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Iowa Newspaper





Iowa Newspaper Tidbits

Hawkeye, Burlington, Iowa - December 28, 1858

Indian Troubles in the North-West

Charles Smeltzer, County Judge of Clay county, in his letter to the Governor, used the following language:

"I have been urged time and again for the last few days, to write to you on teh subject of the necessity of some better protection of our frontier.  Rumors came to my ears that there were Indians lurking among us, and to satisfy myself, I have been out on the scout.  To my surprise, I saw numerous trails of Indians and some Indians.  One band professing to be friendly, still show that exacting and domineering spirit which argues to my mind that they are lurking for no good.  I have been to Spirit Lake and there found great excitement.  I found Indians there, the chief of whom represented himself as a borther-in-law of Inkpedutab, and professed to have no friendly feeling towards the whites.  Miss Gardner, one of the captives in the spring of 1857, thought she recognized some of the band who held her captive.  I have every reason to believe that the whole frontier is full of them.  Unless steps are taken soon, our interests will suffer greatly.  I have given you the facts and beg of you to take some measures to protect us -- both life and property."

The Burlington Hawkeye, Burlington, Iowa - October 20, 1860

Sad Accident - A man by the name of John Smeltzer, assisting in firing the cannon, yesterday, was seriously and fatally injured.  The accident resulted from the premature discharge of the cannon, owing to some mismanagement, the particulars of which we did not learn - Keokuk Gate City.

The Iowa Recorder, Greene, Iowa, December 10, 1913

Roy Maxson, foreman of the tool factory in the prison at Fort Madison, is in the prison hospital with a fractured skull as the resurl of an attack by John Schmeltzer, a convict.  Schmeltzer, who is serving a life sentence for murder, attacked Maxson with a hammer after he had been admonished for shirking.  Schmeltzer was sentenced from Des Moines in 1909.

The Ogden Reporter, Ogden, Iowa - February 1, 1945

Boone county's group of boys who were down to Ft. Leavenworth for their pre-induction exams Sunda, January 28th included the group pictured above.  (photo appeared in paper of inductees)

Included in photo was Donald Lawrence Smelcer of Boone.

The Ogden Reporter, Ogden, Iowa - August 26, 1943

Kenneth Smelcer, a soldier, asks a divorce from his wife, Mary M. Smelcer, charging infidelity.

The Ogden Reporter, Ogden, Iowa - July 1, 1948

Divorce actions were filed by Velma Smelcer vs. L. C. Smelcer.

The Ogden Reporter, Ogden, Iowa - March 30, 1950

Velma Smelcer was granted a divorce from L. C. Smelser.

The Guthrian, Guthrie County, Iowa - May 27, 1952

Marriage Licenses

John Smeltzer, Redfield to Patricia Anne Lyddin, Stuart.

Waterloo Sunday Courier, Waterloo, Iowa, October 15, 1950

Mrs. Rose Smeltzer, Minneapolis, Minn., admitted illegal transportation of liquor and was fined $300 and costs.

The Burlington Weekly Hawkeye, Burlington, Iowa - May 9, 1952


Seaman Apprentice Edward Schmeltzer, son of Mrs. Bertha Schmeltzer of 444 Olney Ave., arrived April 54 at the island of Guam, where he is waiting further assignment.  He will be joined later by his wife, the former Janet Force of near Edison, who is now living in San Francisco, Calif. S/A Schmelzer entered the Navy Nov. 21, 1951.

Ames Daily Tribune - September 12, 1955

Three Children, Father Die As Home Burns

La Porte City, Iowa - Burt Smelser, 57, and three of his children were burned to death when fire swept the family residence shortly before daylight today.

Three other children were burned critically and transferred from a Waterloo hospital to University Hospitals in Iowa City.

The dead were identified as Smelser, 57, and his children, Glenn, 5, Donna, 8, and Mike, 8 or 9.

Critically injured were Joan, 14, Ralph, 12, and Gene, a twin brother to Glenn.  Officials at Scholtz Hospital, Waterloo, said Joan appeared the most severely injured with burns on the entire upper half of her body, back and arms.

Mrs. Smelser who ran from the burning building to summon help, suffered less serious injuries and shock.

Asst. Fire Chief Ralph Brown said the fire started sometime between 5 and 5:30 a.m. and by the time firemen were at the scene the building was a flaming tinderbox.

"We couldn't even get up to the side where they were sleeping," Brown said.  "We knocked out a window on the other side of the building and smoke shot out 20 feet."  The pressure must have been tremendous."

Firemen were unable to enter the building and the bodies were not removed until more than four hours after the fire was discovered.  The survivors apparently managed to stumble through the fired interior to the outside.  A garage and car also burned.

Mrs. Smelser said her husband got up and started a tire in a woodburning stove and it exploded.

She said Smelser yelled "fire" and she got up.  When she saw he was going upstairs after the children, Mrs. Smelser went across the street and awakened the Henry C. Peters family to call firemen.

The three children not killed escaped by jumping from a second story window,  Mrs. Smelser said.

Smelser had been working as a section hand on the Waterloo, Cedar Falls and Northern Railroad.

The Bulletin Journal, Independence, Iowa - March 29, 1957


William Smelser has been named manager of the lumber and construction department of the Oliver M. Greenley Co.

Mr. Smelser comes to Independence from Hudson.  He has been in the lumber business the past 14 years.  The last year he was in the lumber business at Gilbertville and prior to that was a contractor in Hudson.

Mr. and Mrs. Smelser are the parents of two school age boys and reside at 707 Eighth avenue southwest.

The Hamburg Reporter, Hamburg, Iowa - March 5, 1953.


Mrs. Carrie Smelser of Sioux City, has been a subscriber to her home paper, the Glenwood Opinion-Tribune, for more than 50 consecutive years.  She'll soon be 87.

Lemars Daily Sentinel, Le Mars, Iowa - June 7, 1962.

MR. AND MRS. HERBERT D. FLOYD of Le Mars announce the engagement of their daughter Sharon to Robert Smelser, son of Mr. and Mrs. H. Wayne Smelser of Wheaton, ILL.

They both attended Graceland college in Lamoni, the last two years and are planning to attend the University of Illinois, Urbana, next year.

the wedding date has been set for Aug. 18.

Lemars Daily Sentinel, Le Mars, Iowa August 21, 1962.


The marriage of Miss Sharon Velma Floyd, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. H. D. Floyd, Le Mars, and Robert Wayne Smelser, son of Rev. adn Mrs. H. W. Smelser of Wheaton, Ill., was solemnized Saturday evening at the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints in Sioux City.  Rev. H. W. Smelser officiated.

Altar bouquets of gladioluses and chrysanthemums in pastel colors and white were background for the ceremony.  Mr. and Mrs. Ron Harris of South Sioux City, and Wayne Hall provided nuptial music.

Diane Kohlof was flower girl, and Gregory Law, ring bearer.

Attending the bride were Miss Gwen Koth of Le Mars and Miss Sharleen Newberg of Hinton.

The bride, given in marriage by her father, chose a gown of tissue taffeta with chapel train and lace bodice.  Her illusion veil fell from a fabric rose and she carried a cascade bouquet of white carnations.

John Burlington of Kansas City, Kan., was best man, and Don Smelser, Paul Floyd and Butch Noyes ushered.

A reception was held in the church auditorium.

Mr. Smelser and his bride will reside in Champagne, Ill.