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UN1TNN •TATM AN» VOLUME NO. LXIX BLUFFTON SOLDIER WAR PRISONER IS FREED IN GERMANY Ralph Althaus Liberated From Germans by Rampaging U. S. Armies Bluffton Man Had Been Prisoner of Germans Since Capture on December 24 Pfc. Ralph Althaus, 19, who was re ported a prisoner of the Germans on March 13, has been liberated by the American armies rampaging in Ger many and now is in France, accord ing to word received Tuesday by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Levi Althaus, four miles west of Bluffton. Notification that Pfc. Althaus had been freed from the German prison camp where he was held following his capture in the battle for the Belgian bulge last December 24 was in a let ter written by him on April 8. He did not say where he had been recaptured by the American troops and no details were given except the fact that he now is somewhere in France. He mentioned that the French people are very friendly. A graduate of Bluffton High school in the class of 1943, Pfc. Althaus was attached to the infantry. His parents were notified on Jan uary 25 that he was reported missing in action as of December 24, then on March 13 they were notified that he was a German prisoner. Last Rites Tuesday For George Schmidt Funeral services for George Schmidt, 80, were held at St. Mary’s Catholic church, Tuesday morning •with Rev. Neff officiating. Mr. Schmidt, a retired farmer and for many years a resident of this place, died at his home on Cherry street, Sunday morning following a six weeks’ illness. He was bom in Bavaria, Germany, January 11, 1865, the son of George and Elizabeth (Eichorn) Schmidt. In 1894 he was married to Louise Groman, with whom he celebrated their golden wedding anniversary last November 21. He was a mem ber of St. Mary’s church where fun ■eral services were held. Surviving besides his wife are five sons: Martin at home Herrman of Bluffton Julius of Columbus Louis of Ft. Recovery and Celestine in mil itary service overseas. Also surviv ing are 16 grandchildren and a bro ther John Schmidt in Germany. George Myers Wins Paratrooper Rating Pvt. George E. Myers, son of Mrs. Lenore Myers, residing south of Bluffton, has won the right to wear the “Boots and Wings” of the United States Army Paratroopers. He recently completed four weeks of jump training at Fort Benning, Georgia, during which time he made five jumps, the last a tactical jump at night involving a combat^roblem on landing. Stage College Junior Class Play Friday “The Silver Cord”, a drama, will be presented by the Bluffton college junior class in Ramseyer chapel, Fri •day night at 8:15 o’clock. Two Bluffton students appearing in the cast are Hildred Eversole and Mary Locher. P. W. Stauffer, speech in structor, is in charge of the produc tion. Oratorio Soloist At Dayton Sunday Mrs. Virgil Moser of Chicago, the former Ola Luginbuhl of this place was soloist at the rendition of Mendelssohn’s Elijah at the Phil harmonic chorus of Dayton, Sunday night. Attending the concert were Mrs. Moser’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Cal Luginbuhl and Mrs. Evan Sommer. Mrs. Moser returned with them Sun day night following the concert and spent Monday here before leaving for her home in Chicago. Beaverdam Man Leases Swiss Inn Paul Lile of Beaverdam has leased the Swiss Inn, restaurant and filling station three miles south of Bluffton on the Dixie highway it is announced by Harry' Wingate, owner of the establishment. Lile has previously operated a similar establishment in Beaverdam. Wingate has announced no plans for the future. 1 Ernie Pyle's Death Reported Wednesday Radio reports Wednesday morning telling of the death of Ernie Pyle, news reporter who covered the war on the European front and later in the Pacific, came as a shock to many Bluffton people who followed his col umn appearing in the daily press. Pyle who had an assignment as a roving reporter was recently on Okinawa island with U. S. Marine invasion forces. His reports featured the personal side of the war as seen by the men engaged in the actual combat. VIOLENT LIGHTNING AND WIND STORM SWEEPS DISTRICT Barn Burns to Ground at Height of Heavy Storm Monday Afternoon Light and Telephone Lines Down as Gale Assumes Tor nado Aspect High winds which at times reached tornado proportions, together with a violent thunderstorm accompanied by intervals of blinding rain swept the Bluffton area Monday. From mid-afternoon until after dark winds wreaked havoc and ripped limbs from trees, knocked out tele phone and electric light service es pecially in the rural area and was di rectly responsible for one fire while lightning which accompanied the storm started another. Most serious was the fire which de stroyed a large bam on a Union town ship farm northwest of Mt. Cory, own ed by Mrs. Stella Bierer of McComb and tenanted by Dallas Herman. The barn was struck by lightning and nearly all its contents including 11 head of registered Brown Swiss cat tle were burned to death. Attack Under German Fire Described By Tech. Sgt. Elmer Burkholder, Jr. Overturned Brooder House Burns Another fire, attributed to the wind started early Monday night when a brooder house on the Mrs. Grace Hews farm one mile east of Bluffton on the Dray road was overturned. Fire is believed to have started from the brooder’s oil burner and 200 baby chicks were lost. The Bluffton fire department was called to prevent a possible spread of flames fanned by the high wind. Hardest hit was the district north of Bluffton on the Allen-Hancock county line where electric service to the rural district was cut off when lines from the municipal plant snap ped after two poles and a transform er were blown down. Principal damage to electric utility service in town occurred at the junc tion of South Lawn avenue and Kib ler street when a pole carrying an electric line and a street light was struck by a portion of a nearby tree split by force of the wind. Linemen from the municipal plant were at work Tuesday- and by night had sufficiently- repaired the damage to enable resumption of normal ser vice. Phones Hard Hit Telephone service was hard hit by the twin menace of high winds and (Continued on page 5) Grade School Pupils On Radio Broadcast Bluffton grade school pupils will be heard on the weekly broadcast of the schools here over Findlay station WFIN, Friday at 12:15 o’clock. The program is in charge of Grade school teachers. Births The following births at Bluffton hospital: Mr. and Mrs. Louis Oren, Ottawa, a boy, David Lynn, Friday. Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Montgomery, Bluffton, a boy, Dennis Ray, Satur day. Mr. and Mrs. Wayne Schumacher, Lafayette, a girl, Martha Jane, Sun day. Mr. and Mrs. Lester Seidel, Find lay, a girl, Patricia Ann, Tuesday. Mrs. Seidel is the former Miss Lu cille Medler, who attended Bluffton college. T/Sgt. and Mrs. A. R. Holden, Jr., of Boise, Idaho, are the parents of a son, Lee Karl, according to word re ceived here. T/Sgt. Holden is the son of Mr. and Mrs. A. R. Holden of Toledo. The family formerly lived in Bluffton. Bluffton High Graduate’s Pla toon Leads Assault On German Defenses Sgt. Burkholder Takes Com mand of Platoon When Leader Is Wounded A graphic description of his exper iences under fire in Germany is given in a V-mail letter received this week from Tech. Sgt. Elmer Burkholder, Jr., by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Burkholder, Sr., of Jenera. The Burkholders are former Bluff ton residents, and Sgt. Burkholder is a graduate of Bluffton High school. For several years the elder Burk holder operated a tire shop at Main and Elm streets, and his son worked in the business with him before he went into the Army. The letter follows: “I know that you wonder what this game of war is like, so here is a typical story of what I am doing. Dates and places can’t be mentioned, other than it happened in Germany. “Our regiment was to attack the Krauts, and it wound up that my platoon was to lead the entire show. It was a surprise attack, so there was no artillery preparation. “We walked about seven miles and then we hit the enemy. We were in dense wooded area, going thru plenty of wires, etc. We sneaked to within 75 yards of them before they opened fire. “My platoon leader was the first one hit, so it was my show and I was plenty nervous. They had us pinned down to the ground, then threw mortar shells on us. Our sec ond injured person was our radio man. I crawled to him and got the radio. I called the commanding of ficer in the rear of the company, and told him the situation. “We were being shot to pieces by four German machine guns. I asked for artillery to be dropped on them, and told him the four or five min utes it took for it to get there we would crawl back. “When the barrage was over, I would have a squad in position to hit them on the flank. The artillery came, and the Krauts crawled in their holes. When the barrage lifted we charged in and the Germans came out with their hands up. “The count—eight prisoners—four of them wounded and dead. As we call them, the good Krauts are the dead ones. We then continued on and took our objective. A nice warm town. I’ll close now saying I’m feel ing fair.” Woman Ends 42 Year Career In Banking Gertrude A. Lewis, Bluffton wo man who made a career in banking has retired from the First State Bank of Ashley, Mich., with which she was identified for the past 42 years. Miss Lewis, a former teacher in the Bluffton schools became connect ed with the Ashley bank in 1903 at which time her father, the late George Lewis of this place was a large stockholder. For many years she served as cashier and later as president of the institution. Her retirement follows a reorgan ization of the bank last month in which new stockholders and new management took over affairs the first of April. Plan New Equipment For Fire Department New fire fighting equipment to match Bluffton’s new fire pumper scheduled for delivery this spring, is being planned by the town council. At a meeting Monday night the council voted to advertise for bids on 800 feet of new hose, rain coats and helmets for the entire department to gether with smoke masks, rubber boots, hose nozzles and other equip ment. It is planned to open bids at the next scheduled meeting of the coun cil on Monday night, May 7. Gideon Steiner's Unit Cited By Gen. Clark A citation of commendation from Gen. Mark Clark, commander of the Fifth Army in Italy, has been re ceived by the A A defense unit to which Cpl. Gideon Steiner, of Bluff ton, is attached, according to word received this week by his wife. For a period of five weeks, the unit was called on to perform a new and difficult role as provisional in fantry on the Italian front. rHE BLUFFTON NEWS A NEWSPAPER DEVOTED TO THE INTERESTS OF BLUFFTON AND VICINITY BLUFFTON, OHIO, THURSDAY, APR 19, 1945 HEATING SERVICE FOR HOMES WILL BE DISCONTINUED 32 Domestic Consumers Must Install Own Heating Plants Next Winter Cost of Continued Operation Would Be Prohibitive Board Says Home heating service provided by the municipal electric and waterworks plant for 32 dwellings w I be discon tinued this spring, as a result of ac tion taken last week by the Board of Public Affairs. Decision to end t!- residential heating sendee was reached by the board it was announc' because all heating lines are in’ bad shape and extensive repairs would be necessary to keep them in operation another winter. At the same time it was stated that the Ibuffton Conimui hospital, which formerly received heat from the municipal plant, wii use its own heating facilities, beAnning next fall. Hospital Plant The hospital started erection of a new brick building to a heating plant early this month following (an nouncement by the Board of Public Affairs that hot water would not be available from the inunicipal plant during the summer. Residential heat consumers were notified last week that city heat would not be provided next Winter and that the Beard of Public Affairs had learn ed that hot water boilers for home heating plants will be available. Ra diators, pipes, etc., already are install ed in the homes, and only the boiler heating unit will be required to com plete the changeover. Domestic heating service was start ed in the flail of 1938, when a trunk line was constructed by P. W. A. la bor from the municipal plant to the hospital. Lateral lines were run from this to a number of residences along the route. Later the service was ex tended to other areas in the vicinity of the plant. Waste Steam Used At that time the heat was obtained from waste, or exhaust steam, from I engines operated in the generation of electric current at the plant. However, in 1940 the engines were replaced by turbines, and as no ex haust steam is available from a tur bine it was necessary' in continuing the heating service to extract live steam. This materially increased the cost of the service to all consumers, board members pointed out. The board’s letter to users of the heating service last week pointed out that with lines in need of repairs that would amount to virtually replacing the entire system, the further in crease in cost to consumers would re sult in prohibitive charges for a con tinuation of the service. High School Alumni Reunion Is May 25 Annual reunion of the Bluffton high school alumni association will be held on Friday night, May 25, it is announced by the president, Wil ford Geiger. Other officers are: vice pres., The ola Steiner treasurer, Carolyn Romey corresponding secretary, Donna Hagerman recording secre tary, Elvira Suter. Committees appointed are: Program—Theola Steiner, chair man Kathryn Patterson, Meredith Stepleton, Christine Wenger. Nominating—Ralph Stearns, chair man Zelma Ingalls, Armin Hauen stein. Property—Eugene Benroth, chair man Clayton Bixel, Silas Diller, Paul Greding. Decorating—Mabel Steiner, chair man Corrin Blackburn, Eleanor Morgan, Helen Campbell. Home On Furlough Lt. (j. g.) Howard Tripplehorn of the Navy is spending a week’s leave here with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Triblehorn of South Main street. S/Sgt. Edwin Rice who has been home on furlough after overseas service for 28 months is at Miami Beach, Florida, awaiting an assign ment. Byron Fritchie SM 3/c of the Navy returned to New York city Sunday after spending a leave with his parents here. Peter Schmidt of the Navy is home on leave visiting his mother, Mrs. Ad Clapp of Cherry street, A/T Evan Neiswander of Spence Field, Moultrie, Ga., is spending a fifteen day furlough here with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Walter Nis wander of Grove street. Strangely stilled was the usual mid-Saturday afternoon bustle thru out Bluffton's business district as the town paid tribute to the memory of President Roosevelt. AH business was suspended for an hour at 3 o’clock the time of the late President’s funeral service in ahsington with most retail stores locking their doors for that period. Stores, usually thronged with week end shoppers and housewives laying in a supply of food for over Sunday were silent. The usual Saturday Housewives With Eye on Ration Books Are Saving Points For Meats War May Change Eating Habits of Many Families So Far as Butter is Concerned Eating habits of Bluffton area per sons which changed from home-baked to commercial bakery bread in World War I, may undergo a similar metamorphosis with respect to but ter in the present conflict. Bluffton Pays Last Mark Of Respect To Memory Of Departed President Plenty Of Butter In Stores May Indicate Trend To Use Margarine I Plenty of butter available in local food stores in contrast to the scar city six months ago, plus an ever increasing demand for oleomargarine, is seen in some quarters as an indi cation that the latter product may permanently replace butter on many family tables, even following the close of the war. The trend toward increased con sumption of margarine was started during last winter’s butter scarcity, and has continued as a means of con serving the housewive’s scant sup ply of red ration points allowed for meats, fats and cheese. Storekeepers tell of many shoppers who comment they are buying mar garine instead of butter, so they may have more red points for steaks and other choice meats, which otherwise could not be included on the family menu. Butter, conspicuous by its absence in all area stores just about one year ago, is back in quantities large enough to fill a much greater demand than there is now. Housewives, with an eye on their ration books, appar ently are saving their red points for meats, instead of spending them on high-rationed butter. At the same time an OPA spokes man in Washington announced that altho a decrease in butter point value has been considered, no action has been taken because butter sup plies and demands do not warrant it at this time. The Government, according to an other source, is now taking 40 per cent of the butter stocks, and will take 55 per cent starting in June. Real Estate Deals Ulrich Amstutz of Wisner, Neb., former Bluffton man, has purchased the foundry building at the corner of Grove and South Jackson streets from the J. W. Jackson estate. The deal was handled by A. E. Kohli. Amstutz who is engaged in the hatchery business in Wisner expects to move here this summer and build a residence on the site now occupied by the foundry it was stated the first of the week. The vacant lot on South Jackson street between properties occupied by Mrs. Kate Beals and Charles Fruchey has been purchased by El mer Short, Bluffton greenhouse op erator from Frank Danner of Lima. William Gaiffe has purchased the property which he occupies on West Jefferson street from Howard Stager. Growers of sugar beets, a farm crop that is rapidly expanding in favor in this area, will be entitled to extra ration-free sugar for family and employe use this year, it was announced last week by the OPA. The amount of extra sugar is lim ited to 25 pounds for each member of the growers’ family and each em ploye who works more than six months on the farm where the beets are grown, it was explained. afternoon crowds were in their homes as close to the capital rites as their radios could take them. Bluffton, together with the rest of the nation first heard news of the sudden death of the President late Thursday' afternoon when the usual radio programs were interrupted by a flash conveying word of his demise. No formal memorial services were held here, however, reference to his passing and prayers were offered generally- in Bluffton churches in connection with their Sunday serv ices. FARM LABORERS GET DRAFT STAY BY APPEALS BOARD Five of Six Deferments Grantt'd Are to Men Engaged in Agriculture Cases were Appealed from LA Classification by County Draft Board More consideration of farm defer ments is reflected in seven Board of Appeals decisions announced this week by Allen County Draft Board No. 3, in which six -A classifications were reversed by the appeals panel. Of the six men who received de ferments from the appeals board, five are engaged in agriculture. Farmers Growing Sugar Beets Will Get Ration-Free Sugar This Year A marked increase in sugar beet acreage in this area, particularly north of town on the Allen-Hancock county line, is believed resulting prin cipally from the fact farmers are as The complete listing of the appeals decisions is as follows: Byron Eugene Barnes, Harrod. Classified in Class I-A by the local Board. Registrant appealed. Classifi ed in Class ILC by the Board of Appeals until July 1945. Registrant is 26 years of age and is engaged in agriculture. F’aul Leroy Boughan, Lima. Clas sified in Class LA by the Local Board. Registrant appealed. Classifi ed in Class II-C by the Board of Appeals until August 1, 1945. Regis trant is 28 years of age and is en gaged in agriculture. Russel Abraham Musser, Criders ville. Classified in Class I-A by- the Local Board. Employer, Ohio Steel Foundry, appealed. Classified in Class II-B by the Board of Appeals until May 1, 1945. Registrant is 27 years of age. Paul Bernard Warnecke, Delnhos Classified in Class I-A by the Local Board. Registrant appealed. Classifi ed in Class II-C by the Board of Appeals until August 1, 1945. Regis trant is 26 years of age and is en gaged in agriculture. Leon Blaine Van Eman, Spencer ville. Classified in Class I-A (o) by the Local Board. Registrant appeal ed. Classified in Class II-C by the Board of Appeals until September 1, 1945. Registrant is 28 years of age and is engaged in agriculture. John Loenard Troyer, Elida. Clas sified in Class IV-E by the Local Board. Registrant appealed. Classifi ed in Class II-C by the Board of Appeals until August 1, 1945. Regis trant is 29 years of age and is en gaged in agriculture. Elmer Ensign Hanes, Route 6, Lima, Classified in Class I-A by the Local Board. Registrant appealed. Registrant is 18 years of age and is engaged in agriculture. BLUFFTON MARKETS Wednesday Morning Grain (bushel prices) Wheat, $1.68 corn, $1.12 oats, 80c soys, $2.04. sured the bulk of the labor for car ing for the crop will be provided by the sugar refining company. Farmers’ responsibility is limited to sowing the crop, cultivating it, harvesting the beets and hauling them to the refinery. Heavy work in w-eeding and blocking the beets is done by Mexican labor provided by the refineries. In beets, area farmers find a good cash cropw hich can be comparative ly easily handled in spite of the cur rent farm labor shortage, plus the fact that additional ration-free su gar is provided for each grower. Refineries in this district are at Findlay and Ottawa. BUY UNITU r*tu UV1»C« NUMBER 52 FARM MACHINERY SHORTAGE HINDERS VETERANS' PLANS Service Men Returning To Take Up Farming Seek Imple ments. dealers Have Long Waiting Lists For Machinery None on Floor War veterans who are returning to take up farming already- are exper iencing difficulty' in obtaining machin ery', with no prospect in sight of an easing of the situation. Despite announcements from gov ernment agencies that veterans will receive help in setting up farming and manufacturers’ pronouncements that veterans must be taken care of when they want farm equipment, the bald fact remains that there is no machin ery’ available for them on the local dealers’ floor. Much of the hardship in the pres ent situation has been worked on the dealer, who has been left in an un enviable position by the scarcity of epuipment. .. Can’t Satisfy Demand With his farm machinery' allotment reduced to only’ a fraction of its pre war volume, the dealer has a difficult time in atempting to satisfy farmers making up a long waiting list for every' kind of farm equipment. Complications then enter the pic ture when a veteran, whose name is not on the waiting list, places his or der and expects immediate delivery so that he may start farming. This leaves the dealer with a choice of helping the returned serviceman, a patriotic duty, thereby disappointing his regular trade or accommodating those whose names are on the waiting list and making the veteran wait his turn. All dealers have long waiting lists for every kind of equipment. When a farmer wants an implement, a trac tor for example, the dealer puts his name on the waiting list. When his turn on the list comes he gets the next tractor delivered to the dealer. Waiting List For the most part returning veter ans do not have their names on the lists, altho a few men when drafted placed orders with dealers, anticipat ing delivery .when they return from the army. A check of local dealers revealed they know of no arrangement where by- veterans can be given farm im plements over and above the dealers’ regular quota. This means that a dealer who receives for exampl? only five tractors a year cou’d not obtain an extra tractor for a veteran, but would have to supply it from 1 is an nual allotment, which already is too small for his regular trade. At the same time WPB announce ments from Washington indicate that no relief in farm machinery- short ages can be expected in the next six months, because of shortages of steel and other materials. Federation Banquet Next Tuesday Night Talking on “The Post-War Home", Miss Meredith Dickinson, Ohio Power Co. home economist, will address the bi-annual spring banquet meeting of the Bluffton City Federation of Women’s clubs, at 6:30 p. m. next Tuesday in the dining room of the St. John’s Reformed church. Another feature of the program will be the installation of officers to serve during the next two years. Mrs. Sidney Hauenstein will be the installing officer. Those to be installed include: President, Mrs. James Suter First Vice President, Mrs. Forrest Stein man Second Vice President, Mrs. Metta Dean Recording Secretary, Mrs. Clair Fett Corresponding Sec retary, Miss Carolyn Romey, and Treasurer, Miss Edith Augsburger. Music will be provided by a group of Bluffton High school pupils, di rected by Miss Harriet Brate, music instructor. Good Response Here To Clothing Call Bluffton and vicinity are giving a gratifying response to the United Nations Clothing drive for the poorly clad population of the liberated areas in Europe. The drive is sponsored by the Bluffton Lions club with other civic organizations cooperating. Mrs. J. S. Steiner is in charge of the re ceiving station in the former Sie field bakery room on South Main street. The station will be open afternoons and evening daily for the remainder of this week.