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Fullerton's First 100 Years (1879-1979)

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along Highway 14 south of town, and dedication ceremonies were conducted. Don Fitzgerald purchased the Mid-City Motor firm from Fred Boardman. Knoefler Honey Company began operation north of Fullerton. Fullerton's Pony baseball team won the Central League championship. The month of July had a prolonged dry spell, and temperatures registered over the 100-degree mark on numerous occasions. A. G. (Gus) Saville retired following 43 years of service as a rural mail carrier.
   1965 - Douglas Smoyer, 14, son of Mr. and Mrs. Lowell Smoyer, earned an Eagle Scout award. He was the first winner of the award in Fullerton since the early 1930's when James Corriell was recipient of the honor. A new federal building and post office were being built on South Broadway on a site occupied for many years by
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New Federal Building and Post Office.

the Leininger Lumber yard. Fullerton's high school basketball team qualified for the fifth time since 1958 to play in the state tournament. The team lost to Wood River by a score of 65 to 53. Dr. Kenneth Dalton and Dr. Robert Bass of Genoa formed a corporation and announced plans to construct a 25-bed Nursing Home to be located in the northeast part of Fullerton. Dr. and Mrs. James C. Maly, while returning from a trip to South America in a private aircraft with friends from California and Chicago, were forced down in a jungle along the Amazon during heavy weather when the craft ran out of fuel. Dr. Maly suffered fractures to both legs, and other members in the party also were injured. The group made friends with the natives in the jungle and was taken by boat to a missionary from where they made contact with their family here about their plight. Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd DuRell were killed on April 22 in a highway smash-up while on vacation in Florida. Mr. DuRell was Fullerton postmaster. On November 29, M. J. Schumacher was fatally shot in his hardware store by Alvin Madura, former City policeman. Mr. Schumacher was serving as a member of the Nance County Board of Supervisors and had operated the hardware store for over 40 years.

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Apparent cause of the shooting was a dissatisfaction by Madura that his county welfare payment was reduced as a result of regulation changes. Mrs. M. Castle died at the age of 99 on February 22.
   1966 - The Fullerton high school track team won the state championship in their class. Sam Brower, Steve Nesbitt, Daniel Bosak, James Maly and Patrick Bosak earned Eagle Scout awards. Rainfall, measuring as much as 12 inches in the upper Cedar Valley, on August 12 caused the Cedar river to go on a rampage as never before seen by oldtimers. The flood waters were running several feet deep and nearly a mile wide north of town. Losses to crops, livestock and personal property were extreme. The Fullerton Livestock Pavilion was inundated by the flood waters, and the Union Pacific depot was swept away by the high tide. No lives were lost, but families had to be evacuated from lowland areas along the river and several residents were saved from possible drowning by heroic rescue teams. The National Guard was called in to assist in an air search for stranded and dead livestock along the river.
   1967 - On March 24, the Community Feed and Seed Store elevator was destroyed by fire when it was struck by a bolt of lightning during a severe electrical storm. Damages were estimated at $100,000. New lighting at the fairgrounds baseball diamond was installed as a combined project of the City of Fullerton and the Fullerton American Legion Post. The Nebraska Centennial was
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Scenes from pageant on Chautauqua grounds
during 1967 Nebraska Centennial.

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observed by activities held here during the year. W. H. Plourd, publisher of the Nance County Journal for 36 years prior to retiring in 1961, died December 21 at the age of 74.
   1968 - An early morning fire on January 29 destroyed Clara's Cafe, located on Broadway. The cafe re-opened some months later in a remodeled location across the street. A $270,000 bond issue for a new hospital carried by a 9 to 1 majority. The facility was built on South Broadway on a tract donated by Mr. and Mrs. Frank Morris. Fullerton earned honorable mention in a National Clean-up Contest. Dr. E. P. Spackman, lifetime resident and retired Fullerton veterinarian died on January 6. W. R. Kellogg, retired Nance county clerk, died on February 23. W. H. Russell, stock raiser and farmer and retired implement dealer, died on October 4.
   1969 - In March, ice jams on the Loup river caused flooding and the closing of Highway 14 south of town for a day. Scoutmaster Leo Wolters was presented the Silver Beaver Award, the highest single honor which can be earned by Scout leaders. Mr. Wolters had served as Scoutmaster for 13 years, prior to which he served as assistant for many years. Miss Mildred Jennings retired following 41 years of teaching, 22 of which were in the Fullerton Elementary School. A reception was held in her honor. Army Sgt. Terry Berney was killed in action on October 1 while serving in Vietnam. Mrs. F. W. Johnson, widow of the late Dr. F. W. (Wad) Johnson, died on April 26. Wallace H. Travers, 92, pioneer resident, died on July 20. Two other pioneer residents, Kate M. Crabtree and Mrs. Grover Maybon, died on February 2 and January 29 respectively.
   1970 - Patients were moved from the old hospital building to the newly completed Memorial Hospital on South Broadway. A 50-bed addition was being built at Fullerton Manor. Mrs. Arnold
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Nursing Home.

Newquist and Mrs. Lyle Newquist opened Newquist Style Shop here. E. M. Black, president of the First National Bank and a longtime community leader, died on April 19 at the age of 71. Irene Swanson, a teacher for 40 years, 26 of which were as a third grade teacher in the Fullerton Elementary School, was honored upon her retirement.

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Mrs. John Knipphals, 91, longtime county resident, died on March 22, and Mrs. Cora Belle Hatten died at age 99 on May 26.
   1971 - Richard and Robert Santin, twins afflicted with muscular distrophy (sic), were named recipients of a national handicapped workers award and went to Washington, D. C., to receive the award from President Richard M. Nixon. Residents donated money to a fund to send Miss Jessie G. Kreidler, retired county superintendent of schools who was instrumental in the early education of the Santin brothers, to Washington to attend the presentation ceremony. Edward L. Dubas, son of Mrs. and Mrs. Steve Dubas, was elected president of the Nebraska Future Farmers of America Chapter. The Nance County Historical Society was organized in August.
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   In the Rose Garden of the White House, President Nixon congratulates Richard and Robert Santin (seated L to R), of Fullerton, Nebraska, after they received the President's Trophy as Handicapped Americans of the Year. With them is Harold Russell, chairman of the President's Committee on Employment of the Handicapped. Although severely disabled by muscular dystrophy, the Santin twins run a successful two-way communications installation and service business. They received the award on Thursday, April 15, 1971.

   1972 - J. Alf Brown, 91, longtime resident in the Palmer area, died on January 28 at St. Paul. He was believed to be the oldest native born resident of Nance county. Mrs. Frank (Albina) Santin, pioneer resident, died at the age of 93 on January 4. William F. Downing, longtime resident and former member of the Nance County Board of Supervisors, died July 19 at the age of 93. Frank G. Arnold, 88, died on December 13. He was a Fullerton resident since 1902 and a longtime businessman in the real estate and insurance fields. Fullerton was recipient of a national community improvement

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award. A scrapbook, prepared by Mrs. Volley Thomas and Mrs. E. M. Black, showed improvements consisting of street improvements; opening of new businesses and business fronts being redecorated; new outdoor Christmas lights added in the downtown area; the removal of Dutch Elm diseased trees; a free tree replanting program; clean-up projects undertaken at the City Park and the fairgrounds baseball park; and a painting for the downtown area of the "Leap" by the Delineation Club. Work began on the construction of a new building for the Klip and Kurl Beauty Salon. A new fire hall and city office building was constructed at the comer of 2nd. and Fuller Street and the old City Hall on Broadway was torn down. New restrooms and
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Fullerton's new fire hall.

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Old fire siren before it was moved in 1973.

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picnic shelters were constructed in the City Park. A new metal building was constructed at the school's athletic field for the housing of buses. The former Evangelical United Brethren Church was donated to become a museum for the Nance County Historical Society at Fullerton. A mobile classroom was installed at the Fullerton School. The congregation at Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church burned the mortgage on the church building and broke ground for a new parsonage. The Patriot Inn Motel was opened here. Bill Trotter was seriously injured in an early morning explosion and fire which destroyed his home in the downtown area. A natural gas leak was determined as the cause of the blast.
   1973 - Fullerton received an award in the Department of Environmental Control and Governor's Council to Keep Nebraska Beautiful Contest. The Fullerton Chamber of Commerce opened a drive to raise $3,000 for construction of a new tennis court. Young people in the community participated in fund-raising projects to assist the project. Kemp Country Club observed its 50th. anniversary by honoring longtime members. St. Peter's Parochial School here closed its doors. Mr. and Mrs. James Kontos, who had operated the Modern Cleaners here since 1923, announced their retirement and closing of the business. Edward L. Dubas, son of Mr. and Mrs. Steve Dubas, was awarded an American Farmer Degree. Wood's Saw Mill, Inc. began operation near Fullerton. John Barklind was honored with a community service award for his many hours of community service
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Inside view of Nance County Historical Museum at Fullerton.

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during 1972. Nance County Historical Society Museum opened. Roofing of the museum was painted and a new sign completed. The museum was dedicated on May 27. A 4-H team, coached by Harold Dissmeyer, placed 3rd in an International Land Judging Contest. Members of the team were Glen Zywiec, Jim Kramer, Mike Voichahoske and Scott Russell. Fullerton Chapter AG P.E.O. commemorated its 70th anniversary. Wayne's Clothing, a men's and boys' clothing store, opened in June. A new Nance County court house was in the planning stage. The Tot Shop, a boys' and girls' clothing store, opened in November. An improvement program was suggested for the school. A $1,120,000 bond election was held December 18 and passed with a margin of five votes. Stella Krug, 93, lifelong resident of Fullerton, died March 3. A project, Sugar and Spice Nursery School, opened in September 1961, continued to grow
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New school addition.

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High School, Fullerton, Neb.spacerPrimary School, Fullerton Neb.

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High School Fullerton, Nebr.spacerGrade School Fullerton, Nebr.

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Present school addition.

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in 1974. A storm sewer project, costing $53,118.56 was completed in Fullerton. The project ran from the intersection of 3rd and Fuller Streets, northerly and easterly to a point where it emptied into the Cedar river north of Fullerton Livestock Sale Barn. The Fullerton Lions Club held a 50th Anniversary observance. The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission gave approval to a $23,000 in a grant-in-aid. Over $5,000 had been raised locally for the construction of a tennis court. The Fullerton Area Chamber of Commerce made an effort to buy the Camp Merrill site. It had been owned by the Nebraska Baptist State Convention which wanted to sell it so as to build a camp elsewhere. Drought losses in Nance County were listed at $13,029,199 for 1973. Fullerton began to plan for Bicentennial activities. Bus Service by United Motor Ways was discontinued in September because of a loss in operations claimed by the bus firm. Work on the new Nance county court house and the new Fullerton School addition was begun. Mrs. Estella M. Jennings, 93, died September 12. The theme this year seemed to be community improvement. Most organizations cooperated in a great effort in many ways to improve the town. Many lasting Bicentennial projects were begun. Brogan Drug Store closed. Philip Morgan built a new office on main street. Oscar Mangelsen, 94, died September 15.
   1974 - In January, Fullerton received official recognition from the American Bicentennial Administration designating it as a Bicentennial community. The flag received for this designation was flown from a pole erected in a planter at the Historical Society museum here as a heritage project. Other projects which were to qualify Fullerton for participation in the nation's Bicentennial were the planting of a tree for each Fullerton high school graduate in 1976 and the observance of Bicentennial Sunday in all churches in the county on the first Sunday in July. Miss Margaret Russell was named Nance County Bicentennial committee chairman in July of 1974, and activities were begun that year at the Nance County Fair in the distribution of literature about the upcoming Bicentennial. Fullerton committee co-chairmen were Mrs. Fred (Nellie) Forbes and C. H. Hosler. LaVerne Faaborg was vice-chairman, and Mrs. Keith (Maude) Keller was secretary.
   1975 - A special Bicentennial flag raising cermony (sic) was held in the downtown area on May 6. Residents were asked to complete suggestions for Bicentennial projects. A silver bicentennial souvenir coin was given for suggestion judged most appropriate.
   1976 - Nance county's Bicentennial baby, Brenda LuAnne Steinbach, was born on January 17 in Memorial Hospital to Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Steinbach of St. Edward. A Bicentennial Pageant, "I Love America", was given by members of the Community Choral Group, church choirs and others in the community on May 23. Fullerton
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Bicentennial flag raising.

participated in a simultaneous nationwide ringing of bells at 1 p.m. CDT on July 4 to herald the country's entrance into its third century. The old Nance county court house was demolished in

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Old Nance County Court House demolition.

February, and dedication of the newly constructed court house was held on May 30. The Sportsmen's Club began erection of a new metal 60-ft. x 82-ft. building on its grounds south of the Loup river. Mid-American Dairymen, Inc., which had acquired the Farmers Co-op Creamery here, announced closing of its milk plant here May 1. About 90 interested residents attended a town hall meeting designed to give residents an opportunity to identify problems, offer suggestions, find solutions and determine directions for growth and development of the town. The Fullerton high school Alumni Association was reorganized, and a banquet and program attracted 1162 alumni and spouses. C. S. Hebda was alumni president. This

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Court house demolition.

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New Court House

was the first alumni reunion in over 35 years, and was listed as one of the continuing projects of the Fullerton Bicentennial Committee. On August 14, St. Peter's Parish hosted a representative of the Bishops of Poland, who was visiting in the United States. Bishop John Oblak of Olsztyn, Poland, celebrated a Mass here during which a 40 voice choir sang Polish hymns and a sermon was delivered in the Polish language. Many of the participants were attired in traditional Polish garb. The J. M. McDonald Store was closed after being in business here since 1929. Two new business, Research-O, operated by Mr. and Mrs. Gilbert Meyers, and R&A Mr. Automotive, operated by Mr. and Mrs. F. S. (Red) Steele, were opened. Fullerton was among finalists in a State Community Improvement Program. A $50 check and a framed citation were received by the community in recognition of the honor. Dr. J. L. Seberg, who had operated a dental practice here for 40 years, announced the sale of the practice to Dr. Glenn Hadenfelt. Mrs. Mabel Workman, 99, longtime resident, died on October 1. Ralph E. Barber, 90, lifetime resident, died on April 26.
   1977 - A housing survey was conducted to determine need for low-income federally subsidized housing here. On April 5, the City

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Council adopted a resolution creating a Housing Authority for implementing and supervising such a project. After the results of the housing survey were in, the Housing Authority planned to apply for funds to construct a low-income facility. A new elevator was being built by the Farmers Co-op Association to add storage capacity at its site in the northeast part of town. Notification had been received of approval of a 50-50 matching grant for improvement and replacement of lighting at the fairgrounds baseball diamond. A one-room school house was moved from west of Fullerton to the museum grounds here, restored, and equipped to its early day likeness.
   1978 - The Fullerton Chamber of Commerce sponsored a downtown beautification project of placing trees in planter boxes along the curbs of Broadway. An industrial facts booklet and community profile was prepared by the Community Improvement Committee, the Chamber of Commerce and Loup Power District. Camp Merrill, located at the northwest edge of town, was purchased from the Nebraska Baptists by Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Whited, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Whited, Mr. and Mrs. Larry Cunningham and Mr. and Mrs. Dave Cunningham, and was renamed Quiet Oaks. C. H. Hosler, retired president of the Fullerton National Bank and chairman of the board, died on September 28. The City Council and Housing Authority accepted a low bid by Mid Continent Builders of Missouri Valley, Iowa, for constructing a low income housing development on North Broadway, across the street west of the City Park.
   1979 - Centennial events in 1979 were a logo contest among Fullerton high school students for creating a commemorative logo. Jerome Dubas was the winner of a $50 prize given by the Fullerton Chamber of Commerce. In April, an oldtime "General Store" was the theme of a baazar (sic) held as a Centennial fund raising project. Plans were made to print a Centennial souvenir booklet. A Centennial
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1979 Centennial Photo

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1979 Centennial Photos

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Horse and Buggy Days was held on June 23. Only horse drawn vehicles and riding horses were allowed in the business district, from 2 to 5 p.m. Street dancing began at 7:00 p.m. Kangaroo courts were held, plus judging of Beard and Centennial dress contests. July 8th a Centennial parade was held with a barbecue followed by a drawing for a special Centennial pistol. An Anything Goes contest was sponsored by the Centennial committee at the Nance County Fair. Fullerton won a third place Environmental Action award in the Keep Nebraska Beautiful Contest. A cash award of $50 and a plaque were received. Fullerton was in the finals of the Nebraska Community Improvement Program and received honorable mention. The First United Methodist Church observed its 100th anniversary on June 17. New metal street markers arrived and were installed by members of the Lions Club.
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Lions Club installing new street signs

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© 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 by Ted & Carole Miller