Sunday, January 30, 2011

"Who Do You Think You Are?" TV Series Returns

NBC has announced it is starting Series 2 of "Who Do You Think You Are?" on February 4th at 7:00 pm. Should be another interesting season. This show is sponsored in part by

Travel through time and deep into the family stories of eight fascinating celebrities as they solve centuries-old mysteries, uncover long-lost family ties and make shocking discoveries about their ancestors.

Week 1: February 4th, NBC at 7 p.m.  -  Vanessa Williams
Vanessa will travel into her family's past with a visit to her father's final resting place.

Week 2:  February 11th, NBC at 7 p.m. -  Tim McGraw
This episode will show Tim's connection to George Washington

Week 3 and 7 (this was a repeat):  February 18th NBC at 7 p.m. - Rosie O'Donnell:  Rosie travels from Jersey City to Ireland on an emotional ride to discover her mother's roots.

Week 4 and 6 (this was a repeat):  February 25th NBC at 7 p.m. - Kim Cattrall:  Kim unlocks the 70-year-old mystery behind her grandfather's abandonment of his young family.

Week 5:  Lionel Ritchie:  Great music runs deep! Lionel unravels the ancestral mystery of his beloved grandmother, a music teacher.

Week 8:  Steve Buscemi:    March 25th at 7 p.m. - Follow Golden Globe winner Steve Buscemi as he travels from Brooklyn to Pennsylvania and on to the battlefields of Virginia in pursuit of an ancestor with a dark and mysterious past.

Others to be featured are:

Gwyneth Paltrow: on April 1, at 7 p.m. - She digs into her family's past and finds a surprising connection to her spiritual roots, a new appreciation for her great-grandmother and ancestors on the island of Barbados.

Ashley Judd on April 8 at 7 p.m. - Ashley sets out to discover the truth behind her family's tall tales.  Her search leads her to an ancestor who faced tragedy in the Union Army and an incredible connection to America's first settlers.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Lucas County Public Safety Center

Progress is moving right along on the new public safety center/holding facility being built on Hy-Vee Road in Chariton.  The picture above shows the building.  The center will have four holding cells, all on the west end of the building.  Two of the cells will be double bunk cells.  The communications center which includes the dispatch area will be back in the storm shelter area of the building. Early spring is the goal for completion.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Chariton Waterworks

From the History of Lucas County, Iowa, 1978  Book

In 1901 the city began seriously to consider building a waterworks.  Originally it was proposed to bring the water into town from wells on the Chariton River Bottom southwest of town.  One proposal was to have the steam engine pump water after midnight to fill the storage tank.  Then operate an electric generator in the daytime to furnish electricity for the town.  After many failures to secure enough water from wells that was good enough to drink and cook with, the council at last decided to use a reservoir east of town.  For the first time the city was headed in the right direction and although many experiments were made to find adequate water, the final result was something to be proud of.

By the end of 1916, we read in the paper of that time, "The final source of water was a large impounding reservoir three miles east of Chariton.  It had a drainage area large enough to permit the taking of 500,000 gallons daily during three successive dry years.  Should supply Chariton adequately even if the city should triple in size.  Cost of the dam, filtering plant, pump station, pipeline, etc. was estimated at $10,000.  This would extend the present plant to all parts of the city for private use and fire protection.  The filtration plant will cost $18,000, but will insure such purity of water that none can complain.  Soft water is also better for steam boilers.  Also in the paper, "the city water system is almost completed, the last work now being put on the filtration system.  All have past inspection.  Chemists find the water pure, the result of the latest process, thanks to the up-to-date filtering plant."

Thus after 16 years of trying we find Chariton with her own "good" water system.

The system in 1978 now includes a ground storage tank and pumping station in the east part of town.  Also an elevated tank on the east side and another elevated tank io the northwestern end of town.  These two tanks were in addition to the original storage tank behind the city hall.  With the old city lake, and two backup lakes, Lake Morris and Red Haw Lake, it now seems we should have enough water.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Chautauqua Assembly 1903

I don't know how many of you have taken a look at one of our blogs:  Chautuaqua Assembly, Chariton,   The blog does not include the entire booklet, but it does include the pictures of Lucas County.  If you want to see the entire booklet, it is available at the Lucas County Genealogy room at the library.

On Monday, January 31 at 9:00 p.m., Channel 11, KDIN, will be showing a 1 hr. and 10 min. documentary entitled:  "Chautauqua: An American Narrative".  This documentary will show the history and impact of the Chautauqua Institution, founded 135 years ago in Western New York.

Sounds interesting.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Medicare to cut Doctor's pay by 25%

I faxed this article to the Letter to the Editor of our local newspaper three times, once the end of November, and twice in December.  They have never printed it even though I talked to them and they assured me it would appear.  
Please read this carefully if you are on Medicare.   This appeared in an email I received from AARP the end of November.

Don't let Congress Drive Doctors Out of Medicare

AARP believes seniors have earned their Medicare and the security of knowing they'll be able to see the doctors they count on. Unfortunately, doctors who treat Medicare patients will receive a 25% pay cut in 2011 unless Congress acts before the session ends in early December.  I realize the December  session is over, but I think it is still an important enough  problem, a letter could still be sent to let them know how you feel.

This cut is happening because over 10 years ago, Congress created a flawed payment system that can no longer pay doctors what it costs to care for seniors. If Congress doesn't stop the cut, many seniors could lose their doctors or be unable to find a new one when they need it. That's why AARP is working to stop this cut so seniors can have the security they've earned.

Send the message below telling Congress how you feel.  Let your elected leaders know you want them to stop the cut so you can have the peace of mind to keep seeing your doctors.

Send to:  Rep. Richard Arnold   26875 407th Street  Russell, IA  50238
and to Sen. Paul McKinley   21884 483rd Lane   Chariton,  IA  50049
(Below is an example of what you can say)

I'm writing to urge you to stop the cut to Medicare doctors. 

I've worked all my life to earn my Medicare and the security of knowing I'll be able to keep seeing the doctors I count on.  But now, I'm worried because unless you take action before Congress adjourns in December, Medicare doctors will receive a 25% pay cut in 2011, which will mean my doctor will no longer be paid what it costs to treat me.  As one of my representatives in Washington, I believe you have a responsibility to seniors to keep doctors in the Medicare program.  And, even though this election focused on the disagreements between Democrats and Republicans, making sure seniors can see their doctors is something we can all agree on.

Thank you.  (sign your name and mail it today, PLEASE)
While I was in my Doctor's office at the Chariton Family Medical Center today, I noticed a poster stating a similar message and I became concerned for everyone in this area that has a doctor at this facility.  It doesn't mean they won't see us anymore, it just means they want our attention and help to correct the possible problem.
Lynne Wilson, Russell

Hopefully the cut can be prevented.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

The Iceman Cometh

In the Chariton Herald newspaper dated November 26, 1896 there was a small article regarding the construction of the icehouse.    A mammoth icehouse, 30 x 70 feet, 16 feet high, is being constructed by the Chariton Ice Co. at the fair grounds.  The old house at the electric light station has been removed.  By the new arrangement, capacity for 400 loads more than before has been secured.

September 28, 1976 the Chariton Leader provided this story:
A daily ritual, when the Chariton Ice Company was one of the community's primary industries and employers, was the placing of the "Ice Card" in the window.  The printed card had large numbers on each side, 25, 50, 75, and 100.  The number up was the block weight the homeowner needed that day.

Horse drawn wagons, until the later days of the delivering of ice, carried large grooved blocks.  The grooves indicated approximate size and permitted the driver to chisel off a 25lb. block with ease. 

In the hot summer months, neighborhood children followed the ice wagon daily to secure cool chips for eating.

Icemen had to have strong backs to carry heavy blocks into homes or upstairs apartments.  Many homes arranged an outside door opening into the "Ice Box" to facilitate delivery and to avoid a daily cleanup of water that melted from the ice.

The Chariton firm operated until the early 1940's, approximately 35 years, when every home had acquired a modern refrigerator.

Strangely, today firms across the United States successfully market manufactured ice through supermarkets and other outlets for those needing more ice than can be made at home.

Around September of 1976 the icemen cometh no more in Chariton and the last vestige of their presence, the old icehouse, is being razed.

The Bob Stone Companies, which have owned the former icehouse on Brookdale Avenue for several years, are now removing the half that constituted the storage area.  The manufacturing and locker portion of the plant, constructed of concrete block, will not be razed now, but may be later. 

The contractor who undertook the job of removing the storage area said, "It was really insulated, with sawdust and cork,"

September 6, 2001, the Chariton Herald-Patriot headlined the following news:
Fire Destroys Old Icehouse
by Bill Howes
The building known as the Old Icehouse, located in the 1200 block of Brookdale Avenue, was destroyed by fire late Monday afternoon.  The one-story concrete building was originally built in the early 1900's to store ice in before refrigerators were invented.  It is not known at this time what caused the fire and the cause is still being investigated by the Iowa State Fire Marshall's Office and the Chariton Police Department.

The building has been empty and unused for years.  The last person to own it was rural Chariton resident Paul Umbenhower who owned it during part of the 1970's and most of the 1980's.  Umbenhower used the building mainly for storing seeds.  Umbenhower owns Chariton Feed and Grain Inc. in Chariton.

Chariton Volunteer Fire Department first assistant fire chief Brian Davis said that several people living near the icehouse reported the fire.  Davis said that people living near the building saw children playing in the area around it before the fire.  "It's our understanding that the building was used by some children in town as a hangout," Davis said.

The fire department was dispatched at around 4:13pm.  Upon their arrival the entire roof and building were engulfed in flames.  Davis said that the main reason the building burnt so quickly was that it was insulated with sawdust.  "That's what they used for insulation in the old days.  Sawdust burns very fast," Davis said.  The ice that was stored there in the early 1900's was packed in sawdust.

Davis said that the fire department's first firefighting effort was hampered because the first hydrant they attached to on Brookdale wasn't working.  Then they attached to a hydrant near North Park and also shuttled water in through their tankers.  In addition to putting out the fire, Davis said they removed some trailers from the property and put out some grass and debris fires near the Coop owned fuel tanks southeast of the building.
The fire department spent about two hours putting out the fire.  If anyone has more information about the fire, they should contact the Chariton Police Department or the Chariton Volunteer Fire Department,

New Blog Page Added "Lucas County People"

Be sure to check out the new Blog page that has been added.  The very bottom selection on the blog list to the right, I have added a Blog called "Lucas County People".  Or you can click here:   Let me know what you think.  Thanks, Lynne

Sunday, January 02, 2011

City Water Becomes a Reality

Written by John Pierce - Chariton: The Early Years - July 28, 1992

Chariton residents longed for city water from the first franchise election in 1896 until water became a reality in March of 1907.

At the final franchise election on June 11, 1906 an apparent first in Chariton history occurred.  Women were allowed to vote.  Of the 871 people voting, 207 were women.  Carriages were run by the ladies to bring other ladies to vote.

Digging on the water system started quickly.  A digging machine could cover two blocks a day but was limited to the street.  The narrow alleys had to be dug by hand where only one-half block a day was dug.

Water for the waterworks system was to come from a huge well.  This well was sixteen feet in diameter and thirty feet deep.  The well was located at the corner of 15th Street and Armory Avenue.

An attempt was made to secure water from the big reservoir just built in 1905 by the railroad on the west edge of Chariton.  The railroad declined to let Chariton use the water.

The Chariton water tower was filled March 14, 1907.  The 150 foot structure contained 100,000 gallons of water and is still in use today.

The first use of the water system for a fire occurred in April of 1907.  Two frame buildings on the east side of the square adjoining the alley to the south caught fire.  Four Eddy fire hydrants installed at the corners of the square proved to be very valuable.  A hose was run from the southeast corner of the square with water on the fire before the fire engine could reach the scene.