By Anton J. Sartori

2057 Fremont Ave.
So. Pasadena, California



Sartori Heads Back For LeMars

LeMars Globe-Post
June 30, 1958

Word comes from Anton J. Sartori, editor of Olla Podrida and the Globe-Post’s west coast correspondent, which says Mr. and Mrs. Sartori and their son hope to arrive in LeMars about July 23.

“Although just there last year, since we plan a visit to Yellowstone, the Custer Battlefield and Black Hills, we decided to add the extra several hundred miles and make LeMars, also.”

“We would leave here Friday evening, July 18, and make Las Vegas that night.  Make Salt Lake or maybe Evanston, Wyoming, the next night.  From there north and east would be new territory not before visited.  Tony would do all the driving.  I have license, and just had an eye correction, so might drive a little.”

Mr. Sartori added that about a week before he felt pretty rotten with symptoms that are usually ascribed to stomach flu.  He was just able to struggle to a doctor’s office where the doctor said he didn’t know what it was but gave him the consoling information that a lot of others had the same thing.  A checkup showed that there wasn’t anything really wrong with Mr. Sartori, and the doctor gave him the quite acceptable advice to eat more.  At the time he wrote he said he was feeling fine and is trying to regain some of his lost weight.  In order to get a little more sunshine in the Los Angeles well known climate, he is typing out in the back yard of his home.

LeMars Globe-Post
August 7, 1958

Olla Podrida

In America there are two classes of travel—first class, and with children. ~Robert Benchley.
At the moment it seems almost unreal, something born of fancy, but within the past two weeks, and seemingly the shortest of the year, we three of the South Pasadena branch of the Sartori family have completed another heart-warming return visit to our former home town of LeMars, the place of our birth and where we spent our earlier years.
Ant it was while there and idling along what is now Central avenue with our now grown son, I called his attention to the stairway leading to the upstairs of 23 Central avenue NW, the brick store building “with plate glass windows” my father built in 1880, now the Gambles store.  And so it was, my son and I climbed the stairway. At the top, we stood and together looked at a forbiddingly closed door withholding from our view the very room wherein both of us had been born.
Further pondering all this, my thoughts of the time when not even I had been born.  My father to be, Anton Sartori, had sold his drug business in Cedar Falls, Iowa, and was out scouting Northwest Iowa for a promising new location.
At the time, LeMars was officially only ten years old.  Prior to 1870, the settlement had been variously known as St. Paul Junction and other names, now quite forgotten.  But with completion in the late 1869 of the first of its later two railroads, now the Illinois Central line, things began to hum. The following year the town was platted and in a ceremonial event given its unique name, Le Mars, and there is no other genuine in this whole wide world.
With an outlet for its thousands of carloads of grain and produce, together with arrival of hundreds of moneyed Englishmen and their families, the new town of LeMars became the jumpingest and best known of all the smaller towns in the country.
This must have been the sort of town my father had fondly envisioned.  And so he decided to locate in LeMars.  For his store location he bought the lot identified earlier as now 23 Central avenue NW.  He cleared it of a small wooden building which had housed millinery store owned by early settlers, Mr. and Mrs. John E. Arendt.  His planned two-story brick building “with plate glass windows” would house his drug store and with living quarters above.  Possibly I digress, but lest I forget, or never have so apt an opportunity, I’d like to mention here that my father told me a long time ago that when he opened for business in LeMars, his first customer was the late Mrs. J. B. Nicholson.
It was while I was on a visit to LeMars a year ago that I was a guest at a Lions Club luncheon with Mr. E. W. Rogers, Secretary of LeMars Chamber of Commerce, the principal speaker. By means of comparative photographs Mr. Rogers called attention to the fact that the skyline of LeMars had not measurably changed in something like 50 years. Actually in my opinion, there has been little change in 70 years.
Whatever may have been the reason Mr. Rogers making the comparison escapes me at the moment, but it did offer him the opportunity had he cared to grasp it, to point out that those who came later lacked the daring, the enterprise and the disposition to attempt the difficult possessed by earlier citizens who made LeMars the most talked of town for miles around.