Jim O'Leary

Waverly Star

By Jim O'Leary

An e-mail newsletter for and about Waverly people, used with permission in the HLW Herald and on this web site.

Sept. 22, 2001

The issue of The Waverly Star for January 26, 1933, set the entire community to mourning.

The banner headline with the largest point type available was:

"Steve Klich dies suddenly Monday. All business places in Waverly will be closed Friday morning during the funeral service for Stephen Klich"

(Marks wrote several hundred words on Steve Klich's life and death, going into more detail than I have space for here.)

"Steve Klich is dead, but his memory lives on. The example he showed his fellow man will not be forgotten, for Steve lived a life that was a credit to him and a model for others to pattern after.

"His first consideration was always for his family, his home. At his work at the depot, he was always courteous and accommodating. He was never too busy to give information or to look up tariffs for patrons of his company.

"To serve you was his greatest pleasure. He was employed by the Great Northern Railway, having worked for that company for 35 years.

"He leaves to mourn his loss his wife, Delia; and seven girls, Leone, Genevieve, Marjorie, Bernadette, Rita, Dorothy Ann, and Patricia. He also leaves his mother, four brothers, and four sisters."

When we moved to Waverly three years after this, Delia Klich became one of my mother's best friends. Delia lived on to a tranquil old age, surrounded by the love of her children and grandchildren.

To this day, Patricia Klich Anderson remains my favorite pen pal. She and her husband, Howard (who is not retired), along with Rita Klich and her husband, Tom Eckel of Worth, Illinois, came to Corpus Christi a few years back.

We talked far into the night over scrapbooks, and the talk, of course, was of Waverly and how much we all missed the old days.

Right now, I owe Patty at least two letters.

At the St. Mary's reunion last summer, Patty bravely took the microphone and told the assembly about the Klich family, who will never be forgotten as long as there is a Waverly.

The society page for the new year's issue of 1933

The leading item was:

"Mrs. Mumford was hostess for a new year's party at her home.

"Cards were indulged in, at which honors were carried off by Mrs. William Kommers and Mrs. C. S. Cullen. Appropriate speeches were made by the winning ladies."


Also in the new year's issue was a boxed ad for Ogle's Cafe. You won't believe this.

"Hamburger, five cents. Pie, five cents. Soup, five cents. Home-baked doughnuts, pies, and cakes made to your order. If we don't treat you right, tell us about it."

There were ads for Ogle's Cafe every week.

In an ad for the July 6 issue, there was this: "Phone us your orders for cakes or pies. Doughnuts always on hand. Regular meal: 40 cents. Plate lunch: 25 cents. You have to eat anyway. Why not here? Beer on draught."

You can sense here the laconic humor which was a trademark of the entire Ogle family.

The first meal we ate in Waverly before our furniture arrived from South Dakota was at Ogle's Cafe.

We assembled there - Myles, John, Paul, my mother, and myself, at 6 p.m., when the Angelus bell rang, signaling the end of my father's work day.

Most businesses closed at the same time. My father had written to us when he first arrived in Waverly before we left South Dakota, "The Angelus bell rings three times a day."

He had been staying at Ogle's Cafe, along with the bachelor businessmen of Waverly.

The meal was, of course, mashed potatoes and gravy with sliced beef and apple pie. Since my mother was not a noted cook, I thought I had died and gone to heaven.

And I had gone to heaven.

Ten years later

In the 1943 Christmas issue of The Waverly Star, a full-page ad appeared. At the top of the page, in large capital letters, was "My old home town, by John Yo-Houti, a former Waverlyite."

This ad was Mr. Yo-Houti's way of expressing his thanks for the contributions of stories and information from his readers.

One of his contributors signed himself simply as "One who knew Saul," the mysterious Saul being, of course, Saul Hoops.

I have never been able to identify either Saul Hoops or John Yo-Houti, even though I was an avid reader of both their columns when I was growing up in Waverly.

For some reason, they preferred to remain anonymous, and I have never talked to anyone who was certain of who they were, although there were some guesses made.

One guess was that Marks McDonnell himself, the editor, was both of them. I wouldn't be surprised.

The ad continued: "1890 - 1943: To Waverly friends and neighbors of the 'gay nineties' and after, wherever you are - from every one of us to every one of you comes our best wishes for a happy holiday season.

"To the many contributors of the John Yo-Houti stories, who have given us a realization of our debt to the old home town, and who have revived our interest in the lives and fortunes of our old neighbors, we extend our heartfelt thanks.

"Their letters and interest have made possible this unique column of Waverly's historic personalities, legends, and almost forgotten events.

"Let us hope that through the column of John Yo-Houti and the medium of the Waverly Star, old friends will continue to be good friends . . . no matter how far apart they may live."

The advertisement then listed the names and addresses of the contributors to the column:

Hector J. Perra, Browns Valley, Minn.; Fred J. Perra, Great Falls, Mont.; Fred J. Holtby, Minneapolis; Ted Claessens, Onamia;

Jim McGuire, Los Angeles, Calif.; John J. Quinn, Beverly Hills, Calif.; One Who Knew Saul, Seattle, Wash.; Emil H. Prahl, Annandale;

Leo Barrett, Minneapolis; T. F. Cruzen, Santa Ana, Calif.; Charles Flannigan, Cascade, Mont.; Mrs. John W. Helm (Kate Purcell), Minneapolis;

Fred O'Hair, US Red Cross director, Washington, DC; Bide Learned, Buffalo; Frank Dostal, Waverly; Jim Lovy Hanson, Fort Wayne, Ind.;

George W. Gagnon, Kent, Minn.; Mrs. Dolly Potter Hageman, Minneapolis; Louis H. Kommers, Great Falls, Mont.; Hans Brandser, Winsted;

James P. McDonnell, Journal-Press, Buffalo; David W. Flannigan, Bridgeport, Conn.; Margaret Doerfler, Minneapolis; Sister Catherine, CSJ, St. Joseph's Academy, Saint Paul;

Mrs. Annie Barrett Baune, Minneapolis; William T. Barrett, Spokane, Wash.; Mrs. Walter Mack, Haver, Mont.; Jerry Kearney, Sommerville, N.J.;

Mrs. Ed Bursack, Los Angeles, Calif.; Jerry Comer, Howard Lake; Frank Doerfler, Minneapolis; Irving Quinn, Omaha, Neb.;

Jerome J. Cullen, Van Nuys, Calif.; Frank Purcell, Chicago, Ill.; Pauline Moore Seibel, Montrose; Jane Bennett Devaney, Montrose, ;

John A. Dignan, Waverly; Charles W. Cullen, Waverly; George Jennings, Denver, Colo.; Tom Burke, Minneapolis;

Charles Moore, Howard Lake, ; Charles K. Pususta, US Navy; Clinton Quinn, Bridgeport, Conn.; Ed J. Giblin, Los Angeles, Calif.;

Sergeant John English, US Army in Africa; William Flemming, Grain and Feed Review, Minneapolis; Mrs. Louis Marrick (Annie Doerfler), Kent, Minn.; Sister Francis Regis O'Leary, CSJ, St. Mark Convent, St. Paul;

Mrs. Lula Flannigan Parker, Los Angeles, Calif.; Walter Wilson, Minneapolis; E. H. Learned, Waverly; Jim Clements, Lomita, Calif.; Frank McDonnell, Star and Tribune, Waverly.

I received this sumptuous feast of Waverly names from Mrs. Luella (Claessens) Custer of Buffalo.

Her address is: Luella M.Custer, 700 9th St. N.W., Buffalo, MN 55313-1010, and telephone, (763) 682-5543.

Luella found this John Yo-Houti piece while she was sorting through old boxes.

The very popular Luella Claessens Custer (Mrs. Jim) is the daughter of George and Lilly (Boehlke) Claessens. Her uncle was Charles Claessens, after whom the Waverly Legion Post was named.

He was killed in World War I, and had one of the largest funerals Wright County ever saw.

Since she was a high school classmate of my brother, Myles O'Leary, she graced our home with her presence more than once, along with her 11 other classmates from 63 years ago.

Those still living from this class of 1938, besides Luella, are: Dorothy (Claessens) Borrell, Helen Bednorz, Catherine (Donney) Rains, Dorothy (Kunde) Ferber, and Edward Morgan, all of whom (I think) attended the St. Mary's reunion last summer.

The deceased classmates, besides my brother Myles, who died June 25, 1994, are John Copeland, Vivian Doerfler, Rita (Czech) Duda , Bernadette (Kugler) Sexton, Mary Ann (Litfin) Nolan, and Eleanor (Broll) Nelson.

Speaking of classes, Mary (Galvin) Coyne would like me to correct the list of people who attended her 1947 class reunion.

We regret that we failed to mention Joan McHale's husband, Ed Berners, also attended, after driving all the way from South Bend, Ind..

Quotes for the week

"We can do no great things, just small things with great love."

- Mother Teresa

"It's not always nice to be out in a thunderstorm with an aerial on your head."

- Anonymous sports announcer covering the U.S. Open Golf tournament.

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