This week we are featuring a photograph of the 1907 Story City Baseball Club for our collection item of the week. The team photo was created by Hanson Studio, a local photography studio in Story City at the time.
This is the first Story City baseball club that Hank Severeid played on. Hank references all of these players in his article that was included in the 1940 Story City Herald Anniversary Book.
On May 15, 1911 Hank made his major league debut with the Cincinnati Reds. During his major league career, Hank also played for the St. Louis Browns, the Washington Senators, and the New York Yankees.
This week we are featuring a memorandum of agreement that was donated by the City of Story City which details the forming of the electric company. The company was originally formed in 1897 when the city of Story City entered into this agreement with Crellin & Lovell, a business out of Des Moines.
This agreement also establishes an provision for providing street lighting. "One arc lamp and 20 incandescent lamps which shall be kept lighted according to the Philadelphia Moon Light Schedule." According to the EMF Electrical Year Book, Volume 1 published in 1921, in order to make a contract for street lighting it was necessary to know what hours each night that lighting will be required and the total number of hours of lighting to be furnished each year. This was done by agreeing on a definite schedule. The Philadelphia Moon Light Schedule was one of the four most common at the time. Here is the description of the Moon Light Schedule: This schedule provides no lighting when the moon is expected to be bright. Light lamps one hour after sunset until the 4th night of the new moon, also one hour before moonset; extinguish one hour before sunrise, also one hour after moonrise; provide no light at all on the night before, the night of, and the night after a full moon. This schedule results in considerable economy in lighting costs, but makes no allowance for cloudy nights when the moon is obscured.
The first street lights appeared in Story City in August of 1898.
Our last advertisement from the 1940 Herald Anniversary Book featured the Story Theater. In honor of that, our collection item of the week is a program from the Story Theatre from May of 1934. The theater had shows every night of the week in May 1934, a Sunday matinee and evening showings. Please check out the photos below to see what was showing at the Story Theatre 81 years ago this month.
Thanks to David and Rosemary Osheim for donating several Story Theatre programs from 1933-1934. These programs belonged to Thelma Wierson, David's mother.
Last week the ad we featured from the 1940 Story City Herald Anniversary Number book was a joint ad from the Pioneer Store Co. and the Alsager Bros. Meat Market. This week our collection items are two of the largest and heaviest items we have from these businesses. One is a 1870 safe made by the Diebold Safe & Lock Co. and the other is a large copper vat.
The safe is the original safe that had always resided in the S.R. Corneliussen & Co. building, which in 1911 became the Pioneer Store Co., and is currently the location for Reliance State Bank. Due to new banking regulations involving dual control issues that required the purchase of a new safe, and due to minimal vault space, the bank donated the safe to the museum in April of 1999. The safe had always resided inside a vault at the back of the building until 1972. It was then moved to an inner vault of the bank and was used to store currency and coin until April of 1999. More detail photos of the safe can be seen below.
Alsager Bros. Vat
This large vat was used by the Alsager brothers for rendering lard and boiling sausages. It was found in the basement of what is now Reliance State Bank, which is where the brothers had their meat market. The Alsager Bros. Meat Market was in business in Story City for over 40 years.
Last week the ad we featured from the 1940 Story City Herald Anniversary Number book was from the Story City Butter Tub Co. Its only fitting that this week we are featuring a butter tub as our Collection Item of the Week. This butter tub was recently donated by Charlotte Hill. The Hill family owned and operated the Story City Butter Tub Co. for 85 years.
The butter tubs were made from sitka spruce wood which came from Washington state by train. These butter tubs were delivered to creameries all around central Iowa, from as far east as Marshalltown and to the north as far as Mason City. One tub held 64 pounds of butter.
People who made butter tubs and similar vessels are called coopers. A cooper is someone who makes wooden, staved vessels, bound together with hoops and possessing flat ends or heads. In the photos below you can better see the individual staves that make up this tub.
Our Mayor, Mike Jensen, recently shared a story from his childhood with us at our Winter Dinner. He would use the lid from a butter tub as a shield when he was pretend fighting with other neighborhood children. Butter tubs have a variety of uses!
This week we are featuring two recently donated Charlson's Clothes Shop items, a Hart Schaffner Marx hanger and a large apparel box. These items can be seen in our Charlson's exhibit at the Story City Museum located at the corner of Broad St and Hillcrest Dr. In the upcoming months we will be featuring collection items that correspond to the 1940 Story City Herald Anniversary Book advertisements. Thanks to Sandy Jacobson for donating these items.
This week in honor of Christmas we are featuring a few of the vintage Christmas cards in our collection. The card above was sent out by Mr. & Mrs. Charles Bartlett. Our Bartlett House Museum was named in honor of Bertha & Charles Bartlett. Bertha was the librarian in Story City from 1927 - 1964. Charles was a businessman and also worked for the Story City Herald.
These two cards were sent out by Rev. & Mrs. L.L. Orth of Story City in the early 1920s. Rev. Orth was the pastor of Grace Evangelical Church.
We hope you have enjoyed seeing these vintage Christmas cards. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from the Historical Society!
This week we are featuring an envelope from the Viking Cracker Factory. The factory was located just south of Broad St on Elm Ave. Rev. Lars Sherven opened the Viking Cracker Factory in the middle of August of 1896. Prior to opening the factory, Lars was a pastor in Wisconsin and South Dakota as well as here in Story City at St. Petri Lutheran Church from 1883-1888.
In May of 1897 the factory was in full operation, making all kinds of cakes, crackers, and breads. Sherven was employing from six to a dozen people. In June the exterior of the factory was painted red.
Notices were placed in the Heralds that you could purchase broken crackers. Here's an example from the Dec. 2, 1898 issue: "Broken crackers, cookies, etc., can be bought at the Cracker factory at great bargains, every Saturday. They will only be sold on Saturdays, and when you go for them take a box or sack or something to carry them away in as Mr. Sherven does not keep anything of the kind."
By Feb. 3, 1899 the Cracker factory was using a train car load of flour per month. And the production capacity of the factory was 3,000 pounds of crackers per day. The census of 1900 shows that Sherven's sons, Rambert and Gustav, baked and worked in the cracker factory.
According to the August 27th, 1897 edition of the Herald, Sherven leased the factory to Mr. Jondall and Mr. Larson. In June of 1906 the company was sold to the Independent Biscuit Company. In the 1910s there is reference in the Heralds to the cracker factory being remodeled into apartments.
Wouldn't it be great this holiday season if we could stop by the factory and pick up a box of freshly baked crackers!
Our collection item this week is a recently donated Story City High School 1962 class photo. One great feature about this photo is that everyone pictured is identified. How many people do you recognize?
We have a few other class photos in our collection, but we would gladly accept more. If you have a Story City class photo you would like to donate, please contact us.
We've recently added new items to our exhibit on local baseball hero Hank Severeid. These items include a book and a halftone printing block. We'd like to thank Dwayne Fiihr and Al Holm for donating these items.
In 1941, Hank Severeid co-authored a book entitled Play Ball! Advice for Young Ballplayers with Charles E. Chapman. Our copy is a third edition and was published by Harper and Brothers Publishers, New York, NY. Topics covered in the book include: what scouts look for in a ballplayer, batting strategy, running the bases, characteristics of each field position, and signing a contract.
The halftone printing block is taken from a photograph of Hank Severeid in a St. Louis Browns uniform. Hank played with the Browns from 1915-1925. Halftone Blocks are made from a zinc or copper plate which is attached to a solid block of wood. The image is broken up into small dots, varying either in size, in shape or in spacing, generating a gradient like effect. This image of Hank was used in the 1931 pictorial Story City Golden Jubilee Book published locally by Paul A. Olson.