A look back for the class of 1968
Tuesday, August 06, 2013 3:26 AM
Recently a friend called with the news that two of her children were coming to Spring Valley during Ag Days for class reunions, one of them to celebrate 45 years since graduation. Since my last column noted the upcoming 65th for the Class of '48, perhaps a couple more columns along the same line are in order here.
A photo from the '68 Reflections yearbook.
Over 70 students graduated in 1968, a goodly number under the supervision of Supt. Ernest Winter, Principal N.A. Osland, and Ron Nicholson, guidance counselor. New high school teachers coming on board in the fall of 1967 included Don Rose, science, George Colbenson, English and drama, Cynthia Alford, librarian, Andrew Neville, art, and James Adams, math. Other new grade school teachers were Marilyn Kapach, Ethel Marchant, Thelma Start, Linda Hahn, Ed Vilt, Gladys Nicholson, and Roland Woodford.
What found its way to the front pages of the Tribune that fall? The Sportsman's Club purchased 15 acres of land near Bloomfield town hall to set up their shooting range near one of the former iron mine ponds. The Four Winds Cafe was burned, on purpose, for the site of a new cafe, and Spring Valley Utilities signed on with Interstate Power for standby power. Duane Koebke held an open house to initiate his new business, Koebke Ready Mix, Feed & Fertilizer. Under the direction of Rev. Reuben Groehler, pastor at Our Saviors Lutheran, a nonprofit corporation was established to empower a Youth Center in the former Gamble store on North Broadway; it opened in December.
In a very close election, Duane Grafe and Donald Krom ran for mayor, with Krom getting the most votes. New 1,000-watt streetlights were installed in the business district, making a noticeable improvement in the night-time. The Masonic Lodge celebrated 100 years, meeting upstairs in the old Stone Block, and Community Memorial Hospital noted five years of service to the community. Kvale sold his IGA grocery business to Duane "Squeak" Seeley, and full-page ads noted three cans of tuna for 79 cents. There was progress at the new St. Ignatius Catholic Church - men were pouring concrete in the fellowship hall, with an anticipated opening of the church in December. For auto enthusiasts, one could see the new Plymouth Fury at Marchants, and Lundby was promoting new '68 models of the Chevrolet, Buick and Pontiac.
Before the new year came in, Vern Mortrude, band director, and Elementary Principal Paul Skagerberg flooded an ice skating rink on the grounds at the elementary school for kid fun after the Christmas holiday break. In February of '68, the city council appointed an advisory committee for "better communication:" Buster Johnson, Marian Challgren, Jan Durbahn and Clarence Nordby. Wonder what prompted that, and how it turned out? A landmark went down - the 1875 Allen's Hall on the corner of Section and Park Street was demolished, with memories of businesses, apartments, and the countless activities it had housed over the years. The city bought Harold Biel's property along Main Street for use by public utilities, and he moved to a new site east on Highway 16. Ken Churchill at First National Bank was proud to offer 5.5 percent interest on savings accounts; and Home Federal was in the process of a major remodeling project.
Important business changes? The Thor Jorgensons and Roy Nelsons opened Jornels, a women's and children's apparel and jewelry store; Fred Bicknese sold his AG store to Buster Johnson; John Kraut bought Rudy Rozendal's Valley Food Locker; Gordon Peterson and James Hruska purchased Atwood Ford Motors; and Loren Jorris sold his funeral home to Wallace Osland. Dr. Robert Snyder joined Dr. Roland Matson at Valley Medical Center.
Campers were welcomed at the city park to use the restrooms and water source; new Forestville State Park expected 30,000 visitors that summer. In May, the Methodist Memorial, Grace EUB and U.C.C. churches voted to unite as one entity, soon to erect Faith United Methodist on Maple Lane. A job opportunity for girls? Mrs. Kenneth Foster, R.N., offered a new program at the hospital - a chance for young women to become acquainted with the basics of hospital and nursing home care; and 13 students graduated in May. It was noted that Charlie Mailand celebrated his 104th birthday in the loving care of his son and daughter-in-law. Assemblies of God pastor Gerald Smith showed off the basketball court in the "haymow" of the sturdy old Lobdill stable, now their church, with its two-foot thick stone walls. Kiwanis Club officers for the coming year were Carlyle Challgren, Stafford Hansen, Les Recknor, Ben Sanford, George Gullickson and Reuben Groehler.
It is sure the Class of '68 will have many memories of good times to share, and we trust they will check out the memorabilia, the "Wolf," and class photos at the Methodist Church Museum on West Courtland, open daily from l0 a.m. to 4 p.m.
See you there!