Happenings 1930- 1939  

Business Census for 1930's:

E. Hyde – Barber
Andrew Nelson, Contractor
August Atz
H.W. Ahrens - Livestock Buyer
Farmer’s Co-op Elevator
Farmer’s & Merchant’s Oil (Lietz Station)
First State Bank
Fleischman Malting Co.
Fred Dally - Auto Repair
Guy Paulson – Grocery
J.C. Ruthenback & Son.

Joe Zavayna - Harness & Shoe Repair
John Albert "Variety Store"
Okabena Auto Co.
Okabena Co-op Creamery
Okabena Meat Market - Otto Moja
Okabena National Farm Loan Assoc.
Okabena Press
Sam Dahl - "Quality Store"
Sontag Lumber Company


Local creamery destroyed by fire.
Searchlight clubs starts campaign to beautify city by planting flowers and shrubs.
Kuhlman takes over Tile Plant.
Oscar Sundhal elected Supt. for next school year.
Parade starts 4th of July Celebration.
Thieves enter Dahl’s store.
Lester Hotzler to operate store for Farmer’s and Merchant’s Oil Company.
Auction sale of Variety store goods by H. W Ahrens

De Moure Bros. in trucking business.
Dahl’s acquire store at Wilder, Franklin Dahl to be in charge.
Diagonal road under construction.
Plans made for county historical society.
Fred Shipman new editor of Press.
Former 4-H “Livewires” become “Okabena Be Square Club”.
Jack Winkler has lunch room between Paulson’s store and the garage.
Ed Scheppmann rents Donaldson store building — opens confectionary.


Irvin Bayerkohler opens garage next to WNAX station.
Leach Bros. to manufacture “Iceland Anti-Freeze” here, local management to  be under Herman Kuhlman.
Bandits hold up bank — escape with $2400.
Jinx gone; Okabena beats Heron Lake in basketball.
Merchants launch holiday good will campaign — 152 prizes offered
Parade starts 4th of July Celebration.


Prices going lower daily.
School receives favorable comment at band contest.
20% cut in teacher wages for next year.
Albert Confectionary operated by John Albert and son John, to close.
Sabatka sells meat market to L. B. Munsell of Marietta.
Tornado hits Ellsworth & vicinity.
Parade starts 4th of July Celebration.
Ed Scheppmann buys out Albert’s Confectionary.
Lietz takes over filling station.
Karl Ruthenbeck new editor of Press.
Three day holiday declared by town boards to protect deposits of local bank..
Munsell closes meat market in October.
Due to inability of farmers to raise sufficient funds for support of St. John’s Church, H. W. Ahrens offers to buy 2,000 bushels of corn at $0.20 per bushel to be paid to the church. Ahrens swamped with corn soon after the offer made.
Okabena ranks high in declam contest, with Paul Hartman receiving 2nd, Helen Thornburg 1st, Lloyd Frederickson 2nd.
Local elevator ships in hay for the first time in 21 years.
October– Lehnert Ruthenbeck acting postmaster — fixtures to be moved to Press Building.
Roosevelt has a big margin over Hoover in local voting.
August Scheppmann dies — Manager of Creamery 1903-05, also former president of Elevator.


Ed. Mittelstadt moves to town to operate portable mill.
Clarence Pederson to operate confectionary.
National Bank Holiday occurs.
Helser leaves depot post – Jack Theophilus new agent.
Editorial on “Okabena has carried on” relative to the depression.
H. W. Voehl advocates use of tile plant for manufacture of alcohol from grain.
May – “Machine Guns bark in bank raid” – bandits shoot up town.
June – Cyclone hits Okabena, uprooting trees, damaging garages, windows, etc
Peterson closes confectionary, rumored hasty departure for violating prohibition laws.
Parade starts 4th of July Celebration.
Businessmen protest the use of foreign labor on railroad, in place of local help.
Burglars visit Paulson and Bayerkohler shops.
Girls basketball team undefeated for the season.
September – Jury indicts local bank bandits.
Bank robbers found guilty – sentenced.
Series of robberies here – September 26.
Henry Christoffer wins county corn husking championship.
Annual carnival big success – Minerva Glaser voted queen.
R. H. Lueneberg, first editor here, dies at South Bend, Indiana.
Paul Schulz saves Lloyd Kalfs in fall through ice.


CWA projects begun on school house.
Jan. – Robbers hold up Wm. Lietz station, kidnap him, but release him out of town.
Sept. – Robberies solved as two men from Minneapolis and Benson confess to series of crimes.
Mrs. Caroline Schumacher, old time resident, dies. Came to Okabena in 1871.
H. H. DeMoure killed in auto accident.
Girls team undefeated in season play.
Theophilus leaves, succeeded by Mark Banks as station agent.
Band wins first at State Meet. Will compete in National Contest at Des Moines. Citizens and groups raise $270 to finance trip to Des Moines. Band wins “fair” rating there.
4th of July celebration another success.
Walter Schulz in charge of Lietz station, leased by Farmer’s and Merchant’s Oil Co. of Brewster.
Pioneer resident Mrs. A. Van Dam dies; Mrs. Sandberg dies.
School adopts Heron as insignia for awards.
Crawford and Harvey take over Press.


John Albert dies Jan. 15; H. W. Ahrens dies in March.
Chain letters craze sweeping the nation.
Heron Lake – Okabena road to be straightened.
Okabena bridge, road to be built by PWA.
Clarence Bayerkohler has Co-op station.
Lester Hotzler appointed postmaster.
4th of July celebration another success.
Frank Ahrens seriously injured in corn picker accident.
Ted Balko wins state cornhusking contest at Hartberg farm.
Wm. E. Widel, former station agent, dies.
Danger from floods as water rises here.


Fred Pomerenke leaves for Colorado.
Lehnert Ruthenbeck, new pastor, Sherburne church.
L.C. Pietz buys Dannett building – starts Red and White store. Paulson moves to Christy building.
January – Schools close, mail halts, community gripped by cold.
February – Community isolated in Minnesota’s most severe storm in 20 years.
Editor Barron leads battle with Interstate over power rates.
Skelly station closes.
Howard Benson instructor at Dunwoody Institute.
REA starts construction.
Parade starts 4th of July Celebration.

All time heat record set here.
Okabena to have free outdoor movies.
Will Schumacher dies – oldest resident in community.
Herman Kuhlman gun shot victim.
Fleischmann Elevator escapes serious fire damage.
Barron gives up Press – new editors Walter and Robert Taylor.


April – Alice Albert opens “Sunnyside Lunch Room” in Milbrath building.
Reverend Shannon new Methodist pastor.
Oscar Roos new blacksmith.
Irvin Bayerkohler in paint spraying business.
Sept. – Rev. Trapp resigns to become manager for Otto Baganz, harpist.
Parade starts 4th of July Celebration.

Main street tarred by public subscription, and donation of gravel from railroad.
Rev. George Schweikert from McIntosh, Minn., new Lutheran minister


Wm. Droll, old time West Heron Lake resident, passes on.
E. C. Milbrath and Ed Scheppmann trade businesses.
School students stage strike when Supt. Sundahl not rehired.
Burglars again visit Okabena.
Mrs. Ida Anderson (Hovelson) dies. Born on Hovelson farm 1872
Leo Snyder to open cafe.
School Board votes to put in Ag Department.
Memorial Day exercises held here, Brewster Legion in charge.
Robert H. Norman, superintendent elect.
Arnold Hussong wins State 4-H ton litter championship.
Jack and Okabena Creeks flood lands.
Parade starts 4th of July Celebration.

Residents vote 81-36 for incorporation. Officers elected.
A. H. Ohlsen family to take over Lietz station.
Football becomes popular sport here.
School and businessmen give “Harvest Festival.”
Okabena Fire Department helps save Paulson Grocery at Heron Lake.
People vote in Liquor store.


Creamery to install lockers.
Nels Eidhammer passes away.
Edw. Hovelson dies of heart attack.
Veteran butter maker Wm. Gehrls, Sr. dies.
Rost celebrates 50th anniversary for Pastor Meyers.
Council restricts the use of fireworks.
Parade starts 4th of July Celebration.

Post office offering U.S. savings bonds.
Auto Co. burgled, August Atz car stolen, recovered at Lauton, Iowa.
8:50 Club (violation of stop signs) brings on feud with Lakefield.
Nesbit new blacksmith.
Sam Frederickson director of Independent Bankers National Association.

(Okabena’s history was provided courtesy of the Okabena Centennial Edition of The Okabena Press, Jackson County History Books, Jackson County Historical Museum and Tri-County News.)