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Of a birthday and a wonderful laugh


f the many gifts God gives people, I think a sense of humor is among the best. If we can’t laugh, life would be very dull.

Writers and Writing

Love’s Guest offers inspiration and reflection

Love’s Guest: Reflections of Inspiration & Wonder

Edited by Marc Aronoff

Artwork by Jan Richardson

Red Elixer

ISBN 978-1-9600-90-263



Every once in a while, a little book comes along that punches far above its weight, that offers more than initially meets the eye.

Santa Claus has rough time in Swea City

150 Years Ago

To the Members of the Library Association: You will please return to the Library all books drawn by you on or before Friday the 9th day of Jan. 1874, as I desire to make to the Association a final report of the condition of the Library for the year 1873. All books not reported by the time above given will be reported absent without authority. H. S. Vaughan, Librarian.


125 Years Ago

The Daily Umbrella

I’m dreaming of a green Christmas


“I am dreaming of a green Christmas.” “Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain.”

Nobody in Iowa sings those songs this time of year. And for good reason. Christmas is supposed to have snow. At least that’s what I remember. But does my memory serve me correctly? shared some interesting Christmas weather facts for Des Moines that set the record straight.

Embrace the messy

Rev. Briton Nelson

Associate Pastor, St. John’s Lutheran Church, Burt and Trinity Lutheran Church, Algona

Growing up in Wisconsin, I had the opportunity to pole vault for my high school track team. Pole vault can be, at times, a frustrating experience. There are a lot of components and techniques that need to work together in order to jump as high in the air as possible.

Families in Faith

Rev. Russ Jacobsen

Pastor, First United Methodist Church

Honor our elders in the Christmas season


Luke 1: 6 Zechariah and Elizabeth were righteous in God’s eyes, careful to obey all of the Lord’s commandments and regulations. 7 They had no children because Elizabeth was unable to conceive, and they were both very old.


......Continued from Dec. 14, 2023


By Dana Clapsaddle


Algona V.F.W. mortgage paid off

150 Years Ago

On the side


You just never know...


Dear Readers: The following is column written by a fellow named Bob Thompson, who was a teacher and coach in my hometown. It is reprinted with permission.


Here’s the story about a young man who was engaged to be married. He was in love and his life was infected with that special pride and that vibrant joy that is peculiar to lovers.

Our Kossuth County

Reflect and revisit Algona’s history

By Rick Murphy



The Daily Umbrella

“Get a load of this!”


That was the marketing slogan for a concrete company in my hometown when I was a kid. Those five words were painted on the rotating mixer tank of the truck that my friends and I were so fascinated with. It helped that the truck drivers would almost always respond to our arm-pump requests by honking their horns. They smiled as much as we did.

Families in Faith

Rev. John Koopman

Pastor, Peace Lutheran  Church, West Bend

“When All Was Still and It Was Midnight


......Continued from Dec. 7, 2023


By Dana Clapsaddle


The salary of one employee at the city hall who handles the meter fund is deducted from the fund. The rest of the money is then invested with interest until it is needed for another property parking purchase. 


Of angels we have heard on high . . .

I have written before about my childhood Christmas tree angel, Georgie. I even ran a picture of her. However, that was so long ago I’m sure nobody remembers, and if you do, pretend you don’t. That way you won’t say, “Ho Hum, I’ve already read about Georgie, let’s move on.” If you did say that, you would be very rude and my feelings would be hurt. So don’t say it.

Out of the Past

Don’t drive a Buick in Bancroft

150 Years Ago

BLACKLEG IN CATTLE. -- We regret to learn that this disease has made its appearance in Kossuth County. Mr. Whitehorn of the western part of the County has recently lost five head of cattle from the disease. This is the only case of which we have been informed, and we hope that it will be the last.


125 Years Ago

Our Kossuth County

Homemade gifts on a budget

By Liz Adams


Are you trying to find a Christmas gift last minute, but you don’t have a lot of money to spend? Take a look around your house for the solution! There are many things you can turn into a quality, thoughtful gift for someone you love.

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