Christmas Shopping, circa December 1950, as seen in the Spring Valley Tribune.
Christmas Shopping, circa December 1950, as seen in the Spring Valley Tribune.
The recent "gift" of a Dec. 7, 1950, Spring Valley Tribune came with the request to write a column about life in town according to this newspaper. A front and center photo announced the grand opening of Hingeveld's Standard Oil service station on the southwest corner of Main and Section Avenue. Their full page ad enticed customers with a free grease job with every $3 purchase, door prizes for all who registered, free coffee and doughnuts, roses for the ladies, cigars for the men, favors for children.

General contractor was Vic Wubbels, electrical work by George Kaess, plumbing and heating by Al Sisson and C.A. Bergman. Station manager Floyd Hingeveld, a Cherry Grove native, was assisted by Hartley Horsman.

The paper was flush with ads for Christmas gifts to please everyone. Sears store on South Broadway (present community center) featured the Kenmore tank-type vacuum cleaner mounted on a Ken-Kart, only $75, a "dream cleaner, lightweight, easy to handle." Hatley Motors with Ford sales and service ("Ford pickups are economical to operate") offered not only expert body work by trained mechanics but 24 hour heavy duty towing service and guaranteed repairs on all makes and models. For Ford tractors, why not try the new Deerborn Blade snowplow to keep roads and feedlots open. S.V. Implement on South Section had "genuine John Deere parts, precision tools, skilled mechanics to recondition equipment for the busy season ahead."

Household needs could be met at Jorris & Son (funeral service) where they sold mattresses, kitchen sinks, Bendix washers, dryers and ironers, floor coverings and Hoover vacuum cleaners. Gustafson's Tire Service carried a full line of Maytag, Admiral and Crosley home appliances, GE, Westinghouse and Sunbeam small appliances, toys and tires.

Electric shavers were high on the gift list: Sward-Kemp Drug had "the new Schick 20 - the finest shaving instrument of all time" for only $24.50, giftwrapped. They advertised Drugs, gifts, paints. Across the street at Holden's Rexall Drug was "Spring Valley's Christmas Store" - toiletries, billfolds, tobaccos, Coty cosmetics, plastic salad sets, chocolates, free gift wrapping, free calendars and almanacs, too.

Sprott's Jewelry Store featured diamond rings, Elgin, Bulova and Gruen watches, Argus cameras, International Sterling Silver, and the Schick 20. The other jeweler, Harry Johnson, carried "America's most popular electric shaver - the Sunbeam Shavemaster," nationally famous Columbia diamond rings, plus the Sunbeam Radiant Control toaster. Rosenberg's People's Store, mostly men's furnishings, touted shirts, ties, pajamas, robes, sweaters, and dress gloves. Leuthold & Majors' large ad featured the men's Philcraft Outercoat "with full length pile lining and lustrous mouton collar" for $45 to $65. Garb was also available at the Federated Store, Woodwards, and Sheets Shoe Store.

Grocery stores were hyping Christmas foods for the holidays: Webster & Kohn had candy, nuts, popcorn (2 lbs. for 29 cents) and three packages of Jell-O for 24 cents. Spiess Jack Sprat, "The Store for Thrifty Shoppers" - fresh and smoked meats, fruits, vegetables (Texas grapefruit, 10 for 49 cents), chocolates, other candies , and nuts. Red Owl, "Christmas Headquarters" - Harvest Queen bread, two loaves for 35 cents, two heads of lettuce for 29 cents. Other grocers not advertising in this issue were Carson's Grocery, Alink's Fairway, Food Land, and Kvale's IGA.

News? Organizational meetings for Chest X-ray Survey in January were being held. The Commercial Club offered three free turkeys and cash gifts in drawings every Saturday in December; tickets were available at 45 downtown businesses. The Congregational ladies served a fried chicken dinner for 40 members of the Commercial Club; Sam Lindsay was elected president, Howard Dettloff as secretary-treasurer. Dr. E.L. Morse, dentist, attended the state fluoridation meeting in Minneapolis regarding treating municipal water systems with fluoride which cut tooth decay 46 percent; Spring Valley adopted such a plan. The school music department offered a concert at the high school in lieu of the regular P.T.A. meeting; parents were urged to attend.

Back page news (!) was "Local congregations complete merger." Trinity and Zion Lutheran members met to organize and incorporate their new Our Savior's Lutheran Church; they will rent the high school auditorium for worship services and Sunday school until a new church edifice can be erected. Gov. Luther Youngdahl added his support to the Little Red Stocking drive in Minnesota, which funds the Children's Home Society to meet the needs of homeless children. The National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis sent money to area chapters whose funds were depleted due to high incidents of polio in 1950.

Mlinar's State Theatre promoted "Books of Happiness - something new and different." Tickets to the movies in denominations of $l, $2.50, $5. Movies every night - S-M: Abbott & Costello comedy, "Hit the Ice;" T-W-Th: "Copper Canyon" in Technicolor with Hedy Lamarr and Ray Milland; F-S: a western, "Gunlaw Justice" plus movie shorts, of course. Bingo on Saturday nights at the Odd Fellows Hall, sponsored by the VFW; prizes of turkeys, chickens, merchandise. Boy Scouts were selling Christmas trees; Girl Scouts announced a bazaar and cookie sale; Empire Builders 4-H Club planned a membership drive. Church Notes were replete with announcements of Christmas programs.

Being Dec. 7, it was a surprise to see no mention of the Pearl Harbor bombing anniversary; however there were some sobering notes. Fillmore County men in the draft call showed three men from Spring Valley, Ralph Fligge, James Roda and Douglas Miland. Henry Puck received word his son, Emerson, stationed in Tokyo, had been promoted to master sergeant, the top non-commissioned rating. He had remained in the army after the war. Editor and publisher of the paper in 1950 were Dick and John Pugh; subscription rates - $2.50 per year locally; $3.50 otherwise.

In closing, happy Christmas to all and blessings in the New Year!