The News From Tama County & North Central Iowa
First Week of May 1914

State News

War in Mexico Impacts Iowa Citizens

As reported last week, the United States has invaded Mexico, and already the effects of that decision are being felt here at home. George Dain, a Traer boy, who has been stationed in Cuba, came back recently on a furlough. He was visiting his mother in Bellevue, Iowa, when he received a telegram from the war department calling him to Mexico to take a hand in the trouble down there.

B. S. Ives, of Cedar Ralls, is much concerned over the fate of his sister, Mrs. A. F. Acres. She and her husband live in Torreon, Mexico. For more than a month, he has not heard from her and there is no means of communication with Torreon. The telegraph service has been at a standstill there since Pancho Villa captured the city.

Cedar Rapids has gotten a new Company of the 53rd Regiment Iowa National Guard. The company will begin training immediately to be in readiness for the war with Mexico. Other towns vying for the company were Dubuque and Manchester.

Portland Cement Plant

Mexican employees in the cement plants in Mason City are said to have almost to a man asked for their paychecks and headed for Mexico to join Huerta to fight against the invaders. Some of them are buying tickets but others are beating their way southward, where they expect to sneak through the American lines. At the same time, many Greeks and Montengrins are offering their services to the United States. Many of these have seen service in the Balkan war and are well trained.

Skunk Farming

Skunk Fur Coat

Skunk Fur Coat

A.C. MacFarlane tells the St. Louis Weekly Globe that he has determined he can make more money using his ten acres of land for raising skunks than a thousand acres growing cotton. Ten acres gives him room for the raising and care of 2,000 pole cats. Although it would be expected that his neighbors would vigorously protest, Mr. MacFarlane has perfected a method for removing the musk bags. The skins range in value between $1.50 and $8.00. These skins are sold under the name Russian Sable or Alaskan Sable and according to Mr. MacFarlane, "Many a wearer of beautiful Russian Sable furs does so in profound ignorance of the fact that Russian Sable is only another way of saying skunk."

Iowa farmers are also exploring skunk farming on their properties. In 1914, a new skunk farm was planned for Lovilla in Monroe County. A farm called "Skunk Hollow" was begun in Atlantic by F.M. Neebe and in Emmet County, Mr. Ferguson also started a ranch. One of the more successful skunk farmers appears to be the father and son team of Paul and Albert Bobst near Iowa Falls, in Franklin County.

Crystal Ice & Fuel Co. Waterloo Iowa

Fire, believed of incendiary origin, destroyed the hay storage barns of the Crystal Ice and Fuel company in Waterloo, consuming 4,500 tons of ice and causing a loss to the buildings of $2,000. An investigation is being made.

A Terrible Sight


People at train stations and in fields who witnessed the North-Western train as it traveled between Mt. Vernon and Boone were subjected to a gruesome sight recently. After the train struck a horse on the tracks the animal became wedged so tightly into the engine pilot that it could not be removed without the use of a dredge. Therefore the poor creature traveled 150 miles for all to see.

Salaries Revealed

On Iowa

The salaries for the presidents of the state university and the state teacher's college were recently released. The President of the University of Iowa will be paid $144 a week or $7500 per year while the President of the State Teacher's College will be paid $6,000 per year.

Melon Farming

Melon Farm

This postcard is currently available on

A thousand acres in the vicinity of Fredonia, in Louisa county, will be planted in melons this year, the new acreage being south and east of the town and will be in addition to the large acreage north of the town where the farmers have been engaged extensively for a number of years in melon culture. The acreage near Fredonia this year will be almost equal to that at Conesville or Muscatine Island.

Button, Button, Iowa's Got The Buttons!

Button Factory

Seventeen and eight-tenths of the buttons manufactured in the entire United States are made in Iowa.

Local News

Traer Fair Grounds To Be Sold

The directors of the Traer Fair Grounds have voted to turn the property over to the city of Traer to help fund their new library and ladies’ federation. The twenty-four-acre area formerly used by the agricultural fair has not been used for several years. It had been hoped that the agricultural society would reorganize but that does not appear to be a possibility. It is now felt that the proceeds should be used for some community good. It is felt that the library, rest room and social center provide that opportunity. It is anticipated that the land will yield $200.00 per acre.

Traer Marshal Resigns

"Marshal David Ward Jr. no longer wears the star." Tuesday evening the mayor was walking down the street and saw a small bunch of men who usually imbibe booze when they get together and observed that they appeared to be drunk. He sought the marshal and told him to arrest two of the three of them. The officer refused, claiming the men were going home, and said he would resign rather than do it. The mayor stated he would have to quit if he would not comply with the order. "The marshal turned over his shooter and star and immediately became a private citizen after a month or so of official life. The mayor then sought Will Scott and offered him the appointment and Scott immediately accepted. "The boozers escaped a healthy fine. The lid is on."

News of Dysart's Developing Commercial Club Spreads Through the State

"Dysart has a new commercial club. And here again are a lot of people banded together who know what they want what their town wants, and whet can possibly be gotten for them. And so they are not trying to move the capital of the United States to Dysart, but are content to do the things that are feasible and practical. They propose to give Dysart a Chautauqua, to arrange for band music and baseball and to have the streets oiled. It is in thus doing for their town that they will get results. Of course, they would get more publicity if they started out to capture the south pole and the north pole, but if they got them both, of what possible benefit would that be to Dysart? Working along in a practical way, for the benefit of their town, the members of the organization will never be at a loss for things to do that are feasible and that will eventually prove profitable." Burlington Hawk-Eye.

Crime Watch

Man Arrested Selling Acid Proof Ink And Escaping

Toledo, Iowa: Jack Low was recently arrested after making his way through small local towns of Lipscomb, Ellsworth, Union, Gladbrook and Marshalltown selling "acid proof ink". Marshal Schodt received notice from Marshalltown that Low was in the area visiting friends and made the arrest. The Marshal took Low to the State Bank to await the arrival of the Marshalltown officials and Low, "looked into the dark and distant future and could see things that looked quite unpleasant to him, so he took up the street north and disappeared into the darkness at a speed that would drive a jackrabbit to shame." He was captured a few hours later by a posse of town boys led by Marshal Schodt. After his second capture, Marshal Schodt placed him in chains and kept him in the bank until he was turned over to the Sheriff. Sheriff Edgar and Deputy Sheriff Goodale took the prisoner to Marshalltown in an auto where he was changed with obtaining money by false pretenses. The complaint was filed by S. Dickerson, cashier of the Liscomb State Bank, who bought $2.00 worth of the "acid proof ink". The ink having been claimed by Low to be erasable which has proved to not be true. J. W. Nuzum of Toledo posted a $200 bond and unfortunately when his trial began on Monday, Low was nowhere to be found. He was spotted walking between Gladbrook and Garwin that same day.


A.C. Ryan has made plans for the erection of a large implement house for Dysart and Lou Fuoss is looking forward to its erection with a certainty. The railroad company has not yet made the lease of the ground, but will in time. The plans are for a steel building about 42 x 100 feet across the track from the east of the freight depot. A smaller building will be erected to be used for an office. Part of the material for the building has already been shipped.

Entertainment News


Poluhni, the Mystic

Poluhni, the Mystic, showed in Gladbrook four years ago, two nights to well filled houses. HIs mind-reading, his street drives, his organ chimes, his Swiss Bell Ringers, etc. will all be remembered as first class. His show is one that can come back to the Opera House, May 8th and 9th.




Posted in Iowa Stories.