounds of
The Waverly Republican: October 21, 1897, Local News
            The new creamery at Potter Siding is finished and Ike Woodring is        Potter Siding Cooperative Creamery
fitting the creamery out with an entire new outfit of machinery, etc. this week.     History of Bremer County: 1985
                                                                                                In 1914 some twenty-six creameries were scattered across rural
The Waverly Republican: November 18, 1897, Local News                                Bremer County. By February 1976 only three creameries remained, at
         The new cooperative creamery at Potter Siding began business last           Denver, Bremer, and Potter Siding. In 1985 only Potter Siding remains as a
Saturday with one of the best-equipped plants in the county and a good milk          creamery.
patronage. The officers are Albert Stenzel, president; H. Lauman, treasurer;           The creamery for years served the rural dairy farmers. It is located along a
Wm. Baney, secretary; directors, H. Vogt, Gus Kuecker, and A. Stenzel. W.            gravel road three miles west of Tripoli, just off Highway 3.
Slageman is butter maker.                                                                       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
Who‘s Who in Iowa, 1940                                                              shipping livestock; therefore the name Potter Siding originated.
1903-1910                                                                                       In the 1890‘s they were instrumental in organizing a creamery. A
         William Ambrose was manager of Potter Siding Creamery.                      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 Bremer County Independent:April 21, 1910,                                        the plant. Farmers took turns hauling ice until an ice machine was installed.
Tripoli News                                                                         The present
         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
           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.

         Floyd Primus was butter maker at Potter Siding from 1951-1975.

 building dates from 1926, and in l952 a new home was constructed.                               While large commercial firms have butter, compared with a
            Albert Kruse was butter maker and manager from 1948 until 1951.          previous record of 110,000 and an average for the past several years of
Then in 1951 Floyd Primus started as butter maker and manager. Forty years           between 90 and 100,000 pounds.
of his life were spent at plants throughout this area; at Center Valley, Greene,                 The butter wrapper enables Meier and his wife, Marlene to package
Dunkerton, and 24 years at Potter Siding.                                            the butter in less time. Before using the machine, they had to let the butter
            Creameries in the area first took in both milk and cream, later in the   cure in boxes for 24 hours before it was cut and wrapped. To package 1,000
thirties plants switched to all cream. Then in 1957 Potter Siding was equipped       pounds of butter took two people 2 1/2 hours. It now takes about an hour.
to take in whole milk again. A new separator, stainless steel tanks and other                    With the machine, the curing step is unnecessary. Butter goes
facilities were completed.                                                           directly from the churn to the wrapper, where it is packaged at the rate of 18
            In 1973 there were 141 patrons. In 1974 it handled 23.2 million          pounds a minute. Increased production has allowed Potter Siding to recently
pounds of milk. Thousands of pounds of butter were hand wrapped by                   expand its market to the Waterloo-Cedar Falls area.
Floyd, his wife and daughter to sell to patrons and stores in Bremer County.                     Meier makes butter at least four times a week, and he says the
Whole and skim milk were sold to Meinerz Creamery, Fredricksburg.                    process takes about four hours from start to finish and results in 1,440 pounds
            John Meier now runs the plant having started there in 1975. Potter       per batch. Milk for the butter comes from an area, which extends south to
Siding is the only creamery left in Bremer County that churns butter. Denver         Waterloo, north to Hwy. 18, west to Plainfield and east to Oran. Two trucks
creamery no longer exists.                                                           haul the milk from the farms to the creamery where it is separated and
A Butter Maker‘s Wife at Potter Siding Creamery                                                  The way the cream is handled is important to the butter‘s shelf life
           Memories: Days at first at Potter Siding Creamery were different, as      and subsequent taste, according to Meier. He says the butter maker who
we were used to having electricity, bathroom and toilet facilities and furnace       preceded him kept a pound of Potter Siding butter for three years and claimed
heat. The old house we moved into had none of these facilities. After a year         it was still edible.
a new house was built having all the necessities—we really enjoyed it.                           Although the number of farmers selling milk to the creamery has
           I had a big garden with everything we needed. I canned a lot and          diminished, Meier says most of them are selling greater quantities, reflecting a
had the usual household duties to attend to including keeping Floyd‘s white          trend for the small milk producer to get out of the business.
uniform clean, etc.                                                                              Part of that trend occurred when the state made stiffer regulations a
           I also sewed a lot for our small daughter and myself.                     year ago. Farmers who sold milk in cans were required to upgrade their
           After several years of hiring creamery help, I finally agreed to be       facilities and many of them, who sold limited quantities of milk, decided to
Floyd‘s helper in the plant. My job was to wash the vats and separator, and I        quit milking instead.
learned to wrap butter by the pound and even deliver it to different towns by                    The decision was a difficult one for some of the older farmers.
myself if Floyd was busy.                                                            Meier recalls that one man in his 80‘s, who had hauled milk to Potter Siding
           Sundays always was work for Floyd. We usually went to church in           since he had been old enough to drive a team of horses, cried the day he
Evansdale on Saturday evening as they had a Mass there.                              brought in his last load. Today, Meier says he has only seven producers who
           We never had much time for entertainment. We visited neighbors            still use milk cans. The rest store the milk in bulk tanks.
and relatives in the evenings and went fishing after work sometimes.                             Meier is only the third manager at the Potter Siding Creamery in the
           When our daughter grew up she was taught to wrap butter and               last 50-plus years. He replaced Floyd Primus, who had been with the firm for
really enjoyed doing it.                                                             23 years before his retirement in 1975. The butter maker before Primus had
           After all the years spent at the creamery it was hard to retire—it        managed the creamery for 27 years.
really was enjoyable working there.                                                              Meier, who was a heavy equipment operator in Pella before taking
           Submitted by Evelyn I. Primus [age 91], Sumner, Iowa, 12 July             over at the creamery, says he comes by his butter making skills, naturally,
2002                                                                                 since his father, now deceased, was a butter

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 old-
fashioned 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.

 maker at Oran for 25 years.                                                        Compiled by Gertrude Poock and Judith Leistikow
           Meier describes the business as a family effort. Without the help of                In the winter of 1905 a group of farmers in the vicinity gathered to
his wife, Marlene, he says, ―I‘d never get done.‖ A couple of playpens and          discuss organizing and building a creamery. A committee was selected to
several riding toys at the creamery help keep their three children, ages one,       circulate a petition for individuals to subscribe for stock in the new creamery
two and three, occupied when mom and dad are working.                               for $25 per share; $3,000 was subscribed.
           John says the Fareway store in Waverly is Potter Siding‘s best                      On January 26, 1905, the Articles of Incorporation and the By Laws
customer. He expects Waterloo and Cedar Falls consumers to become Potter            were adopted, and the first election was held. The first directors of the
Siding converts now that it‘s available in their supermarkets.                      creamery included: Carl Hagenow, William Meyerhoff, Rudolf Tiedt, H.
           Despite price and cholesterol considerations, Potter Siding butter       Schoenbucher, and Edward Huebner. From these directors Carl Hagenow
buyers are a loyal bunch, firmly convinced that, ―You can‘t fool Mother             was elected president; Rudolf Tiedt, secretary; and H. William Meyerhoff,
Nature.‖                                                                            treasurer.
                                                                                       The building committee was composed of Frank Maurer, Fred Meyer, and
March, 2002                                                                         Henry Meyerhoff. Preparations were made to build a creamery. John Judas
         Potter Siding ceased operation in March, 2002.                             Sr. was given the contract. The creamery was constructed at what is now the
                                                                                    corner of V-49 and 1st St, Readlyn.
Prosper Creamery                                                                               On May 21, 1905 the creamery began operation. Fred Wills was the
The Bremer County Independent: Oct. 26, 1899, Local News                            first butter maker, but he resigned after only four months due to ill health.
         Carl Clausing has sold his interest in the Prosper Creamery and has        The next butter maker was H. A. Griese who worked from October 1, 1905 to
gone to Minnesota to look up a new location.                                        January 1942. His successor was his son-in-law, Arnold C. Poock. Other
                                                                                    butter makers were Donald Ruth, Fred Kezar, and Mr. Krueger.
The Bremer County Independent: November 9, l899,                                               The creamery started with 33 patrons. Whole milk was delivered to
Local News                                                                          the creamery and separated at the local plant. The cream was then
           The Cedar River Butter Company today placed the entire product           manufactured into butter. The farmers would haul the skim milk back home
of its Prosper Creamery with Waterloo merchants. The creamery is located            and feed it to the pigs, calves and chickens as at that time there was no market
near Plainfield and the butter maker in charge is celebrated for his Gilt-Edged     for such a product.
Butter.                                                                                        The first ten years were full of hardships as competition was strong
                                                                                    (There were creameries located at Knittle, Klinger, Maxfield and Fremont, one
Readlyn Creamery                                                                    approximately every five square mile or so.) and the volume of business was
Readlyn, Iowa                                                                       small. But the business
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

History of the Readlyn Creamery: 1995

grew steadily until it reached a membership of 80.                                            In his acceptance of the gift, Mr. Griese, in a brief talk, expressed
           An icehouse was located next to the creamery where blocks of ice        his deep gratitude for the honors that were being showered upon him, and
were stored for cooling the cream. Due to lack of space, the creamery built a      commented upon the kindly and friendly relations that ever have existed
12-foot addition in 1920, which served as a refrigerator and an office. In 1921,   between him and the directors and patrons of the Creamery Company. He
the creamery was put on the Iowa State Brand list, license number 16. This         also reviewed some of the changes and improvements that have taken place in
meant that the quality of butter produced must be 1st Grade.                       the Readlyn Creamery and in the butter making industry in general since he
           In 1925, the incorporation expired and the creamery became a            entered that field thirty-four years ago.
cooperative. The stockholders were bought out and the creamery was                            Mr. Griese learned his trade in the Maxfield Creamery, where he
incorporated under the state law of Iowa as the Readlyn Cooperative                served his apprenticeship under butter maker O. E. Meyerhoff. Later he
Creamery Company. The first directors of this new organization were:               completed his training at Iowa State College, Ames, Iowa.
Herman Rathe, C. F. Bruns, William Hagenow, E. C. Moeller and H. R.                           He recalled the days when horsepower operated the churns in the
Wilson.                                                                            creameries and the butter was worked by hand. A hundred thousand pounds
           After June 1, 1941, only sweet cream was received for butter            of butter were handled in this manner each year, but with that amount more
production and unused machinery was disposed. New equipment was                    than doubled these tasks would now seem impossible. In those early days
installed and purchased as needed.                                                 the farmers had to haul milk to the creamery each night and morning, and
           In the fall of 1950, the wooden exterior walls were torn down and       Sunday was no exception to this role.
replaced by hollow tile walls with glass block windows.                                       For six years Mr. Griese was butter maker at Artesian and then
           The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company would buy the bulk           spent about two years in Dubuque. On October 1, 1905, he took his present
butter and pound prints (pounds of butter imprinted with a design) and sell        position as butter maker at the Readlyn Creamery, and his record there is one
them to local patrons and stores.                                                  of which he and the patrons of the creamery may well be proud.
           In 1971, Larry Kuhlmann‘s Service and Repair moved into the old                    When he took up his work in Readlyn that thriving town was but
creamery site.                                                                     one year old, but as it was located in the very heart of a splendid dairy
The Readlyn Creamery Renews Incorporation                                          county‘s substantial creamery was one of the first requirements of the new
The Bremer Independent Republican: March 12, 1925                                  community.
           After twenty years of activity the corporate life of the Readlyn                   At the time Mr. Griese took charge the creamery had thirty-three
Creamery Company has expired and the stockholders are now taking steps to          patrons, which number has now increased to eighty. Twenty-five years ago
re-incorporate. It is the intention to make it a cooperative concern. Every        the yearly production of the creamery was 90,000 pounds of butter: at the
person who hauls milk to that institution and who signs the constitution           present time it has increased to at least 220,000 pounds. Most of this butter is
automatically becomes a member of the association. Should he discontinue           shipped to Philadelphia. The superior quality of its product has earned for the
hauling milk his name will be dropped.                                             Readlyn Creamery the right to use the ―Iowa Brand,‖ which requires that the
           H. Griese, butter maker, has been employed in that position nearly      butter must score up to specified requirements.
twenty years having taken the position a few months after the creamery                        Machinery and equipment of the newest and most modern type
opened at Readlyn. The fact that he makes ―State Brand‖ butter is sufficient       have made it possible to attain and to keep this high standard. Mr. Griese tells
to know that he is among the very best in the state. He has stayed by the          us that he has never received complaint as to the quality of his butter and has
company and by his efforts the concern has grown to more than double its           never had a pound of it returned to him because of any imperfection. In 1911
former business.                                                                   at Dubuque he received the gold medal for the highest score in the state, and
           The officers and directors of the organization now are:                 he has received many other recognition during his years of service.
                       Herman Rathe, president                                                The directors of the Readlyn Creamery Company at this time are
                       Wm. Hagenow, vice president                                 William Hagenow, President, H. R. Wilson, C. F. Bruns, H. Rathe and E. C.
                       H. A. Griese, secretary and manager                         Moeller. Mr. Griese is the secretary. It is needless to say that, while they do
                       C. F. Bruns, treasurer;                                     not court publicity in any
          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.

way, Mr. and Mrs. Griese were very much pleased and impressed with the               to incorporate in l926, and it was then known as Siegel Cooperative
kindly recognition that was shown them last Wednesday evening.                       Creamery. After two special meetings in 1940 it was decided to allow REA
                                                                                     to install electricity.
News, Readlyn Cooperative Creamery, August, 1948                                                 Because of declining membership and increasing cost of doing
         All the 200, 000 pounds of butter made in 1947 was sent to the A. &         business, it was decided at a special meeting on October 30, 1957, to cease
P. Grocery Stores in Philadelphia. Arnold Poock was the butter maker.                operating. The assets of the Siegel Cooperative Creamery were sold at
                                                                                     auction in November, 1957. Lester Dahlstrom purchased the property.
The Red Clover Creamery
Northeast of Sumner                                                                  Excerpts taken from the Secretary‘s minutes of the Siegel Creamery:
The Bremer County Independent: October 17, 1895                                                  The annual meetings were held in March of each year. The ledger is
Local News                                                                           on file at the Bremer County Historical Museum.
         The Red Clover Creamery located one and a quarter miles northeast           March 2, 1915
of Sumner was totally destroyed by fire on the morning of October 15, 1895.                      It was voted to buy a skim milk weigher. Buttermilk was to be sold
Cause was unknown and it was fully insured.                                          every month by the gallon to the highest bidder.
                                                                                     March 5, 1918
History of Bremer County, 1985                                                                   Ed Gunsalaus hauled butter for 8 cents per tub. Anyone who hauls
           Red Clover Creamery was the outgrowth of a demand for a                   his milk to another creamery can not buy any butter
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

or buttermilk from the Siegel Creamery.                                                    Fred Sommers has a position in Spring Fountain Creamery where
March 4, 1919                                                                      he moved last week. He rented his house to John Snorstein.
          It was voted that a dam should be build at the creek on Henry
Moeller‘s farm.                                                                    The Bremer County Independent: January 12, 1905
March 6, 1928                                                                        Spring Fountain Creamery in LeRoy Township received 2,327,628 pounds
          Butter maker shall test the milk alone was voted down by the board.      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
February 8, 1918, Western Douglas News                                             butter used by the patrons was worth $1,855.27. The expenses were
          Fred Harms has resigned his position as butter maker in the Siegel       $2,037.93. The average test was 4.52 per cent butterfat and the average prices
Creamery and has accepted a like position in the Tripoli Creamery where he         82 cents per hundred pounds of milk.
and his family will move in the future.                                            1905
                                                                                              In 1905 Fred Sommers was butter maker at Spring Valley
Early Siegel Butter Makers:                                                        Creamery.
          C. A. Zell, 1896; Wm Lenius, 1910
                                                                                   The Waverly Republican: Sumner News, February 21, 1907
Siegel News: 1933                                                                            The engine at the Spring Fountain Creamery broke down
  At the Siegel Creamery annual meeting in 1933, all officers were re-elected.     Wednesday morning making it necessary to bring all the milk usually
Will Behrens was rehired as butter maker. Some products made at the                delivered there to the Sumner Creamery, one load coming from within three
creamery include cottage cheese, sweet and sour buttermilk.                        miles of Tripoli.

March 6, 1934                                                                      1908
         The old icehouse was torn down and rebuilt for the tub shed.                        The butter maker at Spring Valley Creamery was F. W. Bremer in
February 1, 1937
           B. H. Pinch was rehired as butter maker. A special meeting was          Spring Fountain Production Rises
called for the purpose to install electricity. Voted down.                         The Waverly Democrat: January 24, 1941
                                                                                              Roy H. Rathbone was elected president of the Spring Fountain
February 11, 1939                                                                  Cooperative Creamery Company at its annual meeting held recently
         Voted electricity down again.                                             accounting to the Tripoli Leader.
                                                                                              Directors elected were Ernest Bodermann and Ernest Schwerin.
August, l948                                                                       Herman Stahlhut was chosen secretary for another year and Carl Gamm was
          B.L. Pinch was the Siegel butter maker. More than 115,000 pounds         rehired as butter maker.
of butter were sent to the East Coast.                                                        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
February 6, 1950                                                                   pounds in butter manufactured over that of the previous year.
         Motion made to replace icebox with a Freon unit.

          Siegel butter maker in l951 was C. O. Pinch.

          The name changed to Siegel Cooperative Creamery Company in

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

                                                                                    church is about 1/3 mile west of the creamery. The children were baptized in
                                                                                    their homes, usually about two weeks after birth.
Spring Fountain Creamery                                                                       The children treasured a coaster wagon and one day, Elmer and
Submitted by Lucille Bremer, Waterloo, Iowa, October, 2002                          Jack Dyball coasted their wagons to Sumner, where each purchased a candy
            Spring Fountain is a rural community, five miles SW of Sumner,          bar and coasted back home.
Iowa and six miles NE of Tripoli, Iowa. It is a mile South of Highway 93                       At first the Bremer‘s had one horse and buggy but soon Fred
between Tripoli and Sumner. At one time it consisted of a creamery, church          purchased a car, believed to be an Overland. One day when they had
and school. St. John‘s Lutheran Church, founded in 1875, is still very active       company, Alvin, probably wanting to show off, drove the car up the front
and can be seen from Highway 93. The creamery is no longer in use as a              steps of the house. Mary reportedly laughed but it is doubtful Fred laughed.
creamery but the building is still there and being renovated by the current           Another time, Leona with baby Lucille in a large carriage, was racing with
owners.                                                                             Herbert in a coaster wagon to the Adolph Meyer farm a short distance from
            In the early 1900‘s every rural community in Bremer County              home. As they reached the Meyer‘s lane, one cut in front of the other and the
generally had a church and a creamery as well as most of the towns.                 carriage tipped over. They picked Lucille up and ran home leaving the
            Fred W. Bremer, took the position of butter maker at the creamery       carriage and wagon behind.
in January 1908. On January 30, 1908 he was united in marriage to Mary                         Mary often took one of the children along to catch the train and
Burmeister and the couple made their home at Spring Fountain for the next           would go to Tripoli to the dentist, etc. or to visit her parents and sister there.
19 years. Their six children, Alvin, Elmer, Leona, Everett, Herbert and Lucille     Elmer used to get a dime for baby sitting Herbert.
were born there. Mr. Bremer attended Iowa State College at Ames, Iowa to                       Fred‘s youngest brother August was married in 1919. Shortly after
learn the trade and while at Spring Fountain won many prizes and awards at          their marriage, they came to live with the Bremers for about six months and
fairs, Cattle Congress, Waterloo, Iowa etc. for having scored the highest-grade     Fred taught August how to make butter. Shortly after that August became
butter. He received a gold engraved pocket watch for scoring ―First Place‖ at       the butter maker at Williamstown in Chickasaw County. August‘s wife,
the Iowa State Fair in 1918.                                                        Elsie, always said that Mary taught her how to cook during that time. Jack
            Fred would often get up at 3 AM and begin to make the butter from       Ambrose was the butter maker at Frederika at that time.
the milk, which the farmers had brought in the previous day. It had to be                      Fred loved to hunt, fish and play cards and would cut across the
separated for the cream, which was used to make the butter. The farmers             fields some nights to play cards with John Fitz. One day Fred went hunting
could take back the skim milk the next day if they chose to, for animal feed.       and shot a wolf. When he came home, it was
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
            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

 dark out and he stuck the wolf up to the kitchen window scaring the children.     gets cooler, as their supply of ice is getting low and it takes too much to keep
Mary scolded him for that. Fred‘s Uncle, Carl Bremer, caught the Dinky and         such a large quantity.
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 Bremer County Independent: November 23, 1905,
the afternoon and bring home the funny papers and oysters and that was             Sumner News
always a treat for the family.                                                               Fred Zell our superb butter maker scored better than he knew at the
            Fred was willing and helpful to his neighbors when they needed         Cedar Rapids exhibit. He not only secured the prize of a gold medal and
help if they were sick or corn needed to be replanted. He, Alvin & Elmer, one      $18.87 from the State Association but the Alderney Buttercolor Company has
time helped Henry Kirchman replant corn that had not all sprouted. They            sent him a gold watch and $20.00 in money for scoring sweepstakes with their
went through the fields and put three kernels of corn in each hill where the       butter color and $5.00 for scoring 96 or above. He makes butter that must not
previous planting was not growing.                                                 be sneezed at.
            The Bremer‘s were one of the first families to have a radio and it
had earphones.                                                                     The Waverly Republican: February 7, 1907, Sumner News
            Tomato soup was the supper menu on Monday‘s after Mary‘s big                      At a recent meeting of the Sumner Creamery Company Monroe
wash day. On other times, quite often, Fred would grate potatoes for potato        Westcott was elected president, S. A. Munger, secretary and Bonk of Sumner,
pancakes. With cream available, Mary often made cream puffs. She baked             treasurer.
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            Sumner Butter Makers:
them use part of their land to plant potatoes. Mary also raised about 50                     Other butter makers mentioned in newspaper articles were Albert
chickens.                                                                          Zierath, E. B. Olds, and Ervin Kuker.
            One day a barn raising was held at the Louie Boderman farm. All
the neighbors would help and the women would prepare the food.                     Tibbits & Tower Creamery
            A few time truckloads of gypsies (in the early years they had horses   Sumner, Iowa
and wagons) would stop at the creamery and they would all jump out at once         The History of Bremer County: 1883
scattering everywhere. They took eggs and tried to catch chickens. One took           Tibbits & Tower, who continued the business until October, when they sold
a horn off a bicycle that Fred bought for Alvin in 1921 when the Rev. Schaller     it to A. O. Kingsley and H. G. Fairchild, established the business in May 1880.
and family moved to Florida in June, and had a sale. Fred got it back and          Soon after it passed into the hands of A. O. Kingsley, who continued to run it
made sure they didn‘t get in the house or the creamery.                            until August 1881, when Gardner, Murphy & Company of Boston, became
            The Rev. M. Reikowsky was installed at the church on September         the proprietors. They installed H. C. Alger as superintendent,
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 baby-
sitter 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

who at once commenced to refit it and put it into first class shape. The main         wanted the skim milk. He then bought a De Lavel cream separator with a
building is 24/65 with icehouse 24/36. The machines are operated by a six             capacity of only one thousand pounds and went back to making butter.
horsepower steam engine, with eight horsepower boiler. This establishment
has all the modern improvements for the manufacture of butter, and is one of          The Waverly Republican: March 13, 1890
the most thriving and progressive branches of business in Sumner. During                        Our Tripoli Creamery is in a flourishing condition and turning out
the season of 1882, they manufactured on an average of one thousand                   on an average of eight hundred pounds of number one butter each day.
pounds of butter a day.
                                                                                      The Waverly Republican: January 15, 1891
Sumner Creamery Company                                                                       The proprietor of the Tripoli Creamery is quite ill with Typhoid
Remodeling Work Started on Creamery Building                                          Fever.
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
  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
            C. H. Loomis will be retained as operator-manager of the Sumner

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

                                                                                    Commissioner, Boardman. The Tripoli Cornet Band played and was
                                                                                    followed by the American Glee Club with a ―Jolly Old Farmer‖ which
The Waverly Republican: January 5, 1893, Tripoli News                               rendered with great spirit. Editor Fairburn of New Hampton then closed the
           J. T. Wolf, traveling agent for the commission firm of Davis &           exercises with an eloquent speech full of pointers for farmers and farmers‘
Schuyler Company Butter, Cheese, Egg and Poultry Dealers, is in the vicinity        wives.
soliciting and buying butter. He speaks very highly of our creamery man, F.                   After the literary exercises there was a bicycle race, Harvey Dean
C. Oltrogge who learned the art of making butter in the same factory at Elgin       and The Page Brothers of this city being the contestants. Dean won it. A
where Mr. Wolf used to work. Mr. Wolf expects to visit this vicinity four           heavy shower then drove the people under cover and the foot races and other
times a year hereafter and guarantees to pay top prices for fine goods.             amusements were abandoned, except the Bowery dance in the evening which
                                                                                    we presume was a big thing.
1894                                                                                          The new creamery building is several rods north of the depot. Its
          F. C. Oltrogge is butter maker at the Tripoli Creamery.                   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
The Waverly Republican: January 31, 1895, Tripoli News                              approved pattern. The engine and boiler are of the Erie City make. Two Little
           Our farmer‘s creamery organization has been completed. They              Alpha separators will twist the cream out of the milk with neatness and
have bought a piece of land of John Schroeder north of the depot where they         dispatch. With this faultless outfit and the champion butter maker of the
will build an icehouse at once and a creamery in the spring. Mr. Oltrogge our       United States, F. C. Oltrogge, in charge Tripoli Creamery butter ought to
present creamery man will make their butter, which will insure them top             command a high price in the market. The officers and directors of the
prices.                                                                             creamery are: E. A. Kelsey, president; F. W. Meier, secretary; directors Ernest
                                                                                    Hagen, Charles Piegors and H. Lester.
The Waverly Republican: February 21, 1895, Tripoli News
            The new Creamery Company has their icehouse up and is now               The Waverly Republican: June 6, 1895, Local News
filling it with ice. Our iceman Will Keeler is doing the work.                                Mr. and Mrs. Frank Russell took in the Tripoli celebration on
            F. C. Oltrogge our popular creamery man was happily surprised the       Monday. Frank built the brick smokestack and cement floor of the creamery
19th by about 20 families calling at his residence in memory (did they mean         and has a similar job for the Fremont Creamery.
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           The Waverly Republican: March 19, 1896, Local News
events.                                                                                       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
The Waverly Republican: March 14, 1895, Tripoli News                                made a home starter. Mr. Oltrogge made some butter with it last week and
          F. C. Oltrogge, our creamery man, received the following letter           shipped it to Chicago for inspection with the result that it scored 88.6 out of
from G. W. Martin & Brother Commission Merchants, New York:                         100 points or 996 out of 1000 points. He only lost two-sixths on his flavor
          Dear Sir-I notice by the paper that you drew first prize on separator     from being perfect. Who can beat that score? A. Davidson, the Chicago
goods at the convention at Rockford, Illinois where a large display of              Produce Inspector, scored it. The score card can be seen at the Tripoli
manufactured stock was exhibited. I notice you had some very strong                 Creamery.
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.            The Waverly Republican: February 24, 1898
          Yours truly                                                                         The Tripoli Creamery received for the month of January, 396,747
          S. W. Hoyt                                                                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
Tripoli‘s Big Jubilee                                                               meeting.
The Waverly Republican: June 6, 1895                                                The Waverly Republican: December 1, 1898, Local News
   The new Farmer‘s Cooperative Creamery at Tripoli was dedicated on                          The Tripoli Creamery is shipping small consignments of butter to
Monday. It was no tame affair either. On the contrary, the people of the            Cuba where it sells up towards a dollar a pound. This
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

 seems like a fabulous price but the expense of shipping, commission, etc.                    H. C. Ladage returned Saturday from Ames where he has been the
likely leaves the net returns a trifle below that figure.                           past two weeks instructing in butter making at the Iowa Dairy Short Course.

Who‘s Who in Iowa: 1940                                                             Buttermilk to Be Sold at Public Auction
  1900, 1901-03, 1910                                                               The Tripoli Leader: March 12, 1924, Front Page
          William Ambrose was employed by Tripoli Cooperative Creamery                        There will be a public auction at the Tripoli Creamery Tuesday,
in 1900 and from 1901-03. In 1910 he became manager according to his                March l8th at 10:00 o‘clock. The buttermilk will be sold to the highest bidder
family.                                                                             for the coming year.

The Bremer County Independent: February 5, 1903                                     The Tripoli Leader: March 12, 1924, Local News
Tripoli News                                                                                   The Tripoli Creamery Company held their annual meeting Tuesday
          The Tripoli Creamery Company held their annual election Tuesday.          at the creamery and the following directors were reelected for three years:
E. A. Kelsey, president; Charles Jahnke, secretary, J. H. Martin, treasurer; F.     Wm. G. Hagen, C. E. Prestein and C. H. Schmidt. The yearly report of the
W. Meiers, August Krueger, Wm. Jahnke, directors; F. C. Oltrogge, butter            creamery under the capable management of H. C. Ladage was found to be
maker.                                                                              very satisfactory and last years business showed considerable increase over
                                                                                    any other year.
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

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

                                                                                            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                                                 The Waverly Republican: March 20, 1890
           With a few exceptions the milk and cream delivered at the Tripoli         George Vanderwalker gives us the following creamery items. During the
Creamery is exceptionally good according to F. M. Sheldon of the extension         month of February the Wapsie Valley Creamery of which he is secretary
service of Iowa State College who was in Tripoli on Tuesday morning to             handled 200,000 pounds of milk, paying 95 cents net for the month. John
score the milk and cream at the local creamery. Mr. Sheldon states that he         Tiedt milked 80 cows and brought to the creamery 12,010 pounds of milk for
believes that the patrons are actually doing their best to retain the splendid     which he received $115; Chas. Spear and Aug. Klemp both received, the first
reputation that both the Tripoli Creamery and H. C. Ladage have gained as          $110 and the last $103 for the month.
manufacturers of the best quality butter available anywhere.                                 The weekly shipments of butter averaged 37 tubs of 62 pounds per
           The procedure of this work is rather interesting and very important     tub. From the creamery items published this winter in The Republican our
from the standpoint of quality products. The extension service, through the        readers will plainly see that our farmers from cooperative creameries properly
Bremer County Farm Bureau and cooperating with the patrons of the                  managed receive very handsome revenue.
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         The Bremer County Independent: September 12, 1895
by the patrons.                                                                    Local News
           He took a sample of the milk, which was forced through a small                     Fred Farwell butter maker at the Wapsie Valley creamery slipped
layer of cotton, which retained any dirt that might be present. This cotton        and fell upon the floor and broke his shoulder blade last Friday.
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             The Waverly Republican: April 2, 1896, Local News
indicate whether or not the milk was too warm and tested the milk for flavor                  The Wapsie Valley Creamery Company has been shipping 30 tubs
and possible acidity in hot weather. There were 24 patrons with a score of 90      of butter a week the past month with good returns for its patrons. O.
or better while there was only one who scored below 80 with a score of 79.         McCumber is president of this company, George Vandewalker, secretary,
Of the cream samples tested there was only one below 90 while the remaining        Charles Hagenow, treasurer and Daniel Bluer, butter maker.
6 scored 90 or better.
           Mr. Sheldon believes that with proper cooperation from the              The Waverly Republican: January 21, 1897, Local News
patrons, Mr. Ladage will be able to continue finishing amongst the leaders in               Rudolph Tiedt has been elected secretary and treasurer of Wapsie
butter scoring contests. He congratulated Mr. Ladage on his showing at             Valley Creamery Company of Franklin Township.
Sheldon, Iowa on March 5th where Mr. Ladage got first prize with
competition open to every butter maker in Iowa.                                    The Waverly Republican: March 4, 1897, Grove Hill News
           The cream and milk scoring at the local creamery will be continued              Wapsie Valley Creamery has hired Frank Huntley for the coming
throughout the summer.                                                             year.

Ladage Wins First Again                                                            The Bremer County Independent: August 2, 1900, Local News
                                                                                             The Wapsie Valley Creamery and contents belonging to Mr.
The Tripoli Leader: May 14, 1924                                                   Lehmkuhl was destroyed by fire yesterday morning. The fire was discovered
           At the meeting and scoring contest of butter makers of District No.     at about 1 o‘clock and it had gained such headway that it was impossible to
8 held at the Tripoli Creamery here this afternoon Herman Ladage received          save anything in the building. It is thought the outfit was insured a short time
high honors with a score of 95. Ernest Rohrsen of Siegel and Walter                ago for $1600.
Spurbeck of Denver tied for second place with a score of 94 each. Nineteen
tubs of butter were scored.                                                        The Bremer County Independent: October 11, 1900
                                                                                   Maxfield News
July 1, 1935                                                                                   Fred Bahe bought of C. Lehmkuhl the buildings, brick smoke stack,
  Robert Ewing of Postville, Iowa, is the newly appointed butter maker at the      well, etc., part of the Wapsie Valley Creamery which was destroyed by fire
Tripoli Creamery. Ewing began work on July 1, 1935, succeeding William             for the sum of $200. Mr. Lehmkuhl has moved onto a farm near Minkler.
                                                                                   Excerpts from:
1935                                                                               The Abandoned Post Offices of Bremer County, Iowa: 1995
  Lorenz Bunger is the new assistant at the Tripoli Creamery in 1935.                        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,
August, 1948                                                                       saloon, and a creamery.
 Butter maker W. B. Dilley, sends most of butter made in Tripoli to New            The creamery was across the road to the south in section 7. The owners, H.
York markets. Some cream is also sold to Waterloo dairies.                         Lehmkuhl and Charlie Koschmeder, lost it in a fire in the early 1900‘s.

June, 1949                                                                         Washington Creamery
  Paul Pockels of Los Angeles, California is the new Tripoli Creamery butter       Washington Township
maker.                                                                             Section 5
                                                                                   Hilton Avenue & 230th
Previous Tripoli Creamery Butter Makers                                            The Waverly Republican: May 10, 1894, Local News
          Previous butter makers not mentioned in the newspaper articles are:                 Fred Meier‘s team ran away from the Creamery Supply building on
E. M. Guiney, H.C. Koeneke: 1910, William Kruger, and Lynn Wilson: 1949            Friday with a boiler that was going to be delivered to the Washington
– 1963.                                                                            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
Wapsie Valley Creamery                                                             front wheels. Not much damage was done but it took nearly all day Saturday
Franklin Township                                                                  to get the boiler out of the ditch.
Section 7
The Waverly Democrat: May 10, 1889                                                 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

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                          They also passed over four 90-pound boxes of butter, which were
neighborhood gathered there to show Mr. and Mrs. Gamm just how an eighth             ready for printing.
anniversary should properly be celebrated. The uninvited guests comprised                       Fifty-seven tubs of 64 pounds each had been removed from the
the membership of a five hundred club, which had been holding regular                creamery Monday afternoon and loaded in the pool car.
meetings during the winter.                                                                     The thieves gained entrance through a window, using a stepladder
  The visitors brought with then the ―makings‖ of a delicious oyster supper,         belonging to the creamery, which was lying nearby.
flanked with all the ―dainties‖ one could wish for. The evening was spent                       Tracks of a truck equipped with what seemed to be ribbed-tread
visiting and playing cards. Mr. and Mrs. Gamm were presented with a                  Firestone tires were found west of the building, and also on the road leading
handsome cut glass water set.                                                        south from the creamery.
                                                                                                It is thought that while the men was breaking into the creamery the
Creamery Will Install Modern New Dial Scale                                          truck drove down the road and returned in about the time necessary for
Washington Elected Becker President,                                                 breaking into the usual refrigerator.
Reelected Gamm Butter Maker,                                                                    Shoeprints were found on the ground outside the window, but
at Meeting Thursday                                                                  Sheriff Frank Sager obtained no fingerprints. It is thought the men wore
The Bremer County Independent: January 17, 1929                                      gloves.
           Carl Gamm was unanimously reelected butter maker, election of                        Butter maker Otto Schaefer shortly after work was begun in the
officers and directors was completed, and various items of business were             morning discovered the robbery.
taken up at the annual meeting of the Washington Creamery, held at the                 This is the first visit of the gang to Bremer County. However, Monday
schoolhouse Thursday, January 10.                                                    night, July 30, the Nashua Creamery was robbed of 1,500 pounds.
           John J. Becker, who was the senior director, automatically became                     Creameries this week were giving consideration to installation of
president. Mike Rosol was elected the third director, the other two being Fred       alarm systems which would ring whenever anyone entered the building and
Volk and Dewey Racker. Ernest Lampe was reelected secretary; John Mether             purchase of burglar insurance at a rate estimated at about $12 per 1,000
and Ernest Thoms were reelected as test supervisors.                                 covered per year.
           In order to keep the creamery up to date it was decided to buy one
of the most modern dial scales available.                                            August 1948
           In order to take care of the big increase in business it was decided to             Otto Schaefer, butter maker, sold 9,000 pounds of butter each
continue the system that was started some time ago of having milk and cream          month to Waverly grocery stores. More than 400,000 pounds of butter was
shipped every other day.                                                             shipped to Dubuque, Iowa.
           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        Washington Creamery Butter Maker Retiring
working to its full capacity.                                                        The Waverly Democrat: May 20, 1965
           The county agent was present and led in the discussion on feeds                       Otto Schaefer, butter maker at Washington Creamery for
and feeding of dairy cattle, as well as giving a review of his observations on       35 1/2 years, is retiring this week. If he could have accumulated sick leave
the work of cooperative creameries in some of the European countries.                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
Butter maker Agreement between                                                       is the fact all 11 days absence occurred just a few weeks ago when he was
Washington Creamery and Otto Schaefer: November 23, 1929                             disabled by a case of mumps.
           This agreement, in duplicate, made this 23rd date of November                         Mr. and Mrs. Schaefer are moving onto an acreage at Bremer where
1929, by and between Washington Creamery Company and Otto Schaefer.                  they will garden, raise a few sheep and enjoy some leisure in their retirement.
           Washington Creamery Company hereby engages Otto Schaefer as                           New butter maker at the creamery is Fred Benz. He started about 2
butter maker for period commencing December 1, 1929 and terminating                  years ago at Fredericksburg. But, for the past 13 years he has been butter
February 1, 1931. Said Otto Schaefer to churn butter of 92% or better, to            maker for the Frederika Creamery. He and Mr. Benz have moved into the
print or tub butter as designated by said Washington Creamery Company, to            house adjoining the
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.

 local creamery and Berz has been working with Schaefer to ensure a smooth          Sumner, he ran a refrigeration business until his death on July 21, 1951 at 58
transition in the management and operation of the butter maker operation.           years.
                                                                                              Maxine Iserman Brase, niece of Carl Gamm, and her family lived
Washington Creamery Closes after 78 Years                                           one mile north of the creamery in the time that Carl was butter maker at
Herds, Volume Gone                                                                  Washington. She remembers playing games in the ice and sawdust in the
           Washington Creamery halted operations on May 31, 1968 and will           creamery icehouse. As her father, Harvey Iserman, would haul cream
hold an auction this Saturday to sell equipment and supplies.                       mornings he would take Maxine and her sister, Eileen, along to the creamery.
The Waverly Democrat: June 6, 1968                                                  They would walk the path to Washington #7 school, which was close by.
           Closing of the creamery, 2 _ miles east of Waverly ends a business                 After Carl accepted the position of butter maker at Spring Fountain,
that operated for 78 _ years and produced approximately 28 million pounds           Otto Schaefer took over his duties at Washington Creamery.
of butter.                                                                                    The Washington Creamery was located 2 1/2 miles east of Waverly
           Reasons for the closing are many. The creamery had only 20               on Highway 3. After being in business for 78 1/2 years, the Washington
patron herds this past year as more and more farmers got out of the diary           Creamery closed on May 31, 1968.
business or found new markets for their milk.                                                 Submitted by Maxine Iserman Brase [81 years of age], July 2002
           Washington Creamery was still buying cream, one of the last
neighborhood operations to do so. The three remaining creameries in Bremer          The Western Douglas Creamery Company
County, at Denver, Bremer and Potter Siding, are all geared to whole milk           Douglas Township
processing.                                                                         Section 30
           Curiously, the past year was one of the biggest for the Washington       Hawthorne Avenue & 140th
Creamery from a butter-making standpoint as more than 250,000 pounds                1890
were shipped. Except for butter sold locally, bulk of the product went to a                   The Western Douglas Creamery was established in 1890.
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            The Waverly Republican: March 8, 1894, Horton News
creamery was purchasing cream from Carnation‘s plant in Waterloo. This                        The West Douglas Creamery Company held a meeting at Roxie
year Carnation contracted with another market and this supply was cut off.          and elected the following named men as officers: Captain Potter, Will
           ―There just isn‘t enough volume available to continue operating,‖        Luhring, Mr. Wilson, Henry Barney and Walter Empson as secretary.
explained Harry Thoms, longtime secretary of the Cooperative Creamery.
           When Waverly marked its 100 anniversary in 1956, Washington              The Waverly Republican: July 5, 1894, Horton News
Creamery joined in the celebration. At that time it was one of 18 creameries                 The Western Douglas Creamery caught on fire one day last week
operating in Bremer County. But the demise of the local creamery had                but was quickly extinguished and no damage done.
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          The Waverly Republican: August 16, 1894, Roxie News
operation was steady.                                                                        Western Douglas Creamery has a new churn and butter-worker that
           Several of the old creameries though no longer making butter,            works the butter inside the churn. She is a dandy.
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, vice-
president; Harry Thomas, secretary-treasurer; Arthur Brandt, Jack Reynolds,
           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

                                                                                   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
The Waverly Republican: November 1, 1894, Roxie News                               now ranked as one of the leading creameries of this county.
         Western Douglas Creamery Company will run their creamery with
one hand after November 1 on account of shortage of milk.                          Western Douglas in 50-Year Celebration
                                                                                   First Butter Sold at 14.5
The Waverly Republican: December 6, 1894                                           Potter, Barney, Dickenson, Hoppenworth, Cummings,
         George Green of Frederika has accepted a position in Western              Buls ―Founders‖
Douglas Creamery as second man. He began work on December 1.                       The Bremer County Independent: July 3, 1940
                                                                                              With more than fifty families in attendance, the Western Douglas
The Waverly Republican: April 4, 1895                                              Creamery Company celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the
        Arthur Sadler has hired to the Western Douglas Creamery                    cooperative organization at a picnic at its plant three miles east of Horton.
Company to make butter for the coming year.                                          Windy weather interfered somewhat with the program, which had been
                                                                                   arranged, but everyone had a good time in spite of the changed plans.
The Waverly Republican: May 26, 1898                                               Signed Notes
            Western Douglas Creamery is being repaired and having a cement                    Housed today in a modern concrete-block structure built in 1909,
floor laid therefore the patrons have sent their milk to the Horton Creamery       the Western Douglas Creamery got its start on June 2, 1890 in a frame
since Tuesday.                                                                     structure after six ―founders‖ had personally signed notes for $3,000 so that
                                                                                   the new cooperative could get into action.
The Waverly Republican: December 8, 1898, Horton News                                         These men were Marvin Potter, President, Henry Barney, Secretary,
          Western Douglas Creamery Company will put in a new separator             A. A. Dickenson, Treasurer, and A. C. Hoppenworth, P. G. Cummings and
costing $1,000.                                                                    Wm. Buls, directors.
                                                                                     Records of the company, according to Ernest Buls, the present secretary,
The Waverly Republican: May 21, 1890                                               show that James Shane erected the building, that the late J. C. Gardner (who
           The Western Douglas Creamery Company is a new cooperative               had yards at Bremer, Plainfield and Waverly) furnished the lumber, and that
creamery company now doing business in Douglas Township. The creamery              the late Ike Woodring of Waverly sold the machinery.
is located one-half mile east of Marvin Potter and is said to be one of the                   Will Hicks, a patron of the creamery living to the west and a little
largest and best-equipped creamery establishments in the county. The               north, helped haul lumber and rocks for the foundation, and was present
officers of the company are M. Potter, President; H. K. Barney, Secretary; A.      Friday for the fiftieth anniversary celebration.
A. Dickenson, Treasurer; August Hoppenworth, W. Buls and P. G.                                John Cole, who had one of the first milk routes and now is a
Cummings, Directors.                                                               member, residing three miles north of the creamery, also attended the
                                                                                   anniversary meeting.
The Waverly Republican: February 10, 1898,                                                    Walter Empson of Waverly, brother of Mrs. Hicks, cashed the first
Northern Douglas News                                                              milk check written by the creamery.
          Western Douglas has a new butter maker and Mr. Sadler will                          F. H. Hartman is the ―longest continuous patron‖ having been a
engage in farming the coming year.                                                 patron since 1892, 48 years ago.

The Bremer County Independent: February 16, 1899
        Roy Youmans will be the second butter maker at Western Douglas

The Waverly Republican: February 2, 1905
Northern Douglas News
         The patrons of Western Douglas Creamery filled their icehouse last

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

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
           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.


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
           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
            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
           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

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.                      The fair has been fortunate to have had such good fair board
           In 1935 the fair announced that in addition to the regular races,          members. Skeets Walther and John Droste have been among the best. I have
sprint races would be held. Real action from the drop of the starting flag            been a 4-H leader for 39 years and I find it hard to believe how the fair has
would make up the six-event program.                                                  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
The Bremer County Fair                                                                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
              One of my first memories is of going to the fair with my Grandma        and they also help out at the fair.
and Grandpa Miller, my folks, and some of my brothers and sisters. My                           I hope the fair will continue to improve like it has the last 125 years.
grandfather had been an active member of the Bremer County Fair Board. He                       Submitted by Betty Arns
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         4-H Clubs Celebrated 100th Anniversary
wasn't much fun to stand there and listen to adults talk!
              The Bremer County Fair started in about 1875. I really cannot find                  One hundred years ago in 1902, 4-H was created to teach boys and
much about the fair until in the early 1900s. We have the share that Grandpa          girls in rural America, and their parents, how to more effectively run their
John Arns bought in 1909 for ten dollars. I cannot find how many shares               farms and homes. Today, the youth organization has evolved to teach youth
were sold. The shares were sold so buildings could be built. The Fair owned           across the nation to reach their full potential in leadership, citizenship, and
12 acres in 1909 and it was located in the same place as it is now.                   communications. In 2002, 4-H celebrated its 100th birthday nationwide.
              The grandstand was built in about 1910. A Floral Hall was built         Bremer County had their birthday celebration at the Bremer County Fair in
over by the gates on Highway 218. Here many businesses had big booths of              August with a Family Fun Night, former members, leaders, and other 4-H
vegetables, fruits, and flowers on display. Some of the people who had                volunteers were invited
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
              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.

 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 4-
12, 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
           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
           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
 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

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                                                                            Churches was led by Rev. Gatch. After much discussion on the national and
FAITH UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST                                                      state levels, the congregation
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.

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
           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                   On February 18, 1869, there was unease in the Syracuse
time pastor was serving the church at this time. In June of the same year, a         Community church. Members wanted their church established in Plainfield, 2
special offer was made by Rev. E. F. Puhlmann, then pastor of the E & R              miles South.
Church. This was to supply the pulpit of both churches. He also agreed to                        In August 1870 a church was built there. It still stands in its original
teach the confirmation class of ten members and to visit the sick. His offer         place with much of the original structure still being used. In January of 1872
was accepted.                                                                        the first service was held.
           The last annual meeting was held January 14, 1962. The pews,                          The church continues to grow today, encouraging new
organ, altar, dossal curtain and pulpit chairs used in the Chapel of our present     membership.
Educational Unit of Faith United Church of Christ, were formerly used in the
First Congregational Church.

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
            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, ninety-
two 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.

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.

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

                                                                                  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.
GRACE LUTHERAN CHURCH                                                                        In 1924 Lillian Strauser wrote a song about the church. It was
208 - 1ST St., Tripoli                                                            called, ―The Little White Church On the Hill‖ and was dedicated to Mrs. May
          Grace Lutheran Church had its beginning with Pastor P. Bredow of        Hall.
Maxfield township and J. Dilges of Siegel conducting services in private                     The present membership of the congregation is around 65. The
homes, in the former school building, and in the former Congregational            Church offers Sunday School for all ages, Morning Worship,
          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.

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

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.

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
            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,

                                                                                                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
MESSIAH LUTHERAN CHURCH                                                             the community of Janesville. Thankfully, that commitment has not gone
229 Chestnut St., Janesville                                                        unnoticed. Messiah is the chartering organization for Boy Scout Troop 103
                                                                                    and has been for some time. Additionally though, we also host the Janesville
            While Janesville is the oldest city in Bremer County, it is also home   Super Stars 4-H Club and open the doors for many community events.
to one of the younger churches of the area. Messiah Lutheran had its start in       Recently, the church was the meeting place for the Levy Boosters, a group of
1956, when a number of Janesville families desired to have a Lutheran               citizens who worked to ensure passage of the school levy, and for the ―Teens
Church in town. With the active support of the Rev. W.F. Schmidt and the            Against Tobacco Use‖ workshop for area high school students.
Rev. William Weiblen, pastors of St. Paul, Waverly, and the Rev. R.W.                           This writer could continue about the amazing transformation that
Seifkes, Iowa District President of the American Lutheran Church, a group of        has occurred at Messiah Lutheran but time and space are at a premium.
interested people met on December 6 at St. Paul, Waverly, to discuss the            Suffice it to say that God has been hard at work at Messiah and that God will
possibility of forming a new Lutheran Church in Janesville.                         continue to stir up the congregation to move them forward in faith and
            The first services were held at the Janesville High School on           mission for the sake of the gospel. Thanks be!
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         OPEN BIBLE CHURCH OF WAVERLY
entered into a joint parish relationship with Faith Lutheran, Shell Rock.           1013 E. Bremer Ave., Waverly
            Things moved quickly once the congregation got organized. They
broke ground for their ―bungalow chapel‖ on April 22, 1956, called their first                 After much prayer and seeking the will of God, the Open Bible
full-time pastor, the Rev. Otto Reitz, and installed him on July 8, and then, on    Church of Waverly began with about twenty families in attendance at the first
October 21, dedicated their new worship facility. The congregation became           service on February 9, 1986. They met in a rented building at Park Village,
self-supporting in 1958. (Historical Sketches, Iowa District of the A.L.C. June,    southwest of Waverly. Rev. Mike Reeves provided the first pastoral
1959, Iowa District Historical Committee)                                           leadership. Bob Gaston was the worship leader with Bruce and Kathy Epley
            Pastors who have served Messiah are: Karl Schmidt, January-July         and Ruth Burchett assisting with music. On May 25, 1986, District
1956; Otto J. Reitz, 1956-1962; Clifford O. Taylor, 1963-1966; Rolf Brende,         Superintendent Ivan Rogers and his wife came to present the church with its
1967-1971; Paul Tobiason, 1971-1975; Denny Brake, 1975-1984; Vincent                official Open Bible charter. Those desiring to do so signed up as charter
Fricke, 1985-1988; Harold Tegtmeier, 1988-1991; Ray Ehlers, 1991-1995;              members.
Beth A. Olson, 1996-present. Messiah has also been served by interim                           In September 1986, Pastor Mike left to fulfill other obligations and
pastors, pastors called to specific ministries and who fill in while the search     Pastor Jack Nation and his wife Dorothy were called to continue the church
for a permanent pastor is underway. Those include the Revs. Guetzlaff, David        ministry. The elders were Chuck Clewell, Bruce Epley and Bob Gaston. The
Johnson, Dean Hoferer, Ray Harms, Paul Schaedig and Ray Ehlers.                     vision of the church was to ―go forward‖, centered in Christ Jesus, with an
            Charter members still connected to Messiah include: LaVera              emphasis on ―love and forgiveness‖. It became apparent as the Lord blessed
Benzine, Don and Roberta Rockwood, Ethel Roever, James Stokes and Ray               and gave increase that a larger facility would be needed. The church then
and Joan Thoren.                                                                    purchased R-J‘s Lounge in February 1988. The building was modified into a
            Like many younger congregations, Messiah had its share of ups and       church for worshipping God, and the first service was conducted in it on July
downs. The economic downturn of the 80‘s, combined with some pastorates             10, 1988.
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
            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.

                                                                                                 In 1957 a merger took place between the ―Evangelical and
          God continued to bless the church. More babies were born, and               Reformed‖ and ―Congregational-Christian‖ denominations. We were then
more people joined us in praise and worship. In keeping with its vision, the          known as Peace United Church of Christ.
church agreed to expand and add to the present sanctuary. It was finished and                    By 1995 Peace was close to closing its doors for good, almost
dedicated October 14, 1990.                                                           unable to keep the bills paid. With several members having transferred out it
          Pastor Jack retired in May 1997, after almost eleven years of service       looked bleak. But once again the faithful members came together and decided
to his church family. Pastor Jim Brewer, his wife Sharon, and children Kevin          that the members of Peace were not only a congregation but also a family,
and Natalie came to Waverly in July 1997 in answer to the Lord‘s call.                doing what was needed to stay together.
          In 2002 Open Bible Church will have reached its 16th year with                         By January 30, 2002, there have been 21 resident called pastors, 564
about 120 family units and 400 men, women, and children in all. We give all           Baptisms, 207 Weddings, 311 Funerals and 453 confirmations. Our
thanks, praise and glory to God for all He has done.                                  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
PEACE UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST                                                         speakers and regularly conducted German Worship Services. The first English
FORMERLY KNOW AS                                                                      Service was not held until the time of the First World War when Pastor
EVANGELISCHE FRIEDEN GEMEINDE &                                                       Hilligardt was compelled to have the first English service during 1917. His
PEACE EVANGELICAL & REFORMED CHURCH - 315-1ST St. N.W.,                               command of English was very limited, and this has been recorded as having
Waverly                                                                               presented a real problem for him.

           One Century ago fourteen men, interested in the advance of the
cause of righteousness, organized the ―Evangelische Frieden Giemeinde‖ on             REDEEMER LUTHERAN CHURCH
September 16, 1902. It was established as a mission of the German                     2001 W. Bremer Ave., WAVERLY
Evangelical Synod of North America to serve persons of German language
background moving into Waverly from the surrounding countryside. The                            Rejoices in Christ, Renews Hope, Responds through Mission.
founding fathers were William Steege, Carl Juergens, Christian Eickemeier,                      The year is 1963. One by one, a small group of Christians arrived at
August Dietrich, Albert Lindner, William Lindner, William Sohle, Henry                the State Bank of Waverly that evening. The mood
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

 was one of camaraderie and anticipation. The basement of the bank was just          ―Remembering the past, rejoicing in the present, And renewing for the future
the right size for this gathering. This was the beginning of many wonderful          and a world in harmony. Reclaiming our desire, restoring our compassion,
things to come, mainly that of the establishment of a new ALC (now known             And responding to the mission of the One who sets us free‖
ELCA) church in Waverly. The plans made that evening by those committed                       Join Redeemer Lutheran Church in celebrating our faith at 2001 W
people set the path toward their objective…Serving Christ, Serving                   Bremer Avenue, Waverly, Ia. 319+352-1325
           The first pastor was called, the church was named (Redeemer) and
groundbreaking for the structure began. Thousands of volunteer hours were            ST. ANDREW‘S EPISCOPAL CHURCH
spent with all sharing talents with which they had been blessed. Some did            717 W. Bremer Ave., WAVERLY
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                   St. Andrew‘s Episcopal Church, the oldest church in Waverly, had
such a sacred purpose. Others painted the cement block walls, coat after coat        services beginning in 1854. The congregation met in the original Waverly
being soaked up by the rough texture as the walls changed from gray to a soft        Court House, which was a covered frame building with an oak floor of green
cream color. Others laid flooring upon which would set gray, metal chairs            boards, which were not milled.
(this memory always brings a smile to the founder‘s faces, as there was no                     The first church was built on the corner of 1st Avenue and 2nd
way to keep those chairs quiet when moved!). One member added wooden                 Street N.W. It was a 24 x 24 foot brick building, which cost all of $2000.
racks to the backs of these chairs to hold the hymn books (30-some years                       After the original church was razed, the second church was built at
later, when the chairs were worn and retired, another member made bird               the same site in 1885. It was a much more elaborate structure seating 300
houses from this wood, thus savings the memories locked within). Some                people with native wood. The chancel featured hand carved walnut and there
served meals and refreshments to those laboring so diligently. Working late          were glorious stained glass windows.
into nighttime, Saturdays from sun up to sunset, the building took shape.                      In 1917 a guildhall joined the church on an adjoining lot. It was the
Conversation was ongoing as the work continued. ―Anyone have A Band-                 social center for the congregation as well as the city. Clubs, dances and even
Aid?‖ ―I‘m ready for a cup of coffee‖, ―Somebody help me up!‖ ―Who                   school classrooms were held there.
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.
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 Pre-
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:

 Several times schools were over crowded. The stained glass windows were          like it was out in the country. The building was completed and dedicated in
removed and plain glass installed to give the students adequate light. This       1969 under the leadership of Rev. Leon Hodges. Through the years the town
structure was torn down during World War II since it was hard to heat and         has continued to grow, until now, no one would ever consider it ―out in the
needed repair.                                                                    country‖. In 1995 an Educational Unit was added to the south side of the
           From 1871 to 1881 and from 1947 to 1961 St. Andrew‘s was known         building, along with a Schumacher Elevator. The building is now completely
for elaborate bazaars given by the Ladies Guild. Amazing profits for the          handicapped accessible, and a large Adult Bible Class meets in the basement
times went for needed church projects.                                            Fellowship Hall every Sunday. In 1999 the building was completely air-
           A tragic fire destroyed the second church on a bitterly cold, windy    conditioned.
night on March 14, 1957. Faulty wiring was the cause. The following Sunday                   The current pastor, Rev. Don Illian, has been our pastor since
the congregation decided to build and later brought a site at 717 West Bremer     October of 1983. A Contemporary Worship Service is held the first Sunday of
Avenue. A modern flying buttress red brick building with white trim was           every month, and Holy Communion is offered on the second and fourth
completed with the first service held on Easter Sunday, April 6, 1958.            Sundays of each month. Sunday School and Bible Classes are at 9:00 a.m.
           Memories abound in the centennial publication ―Remembrance and         and the worship service is at 10:00 a.m. During Advent and Lent Midweek
Renewal‖ enjoyed by readers who learned in detail about past activities           Services are held at 7:30 p.m., preceded by light lunches served by the Youth
during 149 busy years.                                                            Group. Midweek Classes are held from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. every Wednesday
                                                                                  during the school term.

MISSOURI SYNOD                                                                    ST. JOHN‘S LUTHERAN
641 Lincoln Street, Denver                                                        SPRING FOUNTAIN
           St. John Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod, Denver, dates back to        1490 Tahoe Avenue, Sumner
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
           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.

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       incorporated in the school for a number of years, with Pastor Adix serving as
responded to the fire call managed to save the altar and down stairs pews.         postmaster.
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.

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
           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

                                                                                    among members during the ministry of Rev. Hunzicker. Some members left
            In 1900, Buck Creek congregation celebrated its 25th anniversary,       and joined other congregations. Rev. Hunzizcker resigned and a new
and also purchased and installed a pipe organ for the sum of $800. The organ        beginning was made under the leadership of Rev. Paul Bredow of Maxfield,
still serves the congregation today, although it has been rebuilt and improved      who led the congregation to join the former Iowa Synod. A more peaceful
a number of times since.                                                            and active church life now began.
            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
            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.

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

                                                                                    congregation. A 1915 notation shows an enrollment of 40 students in the
           In 1881, a new church was built, and a parsonage was built years         parochial school.
later in 1907. Through the years, many improvements and additions were                         During World War II more and more pressure was put on people of
made on the church and parsonage.                                                   German descent to give up their customary dialects and German language
           Due to the stormy beginning and geographical location hemmed in          services. For a time both German and English services were conducted; but,
from all sides and surrounded by much stronger congregations, St. John              by the end of 1917, it became mandatory that all services be conducted in the
Lutheran was unable to gain many members. Yet this small rural                      American language. Thus the first English confirmation service was held in
congregation has kept pace with many large and progressive congregations.           1918.
           The 1980‘s brought changes to St. John. By a vote of the                            The congregation voted in 1937 to relocate to the town of Frederika.
congregation, St. John joined the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America in         Several lots for the new church were donated by Mr. John Wendt Sr. and Mr.
1987 and in 1989, it was decided by a vote to have a shared ministry with           Fred Rewoldt Jr. A church building was purchased from the disbanded
Grace Lutheran Church, Tripoli.                                                     Evangelical and Reformed congregation in Leroy Township. This building
           A milestone was reached in 1991 when the St. John congregation           was moved to Frederika. Funds to move and refurbish the church were
celebrated their 125th anniversary. During their long history, this small           donated by local citizens of Frederika and surrounding vicinity. The Lutheran
country church produced two of their sons into the ministry, the Rev. Paul G.       Church in Frederika was dedicated on November 21, 1937. The congregation
Fuchs and Rev. Dennis Buchholz, TH.D.                                               voted in January of 1938, to move the church building from the rural
           Rev. Miles Renaas is the current pastor. St. John‘s present              Williamstown site and place it as
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.

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        congregation until the congregation closed the school in the late 1920‘s. The
and in December of 1938, Claude Carroll moved the church to Frederika at a          building now houses the memories of the congregation, having been
cost of $150.00. The woodshed and schoolhouse at the Williamstown site              refurbished by the Luther League in 1976 to serve as the congregational
were sold. The congregation retained title to the property which is still used as   museum.
the congregational cemetery.                                                                   The care for people - both clergy and lay - is evident in the move to
           The congregation elected in 1965 to remodel the church entrance.         establish insurance companies for the benefit of the area. CUNA, formerly
Almost everyone in the congregation assisted the committee as they called for       Lutheran Mutual Insurance, was first established at a meeting at Maxfield, as
volunteers to dismantle the steeple, paint the church, and landscape the            a means of support for clergy families in crisis. First Maxfield Insurance of
grounds. The women too, scrubbed and varnished and did all manner of work           Denver was also established by members of the congregation.
that our 75th Anniversary services and all future services may be held in a                    In 1963, the congregation faced its greatest challenge to date. The
place of beauty and inspiration.                                                    large, brick edifice that towered over the countryside, was struck by lightning
           A seven-member committee was elected on January 18, 1976, to             and burned to the ground. Should the congregation rebuild? Could the
look into the possibility of permanent housing. The congregation voted on           congregation rebuild? After much prayer and conversation, the congregation
March 6, 1977, on plans for the new parsonage and the project was underway          built a new sanctuary near the site of the previous structure. There were years
with a full head of steam. Rev. Percy Kvitne and wife, Mary, moved into the         of struggle, as the congregation sought to find a voice for mission.
new parsonage in 1978.                                                                         Then, in the early 1990‘s, St. John Maxfield Lutheran found a
           A decision was made at the January 16, 1983, annual meeting of St.       calling. Families were moving into the Denver community and were seeking a
John Lutheran Church to appoint a committee to investigate the possibility of       place to connect with the community. The congregation deliberately
doing some major renovation to the church basement. The church had                  designed a program that would treasure children, and that would foster a
struggled with water problems for many years. After several votes extended          sense of belonging.
over a period of time, the congregation of St. John voted on April 8, 1984, to                 Now as the congregation begins to prepare for sesquicentennial
lower the entire church so that it was all on ground level and to build an          celebrations in 2006, the members of St. John look forward to sustaining the
annex that would be attached to the south side of the church. A                     legacy of the Christian caring that reaches back beyond the mission efforts of
groundbreaking ceremony was held on July 15, 1984, for the new addition.            Loehe and Neuendettelsau, Bavaria to the life, ministry, and mercy of Jesus
After much support (time, talents and financial) the remodeled church               Christ.
building and new annex was Dedicated to the work of our Lord on June 9,
           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.

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

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
           The pastors are John H. Sorenson and Deborah Patricka.

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 full-
time 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
           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

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
           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

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.

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
            Our motto is ―We stand by the road to be a friend to all.‖

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 fast-
growing 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                      God‘s protection has been evident through the years as two fires
women‘s group, Mary Martha Circle, formed in 1967. The two women‘s                  have threatened the building. In the 1930‘s a barn fire across the road made so
groups join together for larger church events such as dinners and funerals.         much heat it caused the church bell to ring. The night sky was so bright that
           Information gathered by Berniece Schumacher by interviewing:             the ducks and geese at a farm a
           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
           Anneta Jaschen (Member since 1925)
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.

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
           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        women. Dart-ball, cards and other games have been played as entertainment
Denver‘s new pumper fire truck was able to spray water to the peak of the         following the meeting.
roof and saved the church. In 1989 a passing trucker discovered a fire in the               Picnics, mission festivals, pancake, spaghetti, chili and oyster and
neon cross on the front of the church. Somehow he managed to get on the           soup suppers and potluck dinners have all been popular. Food and fellowship
entry roof to spray water with a garden hose. A state trooper with a fire         just seem to go together. So much so that at the end of one voter‘s meeting,
extinguisher climbed the bell rope to fight it from the attic until the fire      instead of beginning the Lord‘s prayer, the chairman began, ―Come Lord
department arrived. Damage was minor.                                             Jesus, be our guest‖, the common table prayer.
            A Christian day school was maintained at the site from 1871 to                  God has truly blessed St. Paul‘s congregation with many dedicated
1963. Memorization of Bible passages and hymns were stressed every day            pastors to preach and teach His Word and with many hardworking faithful
along with the basics of arithmetic, writing and reading. The first teachers      members. The opportunity to offer worship and praise and study God‘s word
were the pastors and they were strict taskmasters! Disobeying could mean a        remains for adults and children today. Jesus Christ is and has always been
spanking or a strike on the hands with a paddle. A later punishment for           foremost in the lives of His people at St. Paul‘s. The theme of the
whispering was to write the multiplication tables many times.                     congregation‘s 125th Anniversary ―Grace for Generations‖ is truly
            School wasn‘t all work - there was time for play too. Some hurried    appropriate. ―For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this
to be first to school so they could bat first. The softball diamond was located   not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.‖ Ephesians 2:8
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              ST. PAUL‘S LUTHERAN CHURCH
swings; if you were late, you might get to ―pump up‖ with a friend. The           212 2ND Avenue NW, WAVERLY
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               St. Paul‘s Lutheran Church was organized on May 9, 1872. The first
the swings after services today.                                                  resident pastor was M. Gerlsch installed on August 25, 1872. Eight heads of
            Winter brought snowball fights, a game of fox and goose in freshly    families who signed the constitution as charter members were Carl Bodecker,
fallen snow and sledding or sliding down roof-high snow banks. Snow banks         August Friedemann, John
were great for games of ―king of the hill‖ too and making snow angels was
  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
            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 multi-
generational 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

 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.

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

 (Fagenbaum) Wilson is teaching second grade at the Immanual Lutheran                           In September of 2002 we celebrated one hundred forty years
School in Kahului, Hawaii. Shirley (Stahlhut) Buschena is retired from               together. In honor of the occasion, our pastor, Vicki Kessler, wrote this poem.
teaching. From 1982-1990, Ken and Joyce Poock served in Liberia, West                It honors the past and names the hopes for our future.
Africa as support personnel for Lutheran Bible Translators.
           Every summer the two congregations offer a combined Vacation              MILESTONES
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               Germans in the country, immigrants far from home,
combined. St. Paul‘s church conducts and supports its own Sunday School,             Set their sights together on rich and fertile loam.
adult Bible class, and Ladies‘ Aid. The church has 230 members.                      A place for God and family, in their language, ―kirch‖,
           Pastor Volkert and his family have served St. Paul‘s faithfully since     Making a time for Sabbath, pausing from their work.
1989. May God continue to bless the church through his ministry.
                                                                                     Timbers for a building in the year eighteen sixty two,
                                                                                     Looking out over prairie grass, it‘s really quite a view.
ST. PAUL UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST                                                     Satisfied members meet and pray; pastors come and go,
300 Washington Street, Denver                                                        The country church in Maxfield continues to thrive and grow.

            In the early days of Bremer County, a group of German immigrants         A second church is needed to accommodate the flock;
banded together to form a church. Names of founding members are familiar,            A parson‘s home is added to the same one acre block.
as many of their descendants still live, work and worship in this area. Charter      Six months it took to build the place, with tower to the side,
members listed in the records include: Bruns, Borchert, Clausing, Fink,              Dimensions are much larger now, fifty by thirty-two wide.
Kasemeier, Ohlendorf, Heine, Stumme, Koehler, Mohling, Seegers, Poock,
Steege, Tegtmeier, Wittenburg, Milius, Wilkening, Rohlwing, Severin and              In the decade of 1880, they add five acres of land,
Kaben. The first church was built on land given by John Mohling.                     Turn twenty-five and party; hatch a daring plan.
            The first fifteen years in the life of the church saw pastors come and   ―To the town of Denver!‖ they shouted; at first just a few.
go, yet the young congregation grew and became stronger. In 1877 the                 Persistent, persuasive voices convinced others of this view.
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,          They hooked up mules and horses, to harness their great strength.
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

                                                                                  Theodore Krueger, Trustees; Carl G. Pries, Secretary; William Oestmann,
They pulled the building across the land; a nine month journey length.            Treasurer, and Herman C. Eick, Financial Secretary.
The water had come up high in spring with no way for them to pass,                          Two acres of land were purchased for the church. In the spring of
Till in the fall the frozen ground let them reach Denver at last.                 1916 the foundation was laid. The church was completed in October. A
                                                                                  parsonage was built the same year.
In the 1900‘s work was done through the ministry of all;                                    On Sunday, March 19, 1950, a Reuter pipe organ was dedicated in
Mission Society and Women‘s Guild faithfully answered the call.                   the memory of three men of the congregation who had given their lives for
The Brotherhood and Sunday School, all of them did their part.                    their country during World War II. They were: Lt. Edwin Pries, Sgt. Emil
This was surely a congregation of strong hands and willing hearts.                Wente, and Pfc. Milton Schaefer.
                                                                                            When the church was no longer able to remain open, it was
They saw a need to welcome in their neighbors and their friends.                  purchased and renamed the Candyland Chapel. It was used for weddings,
By the middle 1930‘s ―German language only‖ would end.                            receptions and gatherings.
In ‘37 another change brought the women voting rights.
All this happened peacefully, without protracted fights.
                                                                                  UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
Like growing churches on the move, always change in store;                        209 2ND Avenue, Frederika
By 1960 another new church was built right next door.                             The Early Heritage 1852-1924
In the decades swiftly following, time‘s unfolding hand                           Pastors W.A. Gibbens & C.M Crowell
Brought improvements everywhere - to church, people and land.                     Frederika Methodist Church

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.

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
           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 39-
pint 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.

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

                                                                                  from an overheated furnace. Since the town had no public water supply very
           This appointment was known as Lime Rock and was so                     little could be done to save the church. A bucket brigade did manage to save
incorporated and so recorded. It was a school house appointment (McDonald         the parsonage and plans were immediately underway to rebuild.
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                 UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
gracious Revival of Religion - 1975.                                              4TH & Sycamore St., Janesville
           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                  On the banks of the Cedar River in the Big Woods, the First
money to purchase the hall, but Pastor Robinson, he went along. The dance         Methodist Episcopal Church of Janesville began in the years 1850 and 1851.
hall had two stories and Rev. Robinson lived in the lower story. Much of the      In 1939 the name changed to Methodist Church and in 1968 the name
back under the interior of the hall was taken out and constructed into the main   changed to United Methodist Church when the United Brethren and
part of the present parsonage. There was a lumber lien on the dance hall of       Methodist churches merged.
$800 and a mortgage of $300. The mortgage was foreclosed by Mr. Curtis.                      The first church services were held in the homes of the faithful and
The Lime Rock trustees held the property. Under Pastor Hiram Bailey was           later on alternating Sundays in the schoolhouse.
organized the Frederika Board of Trustees. The claims of the property were all               The first Quarterly Conference was held on December 18, 1852 at
met. The father of Rev W.W. Smith gave a quitclaim deed of the church. Mr.        the home of William M. Payne. It was called the Big Woods Mission and the
Curtis had held the mortgage of the church, but granted Rev. Bailey               presiding elder was the Rev. A. Young. He appointed Solomon W. Ingham, a
permission to take out the lumber partitions without following it by his          local deacon, to be preacher in charge for the ensuing quarter.
mortgage claim. There were three carpenters then on the charge - Michener,                   In 1855 the trustees reported that a deed had been secured for lots
Mowatt, and unknown. Much labor was donated by unemployed men.                    3&4 in Janesville. These lots had been donated to the Methodist society by
           Bailey preached in the schoolhouse. His family was sick much of        John T. Barrick, the founder of the town of Janesville.
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

                                                                                 Christian education. At the beginning, there were about ten boys, but during
           A meeting was held in 1864 for the purpose of arranging to build a    the next five years it grew to 16 to 18 members. They often had friends from
church home. The building was commenced in April of that year and was            other churches join them as the group always had a good time.
completed in February of 1866. Before the structure was completed it was                    Mr. Hatch wanted the Live Wires to work on projects that would
used as a banquet hall to welcome home the Civil War Veterans. A rough           help beautify the church and inspire a more meaningful Christian fellowship.
floor had to be laid and benches and tables built for the occasion. The JUMC     The first project was the purchase of the beautiful painting in the sanctuary of
has a long history of opening its doors to the community.                        ―Christ in Gethsemane.‖ The fireplace was the second project.
           For thirty-six years the building completed in 1866 served as the                For the next 3 or 4 years, the group started collecting unusual rocks
church home for the Methodists. By then the church membership numbered           and piled them outside the church. They had six farm boys in their group so
180 with a similar Sunday School enrollment and the congregation felt the        they could collect rocks from their farm fields. They also put out notices to
need for a larger more modern edifice. For that reason, plans were made,         people in the church and community
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.

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.                        Hands that held the Bible in boy‘s class in Sunday School. Rough,
Included in the fireplace are rocks from many different states including            cracked fingers that held the pencil with which he underlined both in his worn
mineral from a mine, meteorite, petrified wood, tomahawk, quartz and shale.         Bible and in the hearts of his class such passages as ―God is Love‖ and ―God
One couple brought back coral from their Hawaiian vacation, and they                loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever
weren‘t even members of the church.                                                 believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.‖
             The Live Wires also started raising money for the project by having               God fearing, beautiful hands!
breakfasts, chicken dinners, and whatever else they could do as a group to                     Hands that grew rougher as he picked up stones and rocks. Fingers
raise money. The leaders of the church were not involved with the project and       were scratched and often torn as he cleaned and studied the rock structure to
the fund raising. All the work was done by Mr. Hatch and the Live Wires.            determine if they were suitable for God‘s house. Hands, now older, more
             After 3 or 4 years of collecting rocks, the group decided they had     cracked and a bit slower, loaded with a great pile of the stony ―treasure‖ in the
enough money raised and needed to start the fireplace as many of the group          wagon and hauled
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
             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.

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.

 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
           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!

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
           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,
           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

                                                                                                Land was purchased for a cemetery one half mile west of Readlyn.
 cross with redwood siding to cover the cement blocks in 1985.                       The first lots were sold on May 30, 1917, for $15.00 with each lot having 6
           Recently the kitchen was again remodeled with oak cabinets and            burial spaces. The first burial was on December 2, 1918. A 1,400-pound bell
new lighting. The church has stained glass windows and a new enclosed                and a pipe organ were purchased for the new church. An electric motor was
entry.                                                                               installed on the organ in 1919.
           What began as a congregation of the Methodist Episcopal Church                       The congregation began as an all-German congregation. English
in 1869 became the Methodist Church in 1939 and in 1968 when the                     services were begun in 1918 and were held once every four weeks on Sunday
Evangelical United Brethren and the Methodist Church united, it became               evening. In 1923 it was increased to two services per month. In 1926 the
known as the United Methodist Church.                                                evening services were discontinued. English services were then changed to
           Pastors who have served: Robert Davies 1944-50; Robert Moss               the last Sunday of the month, with an English service at 10 a.m. and a
1950-52; Wm. Lane 1952-53; Herbert Bryant 1953-57; Jack Speer 1957-60;               German service at 11 a.m. From time to time more English services were
George Youtzy 1960-62; Delbert Dawes 1962-65; Fred Brown 1965-66;                    added and in 1966 the German services were eliminated.
Wayne Kamm 1966-72; James Pittman 1972-75; Russ Eldridge 1975-80; Ken                           In 1927 the parsonage was enlarged by adding a kitchen, two
Suetterlin 1980-84; Karen E. H. Merrill 1984-92; Nina Pulatie 1992-95; Jim           bedrooms upstairs and a basement.
Davis 1995-01; Douglas Tharpe 2001-the present.                                                 Pastor Kumpf preached his farewell sermon on April 7, 1929, and a
           The Plainfield United Methodist Church is open, alive and alert to        call was extended to and accepted by pastor Harry Schultz.
the needs of the community and the world around…both spiritual and
           Through the years it has been a three-point charge with Nashua and
Republic, then in 1995 became a church by itself.

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.

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.

                                                                                  anniversary of Zion was observed. A morning worship service was held, a
            Annual reports and an offering envelope system were introduced to     catered dinner and an afternoon anniversary program were held.
the church in 1930.                                                                           On May 9, 1993 members voted to approve the handicap access
            Pastor Schultz served Zion until the fall of 1932. The congregation   project to include an addition to the front of the church to include an elevator.
then extended a call to and was accepted by Pastor Ernst Arhelger. He served      A handicap ramp on the street and sidewalks has been completed.
the congregation until September of 1939. Pastor A.H. Landgrebe accepted                      Major improvements to the parsonage were completed in 1996. In
the call of Zion to serve as Pastor and arrived in late November, 1939.           1998 a new roof was put on the church and a computer was purchased for the
            In June 14, 1942, Zion congregation celebrated the 25th anniversary   church office. Additional land was acquired for the cemetery and new fencing
of the church. The church basement was remodeled in 1945. In 1946 a new oil       was put around the new land and trees have been planted at the cemetery.
furnace as installed and in 1947 new kitchen cupboards, shelving and other                    The use of ―With One Voice‖ hymnals was begun in 1999. In 2001
equipment was installed.                                                          members were offered the ―Simply Giving‖ program whereby contributions
            In June, 1951, Pastor Landgrebe left Zion congregation. Pastor        could be made by electronic transfers from their banks to Zion. A new boiler
Elmer Jacobs was called to serve and was installed as the Pastor on October       was installed at the church in 2001 and currently in 2002 we have completed a
21, 1951.                                                                         new sign for our church along V-49 and are working on enlarging and
            In the summer of 1954 colored art glass windows were installed in     improving the garage.
the church.                                                                                   Material growth at Zion is very evident. Zion also grew over the
            Pastor Jacobs preached his farewell sermon on October 25, 1964.       years in numbers of members. From the beginning in 1917 with 38 charter
Professor Waldemar Gies of Wartburg College served as the interim pastor          members signing the constitution, we have now grown to a congregation of
until the summer of 1965. Pastor Paul Schaedig graduated from Wartburg            467 baptized members and 351 confirmed members. Worship services are
Seminary in May of 1965 and accepted the call of Zion and was installed on        held at 9 a.m. during the summer and from the first Sunday after Labor Day
July 4, 1965.                                                                     until the last Sunday in May we have Sunday School at 8:45 a.m. and worship
            In 1966 the members voted for a major addition and remodeling for     at 10 a.m. We have two ELCA women‘s groups, Luther League for our youth
the church building. The new annex consisted of an overflow area for              and a dart ball team for our men. Vacation Bible School is offered in the
worship, office space for the pastor, new restrooms, cry room, enclosed           summer. Members also participate in the choir at Zion.
entryways, new kitchen in the basement and an all purpose room and                            Members of Zion who have gone into the ministry of the church
classrooms. Our church property was also enlarged with the gift of twenty-six     include Dr. Paul Moeller who was ordained on June 17, 1928 and Pastor Karl
feet of land to the south of our church by Mr. And Mrs. C.H. Hagenow. The         Landgrebe who was ordained on September 10, 1944. Pastor Jeff Ungs was
enlarged church was dedicated in August of 1968 along with our 50th               ordained in May of 1999.
anniversary celebration.                                                                      With grateful hearts and God‘s guidance we have labored and
            In 1970 the congregation began using the individual communion         grown in the past 85 years. We look forward with confidence that God will
cup at communion services.                                                        continue to bless us as we grown stronger and larger in furthering His
            Pastor Schaedig left Zion on October 24, 1971, and in the spring of   Kingdom in the years ahead!
1972 Pastor B.E. Petrick was called and installed as the pastor on June 25,
            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

                                                                         Washington Township
                                                                                 51. City (Abandoned) – Sec. 35
                                                                                 52. Harlington – Sec. 2
                                                                                 53. Spencer-Martin (Abandoned) – Sec. 12 [no record]
                                                                                 54. St. Josephs – Sec. 1
CEMETERIES BY TOWNSHIPS                                                          55. St. Mary‘s – Sec. 2
Dayton Township                                                                  57. St. Paul‘s Lutheran – Sec. 1
          1. St. John‘s Buck Creek – Sec. 28
          2. St. Paul‘s United Church of Christ – Sec. 16                           There are two ―out of county‖ additions to the Bremer County
Douglas Township                                                         Cemeteries. The St. John‘s Lutheran Cemetery, Frederika, IA is located in
          3. Alcock – Sec. 14                                            Dresden Twp., Chickasaw County, IA. The Fairbank Cemetery, located in
          4. St. John‘s United Church of Christ (Pfieffer) – Sec. 35     Fairbank, IA, is a unique situation, in that the cemetery is located in both
          5. St. John‘s Western Douglas – Sec. 17                        Fayette and Buchanan Counties. However, because of the location, many
          6. St. Paul‘s Siegel – Sec. 35                                 Bremer County residents may be buried there. Fairbank cemetery is a city
Franklin Township                                                        owned cemetery.
          7. Grove Hill – Sec. 4                                                     Many of the Cemeteries are owned by churches and are used for
          8. St. Peter‘s Oran – Sec. 10                                  burial of the church members and their families. The churches are
Frederika Township                                                       responsible for the maintenance of the grounds and the fences. Other
          9. Faith United Church of Christ (St. Peters                   cemeteries are township cemeteries and it is the responsibility of the township
                     Evangelical – Sec. 33                               to maintain the grounds and fences. There are contracts for mowing the
          10. Walling, Fifield, Gillett (Abandoned) – Sec. 19            cemetery during the summer and contracts are let for opening and closing
Fremont Township                                                         graves. In 1887, a cemetery superintendent was interviewed about styles of
          11. Fremont Township – Sec. 15                                 graves. He indicated there were three, the plain grave, where no box is used
          12. Grace Lutheran – Sec. 10 &11                               and the coffin is covered up with earth, the box grave, in which a pine box
          13. St. John‘s Crane Creek – Sec. 31                           encloses the casket, and the brick grave. Of these the box grave is used in
Jackson Township                                                         about 65 per cent of the burials, the plain in 15 per cent and the brick in 30 per
          14. Jackson Township/Sewell – Sec. 21                          cent.
          15. Oakland – Sec. 35                                                     The Town Line Cemetery, which is listed as abandoned, has been
          16. West Point – Sec. 30                                       restored to its former condition as a prairie. It has been seeded with native
Jefferson Township                                                       grasses and wild flowers and is not mowed during the summer. It is burned
          17. Fairview – Sec. 25                                         off each spring. This decision was made to reflect the way the land looked
          18. Messenger – Sec. 25 [No record]                            when the original burials were made.
          19. St. Peter‘s Lutheran – Sec. 25                                        There are also cemeteries that have organized Cemetery
          20. Lafayette Township                                         Associations, in which the organization sets the lot fees, keeps the plat map of
          21. Andrews – Sec. 15                                          the cemetery up to date and may decorate graves on Memorial Day.
          22. Spring Lake – Sec. 17                                                  Wilson Grove Cemetery Association, Sumner, celebrated its one
          23. Leroy Township                                             hundredth anniversary in 1958. The minutes of the first meeting indicate the
          24. Mentor-Fay – Sec. 11                                       cemetery was originally one half acre, but was increased to a full acre later
          25. Mt. Olivet – Sec. 13                                       that same year. The names of those early members of the association read
          26. Pinhook/Leroy Township – Sec. 13                           like a page out of
          27. St. Paul‘s – Sec. 22                                       The Oakla Cemetery in Janesville, Iowa
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

 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
            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                                                                                       Settlers coming into the county in the late 1850‘s and 1860‘s were
RURAL SCHOOL                                                                       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
MAY FRANCIS                                                                        for schooling. From the beginning the many township districts supported
POLITICAL ACTIVIST AND COUNTRY                                                     one-room schools because the Iowa constitution had designated the township
SCHOOL CHAMPION                                                                    as the unit to support schools. The schools came into being when neighbors
By Bill Sherman                                                                    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
           Bremer County produced the first woman elected to statewide             levy, hiring a teacher, building a school as the years and more settlers
office in Iowa. May Francis began teaching in a one-room country school in         followed, and overseeing the responsibilities of the operation of the school
Bremer County in 1910 following her graduation from high school in Blue            and paying the expenses. An example was a meeting in Lafayette Township
Earth County, Minnesota. During the summers Francis continued her                  in 1869, when the directors levied a tax in the sum of $600.00 to build a
education by taking classes at Iowa State Teachers College. Very quickly           school. Additional taxes were levied the following years to complete the
Francis demonstrated her competency as a teacher and school administrator.         school and hire a teacher for $25.00 per month. Presently those neighbors
While serving as superintendent of the Denver Community Schools, Francis           were renting a room from a local resident for $3.00 a month for their school.
decided to apply for the position of Bremer County Superintendent of                          Twelve cords of good hard wood were bought at a price of $2.00 a
Schools in 1915. Following interviews with each of the county school board         cord in 1869 for that Lafayette Township school. Inflation was an issue then,
members, Francis received support from 25 of the 28 board members and              as wood went up to $2.50 a cord in 1870, and in 1871, the same district paid
became one of the first women to serve as a county superintendent.                 $5.00 a cord for wood. Pot-bellied heating stoves were used in the room for
           One of the main responsibilities of the county superintendent was       heat during the day, and the teacher had to light the fire each morning. Later
supervision of the one-room schools which totaled nearly 100 in Bremer             coal came into use, so the teacher could ―bank‖ the fire. It would still have
County. Francis worked hard to improve the country schools. She gained             some heat the following morning. The next heating system was the fuel oil
statewide recognition for these efforts and in 1919 State Superintendent of        burner which was a square furnace-type room heater, and could be turned to
Public Instruction, P.E. McClenahan, asked her to become the supervisor of         ―low‖ overnight to keep the building warm for morning. Oh, how nice not to
rural schools for the state of Iowa. During the two years she held that position   have to carry wood or coal into the schoolroom! Electricity was an unknown
Francis inspected approximately 1800 of the more than 10,000 one-room              in the rural areas, thereby exercising the use of a kerosene lantern or kerosene
schools operating in Iowa.                                                         lamp on the dark days or for the evening programs.
           Francis successfully lobbied the legislature to pass the standard                  As schoolhouses were built, the directors inherited the dubious
school program as a way of improving educational opportunities for students        distinction of having to clean the building before each new term and mowing
attending the country schools. She then wrote the implementing standards           the lawn with their horse-drawn sickle mower. Needless to say the wives were
that were used to evaluate country schools and determine which schools             brought into this cleaning process.
would receive state aid to improve their program. Schools had to score 80                     The school terms were set up to accommodate the work schedules
points on a 100 point checklist. Those that did received $6 per student from       of the farming community, resulting in a fall, winter and a spring term. With
the state.                                                                         the terms thus set up, the boys would be home during the fall and spring
           In 1921 Francis shocked the educational establishment by                terms to help with the farm work. They could attend school during the winter
announcing she would be a candidate for state superintendent. Francis was          term. These young
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-to-
one 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
           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.

 people did not enter their rural neighborhood school assigned a grade, but          served a term of three years. This superintendent was to serve as the organ of
were assigned to readers. They passed from one reader to the next as their           communication between the Iowa superintendent of public instruction and
promotion. A young person who passed the fifth reader was considered to              the township independent schools.
have sufficient schooling, having also studied spelling, arithmetic and                        1921 salary for Superintendent, $1,774.98.
geography.                                                                                     1921 total budget was $3,087.75.
           By 1894, 109 rural schools had been established in Bremer County.                   1950 salary was $4,400.00 for County Superintendent.
Teacher tenure was short. Often times, a different teacher was hired for each                  1922 to 1929, Grace Beebe, later Mrs. Tofte, succeeded Mary
term. If a female teacher was hired, her job was terminated if she married.          Cretsmeyer as county superintendent with Rachel Smith as deputy.
There were many male teachers in the early history of rural schools. When                      Mildred Smith became superintendent in 1930, and served until the
possible, a man was hired for the winter term, the thought being that a man          demise of the rural schools in the 1950‘s. She is remembered as a stern
could better handle the older boys than could a young woman. One-room                superintendent who put the students on best
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 wind-
up 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 ―four-
buckle‖ 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

 behavior as she quietly entered the room unannounced. She would listen to a                    The honored students who were chosen to carry water each day
recitation, or have the children sing a song for her, and tell them to do their      from the closest neighbor, and the water cooler, which was a large round
best.                                                                                crock jug with a spigot. The drinking cup was a common tin cup with a
            Janesville school system was the first school in the county to           handle used by all the students.
consolidate and take a rural area into their school district, so students within                The outdoor plumbing – two small square buildings with two or
that system went into Janesville to school. Frederika consolidated in 1926           three different sized holes in the seat, so that students of all ages could be
after they built a new schoolhouse. Parents were responsible for getting their       accommodated. One student remembered the time a woodchuck looked up
children into town to the school. Many times students could stay with a              through one of the holes at her. SHE RAN.
Grandma and Grandpa who had retired from the farm to town. By 1927 the               Students listed: Eldor Niedert, Matinda Tegtmeier, Charles Peters. Larry
townships had named independent school districts within the township.                Bunger, Elsie Peters, Alma St____, Roy Stromer, Henry P. Raising, Amunda
About four sections of land comprised each district, thus developing a               Peters, Linda Peters. Edwin Peters. Louie Busching, M___ Behn (?), Louise
distance of approximately two miles between schools.                                 Tonne, Alfred Kass_____, kCharles Dettmering, E. M_______, L.
            At this time teachers were required to have a high school education,     Koschmeder, Teacher Emma Bunger.
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
            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.

                                                                                               Dayton Township: The first school building erected in Dayton township
           Morning exercises of pledge of allegiance and songs to be sung,                  also went in to commission as a place for religious services in the Buck Creek
sometimes accompanied by a record on the square desk-type or upright                        area. Elder Reardon, a Baptist clergyman, preached the first sermon and
victrola, which had to be wound up with a crank, and sometimes would wind                   baptized several persons in the school.
down before the song was over.
           Desks with ink wells, but we couldn‘t use ink until 8th grade – then                        Frederika Township: D.P. Walling taught the first school in the
with a pen that we dipped into that ink.                                                    township of Frederika, at his home on Section 19 during the winter of 1855-6.
           Carving on the desks.                                                            The first schoolhouse was built in the summer of 1858 on Section 19, and was
           Box socials and the worry of who will buy my box and be my                       placed in charge of Porter Bement, who taught a few pupils then in the
companion for lunch.                                                                        neighborhood.
           Autograph books in which the favorite writing was: roses are red,
violets are blue, sugar is sweet and so are you.                                                       Maxfield Township: St. John‘s congregation of the Lutheran
           Eighth grade exams that were taken in the county court house and                 church must be given credit for the inauguration of schools in Maxfield
the worry of whether we passed.                                                             township, for in the spring of 1857 they erected a building. The upper story
           Spelling bees for all county rural students.                                     was devoted to religious meetings, and during the weekdays the pastor taught
           Penmanship and the use of ovals and push-pulls to establish us as                the children of his congregation reading, writing, arithmetic. In 1865 a
students whose writing could be read.                                                       schoolhouse was erected on the southwest quarter of Section 17. Here both
           Reading time and the limited supply of books, so we read our                     English and German were taught. The building was moved in 1866 to the
favorites over and over. Tom Sawyer and Little Women always seemed to be                    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
TIDBITS                                                                                     and fiction.

          Warren Township, District No. 2, 1903: The work on the new                                  Sumner No. 3 at Buck Creek: On July 1, 1931, $900.00 was levied
schoolhouse in District No. 2 is progressing nicely and it is expected that it              for the ensuing school year.
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.                                                 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
WARREN TOWNSHIP – ONE MILE WEST OF BREMER,                                                  for $2.50 was paid. In 1916 H.F. Ihde‘s bid of $3.50 to clean the schoolhouse
SCHROEDERMEIER SCHOOL                                                                       was accepted.
           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               A scrapbook by Donald till in 1944 is reminiscent of the effect of
28 ft. A slate blackboard extends along the south wall. It is provided with                 World War II on students during that time. The book is now in the Bremer
single desks and is thoroughly equipped with maps, charts, globe, dictionary,               County Historical Museum, along with a 1931 drawing book entitled
a fine case for the library of 98 volumes and an organ. About 40 children                   ―Practical Drawing‖ used by Miss Wedemeier in Fremont No. 7.
attend this school during this year. The present teacher‘s salary is $45.00 per
month.                                                                                               Sumner Township: The first two schools in the rural Sumner area
                                                                                            were begun in 1871. One was known as the Rowe school located near
         Warren No. 8 enjoyed a winter enrollment of 26 students with an                    Wilson‘s Grove, just north of present-day Sumner. In 1873 the Rowe School
average daily attendance of 14 in 1883. May enrollment was 19.                              was moved away and another erected. The second school, known as the
                                                                                            Wescott School, was one mile south of Sumner. The two schools were
          Leroy in 1865: School was first taught in District No. 1 by Mrs.                  merged into the Sumner Independent School in 1876. The Methodists used
Perkins of Waverly. The attendance of eight scholars only lasted about two                  the Rowe schools for some years, and it was later sold to S. F. Cass.
weeks, as Mrs. Perkins, becoming homesick, gave up her ambition and
returned to Waverly.                                                                                  Teachers were required to use a daily register for attendance, lesson
                                                                                            plans and grades. THE REDLINE SERIES was the most commonly used for
            Polk: A frame schoolhouse was built at Horton in 1859. This was                 such recordings. Many of these county daily registers are now part of the
the first schoolhouse of that character located in the township.                            school display at the Bremer County Historical Museum.

          Fremont: The pioneer school of the township was taught by Miss                              Douglas No. 2 in 1933 had a daily schedule of hygiene, geography,
Juliet Wells in a log schoolhouse on Section 23, in the summer of 1858. There               civics, phonics, reading, arithmetic, history, language,
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     regular district school was taught by Dr. Loveland in a log schoolhouse on
the term register book. In that year of 1933 there were 7 visitors. Teacher           Section 35. It was the first building erected in the township. In 1914 the
tenure again was for only a few years as they terminated their job when they          school in Janesville was talking of consolidation. Janesville was the first
married or moved to another school.                                                   consolidated school in Bremer County.

           Washington Township, 1888: 1888 note in register: If school was                       Jefferson Township: The first school in the township was taught at
less than six months, students who wished a full year were sent to Waverly            the home of Aaron Dow on Section 25 in the winter of 1850. There were six
with tuition paid by the district.                                                    pupils in the school at the time. They were taught by Richard Miles.

          Lafayette No. 3, 1903: Known as the Bowers School, No. 3 had a                          From Sumner Gazette, Thursday, July 3, 1884 (county report): In
1903 Spring term enrollment of 10 students, fall term, 8 students, and winter,        our rounds this summer we have observed carefully the schoolhouse
15 students. In 1906 the fall term was 14 enrollments, the winter term went to        surroundings. Too often, we have found the condition of the privy a disgrace
17, and the spring term enrollment numbered 11.                                       to the neighborhood. We have also found the privy vault, which cost several
                                                                                      dollars, filled with firewood, fence boards, and stones, which cost several
           Remember When: In 1927 many Bremer county townships had                    dollars, too, perhaps. These are facts, and who is to blame? Who is delegated
named independent school districts within the township. About sour sections           to, and paid for, the looking after, and preventing if possible, such vandalism.
of land comprised each district. Names of School districts in Frederika                 The last of the five graded schools of Bremer County closed last week: also
Township were Central, Union, Old Tripoli and Rima. In Lafayette Township             many of the county schools. Directors and teachers are coming to realize the
school districts were Penn, Bowen, Spring Lake, Lincoln, Grove and Eveland.           July and August weather is too warm for school and that school taught during
Independent school districts in Polk Township included Jackson, Six Mile              those months is time and money thrown away.We are glad to say that many
Grove, Smith‘s Grove, Horton, Maple Grove and Terry. Sumner Township                  more schools will close this week.
hadBuck Creek, Ray, Pioneer, Excelsior and Wescott districts. In Warren
Township there were five independent districts: Liberty, Union, Laird‘s                          From the State Board of Education, 1884: There are no holidays
Grove, Trombo Grove and Crane Creek. Washington Township had: Lenn,                   during which teachers are exempt from teaching, unless excused by the board
Pleasant Valley, four Corners, and Grove Independent school districts. Many           of directors. A legal contract requires twenty days of actual service for a
other districts used numbers as names for their school districts.                     month.

          Polk No. 2: March 18, 1957: The last minutes of Polk No. 2 were                        Pioneer School District No. 4, Sumner Township: Fall report: At
recorded. Lorenz Brase had served as president of the district, and a budget of       end of first month so many quit to go to a German school, so it was necessary
$7,000.00 had been levied for that year.                                              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.
            Franklin Township: The first school was taught by the Widow               Kroblin.
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                       1884 County Board of Education Report: We like to see teachers
1856. A pioneer schoolhouse was built on the northwest quarter of Section 10          have an ambition to set up in the world, but we do not like to see them sit on
in the fall of 1857. It was constructed of logs. The benches and desks were           the table, stove or desks. It sets a bad example both for the pupils and the
made of inverted slabs, with wooden pegs or pins for support.                         Superintendent.
                                                                                                 The older and more experienced teachers are greatly needed in all
         Maple Grove School: A budget of $3,200.00 for 1945-46 was                    our normal institutes first, for their influence on younger teachers, secondly,
proposed and passed for the Maple Grove School. 1923 teacher Harold Briggs            for the freshness the reviews will impart to their own methods of instruction.
made a notation that the school year was now in 2 terms first beginning                          Where school boards are likely to have the question to determine of
August 23, then February 2.                                                           rehiring former teachers, it is their duty to visit the school and see for
                                                                                      themselves what kind of work the teachers
          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

 are doing. It is not justice either to the teacher or the district to be guided              Dominate, display, grammar, midland, squalid, tenant, italicize,
exclusively by what pupils say to the school and teacher. Still this is all that   mastiff, gorilla, shallop, wisteria, crystal, lanquid, importance, imitation,
many boards go by. They have no personal knowledge of the merits or                monster, ogre, necessity.
defects of their teachers. (by Superintendent Fitch)                               III.       Replace the underlined words in the following paragraph with
          Last week we saw two schoolhouses with last winter‘s banking-raw         antonyms—words having the opposite meanings:
horse manure- still surrounding them and extending up on to the clapboards,                   It was a cold, dreary day. The pale sunlight shining through the
rotting out the house and stinking out the school. It is strong surroundings,      trees on the snow covered ground below                  seemed to make the scene
however, for hot weather, but might entail a doctor‘s bill because of it‘s         even more desolate and cheerless. The children trudged gloomily to school
vigorous disease-bearing odor.                                                     silent and scowling at the prospect of such a long, unpleasant walk over the
          No person ought to attempt to teach who has not attended at least        ugly country roads. A tall girl with dark hair seemed especially sorrowful.
two annual sessions of the Institute (Normal Institute of Bremer County,           Her sober little face seemed always to be on the verge of tears as she plodded
Iowa, Waverly, August 11, 1884). To become a teacher means to undergo an           on, a few steps behind the others.
educational growth – not of the cottonwood style, but more like the oak.           IV.        Copy each selection placing the name of the author              after
          The teachers chief business is to make pupils think, not to think for    each one:
them; to make them talk, not to talk for them; to draw out their powers, not to    1.         Uncle Tom‘s Cabin
display your own.                                                                  2.         Snowbound
          If vexed with a left-handed child when instructing it, try to write      3.         Christmas Carol
with your left hand. Remember that child is all left-handed.                       4.         Treasure Island
          Our country schools are not yet ready for the taking on of               5.         Hiawatha
elocutionary accomplishments, but are sadly in need of better methods in           6.         The Bells
reading. Reading was the poorest taught study in the schools of Bremer             7.         Rip Van Winkle
County the past term.                                                              8.         Courtship of Miles Standish
          A person teaching in Iowa to be able to draw a fair map of the state     9.         Gettysburg Address
from memory, so likewise with Bremer County. Every school ought to be              10.        Ivanhoe
provided with a globe and every teacher ought to know how to use it.               The test continued with more questions.
          The enemy of the common schools – matrimony – not because a
married lady may not teach, but because she will not teach. Just as she            And from the tests given on February 7 and 8, 1935
becomes thoroughly competent, some bachelor picks her out as death does a          Hygiene               [Answer 10]
shining mark, and she dies – to the profession, and a green hand takes her         1.         List 5 rules or ways to prevent bad colds.
place.                                                                             2.         Tell about the proper care of the teeth.
          September 25, 1884. Franklin township voted at the last regular          Why is care of the teeth so necessary from a health point of view?
meeting to pay for next winter $30.00, $27.00 and $25.00 per month                 3.         [a] What safety rules should one observe when walking along the
according to grade of certification.                                               highway.
                                                                                   [b] How can the safety of bicycle riders on the highway        be best
State of Iowa                                                                      safeguarded?
Questions for Eighth Grade Examinations                                            4.         [a] What advantage is gained by using adjustable seats in
           Each year the 8th grade students could take the test to pass the        schoolhouses?
grade and to be accepted into high school.                                         [b] What good is a ―jacket‖ around the schoolroom stove?
1921                                                                               5.         Write a paragraph on the effects of alcoholic stimulants and
Geography           [Answer six not omitting Number One]                           narcotics on the human system.
1.         Draw a map of your county showing the townships.                        6.         What name is given to the cord which
2.         Explain how railroads have helped the people of Iowa                    [a] Joins one bone to another bone?
3.         Explain why Chicago has become the leading city of the middle           [b] Ties the muscles to the bones?
west.                                                                              7.         [a] What does sanitation mean as refers to health?
4.         Locate and tell what each of the following is: steppes, llanos,         [b] Why is the common house fly harmful to human health?
tundras, prairies.                                                                 8.         What organ of the body secretes each of the following: saliva, bile,
5.         What influence does the Gulf Stream have on the climate of              pancreatic juice, gastric juice, perspiration?
Ireland?                                                                           9.         What is the function or work done in the human body by each of
6.         Explain why the United States is largely a self-supporting nation.      the following: cerebrum, spinal cord, capillaries, eyelashes, finger nails?
7.         Where are the following cities: London, Paris, New York, Cairo,         Plus additional questions.
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

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

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.

 One day Reinhard Buhr, an older student, had to sit beside me for a                Vernon Zell, Daryl Kasemeier, Verla Seehase
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.

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.

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

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.

                                                                                               Each school had a school program centered around a holiday
                                                                                    theme. Douglas No. 1 had a Christmas program tradition. So there were
DOUGLAS NO. 1                                                                       songs, poems, verses, and plays memorized, practiced and acted out. Oh,
By Arvella Pipho                                                                    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,
           How education has changed! Just shortly before the rural school era      grandparents and friends. The problem of the night usually was finding
ended, I taught in Douglas No. 1, a one-room schoolhouse located just off           enough seating space for the guests.
Highway 63 before entering Chickasaw County. There were 21 students                            I know it is hard to believe but there was a scarcity of teachers
which were in 8 different grade levels. I believe 4 students in a class was the     during the end this era. Yes, education has certainly changed!! I‘ve changed
greatest number. The good families coming to this school while I taught there       with it as I returned to teaching after our family was in the teen years.
were Garbes, Haverkamps, Heffernans, Lahmanns, Neuendorfs, Rewoldts,
Schnursteins and Zekoffs.
           The school directors I believe were Darrell Neuendorf and Rueben         SCHOOL DAYS, RURAL SCHOOL DAYS
Schnurstein. I‘m not certain who taught there before me but do know that            By Arlene Rewoldt Moeller
Margaret Nagen followed me in this position.
           Teachers during this era were the principal, teacher and custodian.        ―School Days, Rural School Days, Dear Old Rural School Days, Readin‘
Miss Mildred Smith, the county superintendent, would stop occasionally to           and Writin‘ and ‗Rithmetic, Stokin‘ the furnace to make it click. Such were
evaluate what she saw. She always entered the building very quietly. I              my experiences in rural days, Wonderful, nostalgic school days.‖
remember once playing the piano as the children stood behind me singing. I            Teaching rural school in the late 1940‘s was an experience I‘ll cherish
heard another voice sounding like an adult and when I turned around there           forever. The teacher had not only the responsibility of educating her charges,
was Miss Smith!!                                                                    but also was the custodian stoking the fire, cleaning the classroom, the school
           In this schoolhouse there were windows only on the north side so         nurse, purchasing agent, also the school psychologist.
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
           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
           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.

                                                                                               The classroom was sparsely furnished. A freestanding book shelf
           After a brief stint at Iowa State Teacher‘s College in Cedar Falls, an   was in the back corner with very limited selections. Individual student desks
all day workshop in Waverly led by County School Superintendent Mildred             were facing the blackboard at the front of the room. I had only twelve
E. Smith, I was on my own. With a signed contract in my hand, I was given           students, so the room was not crowded. Pictures of Washington and Lincoln
the schoolroom keys. The responsibility was overwhelming I thought, and yet         hung on either side of the typical diagonally shaped classroom clock. ―Palmer
a challenge I totally felt up to. I had armfuls of books from which to study, to    Method‖ alphabet cards were posted above the blackboard. In addition, there
use my ingenuity to create artwork, language lessons, spelling lessons to tie       were the oil burner, the teacher‘s desk and a small arrangement of chairs for
the curriculum together to make it meaningful. There were no machines to            individual classes. There were tall narrow windows on each side of the room,
duplicate materials, but the good old carbon paper came in mighty handy.            which were necessary before electricity was available.
The blackboard also became a useful tool to disseminate daily lessons.                         The school grounds were as sparsely equipped as the classroom.
Children‘s parents bought the workbooks and textbooks that the students             The building site was about a half of an acre with homemade swings and a
used, along with pencils, crayons, scissors, and writing pens.                      teeter-totter for equipment. There were two outhouses set behind and away
           The daily routine was usually the same. Designated children              from the school.
(usually the older ones) went to a neighboring farmhouse to get the water to                   Even though the facilities were very meager by today‘s standards,
be used for the day prior to the start of school. The school bell atop the          learning was taking place. The curriculum emphasized the basic reading,
schoolhouse was rung, the children lined up and came into the cloakroom to          writing and arithmetic. The students learned at an early age that they were
hang up their coats, hats, or sweaters. The children went to their assigned         expected to work independently. Daily assignments for each grade level were
seats and desks and the day began with the flag salute and pledge of                written on the blackboard. They were to read the instructions and begin
allegiance was spoken in unison. Usually a song was sung before studies were        working. If a new unit or concept was assigned, I would meet with that grade
underway. Reading was the first class of the day, phonics for the kindergarten      for the explanation and discussion. This arrangement worked well for the
students. All of the subjects were taught, with health and science on Tuesday       upper grades, since they could concentrate for longer periods of time. My
and Thursday‘s only. Friday was a day for formal music, played on the               four kindergarten boys needed a variety of hands-on activities. It took a lot of
victrola. (I always had a piano, so used that.) Also arts and crafts day was        time to prepare meaningful seatwork for them. We used the lessons in
held on Friday, with the entire school working on similar projects. It was also     categorizing, sequencing and fine motor activities. High-speed copiers were
a day for recitation of appropriate poems learned by students on their level.       not even thought of in those days! We used a hectograph to make multiple
Each recess, I joined in the games. We did not have concrete to play any ball       copies. A special indelible pencil was used to write the text. This paper was
games, but did play games involving all the children. Of particular note on         then pressed, face down, on a jelly-like pad. The ink would then be absorbed
cold, frigid, winter mornings, the students and teacher huddled around the          into the jelly. The original paper would be removed, and a blank paper would
stove to get warm. We played games, such as telephone, spelling games on            be pressed on to pick up the ink from the jelly. This was done over and over
such occasions. There was no money allowed for special projects, those came         to make duplicates. The jelly would have to be cleaned with some special
from my meager salary. As I recall my salary was $1920.00 for the school            cleaner but I don‘t remember the details. This procedure made for wonderful
year. None-the-less, teaching those children was a wonderful, satisfying,           conversations in later years when my colleagues complained about the
experience for me. Knowing the parents of these children was also a plus.           blackline copier!
There never was a discipline problem, and the children were polite and                         In order to graduate from eighth grade, students had to pass
courteous. The Christmas season was celebrated by having a musical                  competency tests administered through the county. We spent a lot of time
performance, with Christmas music and carols sung by the students, also a           preparing for them. Both of my boys passed the tests on the first try so they
playlet for their parents. Even Santa Claus appeared to wish the students, their    could participate in the countywide graduation ceremony. They were so
parents and friends a Merry Christmas.                                              proud!

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
            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.

                                                                                    Haverkamp, Duane Haverkamp, Donna