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Elgin Echo Newspaper

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Elgin Echo

Elgin, Iowa

December 19, 1929

Front Page



Farm Bureau Activities; P. V. Quartette Wins

Record Crowd at Farm Bureau Annual Meeting


By actual count 325 people chanced icy roads, slippery hills and dangerous walks to attend the twelfth annual meeting of the Fayette county Farm Bureau at the American Legion Hall in Fayette, Monday, the 16th. This was the record meeting for all time, approximately 200 of those present being there for the picnic dinner at noon, which was under the direction of the Farm Bureau ladies of Westfield township.


G. E. Sauerbry of Jefferson township, was re-elected president, as were all the other officers, namely, P. O. Stewart, Harlan township, vice-president W. L. Peters, Illyria township, secretary, H. R. Young, Fairfield, treasurer, Mrs. W. H. Turner, Westfield, county Chairman Home Project work, Mrs. Will King, Fairfield, County secretary and publicity chairman home project work, Mrs. John G. King, Jefferson, county Girls’ Club Leader. County Girls’ Club committee, Mrs. Ray Rowland, Mrs. W. C. Hoeger, Mrs. Edwin Benz.

The male quartette contest far exceeded the expectation of everyone. There were six entries, each singing three numbers. Judges were Miss Clara Hoyt, Fayette, instructor in voice U.I.U., L.G. Meyer, West Union county Superintendent of schools, and G. B. Farrell, Oelwein, superintendent of public schools. First place in the contest was awarded to the quartette from Pleasant Valley township composed of John Larson, first tenor, Russell Larson, second tenor, Clarence Johnson, first bass, Clifford Kittleson, second bass, accompanist Gladys Larson. The other entries were: Banks, Hillis Noon, Alfred Leyh, L. A. Burrow, Matt Leyh, accompanist Mrs. Jason Noon; Pleasant Valley, Clarence Kohls, Karl Miller, George Durscher, Edwin Bauman, accompanist Hans Keiser; Illyria, W. L. Peters, Reynold Strong, Otis Rothlisberger, Fred Rothlisberger, accompanist, Harold [fold, black]. . .Reuben Blake, Ben Meyer, Joe Miller, accompanist, Mrs. John King; Banks, W. A. Notbohm, Fred Messerer, Pete Messerer, R. O. Dietel, accompanist Mrs. Fred Messerer.


The winning quartette will represent Fayette county in the statewide rural quartette contest to be conducted during the annual meeting of the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation meeting January 14, 15, and 16.


Earl Elijah of Clarence, Iowa, speaker of the day, emphasized the need for a sympathetic attitude toward the Federal Farm Bureau and urged the support through membership of general farm, organization and cooperation. He stressed the need for revision in our taxing laws, stating that the laws now governing the collection of taxes in the state are past 70 years of age and are wholly unfair to the property owner. Forty per cent of the population of Iowa are farmers according to Mr. Elijah and they pay seventy per cent of the taxes on thirteen to eighteen per cent of the state income. Of the $103,000,000.00 total tax levy in the state, $100,000,000.00 is collected on real estate while the other $3,000,000.00 is collected on money and credits while the total value of each is approximately the same and this in Mr. Elijah’s opinion is an unfair burden on the Iowa property owners and emphasize the antiquated taxing system being used in the state.


The meeting closed with all the quartettes forming a chorus and singing, “The Blind Ploughman,” and with a special request number by the winning quartette from Pleasant Valley.


Lyrics via 

Set my hands upon the plough, my feet upon the sod:

Turn my face towards the east, and praise be to God!

Ev'ry year the rains do fall, the seeds they stir and spring;

Ev'ry year the spreading trees shelter birds that sing.


From the shelter of your heart, brother drive out sin.

Let the little birds of faith come and nest therein

God has made His sun to shine on both you and me;

God, who took away my eyes, that my soul might see.


Nelson Eddy version: Much less dramatic than the original cover by the Russian he mentions, also on youtube:



~ transcribed and contributed by Crystal A. Bingham <>

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