News: Curtiss – Memorial Park
Surnames: Bowen, Stock, Geary, Kluve, Peterson, Scidmore, Harmel, Long, Grambort, Christenson, Fahrenbach, Johnson
----Source: Olson Family Scrapbook
The area of the Curtiss Memorial Park was at one time a business area of the village. The businesses were located directly north of the feed mill, across the railroad tracks. In 1929, a bulk plant was constructed by Otto Stock from the Loyal area. The bulk gas facility was called the Big Four Oil Co. This bulk plant was operated by Harlow Bowen and he delivered gas throughout the area. A gas station, constructed on the corner of Main Street across from the bank, was part of this undertaking. Willard Geary was the first operator of this station, followed by Archie Kluve; Franklin Peterson, Henry Scidmore, Robert Scidmore, Art Harmel and Sherman Long, who all worked at this station.
In the early 1920's, the Farmers Union Co-op operated a stockyard near the railroad (now east end of park), henry Mertens was one of the early buyers. Merman Peissig was also a buyer. In 1930 Grambort became a buyer, and in 1940 Grambort-Christenson was begun. The stockyards operated until the late 1960's.
The Curtiss Community Club appointed a park project committee in 1957. Donald Kraut was chairman to inquire about creating a park in the village. Vacant village land, available in the center of town, was approved for the site and the work began.
Village residents turned out to cultivate the land, with the aid of a county grader. A busload of residents from the Clark County Health Care Center helped pick stones and clean up debris. Lawns were made and trees and shrubs were planted. A flag pole was erected and a memorial stone was placed in the park, surrounded by flower beds. The henry Peterson and Wm. Fahrenbach families donated money for trees to be planted in memory of their sons, Loren Peterson and Elroy Fahrenbach, who died in W.W.II.
Memorial Day 1958, a beautiful program was arranged for the dedication of the Curtiss Memorial Park. A program is held there every Memorial Day.
Whenever a Curtiss business person retires, the Curtiss Community Club purchases a tree and plants it in dedication to the retiree.
There has been a baseball field on the east side of the park for many years. Curtiss had a very active and successful team from 1955 through the early 1960's. Then in the late 1970's, another baseball club was formed and a diamond was constructed for league games. 4-H Clubs and other interested organizations also use the Ifield, along with the children of our community.
The Curtiss Fire Department has sponsored many fund raising events in the park over the years. The annual carnival is held at the park as well as horse and pony pulls. The refreshment stand, food stand and rest rooms were erected by the Fire Department. Picnic tables are available for interested people to use.
For many years, the citizens of Curtiss had discussed plans for the construction of a tennis court at the park. In 1981, the Curtiss Community Club established a fund for the project. Donations were given by the Fire Department and Lions Club, and other interested businesses and residents. Work was started in the fall of 1981, and the project is to be completed in the summer of 1982.
Curtiss is proud to have a park and invites others to stop and enjoy it when visiting the community.
Submitted by: Anita Johnson
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