North Iowa Times

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Benches replaced thanks to McGregor Achievement Club

Two decorative benches that were either damaged or destroyed as a result of the July 19 tornado have now been replaced in Triangle Park, thanks to the McGregor Achievement Club. Pictured are McGregor Mayor Harold Brooks, Achievement Club President Darci Jones and McGregor Park Board President Maria Brummel. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Two decorative benches that were either damaged or destroyed as a result of the July 19 tornado have now been replaced in Triangle Park, thanks to the McGregor Achievement Club.

The benches, which also include the plaques recognizing the original donors, cost a total of $700. Funds came from the Achievement Club’s “McGregor Strong” T-shirt sale, organized following the tornado.

“One of our main focuses has always been parks,” said Darci Jones, McGregor Achievement Club President, as to why the group took on this project.


Sandra Marie (Parker) Thomas


After a long battle with ovarian cancer, Sandra Marie (Parker) Thomas, of Madison Wis., beloved mother, grandmother, sister, and aunt, passed away on Thursday, Nov. 2, at the age of 73.



Lorna Friedlein


Lorna Friedlein, 84, of McGregor, Iowa died Saturday, Oct. 28, at Great River Care Center, McGregor, Iowa. 



Museum offers much to explore as Monona Historical Society marks 50th anniversary

The Monona Historical Society will host a 50th anniversary celebration at the Monona Historical Museum on Monday through Saturday, Nov. 6-11, from 1 to 4 p.m. each day. (Photos by Audrey Posten)

Each Tuesday afternoon, from 1 to 4 p.m., a group of wood carvers gathers in the museum’s Marting Carving Room to hone their skills and socialize with one another. Elmer Marting is shown working there, surrounded by some of the museum’s collection of over 400 different types, sizes and styles of hand carved chains. It’s the world’s largest known display of hand carved chains.

A portion of the old city jail is one of the many highlights at the museum.

The Monona Historical Museum is rich in historical artifacts, like Bob Drahn’s butterfly collection and school-related items (shown here). It also offers a plethora of publications and research materials for Monona and the surrounding area in the Willa Helwig History Center.

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

The Monona Historical Society was organized in November 1967, after a group of community members felt the need to preserve the area’s history and artifacts for future generations. Now, 50 years later, the group’s goal remains the same.

The collection at the Monona Historical Museum, which opened on South Egbert Street in 1971, has doubled in the past 30 years, increasing from 3,300 items in 1981 to over 7,000 today.

“We’ve got some good history of the town,” shared Carol Marting, the Monona Historical Society’s first secretary-treasurer, who, along with her husband Elmer, still remains active with the group.


Scarff returns to doing what she loves

Three months after a tornado destroyed her business, INKspiration Tattoo owner Crystal Scarff is up and running at a new location, in downtown McGregor. Here, Scarff preps Brenda Mohs for a tattoo. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

INKspiration Tattoo now open

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Crystal Scarff plainly remembered her cell phone going off Wednesday evening, July 19. There was a tornado warning for the area.

At similar warnings, Scarff said she usually headed to the basement of the building at 330 Main St., in McGregor, that served as the home of her business, INKspiration Tattoo. However, that night was different.

“Tornadoes don’t come down here. Let’s chill,” she recalled telling her client and others gathered in the shop at the time.

Soon, the lights began to flicker.


City elections are Nov. 7

Both the cities of Marquette and McGregor will have contested races in the city elections held Tuesday, Nov. 7.

In Marquette, six people are running for city council, which has just three seats up for grabs. 

All three incumbents—Steve Eagle, John Ries and Cindy Sharp Halvorson—are seeking re-election. Also running are David Schneider, Rinda Ferguson and Ryan P. Young. 

Marquette’s mayoral race will be contested, as well, with incumbent Larry Breuer challenged by Stephen J. Weipert.

Polls will be open at the Marquette Community Center from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.


Sharing memories of growing up in McGregor

Bob Eggen

Alice Staples

Arlys Denning

Jim Hendrickson

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Four McGregor residents shared their fond memories of growing up in the community at the McGregor Historical Museum’s fall event on Oct. 27.

Alice Staples, Arlys Denning, Jim Hendrickson and Bob Eggen reflected on “Growing Up McGregor Strong: 1940-1960,” to an audience of around 30 people.

Not surprisingly, school was one of the topics the speakers referenced the most.

Staples attended the Moody Ridge one-room country school. Water had to be carried from the neighbor’s well, and the building was heated by an old wood stove.


Grant will support concept design for McGregor community center

Just a few short months after a destructive storm, the community of McGregor is starting to rebuild.

Restore McGregor recently received a $10,000 grant from The Native Fund to support a concept design for a community center. The potential building would be located at the former site of the INKspiration Tattoo property, at 330 Main St., which was reduced to a pile of debris when an EF-1 tornado ripped through McGregor on July 19. The property was donated to the city of McGregor by former owners Fred Petrie and Melanie San Fillippo.  


Members of undefeated eighth grade football team honored

The MFL MarMac eighth grade football team, which went undefeated both this year and last year, was honored during halftime of the high school game against BCLUW Oct. 20. Members included Gabe McGeough, Cullen McShane, Kashton Mathis, Colin Henkels, Caleb Mezera, Jaxton Schroeder, Callum Johnson, Chauncy Drahn, Kaden Stocker, Andrew Heins, Jack Vorwald, Hunter Goltz, Aiden Grove and Dusty Berns. The coaches were Dan Anderson and Chet Bachman, while the manager was Jonah Wille. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

Members of the MFL MarMac eighth grade football team, which went undefeated both this year and last year, were honored during halftime of the high school game against BCLUW Oct. 20. 

The team went 6-0 this year, capping off their undefeated season with 52-14 and 51-0 victories over Prairie du Chien and Oelwein, respectively.

The Bulldogs’ victories all came in dominating fashion, as the eighth grade team out-scored its opponents by a combined score of 259-32. The offense averaged over 43 points per game, in addition to over 350 rushing yards per contest. They did not punt once. Interestingly, the team also kicked three field goals in its final game against Oelwein, a feat that’s rare in the junior high game, noted coach Chet Bachman.


Lyle E. Johannsen


Lyle E. Johannsen, 87, of Monona, died Friday, Oct. 20, at Good Samaritan Society, Postville. 


He was born on Oct. 14, 1930, in Drammen Township near Lake Benton, Minn., to Julius and Emma Johannsen. He graduated from Lake Benton High School in 1948 and attended South Dakota State College. He then joined his father and brother in the farming operation. 


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