1941 Tribune illustrates life during World War II
Tuesday, July 08, 2014 11:01 AM
An edition of the Spring Valley Tribune from February 1941 contained stark reminders that the nation was on the verge of joining World War II and announced that 27 men from Fillmore County would be taken in the February draft call including 19 volunteers. A Naval recruiting officer would be in town to visit interested men between ages 17 and 31, the terms of enlistment being six years. There was considerable print regarding pending war and support of "allies" with munitions, gearing up production of wartime equipment, and what was going on in Washington, DC. New army camps were "ready for business, one part of our national defense getting up a full head of steam." And draft quotas were up.
Evidences of wartime found in the Tribune: Savings Bonds, Red Cross membership, rationing, recipes.
Other news in '41? Farmers were circulating petitions for a new soil conservation district which would work with the Dept. of Agriculture to assist farmers' plan for erosion control. The objective was good land use, but only on a volunteer basis, and cooperation was in the best interest of all concerned. Mr. and Mrs. Fred Schumacher and son, Maynard, just returned home from a week at the University Farms, having won many awards as growers of registered Hybrid seed corn and certified seed grain. Farmers were cautioned to get spring wheat insurance by the end of the month; policies covered all hazards (except poor farming), with 75 percent coverage of the normal yield. A lime program to be broadcast on KROC radio would acquaint farmers with soil building and conservation features of the Farm Program; especially important to make lime available to hundreds of farmers who had never considered its use.
Boys and girls, in fact, 217 of them, have enrolled in 4-H work in agriculture or home economics projects as well as health activity, conservation and safety. For folks with "garden fever," a program would be presented at the public library on "Small Fruit & Berries" - come with any questions regarding problems. The Fillmore Township Game Cooperative met to discuss the value of wildlife to farm families, highlighting the opportunity for hunting, trapping and fishing. The limiting factor for pheasants was determined to be lack of grit - the birds preferred granite, not the crushed lime rock around here; and the low quail population had to do with lack of habitat.
Tommy Frankson, son of Ole and brother of "Duby," left for San Francisco, employed by Hormel Co. of Austin to sell Spam and other Hormel products.
Locally, the Spring Valley High School Mirror had several columns of news. Co-editors were Barbara Sample and Meryl Wiese; asst. Roger Temanson; reporters: Marjorie Kasten, Vernice Hague, Reese Bambenek, Edwin Hamlin, Robert Drewes, Roselle Olson, Keith Hagen, Clifton Halsey and Clifford Ritland. Typists were Marcella and Marjorie Bertalot; advisor W.E. Hawk. "Senior Snapshots" included Roselle Olson, aka Sally, attending 12 years in Spring Valley schools, with plans to be a kindergarten teacher. Glenn "Ship" Shipton already had three letters in sports; Maxine Davis' favorite hobby was collecting pictures (not all of Robert Taylor), and she wants to become a dietetic nurse. Senior class officers: Ben Bambenek, president, Shirley Patten, vice, Calvin Oss, secretary, Lyle Rollie, treasurer.
Advertisers in this issue: First National Bank announced "Defense - national and personal - As America launches her vast program of national defense, it is up to YOU to prepare - a savings account will help!" Herman Lundby's Chevys were first in all categories, especially "the only low priced car with a 90 h.p. Victory engine." At Byer's garage, the Amazing Economy Nash, 4-door sedan, was only $838. Leuthold & Majors held a final clearance of five-buckle all-rubber overshoes, $2.89. Red Owl had 48 oz. Quaker Oatmeal, quick or regular, 19 cents a pound; P & G laundry soap, three for 10 cents. Bicknese IGA offered Hills coffee, one pound at 26 cents, six flavors of Jello, 5 cents a package, beef roast 20 cents a pound. Sward-Kemp Drug: toilet tissue, three rolls for 11 cents; 50 liver oil capsules only 59 cents; toothpaste was two for 29 cents. Groceries at Halbkats featured chili-con-carne at 10 cents a can. Iva Ray's Beauty Salon suggested one to ask about 3/4 perms and end curls!
Dead or diseased animals with hides were wanted (free service) by two dealers - H.R. Bly & Son, and the Spring Valley Rendering Service. Horse sales were featured at Nicholson Sales Pavilion on Fridays. Joe Guise on Market Street offered highest prices paid on all furs, hides, scrap metal and waste materials of commercial value. I can remember when my dad hauled in modest sized loads of scrap metal from the sinkholes north of town.
Such was life at the start, and during the wartime, days of rationing, "making do" with what we had. Perhaps we need to do that again.