Janurary 2018 meeting of the Hamilton County Historical Alliance

Minutes of the January 20, 2018 Hamilton County Historical Alliance Meeting
at the Hooks’s Point home of Mary Jo Johnson

Secretary Report
Hamilton County Historical Alliance met at Stanhope Community Center on Saturday, 

Present:  Janet Adix (Ellsworth), Jackie Frederick (Stanhope, Jewell), Mary Jo Johnson (Stratford), Linda Wild (Randall), Dick Steffan (Jewell), Bruce Johnson (Jewell), and Alan Sponheimer (South Hamilton).

Roll Call:  Tell of a celebration held in your town long ago.

Stratford.  The Hook’s brothers were the first settlers in the area.  When the railroad came, the post office which had been at Hook’s Point was moved to Stratford.  Those interested in learning more about Hook’s Point can read Hook’s Point echoes by Clara Layton Madsen.
Additional information can be found here: Hamilton County History.  

Ellsworth:  Turkey Days.  Turkey Days were held from 1950 to 1961 on the 2nd Wednesday in September.  As many as 123 women cooked 200 turkeys.  Booths were set up in the park and the lines ran around the park.  Janet Adix’s Dad wired the booths for electricity.  This was a free event and attended by many.  All participants received a turkey sandwich, ice cream and coffee.  Janet also remember that people left a mess to cleanup, throwing down their plates and napkins when finished.      More info:  Turkeys in the Ellsworth area.

Jewell:  Discuss about the Lutheran College.  That the college went on to be the elementary/high school in June.  As the building aged, teachers and students could feel the building move in the wind. https://sites.google.com/site/hamiltoncountyhistory/home/newspaper-articles/jewell-lutheran-college The Lutheran College was a 4 year school that taught subjects like:  Norse, Trig, Chemistry, Elocution, Orthoepy, Orthography, Latin, Geometry, Botany, English, Christianity, Ethics, Penmanship and German.  The college was owned and controlled by the Iowa District of the Hauge Synod.
Randall:  A brush with elegance.  Whole community got together to serve breakfast to select RAGBRAI participants in July 1989.  Valet bicycle parking.  Grand Pianos in the park.
Stanhope:  Watermelon Days celebrated their 60th celebration in 2017.  Thousands now come from all over annually for the parade, carnival rides and games, free entertainment and free watermelon.   Very much earlier in Stanhope’s origins, traveling chautauquas set up in the park.  https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85050913/1921-07-04/ed-1/seq-3.pdf
Blairsburg:  In the 1970s Blairsburg had a parade where the town’s senior citizens rode around in antique autos.
      Minutes from the last meeting were read and approved.  Bruce/Dick made the motion.  MCU.

Old Business:  none

New Business:
       Grant possibility supporting museum infrastructure—Building Challenge Grant from NEH, National Endowman for the Humanities.

       Updates on renovations at the Jewell Museum.  $5000 grant received from the Jewell Centennial Trust for the southwest corner.  Discussion of having an open house at the museum during Jewell Jubilee.  Accessibility of the Jewell Museum continues to be explored.  Accessibility for both floors, all options, are expensive.  They are having several entities make suggestions.

       Hannah from the Ames Historical Society had extra Webster City Year books from 1925.  She sent The Torch to Webster City and 2 copies came to the Alliance.

Next Meeting:  April 21, probably in Webster City

Adjourn at 11:15:  Dick/Bruce.  MCU.  Thanks to Mary Jo for her hospitality 

Submitted by Linda Wild, Acting Secretary,
in the absence of Secretary Debra Caudle Chavira
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