Sesquicentennial Highlights

Excerpts from the Plain Talk

By Cleo Erickson
1936

The retail merchants will close at 11:30 AM on Labor Day and remain closed the rest of the day.  This will enable the merchants and those they employ to attend the celebration and picnic to be held at Prentis Park.

 The chicken thief who took 250 chickens from the Hans Lyso farm is being held in the Sioux City jail.  He is also wanted in Minnesota for similar robberies.  It is thought he was a member of a regular chicken theft ring which headquartered in Sioux City.

 Five arrests for intoxication were made here on Saturday evening.  Three of the men were released the following day on $25.00 bonds and will appear before Justice W. R. Cleland.  The other two, both minors, were released to the custody of their parents.

 South Dakota has had three more auto accidents the first seven months this year than during a similar period in 1935.  There are 62 from January through July this year compared with 59 last year.

 Daily camp meetings will be held the rest of the month.  The revival meetings will be held in a large tent north of Ericson's service station.  The meetings are carried on in a manner of the old fashioned camp meeting and begin at 8:00 o'clock every evening.  
The chicken thief is out on bonds.  The Sioux City hoodlum thwarted local officers Thursday and temporally escaped the clutches of the law when released from the Sioux City jail on bonds.

 Mr. Michels has announced that Mr. & Mrs. Walter O'Connor will take over the management of the Varsity for the coming fall and winter.

The chicken thief has been found by Sioux City officers in a hideout near his home and has been turned over to Deputy Sheriff George Russell.  Local officers predict he will plead not guilty and probably will be brought up for trial in October.

 Two hundred sixteen freshman registered at the University last Monday.  The school expects 800 students this year.

TWO LADIES OUTWIT MASKED ROBBERS:

 Sarah and Anna Larson had a nerve racking experience at their home in Norway Township.  The sisters displayed courage that did credit to their parents, who settled on the farm more than 65 years ago.  They outwitted two masked robbers Thursday evening and emerged victors of an experience they will never forget.  The two sisters live on the old Christ Larson home place in the southern part of the township, where they were both born and where their entire lives have been spent.  The house is a large one.  Anna was sitting in the kitchen reading and Sarah was in the dining room lying on a couch listening to the radio at about 8:00 o'clock that evening when the kitchen door opened and two masked men strode into the room brandishing automatic revolvers.  They had crossed the back porch silently as there was a large rug on it leading to the door.

 One of the men, both of whom appeared to be rather young and were reasonably well dressed, ordered Anna to go into the dining room, where she sat down on a sofa, and Sarah was forced down on the floor.  They admonished them to keep quiet with a threat to kill them if they made any noise.  It naturally irked the ladies and after a second's thought, Sarah replied:  If you are coward enough to kill me, go ahead."  The remark surprised the robbers and a second later their calmness was shattered some more when at the top of her voice Anna shouted:  "Bill, come down stairs."  The men were very much perturbed by this time, and one of them wanted to know where the stairway was, at the same time letting go of Sarah.  Sarah replied by pointing to another room, to which the robber went to guard the stairway while the second started to make a hurried search of a china closet and in a few other places for money.

 Of course there wasn't any "Bill" upstairs, but the robbers had no way of being sure that the ladies were alone in the house and the cry for help nettled them.  The moment the robbers inadvertently turned their backs, both ladies made a dash for the back door and succeeded in getting outside before the men could shoot, where the darkness protected them.  They walked to the George Buchanan home, a half mile away, where they secured a rifle and returned with Mr. Buchanan.  No trace could be found of the unwelcome visitors, so a messenger was sent to the Ole Bottolfson home, nearby, and from there word was sent to the sheriff's office here.  The storm of several days ago had blown down all the telephone lines, so it was impossible to get central over the phone.

 The men had been too excited to make more than a cursory search and then rushed out to their car and made a get-away.  Sheriff Wm. R. Russell, Jr., and the ladies' brother Emil Larson, a resident of this city, went out immediately but as in the meantime other cars had come and gone, all tracks of the robbers' car were obliterated and could not be determine which direction they had gone.

 The men both wore black cloth masks which covered their entire face with the exception of the eyes.  From their actions, it was evident that they were either reasonably familiar with the surroundings or else had been informed as to what the "lay" was.  Both were quite well dressed, appeared to be young, and the one who first accosted Anna seemed to be rather frail, she said.  The father of the ladies, long since dead, was very well-to-do and is said to have kept large sums of money about the house.  Whoever planned the robbery evidently thought that the ladies were in the habit of doing that too, when as a matter of fact they never have.  Their brother, Emil, will remain with them nights hereafter, however, as a matter of precaution.  As both of the ladies are expert rifle shots, being always capable of bringing a hawk on the wing down with a rifle, and as they will keep their rifles in more accessible places in the future, robbers may find it a rather tough proposition, they conclude.

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