Category Archives: Life

Benton County Auxiliary Images – 2

Today I’m sharing the balance of the images from when Jesse and I drove around Benton County and harvested their town signs. But first I want to share another bit of family history that I found amongst the genealogy papers when we’ve been going through stuff at my Mom’s house.

I think this episode of family history is called, Grandpa Bennett goes Straight Gangsta on a Teacher.

History of the Elegy Poem

This Elegy poem was written by John W. Bennett in 1920. The poem was sent to his teacher named Mr. Jefferson. The reason for the poem goes like this:

First, J.W.B. had received an “A” on a Sociology test from Mr. Jefferson. Later the teacher wanted him to do some errand or problems he had done before. They got in an argument over this and John refused. The teacher took away his A and told him he would not graduate unless he would apologize. John wen to the principal and found out he could graduate without this credit. He never returned to class, but sent this poem to Mr. Jefferson.

Ellen Leininger
Gerald D. Bennett
2-16-78

Here is the poem:

Elegy Written to P.S.J.

Do you really know what happened
Twas just the other day
Jeff got real kind-hearted
And in Sociology gave me “A”
But to tell the truth about it
It di me little good,
For he and his partners changed it
For the worse not for the good.
Poor old Jeff got real angry
But to me said not a word,
But let it in on the Juniors and Seniors
When he to them in a herd,
And he told them all about me
In that cowardly way of his,
And to them gave all my characteristics
When I wasn’t there to tell them his.
Oh! he told them how I needed
His old credit in Sociology,
But I’ve got along alright so far
And don’t need his help By Gee!
And when he leaves Old Luther High
Oh! won’t it be just fine
As I’ve got eight more just like him
And with him they just make nine
And he said to get back into his class
I would have to apologize,
But before I’ll stoop before him
He’d better grow in size
By J.W.B.

Here are the scans of the documents:



Straight gangsta!

+++++++

Here are the rest of the auxiliary images from Jesse and I’s trip to Benton County:


Benton County - Shell Rock
Shellsburg, Iowa

Benton County - Shell Rock

Benton County - Shell Rock

Benton County - Norway
Norway

Benton County - Norway

Benton County - Norway

Benton County - Watkins
Watkins

Benton County - Watkins

Benton County - Watkins

Benton County - Watkins

Benton County - Watkins

Benton County - Watkins

Benton County - Watkins
I love that the lights are inside the fence.

Benton County - Watkins

Benton County - Blairstown
Blairstown

Benton County - Blairstown

Benton County - Luzerne
Luzerne

Benton County - Belle Plaine
Belle Plaine

Benton County - Belle Plaine
Jumbo Well info below.

Benton County - Belle Plaine

Benton County - Belle Plaine

Benton County - Belle Plaine
I want to eat here someday.

Benton County - Belle Plaine

The Jumbo Well was a well that was once considered “The Eighth Wonder of the World”. The short version of the story is that they drilled a well in Belle Plaine into and they hit the wrong part of the aquifer and they couldn’t stop water shooting out for fourteen months. The well shot out water at 3,000 gallons of water per minute.

Here is a little interesting tidbit on the guy who dug the well and then promptly fled the town:

William Weir

The town of Belle Plaine, Iowa, contracted a well digger from Monticello, Iowa, to drill an artesian well to provide water and fire protection to a section of the town. The sum of $175 was offered to “bring in” the well and work by William Weir and his sons began upon receipt. They were not strangers to the citizens of Belle Plaine for they had recently successfully drilled several other artesian wells in the same city.

What happened thereafter made the news, not just in Iowa but from coast to coast! The Belle Plaine artesian well erupted into a monster — more than 3,000 gallons of water per minute boiled into the streets, threatening to flood the homes and businesses in its path. Weir and his sons worked frantically to stem the flow and cap the well, until all their supplies were exhausted and darkness was falling. William Weir and his sons left Belle Plaine, presumably the terrified townspeople thought, to gather necessary material with which to stop the furious flow of water. Weir and his sons were never seen again in the town of Belle Plaine. Fourteen months and many thousands of dollars later “Jumbo” was brought under control by experts from as far away as Chicago.

By [the spring of] 1890 William was drilling in Cherokee, Iowa, so apparently the Belle Plaine disaster had not harmed his business. Custom at that time demanded the well digger must drink the first cup from any newly dug well. He honored this tradition, contracted typhoid fever, and died June 1890 of what was often called in those days, “the well digger’s disease.

The maximum flow of water is estimated to have been at 5,000,000 to 9,000,000 gallons per day. This enormous flow of water caused the surrounding wells to stop flowing. The attempt to control the well continued from August 26, 1886 to October 6, 1887 when it was finally accomplished. The well was finally tamed by sinking one large pipe with a smaller one inside it, the space between was caulked, and the outside cavity filled with rock and cement. A granite marker now identifies Jumbo at the intersection of Eighth Street and Eighth Avenue, Belle Plaine, Iowa.

Unfortunately, I did not get a picture of the rock, but I’m sure I will go through Belle Plaine again on a future town sign harvesting trip.

We also harvested the towns of Poweshiek County on this trip. Those pictures will be shared in a separate entry.

Town Sign Project: Ida County

A few Saturdays back I cruised around Ida County with Teresa harvesting their town signs. There aren’t many. Ida County only has 5 towns. Ida County might be best known for the castle buildings in Ida Grove.

Here are some facts about Ida County:

+ Population is 6,901 (2019 estimate) making Ida County the 92 most populous county in Iowa. Below Fremont County and above Pocahontas County.
+ The county seat and largest town is Ida Grove.
+ Ida County was formed on January 15, 1851, but nobody lived there, so there was no government. The county government was formed in 1858 when there were about 40 residents.
+ Named for Ida Smith, the first child of European immigrants born in the region.
+ Major highways ae US-20, US059, IA-3, and IA-175.
+ Adjacent counties are Cherokee, Sac, Crawford, and Woodbury.
+ The population peaked in 1900 at 12,327.

The Ida County Courthouse is a cool old looking courthouse:


Ida County Courthouse
The Ida County Courthouse in Ida Grove, Iowa.

The Ida County Freedom Rock is located in Holstein, Iowa:


Ida County Freedom Rock

Ida County Freedom Rock

Ida County Freedom Rock

Ida County Freedom Rock

With Ida County conquered, this is the updated Photography 139 Conquest Map:


Town Sign Project - 30 Counties
PURPLE=COMPLETED

30 counties completed. 30.3% of the Cyclone State conquered.

Here are the town signs of Ida County:


Ida Grove, Iowa
Ida Grove, Iowa
IDA GROVE
OUR LIBERTIES WE PRIZE OUR RIGHTS WE WILL MAINTAIN
Population: 2,142

Holstein, Iowa
Holstein, Iowa
Holstein
WILLKOMMEN FREUNDE
Population: 1,396

Battle Creek, Iowa
Battle Creek, Iowa
WELCOME to BATTLE CREEK
Small in size, Big in HEART
Est. 1865
Population: 713

Galva, Iowa
Galva, Iowa
Galva Welcomes You
the friendly town
Population: 434

Arthur, Iowa
Arthur, Iowa
WELCOME TO ARTHUR
EST. 1881
Population: 206

I don’t think that there is a bad town sign in Ida County. So rather than giving away the award for worst town sign in the county, I’ll just say that I found Holstein’s sign to be the most disappointing. It isn’t a bad sign, but with a name like Holstein how do you not have a cow on your sign? If you haven’t figured it out yet, I like signs with animals on them.

I do think the best town sign is pretty much a no-brainer. It is Ida Grove. Their town sign is a castle, with the state slogan, bird and flower on it. At first, I have to confess I wasn’t sure it was “the” town sign. But after examining it and thinking on it, it clearly is the town sign.


Ida Grove, Iowa
Ida Grove – Best in Show – Ida County

A couple towns did have alternate signs:


Ida Grove, Iowa
Ida Grove – Alternate

Ida Grove, Iowa
Ida Grove – Alternate

Holstein, Iowa
Holstein – Alternate

Here is the current list of Best in Shows:


Fontanelle, Iowa
Best in Show – Adair County

Audubon, Iowa
Best in Show – Audubon County

Norway, Iowa
Best in Show – Benton County

Moingona, Iowa
Best in Show – Boone County

Manson, Iowa
Best in Show – Calhoun County

Coon Rapids, Iowa
Best in Show – Carroll County

Murray, Iowa
Best in Show – Clarke County

Ricketts, Iowa
Best in Show – Crawford County

Dexter, Iowa
Best in Show – Dallas County

Popejoy, Iowa
Best in Show – Franklin County

Scranton, Iowa
Best in Show – Greene County

Beaman, Iowa
Best in Show – Grundy County

Menlo, Iowa
Best in Show – Guthrie County

Stanhope, Iowa
Best in Show – Hamilton County

Ackley, Iowa
Best in Show – Hardin County

Bradgate, iowa
Best in Show – Humboldt County

Ida Grove, Iowa
Best in Show – Ida County

Lynnville, Iowa
Best in Show – Jasper County

Lucas, Iowa
Best in Show – Lucas County

East Peru, Iowa
Best in Show – Madison County

Pleasantville, Iowa
Best in Show – Marion County

Haverhill, Iowa
Best in Show – Marshall County

Bondurant, Iowa
Best in Show – Polk County

Malcom, Iowa
Best in Show – Poweshiek County

Nemaha, Iowa
Best in Show – Sac County

Collins, Iowa
Best in Show – Story County

Tama, Iowa
Best in Show – Tama County

Creston, Iowa
Best in Show – Union County

Badger, Iowa
Best in Show – Webster County

Woolstock, Iowa
Best in Show – Wright County

The next time we check in on THE TOWN SIGN PROJECT we will visit Butler County.

Selfie Project – July 2021

On Saturday night I completed another successful month of THE SELFIE PROJECT. It probably wasn’t the most exciting month, but I think we did some good work here now and then.

Here are my favorites from July:


Day 183 - July 2, 2021
July 2, 2021

Day 184 - July 3, 2021
July 3, 2021

Day 185 - July 4, 2021
July 4, 2021

Day 186 - July 5, 2021
July 5, 2021

Day 187 - July 6, 2021
July 6, 2021

Day 190 - July 9, 2021
July 9, 2021

Day 191 - July 10, 2021
July 10, 2021

Day 192 - July 11, 2021
July 11, 2021

Day 193 - July 12, 2021
July 12, 2021

Day 195 - July 14, 2021
July 14, 2021

Day 197 - July 16, 2021
July 16, 2021

Day 198 - July 17, 2021
July 17, 2021

Day 199 - July 18, 2021
July 18, 2021

Day 202 - July 21, 2021
July 21, 2021

Day 204 - July 23, 2021
July 24, 2021

Day 205 - July 24, 2021
July 24, 2021

Day 206 - July 25, 2021
July 25, 2021

Day 208 - July 27, 2021
July 27, 2021

Day 209 - July 28, 2021
July 28, 2021

Day 212 - July 31, 2021
July 31, 2021

There can only be one Selfie per day, but I’ve decided to start sharing some alternate selfies from the month, that just didn’t make the cut:


A Selfie Project 2021 Alternate

A Selfie Project 2021 Alternate

A Selfie Project 2021 Alternate

A Selfie Project 2021 Alternate

A Selfie Project 2021 Alternate

A Selfie Project 2021 Alternate

A Selfie Project 2021 Alternate

A Selfie Project 2021 Alternate

A Selfie Project 2021 Alternate

A Selfie Project 2021 Alternate

A Selfie Project 2021 Alternate

A Selfie Project 2021 Alternate

A Selfie Project 2021 Alternate

A Selfie Project 2021 Alternate

If you want to peruse all the THE SELFIE PROJECT images from 2021, click on the link below:

Selfie Project – 2021

Hopefully August is another successful month!

2010-10-18 & 2010-10-19

There was really only one picture of consequence in the folder 2010-10-18, so I decided to combine it with the folder 2010-10-19. The pictures in the folder 2010-10-19 are from a road trip I took to Kalona with my Mom. We also stopped in Riverside and the Czech Village in Cedar Rapids. I do miss those trips to Kalona.


WEEK 42 - SHADOWS - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT

WEEK 41 - DRY - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT

Kalona Road Trip with Mom - October 2010

Kalona Road Trip with Mom - October 2010

Kalona Road Trip with Mom - October 2010

Kalona Road Trip with Mom - October 2010

Kalona Road Trip with Mom - October 2010

Kalona Road Trip with Mom - October 2010

Kalona Road Trip with Mom - October 2010

Kalona Road Trip with Mom - October 2010

Kalona Road Trip with Mom - October 2010

Kalona Road Trip with Mom - October 2010

Kalona Road Trip with Mom - October 2010

Kalona Road Trip with Mom - October 2010

Kalona Road Trip with Mom - October 2010

Kalona Road Trip with Mom - October 2010

Kalona Road Trip with Mom - October 2010

Kalona Road Trip with Mom - October 2010

Kalona Road Trip with Mom - October 2010

Kalona Road Trip with Mom - October 2010

Kalona Road Trip with Mom - October 2010

Kalona Road Trip with Mom - October 2010

Kalona Road Trip with Mom - October 2010

Kalona Road Trip with Mom - October 2010

Kalona Road Trip with Mom - October 2010

Kalona Road Trip with Mom - October 2010

Kalona Road Trip with Mom - October 2010

Kalona Road Trip with Mom - October 2010

By adding these pictures to the Photography 139 Gallery, I was able to restore the following historic “An Artist’s Notebook” entries to their original glory:

RWPE #41 – DRY

RWPE #42 – SHADOWS

SOME VACATION PICTURES

Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will involve Minnesota.

Boone County Fair 2021

A few weeks back was the Boone County Fair. I didn’t spend much time there, but even with what little time I was there, it felt good to be back. Last year was the first time I didn’t at least make a brief appearance at the Boone County Fair, probably in my entire life.

I went there late Saturday morning to judge the Boone County Fair Photography Contest. It was my first time judging a photography contest and it was definitely an interesting experience being on the other side.

One of the disappointing aspect of being a judge was that there was only 16 entries this year. The past few years I would guess that there was around 50 or so entries. I’m not sure why few people felt like competing this year, but the photography contest wasn’t the only contest I saw that had a precipitous dip in entries. The barbecue contest that Baby Got Rack usually dominates normally has about ten competitors. This year there were two. Baby Got Rack was not one of the two, despite the fact that I already picked up this year’s competitive fedora and Hawaiian shirt. Scottie D. took his lady to Vegas for the weekend, so that put us on the sideline. We have been in discussions to enter a different contest, but at this time, nothing has come of it. You’ll just have to imagine how great it would have been.

What made the lack of participation rates so weird is that the brief times I was at the fair, the fairgrounds were plenty busy. Busier than normal.

Here are some facts about this year’s Boone County Fair Photography Contest:

+ 16 total entries.
+ There are 3 divisions (Black and White, Color, and Digitally Enhanced) broke into 4 classes (People, Landscape, Animal, and Other)
+ There was one entry in Black and White. (Landscape)
+ There was one entry in Digitally Enhanced. (Landscape)
+ There were 14 entries in Color. (1 in People, 4 in Landscape, 6 in Animal, and 3 in Other)
+ I awarded 1 Best in Show.
+ 1 Sweepstakes Award (Most Blue Ribbons)
+ 3 Purple Ribbons (Best in each Division)
+ 12 Blue Ribbons (3 elevated to Purple)
+ 4 Red Ribbons
+ 0 White Ribbons

I wasn’t given many instructions other than this, “We don’t want people to feel discouraged.”

Here is a picture of the contest.


Boone County Fair - 2021

It was a great experience and I was surprised that I even got paid for my efforts.

The lack of participation at the Boone County Fair is why I worry about the participation at the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest. However, whatever happens, this year is just the foundation from where we will build the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest into a juggernaut.

Here is the flyer, if you need more information:


Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Flyer - 2021

While the flyer says the deadline was July 21, the true deadline is roughly 4:30 PM on Tuesday, August 3. That is when I will be picking up the entries and that night my trifecta of judges will evaluate and determine the winners. So, if you are still interested in entering some pictures, you still have the weekend to get your entries ready.

But I digress. Here are some pictures from the Boone County Fair:


Boone County Fair - 2021

Boone County Fair - 2021

Boone County Fair - 2021

Boone County Fair - 2021

Boone County Fair - 2021

Boone County Fair - 2021

Boone County Fair - 2021

Boone County Fair - 2021

Boone County Fair - 2021

Boone County Fair - 2021

Boone County Fair - 2021

Boone County Fair - 2021

I did get to see lots of people at the fair that I haven’t seen in a long time. I hope I get to spend more time at the fair in 2022.

+++++++

This is your reminder that this week’s THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is PATHS:


WEEK 307 - PATHS
PATHS

PATHS! What a great theme for Year 8 of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE!

But what is a PATHS image? Simply put, a PATHS image is a picture of a route used by beings to get from one place to another. Trails are PATHS. Roads are PATHS. Railroads are PATHS. Sidewalks are PATHS. Aisles are PATHS. Of course, you don’t have to be literal. There are the PATHS we are on in our life. There is the faith PATHS that we walk.

In the theme reveal image, there is a literal trail from an observation tower back to the woods and eventually, back to my car.

When considering subjects for this week’s image, consider the following quote:

When the path ignites a soul, there’s no remaining in place. The foot touches the ground, but not for long.
-Hakim Sanai

Happy photo harvesting!

Benton County Auxiliary Images – 1

A few weeks back I hit the open road with Jesse and we harvested the town signs of Benton County and Poweshiek County. This collection focuses primarily on Benton County, although there are some pictures at the end from Buchanan County.

Jesse was the first Town Sign Assistant to use the map and eschew GPS in his navigator duties. It was quite impressive to see and I believe his ability to read a map gives me hope for the world.

Here are the first set of auxiliary images from the road trip:


Benton County - Van Horne
Van Horne

Benton County - Van Horne

Benton County - Garrison
Garrison

Benton County - Garrison

Benton County - Vinton
Vinton

Benton County - Vinton

Benton County - Vinton

Benton County - Vinton

Benton County - Vinton

Benton County - Vinton

Benton County - Vinton

Benton County - Vinton

Benton County - Vinton

Benton County - Vinton

Benton County - Vinton

Benton County - Vinton

Benton County - Vinton

Benton County - Vinton

Benton County - Vinton

Benton County - Vinton

Benton County - Vinton

Benton County - Vinton

Benton County - Vinton

Benton County - Mount Auburn
Mount Auburn

Benton County - Mount Auburn
Jesse didn’t get a Pepsi. The machine didn’t even have a power cord.

Buchanan County - Brandon
Brandon (Buchanan County)

Buchanan County - Brandon

Buchanan County - Brandon

Buchanan County - Brandon

Buchanan County - Brandon

Buchanan County - Brandon

Buchanan County - Brandon
No riffraff allowed!

I definitely really enjoyed Vinton. Any town with tons of artwork is my kind of town. It is definitely on my list of towns to visit again when I have more time. They also recently installed a glow-in-the-dark path that I want to checkout.

There are plenty more pictures from the road trip still to share.

Town Sign Project: Sac County

A few Saturdays back I cruised around Sac County with Teresa harvesting their town signs. I knew Sac County was the home of the Largest Popcorn Ball in the World, but I did not know that popcorn was so huge to the development of the entire region. I found references to popcorn in three towns and one unincorporated town. The next time I fire up the Union Street Theater popcorn maker I will think of Sac County. (Unrelated, but the Union Street Theater has recently been upgraded substantially. If you haven’t stopped by for a show lately, you probably should get on that.)

Here are some facts about Sac County:

+ Population is 9,802 (2019) estimate. Making Sac County the 75th most populous county in Iowa. Behind Montgomery County and above Calhoun County.
+ The county seat and largest town is Sac City.
+ Was formed on January 13, 1846.
+ Named for the Sauk people.
+ Home of the World’s Largest Popcorn Ball.
+ Home of Blackhawk State Park.
+ Major highways are: US-20, US-71, IA-39, IA-110, and IA-175.
+ Adjacent counties are: Buena Vista, Calhoun, Carroll, Cherokee, Crawford, Ida, and Pocahontas.
+ Population peaked in 1930 at 17,641.

The Sac County Courthouse is fair looking, well it was, until they added that horrible addition to it:


Sac County Courthouse
The Sac County Courthouse in Sac City, Iowa.

The Sac County Freedom Rock is located in Sac City, Iowa:


Sac County Freedom Rock

Sac County Freedom Rock

Sac County Freedom Rock

Sac County Freedom Rock

Sac County Freedom Rock

With Sac County conquered, this is the updated Photography 139 Conquest Map:


Town Sign Project - 29 Counties
PURPLE=COMPLETED

29 counties completed. 29.3% of the Cyclone State conquered.

Here are the town signs of Sac County:


Sac City, Iowa
Sac City, Iowa
Sac City
Population: 2,220

Lake View, Iowa
Lake View, Iowa
Lake View
Black Hawk Lake
Population: 1,142

Odebolt, Iowa
Odebolt, Iowa
ODEBOLT
RICH HISTORY-PROUD COMMUNITY
Established 1877
Population: 1,013

Wall Lake, Iowa
Wall Lake, Iowa
WELCOME TO WALL LAKE
BIRTHPLACE OF ANDY WILLIAMS
Population: 819

Schaller, Iowa
Schaller, Iowa
Welcome to SCHALLER
Popcorn Capital of the World
Population: 772

Early, Iowa
Early, Iowa
City of EARLY
Established 1882
Population: 557

Auburn, Iowa
Auburn, Iowa
AUBURN
a taste of home.
Population: 322

Nemaha, Iowa
Nemaha, Iowa
Nemaha
A “MIGHTY” SMALL TOWN
Population: 85

Lytton, Iowa
Lytton, Iowa – Also Calhoun County
LYTTON
Population: 315

Ulmer, Iowa - Unincorporated
Ulmer, Iowa – Unincorporated
WELCOME TO ULMER

Sac County has a solid set of signs. I don’t strongly dislike any of them. Put in a position, of having to choose a worst sign, It would have to come down to Early, Lake View, Auburn, and Lytton. My feet to the fire, I give the worst town sign to Early. There is no pithy slogan, which is what saves Auburn. There is no boat, that is what saves Lake View. And Lytton gets points for just throwing their town sign on a big rock.

But who has the best town sign in Sac County. Who gets Best in Show. It really comes down to Wall Lake and Nemaha. The alternate town sign for Schaller would be an underdog for this award, but I only consider primary signs for this award, unless we get into a tie-breaker situation, like we did for Lucas County. With apologies to Andy Williams, my huckleberry friend, I’m going to paddle down this river that is wider than a mile, looking for rainbow’s end, to the town waitin’ around the bend, and give Best in Show to Nemaha.


Nemaha, Iowa
Nemaha – Best in Show – Sac County

A few towns in Sac County have alternate signs:


Wall Lake, Iowa
Wall Lake – Alternate

Schaller, Iowa
Schaller – Alternate

Schaller, Iowa
Schaller – Alternate

Sac City, Iowa
Sac City – Alternate

Sac City, Iowa
Sac City – Alternate

Auburn, Iowa
Auburn – Alternate

You might be sitting there wondering, what makes Schaller the Popcorn Capital of the World? I mean, Sac City houses the World’s Biggest Popcorn Ball, just where does Schaller get off?

I pulled over and asked a guy name Derrick just where Schaller gets off making such a bold claim. Turns out that Derrick is the owner of Bango Haunted Crib. He told me that Schaller used to be the home of 3 popcorn companies. Jolly Time, Bango, and American. Now, the only company left in town is Jolly Time. Some of the people in town turned the old Bango building into a haunted house. I will get into the details of this in a future post of Sac County Auxiliary Images. But you combine that with the fact that Schaller has hosted Pop Corn Days for 70 years now. Now you know.

Here is the current list of Best in Shows:


Fontanelle, Iowa
Best in Show – Adair County

Audubon, Iowa
Best in Show – Audubon County

Norway, Iowa
Best in Show – Benton County

Moingona, Iowa
Best in Show – Boone County

Manson, Iowa
Best in Show – Calhoun County

Coon Rapids, Iowa
Best in Show – Carroll County

Murray, Iowa
Best in Show – Clarke County

Ricketts, Iowa
Best in Show – Crawford County

Dexter, Iowa
Best in Show – Dallas County

Popejoy, Iowa
Best in Show – Franklin County

Scranton, Iowa
Best in Show – Greene County

Beaman, Iowa
Best in Show – Grundy County

Menlo, Iowa
Best in Show – Guthrie County

Stanhope, Iowa
Best in Show – Hamilton County

Ackley, Iowa
Best in Show – Hardin County

Bradgate, iowa
Best in Show – Humboldt County

Lynnville, Iowa
Best in Show – Jasper County

Lucas, Iowa
Best in Show – Lucas County

East Peru, Iowa
Best in Show – Madison County

Pleasantville, Iowa
Best in Show – Marion County

Haverhill, Iowa
Best in Show – Marshall County

Bondurant, Iowa
Best in Show – Polk County

Malcom, Iowa
Best in Show – Poweshiek County

Nemaha, Iowa
Best in Show – Sac County

Collins, Iowa
Best in Show – Story County

Tama, Iowa
Best in Show – Tama County

Creston, Iowa
Best in Show – Union County

Badger, Iowa
Best in Show – Webster County

Woolstock, Iowa
Best in Show – Wright County

The Next time we check in on THE TOWN SIGN PROJECT we will visit Ida County.

Tama County Auxiliary Images – 2

Here is the final chapter in the storage of my Grandma Bennett’s brief third marriage:

Handschin Killer Commits Suicide At Reformatory

Sioux City, Feb. 15

Mrs. Martelle McPeek, 29 year-old blonde, who last January 11th shot her lover after being jilted, committed suicider early today in the woman’s reformatory at Rockwell City by hanging herself with a pair of cotton stockings.

Supt. Pauline Johnston said Mrs. McPeek was by a guard. The county coroner said Mrs. McPeek died of strangulation and that her neck was not broken.

Mrs. McPeek entered the institution January 27th. She had been sentenced to ten years when she pleaded guilty to a charge of second degree murder.

The charge against her was filed after the death of Maurics Handschin, 36-year-old packing house employee as a result of a bullet wound in the abdomen.

Formerly of Boone

The late Mr. Handschin was formerly of Boone and had married here only shortly before the fatal shooting. His underal services were held in this city.

Claimed by Husband

Rockwell City, Feb. 15

Mrs. Martelle M. McPeek, 29, committed suicide at the Iowa Women’s Reformatory, to which she was sentenced for 10 years for killing Maurice Handschin in Sioux City last January 11.

Mrs. McPeek’s body was found hanging from the top of a window. She had strangled herself to death with her stockings. Her husband, William McPeek of Sioux City claimed her body.

Handschin lived at the McPeek residence in Sioux City several years before leaving there to marry a Boone divorcee. Mrs. McPeek contended she had planned to divorce her husband and marry Handschin.

Here is a copy of the newspaper article:



While that concluded this episode of sharing some of my family history that I discover going through some genealogy stuff, it won’t be the last.

+++++++

This is the rest of the auxiliary images from my trip to Tama County to harvest their town signs. The highlight of this trip was the winding stairs in Traer.


Tama County - Clutier
Clutier

Tama County - Clutier

Tama County - Clutier

Tama County - Clutier

Tama County - Clutier

Tama County - Clutier

Tama County - Clutier

Tama County - Dysart
Dysart

Tama County - Traer
Traer

Tama County - Traer

Tama County - Traer

Tama County - Traer

Tama County - Traer

Tama County - Traer

Tama County - Traer

Tama County - Traer

Tama County - Traer

Tama County - Traer

Tama County - Traer

Tama County - Traer

Tama County - Traer

Tama County - Traer

Tama County - Traer

Tama County - Traer

Tama County - Traer

Tama County - Traer

Tama County - Traer

Tama County - Traer

Tama County - Traer

Tama County - Traer

Tama County - Traer

Tama County - Traer

Tama County - Traer

Tama County - Traer

Tama County - Lincoln
Lincoln

Tama County

Grundy County - Conrad
Conrad (Grundy County)

Grundy County - Conrad

Tama County - Garwin, Iowa
Garwin

Tama County - Garwin, Iowa

Tama County

So many auxiliary images still to go through, but that is it for Tama County.

Tama County Auxiliary Images – 1

Here is Part 3 of the brief third marriage of my Grandma Bennett. This article is in particularly bad shape, so there is some guessing with what it says.

Handschin, Formerly of Boone, Dies After Being Shot, Sioux city.

A (man) shot by a jealous woman at Sioux City the night of January 11, Maurice (Mose) Handschin, 37, formerly of Boone, died at 11 o’clock Wednesday night in a hospital at the northwest Iowa city.

His remains are being accompanied to this city by his wife to whom he was married here shortly after the first of the year. Funeral services and interment will be in Boone, the body to arrive late Thursday.

Handschin was born and grew up here, leaving about 10 years ago for Sioux City where he had been employed by the Swift packing. (Handschin) at one time was a North Western employee here.

A number of his three surviving brothers and five surviving sisters reside here. The survivors are Warren Handschin of Boone, Art Handschin of Minneapolis and Harry Handschin of Oregon, Mesdames Ralph Spratt and Carl Westberg of Boone. Clarence Ades of Des Moines, Art Howd of Webster City and Ollie Mabee of Parker, S.D.

Sioux City, Jan. 25 – First degree murder charges were filed in Sioux City today against Mrs. Martelle McPeek, as the result of the death last night of Maurice W. Handschin of a bullet wound.

Chief of Detectives Tom Farley said Mrs. McPeek signed a statement that she shot Handschin on January 11 when (learned he had married another woman).

Mrs. McPeek (was jailed on an open charge since the shooting, which occurred inside the home of Handschin and his bride of a few days. fired two shots, one entering Handschin’s abdomen. A physician said death was caused by infection in the blood stream. The bullet tore seven holes in his intestines and stomach. (Coroner said an autopsy would be held later today.)

Handschin had been living with Mr. and Mrs. Mcpeek six years and for most of that time, according to investigating authorities, he and Mrs. McPeek had carried on a love affair with the knowledge of her husband.

At Christmas time, Handschin left Sioux City, saying he was going to remarry his former wife. He returned shortly after New Years with a Mrs. Handschin who was not his former wife but a Boone divorcee, Mrs. Bernice Kessler, with a 7 year-old daughter.

On the night of the shooting, Mrs. McPeek was driven to the couple’s home by a friend, Bud Ackerly, and forced open the door when Mrs. Handschin answered her knock. When Ackerly heard the shots he ran in and seized Mrs. McPeek’s pistol and called the police.

Born in Boone

Mrs. McPeek said she planned to obtain a divorce and marry Handschin.

Several days after the shooting, McPeek filed a petition for a landlord’s attachment against Handschin seeking a judgment for $150 unpaid room rent.

Handschin was born at Boone on May 6, 1903 and had lived in Sioux City for six years. Survivors include a son, Norman.

Here is the newspaper article:



Part 4 of the story tomorrow.

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This is a reminder that today is the deadline to enter the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest.


Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Flyer - 2021

If the Boone County Fair Photo Contest that I just judged on Saturday is any indication, we might be desperate for entries. Therefore the deadline is somewhat of a “soft deadline”. However, I wouldn’t push it more than a week.

To download the rules and entry form, click on the link below:

Entry Form

Good luck!

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Today seems like a good day to share some of the auxiliary images I took while harvesting the town signs of Tama County:


Tama County - Tama
Tama

Tama County - Toledo
Toledo

Tama County - Toledo

Tama County - Toledo

Tama County - Toledo

Tama County - Toledo

Tama County - Toledo

Tama County - Toledo

Tama County - Toledo

Tama County - Toledo

Tama County - Toledo

Tama County - Toledo

Tama County - Toledo

Tama County - Toledo

Tama County - Toledo

Tama County - Toledo

Tama County - Chelsea
Chelsea

Tama County - Chelsea

Tama County - Chelsea

Tama County - Chelsea

Tama County - Chelsea

Tama County

Tama County

Tama County - Vining
Vining

Tama County - Vining
So many all-you-can-eat testicles eaten in this building!

Tama County - Vining

Tama County - Elberon
Elberon

Tama County - Elberon

Tama County - Elberon

Tama County - Clutier
Clutier

Tama County - Clutier

Tama County - Clutier

Tama County - Clutier

There is still one more collection of images from Tama County left to share!

Town Sign Project: Calhoun County

Here is Part 2 in the story of my Grandma Bennett’s second marriage.

Jealous Woman Shoots Ex-Boone Man
Sioux City, Jan. 12

Maurice Handschin, 37, packing house worker, was in critical condition in a Sioux City hospital today after being shot through the body last, night assertedly by Mrs. Martell McPeek, 29.

Police said Mrs. McPeek, enraged because she hoped to wed Handschin, who married another woman 10 days ago, forced her way into his home while Hanschin and his bride were eating dinner, took a revolver from her purse and fired twice. One bullet struck him in the abdomen.

Transfusions were given Handschin in an effort to save his life.

From Boone

Mrs. McPeek said she had made plans to divorce her husband and marry Handschin. Mrs. Handschin whose 7-year-old daughter witnessed the shooting, came to Sioux City a few days ago from Boone, Iowa, where she obtained a divorce four years ago.

As physicians were dressing Handschin’s wounds in his home, Mrs. McPeek stood calmly beside him and said: “I’m sorry Maurice, but I just couldn’t stand it.”

Bud Ackerly, who brought Mrs. McPeek to Handschin’s home in his automobile, rushed into the house after hearing the shots and wrested the gun from her. He was not held.

Filing of charges was delayed pending outcome of Handschin’s condition.

Married Here

Acquaintances here Friday said Mrs. Handschin is the former Mrs. Bernice Kessler of Boone who was married to Handschin here about 10 days ago. They said she is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. O.M. Needham. Handschin formerly lived here.

Held in Jail

Maurice Handschin, 37, a packing house worker, was in critical condition today from bullet wounds police said were inflicted by Mrs. Martelle McPeek, 29, in the presence of his bride of twelve days.

The shooting occurred last night at Handchin’s home. Before his marriage at Boone, January 1st, Handschin had lived for six years at the McPeek home.

Police said the woman was enraged because Handschin did not marry her. She is being held in jail.

Here is the newspaper article:



Part 3 of the story tomorrow.

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A few Saturdays back I took a solo trip to Calhoun County to harvest their town sign collection. I would have to say, at the aggregate level, Calhoun County might have the strongest collection of town signs. It is definitely a Top 3 County on a list that I haven’t made and have no intention of making.

Here are some facts about Calhoun County:

+ Population is 9,744 (2019 estimate). Making it the 76th most populous county in Iowa. Below Sac County and above Humboldt County.
+ The county seat is Rockwell City.
+ The largest town is Lake City.
+ Was formed on January 15, 1851 from land originally named Fox County.
+ Named for John C. Calhoun, the 7th Vice President (Jackson), Senator, Secretary of State, Secretary of War, and U.S. Representative. An absolute terrible human being and maybe the worst person to have an Iowa County named for them. Really, Calhoun County should go back to being Fox County. Calhoun was such a terrible person that Andrew Jackson (also a terrible human being) regretted not having him executed. Calhoun was Jackson’s Vice President!
+ Home of the Manson crater, here an asteroid or comet nucleus struck the Earth during the Cretaceous Period, approximately 74 Ma (million years ago). It was one of the largest known impact events to have happened in North America.
+ Major highways are: US-20, IA-4, IA-7, and IA-175.
+ Adjacent counties are: Pocahontas, Webster, Greene, Carroll, and Sac.
+ Population peaked in 1900 at 18,569.

Calhoun County has a gorgeous courthouse:


Calhoun County Courthouse
The Calhoun Courthouse in Rockwell City, Iowa

The Calhoun County Freedom Rock is located in Rockwell City, Iowa:


Calhoun County Freedom Rock

Calhoun County Freedom Rock

Calhoun County Freedom Rock

Calhoun County Freedom Rock

With Calhoun County conquered, this is the updated Photography 139 Conquest Map:


Town Sign Project - 28 Counties
PURPLE=COMPLETED

28 counties completed. 28.3% of the Cyclone State conquered.

Here are the town signs of Calhoun County:


Lake City, Iowa
Lake City, Iowa
WELCOME TO LAKE CITY
EVERYTHING BUT A LAKE
Population: 1,727

Rockwell City, Iowa
Rockwell City, Iowa
ROCKWELL CITY
THE GOLDEN BUCKLE ON THE CORN BELT
Population: 1,709

Manson, Iowa
Manson, Iowa
MANSON
MAKING AN IMPACT
Population:1,690

Pomeroy, Iowa
Pomeroy, Iowa
Pomeroy
We Welcome You for a Day or a Lifetime!
Population: 662

Farnhamville, Iowa #3 - East Side
Farnhamville, Iowa
FARNHAMVILLE
TURN RIGHT 1/2 Mi.
IF YOU CAN’T STOP…
AT LEAST WAVE!!
Population: 371

Lohrville, Iowa
Lohrville, Iowa
LOHRVILLE
Better Not Bigger
Population: 368

Lytton, Iowa
Lytton, Iowa
LYTTON
Population: 315

Somers, Iowa
Somers, Iowa
Welcome to Somers
Population: 113

Knierim, Iowa
Knierim, Iowa
Welcome To KNIERIM
ESTABLISHED 1899
Population: 60

Rinard, Iowa
Rinard, Iowa
CITY OF RINARD PARK
Population: 52

Jolley, Iowa
Jolley, Iowa
WELCOME TO JOLLEY
THE FIELD OF SCREAMS
Population: 41

Yetter, Iowa
Yetter, Iowa
YETTER IA TOWN HALL
Population: 34

Calhoun County seems like a good county to answer a few questions that have been thrown my way recently. One question is:

Question 1: If a town doesn’t have an obvious town sign, what is the hierarch for finding a substitute/alternate to a traditional town sign?

The rankings go like this:

1. Townhall Sign
2. Community Center Sign
3. Post Office Sign
4. Park Sign
5. School Sign
6. City Limits Town Sign
7. Town Bulletin Board
8. Railroad Sign
9. Bike Trail Sign
10. Sign on a Mailbox (apparently)

Then way down at the bottom…

Dead Last: DOT Sign

Another question I’ve received a couple times late is:

Question 2: If a town has multiple town signs, how do you determine which one is the primary town sign and which ones are alternate town signs?

Answer: The primary town sign is the indicated mostly by geography. It is the first town sign you see when you come into town. If the town has different town signs as you enter the town from different directions, then the primary town sign is determined by which town sign resides on the road that is the busiest. What road would most people come into town on? For example for Boone, that would be US-30. One more factor is who put the sign up? Is it a church welcoming people into the town or was it put up by the town itself. The sign put up by the town itself is the winner for primary town sign.

Now that you have that information, it is time to answer the question of what town has the worst town sign in Calhoun County. I think that is pretty clearly Rinard. It is just an interestingly scrolled set of words on the shelter of their park. Having to use a townhall sign for Yetter also isn’t great.

But the real question is, who wins Best in Show for Calhoun County? There are many great town signs in Calhoun County. At one time I though Farnhamville would be the runaway winner. However, Pomeroy has a great sign. Jolley has a great sign. Lake City has a great slogan on their sign, but the design is a bit boring. It might come as a surprise. Maybe a bit of an upset, but I’m giving best town sign to Manson.


Manson, Iowa
Manson – Best in Show – Calhoun County

There were many towns in Calhoun County that had alternate signs. Here are the alternate signs of Calhoun County:


Yetter, Iowa
Yetter – Alternate

Rockwell City, Iowa
Rockwell City – Alternate

Pomeroy, Iowa
Pomeroy – Alternate

Manson, Iowa
Manson – Alternate

Manson, Iowa
Manson – Alternate
Jolley, Iowa
Jolley – Alternate

Lohrville, Iowa
Lohrville – Alternate

Farnhamville, Iowa #3 - West Side
Back of Farnhamville Sign

Farnhamville, Iowa #2
Farnhamville – Alternate

Farnhamville, Iowa #1
Farnhamville – Alternate

Here is the current list of Best in Shows:


Fontanelle, Iowa
Best in Show – Adair County

Audubon, Iowa
Best in Show – Audubon County

Norway, Iowa
Best in Show – Benton County

Moingona, Iowa
Best in Show – Boone County

Manson, Iowa
Best in Show – Calhoun County

Coon Rapids, Iowa
Best in Show – Carroll County

Murray, Iowa
Best in Show – Clarke County

Ricketts, Iowa
Best in Show – Crawford County

Dexter, Iowa
Best in Show – Dallas County

Popejoy, Iowa
Best in Show – Franklin County

Scranton, Iowa
Best in Show – Greene County

Beaman, Iowa
Best in Show – Grundy County

Menlo, Iowa
Best in Show – Guthrie County

Stanhope, Iowa
Best in Show – Hamilton County

Ackley, Iowa
Best in Show – Hardin County

Bradgate, iowa
Best in Show – Humboldt County

Lynnville, Iowa
Best in Show – Jasper County

Lucas, Iowa
Best in Show – Lucas County

East Peru, Iowa
Best in Show – Madison County

Pleasantville, Iowa
Best in Show – Marion County

Haverhill, Iowa
Best in Show – Marshall County

Bondurant, Iowa
Best in Show – Polk County

Malcom, Iowa
Best in Show – Poweshiek County

Collins, Iowa
Best in Show – Story County

Tama, Iowa
Best in Show – Tama County

Creston, Iowa
Best in Show – Union County

Badger, Iowa
Best in Show – Webster County

Woolstock, Iowa
Best in Show – Wright County

The next time we check in on THE TOWN SIGN PROJECT, we will visit Sac County.