Dusty memories of the Dirty 30’s


A bountiful bean harvest has filled the “big bin” at the elevator, as I understand it, and some had already been put on the ground.

As I drove out to church Sunday morning, I was reminded very forcefully of “The Dirty 30’s” because of the terribly high winds. With them blowing the lovely top-soil from the finely-worked cropland, and all the dust from the harvesting of the soybeans, at times I could not see very far ahead of the car. It was scary because I really do remember all those years ago, and how bad the dust blew and all that went with it. Then, fences were covered with the dirt blown by the strong winds, and other things were covered up as well. The dust blew into every nook and cranny of the houses, no matter how “tight” they were. The sun was very dim, if it could even be seen at times. I’d sure hate to see those days come again.

Charles Borchard was the speaker again at the church on Sunday.

Rose Grothe went to Brookings last Friday to have supper with her daughter, Janice.

Clint Walker, who has been staying with his daughters in Missouri, is back in his home in Bancroft for a short while, readying his house for winter.

Church history

Church was a social encounter as well as a spiritual encounter. The births, deaths, sorrows and joys were all a part of the community. Everyone was there to share in all these experiences and always did anything to help in the joys and sorrows. Many times the neighborhood gathered to help someone who had suffered a loss or just needed a helping hand. Families were close, and it seemed that every person there was your friend, as people visited with each other a lot. It was not uncommon to be invited for Sunday dinner — at the church and not before. It was just an everyday thing to have extra, so if the wife decided that it would be nice to have company for Sunday dinner, the invite was given after hearing a good sermon.

There was a Main Street, Third Street, Fourth and Fifth Street. The Presbyterian Church on the west side of Main Street was noted on the map of 1909 as the school. The Lutheran Church was established that year, and Christmas was the first celebration. The lighting system featured an innovative gasoline lamp, which had a pressurized tank filled with gasoline. This tank was located behind the altar, and lamps were lighted with the aid of a long pole to which a wick was attached. The wick was lighted and held to the lamp to light it. At one time, lightning struck the church and set the pressurized tank on fire, causing some smoke damage to the church.


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