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“In addition to farm work, Nels also had jobs of making foundations out of stone for homes and other buildings. His work sometimes kept him from his home for up to two weeks, staying with the people he worked for. He was termed a stone mason, but was also a carpenter. He also did house basements.

“They went to town by horse and buggy, never owning an automobile. They had 4 or 5 milk cows, some chickens and 2 horses.

“The kitchen stove served as a heating and cooking stove, it had doors on both sides for the oven. There are pictures in Decorah. Many goodies came from this oven--Martha's cakes and bread were specialties. At the Decorah Museum one of the houses they have brought from Norway is very much like the house Nels and Martha lived in.

“Nels died after falling down the steep stairs in his home at the age of 74 in 1934. After Nel's death Soren or Haaken's family lived with Grandma until she moved to Roland with Ellen's familiy in 1936, where she died in April, 1944 at the age of 87. Nels and Martha are both buried at the Pleasant Grove cemetary.

“This following little article was written by Lila Hemnes one of my cousins. (Hazel)

“I can remember when I was a young girl, around the age of 7, I went to my Grandpa and Grandma Horness' place to spend the summer. It was in the summer of 1918, it started to storm, and it rained for many days, with a lot of thunder and lightning. Then the old Skunk River went on a rampage. It came up to the house. Uncle Haaken kept watch to see how fast it was rising on the house.

“Everything that could be carried upstairs was taken up there. Then we all had to leave the house and go down to a farm lot about two and half blocks away to a cave that Grandma used to store the vegetables and canned foods. In the wee hours of the morning we had to leave the cave as it started to leak and went to the haymow in the barn, a little ways away. There we stayed until daylight. Then we left the barn and went to the top of a big hill. Then Mr Jacobs came with a team of horses and spring wagon (he was a neighbor of Grandma and Grandpa Horness) and took us all to his place We were with them for a week before the water went down. “Then Uncle Haaken, Grandma and the Jacobs men went down to clean up the house so we could go back. The water had been up to four feet deep in the house.

“After we returned to the house. Grandma and I were in the summer kitchen when I noticed a large snake up by the chimney on a shelf. I was so frightened I couldn't say anything, I just pointed at it. Grandma called Uncle Haaken and he killed the snake. He said it was a bull snake.

“Nels was working on a foundation west of Story City during the time of the flood.

“It was our yelling that brought the neighbors for our rescue.”

Milford's Top Hand

In Sept of 1937 the Nevada Paper ran a "fun" headline, on page one, about Story County Claims World's Youngest "Top Hand". Of course, or it wouldn't be in this book, he was from Milford Twp. Dean Rose, husky little three-year old son of Mr and Mrs Harry Rose, has been acquiring a great deal of distinction for his abilities on the farm. He was the subject of a special feature story sent out by a press bureau a few weeks ago, he is now being shown at the Circle Theater. "Dean is not only able to look after his share of the farm work in the way of looking after the calves, also in doing the chores about the barn, taking a hand at milking, driving the mules during the harvest season and other tasks."

Milford's Commencements

As representative of several articles about commencement activities, the one from the Nevada Paper for 1947 is presented.

“Commencement activities begin at the Milford School tonight with the Junior-Senior banquet honoring the nine graduates. This morning for assembly the student body enjoyed the "Bushe Marionettes".

On Wed noon at 12:30 there will be a baseball game between Milford and Zearing at Milford.

Thursday, May 8, the senior class play "Aunt Samantha" will be given by a fine cast.

Friday, May 9, is eighth grade examinations.

On Sat, May 10, Supt. Wm. Swim will take to the National Music contest, St. Joseph, Mo., Two soloists, Dorothy Murrow and Dorothy Tendall and the Boys Quartette, Joe Harper, Stanley Sorem, Richard Stevenson, and Richard Couser, all of whom had won superior ratings in the state contest at Boone. The Milford Glee Club also rated superior.

Sunday, May 11, will be baccalaureate with Rev Nichols of the Ames Collegiate Church, preaching the sermon at 8 p.m.

May 12-13-14 will be examinations for all but the seniors who will enjoy "Skip" day.

On Thur May 15, will be Commencement with Steven M Watkins, superintendent of the Ames Schools, as commencement speaker. During this period there will be ball games played to be announced later.” See page 120.

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© 2012 Mark Christian
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