Kdttutfi County'! Lcrgttt Newspaper Circulation BY RUSS WALLER * * * You can add The Weather, to war and pestilence, as something that does a first class job of disrupting the normal course of life. And so it was in northern Iowa last week. A 10-inch snow Tuesday night was bad enough, but Wednesday morning the snow ceased - temporarily. Wednesday afternoon the snow was back and this time with it came winds of hurricane force from the northwest, that continued right into Thursday afternoon. * * * The suddenly closed roads and highways brought with them a few serious emergencies as reported elsewhere, where man as he has for centuries, was called upon to do real battle with the elements to help those needing medical or hospital attention. Those were the most serious aspects. Not the most serious, but one that took considerable maneuvering, was forced cancellation of the Corn & Soybean Clinic, scheduled for last Thursday at the VFW Hall, here. It was an all-day program, with a Tree lunch at noon, and a host of top-flight speakers coming from all directions. Some got here; some didn't. And therein lies an interesting background of what happens when a sudden storm such as we experienced forces cancellation of an event. * * * One of the co-sponsors, Allis Chalmers, had two of their men reach Algona, Don Ross of Spencer, block man, and C. R. Qultno, one of the speakers, who managed to get into Algona from Fairmont, Just before all roads were sealed shut. Ed Eichler, Humboldt, of the DeKalb Co., representing another co-sponsor, started for Humboldt Wednesday afternoon, where he lives. His car plunged into a snowdrift four miles south of Algona, and he managed to get back to Algona * * * A district manager of AC, headed for Algona, finally made it to Cylinder, where he spent two days in that local motel. The general manager of the whole event, Bob Murphy of Madison, Wis., representing Rural Gravure, the Clinic arranger, was snowbound in New Ulm. A telephone call came in from Fairmont, from Roger Didriksen, Algona man on the program. That was as far as he got. * * * Many farmers know Dr. J. A. Stritzel, agronomist from Iowa State University. He was to speak on behalf of FELCO. When the Clinic was cancelled in Algona, efforts were made to reach him at Ames, but he had already started for Algona, snow or no snow. About 6:15 p. m. last Wednesday came a phone call from Dr, Stritzel. He was in a farm house four miles west of Clarion, along with a number of other stranded motorists. Friday he was still there. A call to Finn's Bakery Wednesday afternoon managed to stop an order for enough baked beans to feed 500 or 600 persons .... fortunately they were not going to bake them until Wednesday night .... most of the other food items were non-perishable, thank goodness . . .. but it was a good day for the telephone company I Long distance, that isl * * * Calls to the VFW Auxiliary, slated to serve .... and finally a hasty rescheduling of the entire event, Corn and Soybean Clinic, for Monday, March 29. So we'll try again I * * * And we don't know just exactly who sent it to us, but we did get a suggested Famous Last Line in the mail, as follows: "I love my wife and kids but snowbound with them for a couple of days is about all I could take." Slsona ©pper ESTABLISHED 1865 Entered as second class matter at the postoffice at Algona. Iowa. Nov. 1. 1032. under Act of Congress of March 3, 1879. ALGONA, IOWA, TUESDAY, MARCH 23, 1965 8 Pages VOL. 100 - NO. 21 County Digs Out -J^nter^s Worst 2-Day Storm Isolates All Of Northern Iowa The most severe blizzard in 25 years (and the latest in a winter full of snow storms) finally blew itself out and moved out of Kossuth county during the night Thursday - but it will be a long time before things get back to normal. There's no doubt we've had more snow (estimates ranged from 12 to 14 inches) at one time during the years that in- intervened between the classic Armistice Day blizzard of 1940 and the now-famous (or infamous) St. Patrick's Day blast of 1965 but the high-powered winds that followed the snow have seldom been able to build bigger drifts. Probably the winter of 1936 surpassed us, drift-wise, but the storm proper couldn't have been any worse. Near-tragedies occurred al-. most hourly - but for the most part everything came out all right as law officers, highway maintenance men and a variety of just regular citizens combined to go to the aid of persons in need of assistance. The assistance in many instances was long- coming, but hours of hard work paid off with dividends in the form of saved lives, etc. Literally hundreds of touching stories came to light during and after the storm, which featured winds ranging from 45 to 70 miles per hour - and here are just a few: PLOWS TO AID OF BURNED GIRL Sheila Hannover, 1 1/2 year old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Dale Hannover, Whittemore, suffered serious burns on her face Wednesday afternoon when a container full of hot grease broke while Mrs. Hannover was baking and spilled on her. There is no doctor at Whittemore, and it was necessary to get the child to Algona for treatment, so a state snow plow, manned by Frank Smith and Jim Schultz headed toward this city on highway 18, followed by Ed Elbert and the Hannovers in the Elbert wrecker, which had chains on it. The mercy entourage stalled when the plow went in a ditch near the Harold Bjustrom farm, so the Hannovers went to the Bjustrom home and the plow operators to the Henry Schultz,' farm to wait until morning when another attempt could be made. This time, the plow bogged down near the Joe Besch farm in 15 foot snow drifts and a rotary plow was called in to open the way. The plow, driven by Mr. Smith, finally arrived, carrying the Hannovers, at St. Ann hospital about 10:30 a.m. Thursday, ending a trip th^ actually started about 17 1/2 CORN • SOYBEAN CLINIC Rescheduled „, for.. MONDAY, MAR, 29 9:30 A. M. to 3:30 P. M. V.F.W. HALL ALGONA Free Lunch at Noon Mr, Farmer — Don't Miss It! hours earlier. At last reports, the child is in fair condition. Smith said, after completing the trip, that he had been on duty since 3 a.m. Wednesday and most of the time had to drive "with my head against the windshield of the plow" and even then visibility was so bad "we hit three vehicles that were stalled in drifts." ALGONA COUPLE IN CAR OVERNIGHT Mr. and Mrs. Les Riter, Algona, headed for Des Moines at 3 p.m. Wednesday - and got as far as the Irvington blacktop south of Algona on highway 169. Mr. Riter said after he and his wife were picked up the following morning by Patrolman Charles Bird that he had ..wanted to turn around and return to Algona after traveling less than a mile, but traffic wouldn't allow it. He did attempt to get headed back to the city, but after pulling his auto east on the Irvington road, couldn't get the car back to the highway, so he and his wife spent the entire night in the auto with the motor running most of the time - and a window open part way to prevent possible asphyxiation. They were very cold by morning, and figuring they couldn't last another night in the car without food, decided to walk to the nearest farm house, arriving at the Alfred Grill farm about a mile south at 8:30 a.m. Thursday. The Grills made them feel right at home and Bird picked them up after driving through .a huge drift near the bridge on the highway near there at 11:40 a.m. Both Mr. and Mrs. Riter admitted, "the town looks real good" when the patrol car approached Algona, ending a harrowing experience. They had put on all the clothing they had along and also covered up with several blankets to keep warm during their vigil, MANY SUDDENLY BECOME HOSTS A Missouri couple wound up at the John Cash farm home east of Algona on highway 18 after their car plowed into a big drift in the middle of the road Wednesday night. Bird conducted a search for the occupants of the vehicle, checking with motels, etc., before finding them at the Cash place. Butch Esser, who operates a cafe at Whittemore, was also trapped in his auto all night Wednesday in the Whittemore area and reportedly was "very cold" when morning arrived. AMBULANCE CAUGHT FOR 15 HOURS Steve Loss, who farms four miles east and a mile north of Algona, was suffering with a blood clot and an ambulance was called. Hank Geilenfeld of McCullough's headed for the farm, and finally returned to Algona with Mr. Loss - 15 hours later. Another driver for McCullough's, Leighton Misbach, was returning from Iowa City - and got as far as Humboldt before being forced to give up. He returned Friday - three days after he had originally headed for Iowa City! Another Algona area farmer, Earl Zeigler, needed medical aid, so plows were dispatched to his farm; Pat Montag, manager of the North Central Public Service Co. here, wound up at Sexton where he stayed at Kirschbaums, while returning from a business trip; 12 cars and three snow plows were stalled in huge drifts 2 1/2 miles east of Cylinder on highway 18 overnight Wednesday; there was a pile-up of cars in drifts east of the drive-in theater east of Algona the same night; and many persons, like others mentioned, were taken in by friendly farmers and other residents when cars stalled during the storm. Hotels and Motels here were ,ammeu with salesmen and travelers for three days, with most finally able to leave Friday. Mrs Holfman Highway 169 North Of Bancroft Dies; Funeral Is Wednesday Mrs. Lucy Hoffman, wife of Dr. Karl Hoffman, Algona dentist, died at their home here early Sunday morning. Complete arrangements for Mrs. Hoffman's funeral had not been completed at press time, but rites will be held at St. Cecelia's Catholic church here at 10 a.m. Wednesday. Hamilton Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. Besides her husband, survivors include a daughter Joanne, several grandchildren and several members of her immediate family. ALGONANS IN SNOWSTORM CRASH Dr. and Mrs. M. G. Bourne, Algona, and Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Mayland, Elmore, were involved in a car-truck crash during the storm near Perry when their auto swerved on ice near a bridge and collided with a truck coming from the other direction. Mr. and Mrs. Mayland were taken to a Perry hospital where he was found to be suffering with cracked ribs, but the party later returned to their homes here. Mrs. Mayland suffered a cut on the head. FIRE DESTROYS BANCROFT HOME At Bancroft, the home of Mrs. Mary Sheridan was completely destroyed by fire which was discovered at 8:30 a.m. Thursday. The heating system in the home failed and Mrs. Sheridan went to stay with a sister at Bancroft Wednesday night. When someone went to the home early Thursday to check pipes, etc., the fire was discovered - but too late to save the structure. Patrolmen Bird, Bill Tordoff and Tom Cogdall, like practically all others in the state, spent much of the day Thursday attempting to aid in the removal of stalled and stuck cars from area highways, so state plows could begin the job of snow removal. Bird was nearly sideswiped at the north edge of Algona on highway 18 by a driver who was traveling too fast for the conditions - and all patrolmen had a rugged time, getting stuck and unstuck many times during the long day. Wreckers were kept busy, answering the patrol's call for help and pulled in many cars Thursday, with the help of state plows, which had to at least partially open the way so cars could be dragged from drifts. It took quite a while to remove two slightly damaged autos, owned by Francis Bjustrom, Whittemore, and Bob Lickteig, Algona, from a large snow pile on highway 18 at the top of the large hill west of the junction north of Algona Thursday afternoon. The cars had been there a day and a plow driven by Frank Smith opened the area from both ends so a wrecker could move the autos. FENTON LOSES POWER, 3 HOURS Power went off at Fenton at 3:15 p.m. Wednesday - and didn't come back into service for three hours. Power at Lone Rock, Ringsted and Burt was also reportedly off during the same hours, according to reports. Many business places 'there closed, and while most remained open in Algona, most were short many employees and closing hours were a bit irregular Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. There were many persons stranded in all areas of the county, including truckers, whose rigs got all tied up in drifts. Farmers living around Kossuth hosted many unexpected guests, especially Wednesday and Thursday. Practically all meetings, etc. were cancelled, a couple of arm sales were postponed (ads will be found in today's Upper Des Moines), all schools were closed (setting what must be a record Highway 9 In Gerled Area for school closings in a single winter) and postponements also included the Corn and soybean clinic slated here Thursday. It has been re-scheduled and will be held at the VFW hall here Monday, Mar. 29. A telephone repair crew from Algona, called to LuVerne to repair lines knocked out by the storm, couldn't make it Thursday and returned to the city. While most of the snow fell during the night Tuesday and Wednesday, the high winds caused most of the trouble later Wednesday and Thursday, resulting in visibility zero much of the time. Despite the drifts and lack of visibility, many motorists tried to drive to their destinations and wound up in trouble. The local police station reported many calls from would- be travelers, requesting information on road conditions. When told they were bad, most replied, "I guess we'll try to get through anyway," so their calls and the time spent answering them was wasted. The warnings, in some instances, went unheeded. PLOWS ATTACK DRIFTS FRIDAY While state plows were attempting to get at least one-way traffic moving (and in most cases they did) Friday, county plows, for the most part had been kept in during the brunt of the storm. County plows did begin working on blacktops Friday and reported some success. There are some gravel and dirt roads that might be blocked for some time. City plows had streets here opened up Friday morning - but all three agencies still had plenty to do when the weekend arrived. A lot of dirt was blown in with the snow here - and when the dust of battle cleared awuv, temperatures zipped down ward hitting near the zero mark Thursday and Friday nights. However, a thaw was expected to begin during the weekend - bringing another of Nature's threats to mind - floods, which promise to be very serious this spring, which, by the way, arrived Saturday - but you couldn't prove it in Kossuth county. Yessir, this has been a winter to retnemberl Goes To Pella Merle Pratt of Algona has joined the Pella, Iowa, Chronicle, as advertising manager.
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