March meeting of the Hamilton County Historical Alliance

Hamilton County Historical Alliance Group Meeting March 26, 2016
Kendall Young Library, Webster City, Iowa

Discussion Points: 
Noted that Hamilton County listing of cemeteries lists the address of a few cemeteries as the mailing
   address of the Trustee or Secretary rather than the actual address of the cemetery.
Meeting dates likely will be March, late June and October with Wayne Romp, Stanhope,
   hosting on June 18,2016 (date to be confirmed).
Stanhope Library has compiled a large photo book of community historic photos and this book 
   may be made available to the public at a later date.
Reminded to check the Ellsworth Library website as Alan and Janet have info / links to
   Hamilton County history info.
Discussion that abstract information available on-line. 
   Questions on whether this is accurate as no one has been able to locate a web site.
Discussion on Historic Preservation Listing / building history for each community
   Done for Jewell, Done for Ellsworth, Possibly done for Stratford,
   and small amount done for Webster City

   Question from Nancy Kayser:  Is there a listing of historical markers for county?

Secretary Report
Those attending: 



Wayne Romp - Stanhope
Jackie Frederick - Jewell
Lyn Vandebrake - Randall
Janet Adix - Ellsworth
Alan Spohnheimer - Ames
Pat Juon - Stanhope, Randall
Nancy Kayser - Webster City
Kenn Outzen Jewell
Ketta, Kendall Young Library
Alan Spohnheimer opened by greeting everyone, giving short synopsis of how group began (this is their third meting) suggesting we form a plan of what our objectives and projects might be for going forth, time line of meetings and when / where they will occur.

Alan would like to share in the future some of the things Ames Historical group is doing, that Hamilton County history folks might replicate, making us more effective with information gathering and securing its preservation, as well as facilitating an avenue for education on the history of our county.

Alan suggested we go around the table, introducing ourselves, the area/community where we live, and what particular corner of interest or expertise we have to bring to the group.

Lyn Vandebrake passed her business cards around.  Having recently been hired by Farm News, Lyn would like contact information for stories on centennial and heritage farms, Hamilton County good cooks, history on old barns/old buildings, and people of interest for feature stories.

Pat Juon has relatives who were here before Hamilton even became a county.   Her husband grew up on a farm in Jewell, farming for 41 years.  Her mother, Sarah Holt, wrote the history of Randall.  Pat lamented she didn't ask more questions of her mom before she passed away, but still has access to invaluable information.

Kenn Outzen knows about towns in Hamilton County that are no longer around. He also told an interesting story about person who brings buffalo hide, deer antlers and artifacts for educational talks.  Kenn said Jewell has the history of all of their downtown buildings.

Janet Adix, Administrator of Ellsworth Museum, a wealth of information, and retired from 32 years at post office.   Janet has a notebook filled to the brim of Ellsworth buildings, pictures, history that she brought with her.   Also some of Lincoln Township.   She told of an upcoming garage sale to feature antiques, April 30.  These need to be sold for the lack of space to keep them.

Alan Spohnheimer said he would like to see folks take pictures of Hamilton County farms, especially barns.  He used to live in Randall (as well as Ellsworth), now resides in Ames, and attends the Ames history group.  Alan is a retired school teacher, is proficient in web site building, and has other talents he is willing to use for the benefit of the group.  Alan also has some historical things with their place of origin rooted in Randall.   Alan made suggestion of  having a meeting schedule that solved the winter cancellation problem experienced this year.   Meetings could be held March - July - and October, or thereabouts.  This would give the group three meetings per year.   Alan also mentioned the need to keep meetings precise, not too long, with an objective of getting things done/accomplished.  Not lasting too long, but not cutting it too short either, as some in the group drive quite a distance to attend.   Everyone agreed.   Round-table discussion ensued.

Wayne Romp volunteered to host the next meeting sometime this summer.  Discussion continued with it noted that  there are conflicts in the summer schedule with several towns having special events already on the calendar.  June might be better than July, it was decided.   Discussion continued with October and November, with the point being made, the meetings shouldn't interfere with holiday activities, to ensure everyone possible could attend without schedule conflicts.   Discussion became a round-table talk with several contributing.
Wayne Romp volunteered to have the next meeting at his place, June 18, Stanhope.   This confirmed.  More on this coming through email alerts, to be sent by Debbie Caudle.   Wayne used to be a photographer (with an amazing title! Ask him personally about this !)  Wayne has two books, and brought them with him, sharing with the group; Stanhope History, compiled by Dee Weir, Stanhope Librarian.   A third book is in the making, and these all to be combined.   A price of $65 was quoted as what this might have cost.   Round-table discussion mentioned a fund raiser in Stanhope might help cut the cost any one organization is having to cover.

Ketta, not a member of the group, was attending this meeting representing the Kendall Young Library, by invitation from Nancy Kayser.   Ketta gave a report from the library on the space available.  They are no longer taking doll collections, as beautiful as they may be, because there simply is not any more space.  They do not have space, time, or staff to do anything with history.   They are not a museum.  Ketta said this emphatically, but was very nice, simply stating a fact.  The library has hired a lady, Casey Vance, who might be doing Hamilton County history coordination.  Casey is expection her first child, news to Ketta, which may limit Casey's involvement temporarily, or at some point when the baby arrives.   The library is in the process of scanning pictures of Hamilton County and Webster City.  Lindsey (not present) is Teen Librarian, Ketta said.   Teens are working on a new Ap that gives one history when locking onto a picture of a certain building.    Ketta not sure how far into this project the teens are. These are middle schoolers.

Nancy Kayser wants to do more projects.  Is interested in tourism.  Nancy does a lot of volunteering.   Round table discussion began. 

From Pat:  Nile Cottington took pictures and has history of barns.

From Nancy:  McMurray Hatchery, Extension Service, Farm Bureau all celebrate 100 years in 2017.   Also Hamilton County Fair, she said.

It was mentioned Dick Steffan, retired history school teacher, who was not present (and might still be in Quebec), has lots of things relevant to Jewell. 

Nancy brought cookies from Hyvee that were gluton-free, supplied coffee and water.

Meeting adjourned 11:45, with some lingering, talking in groups.

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