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Of old photos and gardens and horses

In going through old photo albums, I came across a picture of my sister, Sheila, at about age six, pretending to hoe Don Smith’s garden. I say pretending because I don’t think she had the foggiest idea how to actually hoe. She was, after all, only six. 

A bird’s eye view of Vatican City

Needing a break after touring the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel, we bought a pizza on our way to the VW, had a quick lunch, and walked to a nearby post office to mail cards. Waiting in line to buy stamps, we discovered that Italians waited in line like they drove - impatient and pushy. 

On the Side

Pants on fire

Disingenuousness is a nice word people use instead of asserting that someone is lying.

There’s a lot of disingenuousness in our country regarding the Dobbs decision regarding abortion handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court last week. 

A cyclonic storm hits the county

Out of the Past

150 Years Ago

The Masons of prudence Lodge No. 205, Algona Iowa will lay the corner stone to the new Court House on July 4, 1872 at nine o’clock A. M. All Masons in good standing are invited to attend and take part in the ceremonies. By order of said Lodge. F. M. Taylor, Sec.


125 Years Ago

Families of Faith

Godly Men

Rev. Kent Madison

Pastor, First Presbyterian Lakota, Lakota

Throwback: Pizza Hut



How many people will remember going to the Pizza Hut after school or after a game? It was the hotspot teenage hang out for many years. This photo was from the Algona Upper Des Moines archives dated May 4, 1972. It states their hours as open until midnight Monday through Thursday and open until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. You won’t find many places open that late today.

Letter to Editor

To the Editor

Changes needed at the swimming pool

Changes need to be taken in the management of the pool (Aquatic Center) are several.

1. Building a bleacher inside the pool fence for the higher income mothers and lower income mothers to be nearer their children in the shallow water part. Both lower and higher income to sit together. No charge. Free.

2. Open the pool at 11AM for everyone FREE of charge. ONE hour.

The Daily Umbrella

Be like Bob and Betty


As a young boy, I had a couple of unfortunately unique things about me. First, I did not have any living grandparents. And second, my parents were divorced. Neither of those may seem unique today, but in the 1970s in a Catholic school in small-town Iowa, they were. I was fortunate to have another unique situation, as I experienced wonderful pseudo-grandparents in Bob and Betty Moritz.

Out of the Past

7 area towns battle fire at West Bend


150 Years Ago

Gen. John O’Neill, the celebrated Irish orator, is lecturing in the State on Ireland’s condition, for the purpose of selecting a desirable locality for the immigrants from his country.


125 Years Ago

Our Kossuth County

Does your lawn make the cut?

By Rick Murphy

Mayor of Algona


Creating a beautiful community takes a community effort


Mowing the lawn is a challenge in this heat, but it would have been even more difficult without the contributions of a man named Cecil Pond. After serving in the military during World War II, Pond came home to Indiana to start building tractors with his father. 

Travel Diary

Words can’t do the beauty of Vatican museum justice

Throwback: Algona Depot


Out of the Past

By Gene Miller

Couches should conform to the human figure


150 Years Ago

Ink Spots

By Molly MacDonald

Graduation parties and two confessions

Now that the season of high school graduations and graduation parties has passed, I suppose it’s time for me to make a confession. Bing and I had five children, all of whom graduated from high school. Bing and I attended all five of their graduation ceremonies. Bing and I hosted exactly . . . umm . . . zero graduation parties.

Don’t judge. We had a reason, however feeble.

Travel Diary

By Jim Sloter

From Pisa to Rome scenes from a movie

As we prepared to leave Pisa, we noticed that the streets were being swept by women wielding wide push brooms – unusual, but things sure looked clean and tidy.  


By Brad Hicks

Battling biases


Gannett, publisher of USA Today, hundreds of newspapers across the country, and most recognizably in our state, The Des Moines Register, announced in recent days that it is reducing editorial pages in its markets. The company said it would be instead doing a more reader interactive format. Editorial pages will not completely disappear from Gannett properties, but they will be less frequent.

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