On August 15, 1931, the Story City Bakery held a Tall Corn Contest. Mr. Valline, the baker, offered cash prizes for the 15 tallest stalks. The contest sponsored by the local bakery in cooperation with the Vocational Agriculture Department at the High School brought out 67 participants. At the conclusion of the judging, prizes were awarded, contestants were served lemonade and cookies, and group photos were taken. Each contestant received a free copy of the group photo. Below are the contest rules, the list of prizes offered, and the winners as described the following week in the Herald.
Date of contest is August 15th. Entries may be made from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Contestant must be a man 21 years or older and must be a farm owner or renter. Contest management will furnish identification cards. All stalks entered will become the property of the contest management. Stalks will be measured from the ground line to the tip of the tassel. Crooked stalks will be straightened for measurement. Each contestant may enter only one stalk for prize. Prizes will be paid at 4:30 p.m. the same day. Contest will be staged in the parking east of the bakery.
Tallest corn stalk: 1st $1, 2nd 75c, 3rd 50c, 4th 25c, 5th 20c, 6th 15c, 7th to 15th 10 cents each.
From August 20, 1931 Herald
“A. C. Reinsch received the new one dollar-bill, as first prize for his fourteen foot one inch stalk. In the coin flip T. Z. Henryson took second place and 75c, O. C Vangness drew third place and 50c, while E. C. Frette was forced to take fourth place and 25c. These men tied on stalks thirteen feet and three inches in height. Hans Hendrickson won fifth place and 20c by a coin flip, forcing Amos Fossel to take sixth place and 15c for his thirteen foot and one inch stalk. Guy Heers and S. T. Farmer won a dime each with their thirteen foot stalks. M. Mathiason, T. C. Carpenter, Harry Henderson, C. Richards and T. T. Wicks won ten cents each with stalks ranging from twelve foot eight inches to twelve foot eleven and one-half inches in height.”
In honor of the 100th anniversary of the United States entering World War 1, our photo of the month for April is of Alfred Jacobson during his time stationed in Hawaii. This photo of Alfred was recently donated by his daughter Katherine Munsen. It shows Alfred, who is second from the left, in Libby's pineapple fields.
Several Story City men were stationed at three different forts in Hawaii. This group of seven men volunteered for service shortly after the U.S. declared war on April 6th. A total of 16 men from Story City had volunteered for service during April of 1917. Fred Jensen wrote a letter to the editor of the Herald on June 23, 1917 which was printed in the July 12, 1917 edition of the Herald. In his letter, Fred writes of their travel aboard the U.S. Transport Sherman to Honolulu and their time in quarantine as several cases of measles broke out on the trip. Here is an excerpt:
"So far we have been lucky in staying together. Alfred Jacobson, Elmer Wendel, Andrew Matson, Milton Olson, Will Peterson and myself are here in the same camp. Oscar Dale is in a camp at Fort De Russey, which is six miles from here. We will be released from quarantine next Saturday, and will be assigned to our respective companies. Elmer Wendel, Milton Olson and Will Peterson will go to Ft. DeRussey; Andrew Matson will stay at Ft. Kamehameha. and Alfred Jacobson and myself to Ft. Armstrong."
The Historical Society will have the Story City in WWI exhibit installed for our Spring Dinner and Presentation on April 27th. The community is welcome to attend. If you are not able to visit on the 27th, the exhibit will be up through 2018. We also look forward to sharing Story City's WWI history over the next two years via our website and Facebook page.
This photo was taken on March 23, 1923. In order to establish road connections between Story City and Roland, Mayors Jacobson and Skromme organized shoveling crews to clear away snow from a twenty-foot drift on the Roland road three miles east of Story City. Seventeen men from Story City took part in the shoveling bee. Pictured are O.L. Ose, John Lee, Ben Holm, Q.T. Sande, Lester Swenson, Ed Charlson, Ding Larson, Tom Matson, Chris Lekness, Chris Johnson, Bernt Egenes, Otis Sevde, Fritchoff Larson, and Bill Peterson. We hope March 23, 2017 has far less snow than that date 94 years prior.
The Historical Society is featuring two photos from a Story City Federated Women's Club (FWC) meeting that was held on January 16, 1950. Mrs. Stanton James presented a program on "antiques" in a unique manner. From the January 19, 1950 Herald article on the program: "She began with an original poem, in which she invited her neighbors in for a cup of coffee and to preview the trousseau of her daughter who was about to be married and was planning a year's honeymoon trip, so the garments were from every season of the year." Many beautiful costumes dating back several years were modeled. Photographed here are the summer and winter costumes. Mrs. James also had variety of wedding gifts on display and gave the history of many of them, including a music box, a framed hair wreath, Battenberg scarfs, Haviland china dishes, copper from Norway, etc. The Story City FWC was officially organized on September 19, 1938. Regular session meetings were held in the Community Hall (now known as Grand Viking Hall). This club had one of the largest memberships of any of Story City's women's organizations. At the time of the 1950 meeting, the membership totaled 128. We would like to thank Katherine Munsen for donating these photos to the Historical Society.
The historical photo of the month features Sylvian Skeie as Santa in a sleigh with ponies by Story City's Municipal Christmas tree. Skeie was born in 1902 in rural Story City. The photo was taken around 1950. Story City has celebrated Christmas with a municipal Christmas tree for over 100 years as the first tree was put up in 2014.
In honor of Veterans Day our photo of the month for November shows Story City men leaving in 1917 to go off to war. The photo is looking west down Broad St, the old depot was on the north side of the street. Just over 200 people from the Story City area served in WWI. Next year will mark the 100th anniversary of the United States entering WWI. To mark this anniversary, the Historical Society is researching and planning an exhibit that will share the history of Story City’s involvement in the war. We are putting a call out for any Story City related WWI memorabilia. If you have items that you would like to donate or loan to the Historical Society for this exhibit, please contact us. Also if you have any family stories about WWI you’d like to share, we’d love to speak with you. We'd like to thank all of the men and women from Story City who have served and who are currently serving in the armed forces. We are truly grateful for your service.
This year is the 80th anniversary of the 1936 Works Progress Administration (WPA) projects being completed in Story City's South Park. Our historic photos this month feature two of those projects, the swinging bridge and the shelter house. These photos are from Katherine (Jacobson) Munsen's 15th birthday party in 1936. Katherine's mother had planned a brunch in the new shelter house that included cantaloupe with red raspberries, bacon and eggs, cinnamon rolls and fudge squares. Record temperatures were set that July with eleven consecutive days, from July 4- July 16, where the temperature reached 100 degrees F and above. The Historical Society would like to thank Katherine Munsen for sharing these photos and her memories with us.
This month we are featuring two historic photos from the Story City Maid Rite. It was located at 519 Pennsylvania Ave. These photos have been recently donated to the Historical Society by Gerry Anderson. Gerry’s parents, Johnny & Lucille Egenes, owned the Maid Rite for about 19 years from early 1950s through the 1960s. There were 11 stools around the counter. Maid Rites cost 24¢ each or 5/$1, pie was 15¢, bottle of pop 10¢, and a cookie was 5¢. Thanks to Gerry for donating these photos. If you have old photos of former businesses in Story City that you’d like to share, please contact the Historical Society.
The historical photo this month features one of the Museums of Story City. The Bartlett House Museum is a Queen Anne style home built in 1903 for Henry Torkel Henryson and his family. H. T. was the son of Torkel Henryson who brought early settlers from Norway to this area in 1855.
H.T. was born in Story City in 1865. He worked in various trades - farming, shoe store clerk, and had an interest in the S.R. Corneliusen store. H.T. became president of the First National Bank in 1908, continuing there until his family moved to St. Paul, Minnesota in 1913.
This home was purchased in 1996 by the Story City Historical Society with a generous gift from Dr. Frances Bartlett Kinne. It has been restored and furnished from the 1903-1920 era. The museum is dedicated to Dr. Kinne's parents, Charles M. and Bertha Bartlett and her brother Charles. The home was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005. All of the Museums of Story City are open extended hours during the summer, Sundays from 1-3 pm.
Its that time of year, graduation in Story City is almost here. This photo is one of the oldest Story City High School graduation photos we have in our collection. This is Bertha (Olson) Bartlett's high school graduation photo. Bertha often told her daughter, Frances Bartlett Kinne, that the class was upset when a man joined the class in the 12th grade. Back row: Inger Grotness, Carrie Larson, Bertha (Olson) Bartlett, Alonzo Donhowe, Edith Ericson, Martha Gravdahl. Front row: Ellen Jorgenson, ___, Hagen (teacher), Neah Paulsen.
From the June 2, 1905 Herald: Commencement exercises of the high school were held in the opera house last evening and a class of seven girls and one boy finished the course. They have been hard and enthusiastic workers the past school year and are deserving of much credit. The orations were well delivered with fine elocutionary effect, and in a manner that displayed excellent training. The efforts of the class were highly appreciated by the large audience present and each oration was loudly applauded.