Class reunion sparks a look back at 1931
Tuesday, July 01, 2014 3:18 AM
We hear the Class of 1949 is planning their 65th reunion in July - what a fun time that will be! Out of the 36 graduates, at least 11 of the women are still meeting about three times a year, and whose pictures from their yearbook you will find here. Serving on the board of education at that time were president Kenneth Moon, vice-president Harold Biel, secretary Frances Kumm, treasurer Lloyd Finneseth, and directors F.J. Mengis and O. Vickmark. Superintendent was John Hollander and high school principal Chester Nightengale.
Members of the Class of '49 who still meet during the year, although not each person can come every time.
My usual source if information (bound volume of the Spring Valley Tribune) was not available for 1949, but there was a volume from 1931, the year when many of the classmates were born. So let's take a gander at life in Spring Valley about 1931 which may stir some thoughts.
Earlier in December, Mr. and Mrs. B.W. Huntley celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Huntley had founded the drugstore on the west side in the early 1800s; they had two sons, Earl and Burton; over 150 guests came to honor the couple, hosted in part by the ladies of the Congregational Church.
News from the Commercial Club: In January, Lake George had frozen all the way to the bottom, so ice would be shipped from Austin at $1.50 per ton via railroad. Glen Bly might take on the task of furnishing ice the next summer. Dr. Carey appointed a committee of A.M. Nelson, C.J. Week, and A.R. Jorris to investigate indigent families, and would be allowed to furnish no more than 12 Christmas dinners to help out. Clothing for these folks would be collected through the school. A poliomyelitis epidemic was reported in Minnesota, and a respiratory unit had been installed at the University hospital for those with paralyzed lungs. The Congregational Church was making plans for their silver (75th) anniversary. In the Personal Property Tax List, both my grandfathers were listed: Dr. G.L. Boucsein (vet), $4.68, and Harry Steffens (bank cashier), $6.36. Soon to come - a requirement that all milk be pasteurized as there were way too many cases of undulant fever, and the dairy folks could comply with milk remaining the same price. Dr. R.A. Scothorn was elected president of the tri-county veterinary organization.
Pastors at six churches were these: United Brethren - Roy Preston; Congregational - J.F. Souders; Norwegian Lutheran - John Ritland; Methodist - W.J. Ferris; Zion Lutheran - George Keim; First Baptist - C.J. Tingley. In the "professions" the doctors were Cyrus Eby, E.V. Simons, W.N. Kendrick, Carey, W.C. Shepherdson and Julia Handberg, chiropractor. A lone attorney was listed: Sam Pattridge. Insurance men were A.E. Jeche and John N. Osterud.
It was amazing to find the newspaper carried "news" from correspondents in 15 areas: State Line, York, Chester, Fountain, Cherry Grove, North of Town, Fillmore, Route 4, Greenleafton, Northwest of Town, Forestville, Etna, Beaver, Ostrander and Sumner-Washington, plus the Society Pages documenting all the happenings about town. Just as today, there were no secrets.
For entertainment, the State Theatre offered Amos & Andy plus a Laurel & Hardy cartoon, but was open every night with three movies during the week. The Milwaukee trains promoted reduced fares for the holidays, and "Travel the Chicago Great Western with reduced rates."
Advertisers in the early editions included: Red Owl with two dozen oranges for 39 cents; The Peoples Store for men's clothing; Rafferty & Week - everything to eat and wear and ludefisk at 10 cents a pound; Everett Sprott, authorized Elgin jeweler; Genevieve Hendershott, the Ladies Shop for clothing and jewelry; Halbkat's General Store mentioned their gift shop in the balcony; The Self-Serve Grocery with beef roast at 16 cents per pound; Osterud Insurance Agency; First National Bank; Herman Lundby's Buick Eight, from $1025 to $2035, f.o.b. Flint, Mich. There was P.R. Jorris, pianos, furniture, undertaking; Valley Cafe, Fred Kumm; Leuthold & Aamot, clothing; Marchant Tire & Battery; Hamlin & Hawkins hardware; Dion Adams, printer; Viall & Cummings, druggists; Johnson Jewelry; Spring Valley Bakery; Jas. Smith Lumber; K.G. Molstad, general store; Valley Cleaners; Spring Valley Tribune with typewriters; Ruesink Chevrolet, with the new Chevy Six Roadster at $425, or a sedan for $635; Olson's Chick Hatchery at Spring Valley and Ostrander.
Also noted: automobiles averaged about 15 miles per gallon; mileage in the country tripled in nine years from 1.8 billion miles to over 5 billion miles. New Fords were advertised from $435 to $660. Local market prices: butter, 30 cents a pound; eggs 12 cents per dozen; turkeys at 20 cents a pound; corn was 50 cents a bushel; oats 22 cents a bushel; flax $1.37 a bushel.
We trust the Class of '49 has a great reunion, and enjoy reminiscing about the years between then and now.