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Celebrating 150 Years

By Staff | Jul 1, 2008

Palo Alto County and Emmetsburg Sesquicentennial is right around the corner. The three-day celebration is Friday, Saturday and Sunday, July 4, 5 and 6.

Included in today’s issue of The Reporter is a commemorative book, celebrating 150 years in Palo Alto County.

Thanks go to all of The Reporter & The Democrat readers who sent photos to be included in this special pictorial look at the history of Palo Alto County. We were overwhelmed with the number of photos we received. Due to the limited number of pages we were able to use, some tough choices had to be made, so not all of the photos were included.

Vickie Kesler did the research and Jane Whitmore did the editing, page layout and design. For the past several months they have worked together to put out this great book.

“I was very excited and honored when Emmetsburg Publishing asked if I would help with the 150th book for Palo Alto County,” says Vickie. “I never liked history when in school but as you get older you change, as everyone knows, and some things are more interesting than they were when you were younger. I have always liked old photos and when I started doing genealogy with my sister, Karen, I started to become somewhat interested in history as it helps to know what is going on at the time when your ancestors lived. Tillford Egland started my interest in history when he asked if I had a photo of Crippen or the gas station that used to be at Crippen corner, also known as the five-mile corner. (Those elusive photos are still being sought.) I got the bug and tried to find out when they first existed, when and why they were town down. From that time forward I would come across newspaper articles or hear someone mention about a previous business, organization, etc. and I would write down the information. Only problem, at that time I had no one place for the information so it was scattered around on pieces of paper, notebooks, file folders, etc. I am still finding small pieces of paper with information written on them.

“My sister, Karen, and I have been collecting postcards and photos of Palo Alto County for a long time. Some of the old postcards belonged to our parents and the others were either purchased or people were kind enough to share copies with us. So it is understandable on how much fun I had looking at the old photographs and postcards that came in to Emmetsburg Publishing. We received so many wonderful photos from people for this project and some of them would rekindle a memory of the past or surprise you with something that you did not even know existed. And when trying to find information to match some of the photos it was like solving a mystery. I also found that not only is Jane Whitmore a lot of fun to work with but is very organized so I learned a lot from her. It was great working with her on this book,” Vickie added.

The resources of genealogists, like Vickie and Karen Kesler, have been so valuable to this project. Their vast collections of photos and information were made available to us. These people really know how to keep names and dates and events together. We also received countless photos from families in Palo Alto County. We thank them for participating.

We hope you all enjoy this look at Emmetsburg’s history, and the county-wide Sesquicentennial Celebration over Fourth of July weekend. Events such as this are all about families getting together to make memories that last a lifetime.