The Oxford Mirror, June 1, 1933
Impressions of Oxford Junction From An Outsider
He Looks Over the Town and Then Writes About It
By A. M. Floyd, S. P. News Serv. Special to the Oxford Mirror
Here are some impressions, by an entire stranger, of Oxford Junction, while on his first visit to town. It is a common-place, friendly review.
This article may be of a different nature than the general news items usually found in an ordinary local paper. But it is written in a complimentary manner and should be of interest to the people of Oxford Junction and to the folks in the surrounding community. Besides it should be readable by the many subscribers of “The Mirror” who reside at long distances from the “old home town”.
First, looking over a part of the early history of Oxford Junction, certain facts are found that the older residents remember with pride. Here is a memory of the first start the town made to-wit:
John Bryan, a man who was born in Ross County, Ohio, left his native home in the year 1847 and settled in Linn County, Iowa. Two years afterward, in the year 1849, he located in Oxford Township, Jones County. In the year 1871 this early pioneer laid out Oxford Junction town. The town has progressed all these years with a growth of commercial standardization and the addition of many homes and social activities; all in all a very desirable place in which to live.
Oxford Junction is the largest town in Jones County, excepting Anamosa and Monticello. The population has been around eight hundred for a number of years and possibly is that much at this time. The town is located twenty miles north-east of Anamosa and forty-five miles north-west of Davenport and forty-five miles east of Cedar Rapids. It has two branches of the C. M. & St. P railway, for business and for pleasure the Wapsie river is within one mile south of the town.
The railway company must have had faith in the town, for they built a great amount of brick and cement sidewalks around the depot. (That is an improvement not furnished to many other towns in Iowa, by the big railroads.) Coal and water are served here for use of the locomotives, and the water is pumped by an automatic machine. The depot is ably managed and operated by H. E. Ramsey, the agent who has served in that capacity here during the past twenty-three years. Two other men are employed: L.A. Hoffman as first telegraph operator, and E. C. Clausen as second operator.
The present officers of the incorporated town are as follows: Mayor, E. G. Lasack; Clerk, Ed Burda; Treasurer, O. A. Gable; Councilmen, Michael Souhrada, Fred J. Buresh, John Fritz, Louis Kula, Henry Becker; Constable and marshal, Walter Pegorick; Street Comm’r, Frank Ledvina; Fire Chief, Argus Frutchey. Other names that comes to notice in this review, are as follows: Henry Shimerda, a farmer near-by who is serving as a member of the Jones County Board of Supervisors; R. E. Hill who has about three and one-half years yet to serve as postmaster which he is efficiently and creditably doing; James L. Cave, attorney-at-law (born here) who is the local precinct committeeman and also a member of the county central committee of the Democratic Party; Vic Kleineck the garage man who says he was born in a hotel in Linn County while his father John Kleineck was landlord. The writer met many other citizens who should have personal mention and may have later when another visit and write-up is made.
The city scale house is having its fortieth anniversary. It was built at the time of the ____ world’s fair held at Chicago in the year 1893. The day we visited L.E. Bisinger, weigh-master, a company of business men, retired farmers and a sojourner from Cedar Rapids were present, talking over the incidents of the present times quite entertainingly.
The Peterson poultry and egg plant is a large institution and have branch plants at other places, one of which is at Mount Vernon. They employ a number of people including many women, and the company is of much benefit to any community in which they deal in these important Iowa farm products.
Another outstanding feature of the commercial welfare of Oxford Junction is the Lasack Bros. & Co. factory. They manufacture hay loaders, wagon boxes, hay racks, porch swings, foot stools, booths for restaurants, and many other articles. A set of five oak booths were on the floor, having been completed for the Chocolate Shop and another set of booths were being made for Joe Lenfeld’s restaurant. The factory has been in operation forty years. Ed Lasack is the manager and Adolf Lasack the foreman. The factory is modernly equipped with some of the very latest machinery and labor-saving devices which indeed are wonderful. It would be a pleasure to the writer to look over all the machinery more carefully and give a full detail report of the operations of each machine. Anyhow, Adolf Lasack who has been on the job for forty years personally has our unbounded thanks for his courtesies.
It is not intended that this brief write-up includes all there is in Oxford Junction worthy of mention. The town has churches, pastors, and prominent people that should be noted. The Masonic, K. of P., and Z.C.B.J. lodges are here. The American Legion are a strong organization with forty-four members. There are numerous social clubs, societies of women reputed to be very influential. The baseball team and grounds, the bands, orchestras, amusement halls and picture house, all deserving of notice.
Nearly every town is proud of their schools and Oxford Junction appears to have a splendid school system. An addition was made and the building remodeled in the year 1915 at a cost of seventeen thousand dollars. The present indebtedness is only about fifteen hundred dollars. The receipts for tuition students amounts to over two thousand dollars per year. The total student enrollment is one hundred and eighty-nine. The building has the steam vacuum heating system. Two large fire escapes protect the pupils as the entire building may be vacated in a few minutes, proven by practical tests. The school building is now a handsome structure, with a very beautiful appearance from the outside.
The Oxford Junction Independent School District No. 4 has for its officials as follows: Joe Barto, president; Ed Hronik, vice-president; B.J. Hansen, Joe Kotilinek, Vit Lasack. The treasurer is John Buresh Sr. and the secretary is O. A. Gable. Mr. Gable has served as secretary and member of the board for twenty-two years and he takes a deep individual interest in the success of the school. He is a very excellent gentleman to meet and is the right man in the right place.
It is befitting that a few words be said about “The Oxford Mirror”, the local newspaper which is nearly fifty-four years old. The working management is now in the hands of two young men, J. B. Seaton and R. B. Stahl who have issued the paper since April 20, 1933.
J. B. Seaton is no relative of Editor Seaton of the Clarence Sun. Mr. Seaton of “The Mirror” was born at Cedar Rapids. As a boy he had experienced hard work driving a delivery truck handling heavy loads. He received his education in the Cedar Rapids schools. He has had mercantile experience and besides, for five years, from 1927 to 1932 he was associated with the Cedar Rapids Daily Gazette newspaper. During the past four of those years he was assistant manager of one of the important departments. In the special advertising line, Mr. Seaton organized and promoted “The Buyer’s Guide” which had a wide circulation. This project gave him an extensive advertising experience but recently he disposed of that business to enter the field here. His duties here on the home paper is in the editorial, advertising and bookkeeping departments which will keep him busy. He is a married man: Mrs. Seaton was formerly of Cedar Rapids, Iowa and they both come highly recommended.
R. B. Stahl is a practical newspaper worker of experience, both on city papers and on country weeklies. He is no stranger to hard work and long hours, early and late. He is a competent printer, and in the mechanical department he has full knowledge of all that is required to be known. There is no printing job that is too large or too small that he cannot do. He is an expert with attractive regular display advertising or for special editions. Not necessary to send out of town for any kind of printing that is wanted. Furthermore, the price charged will be reasonable and correct. He is giving his energies fairly and faithfully to this community, always willing to do his part with the best that is in him.
With Messrs. Stahl and Seaton at the helm of the local printing industry, the public should reciprocate by giving liberal support here at home.
The following is a partial list of the business interests of Oxford Junction. It could be kept for future reference and valuable information. The list follows: G.J. Bees, groceries and dry goods; John Buresh, hardware and implements; M.E. Barrett, Chocolate Shop; Biddick Lumber Company; Fred J. Buresh, garage and welding; Sam Carrington, pool room; Art Purdy, barber; Chas. H. Collett, custodian Savings Bank; Fred W. Fifield, barber; Fred Fritz, picture theater; Hodoval’s Pharmacy; C.N. Hayden, furniture and undertaking; Anton Herda, east pool room; Frank Kolarik, blacksmith; V.V. Kleineck and Frank Musel, garage; John Kropik, coal yard; H.G. Long, cream station, feed, seeds and radios; Joe A. Lenfeld, confectionery; H.W. Mowry, cream, poultry, eggs and auctioneer; Peckosh Bros., clothing; James Pavlista, Cities oil station; F. Roubinek, shoe repair; A. Stratilek & Son, general store; J.L. Stowers, barber shop; E.J. Snopek, meat market; J.H. Soppe & Sons, implements; Dr. J.W. Thompson, dentist; Geo. H. Volk, bakery and groceries; H.C. Wieneke, jewelry; F.J. Weber’s Café; G.L. Williams, grocer and confectionery; L.F. Zeller, insurance; G.V. Roubinek, eggs and cream; Dillon Babcock, Standard Oil Station, Louis Kula owner; Mrs. Stewart, Ry. lunch room; Chas. Fritz, blacksmith; E.E. Phillips, stock buyer; L.E. Bisinger, city weighmaster; Peterson Bros., eggs and poultry; James L. Cave, attorney-at-law; Dr. Davies, physician; John Vlach, harness; Roy Jones, Diamond Oil; Dr. Breen, physician; Dacil Cubbage, auto sales; Henry Benischek, truck line; Wilbur Goldsmith, truck line; Buresh orchestra; Lasack Bros., mfgrs. hay loaders; J.A. Mulvihill, insurance; H.E. Ramsey, R’y agent; O.A. Gable, school secretary; R.E. Hill, postmaster; John Quirk, justice of the peace; Fred Mizaur, mgr. baseball team. (end)