Carved wood figure of Christ in the chancel at Our Saviors Lutheran Church on South Broadway.
Carved wood figure of Christ in the chancel at Our Saviors Lutheran Church on South Broadway.
Front page headlines in the April 3, 1952, Tribune announced that Rev. W. J. Pilgrim was newly installed as pastor at Our Saviors Lutheran congregation. Despite bad weather and roads, many attended to hear District President Dr. Reinertson and President Ewald perform the service. Both senior and junior choirs sang, and on behalf of the congregation, Gordon Lundberg welcomed the group and read greetings from neighboring pastors.

Can you believe there were nine churches in Spring Valley? The list, and their pastors: First English Lutheran, L.W. Sawhill; Evangelical United Brethren, Omer Leske; First Congregational, Walter Ross; Our Saviors Lutheran, W.J. Pilgrim; First Baptist, W.G. Copham; Methodist, Harry Evans; Assemblies of God, H.A. Kingswriter; Dr. Martin Luther; St. Ignatius Catholic; plus churches listed from Ostrander, Wykoff, Fillmore and Chester.

In the photo we see the figure of Christ that dominates the chancel at Our Saviors, purchased with fundraisers by the Luther League. Originally it had a dark stained finish, but since the other church furnishings were of rich oak color, there had been considerable "grumbling." It seems that one dark night (?) the pastor climbed a ladder and simply stained - a miracle?? the figure to match the rest of the oak woodwork. What a shock! The color change is noted in the confirmation pictures between 1958 and 1959. Another story I'll tell is about wedding pictures showing couples below the feet of Christ (more grumbling!) and the change that was 'affected.' And a story on the incredible stained glass windows that grace the sanctuary.

So what else was going on in town? A famous movie, "The Story of the Life of Jesus Christ" was scheduled to close the weekly Lenten services at all the churches. In glorious Technicolor, it would be shown twice at First Baptist Church. The church page was sponsored by 82 businesses, including six Spring Valley and two Ostrander groceries, six hardware merchants and six service stations. Among the sizable ads there were four clothing stores: Alinks, Leuthold & Majors, Woodwards and Federated Store. Other service stations were Art's Husky Station with Goodyear tires; Hatley Motor offering Ford sales and service; Lundby's Inc., who guaranteed expert body and fender repair plus the Dual-Range Pontiac; and Gibson Motor Co., authorized dealers for Spartan Radio & TV.

Callaway Lumber would build you a hog house for only $10 a month, on time; Burgess & Sons carried a complete line of Builders' Hardware. Sward Kemp Drug featured Ken-glo Paint, and Rexall Drug boasted Dr. Clark's office upstairs. At the Red Owl store, thin skinned grapefruit could be had, 10 for 69 cents.

Groups? The Order of Eastern Star held installation: Mrs. Byron Pearce, worthy matron, and Carl Jahn, worthy patron. The tenth grade Girl Scouts observed the 40th anniversary of scouting; members of the troup: Rosalie Cooper, Janet Eisenberg, Marlys Galloway, Margaret Kumm, Jean Latcham, Myrthis Lage, Janette McConnell, Janice Cheney. Leader was Mrs. Leroy Henning, with Mrs. Alvin Kumm and Mrs. Leo Galloway on the committee. The VFW and Legion Auxiliaries had fundraisers coming up.

For farmers: Rendahl & Highum offered the new Solid E Emulsion to avoid cold weather cutback in egg production; well drilling could be done by Miller Bros., Albert and Geoff. Feed and seeds were available from Loren Tabor, Lawrence Schumacher, Everett Bartlett, Earl Ballinger, Melvin Monson, Joe Kjeer, Harry McKenzie, J. Fenstermacher, Art Maloney, C.J. Mathison, and Spring Valley Seed Co. who also offered custom cleaning and treating seeds.

Marshall Wells featured their new Zenith washer, only $99.95; Gambles advertised a power mower for only $5 a month, deposit; and Coast to Coast with Don Burge, featured a four-way rim wrench for 79 cents. Jeweler Harry Johnson's 17 jewel Elgin watch, only $33.75, made a good graduation gift. Spring Valley Dairy had eight different milk products, and some available in glass bottles. LuVern Olson took full ownership of Spring Valley Cleaners since his former partner, Darold Westphal, was leaving for service in the armed forces.

Entertainment? A Baseball Dance at the Roda, with music by Stan Hyland band, would benefit the baseball program. At Mlinar's State Theatre, movies seven nights a week: Gene Autry and Pat Buttram in "Valley of Fire," "Let's Make It Legal" with Claudette Colbert, Macdonald Carey and Zachary Scott, plus a Little Rascals comedy; and Gary Cooper and Mari Aldon in "Distant Drums." Vern's Accordion Band would be playing at the Racine Hall on Saturday night. Gordon Lagerquist and Gib Hovey plus Mesdames Al Jenkins and John Halbkat met with Rev. Copham to plan the summer recreation program sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce. The Cosmopolitan Club was planning a Senior Girls' Tea at the former Trinity church dining room.

At school, nine players were to get basketball letters: Captain Nate Collins, Bill Doering, Don Byers, Carroll Halverson, Don Puck, John Warren, John Hollander, Jerry Persons, and Don Gehrke. Players who did not receive letters but worked hard were Jack Finneseth, Richard Darbo and Walt Anderson. A 13 year old Ostrander boy, Roger Tangen, was named Fillmore County spelling champion; runner up was Gweneth Hagen in District 156. Wykoff seniors were to present a play, "That's My Boy" with cast Ray Heidtke, Adrienne Schwier, Coleen Mensink, Lila Eickhoff, Joyce Buche, Gladys Wright, Ernest Meyer, Marlene Schmidt, James McGhie, Ariel Baker, Curtis Grabau, Herbert Fjelstad, Maxine Meyer and Mariel Vreeman.

So it went, news, mostly good, in 1952.