The News From Dysart - Last Two Weeks of January 1914
Electricity Will Soon Start Flowing Throughout Town
The local paper reported that Dysart was soon going to become one of the towns to be favored with electricity, "the force that no man can define, yet which can be used to great advantage." According to "Stepping Stones in Time" in 1901 a hot air engine was placed in the gas plant to manufacture enough gas so all lights could be used at once. In early 1909 the city installed a new boiler for the gas works, to heat the water for mixing with the gas and a notable improvement was realized. The electrical plant construction was approved in 1913 by special election.
In January 1914, the Dysart paper reported that Dysart's citizens has always been "quite energetic" about municipal improvements. The building which was to house the mechanicals needed to generate power was nearing completion at the corner of Tilford and Wilson, just south of the railroad tracks. To the left of the building were the supply tanks which stored the 10,000 gallons of fuel needed to run the engines. The fuel cost the city five and a half centers per gallon and it was believed that two tanks would be needed per year.
The Dysart Reporter gave this account:
In February of 1914 it was reported that Ernest Hix put a concrete floor in the electric power plant. In March, there appears to have been some conflict over the cost of the plant prompting the project manager to write an open letter to the Reporter, clarifying costs. The total cost of the plant was $13,411.44. The plant at first ran 24 hours a day on Tuesday and Wednesday "for the benefit of those using electric irons."
In October the city posted a notice in the Reporter asking that all residents, business and churches turn on all their lights between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. so that the Alamo Engine Works of Omaha could test the engines at the plant.
On December 30, 1915, in a special session of the City Council met to consider the purchase of electric current from the Iowa Railway & Light Company of Cedar Rapids which was approved for the next 20 years. The Council disposed of the local equipment for $3500.
Editor’s Note: When I look at that building, I always think of our old neighbor and longtime city employee, Harold Langbehn. As a child when I passed by, I would always look over to see if I could see him with his signature cap.
Growing Economic Troubles in the Cities Start to Find Their Way to Dysart
"A well-dressed man was put off of a train here Tuesday morning and at noon he was up against the question of something to eat without any money. He started out to get a dinner and was successful after stopping at the fourth place. We talked with the fellow and he said he was on his way from Minneapolis to Kansas City, was a boiler maker by trade and was looking for work. He said that work was harder to get than he had experienced for fifteen years. Men in Minneapolis are being fed through what ar called "soup houses" and stopping at Mason City and a couple of other towns he said everything was shut against outside help and a good bit of the local help. We hpe these hard times in the cities let up soon." Dysart Reporter
Dr. and Mrs. Lames Continue Their Recovery
Dr. and Mrs. G. Lames who were injured in a serious auto accident are recovering. Both are able to be around. Monday, Dr. Lames was taken to Waterloo for x-ray pictures of his fractured arm. The pictures showed a very complicated fracture and dislocation. On Tuesday H.P. Jensen accompanied him to Chicago where Dr. Murphy, one of the greatest surgeons in the world, could fix up the arm.
Seven car loads of ice were shipped down from Traer this week and the buyers have been unloading it and packing it into their ice houses. Ed Gleim purchased three cars, E.B. White two cars, Charles Santman and John Messer each one car.
The train yards have been very busy of late. Several carloads of livestock were shipped recently. Nate Burhenn sent two cars of cattle and a car of hogs, T.B. Grain Co and Marsau a car of hogs, W.C. Heineman a car of cattle, O.J. Smith two cars of cattle. W.C. Heineman and Nate Burhenn accompanied the shipment to Chicago. H.P. Jensen also shipped two cars of cattle to Chicago.
John Hahn, one of the prominent farmers west of Dysart, has rented his farm and sold his stock and machinery to his sons. He and Mrs. Hahn are making plans to travel through the western states this year.
R. B. Allard, who has farmed northeast of town for many years, has decided to sell his farm machinery and household goods and move to Texas. An ad for this sale appears in this paper.
Benjamin E. Pippert and Marie Schmidt Wed
Dysart's Orphan Train Children
William Struve and Louisa Koepke, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Claus Koepke were married at the German Lutheran parsonage. The bride was born and raised to womanhood here. Mr. Struve is a stock buyer in Elberon. The party came to Dysart in an auto and returned immediately after the ceremony.
"A merry crowd of Bohemian ladies surprised Mrs. Jim Ulrich at her home Saturday evening and had a feather stripping bee and spent a very happy evening."
Editor's Note: One of our readers has provided a link for you to learn more about feather stripping bees. Although this one is from Poland, one would guess it was very similar for the Czechs. : Thank you, Joan https://www.sophieknab.com/blog/stripping-feathers-in-old-poland
The young son of Mr. and Mrs. Fred luze was baptized and christened a week ago last Sunday. Rev. Christiansen performed the ceremony in the presence of relatives. The boy was named Carl Henry.
Henderson Stock Co. Performs at Opera House
The Henderson Stock Company played all last week at the opera house and enjoyed good crowds. The plays each night was good. Many people went to the opera house on Saturday expecting to see Dora Thorne (a play) but instead a very funny mistaken identity comedy was staged. The crowd seemed well pleased. Mrs. Holtz held the lucky number on the pig which was given away the last night and Albert Miller went on the stage and caught it with as much ease as he would were he in his barnyard. The audience expected to see a lively chase around the house but was disappointed. R. Henderson stated that it was his intention to come back to Dysart in the Spring. Editor's Note: Were they chasing a live pig around the Opera House?
They don't write obituaries like this one anymore....
Rosetta Mae Heath Smith Stoner 12/18/1888-4/22/1980
Editor's Note: William Smith's widow, Etta, was remarried in 1915 to Sylvan Stoner and lived in Dysart under the name of Etta Stoner until her death in 1980. Etta was my neighbor when I was growing up in Dysart and I have written some of my memories about her in another post on this website entitled "I Think I Finally Understand Etta Stoner".