The News From Dysart – First Week of January 1914

Top Stories

News was received from the Burlington Hawkeye that a dangerous forger had been placed under arrest in Kansas City and taken to Pawnee City, Nebraska, for trial. The accused, named H.C. Burwell, had several aliases and had been very active in different towns throughout Iowa. The Iowa Banker’s Association had hired the Burns Detective Agency to track him down and bring him to justice. Working with a known accomplice, Mr. Burwell, had forged the name of a Dysart man to secure a deed on a property in Mitchell, S.D. Reports indicate that the forger had previously spent 10 years in the Iowa State Penitentiary.  

Local News

Due to the death of Edward Z. Dempsey, the position of postmaster for the town of Dysart must now be filled. Several people have already stated their intention to run for this position including Dr. Redmond, E.F. Douglas, and Frank Sewell.

Construction Continues on Dysart’s first electric light plant which will bring electricity to all of the homes and businesses in town.

Farm Report

Eli Messer made the news twice this week. First, he purchased a farm in Black Hawk County for $500 per acre and then he filed papers with the Black Hawk Co. recorder to form a corporation. Capital stock of $40,000 was sited and the corporation was established to promote his dairy farming operation. J. G. Brinkerhoff was the second incorporator.

Schroeder & Goken were busy shipping carloads of hogs from Dysart to markets in Cedar Rapids and Chicago. Hogs were brought to town by several farmers including: John Jacobs, Ed Heck, Abe Lincoln, Henry Jansen, Charles Vaupel and Will Christian; as well as Hans Schmidt and Theo Heckt.

T.B. Grain Co. & Marsau shipped hogs to Cedar Rapids brought in by Joe Kosnar, Laurens Ohlsen and Charles Arp.

Kressley & Campbell were busy using a tiling machine throughout the fall and winter. They were laying at least 50 rods every day through 10 inches of frost.

Crime:

A lengthy article appears regarding the theft of several feathers from a local businessman. This is posted here as it was reported by a Waterloo paper.

Bloodhounds Work In Dysart

Brought Down from Waterloo to Trail Man Who Stole Feathers

Last Thursday afternoon Dysart was in a great state of excitement. The sheriff of Blackhawk County had been called to bring his bloodhounds and trail the person or persons who had stolen some feathers from the yard of H.W. Beilke’s place. Mr. Beilke is a produce man here and he has been dressing a large amount of poultry this season. He had about twelve or fifteen dollars’ worth of feathers drying in the yard. Thursday morning when he went to look at his feathers they were nowhere to be seen. There has been a good bit of talk around town about petty thievery that had been going on and when this act became known, some of the businessmen thought it was about time to dig into the matter. A paper was circulated among the businessmen and money raised to hire the man with the bloodhounds.

The dogs were brought here and taken to the Bielke property about three o’clock Thursday afternoon. They picked up a scent very quickly and started east down the railroad track and went two miles east and then north to the road and back to town. They went right through town and south to the Will Ashenbrenner place and circled around the pasture then to the woodshed and then to the house. The house was searched but no feathers were found.

Of course, when this happened, and the hounds ended their search at the Ashenbrenner home it was thought that some of the family was the guilty party. But no feathers were found and nothing to prove any of them guilty only that the dogs had followed the trail down there. The Ashenbrenners, of course, were very indignant about the matter and insisted that the search should go on till the feathers were found to either prove the Ashenbreeners guilty or innocent. If they have had nothing to do with the feathers which they declare strongly, they have been done a great wrong, for public opinion has been bought against them. The opinion will hang to them till something is brought up to provide their innocence. We are in hopes that the instigators of this matter will still keep up the search for the feathers. It is not now a matter of feathers only but a matter of right or wrong to the Ashenbrenner family toward whom the crime has been directed. It is very probable that the party that perpetrated this act is the same that has been doing similar acts around town for some time and if this party is not found and proven guilty the town of Dysart will not gain its full profit by the bloodhound search.

Editor’s Note: Herman Bielke was born in Germany in 1865. He immigrated to the United States in 1870 with his parents. In 1920, he and his wife Mary (also born in Germany) were living in Dysart along with their son, Clarence and daughters Edith and Mary (who married Rudy Havran) and Frances. He died in 1949 at the age of 84 of an apparent heart attack. His obituary notes that he had operated a produce stand in the town of Dysart for 40 years which was located “on the other side of the railroad tracks”. His wife, Mary, predeceased him in 1946. Both are buried in the Dysart Cemetery.

Business News:

Farmer’s Lunber Company Declares 15% Dividend for members and elects news officers. At it’s annual meeting members voted to decrease the size of the board from 11 to 7. Those elected to the new board were: W.W. McElhiney, Ed Minkel, Fred Leo, W.D. Brandt, E.A. Huppert, H.P. Jensen and Dan Lally.

Sports:

A basketball game with Dysart at Shellsburg was played on New Year’s night. The score was 44 to 13 in favor of Shellsburg.

There was a wrestling match in Traer on Christmas night. It was reported in the Dysart Reporter that one of the Traer sportsmen got some outside talent in and the event was attended by 11 men.

Social News

The Dysart Reporter was full of social news. With the holidays just passed, there were several notations of Dysart residents traveling out of town to spend time with relatives, people traveling into Dysart to visit and former residents returning home to see their parents and loved ones. Presumably many of these came and left by train as Dysart had an active depot at the time. There were two passengers trains arriving and leaving daily.

Of interest, Dr. Forward and wife of Oakland, Iowa, were at the home of Mrs. N.A. Lawyer visiting. Dr. Forward was noted to be a Napraptic physician who was considering a move to Dysart if the business looked promising.

Editor’s Note: A napraptic physician focuses on connective tissue as opposed to a chiropractor who focuses on the alignment of bones.

Dr. H.L. Zimmer came up from his home in South English, Ia., last Wednesday and has been spending the holidays at his home here and with his friends. He is getting along very well with his practice there.

Editor’s Note: According to “Stepping Stones in Time” Dr. Zimmer grew up in Dysart and graduated with the class of 1909. He went to the State University of Iowa and graduated in 1913. After graduation, he worked for a dentist in South English. He then went to the Black Hills and played baseball. He returned to Dysart in 1915 and started his dental practice. ”

Entertainment:

The young people in town presented a stage show at the Dysart Opera House.

Editor’s Note: According to “Stepping Stones in Time” the opera house was located where on Main Street between the current fire station and Community Building. It was used by the school for events and sports until 1914 when the school built a gymnasium. The building was dismantled in 1969.

Moving pictures were being offered at the Gem Picture Theater on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday nights.

Notable Deaths:

Edward Z. Dempsey former postmaster of Dysart died at age 58 after being ill for some time with typhoid fever.

Mrs. Arthur Sewall, a women in her 60’s, died after falling from her second floor balcony. It was reported that she was cleaning rugs over the railing of her sleeping porch when she lost her balance and fell to the ground. She was hospitalized in Cedar Rapids for several days before succumbing to her injuries. (Editor’s note: Mr. Arthur Sewall was an prominent member of the Dysart community having arrived there in 1873. He was a builder and built several homes in the community. He was also the builder of the Opera House. A copy of his biography as it appeared in the History of Tama County can be found on the Dysart Tidbit’s page for those who are interested.

Area Churches:

The Ladies Aid Society of the Evangelical Church had a meeting coming up at the home of Mrs. Anna Jessen. Meanwhile the Ladies Aid Society of the Methodist Church was set to meet on Wednesday with Mrs. M. J. McNamee.

German School and Confirmation Classes were set to start on Monday evening, January 4 at 7 p.m. with Rev. H. Christiansen.

Revival Meetings are being held at the Evangelical Church featuring the Gospel Team from the state university at Iowa City. The meeting were being sponsored jointly by the Evangelical Church and the Methodist Church. The meetings have been nightly and according to the paper, the churches were “packed to the rafters”. It was reported that Wednesday night, after the meeting was completed a large crowd relocated to the Opera House where a number of stunts were performed.

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