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A comprehensive, entrancing tale of the settling of a rural midwest community; the history of its first century which coincided almost exactly with the twentieth century. Of interest to EVERYONE! Traces geographic origin back to the Revolutionary War, through the maze of controversies regarding the establishment of boundaries of territories, states and, finally, counties. The excitement of the founding of a new town out in the prairie, depicts the impact of the two World Wars, the Great Depression and the technological advances that drastically altered the socio-economic health of the area. Includes 200 family histories, each descriptive of the struggles of bringing the land into production and raising a family without today's conveniences. Demonstrative of the spirit of small-town America at the present time, so necessary to meet the challenge of maintaining a viable economic community in the new century and preserving the quality of life therein. 500 pictures, some of the first decade, 1898-1908.
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THE WHISTLE BLOWS AT NOON, Centennial History of Titonka, 1898-1998, was written as the history of the first century of the town of Titonka, Iowa. The town was named for a legendary buffalo hunt that occured in 1855, which ended near the site of the present day town. The name was taken from the Sioux Indian word for buffalo, Ta Tanka, or big black. A buffalo taken on the hunt was dressed, roasted on a fire and shared with a band of Indians camped on the banks of Buffalo Creek. The late Harvey Ingham, one time editor of the Algona Upper Des Moines and later of the Des Moines Register, was a member of the hunting party. It was at his suggestion that the town be named "Titonka".
Upper Kossuth county was the very last area of the state to be settled. The marshy area was considered unfit for the pursuit of agriculture until land became scarce in the rest of the state. Adventuresome pioneers acquired land either through homesteading or, somewhat later, purchasing it at a very low price per acre. To read the book is to come to appreciate the hard work of the early settlers in bringing the land into production and their pride in having accomplished so seemingly impossible a task. Its fertile black soil, of a great depth, has been important in the production of food throughout the century. Citizen's who grew up in the area have gone out into the far reaches of the world to make a difference. Taxes imposed on crop land and business firms have added to the treasuries of the state and nation. The area has had a far greater inpact on the quality of life available in the world today than if it had been left in its natural state, however interesting.
The centennial history of Titonka, a town with an incredibly small population of only 650, demonstrates what can be achieved when its populace, town and country, has the wisdom to set aside differences to work together to make and to keep a fine quality of life.From the Author:
Former residents report having read the book cover to cover in a couple sittings, finding it difficult to put down to retire for the night. People with no Titonka connection also report having read the book in its entirety, finding that it captured their interest though they do not know the area. Any and every individual with an interest in "the way things were" will find the book of absorbing interest. It is of value to every resident of the community, past or present, as a reference.
The history includes vivid descripions of first hand experience with agriculture, business, education and living conditions before mechanization and technoloy were developed. Accounts of students and teachers from the era of the one room rural school are included. Individual histories of the business places of the town bring back memories of former residents. The 200 family histories portray the joys and trials of raising a family in a remote rural area early in the centiury. Though not intended as a genealogy, many of them do give genealogical information. Most poignant are the histories listing children born, then ending with: and one, sometimes two or three or more, of whom died in infancy.
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