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CHRISTMAS TREE MAIN DECORATION HERE THIS YEAR 1------- Most of Town War Has Eliminated Decorative Frills Welcomes Yuletide Churches are Planning Christ mas Programs Thursday And Friday Nights With the Christmas trees the prin cipal Yuletide accessory in a time of war which has eliminated most of the decorative frills, Buffton youngsters are nevertheess keeping a sharp look out for Santa this week to season. as the town prepared welcome the holiday one of the few items Fortunately on which there are no restrictions or rationing is the Christmas tree. Mer chants have reported plentiful sup plies as many of the trees sold here are from nearby sources of supply. The first of the week found stores filled with late holiday shoppers, the postoffice flooded with an avalanche Christmas Programs 8:00. 8:00. Rockport Presbyterian—Wed., Bluffton Presbyterian—Thurs., Methodist—Thursday, 7:30. Missionary—Thursday, 7:30. Ebenezer Mennonite—Thurs., St. John’s Reformed—Thurs., Emmanuel Reformed—Friday, First Mennonite—Friday, 7:30. Defenseless Mennonite—Friday, 7:30. 7:30. 7:30. 7:30. The Lutheran and the Church of Christ held their Christmas programs last Sunday. of Christmas porting that pay rolls in amply reflected in the greatest vol ume of business since the late twen ties. mail and merchants re the largest industrial Bluffton’s history were Merchants here have had a problem this year to keep their shelves amply stocked. Many items were completely unabvailable whdle others were avail able only in limited quantities. Cus tomers generally have made larger purchases than in former years, it was reported. Wartime Xmas A reminder that this is the second wartime Christmas is seen in the uni forms throughout the holiday crowds. Notwithstanding the somber shad ow of war, Bluffton will make merry this Christmas, resolutely putting aside for the time the grave problem facing the nation. Majority of the holiday programs will be presented in Bluffton churches on Christmas eve and Christmas night. Besides these Yuletide carols are being sung by groups from schools and churches thruout the town and countryside. For the past week the postoffice has been the busiest place in Bluff ton, with the pace reaching its max imum the first of the week. There was no municipal basket dis tribution this year, a reflection of the increased prosperity of the Bluffton district. It is reported, however, that private organizations may distribute a limited number of baskets. School Vacation Bluffton High and Grade school students will start their Christmas holiday recess on Thursday afternoon after school. They will return to their classes on Monday morning, January 4. Bluffton college will have a longer vacation closing this Wednesday af ternoon with classes convening on Tuesday, January 5. No mail will be delivered on Christ mas day but letters mailed at the postoffice veil Ibe dispatched by a skel eton crew kept for that purpose. Pacakages will be delivered until noon. Mailing of packages to soldiers has been completed. Numerous residents reported, however, that there was still some last minute shopping to do. In anticipation of this the stores are remaining open at night until Christ mas. Students from out of town colleges have been streaming into town and can be seen on the streets re-newing acquaintances and exchanging exper iences. With restrictions on tires and gas oline it is likely that there will be little traveling this year with empha sis to be made on family gatherings within the community. Real Estate Deals Clarence Jones has purchased the Bruce Harper farm two miles north east of Bluffton on the Dixie high way and expects to occupy the place this spring. Jones now lives on the Kid Kempf farm in Union township. 0 Xmas Greetings From Africa Arrive On Day Of Father’s Funeral /"’’ABLE message from Africa bearing Christmas greetings sent by Catherine Gratz to her father. Peter Gratz. Bluffton drygoods merchant, arrived Sun day. the day of the latter’s funeral. The message was dated Thurs day, the day of her father’s death. The Bluffton woman, en gaged in mission work in French West Africa was unaware of her father’s illness. The last word previously received from her was a letter written in Septem ber. FARM HOUSE WITH ALL CONTENTS IS BURNED TO GROUND ?ire of Unknown Origin De stroys Home of Alvin Stag er on Bentley Road -oss of Dwelling and Contents Estimated at S4.000, Partly Insured Will Of Scott Whisler Filed In Probate Court HNS WBfcI*Um■»&m ISSSWSIS-4WSU»SMtSMIS *S«S*S«’Sr«*Sr«^uW*S«IS**Sr«!SrSWSr«’S^IMSWSj^^ Goose, Traditional For Christmas Dinner, Again Popular This Year de- Fire of unknown origin totally stroyed a two story frame dwelling occupied by Alvin Stager and family, four miles south of town on the Bentley road near the Lincoln high way, Saturday night shortly after 9 o’clock. No one was at home at the time of the fire and all contents of the house were lost. Loss of the house and contents is estimated at $4,000, partly covered by insurance. The fire was discovered by Mrs. Lillie Manahan, residing near Beav erdam who was passing the house at the time. She telephoned the alarm to Bluffton and the fire department responded but arrived too late to check the flames. Mr. and Mrs. Stager and daughter were irt Bluff ton doing Saturday night shopping when they learned of the fire. The farm, formerly the Schaublin homestead, is owned by Mrs. Eli Locher of Bluffton. The Stager family moved the first of the week into an apartment in the Allen Beeshy residence on Riley street. Stager who operates a truck is engaged in hauling coal. was Ben Whisler, of Bluffton, named executor father, the late Scott T. Whisler, in an appointment made last week in Allen county probate court. of the estate of his In the will, the elder Whisler left all household goods, furniture, cloth ing and the “home property” to his son. To his wife, Whisler willed a 114-acre Union township farm. Upon the death of his wife, $500 is to be given to United Brethren township, to be and the income trustees see fit. the Pleasant View church of invested in used as Union bonds church shares Other bequests include: 250 of stock in the Buckeye Machine Co. to Ben Whisler $200 to each of the following: Idell Whisler, wife of a nephew Zoe Rupright, of Belmore Mary C. Garten, daughter of Whis ler’s sister Eliza Sheller and Olive Taylor, of El Paso, Ill. and the balance of property and money to Ben Whisler and bis Estell M. Harris. sister, Mrs. Rank Advances In the United Kenneth Gable, with States Coast Guard at Bay City, Michigan, has been advanced in rank to Second Class seaman. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Levi Gable of North Jackson street. Bluffton Cagers Win In Lima Loop basketball win of the first start a Bluffton’s independent team racked up its third season by capturing its in Lima industrial league play, 38 to 24 decision over Stone’s Grill last Thursday night at Lima. Rich Gratz with 16 points and Russ Gratz with 14 accounted for 30 of their team’s 38 points. Others playing for Bluffton were Rog Howe, Barney Fritchie, Paul Detwiler and Johnny Herrmann. rice Shows Only Modest Ad vance in Face of Soaring Markets Many Bluffton Families Will Serve Goose for Holi day Dinner the this Goose—traditional center of Christmas dinner is regaining year much of its former popularity. Long eclipsed by turkeys and chick ens as the meat course for the holi day feast, the difference in market prices this year has done much to ward restoring goose to popular fa vor. Demand for goose is showing a marked increase, dealers stated. In the fact of soaring poultry markets, geese have shown little tendency to rise. Liveweight retail price on Bluffton markets the first of the week was 20 cents per pound, an advance of four cents over a price of 16 cents a year ago. Chickens retailing last year around 20 cents, liveweight, are bringing 27 cents a pound this year for spring ers and heavies. Hens may be had for 24 cents. Turkeys Higher Turkeys have also shown a marked increase in price this year, retailing at 35 cents liveweight per pound compared to 27 cents last year. Two years ago turkeys retailed for 20 cents and chickens for 16 cents a pound. The greatest price increase in eggs took place last year when they jumped 28 cents to 40 cents per doz en. This year white prime eggs are bringing 44 cents per dozen with brown eggs about 40 cents. Pullet eggs are around 30 cents a dozen. The large increase came last year rather than this year because of the exportation of powdered eggs to var ious European countries engaged in war. In New Locations W. W. Wirries and family have moved here from Lima and are oc cupying the brick residence on South Main street, the former Emil Garau property recently purchased by Dr. M. D. Soash. Wirries is employed at the Triplett plant. Arthur Hauenstein and daughter have moved from the Mrs. Catherine Lory property on Railroad street to the home of his daughter, Mrs. Gar net Foltz. Mrs. Lory recently moved here from Lima and is occupying her property. Mr. and Mrs. E. A. Vandemark have moved from the Perkins farm west of Bluffton to a farm east of Ada. Wed At Ebenezer Church On Sunday In a simple but impressive cere mony at the Ebenezer Mennonite church took place the wedding of Miss Meta Sorenson and Howafd Amstutz, both of Chicago, afternoon at 4 o’clock. The bride is the daughter Mrs. Christian Sorenson Montana, and the groom of Albert Amstutz of LaRue, made his home with Mr. and and ney, son has Mrs. Harry Luginbihl of this place. The wedding vows were received by Rev. A. C. Schultz, pastor of the church. Decorations included an altar of evergreens and ferns with light from tapers of candelabra. The bride was attired in white satin with fingertip veil caught by a coronet of seed pearls and carried a white Bible. Attending bridesmaids, Miss Chloe Webber of Chicago and Miss Mar ceille Luginbihl cousin of the groom, wore pink and blue taffeta floor length gowns and carried bouquets of carnations and pompons. The groom was attended by his brother Landolene Amstutz. Ushers were Ray and Robert Luginbihl. Wedding music consisted of vocal numbers by Mrs. Landolene Amstutz and Emmett Augsburger with Miss Mabel Amstutz at the piano. Both the bride and groom are stu dents at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago from which Mr. Amstutz will be continue Northern A NEWSPAPER DEVOTED TO THE INTERESTS OF BLUFFTON AND VICINITY In Sunday Dry been will time Gratz. of of Mr. Sid the graduated soon. He will his theological studies in Baptist seminary, Chicago. Births The following births at the Bluff ton hospital: Mr. and Mrs. Paul Martinka, Con tinental, a boy, Gary Allen, Thurs day. Mr. and Mrs. Francis Blosser, Co lumbus Grove, a boy, Kenneth Dale, Saturday. BLUFFTON NEWS 17 FROM DISTRICT REGISTER IN CALL FOR 18 YEAR OLDS Jst of Those Registered An nounced by County Draft Board No. 3 Second Group of 18 Yr. Youths Is Being Registered This Week Seventeen Bluffton area youths were registered with the 18 year old group during the past week under the Selective Service act for possible military smice, it is an nounced by Allen County Draft Board No. 3. The youths were those who at tained their eighteenth birthday an niversary between July 1 and Aug. 31. Registered were: Ellis Hauenstein, James Leonard Gratz, Jr. Weldon Deppler, Denard Loganbill, Gust Basinger, Jr., Bluff ton. Jack Oswalt, Beaverdam. Ivan Ross Clum, Randall Ellsworth Clum, Ada, Edward Claire Taylor, John Ar thur Conrad, Lima R»ute 5. Dwight William Long, John Wayne Downard, Paul Johnston Mc Clure, Lafayette. Herbert Lee Amstutz, Don Edison Renner, Maurice Floyd Siefker, Russell Rollie Bellinger, Col. Grove. Youths who have attained their eighteenth birthday anniversary be tween September 1 and October 31 are now being registered until Thurs day night at offices of the draft board in the National Bank building in Lima. Funeral Services For Peter Gratz Funeral services 73, prominent merchant and a I this community, First Mennomld| afternoon at 3 old The son of Christian and Cather ine (Steiner) Gratz, he was born in Richland township Nov. 9, 1869. He was married to Katherine Buch er who passed away in 1907. On Nov. 17, 1920, he was married to Laura Seyb, who survives. the be un- He first became engaged in dry goods business here in 1903 ing associated with Samuel Bixel der the firm name of Gratz and Bixel in the location now occupied by the Basinger Furniture store. In busi ness until 1917 he retired selling his interest to Bixel who moved the store to the location now occupied by the Ruff variety store. Staater he has business present 1925 he purchased the Goods store in which active ever since. The be continued at the under the management of Mrs. Mr. Gratz served eight years as a member of the board of education and was president of the board for one term. He was a faithful member of the First Mennonite church and belonged to the Men’s brotherhood and the Men’s Bible class, being a former president of the latter group. In addition to his wife he is sur vived by one son, Oliver Wendell Gratz, of Celina three daughters, Mrs. Eldora Schumacher, of Canby, Oregon Mrs. Paul Lawrence, of Harrod Miss Catherine Gratz, a missionary in French West Africa and a sister, Mrs. Lena Basinger, of Pandora and six grandchildren. Rev. J. N. Smucker, pastor of the First Mennonite church and Rev. A. F. Albro, pastor of the Bluffton Mis sionary church, officiated at the fun eral services Sunday afternoon. Bur ial was in the Ebenezer cemetery. With The Sick P. Stauffer, Bluffton college school speech instructor, removed to his home on w. high been and has Kibler street, where he is convalesc ing from an appendicitis operation. Miss Lucille Medler, Bluffton col lege student, has been removed from the Bluffton hospital to her home in Findlay. Walter Sommer, Bluffton school bus driver, is convalescing from an operation at the Bluffton hospital. Marion Burkholder is ill at the home of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. S. S. Burkholder of Cherry street 1 J*'-' tefe.. Merry Christmas Arrival Of Winter By Near-reco Monday was Coldest Day of December with Merk at 4 Below Zero ight Rain and Freezing Temp eratures Making Roads Hard to Travel Peter Gratz, dry goods resident of held at the 4?h Sunday With winter officially arriving here on Tuesday the weather proved to be less wintry on that day than any of the days just preceding, in which some near record lows in tempera ture were reported. on South night at attributed He died at A|.e Jackson street TfiteJday 10 o’clock. Death was to penumonia following a two weeks’ illness. As the result of the unusually cold spell the town has been blanketed with several layers of snow only to see most of it melt with the rising temperatures. The thermometer officially record ed the temperature at on Monday, believed to of a local record for the year. 4 below zero be something this time of weather has For many years the been warm during the month of De ceember with numerous balmy Christ mases reported during the past sev eral years. Light rain and changes in temp erature to below freezing have duced slippery highways that dangerous to drive, motorists reported. pro are here win- Traditionally the first day of ter is the shortest day of the year, but, according to the World Almanac, there actually will be no difference from any other day from Dec. 17 to Dec. 27, a period of 11 days uni formly 9 hours and 14 minutes in length from sunrise to sunset. The sun in this latitude will rise at 8:21 o’clock Eastern War time, and will set at 5:35 o’clock. The only difference in length during the period of shortest days sun both rises and sets ends later each day. is that the a few sec- will be at Next Sunday, sunrise 8:24 a. m. and sunset will be at 5:38 p. m. The following day the sunrise will be at the same hour but the sun will set a minute later. From then on there will be a gradual lengthening of a minute or two each day according to the almanac, but it will be the middle of January before the difference will begin to be notice able. Bed Cross Rooms To Close Until Jan. 5 rooms at the the home of be closed un The Red Cross work grade school and at Mrs. J. S. Steiner will til Tuesday, January 5, it was an nounced this week by Mrs. Steiner, Director of Supplies. The room at the grade school building will be cation period reached Steiner said. cold during the va and the quota is sewing work, Mrs. in the In the new year, the Red Cross groups will make kit bags for the soldiers. Further announcement will be made about this new project, it i was stated. I -’i^Ufaul ^SEsfe .’• 3#- II Hl 1 lesday Preceded Low Temperature SLIGHT PROSPECT S SEEN HERE FOR WHITE CHRISTMAS Rain and Warmer Weather Fol low Zero Wave and Heavy Snowfall 14 in Seventeen White, Christmases Here ... Thirty-one Years Green Last by rain Warmer weather followed Tuesday sabotaged Bluffton’s pros pects for a white Christmas after this district was swept by a sub-zero wave and heavy snowfall, Sunday. Hopes for a white Christmas—the first in seven years—went glimmer ing when rising temperatures Mon day afternoon were followed by a drizzling rain Tuesday morning which coated sidewalks with a film of ice and made highway traffic haz ardous. Last year Bluffton had unseason ably warm weather during the entire month of December with the result that the town had its tenth green Christmas in the last 15 years. With the holiday drawing closer, children and adults alike were com menting on the general anticipation of a White Christmas which adds much to the Yuletide setting. Merry Christmas so 17 White 14 Green Xmases In the last 31 years Bluffton had 17 white and 14 green Christmas es, the records reveal. But in the last 15 years period, beginning with 1928, there has been snow for only four holidays and on two of those oc casions it was quite scant. has The heaviest snow in the 21 year period occurred in 1916 when a heavy blizzard blanketed the ground with 12 inches of snow. In 1935 the Bluffton district was covered with eight inches of snow. Last year Bluffton experienced a warm Christmas with sunshine and balmy weather dissapointing the youngsters who planned to go skating with their new ice skates. The all time warm record was in 1932 when the thermometer recorded a mark of 62. 31 Year Record 1911, no snow 1912, no snow 1913, trace 1915, three inches 1917, snow 1921, no snow 1923, no snow 1925, one inch 1926, three inches 1927, no snow 1928, one inch 1929, five inches 1930, no snow 1931, no snow 1932, no snow 1933, three inch es 1935, eight inches 1936, no snow 1937, no snow 1938, no snow 1939, trace of snow 1940, no snow 1941, no snow. of snow 1914, seven inches 1916, 12 inches: seven inches: 1918, trace of 1919, one inch 1920, no snow 1922, trace of snow 1924, five inches. I HEAVY VOLUME OF XMAS MAIL SETS NEW RECORD HERE loliday Business This Christ mas Season Will Surpass Last Year’s Mark lood of Holiday Mail Taxes Facilities of Bluffton’s Postoffice Staff With letter cancellations already better than 10,000 ahead of last year’s figure, a new all time record for outgoing mail has been estab lished at the Bluffton post office this Christmas season, it was announced the first of the week by postal offi cials. During the past week the cancella tions have than 8,000 during the was about been averaging higher per day. The average same period last year 7,000 per day. this is a reflection of Whether early mailing or whether it will be an all-time record for volume will not be known until the tabulations for the Christmas season are com pleted, it was stated. Incoming Mail Incoming mail has also been heavy this Yuletide season with the climax coming on Monday when 109 sacks and pouches of mail literally swamped the post office. Extra help and overtime work of the regular employes were necessary’ to handle the increased volume. 63 sacks of day. There were outgoing mail on Mon total of 172 sacks was single day’s business in Monday’s the heaviest the history of the post office here. First class mail is received in sealed pouches while second, third and fourth class mail comes in sacks, postal officials explained. Mail in the business section was carried by substitute carrier allow ing the regular carriers, Wilbur Potee and Ralph Reichenbach, to cover the residential sections. Saturday afternoon deliveries were made this year to ease the pressure the entire volume of man has befen efficiently handled and dispatched, town and rural deliveries were some what behind schedule for a few days. For the convenience of the public, stamp windows at the post office were day, until open order to allow patrons to mail let ters and parcels. open last Wednesday, Thurs Friday and Saturday nights 9 o’clock. The lobby has been every night of the week in Mail Dispatched Xmas On Christmas day mail will be dis patched by a skeleton crew to be maintained for that purpose. The stamp windows will not be open but mail will be received, Postmaster Ed R. Reichenbach stated. There will be no mail deliveries on Christmas. Deliveries of Christmas packages, however, will be was stated. made until noon, it mailing of Christ come much earlier Generally the mas cards has this year, it was stated by Ralph Stearns, assistant postmaster. Peak day for cancellations was on Thurs day of last week which is earlier than usual for the high of the season. much mark bonds Sale of Defense stamps and has also shown a marked increase. This together with the rush of the seasonal volume of postal business has created an unusual volume of activity. County's Victory Bond Drive Goes Over Top Allen County’s Victory Bond cam paign for the December sale of war bonds went over the top last Friday by a margin of $126,000. Subscriptions in the county at the close of Friday’s campaigning to taled $2,656,000. Allen county’s quota had been $2,530,000. Hancock county also is over-sub scribed, with a total of $2,291,000 against a quota of $1,670,000. Putnam county has only $558,000 toward Hardin toward a quota of $810,000 and county reports only $961,000 a quota of $1,113,000. Ebenezer Broadcast A mixed quartet consisting of Mrs. Milo Lora, Mrs. Francis Niswander, Clayton Bucher and Francis Nis wander will be featured in the week ly broadcast of the Ebenezer Men nonite church over radio station WFIN Sunday afternoon at 4:15 o’clock. Mrs. Geraldine Bucher the accompanist.