Odebolt - Miscellaneous Items


Miscellaneous Items

Source:  "Fifty Years of Progress, August 25, 1938, The Odebolt Chronicle

Odebolt had a cornet band in December, 1877, only a short time after the town was started.  Members were P. Murphy, Theodore Peterson, H.L. Willson, William Richardson, William Graham, L.D. Beardsley, John Bender, J.W. Boles, C.H. Miller and J. D. Needham.

It was estimated that Sac county had 5,111 acres of swamp land in 1872.  Eggs sold for 6 1/4 cents a dozen in 1872 and school teachers received $25 a month wages.

William J. Buhman manufactured Cigars in Odebolt in 1881.

In 1881 Odebolt spent more than $52,000 for improvements.

Odebolt had a daily newspaper in 1884, but only for a few days.  The Reporter was published each day during the district fair, and about 100 copies of each issue were distributed on the grounds.

The first law suit in Odebolt was tried in January, 1878, before Justice Umbarger.  The case was Hoyt vs. Hempen, with H.T. Martin as attorney for the plaintiff and Dan Kelley for the defendant.  There are no records as to what the case was about, or how it was decided.

H.T. Martin was the first commissioned notary public in Odebolt.

Henry Wait (Waite), living south of the Wheeler farm, paid a "high price" for a prairie chicken he shot in 1876.  The wadding from the gun set a wheat stack afire, and flames destroyed his stacks, granary, barn, wagon shed, dwelling, and a coat containing a large sum of money.

A "barn raising" was a big event in early days, as the following item from 1881 Odebolt Observer would indicate: "A party of our stoutest young men went to Hank Waite's place yesterday to help raise that new barn.  Lest some of them should strain themselves by overlifting, Hank took out sundry bottles and jugs of opodildoc.  We hope the boys didn't "raise" anything but the barn."

When H.T. Martin came to Odebolt in 1877 to become depot agent, he found it necessary to board and room at the farm home of Z.W. Sparks.  There were no other houses.

Odebolt dog owners started paying a town tax on their pets in 1880, when the council passed an ordinance to that effect.  After killing about 76 unlicensed dogs, they found it to be unconstitutional.

Those were the good old days!  While attending a dance a few miles north of Odebolt in 1880, Frank A. Ross had a bridle, powder flask, and wrench stolen from his buggy.

Population in Sac County in 1881 was 2,000 more than the year before.

In 1887 the Boardman Bros. Chicken picking establishment in Odebolt offered to give jobs to all men wanting work.  As many as 1,600 chickens were picked each day.  More that 50 tons of poultry were packed and shipped in December, 1887, and January, 1888, and $10,000 was paid out by the company for poultry and labor.

Odebolt Observer, Aug 18, 1880 - "If Main street is to be used for a race track to speed horses upon, why don't the authorities have the town pump removed?  It is in the way.

(1938) Citizens may summon the night watchman to their homes quickly by calling the telephone office.  The operator may immediately switch on a small red signal light that is fixed to the post on the corner of Main and Second streets.  When the watchman sees this light flash he can go directly to the telephone office or call and find out where he is needed.

In November 1879, while a law student at Ann Arbor, Mich., Charles E. George of Odebolt saved the life of a little boy who had fallen into the river.  Two years later he received a gold ring and an honorary membership from the American Humane society in recognition of the act.  The ring had his name deeply engraved on its outer surface, while the inside was engraved, "Presented by the American Humane Society, May 2, 1881."  George was practicing law in Odebolt at that time.

Odebolt folks must have believed in 1881 that "an apple a day kept the doctor away."  H.T. Martin sold 130 barrels of apples from his store in 3 1/2 days.

Odebolt Observer, Nov. 17, 1880 - "It is a poor day for teams in town when one cannot count a hundred of them on the street.  In a good day 200 to 250 is no unusual number."

A city scale was installed in 1882 at the intersection of First, Second and Main Streets.

The Boardman Creamery in Odebolt once was producing a ton of butter a day.

The only railroad towns in Sac county in 1877 were Odebolt and Wall Lake.  Following is a report of business at Odebolt for December of that year:  Freight received, 906,312 lbs.; charges on same, $1,151.33; freight forwarded, 246,253 lbs. charges, $2,462.53; tickets sold $215.45; telegraph receipts, $10.18.

(1938) Roller skating in the Mattes hall, formerly Wright's hall is nothing new.  The hall was used for skating as early as 1883.  The Reporter said "he has purchased a lot of parlor skates."

Sulphur and coal dust was the remedy for hog cholera used in 1880 by I.S. Bailey of Cook township.  Bailey lost more than 60 head of hogs from cholera in July of that year, but believed the disease was checked after using the home preparation.

I.T. Likle, a farmer living a few miles from Odebolt, had a horse fall into a 16 foot well in the summer of 1880.  Th animal remained 13 hours, up to its head in water, but suffered no serious damage.

W.W. Field, while living at Odebolt, was secretary of the Wisconsin Sate fair for a number of years in the 1880's.

The Ida County Pioneer reported in December, 1876, that 18 children, victims of diphtheria, were buried near Kiron in one week.  Five of the children were said to be from one family.

After one of the big blizzards of 1881, snow was drifted so high on farms in this community that cattle were able to walk over the fences without difficulty.  One farmer told about a fat steer walking up on a drift to the ridgepole of his house and looking down the chimney.

Sac City's first train arrived in July, 1876, about 23 years after the town was laid out.

North Odebolt was once called Bangtown, in honor of A.A. Bangs, who owned property there.  The Bangs property was sold to C.L. Nelson in 1887.

S.B. McCluskey had one of the first vocal music classes in Odebolt.  In 1883 he proposed to give 10 lessons for $1.50, one lesson per week.

Odebolt teams have lost as well as won, baseball games.  In July, 1890, a local team was defeated by Schaller, 99 to 3.

A 350-pound hog belonging to L. Francisco of Cook township was buried in a snow bank for five weeks during the winter of 1880.  Although it was nearly blind and unable to stand on its feet when found, the animal recovered.

Tornado Took Barn, Left Mules in 1881 - W.J. Stock of Odebolt recalls a tornado that caused considerable damage in the spring of 1881.  At that time he was living with his parents in a dugout near Wall Lake.  The storm took a shed which had been used for a barn at the Stock farm leaving a team of mules tied to a post where the building had stood.  A wagon that had been standing in the yard was carried about three miles by the wind.  This wagon was repaired and the gear is still used by his son, Ray Stock.  Mr. Stock also recalls spearing muskrats at the goose pond, which at that time was a lake.  He has helped spear as many as 75 in a half day, selling the hides at 2 1/2 and three cents each to Charles Goodenow who then had a store at Wall Lake.

G.H. Parker apparently was the first bicycle owner in Odebolt, according to the Observer for Nov. 9, 1881.  "There is a bicycle in town.  G.H. Parker is the only man who can run it.  While out with it the other day it attracted many observers, but there wasn't a boy dared climb the thing but George.

James Taylor and John Bruce secured organization of four townships along the present Chicago and North Western railroad, collected the first tax for railroad purposes, and worked hard to secure right-of-way for the company.

Frank Wardell and John Minneeley set a new corn picking record on the J.H. Moelln farm two miles north of town in 1887.  They picked and loaded 100 bushels in two hours.

One of the problems of 1891, according to an old issue of The Chronicle:  "The holes around the hitching posts on the business streets should be filled in with ashes.  The other day a lady had her dress nearly ruined and her face bespattered with mud by the stamping of a horse on Second street.  In wet weather, one cannot go along the sidewalks without risking such annoyances.

The Odebolt Chronicle, VOLUME FORTY, Number 27, AUGUST 7, 1927
Charles Larson, who returned Saturday from a visit with his brother at Eldred, S. D. also drove to Rosholt, S. D. to visit the Stoneberg and Olson families, who formerly resided in this locality.

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