Clipped From Kossuth County Advance

petroduck Member Photo

Clipped by petroduck

 - funny called Seems to Old the- trapped a "rib...
funny called Seems to Old the- trapped a "rib Goat that In Old ' , . ' ' who Mother's "observed a of the are way around of sturdy wrackr the to promise fascinating him book the such Goat honored. in ah man exists the in picture his day pay to in broken N THE ADVANC * NEXT. WEEK AND SPONSORED BY THE READY-MIX name And teaching In professional a them, than old chosen SWEA; CITY--What would a 1957 ifarmer do if on some winter* 'morning, -he'- -were -to look out the window and behold a big. white church, pulled by 24 horses, sliding up the creek on the ice? ' It's 'anybody's guess. Either the optometrist .or the. psychiatrist would probably get the first call, . . Farmers' in" th'e "Ringsted neighborhood, however, o n c e saw that very thing, and; since it happened 55 years ago when optometrists were scarce and psychiatrists practically non-existent, they accepted it as a natural event and showed more concern over.;-«rhat',-was about to happen to'"their fences. Group Builds Church. Not many persons are left who remember when a Presbyterian church stood in the southwest corner of Secton 12, Seneca township,- on what is now the Gordon Garrison farm. At one time in the.early 1890s there "was a fairly large group of Seneca residents interested in building a church to serve residents of the township who were not min- jstered to by the Norwegian Lutheran' _ denomination's Blakjer church in southwest Seneca. This group of non-Lutherans representing s e v e r a l differen faiths, united in a movement U, build a Presbyterian church. The Shaw family, prosperous farmers, donated a beautiful site northeast of the present Senec; school, on a high timbered spo along .the Des Moines river. But the pastor, the Rev. E. M. Williams, . owned the present Lawrence .Hantelmann f a r m in northeast Seneca township, anc through his influence a site near that farm was donated by John White, on Section 12. Trouble Is Brewed. This caused division of sentiment from the very outset, and the congregation flourished only briefly. Many of its members were tenant farmers, and when these left the community the or.^ ganization dwindled until it was no longer possible to continue services. The church stood empty for some years. Then the Burt-Fox Lake branch of the Northwestern railroad was built in 1899, and the towns of Lone Rock, Fenton and Ringsted sprang up along the tracks. At Ringsted a group of Presbyterians needed a church building. Seneca had the building but no congregation. Accordingly the governing body of Presbyterianism in Iowa transferred ownership of the Seneca church to life Ringsted group, who arranged to have it moved to that town, in the winter of 1902-03. Big Operation Starts. Few persons living today ever saw such an operation accomplished with ony horses for motive power. The building, 28 by 36 feet, with 14-foot sides and a steep roof, was heavy and well-built and stood on a high stone foundation. Roads in that period were uifsurfaced, so the moving had to be done in midwinter, when heavy snow would offer a means of sliding the building along on runners. The late Fred Ryther, longtime Algona moving contractor, was engaged to boss the job. Horses Church Charles Morris, Lone Rock, later a member of the Kossuth county board of supervisors .for many years, was his assistant, and Dick Olmsted, of Lone Rock, was engaged to go to southwest Dallas county and bring back the huge timbers that were to be used for sills to .support the building while it was be'ing moved. Huge Runners Cut. These sills, used' for the first time on the church-moving job, were remarkable in themselves. Specially cut from prime timber near Adel, they were hewn out of huge elms. Each measured 40 feet long and 14 by 16 inches wide and deep when finished, a size it would probably be impossible to find today. (Nearly half a century later Mr. Ryther was _still using'these sills when moving .two Swea City grain elevators.) Dick Olmsted first brought the newly cut sills up from Adel 'on two wagons tied together, bulled by four horses. Teamsters and teams for pulling the church to its new location, nearly ,10 miles, were hired from the Seneca-Lone R o c k community. One of them, Walter G. Smith, of,Swea City, then 21 years old; was the youngest man on the job. He recalls that besides Charles Morris,'Mr. Ryther. Mr. Olmsted, and himself, there were about 10 other men. His brother,' the late Neal A. Smith, Algona, their father, the late J. M. Smith, and a Charles Davidson are all whose names he now recalls. Each driver brought a heavy work team. 24 Horses to a Hitch. The church was loaded onto three specially, built single bobsleds, and a very large, heavy evener was used in hitching the horses to the front sled. Chains held the teams together, and after the first day the horses worked together almost in unison, 12 on each side. Away they went, across fields, through fences, until the Des Moines river was reached, near the present Beryl Smith farm. There an entire day was spent in the dangerous task of getting the heavy building down the steep bank and across the frozen river onto level ground on the opposite side. Blocks were put under the structure every few" feet as it slowly moved down- the bank, thus holding it on an even,.keel. There was room 'for only one team to work · in that.. spage;- : so a sort of sweep called a 'come- along' was worked by the one team, gradually e a s i n g the building "down -the slopes/ and across the river, which was frozen to the bottom. Trees had to be cut to permit passage thru the' timber, and every team was sharp-shod to prevent slipping ! on the ice. · . · Progress Was Slow. f Even on level ground; progress ' was slow, for the horses had to rest every few minutes. A crew went ahead to cut fences, and another, crew followed to close the cuts thus made. At that time, the law gave movers the right to cross any land they wished, but permitted the owners of the , land to recover damages. Only one farmer whose land -was ; crossed by the church-movers ever put in a claim for damage, and this was dropped befcredit could be settled. . , " Dinner on Stilts. At noon-next day, the movers enjoyed a r e a l , home-cooked church dinner. It was eaten in the church, too, with the minister saying grace. Probably the most unusual church dinner'any of the group was ever to attend, ·the meal was prepared by the ladies of the Ringsted congregation of Presbyterians, was thoroughly wrapped against subzero temperatures, and brought by team and sled to the spot 6 miles from Ringsted where the church had been nalted for the noon hour. "The food was still hot, and very good," says Mr. Smith, "Mr. Young and the minister brought it put. We ate in the church, which %vas up in the air several feet on blocks and sills over the bobsleds. This odd church-din- jner took place on the southeast corner of the Bollig farm in Seneca township. · ' "Some of the men were so hungry from the long morning's work and the wintry temperatures that they almost forgot to wait until the minister had finished saying grace!" Church Finally Located. That night they reached a spot just northeast of Ringsted, and had to wait until morning when a telephone repairman could come to cut the lines for them to pass under. This was the first phone line the group encountered--no rural phones existed in those days. At- this point, they were near the Black Cat Creek which was frozen solid, with low banks. The church was hauled to the creek, the teams were headed upstream, and away they went at a fine rate of speed, straight .up the creek to town, where they left the stream and headed for the railroad depot. The little town, less than 3 years old, was a raw, new village of mostly unpainted buildings..Quite a crowd collected to watch the strange sight, and a number' of cameras were seen in action: . ' , The tracks could not be crossed until the morning passenger train-had,.arrived -with · a tele-. graph lineman- aboard, who cut the wires after, 'the train had pulled out, and 'mended them when the movers had passed under. From -there it was only a few blocks to thetbuilding's new street, where it has since relocation north of Ringsted's main mained. "Very few-' men would have tried such a project," says Mr. :Smith,, "But .Fred Ryther was an exje£t.. : I v #pnder ; . r ho\K many, ..if any, are living today wKb were part of that crew." 4-H Clabs RIVEHDALE RUSTLERS II Jo Ann Erpelding The Rive.rdale. Rustlers 4-H club Unit IF met at the school July 22 for their regular meet- Referees Sale House and Lot Close In Located just north of Masonic Temple A contract has been entered into to sell the Duryea house and lot, described as Lot 1, Block 22, O.P., Algona, Iowa, and said contract will come up for hearing in the court room in the Courthouse in Algona, Iowa, on Monday, August 12 NUMBER ONE CROSS-COUNTRY ECONOMY

Clipped from
  1. Kossuth County Advance,
  2. 06 Aug 1957, Tue,
  3. Page 15

petroduck Member Photo

Want to comment on this Clipping? Sign up for a free account, or sign in