|CENTER POINT HISTORICAL SOCIETY NEWSLETTER, JAN. 2015
Dear members, friends and neighbors,
Happy 2015. Your officers for this year are: president Philip Andersen, email@example.com, 849-1438, c551-8120; vice president Dusty Sylver, firstname.lastname@example.org, 849-2757, c551-2601; secretary Sharon Hannen, email@example.com, 849-1792, c721-6948; treasurer Teresa Scheeler, firstname.lastname@example.org, 849-1883, c560-2647; historian Virginia Benson, email@example.com, 849-1052, c389-0821 and directors Linda Schlicht, Collin Aarhus and Lois Rowe.
MEETINGS: Late last year members voted to change our regular meeting night to the last Thursday of the month, still at 7 p.m. Because of cold at the Museum, the first two meetings of the year are at private homes. Jan. 29 will be at Teresa/Dan Scheeler’s, 321 Summit, CP. Feb. 26 will be at Collin/Barb Aarhus’s, (across the street from Dan and Teresa’s) 103 Trader St., CP, (849-1719.) Y’all come!
2015 CALENDAR: We also voted to shorten the Museum season for 2015 because of the difficulty of getting volunteers. The Museum will be open free from 2 to 4 p.m. Sundays from June 7 through Aug. 30. June 7 will be our third annual opening day Player Piano Party. Sept. 13 at 6 p.m. will be our annual bake sale and band concert by the Vinton Community Band. Our annual Cemetery Walk will be the late afternoon of Aug. 30.
THEME: In this new year your Historical Society will continue last year’s theme of “Home Front—the Forties.” People were encouragingly interested in our displays and programs, members had fun with the researching, and this year is the 70th anniversary of WWII victory—good reasons to keep a good thing going.
There are still lots of Center Point area WWII veterans’ stories quietly out there we want to save and stories about life on the home front. Who would have guessed, for example, that the late mild-mannered carpenter and 4-H leader Dave Carman had been part of the daring glider landing in the Normandy invasion if his family hadn’t shared the story with us? So if you know of stories from your family or friends, please give us a tip. When this year’s Museum display comes down we’ll save the stories and pictures in WWII notebooks for public reference.
“The human spirit is just like a cork.”--Ernie Pyle, WWII war correspondent
ON THE HOME FRONT: Even though the war was more than 2 years old when the good old USA got attacked into it, there would be 3½ more long years before Allied victory in 1945.
Sixteen million Americans were in the service altogether, the majority draftees—at least one in five families had someone in the military.
In July of 1943, President Roosevelt reminded the nation: “Every combat division, every Naval task force, every squadron of fighting planes is dependent for its equipment, and ammunition, and fuel, and food…on the American people in civilian clothes in the offices and in the factories and on the farms at home.”
ON THE FARM FRONT: Our farm population decreased by about 6 million during the war but farm productivity rose about 36% thanks to rural electrification, hybrid seed corn (developed in Iowa, naturally), increased mechanization, and growing use of commercial fertilizer and chemicals. The first peace time draft in U.S. history had begun in 1940 but in 1942 Congress, recognizing food was essential to winning the war, authorized agricultural military deferments.
VICTORY GARDENS: Town people grew food too. In 1943, for example, the government estimated one-third of all the vegetables grown were from citizen gardens, some in apartment building window boxes, some in school yards, even some in plowed-up baseball diamonds.
ON THE EDUCATION FRONT: The need for fighters trumped the need for educators and sometimes the need for students during the war. Ike Newland, one of the subjects for our 2014 Cemetery Walk, was drafted between his junior and senior year of high school.
“Prof” Dick Beall was in Navy pre-flight school in 1944, instead of continuing to teach at CP High School. Townspeople paid a $1.00 yearly subscription to have “The Center Point Independent” newspaper sent to a serviceman. “I think the idea of giving the Independent is a good thing,” Prof Beall said in a letter to the paper in 1944. “I always enjoy getting the Independent for I keep up in the change of residence of some of the boys when I miss their address. I am writing to 44 boys in the service.”
(Here are service members who received “The Independent” courtesy of a 1944 campaign by the CP Commercial Club: Clarence Ralston, Lorraine Ralston, Earl Fulmer, Raymond Carver, Hayward Brody, Chris Stauffer Jr., Dean Hunter, Eldo Mentzer, Lloyd Jones, Jack Sholes, Alfred Horak, Don Tunks, Willard Walton, Earl Frey, Harold Mithelman, Dick Newland and Marvin Klima.)
In 1943 CP coach and superintendent Ott Lammers was drafted, leaving the school board scrambling.
The Nov. 4, 1943,” Independent” reported: “No successor has as yet been secured to fill the position made vacant by the entrance of Mr. Lammers into the army. With the nation-wide
shortage and the drafting of more and more men into the armed forces, the board of education is faced with a serious problem.”
Another article in the same issue said: “The home of Mr. and Mrs. H.W. Holman was the setting for a seven o’clock dinner party Wednesday night, complimenting Superintendent O.H. Lammers and Mrs. Lammers, who are leaving Center Point Friday night. The courtesy was arranged by members of the board of education and the school faculty as a farewell courtesy to Mr. Lammers who leaves November 16th for military duty.
“Earlier in the day the student body of the school gathered in the assembly and Raymond Haars, president of the Senior Class, presented Mr. Lammers with a watch, in behalf of the faculty, the student body and the board of education.”
PATRIOTS ALL: The local paper gave lots of coverage to an Aug. 29, 1942 war rally in CP which featured, courtesy of the Dennison Insurance Agency, a car caught in the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
“Everyone in the Center Point area is invited to put their shoulder-to-the-wheel in this rally for an early and complete victory for the forces of Liberty and World Freedom. Pearl Harbor is crying out for greater determination by the people of America,” the paper said. “War bonds and stamps will be on sale….Many small investments in freedom can make enough pressure to put the international gangsters to flight.”
BLACKED OUT: The “Cedar Rapids Gazette” reported on Dec. 14, 1942: The state of Iowa with eight other mid-western states was plunged into total darkness Monday night for the first war-time blackout test in this area….Center Point was thoroughly organized for the event, under direction of A.R. Shearer, district warden and J.F. Newland, mayor. Those officiating … were H.W. Holman, F.L. Tunks, C.S. Roberts, W.L. Street, Merle Newman, R.I. Smith, Wilbur Oliphant, Bob Heath, V.G. Bromwell, Paul Steinberg, Jim Osborne, John Willer… John Bumgardner, Delmer Fisher and Mrs. Marion Grubbs.
BACK TO BUSINESS $$$: Our Cemetery Walk September 28 of last year was attended by about 30 people and netted us a little over $100 besides all the good will. Our annual bake sale with the free Vinton Community Band concert Sept 7 made $132. We made $200 baking desserts for the Fire Dept. steak supper in early November. The Historical Society is humbly grateful for donations from Pat Grubbs Rand, Dr. Troup, Richard Noska, and Jim and Vernon Gilchrist and memorials for Curt Schnell and Dave Craig which amounted to a very generous $700 last year.
Also thank you to Friends of the Center Point Library which donated a number of Lewis Bottoms history books for us to sell.
PATRIOTIC POTLUCK: About 30 people attended our annual harvest potluck, Sunday, Oct. 26, at 5 p.m. at LJL Hall. Thank you to the CP American Legion and Auxiliary—especially Tom and Nancy Krapfl—for partnering on the event. Historical Society president Philip Andersen emceed. Speakers were: WWII vet Dr. Kenneth Andersen; Paul Schantz, who took a recent WWII tour of Europe; Ken Dinger, a Korean vet just returned from an Honor Flight; Teresa Scheeler who read from newspaper clips about Evelyn Durow’s late husband Raymond whose ship was sunk in the Pacific; and Jon Brendel. Jon portrayed Chuck Oxley in our August Cemetery Walk. Chuck was part of the Enola Gay operation on Tinian that ended the war with the dropping of the atomic bomb. Jon shared more of the extensive research he had done on Chuck and that part of WWII.
KID STUFF: The old Museum was jumping when Joel Cardo and the Cub Scouts (First graders) visited in late November. Ringing the school bell was a popular activity and the Civil War bone saw got its share of attention. And manual typewriters hold a strong fascination for these computer- era kids. So…..if you have or know of someone who has an unwanted manual—not electric—typewriter for which you can still get ribbons let us know. Two manual typewriters would be great hands-on artifacts for our younger visitors.
The Historical Society Wants YOU: These folks had paid memberships in 2014: Barb/Collin Aarhus, Daryl Achenbach, Dr. /Marilyn Andersen, Philip Andersen, Virginia Benson, John Caughron, Jeanette Elgin, Jeanette Matheny Haars, Rick/Sharon Roseberry Hannen, Sally Holman Hill, Bob King, Nancy Krapfl, John/Sydney Brookman Kruse, Thea Leslie, Garnet Mader, Carolyn Kadlec McCaullife, Jalaa McNiel, Daphne Craig Miller, Kenneth Earl Moon, Richard Noska, Jon/Sue Novak, Marian Parsons, Marj Pepin, Pat Grubbs Rand, Bert/Evelyn Roseberry, Velma Roseberry, Lois Rowe, Paul Schantz, Teresa Scheeler, John Stuelke,Dusty/Mike Syl ver, Troup Vet. Clinic.
Dues are $10 to be paid this month--January. Make checks to: Center Point Historical Society. Mail to treasurer Teresa Scheeler, 321 Summit, CP 52213. Please include your email, phone and cell phone.
3942 Hannen Rd
Center Point IA 52213