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Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - December 8, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa Marion Farm TV Food Iowa News Features SUNDAY DEC 8 1974 Section B Oelwein Chamber Shook Timbers Now Out of Financial Difficulties Rv Art By Art Hough T the and f r WSki of Oelwein Area ptt u following up ari announcement by Iho nrZ lhal for the time I wo years tho red and thc black 4 case weeks ago when i the line f in budget requirements and have responded with dues donations and voluntary checks for 15 percent above their original assessments for he current year Dues Assessment A meeting of past presidents 36 hours after the general meeting resulted in the recommended assessment of 15 percent of dues to get over the hump and starl he new year in the Baum said he have had enough response so that we have the operating expenses covered for the year And more to come in So we may be able lo finish a couple of projects we wanted to arc like lne great people they Us a really great community The meeting a couple of weeks ago apparently f lne membership out of a that can happen to one the lop Chambers of Commerce in the country Baum attributes the organization's high rating to the things we do the type of budget we're on and our alumni Chamber Alumni Over the have come out of our Chamber and have gone on to great heights nationally as Chamber managers or with thc U S Chamber of Commerce The Oelwein Area Chamber of Commerce had a of about this year with a membership of 203 II increase that membership back to over 300 in 1975 which would be about 90 percent of its potential It's a total realization that the Chamber is involved in many many projects we don't give enough ty but it's a vital element in he town and so recognized by the community as a whole i We have to re-evaluate Jankowsky said ana we have to take a look at programs we've had and programs lhal surround us and see whal we can do ou that of our problems has been we haven tooted our horn enough about what we're done It has become kind of automatic It's a cyclical Jankowski added I think they're aware of it now Actually It's a healthy Chamber I think that some of the people who are not in and have never been in need to be educated that whatever vou do In Chamber work you don't have a tangible Here is another said Baum The Chamber of Commerce is not a business organization Many members certainly arc not retailers A lot of them are profe clergy individuals and farmers certainly ness men but not retailers community organization It is not strictly a retail The budget for retail is one of the smallest parts of the total budget Local Cooperation In the long range picture is cooperation with West Union and Fayette in the Volga lake project The Oelwein Chamber and the community have met ses the past Christophel park has been the man who was manager of the Chamber during the period of recovery following the devastating tornado a few years ago When the Chicago North Western railroad moved its wem the Chamber and 01 its officials went to bat again Baum said that as a result of has brought in back Jankowsky cited the information center and Better ness Bureau which receives upwards of 100 calls a week for community information and on major and minor complaints which we usually are able to solve or at least get lhc two parties together T The Fund is operated through the Chamber Jankowsky said noting thai il has paid 100 of Its pledges every year to the people included in the budget Future Prospects In prospect for 75 are some new projects and some fired up Jankowsky said There was no no antagonism just a ward slant We just took a critical look and saw which way wo were headed We nipped it in the bud and got it back up There's too much pride here too much at stake here let a Chamber go defunct This would the black for the first time in two years Baum an Oelwein clothier who has lived hero 18 years n c mOSt wrong with Oelwein have never lived any place else The got What We could have done just what we did last year use next year's dues to pay this year's expenses But we said we're going to take another route and we We wanted lo make danged sure that they started next year absolutely instead of starting in thc hole like we did this year And we're In the Sleuthing Old By Dale DECORAH A lone weathered tombstone on a secluded and bluff high above Bear creek marks he desolate grave of a pioneer Winneshiek county industrialist There civilization in the wild erness stretching all directions from John grave Probably few people now living have seen the old abandoned burial site thickets have most obliterated this plucky pioneer's last resting place Some of the largest and est birch and cedar trees in Iowa form trable branches with aspens and oaks The inscription on tombstone Munro died Nov the ago of 23 days Although no of his proud little industry can be seen along of Bear kling below it is l not imagine that the music of the frothing ids contains lingering sounds of the woolen mill Munro has no known tives Even the miniature barbwire fence surrounding his grave has nearly rusted away It was my good fortune be conducted through to the grave by a who had seen it only once before 10 years ago Sleuthing Cemeteries burial plot came to attention J retired long-time county extension service director after he started his hobby of sleuthing out ghost cemeteries and abandoned in 1963 After walking within a few yards of the grave without seeing it Weigel and I ex- a large expanse of timberland before making our discovery According to the tombstone legend and old newspaper files John Munro was born in Aberdeen Scotland Oct 26 1817 He is believed to have learned he spinning trade in England Coming to Decorah as a young man he found ment in Woolen Mills Because of his training and industry he soon became superintendent In 1877 60 years uf age he founded his own woolen mill the peaceful wa- ters of Bear creek Uncovers Legends other interesting tions I Woolen Mill The Bear Crock Woolen Mill started nearly 100 years ago by Munro operated in a peaceful valley of thc mountainous country between the remote little northeast Iowa villages of Highlandville andQuandahl indicate the mill was well equipped with cinj machinery for carding combing and spinning yarn antl for turning out sheels of wool for comforters Munro's products were turned out in two colors gray and white Sadly Mr Munro had he pleasure of operating his mill only three years According lo an newspaper Death overtook him and he was buried on a hill overlooking the valley A son carried on the pioneer industrialist's business for a while but later sold Although abandoned ami forgotten Munro's grave is an appropriate spot commanding from the summit of he bluff an exquisite view of the pioneer's domain lhc beautiful Bear Creek valley Far removed from human habitat he long-lost grave has shared its secrets with on- ly tho chickadees nuthatches and waxwings foraging on ho frosted juniper berries abounding in the area For example Weigel's study has disclosed that the Old cemetery ly restored by residents of Bloomfield township was originally an Indian ground Later early settlers buried their dead there One well-known resident of Fort Atkinson Phil Huber Weigle about an Indian burial he when he was a little boy One he said an In- dian procession came into lie Fort Alkinson community bringing ho body of a young Indian girl for burial in their home territory They buried the girl in land directly south of F Atkinson along the river south of what is now he Smallest Church According to An- other very old in Winneshiek county is he Russell ccmclcry in Canoe township This was by the burial of a transient man who died at the Russell home about five miles north of Decorah In 1851 bv Dolo Long-time Winneshiek County Extension Director Weigle deciphers the on the long-lost grave of a county industrialist John Munro County History With Bear creek's ing rapids murmuring in our cars Weigle and I left this restful reluctantly This Is only one of many fragments of Winneshiek county history uncovered by the former extension service director through his unusual The project has had Township Legends According to a legend ed down from one Canoe ship generation to another a pioneer farmer Thomas Russell built a cabin and put in some crops on land about five miles north of he young village of Decorah sometime around the year 1850 One night a stranger by the name of William Brazil came along on horseback and asked to be put up for the night Tho fed him lei him bed down In one corner of the in and put his horse In a cabin barn housing lie sell oxen During the night the er died and the Russells ied him on a corner of their farm Ho consumed a large ity of honey in tho comb be- fore retiring for he night and lie speculated that a ball of wax may have formed in thc stranger's killed him Combing contents of his saddle bag the found WO in gold and a letter from a woman living in thc east Writing lo her hey learned that Brazil was her brother She hanked them for giving her brother food lodging and for properly disposing of his body She hai his horse and saddle bo sold to pay for burial and a marker and that in gold be sent to her The Russells complied with her wishes So the grave proved to be he beginning of what has since become the Russell cemetery one of Winneshiek county's developed and A all monument standing in Pioneer cemetery a few miles southeast of Decorah is a perpetual reminder of a tragic epidemic that swept through he residents of he area in he lale A large number of early Norwegian solders died in he plague and were buried on a plo of ground that forms the corner of Glenwood Springfield and Decorah townships Since no permanent kers were erected at the lime of he four townships later went together in erecting thc large monument which now bears the names of all pioneers who lost heir lives in he epidemic and were buried there Pioneer Cemetery Another pioneer completely forgotten by most people now living bin brought to light through hobby lies on thc east outskirts of Freeport small village three miles northeast of Hidden from view in a area of Woodland Acres local Christmas tree plantation this cemetery contains some of he first burials made in county Time and he elements have played havoc with many of tho and tombstones Re- cently however the place has been fenced and considerable clean-up work has been done on the graves The sandy road which wound along beside this old cemetery more than 100 years ago has been eroded by dec- ades of wind and rain into Weigle notes the graves of two Winneshiek county brothers who died in separate was a prisoner at Andersonville during the Civil war and the other was killed in the Battle of Little Big Horn with Custer what today is a deep fringed canyon Deer red foxes raccoons and swarms of wild birds abound here One grave is still plainly marked by a slab thai reads Daniel son of J II and M Green was killed by lightning July 8 1855 in his 15th year Although Weigle's work has not definitely identified the oldest burial site in shiek counly among these are the Congregational Church grave yard set aside between 1846 and 1848 and the St Anthony of Padua est Church in 1849 Lonely Marker Another lonely marker standing alone on a high ridge owned by Pat in he area has been by Weigle and listed in his records From Weigle learned that thc cemetery In which this lone marker now stands was thc first St Bridget's church cemetery for Bluffton community Catholics When the church was moved to its present location about one mile west of ridge farms on tho Bluffton blacktop all bodies in the old were exhumed and moved to the new cemetery one the body of tharine Connors wife of othy Kennelly who according to the legend on he stone died May 15 1858 Mystery surrounds he preserved gray granite slab marking Mrs Connors grave There are no records to in- why her grave was left alone unmolested The only logical tion we have been able to come up Weigle says is hal there were no living relatives lo sland the cost of exhuming body and ing he marker Thc former extension ice director's has disclosed unusual which prompted of the Ridgeway cemetery This burial grounds lying on the southern outskirts of the little village of way 10 miles west of was when thc body of an unidentified man was ied there Railroad Crew This unfortunate Individual was working as a member of the crew that built the Continued on Pago
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