The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa


December 6, 2013

HERRITY: Residents have pride in neighborhood


There were restaurants everywhere. Mabel Dempsey ran one and really knew some “blue” language, too. Dick Scanlan ran Wardrobe Cleaners, which was also called Lyons Deluxe Cleaners. Muffy knew all of them. They were a close-knit group who loved each other and were customers in each other’s businesses.

Muffy worked on Main from right after WW II until he retired in 1983. One centennial event he remembers, specifically, was the release of balloons back behind the high school. In 1935, Otto Rockrohr was in charge of that.

The executive committee that year was made up of Wayne Shadduck, assisted by Chuck Holm and Earl Mayer. There were 14 committees planning the Lyons Centennial Celebration: Ralph Baker, Frank Borbeck, and Alfred Mommsen ran the Farm Parade; R.L. Rickoff and Byron Phinney were in charge of the Popularity Contest. Others were involved with Dances, Concessions, Publicity, and Donations. Harry Kamer ran the football committee with Paul Sharar. Lyons High School played the Davenport “B” team at Root Park’s new stadium on Thursday, the 19th. Working tirelessly for the 1935 celebration, too, were Walter Stuedemann, Alfred Reimer, A.F. Bender, Charles M. Pelton, A. M. Potts, and Dr. W.L. Scott.

The fun and games, mainly, centered on dances and free vaudeville acts. A trapeze expert performed to a wild crowd of 1,500. Some old contests provided laughs as contestants tried to catch a “greased pig” following a “tug of war” and a chicken chase. The first historical pageant at Root Park got rained out early and was followed by a dance at the Odeon Club; music was by Ray McCune’s orchestra. Later, the pageant was repeated, complete with Father Marquette coming down the Mississippi River and prairie schooners arriving at the “choice” crossing here in Lyons, Iowa.

Root Park was in use only a few years, because it was donated to the federal government for Schick Hospital. Houses were suddenly moved in 1941, as the Lundquist addition sprang up to the west. All this lay ahead for Lyons when the Centennial took place, for we were at peace in 1935.

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