News: Abbotsford - WLS Barn Dance (1936)

Contact: Crystal Wendt

Surnames: Tribune Photograph; Wednesday March 5, 1997; Page 14

----Sources: Scrap book one: by Elsa Lange Hardrath & Dorthaleen Edwards Hardrath

Contributed by Halbert "Bud" Hardrath


Residents whooped it up in WLS Barn Dance show in 1936

Just over 60 years ago, over 100 home town talents joined together for a three-night extravaganza performance of the famous WLS Barn Dance Show.

The event, directed by Frances Allen of WLS in Chicago, featured local residents playing, singing and dancing as they impersonated famous country-western artists of that day.

Anyone of a certain era will remember it well, according to Lucille Daellenbach, who was among those participating.

"Oh, it was a big deal - as big as you could get around here," she said. "We had packed houses for all three nights and people had a great time," she said. Recently as she shared an original advertisement for the performance from the 1936 Abbotsford Tribune.

The shows were held in the old National Guard Army on Abbotsford’s main street. The advertisement billed it as a two-hour show, but Mrs. Daellenbach remembers it lasting over four hours.

She played the four-string guitar. "That was back when I had guts," she recalled.

The show still stirs fond memories in the heart of senior citizens in this area.

The audience paid 25 cents apiece for the privilege of watching their friends and neighbors. They were both entertained and, in some cases, disappointed.

"Some of the musicians weren’t very good, but it was something you could bring the whole family to. There were a lot of babies crying, and at one point a mouse got loose. That was back when all the women wore dresses, and they were afraid. A lot of them crawled up onto their chairs," Mrs. Daellenbach recalled.

She noted those were the days before television, when friends and neighbors entertained each other with live music and singing.

The event was described as a harvest festival, and the armory was properly decorated with pumpkins and cornstalks.

"We sure had some fun. Just reading this makes me feel 25 years younger," she added.

In hopes that it will do the same fro some of our older readers, we also reprint the cast list from the show:

Uncle Ezra-J. F. Loucks, Abbotsford; Lulu Belle-Mrs. Jack Heier, Medford; Skyland Scotty-Donald Winchell, Dorchester; Linda Lou-Bonnie Lou Heier, Medford; Arkie, the Arkansas Woodchopper-Clarence Lake, Colby; De Zurich Sisters-Lorraine and Margaret Daellenbach, Abbotsford; Henry Burr-Lloyd Smith, Colby; Pasty Montana-Mrs. Emil Daellenbach, Abbotsford, Wis.

Harry Lauder-Harry Bender, Colby; Flannery Sisters-Dorothy Enders, Edgar, and Mary Lang, Marathon; Slim Miller-Herman Ziebarth, Abbotsford; Girls of the Golden West-Uldine Schnelle and Gladys Lueck, Stratford; Bill O’Conner-Ernest Boyer, Colby.

Lucille Long-Carol Franz, Colby; *Gene-Autry-Grant Vandehey [* This name was underline in the copy], Abbotsford; Log Cabin Kid-John Enders, Edgar; Chuck and Ray-Pete Waldhart, Abbotsford; and Bill Waldhart, Colby; Hayloft Harmonizers-Arletta, Elvin, and Melvin Lindau, Dorchester, Wis.

Red Foley-Alois Stencil, Marathon; Sunbonnet Girl-Nadine Knudson, Owen; Reggie Cross-Norman Lindau, Dorchester; Melody Makers-Frank Dessl, Clarence Decker and Donald Winchell, Dorchester; Yodeling Cowboy-William Brocker, Tripoli.

Sally and Sue-Mrs. Paul Fleischmann, Medford, and Mrs. Harry Paul, Dorchester; Evelyn the little maid-Dorothy Kraus, Colby; Studio pianists-Bernadette Kraus, Colby, and Mrs. Viola Rusk, Abbotsford; The Melody Man with his musical saw-Otto Heintz, Colby; Concertina specially-Raymond Karlen, Edgar; Little Gingham Girls-Myrtle and Garment Schultz, Abbotsford, Wis.

Tumble Weed-Earl Plaman, Unity; Cumberland Sweethearts-Joyce and Betty Gauger, Stratford; Squeeze Box Sam-Hubert Schauer, Owen; Prairie Farmer Girl-Verna Stelzel, Abbotsford; Tommie Tanner-Harry Zrutskie, Colby.

Funny Farmhands-Lawrence Jacobi and Ernest Haack, Abbotsford; Little Neighbor Girl-Dolores Dessl, Dorchester; The Chore Boy-Maurice Thompson, Abbotsford; Eddie Allan Jr.-Percy Lake, Colby; Dan Tucker-Fred Gosse, Abbotsford, Wis.

Cowboy Jack-Mike Habermeyer, Dorchester; Harmonica and guitar specialist-Evelyn Harrop, Abbotsford; Rhythm Ranger-Don Jagodzinski, Atwood; Teeny Weenie Tune Twister-Norman Schnelle, Abbotsford; The Plough Boy-Jack Harrop, Abbotsford; The Harmonettes-Emily and Lillian Jagodzinski, Atwood.

The Barn Storm Band by the Northwood Rhythm Aces including Hubert Schauer, Eric Schaur and Sylvester Stecker, all of Curtiss, and Norman Schorer, Abbotsford; The Maple City Four-Lloyd Smith and Harry Bender of Colby, Wayne Davis and Merle Jenks of Abbotsford; The Tune Vendors-Doc Hinke and Beulah Hinke of Abbotsford, Georgene Roohr and Norma Engledenger of Colby, Bonnie Lynn of Unity.

Otto and Novelodeons-The Little German Band, including William Roth of Colby, William Goose, Clarence Nelson, Peter Goelden, Melvin Goose, Albert Nelson, Clarence Goose, and Clarence Weetz, all of Abbotsford; Gilbert Copeland of Dorchester, and John Daellenbach of Curtis. Winnie, Lou and Sally-Mildred, Audrey and Delores Meyer of Dorchester, Wis.

Accordion Queen-Verna Guth, Dorchester; Abbotsford Exhibition Square Dancers- Mr. and Mrs. Joe Moore, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Gierl, Mr. and Mrs. Ben Merwin, John Mueller and Mrs. C. Brown.

Hayloft Hi-Stephens-Mr. and Mrs. Henry Kauer and Mr. and Mrs. Joe Dessl of Dorchester, Mr. and Mrs. Earl Butler and Mr. and Mrs. Jake Hauser of Colby; Haystack Hoofers-Mr. and Mrs. George Engel and Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Geiger, all of Dorchester, Wis.



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