KEOTA CENTENNIAL HISTORY
                             1873 - 1973

A glimpse into the past...

December 2, 1915. Henry Ford's car has been the laughing stock of the nation and if Mr. Ford keeps up his present gait he will be the same, the only difference is that the latter will be real.

May 18, 1916. The Chevrolet car is to have an agent in Keota. We have scads of cars for sale here — Ford, Cadillac, Velie, Hupmobile, Buick, Dodge and Overland. The Chevrolet car is little known here.

July 27, 1916. The Waterloo-Keokuk short line which goes through Keota and other north and south towns will have a meeting at Belle Plaine July 28 and wants a representa-ments to paint the poles. We'd rather have the road first and then paint the poles if any money is left. The Great White Way is the best marked road we know of — in fact, that's about all there is to it — the painted poles.

November 8, 1917. Keith Hotchkiss has been in business here just two months and he tells us in that time he has sold and devliered 24 Fords. He has no complaint on business here. A touring car sells for $360.00, a run-about $340.00, F. O. B. Detroit — 3% War Tax.

July 3, 1919. After January l, 1920, owners of vehicles will pay according to original cost plus 40¢ for each 100 pounds, thus license fee for Ford will be $6, one per cent of cost, plus $6.00 for weight making $12.00. For Cadillacs, $33.00 plus $10.40, a total of $49.40.

February 5, 1921. THE PERSHING WAY. Sec. D. D. Crone of the local Pershing Way Association informs us that headquarters has accepted the work of the local officers and sent in full number alloted to this territory. The Pershing Way is a national highway from Winnipeg to New Orleans, 2000 miles in length. Keota is located at junction with this and the Great White Way. The Pershing Way goes past the west edge of our town, south through Talleyrand, Fairfield and Keosauqua.

June 30, 1921. SPEED. New motor vehicle law goes into effect July lst that requires drivers in no event shall drive at a greater speed than 30 miles an hour, if weight of vehicle and load is less than 3 ton and vehicle is equipped with pneumatic tires, 25 miles per hour if vehicle has solid rubber tires.

July 12, 1923. Automobile traffic on Saturday nights in Keota has reached the point where it needs attention and study. Between 350 and 400 cars were in Keota Saturday night, most of them on three main blocks of Broadway and intersecting streets. In many places cars were parked two deep on both sides of the street.

July 16, 1931. All auto drivers must be licensed by January 1, 1932, under new state law. If he owns a car, he will not need to pay a fee for a license. The person who drives rented cars or those of friends or members of family must pay 50¢. Chauffers must pay $2.00.

Road Improvement
Road lmprovement near Keota. E. E. Neal's
1906 or 1907 two cylinder Buick in
background. Claude Holmes in picture.
Builds Grader From Castoffs
Grader
Keota, la.—Claude Holmes, has a grading machine all of
his own, made from old Chevrolet parts and cast off of
other makes. Mr. Holmes made the device early in the
spring to help him grade an alley near his garage
and has since turned to similar work near
other business houses in Keota. 1940.

 

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Conrad & Sons ad

Farmers Hybrid

 

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KEOTAS MOVING PICTURE SHOWS

June 11, 1908. The Unique Moving Picture Company will open Saturday evening at 7:30 in the Ramsey building on West Broadway. An entire change of program will be given on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday nights. We run three and four entertainments every evening. Admission is 10¢ for adults, 5¢ for children. on Friday night, June 19, a vote will be taken on the most beautiiul young lady for a solid gold ring, guaranteed by Erdice. Every 10¢ ticket means a vote.

January 28, 1909. C. Ververs bought J. S. Stoutner building on W. Broadway Monday for $1,800 and immediately rented it to S. E. Reisman for a picture show.

The moving picture show opened April 29th. The pictures are clean and embrace both tragedy and comedy.

July 8, 1909. The Peoples' Theater has an electric fan. On hot nights from this the patrons may expect a breeze.

August 25, 1910. Charles and W. R. Hiller of Oskaloosa bought the Peoples' Theater of S.E. Reisman and expect to open September 5. The boys are musicians and are now fulfilling an engagement with one of the big bands at Iowa State Fair. The building is being removeled [sic]. The Hillers have some excellent music for opening night. They will run clean pictures, an entertainment for ladies and children. Admission is 10¢. Clara Pulver accompanies Lou Hiller on the saxophone and the music alone is worth going to hear.

September 19, 1912. Miss Clara Pulver manages the Keota picture show. There are three reels now, and subject matter seems more up to date.

July 24, 1913. B. C. Tracy and F. O. Bridwell of Brighton have bought the local picture show of Hiller Brothers. The show will be closed for a couple of weeks until some repairs and remodeling are done. They will remodel the lobby and put in opera chairs and it will be known as the "Princess Theatre." Mr. Keller of Brighton will take charge. The theater opened August 19. Pulvers played.

December 11, 1913. The talking pictures were given a tryout at the local picture show Tuesday evening and were not so bad, we are told. Of course they will get them perfected after a while and they will be more staisfactory [sic]. The crowd was large and good natured.

January 22, 1914. Max Keller ran his picture machine with a motor Monday night for the first time and they must be a scarce article for he had to send clear to San Francisco for it. No more turning them out with a crank.

July 1, 1915. Mr. C. Verwers who owns the building where the Princess Theater is located will build an addition of 25 feet to the rear of the room. Front will be torn out and open lobby as well as other improvements made. The curtain will be 25 feet further away and a dozen vintilating fans will be added and a Simplex moving picture machine. When work is finished, the Princess will be among the most modern in this part of the country.

September 16, 1915. Princess Theater opened September 15, after having been closed for extensive remodeling. Twenty-five feet has been added to it, a new and modern open lobby, new seats have been added, a steel ceiling put on and new paint and paper is in evidence. There are 45 new electric lights, 14 motors, 12 fans and the room seats 250 people. A transformer was put in for Mr. Bidwell's exclusive use. There are wide front and rear exits and fire extinguishers in several parts of the room. It is a pleasure to visit the new Princess Theater.

"The Perils of Pauline" which has 42 reels will show four reels each night (omitting Saturday) until finished. Miss Pearl White is the actress and admission is 5¢ and 10¢.

May 1, 1930. It is with deep regret we announce the passing of a tried and true friend of the people of Keota —Men, Women and Children. You have all seen him, some more often than others, during his many years of useful and pleasure-giving activity in your midst. He passed away in The Princess Theatre, April 7, and was known to all of you as "The Silent Motion Picture." His demise is due to the march of progress in motion picture world. His work will be carried on by his youthful but remarkably developed offspring, "The Talking Picture," at The Princess Theatre, and he has in store for you a fun and variety of entertainment heretofore unheard of.

PRINCESS THEATRE

The Princess Theatre will open Tuesday night, May 6, with first class talkie equipment. Feature will be, "Happy Days" starring Janet Gaynor, Will Rogers, Warner Baxter and 97 other celebrities of movie world. The apparatus is sound-on-film type and it is impossible for the sound to get out of time with the pictures. It was necessary to hang acoustical padding and a new fireproof booth was added. Also a new sound screen. Flave Hagist and Will Singleton did the wiring.

July 1, 1937. The Avon Theater, which is the new name of the old Princess, will open Wednesday and Thursday nights under the management of O. D. Kintz, with a Jane Withers picture, "Angel's Holiday." The Avon has been completely re-decorated. Two new loud speakers have been added and new lighting is all indirect. The new seats are cushioned in leather with plush backs.

SCOUTING IN THE KEOTA AREA

Any discussion of Scouting must go back to its founder. Scouting was conceived in the imagination of a British military hero, Lt. General Sir Robert Baden Powell. This man felt there was a void in the education of youth. A something that was not being met in the home, church, or school. He was a war hero who wanted a program to prepare boys for peace. His idea was to teach youth citizenship, qualities of character and an awareness of God by methods here-to-fore unheard of. The Scout Oath and Scout Law bring out these qualities. Every one of the millions of youth, who have been enrolled in the largest youth movement in the free world, have used this as their guide line

 

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for living. "On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God and my Country, to obey the Scout Law, to help other people at all times, to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight." The Scout Law says a Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.

The Scouting program is a non-tax, non-government supported, voluntary, educational program for youth chartered by the National Scout Council and sponsored by a local civic organization and conducted and led by volunteer adults.

Boy Scouting was born in America on February 3, 1910, as the result of the experience of William D. Boyce, a Chicago publisher. While in London he became lost in the fog and was helped by an English Scout. The boy would not accept a tip because he said it was a good turn and a Scout could not accept pay for such an act.

Boy Scouting was born in Keota March 21, 1912, as the result of the foresight of Rev. L. M. Dorreen, who served as Scoutmaster, and Logan Schreckengast, who served as Assistant Scoutmaster. Just as Logan Schreckengast helped provide the spark which started Scouting in Keota, his help and enthusiasm for Scouting were invaluable in keeping Scouting active for Keota boys for over 40 years. It has enjoyed an almost continuous existence since then as can be shown by these clippings from The Keota Eagle.

March 2, 1912. Rev. L. M. Dorreen has organized a "Boy Scout" movement in Keota and has about 30 on his list. They meet each Saturday evening at his home and receive instruction relative to physical culture, first aid to injured and other beneficial things. The British General Baden Powell is the originator of the development.

June 6, l9l2. Boy Scout uniforms arrived and there is great rejoicing.

Angust 1, 1912. The G.A.R. and W.R.C. presented the Boy Scouts with a handsome U.S. flag at the school house yard. The scouts gave a drill or two and then lined up to listen to a presentation speech by Mrs. Telva Holmes. Orville Pershing responded for the scouts, after which Commander J.F. Graham gave an address, followed by Rev. L.M. Dorreen, leader of the scouts. Refreshments followed at the W.R.C. hall on West Broadway. The scout movement is a good thing and we hope it will survive here.

Angust 15, 1912. Scoutmaster Dorreen and a troop of eight organized a branch of boy scouts at Richland. A branch was organized at Rubio also and they are part of the Keota troop. Sam Moritz donated $30 to the camp.

February 24, 1916. Howard Grove re-organized the Boy Scouts of Keota at a meeting held Friday evening at Seydel Shoe Store. Four patrols enrolled which means 32. The prospects are good for about four more patrols. The applicants are to be examined as to their qualifications, and that isn't hard. They must know how to tie a few knots, etc., and then there will be some tall hustling to scrape up the price for the uniforms. Howard Grove is Scoutmaster, Leland Page is Assistant Scoutmaster. Besides those two maior generals, there will be a number of non-commissioned officers.

May 25, 1916. Scout Master Howard Grove has rented the third floor of the three story brick building on West Broadway for $10 a month. The scouts will now have a place for their evening meetings and Sunday afternoons, too.

June 7, l9l7. The Boy Scouts have been re-organized again in Keota, with Jay Groves as Scout Master. There are three patrols of eight members. They hold meetings twice a week and will probably pull some real scout stunts this summer. There is some talk of getting up a martial band among them and this is a good idea.

February 26, 1925. Reve. J. W. Neyman lectured to those interested in the Boy Scout Movement at the Baptist Church February 19, and an attempt was made to organize a troop. Twenty-six boys joined. Mr. Neyman will be scout master and Sheldon Morris, assistant. They got in eight more and have room for four more charter members.

March 7, 1935. The Keota Legion Post is sponsoring the Scout Troop and has advanced a sum of money to finance it and offered their rooms as regular meeting place. Logan Schreckengast is to be Scoutmaster, J. G. Adams and J. C. Richardson are Assistant Scoutmasters. Jean R. Bader, Executive of Southern Iowa Boy Scout Council, and Frank Ebberts, organization chairman, were present from Ottumwa. The Scout Committee follows: Attorney B. J. Byrne, M. F. Beery, T. M. Sellman, J. W. Helscher, H. A. Hofer. All boys 12 to 14 are invited to join scouts and if interested are invited to come to the first regular meeting March 21 at 7:30 at the Legion building. Dues will be 55¢ which will include annual dues and Tenderfoot Badge.

Mr. Schreckengast was an assistant and Mr. Richardson a scout under Keota's first Scoutmaster, Rev. L. M. Dorreen, almost 25 years ago. Mr. Schreckengast has several manuals which he used in that period and Scout Executive Jean Bader was surprised to notice books dated 1911—one year after Scouts were first organized in the United States.

March 21, 1935. Seventeen boys are enrolled in the Boy Scout troop.

June 27, 1935. The Keota Boy Scouts will receive its charter at a public ceremony and entertainment at the school auditorium next Monday night at 8:00 o'clock.

October 28, 1937. The Boy Scouts have been re-organized after a period of inactivity for several months. The scoutmaster is J. C. Richardson. His two assistants are Vern W. Butler and I. A. Mirick. The Boy Scouts have been sponsored in Keota for several years in the past by the American Legion Post. Thirty are expected to join.

January 6, 1938. The public presentation of the charter to Troop 54, Keota Boy Scouts, was at the school gym January 5, 1938. Scouting is not new in Keota. There have been excellent troops doing good work here several times in the past 25 years (or since 1912) and the results have been priceless to those fortunate youths whose adolescent years coincided with the periods of Scout activity locally.

 

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Gretter & Sons ad

 

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March 11, 1943. Thirty boys of the community signed up with scout committees for membership in the local Boy Scout organization.

Sixteen boys aged nine to twelve years signed up at city hall. Cub Scout leader, is Fr. C.S. Kempker and assistant leader is Harold Holmes. Sixteen boys aged 12 and over signed up with Rev. B. R. Fesler, Scoutmaster, and Assistant Scoutmaster, Rev. Floyd Smith, assisted by J. E. Leinen.

In the early to mid forties Rev. Fisher and Rev. Smith served as Scout leaders and the Christian Church was the sponsor. During the fifties Rev. Clyde Mosher, of the Methodist Church, and Dick Daley were active Scouters.

February 6, 1955. The 45th Anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America will be celebrated February 6 to 12, 1955. The local troop now has 13 boys registered in two patrols. Clyde Mosher is the scoutmaster and Glenn Kerres is the Troop Committee Chairman.

In 1962 Dr. R. A. Carmichael became Scoutmaster of Troop 54 and has been active in Scouting since. He has served on the local, district, and Council level. He received a Sears, Roebuck scholarship for farm-city conference at Philmont Scout Ranch in 1964, received the Honor Scouter award in 1968, received the Silver Beaver award in 1972, served on the Executive Board of the Southern Iowa Council and also on the merged Mid-Iowa Council and served as Vice-President of the Mid-Iowa Council for 1972 and 1973.

Many men and women have been active in the Scouting program in Keota. Dick Beck served as Assistant Scoutmaster for several years. Ned Gingerich served as Scoutmaster and also as Chairman of the Troop Committee for several years during the 1960's. Shorty Zehr, Ed Woods, Doug Hammes and Bob Marshall have served as Scoutmaster. Many men in the community have served as committee members. To mention but a few: Talbert Tadlock, for many years a troop Committee Chairman, Doug Erwin, Bill Nebel, Herb McDonald, Forrest Tucker, Deane Morris, Gail Trier, Verle Trier, Leland Roegner, Tom Mills, Jim Mattison, Rev. Stout, Jim Henderson (the only one that this writer can think of that has had two sons and four daughters all in the Scouting program). These are but a few of the people who have participated in the program in one way or the other.

The Scouting program includes Cub Scouting, for boys age 8 and 9; Webelos Scouting for boys age 10; Boy Scouting for boys 11 to 18; and Exploring for boys and girls 14 to 20. The Cub Scouting Program stresses family activities. Cub Scouting has been quite active in Keota with many men and women involved. Dick Beck served as Cub Master in the late 50's and early 60's. Other Cub Masters were: David O. Walters, Al Reighard, David Wright, Ron Weber, Charles Vincent, Ray Sailor. Webelos leaders have been Dennis Jones, Tom Brown, Dr. R. A. Carmichael, John Herr, and Dan Shaffer. Charles White, Mary Lee Trier, Mary Sondag, Maxine Carris, Janet Hahn, Darlene Funston, Jo Peiffer, Jean Smothers, Roselee Pearson, Pat Dietz, Claudine Erwin, Carolyn Weber, Elaine Carmichael, Mary Ann Roegner, Nadine Greiner, Willie Dietz, Bitsy Durst, Ginny Henderson and Charlotte Eldredge are only a few of the many that have been involved. Mrs. Eldredge has been continuously involved in Cub Scouting in one capacity or another for 11 years.

The Exploring Program is now a co-ed program for teenagers that stresses vocational and social exploration. Adult leaders have been Bill Eldredge and Dr. and Mrs. R. A. Carmichael.

Various community groups have sponsored the Cubs, Scouts and Explorers. The current sponsors are the Presbyterian Church Brotherhood, Lions Club, and the Community Club.

Some of the activities of the Cubs include father-son Pinewood Derby, annual pancake supper, olympics, and father-son campouts.

The activities of the Boy Scouts have been many. Several boys have attended the Philmont Scout ranch at Cimmarron, New Mexico. There have been boys from Troop 54 attend National Jamborees. In 1965 a crew went on a 130-mile canoe trip in the wilderness waters of the Quetico-Superior area. They have hiked historic trails, camped out in -18° weather, attended Camp Wapello, earned emergency preparedness awards, planted trees in the community, cleaned roadsides and parks, and spent many hours of work at Lagos Acres. Troop 54 is the only troop that ever hiked with packs to Camp Wapello—a distance of 58 miles. They have also built wildlife shelters, participated in drug awareness program, and participated in numerous conservation projects. In 1965 Bob Mattison made the Report to the Governor for the Southern Iowa Council.

The Explorer post has also been quite active. ln 1972 lhey took a canoe trip down the St. Croix River. They have an annual pheasant hunt, participate in Road Rallys, conduct a drug awareness program, visit colleges, visit the State Capitol and generally explore many vocational areas.

The Scouting Program has produced four Eagle Scouts to date. This is the highest advancement of a Scout. They are Jay Grimes, son of Mr. and Mrs. Daryl Grimes, 1962; Mike Trier, son of Mr. and Mrs. Gail Trier, 1965; Bob Mattison, son of Mr. and Mrs. James Mattison, 1965; and Steve Beck, son of Mr. and Mrs. Dick Beck, 1965.

Jay Grimes, 1961, and Bob Mattison, 1965, earned the God and Country award which was presented to them by the Methodist Church. Boys that have earned the Ad Altare Dei, the Catholic Church award, are Mike Schreurs, 1961; Mike Trier, Larry Yoder, Steve Beck, Jerry Flynn, 1964; Brad Fosdick, 1965.

"Scouting's aim is to produce healthy, happy, helpful citizens, of both sexes, to eradicate the prevailing narrow, self-interest, personal, political, sectarian and national, and to substitute for it a broader spirit of self sacrifice and service in the cause of humanity; and thus to develop mutual goodwill and cooperation not only within our own community and country but abroad: between all countries.

"Experience shows that this consummation is no idle or fantastic dream, but is a practical possibility—if we work for it; and it means, when attained, peace, prosperity and happiness for all.

 

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"Millions of boys and girls who are learning our ideas today will be the fathers and mothers of even more millions in the near future, in whom they will in turn inculcate the same ideas—provided that these are really and unmistakably impressed upon them by their leaders of today."

These were the words of Lord Baden Powell. This is the aim and motivation of every adult, from early 1912 to 1973, who has ever devoted him [sic] time in any manner to the Scouting Program.

By Dr. R. A. Carmichael

First Boy Scouts
1912 Keota's First Boy Scout Troup. J. A. Logan Schreckengast, Scoutmaster.
Gloyce Hamilton, Leland Page, Herbert Hulse, Alvin Hulse, Lorain Ackey, Elmer Hoth,
H. Nevitt, D. Hess, H. Fitzgerald, K. Nevitt, "Hap" Richardson, Lyle Nelson, ? Hulse.

GIRL GUIDING AND GIRL SCOUTS

At the age of 83 when most women would be ready to enjoy their retiring years, a snowy haired energetic fire-brand of a woman, Lady Baden-Powell, is an untiring world traveler and goodwill ambassador for Girl Guiding and Girl Scouts. She has spent more than 55 years of her life furthering the Scouting movement founded by her late husband, Sir Robert Baden-Powell.

Lady Baden-Powell established an International Council in 1920 from which the present World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts developed. At the second International Council delegates from 26 countries attended which showed that this organization was attracting attention world wide.

Juliette Low, an American, had become interested in Girl Scouting while living in England and wanted to take the organization idea back to her home in Savannah, Georgia, and to all America. ln 1926 her dream came true when a world conference was held in the U.S.A. for the first time. This event also marked the dedication of Camp Edith Macy with Lord and Lady Baden-Powell attending as guests of honor.

Lord Baden-Powell died January 8, 1941, in Kenya, Africa, and was buried there. Lady Baden-powell returned to England in 1943 and resumed her work as World Guide.

On December 20, 1945, a large number of girls and their mothers, interested in the Girl Scouts, met at the Avon Theater to further plans for an organization in Keota. Mrs. A.D. Stewart explained the laws and routines of the Girl Scouts. The Brownie Scouts gave the Brownie Scout promise. The intermediate group recited the Scout promise and Scout Laws. Between 40 and 50 girls were members of the newly forming organization. The Keota Girl Scouts were sponsored at this time by the Keota Community Club.

In 1950, with Mrs. Nita Bell as leader and a troop committee of Thelma Parsons, Ethel Stewart and Ruby Helscher, they met with a group of girls of various age levels. This led to the signing of Keota's Cowan Trail Charter in 1958. These women led the Girl Scouts until 1959.

Fourteen years later after much hard work and perseverance of the mothers and interested local women, the Keota Girl Scouts are now composed of five troops which consist of 52 girls and several committee mothers: two Brownie Scout Units, two Junior Scout Units and one Cadette Unit. Mrs. Elaine Carmichael is N.C. for 1973-74.

AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENTS AROUND KEOTA

"Keota is situated in the midst of as beautiful prairie land as ever the sun shone upon, and no richer soil can be found anywhere. There are no swampy lands or barren soil, but many of the best farms and wealthiest farmers and stock raisers in the State of Iowa are found in this region of the state."

"So rapid were the improvements that by 1880 all the land in Lafayette Township was under cultivation and it was regarded as the garden spot of Keokuk County. Keota is surrounded by as delightful country as the sun shines on." (Keokuk County History of 1880).

With the above quotations it is plain to see why the slogan "Keota, the gem of the prairie" was adopted in the 1880's.

The following quotations from the files of The Keota Eagle describe in a way that agriculture is without a doubt the most important industry in this area.

First Stock Exchange Fair and Colt Show, August 26, l880

April 5, 1889. It is hoped that Iowa farmers will not sacrifice their future power and prospects to present and temporary gain. That the fine lands which now yield corn, oats, wheat, and grass, crop after crop, without intermission and without fertilizing will not be so cropped until their strength and substance is gone, but that a well conducted and skilled husbandry will continue without diminishing the present fertility of the naturally rich productive soil.

April 12, 1889. Stewart Bros. shipped over $9,000.00 worth of stock Wednesday. They got in a special stock train which left Keota with 35 cars and two engines.

 

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Kennel trio ads

 

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May 10, 1889. Arch Stewart has patented his latest invention—a grain weighing apparatus. The machine is attached to the elevator of the threshing machine and the grains run through it into the receiving wagon, which, with the aid of an automatic counter, is easily attached and saves the work of two men, the measurer and one who empties the grain into the wagon.

October 23, 1891. Corn is turning out immense. Four 80 rod rows will make 30 bushel.

January 10, 1896. Corn is 20 cents a bushel. It's low, but many farmers must have cash and glad enough to let it go at that price.

1900 CORN HUSKING CONTEST
TAKEN FROM THE KEOTA EAGLE
DECEMBER 13, 1900

The 100-bushel-a-day corn husker is an actuality—yes the 150-a-day—or even better—the 200-bushel man is an assured fact. People quite generally have been skeptical about the stories that are circulated every fall by fellows who claim to make these remarkable records of gathering the golden maize. They have rather classed them in the fishstory variety of big yarns. But last week's contest between Ed Van Fossen and Fred Cummings completely dispelled all doubts as to the ability of men to pluck such enormous amounts of corn between suns.

People who witnessed the affair and who are familiar with the conditions declare it is their honest belief that in good heavy corn that stands up well, either of these men can husk 200 bushels in a day's time of ten hours. The work they did was on that basis. If there is now a Doubting Thomas in the land let him throw up the sponge, acknowledge the corn, and admit that the 200-a-day corn gatherer really exists.

There is nothing mythical about him now: he has stepped out of the shades and mists of may-be-so and taken on the flesh and blood of a human being, a living, breathing creature walking in the paths that we all are treading and rubbing shoulders with the common run of mankind as any other fellow does. It's remarkable. Our forefathers never dreamed of such a thing. In the early days of this country's making men were content with putting up their 40 and 50 bushels a day and thought well of their work at that snail's pace. Now a man has to pile up 100 bushel between sunrise and sunset or the finger of scorn and contempt is pointed at him.

In corn husking as in all else the world is going at a breakneck pace these days.

The great corn husking contest between Van Fossen of Iowa and Cummings of Illinois is now a matter of history. The battle was fought on the fields of Foster in 76 Twp. on Tuesday forenoon and the Illinois man won the match and incidentally, the wager of $150. The men were to have shucked l0 hours, but at the end of five hours Van Fossen, having strained both wrists, very sensibly threw up the sponge, the scales showing that he had picked 77 bushels of the gold standard, while Cummings coined 89 bushels. And thus it ended.

Joe Romine and John S. Carris were the efficient judges, Judge Carris being a Keota man. The corn was down on the ground and considerably tangled up. They say that in good corn, Cummings can easily husk 200 bushels in l0 hours.

May 21, 1903. Wanted: Three or four men to scoop corn Monday and Tuesday at $2.00 a day. Geo. McDonald.

July 30, 1903. Well known commission house of Edwards, Wood and Co. from Chicago, Minneapolis, Duluth, and St. Paul has opened a local office in this city in the Shrader block, on West Broadway, for handling of grain and provisions in those markets. The office will be in charge of H. H. Clarke. They will be glad to furnish markers free of charge over the phone or to anyone wishing to call at the local office.

March 12, 1908. Pres. A. Sykes of Corn Belt Meat producers Association of Iowa will address the farmers of Keota and vicinity at Keota March 14, at 2 o'clock. This association has had hearings before the Interstate Commerce Commission and has fared favorably in two trials. Its purpose now is to bring about reduction of freight rates on livestock to Chicago. A local branch of the concerned was organized and officers elected: J. W. Stewart, president; J. C. Mayer, Vice President; and B. S. Gregory, Sec. and Treasurer.

May 21, 1908. "Keota smiles because she is located in one of the most fertile prairies in the world," says the Sigourney Review. That's no dream!

October 28, 1909. John Klein, grandfather of Chas. D. Kirkpatrick, moved out on the prairie in March 1870, where he improved his home place and was among the first to introduce tile drainage in this section of the country.

March 7, 1912. John Klein, now deceased, was the first man to introduce tile drainage in this part of Iowa. About 30 years ago he got hold of a ditching machine and bought some tile over at Monmouth, Ill. They were white in color and so small that a silver dollar just fit the interior. People laugh at those tile now but recently the Klein Brothers had to change an outlet and dug up a few of those tile. They were carrying a clear stream of water with no dirt in them, thanks to the perfect work of the ditching machine. The machine is still out at the farm but out of commission.

March 28, 1912. There seems to be a well grounded fear that Iowa seed corn is poor, and with a view of assisting farmers the Western Grain Dealers Association has arranged with Rock Island to run a seed corn special along the branch Tuesday, April 2. The train will stop at Keota at 10 o'clock. All interested should arrange to be at the station.

July 18, 1912. A good bit of timothy hay is coming into town and is bringing right around $16 a ton. It is of fine quality. There will be more hay than we thought.

August 1, 1912. We have such a big corn crop in 1912 we are afraid of it. The Rock Island has issued orders that no railroad cars are to leave the system because they will be needed to move the bumper crop all over the middle west.

 

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Not only the grain crop is to be taken care of but the cars will be needed for coal almost at the same time.

April 2, 1914. Carl Cady got in a car of alfalfa from Kansas City at $19.50 a ton.

July 16, 1914. We have seen a good deal of Iowa corn but have never seen the equal of this year's crop. A drive in the country in any direction will disclose field after field of cornfrom 8-ft. to l2-ft. in height and it will go 100 bushel to the acre. Oats have turned out well and in some places have started to thresh. Hay is also good. Apples are the only thing we are shy on.

August 30, 1917. Seeds come high. A. Weaver paid $13 a bushel for clover and a bushel and a half of alfalfa for $45.00. Hogs are around $20.00 on the market.

February 21, 1918. Seed corn census indicates a serious shortage of reliable seed in this community. It appears that testing is the only means of separating live seed from weak or damaged corn. The Keokuk Co. Farm Bureau has permission from our mayor to use our town hall and the Keota Commercial Club is willing to co-operate in this work because a short crop would be a public calamity. It's each farmer's own lookout but if they want help in testing their corn, they must also be willing to help. Charles D. Kirkpatrick.

February 20, 1919. Chas. D. Kirkpatrick of Keota is the winner of the state corn contest with a yield of 88.6 bushels of l2% moisture shelled corn per acre. Mr. Kirkpatrick is to ship the representative bushel from his acre to Ames for display at the state show February l7th to 22nd.

August 21, 1919. A big farm demonstration was held at the Otha Coffman farm south of Keota in which three Keota firms and one Delta firm showed their tractors to good advantage in a plowing contest. Tractors plowing was the Samson, Fordson, using two bottom plows and the Hart-Parr and E.B. using three bottom plows. Fordson won decision on time and Samson on plowing.

March 7, 1921. An item that appeared in the daily papers, "The 11 cars of corn shipped to the near east includes one from Keota, Iowa, which was the first shipped from any point in the United States for this relief."

December 7, 1922. CORN HUSKER. Leo Rettler has been making wonderful records as corn husker. Charles Kirkpatrick has written the story of his remarkable record and sent it to Wallace's Farmer. From October 16, 1922, to November 27, 1922, he husked four thousand six hundred ninety-five bushels.

August 30, 1923. Thirteen cars of stock shipped out of Keota Sunday morning to Chicago established a record for the year. L. W. Bohrofen shipped three cars of cattle and three cars of hogs; Stewarts shipped three cars of hogs; the Farmers shipped one car of hogs and Elmer Waller shipped two cars of cattle and one of hogs.

February 12, 1925. C. D. Kirkpatrick of Keota was announced winner of 1924 State Corn Contest held at Iowa State College. He won with an entry of Walden Dent corn with yield of 58.99 bushels per acre. He was awarded a gold medal.

November 12, 1925. Leo Rettler of Keota is the fastest corn husker in Keokuk and Washington counties. The contest was held November 6 at the Morris Romine farm. The Chamber of Commerce sponsored the contest and put up the money of $20.00 for high man, $10.00 for second and $5.00 for third. Mr. Romine paid the usual husking rates for work done and treated the boys besides. County Agent Molison and C. D. Kirkpatrick were the judges. The rules used were those approved by Wallace's Farmer and used in State Contests. Mr. Rettler's driver was Sheriff Dennison of Washington; Mr. Hardin, time keeper; Mr. Wm. Hagist gleaned the corn left. Mr. Rettler husked 2,560 lbs. of corn from which 40 lbs. was deducted for corn left in field and 57.6 for husks left on ears. Final figure was 2,462.4 lbs. in alloted time of 1 hour and 20 minutes.

November 19, 1925. The following taken from daily papers: Dallas Center, Iowa, November 16— A "dark horse," previously unheard of in corn husking speed circles, Saturday won the crown of champion huskers of Iowa for 1925, in a State Contest sponsored by Wallace's Farmer on Frank Fox farm near here. He is Leo Rettler, 26 years old, of Keota, Keokuk County. To win he husked 1,946.2 pounds or about twenty-seven bushels in the alloted 80 minutes, which means he husked approximately twenty bushels per hour. About 2,000 people braved the cold to see the "All Iowa" corn husking eleven battle for state honors. The new champion will represent Iowa at the midwest contest at Burgess, Illinois, next Thursday.

August 19, 1926. A crowd estimated about 1,200 people attended the picnic and field day program at Walden Farm August 12. The program began at 1:30, when A. A. Clendenning, President of the Chamber of Commerce, made a few remarks and then introduced Dr. C. L. Holmes of the department of Agricultural Economics at Ames. Charles Kirkpatrick told how he started keeping farm records in 1911 and that his methods have paid. E. T. Meredith, the former Secretary of Agriculture and publisher of three magazines, gave an interesting address about the present day agriculture. After the programs, tours were made of the fields and the garden and demonstrations on how to spread lime and phosphates. The girls of several 4H Clubs gave demonstrations of their work on the lawn. The event was sponsored by Keokuk Co. Farm Bureau and John W. Sloss, County Agent. The Chamber of Commerce assisted but the main work fell on C. D. Kirkpatrick and the Klein Brothers.

November 11, 1926. The second annual corn husking contest sponsored by the Keota Chamber of Commerce was held at the L. W. Bohrofen farm November 4. Leo Rettler is again the champion husker with H. L. Brenneman second.

January 20, 1927. Charles D. Kirkpatrick has been given a gold medal and the title of "Master Farmer."

November 6, 1930. Leo Rettler won the Keokuk County Husker Contest on the George Denny farm near Hedrick Friday and will represent County at State Contest. Elmer Aller of Keota was second. Leo did not get to State Meet as the plane, piloted by Edward Peiffer, was forced down at Oskaloosa by engine trouble.

 

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