The Algona Upper Des Moines from Algona, Iowa on April 8, 1965 · Page 1
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The Algona Upper Des Moines from Algona, Iowa · Page 1

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Algona, Iowa
Issue Date:
Thursday, April 8, 1965
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Page 1
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Crash Damage Suits ask $64,292 Four Separate Kottuth County's Largttt Newspaper Circulation Cases Result Of 1964 Smash Four damage suits, the result of a 2 car crash six miles west and a mile north of Swea City Sept. 27, 1964, were filed in district court here this week. Total sought from Sylvester Elbert, Whittemore, defendant in all suits, is $64,292.60. Plaintiffs in the suits are members of the Paul Sanftner family of Swea City. Mr. Sanftner filed suits for injuries to his two sons, James, 8, and Larry, 7, and another in his own name for medical and doctor's expenses, and Sheryl Sanftner, 29, mother of the boys, filed one for doctor and hospital bills and damages. Negligence is charged. Largest suit was filed in behalf of James Sanftner - and $50,000 is asked. James and Larry were passengers in an auto driven by their mother when the cars, driven by Mr. Elbert and Mrs. Sanftner, collided at a county gravel road intersection. According to the petition, the defendant was headed north in his auto, which was pulling a boat and trailer, and Mrs. Sanftner was headed east. The petitions allege the Elbert auto struck the Sanftner car in the Intersection and the original accident report, filed by Sheriff Ralph Lindhorst and Patrolman Charles Bird, who investigated, stated the Elbert vehicle struck the other near the rear half of the car. Both autos were totally demolished. The James Sanftner suit claims the plaintiff was seriously and permanently injured, suffering severe fracture of the left femur, compound fracture of the left and right tibia and fibula, resulting in three weeks of hospitalization and leaving the left leg permanently shorter than the right. It also alleges permanent partial disability. The suit for Larry Sanftner states he suffered a brain concussion, pain and suffering, past and future, and seeks $7,500; while Paul Sanftner seeks $4,261.60 for medical and doctors' expenses, past and future for the two boys. Mrs. Sanftner's suit states she suffered multiple contusions and abrasions about the face and that she suffered severe headaches lor several months following the crash. She also alleges permanent disfigurement on face and asks $2,531 for doctor and hospital bills and damages. Following the crash, the injured were rushed to Holy Family hospital at Estherville, following treatment by an Armstrong doctor. The mishap occurred about 9:45 a.m. ESTABLISHED 1865 Entered as second class matter at the postoffice at Algona, Iowa, Nov. 1. 1932. under Act of Congress of March 3, 1879. ALGONA, IOWA, THURSDAY, APRIL 8, 1965 12 Pages VOL. 100 - NO. 26 Worst Flood In History Hits Peak Mud, Mire, Damaged Roads Left In Wake $5,000 Damage In Fire At Lofts Creek WHITTEMORE - A total of $5,000 damage resulted to furniture and the interior of the Louis Wehrspan farm home about five miles north of here in Lotts Creek township from fire and intense heat early Monday morning. The Whittemore fire department was called to the scene by a passerby, Marion Struecker, Fenton, who is employed at the creamery at Whittemore. It was lucky he came past the Wehrspan farm when he did, because the phone was out of order there. About 7;30 a. m., Mr. Wehr- span discovered there were no lights or electricity on the ground floor of the home. He went to the basement to check the fuse box and replaced a blown fuse, then heard a noise as the fuse blew again. He then discovered smoke in rooms on the ground floor, and about the same time saw fire "which resembled the flame from a blow torch" spurting from the TV set. Fire damage was limited mostly to the ground floor,due, according to firemen, to alack of draft. The heat was so intense windows were shattered, but storm windows were not. Mayor's Court Three persons paid fines and court costs in Mayor Bill Finn's court here this week following preliminary hearings of charges. Leonard G. Monson, Wesley, paid $25, public intoxication; Vincent F. Esser, Jr., Algona, $10, failing to have control; and Walter Klamp, Algona, $5, failing to enter a highway safely. Kossuth county began recovering (somewhat) Wednesday from what has been termed by many as the worst flood in memory here. High water in some areas began to subside, although the Des Moines river, which put a 3 foot arm across highway 18 north of the city early Tuesday, had not shown signs of backing off. As far as traffic on state and county highways and city streets is concerned - the current flood has to be the worst. It is impossible to recall when the situation has been as bad. HIGHWAY 18 CLOSED With highway 18 under three feet of water, that stretch of highway 18 from the four corners north of the city to the top of the hill east was barricaded and closed to all traffic Monday when it was about two feet deep. It worsened after Don Christensen, foreman of the State Highway Dept. here ordered the barricades placed. Tuesday at 7:30 a.m., while chunks of ice, broken from the normal channel of the river, were beginning to float across the highway, Christensen drove through the area in his pickup truck - and had to put his feet on the dash to keep them from getting wet as water surged across the floorboards of the vehicle. Also at that time, ice measured 12-14 inches thick in the river. POWER OFF During the night Monday, a power pole was knocked out of commission in that area - and power went off in the northeast section of the city and adjoining areas Tuesday, with employees of at least two firms, Weid- enhoff and the Directory Service, sent home early due to a lack of lights and heat. The power was off almost an hour. Christensen ordered an embargo on all state blacktop highways in the county, highways 44, 226, 91 and 60, Tuesday morning, with the load limit set at six tons. About the same time, Charles Plathe, one of Kossuth's supervisors, announced a 10-ton embargo on all county blacktop roads which lead into state highways. However, the board had earlier decided upon the 10-ton limit during a meeting Friday. SWEA CITY FLOODED One of the hardest hit communities in the entire area is Swea City, where heavy rain, added to melting snow, built a lake, flooding streets and basements, centering around highway 9, which passes through the center of that north Kossuth town. Ice on the river was pushed into the planks on the bridge near Call State Park and water ran across the road north of the bridge, knocking out the shoulders Monday night. All lowlands surrounding the city of Algona were covered with deep water, carrying large chunks of ice which had been broken away since Sunday. And, as usual, the city dump was inundated and Van's Cafe threatened by high water. DYNAMITE USED The high water hit the intersection of highway 169 and the West Bend blacfccop Tuesday, and by Wednesday morning, according to Christensen, was 9-8 inches deep. He had four men stationed there during the night Tuesday and planned to have a crew there until the river began to drop. The county dynamited ice near two bridges on the West Bend blacktop Tuesday after trying to break up ice in other areas earlier with blasting. In Algona, Jess Lashbrook, street commissioner, reported city crews had pumped standing water in residential areas of the east part of the city several times. The dump road was closed early Tuesday, as well as several streets in other areas of the city. CHUCK HOLES t' j.« Streets here are all beat up after being pounded by traffic during and since the terrific blizzards of the winter - and chuck holes in some areas almost threaten to swallow small compact cars. North Jones street, highway 169 through the city, has been knocked apart and repaired three times so far, and is again in poor condition, despite the efforts of state crews to keep it smoothed out. It is probable embargoes that have been placed so far may be in effect for at least a month. County Engineer H. M. Smith and the board of supervisors stated during the weekend that county roads are liable to be in very poor shape for at least six weeks. Estimates of damage to county roads so far run as high as $300,000 for repairs. The blacktop road leading from highway 169 south of Algona to Irvington was nearly flooded by the river late Tuesday - and residents of that area report the river is the highest it has ever been there. Flooding of basements in the county has been the general rule, with LuVerne especially hard hit, according to Plathe. MOST HIGHWAYS OPEN Generally speaking, state higfi- ways in Kossuth have been open for traffic - and Monday there were 21 spots where water was running across them. There are probably hundreds of places where water is across county roads - and in some instances the high-banked blacktops have water on them, due to frozen culverts and snow-blocked ditches. An accident Monday at 12:30 p.m. was blamed on the flood. It occurred on highway 169, 2 1/2 miles south of Bancroft and cars driven by Kermit D. Zwiefel, 21, and Verle A. Nelson, 43, both of Titonka, were involved, with the latter being charged with driving faster than conditions permitted by Sheriff Ralph Lindhorst. The Zwiefel auto was struck from behind by the Nelson pickup when the former slowed down for water on the highway. Damage to the vehicles was estimated at $500. According to officials Wednesday morning, it was not known if the flood had reached its crest here yet or not. Most thought the river might rise slightly before beginning to fall back into its banks. All in all, it's a mess! TRAFFIC HALTS ON U. S. 18 - This picture looking westl at the approach to the bridge over the east fork of the Des Moinesl Driver, just before reaching the U. S. 169 Intersection, shows! flood waters pouring three feet deep over the pavement. That's| i a state highway truck down near the bridge. Forger Admits Passing Check Here Last Fall Jerry R. Schoon, 21, Knierim, admitted to Sheriff Ralph Lindhorst Tuesday that he and a 16-year old juvenile from Livermore had forged a check at the Diagonal Grocery here Nov. 25, 1964. The admission came at Ft. Dodge, where Schoon is serving a 120-day sentence on a similar charge at the present time. He is also wanted in several areas besides Algona. The check was written in the amount of $48.19 on an Iowa State Bank check blank and was allegedly one of several written and passed here. According to the slieriff, charges here are pending. NORTH DRIVE THE SIGN TELLS THE STORY - If anyone didn't observe J» this sign, they were in for trouble at the approach to the Chrome Service Station and Cafe, at the junctions of U. S. 18 and 169 early this week. _ Bancroft Laundry Building Burns THE OLD BRIDGE HELD - That's the bridge approaching Call State Park from Algona, with flood waters pouring over about 100 yards of blacktop road in the foreground. I GOOD OLD CITY DUMP - It's there, but you can't see it.f (Picture was taken from U. S. 169 at the north edge of AlgonaS las Des Moines river floodwaters backed up over a wide areaj "i entirely covering the city dump. An explosion ripped the basement of a Bancroft business building Sunday afternoon and the resulting fire caused haavy damage to a first floor laundromat. It took firemen from Bancroft and Burt nearly four hours to control the blaze which was screened by heavy banks of smoke. Two customers were in the Bancroft Speed Wash when the explosion occurred, but neither was hurt. Firemen successfully kept the flames from breaking through a wall into an adjacent building which contains Garry Furniture Store. George Rahe, owner of the laundromat building, said this morning that his business "is pretty badly burned out." The blast is believed to have occurred near a fuel oil heater in the basement, but Rahe said today they were unable to pinpoint it Sunday night. Rahe said the blast was touched off about 5 p.m. "and it was about nine before they got it under control. The smoke was so heavy they just couldn't get to it." In the laundromat were Mrs. Norma Johnson and Bill Doocy, who notified the fire department. Retired Grocer At West Bend Rites Tuesday Benjamin E. Walker, 73, a re- tired West Bend grocer, and lather of James Walker of Wesley died last Saturday at his home in West Bend. Funeral services were held Tuesday at 2 p. in. at the Methodist church in West Bend, with Uev. Galen Peekham officiating. Born and reared at Rodman, he was a lifetime resident <>i the Hodman-West Bend community except for five years when he operated a i 1 ,nicery at Blue Earth, Mini;., and live u-ars when lie was in a similar I at Clear Lake.

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