Newspaper articles describing the Spelling Bee at the Dalton Opera House

~Articles researched by Mary Holub and transcribed by Linda Ziemann.

LeMars Semi-Weekly Sentinel
January 20, 1911

To Be Held at LeMars, Iowa, February 6 to 11, 1911
Spelling Contest, Friday Evening, February 10th

The Plymouth County Farmer’s Short Course to be held at LeMars February 6th
to 11th, 1911, offers a spelling bee on Friday night, 7:30 p.m., February
10th, as an attraction and entertainment for the young and old.

Many of the bright young people in Plymouth County would be in attendance
anyhow, but to further stimulate their endeavors and lend spice to the
contest, Twenty Cash prizes, amounting in all to $50.00, have been provided
for by the management for a Prize Spelling Contest; to be given as follows:
First Prize, $15.00; Second Prize, $10.00; Third Prize, $5.00; Fourth Prize,
$3.00; Fifth Prize, $2.00; and to the next 15, $1.00 each.

This spelling contest is open to any pupil below the ninth grade of the
county or town schools in Plymouth County.

It would be of great advantage to everyone entering the Prize Contest to
come to LeMars for the entire week of the Short Course, and take the course
in Agriculture, Corn and Stock Judging or Domestic Science.

Perhaps you could also have a corn study period at school and help the boys
to select the best 10 ears of seed corn for entry in our seed corn contest.

We mostly urge you to do this, as we want the benefits of this Short Course
to come to as many people as possible, and it is recognized in everything
that the earlier you begin to learn the better the chance of proficiency.

We want every school to hold a corn contest, and have the choice of corn, 10
ears sent to the Big Show at LeMars, where it will be entered in a special
class for young boys, and at the same time have an opportunity of winning
for the district a prize as well as the blue ribbon to be hung up in the

Rule 1 – All contestants must be below the 9th grade, and be regularly
enrolled in Plymouth County Schools.
Rule 2 – Each rural school and each room in the town school are entitled to
send one representative to the contest.
Rule 3 – A list of words to be used at the contest will be prepared by a
non-interested party, said list to be composed of words of common usage.
Rule 4 – The spelling shall be oral, the contestants spelling in turn as the
conductor pronounces the words.
Rule 5 – Only one trial will be given on each word. The contestant should
pronounce the word before spelling. When a person misses a word, it must
not be pronounced again, but a new word will be given next in line. The
last one on the floor, however, must be able to spell correctly the word
missed by his last competitor.
Rule 6 – All questions of dispute must be settled by a Board of Referees,
appointed by the committee before the contest begins. Webster’s
International Dictionary shall be the authority used in any disputed point
in spelling, should any arise.

Note. It is understood that every teacher will try to have the school
represented by one pupil at the contest. You can select your pupils from
any of the grades below the ninth.

You might call up the teachers, of your township, and arranged for a contest
for some afternoon or evening. You might sell baskets at auction or charge
a small admission fee, in order to offer premiums, or help pay expenses for
your contestant or representative. This would help to pay his or her
expenses at the contest.

Be sure and send the name of your contestant to Miss Anna Donahoe, County
Superintendent, LeMars, Iowa, on or before February 4, 1911.

Miss Donahoe must have these names before that time, in order to print the
names of the contestants, as each pupil taking part will be numbered, so the
audience can refer to his or her program and learn the name of the pupil and
the school he represents.

Boost for the biggest and best spelling contest in Northwestern Iowa.
Yours Very Truly,
Miss Anna Donahoe, Chairman
Prof. P. G. Holden, Conductor
Jacob G. Koenig, Secy.

LeMars Semi-Weekly Sentinel
February 14, 1911

The Opera House Was Crowded on Friday Night by an Enthusiastic Assemblage,
Which Vociferously Applauded at Old Time Spelling Bee

As a drawing card the county spelling match distanced all other Short Course
events and the crowd that attended it was one of the largest ever seen in
the Opera House. All the seats were sold several days in advance and
including those standing there must have been 800 to 900 people in the

There were forty-five contestants representing more than half the townships
and nearly all of the towns in the county. They were seated in three rows
across the stage, each wearing a number so that they could be identified on
the program. As the contestants missed they turned their number card and
were dropped from the race. Prof. Palmer presided. Prof. Holden pronounced
the words and Messrs. Schneider and Godfrey of the Short Course teaching
staff were referees. The contestant’s were pupils of the rural schools and
the town schools below the ninth grade and most of them selected by local
contests. They were most of them apparently twelve to fourteen years of
age. Before the contest was begun, the sixth grade of the Central school
entertained the audience with some musical selections and Clement Hahn
rendered a solo. The words pronounced were nearly all those in common use.
It did not take many rounds to thin the ranks of the contestants and the
boys, who were outnumbered three to one at the start, proved the better
spellers and with the last ten or twelve contestants honors were about even
between the sexes, the boys and girls retiring alternately. When the contest
narrowed down to five, three girls and two boys, it looked like it might be
a long drawn out struggle, but some puzzling words came along and they all
dropped out until only Earl Earnest and Hazel Ross remained. The word
“juiciness” proved a puzzler for the latter, and young Earnest spelled it
and won the honor of being the speller in the contest. He was also one of
the youngest, but his voice rang out strong and clear every word that was
pronounce to him and his victory was no surprise to those who watched him.

The prizes were awarded as follows: Earl Earnest, LeMars, first $15; Hazel
Ross, LeMars, second, $10; Harold Eberhard, Liberty, third, $5; Martha
Brangwin, LeMars, fourth, $3; Martha Juhl, Fredonia, fifth, $2. The winners
of the fifteen $1 prizes were, Chas. Shepard, Fred Winter, Mable Noble,
Elizabeth Tritz, Bernice Kelleher, Josie Woll, Emma Theilen, Agnes Swain,
Runa Uthe, Julia Harvey, Byrdie Weinrich, Roy McArthur, Anna Bourke,
Calaribel Schrooten, Warren Lodge.

Following is a full list of the contestants:
Mable Noble, No. 2, Grant.
Claribel Schrooten, No. 5, Stanton.
John Delperdang, No. 7, Fredonia.
Elizabeth Tritz, No. 8, Stanton.
Ella Barinsky, No. 4, Preston.
Lillian Anderson, No. 5, Portland.
Grace Hummel, No. 5, Perry.
Una Madsen, No. 2, Plymouth.
Anna Bourke, No. 2, Stanton.
Adelia Winter, No. 4, Hungerford.
Margaret Robertson, No. 3, Washington.
Josie Woll, No. 5, Johnson.
Gladys Morehead, No. 6, Westfield.
Gordon Goldie, No. 2, Washington.
Julia Harvey, No. 1, Union.
Anna Trautt, Sisters’, Akron.
Clara Buehler, No. 9, Elgin.
Charles Clark, No. 3, America.
Margaret Plendl, No. 1, Lincoln.
Martha Juhl, No. 4, Fredonia.
Earl Earnest, No. 6, Clark, LeMars.
Mildred Freeman, No. 7, Franklin, LeMars.
Harold Eberhard, Liberty.
Fred Winter, Hinton.
Ralph Schneider, Hinton.
Margaret Brangwain, Central, LeMars.
Hazel Ross, Central, LeMars.
Chas. Shepard, Central, LeMars.
Emma Theilen, Central, LeMars.
Viola Schneider, Central, LeMars.
Warren Lodge, Central, LeMars.
Mary Rayburn, Seney.
Mabel Simons, Frankling, LeMars.
Agnes Swain, Franklin, LeMars.
Jessie Pence, No. 4, Perry.
Glenn Rounds, No. 4, America.
Ruth Dean, No. 1, Stanton.
Jennie Nicholson, Struble.
Roy McArthur, Seney.
Joe Mansfield, No. 1, Plymouth.
Byrdie Weinrich, Hinton.
Mabel Geary, No. 2, Union.
Bernice Kelleher, No. 3, America.
William Nitzschke, No. 3, Remsen.