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Milford Township and Proud of It

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We had a canvas cover for the floor that was used at various times. Most of the time it was not in use and the teachers made great efforts to keep the youngsters off the court with their shoes on. To many of us the great irony was when the school gym was used after some of the games and other times for square dancing and the farmers would come in and square dance wearing their heavy work boots.

One of the incidents that occurred four or five times while at basketball practice during my senior year involved the “body clock” of one of the players. Right during the three to three forty time period seemed to be the time when his body had manufactured and had to rid itself of excess gas. Most times these were the silent style with no warnings before the overwhelming odor, but once in a while the familiar reverberating rattling sound gave warning. O, my golly, what a sour, rotten, pungent, and just downright nose-hair burning odor. Practice had to be interrupted for a few minutes while humorous (and some not so humorous) remarks were thrown around (and at this guy) and then adjournment to the other end of the court to where we would get reorganized and started again.

One of the first times it happened, we were practicing at the east end and Coach Cochrane was out near the half court line and some of the fellows started to moan and walk around as a reaction to the aroma. Coach wanted to know what was causing the lack of concentration and when someone told him it was impossible to continue to work hard with the stench there; coach told us to “work through it”. Then he got a whiff and immediately practice was moved to the west end of the gym. It was kind of funny because it didn't happen too often but, never the less, it was breathtaking. This happened fifty years ago and I still remember the incidents, and how I thought that molecules that smelled that bad, that strong, would surely have to be big enough to see.

One interesting footnote to the story of the Milford Twp gym. The floor of the 1923-1924 gym was removed in 1956 and purchased by a downtown restaurant, the Raccoon River Brewery, in Des Moines. They have a sign displayed that explains the history of their floor which came from the Milford Twp gymnasium. The new gym was built in 1956 and only used five years for high school competition. After that the Nevada Community Middle School made it into a fifth and sixth grade facility and used it in this capacity for thirty years, 1961-1991.

1927 Awarding Athletic “Letters”

From the spring 1927 Nevada Paper:

“The first presentation of county letters was made in the Milford Schools on Wednesday of this week. Some time ago the county association decided to have a uniform letter for all schools belonging to the association and to have the letters furnished by the association. Captains are to receive a star and each activity is to be recognized by arm bands.

Superintendent Geo. W Kellogg, secretary for the county association, was present and presented the letters. Those receiving letters must have played in two-thirds of the games participated in by the team.

Letters were given to Hazel Slocum, Opal Fisher, Vera Eubank, Jeanette Sowers, Bernita Howland, Juanita Babbitt, Dorothy Day, Margaret Twedt. Hazel Slocum, the captain receiving a star. The boys awarded letters were George Allen, Ray Danielson (page 133), John Hereim, George Hansen, George McKinley, and Marion Gilreath. George Allen, the captain, receiving a star.”

This short article, years later, creates more questions than it answers. Does “the first presentation of county letter ......”- mean that this was the first time athletes in Milford Twp had received letters or this was the first letters ever awarded by the Association?

What is a “uniform letter”? Is it a letter to go on a uniform which could be the first letter of any student's school or is it a uniform (Common or standardized- as “one size fits all”) letter that all students, regardless of their school, would receive.

In the sentence “each activity is to be recognized by arm bands”-- what is “each activity”? What is an activity? a track tournament, a basketball season, a baseball season, etc.?

Eight girls received letters but no record of competitive sports for girls has been found.

For a picture of a lady wearing a letter sweater, look at “Sport Team- 1929 Senior Girls” (page 134) . By that time, 1929, the individual schools had taken over the awarding of the athletic letters.

Supt Geo. W. Kellogg was the Story County Supt of Schools during this time period.

Some questions created by this article are answered by the picture of the artifact on page 133.

Ol' Milford farmer tried to get a different car for wife; nobody would trade.
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© 2012 Mark Christian
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