Cottonwood to celebrate 150th year in 2012, area history included
(History continued from last week)
Yes, this again was a time of change. The Korean War was a dirty war with China and Russia mixed in and it was the first conflict with atomic threats mixed in the making. How come it meant so much to us our here in the boondocks? Because of the advances in aviation and in the new style of ships now patrolling the oceans, distance didn’t mean so much. The rocket advances brought in from WWII changed the threat and once again the world became smaller. Look around today and you’ll see a great number of men in their late 60 and early to late 70’s that were sent to “stop aggression” once again. Every family had someone going in to serve and we all became part of the total effort. Once more Grandpa got out his pictures from WWI—Dad got his from WWII and they proudly posed with Ron, George, Pat, Harold and many others who were the first to go in this new conflict. Yes we are out in the boondocks but our families have always been staunch defenders of this great nation and it seems these conflicts have continued to be our part in keeping the enemy at bay.
Here locally the scene was also changing. Berklund Sawmill brought new business to town and many of us took at least a summer job there. Ole Jules Kitcher, the ramrod, dirtied up Dace Harminums’s log pond with more than one wise punk just learning the business. Adrian Nuxoll ran the hyster switching the lumber piles around. As I remember, about 12 or 15 worked at the mill and about that many more worked for young Bill as the woods crew. John Duman even drove a logging truck for awhile!
Mixed in with all this “War” and “Cold War” was the new defense systems being set up across the United States. Cottonwood Butte was chosen as a good location for a radar station. This involved buildings being erected at the Housing Area near the Cemetery for married service families, the main barracks area on the East side of the Butte above Rehder Farms and then the third site up on top, which looks out over 5 or 6 neighboring states and all the way to the Canadian border. This facility was with us, and became part of the area, for many years. Throughout the years we had a number of local girls marry one of these handsome airmen and return to other areas when their spouse’s tour of duty was over.
The use of 4-wheel drive rigs by many local families took many local groups out into the Gospel Hump area for a day or two of family fun. Vast improvements in the camera, both in 35mm and 8mm movie business, opened the door to many people getting involved with photography. Shoot new pictures all summer and spend many hours viewing the same the winter.
During this time the sale of hunting and fishing licenses doubled, then doubled again as more and more local people became involved in our Great Outdoors! Camp trailers, once a rarity, started to show up all over the country and more and more people joined the weekend exodus to the outback.
T.V. was coming in like gangbusters! The minute you splurged and bought one, the makers would come out with a vastly improved model. Anyway, it gave you something to look forward to! 
I remember going up on the Butte to view the radar dome and all at once, two new reflector towers were set up just north of the dome—one for TV and the other for short-wave used by the State Police and other law enforcement agencies. These were constantly being worked on and improved.
At this time we had tax-supported high school at Ferdinand, Greencreek and Cottonwood. We also had grade schools in these locations as well as Keuterville and the country schools were being consolidated.
In addition St. Gertrude’s Academy had a new building program going with a big new gym. Money and enrollment was, like today, a big problem and the “writing was on the wall” that changes would have to be made.
The “Cold War” and rockets and atomic bombs were on everyone’s mind. Fear of back door Communism was being given as the source of all our problems. It was common for tempers to flare and the word “pinko” was applied in some local meetings. Religion and politics were mixed in the same kettle making most uncomfortable in political debate.
Right after WWII the Kopczynski family built the new “Cottonwood Cash” building with room for Dr. Orr’s office upstairs and the bakery and City Electric on the main floor. Their grocery store was moved out of the Hoene Hardware Bldg. Into the new building. Two new bars were opened in town—“The Pasttime” (upstairs in the Texaco Building) and “Tex Radar Bar” (next to the barber shop). Cy’s Crystal Bar also moved from the “German State Bank” Bldg. To the Cottonwood Hdwe. Bldg.

The Berklund Mill mentioned in this week’s history article above. Photo courtesy of Don Kopczynski.

1952 First Communion. Shown back from left are Sr. Amata, Chuck Uhlenkott, Bob Arnzen, Msgr. Verhoeven, Buzz Kopczynski and Frank Gehring. Middle from left are John Remacle, Ed Kopczynski, Rick Gehring, James Remacle, Ed Seubert, Mick Wimer, Larry Arnzen, Richard Currin and Larry Wemhoff. Front from left are John Wemhoff, Barbara Duclos, Meredith Yarbrough, Diane Seubert, Karen Sprute, Shirley Duman and Cliff Bruegeman.

Grades 4-5-6 at Ferdinand School. Back from left are Vince Nau, Archie Roeper, Ben Kinzer, Jack Whitely, James Bieker, Felix Penney, Sr. Irmengard, Gerald Uhlorn, John Schaeffer, Robert Steiger and Frank Bieker. Middle: Ada Sarbacher, Beatrice Trautman, Chistina Frei, Marie Kuther, Amella Schaeffer, Elaine Kuther, Edna Uhlorn, Clara Schaeffer, Philomena Frei, Dolores Zodorw, Anna Frei and Dorothy VonTersch. Sitting in front are Ralph Schaeffer, Delbert Frei, Joseph Frei, Jack Harman and Robert Gilbertz. Photo provided by Maurus Uhlorn.

Mike Willenborg with his team of horses circa 1910. This is where Dick Nuxoll now lives SE of Greencreek.

Remember When
Remember when…
The road to Keuterville and the Convent went up Broadway across the tracks and over the hill where the water tanks are now?
The CCC first made the Graves Creek Trail into a road?
The Salmon River Ferry was replaced by the Rice Creek Bridge?
The lot last used the elementary school was used for rodeos and as a baseball field?
Your mom got her first electric clothes iron?
How many remember the old iron wedges setting on the kitchen wood stove?
How about the old water boiler?
When going into the beauty shop was like minor surgery? 
Some of the ladies sported burn marks for days?
The first time you saw what we now call backhoes?
How many of you remember joining the detail that dug all the graves 3x8x6 by hand?
Your first trip to one of the local sawmills?
The Camas Prairie Rail Road was stuck out near Fenn for 3 or 4 days?
A new machinery company on Main Street called Idaho Electric?
Mike Hilbert, who was in the grocery business with Frank Hayden (the old H & H Grocery) sold to Urban Riener what became Rieners Grocery?

Cottonwood, Idaho 83522


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503 King St.
P.O. Box 157
Cottonwood, ID 83522-0157
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