This is an article from an unidentified Hardin County (Iowa) newspaper which appeared on Thursday, September 25, 1969. Alice Krumm was born in the ghost town of Idaho, Hardin County, on February 10, 1879.

Local Ghost Town

By Mrs. Hazel Ziebell

The "Local Ghost Town" (Idaho) story printed this summer seemed to create much interest, especially among old-timers anxious to add items to the recollections. The outstanding one of these was Mrs. Allie (Slack) Krumm, one of the two known babies born in Idaho. She has written two extremely interesting letters since the original article was published, excerpts of which follows:

Dear Mrs. Ziebell,

Permit me to introduce myself as the former Allie Slack, one of the two known children born in the Ghost Town of Idaho. I am still alive, and much interested in this early history. There is more to the history of Hubbard that you should know.

Here lived the forebears of Herbert Hoover, and of F.O. Lowden, who later married the daughter of George M. Pullman, and became governor of Illinois.

As to the Hoovers, Uncle Eli and Aunt Hannah, as they were called in the little Quaker Church in Hubbard, were the grandparents of Herbert Hoover. They lived on a small fruit farm northeast of Hubbard (now owned by Rolla Van Potter). One of their sons had a butcher shop in Hubbard and one lived on a small acreage north of town. His two children, Lillie and Arthur, were my classmates in school. My brother, P.C. Slack, who was accidentally blinded at the age of 15, had a conference with Herbert Hoover in the White House after Hoover became president. He remarked to Hoover that when he was 12 years old he worked for Uncle Eli at his sorghum mill. Hoover slapped him on the back and said, "I well remember that old sorghum mill." My father, who was a "horse and buggy" doctor, received his pay from Uncle Eli in grapes and sorghum. The children of the neighborhood had luscious taffy on Halloween nights made from Hoover's sorghum. One of Hoover's three sons, Jesse, lived at West Branch, and no doubt his wife, who was a preacher in the Friends "Meeting," preached in the little Hubbard Quaker Church.

Frank Lowden, who later became famous as governor of Illinois and as a rival of Hoover for the nomination of President of the U.S., also was well-known in the local community. He was the superintendent of schools here at one time. He had a sister, Allie, after whom I was named. When Frank graduated from the school of law at the S.U.I. he joined a firm of lawyers in Chicago, saying it was just as easy to start in a big way as a little one. Soon after this he met and married the Pullman daughter. Before the wedding she withdrew the invitation because the pipe organ being built into the house was not completed. Later the invitations were re-issued and the Lowden-Pullman wedding took place.

My best friend, Lillie Clancy, and I were born in the same house in Idaho and grew up together until my family moved to Wisconsin in 1890. Before I was old enough to go to school, I took many rides in the country with my father on his visits to the sick. At that time the prairies were alive with prairie chickens.

My father's brother, Harvey Slack, was editor of the Hubbard newspaper when I was a girl living there. It seems to me that it was called "The Hubbard Monitor" at that time, before and after 1886. The main street ran east and west, and the paper was published at the east end of it (note: where the theater building now stands). Uncle Harvey and Aunt Tamer lived in the back of the building. I spent a lot of time at their home. Once when I was there Indians came to town and spread out over the streets. I was so afraid of them that I hid under the bed. At last I went out on the street with another girl who pushed me into an Indian man. He stepped aside when I fell into him, and when I looked into his face I lost all fear of Indians.

The Johnson Bros. had a general store in Hubbard. Rufus Johnson of that firm married our teacher, Mattie Gelhorn, of Steamboat Rock. The school at that time consisted of 3 departments - Primary, Intermediate, and the Upper Room.

Good Luck with your story of early Idaho and Hubbard. Best wishes, Allie Slack Krumm, R. 3, Decorah, Iowa 52101.

Mrs. Krumm writes a marvelous letter for a ninety-year-old lady, and her observations add color and reality to bare facts.


Mrs. Hazel Ziebell

Alice Krumm lived to age 108. Read her memoirs in the links below.

Introduction | Personal Memories | Quotes and Notes | Letters | Newspaper Articles  | Unfinished Stories

Krumm Family Photos | First Settlers in Winneshiek County | 150 years in Winneshiek County | Gottlob Krumm obituary | Gottlob and Regina Krumm | Gottlob and Gottlieb Krumm | genealogy | home
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