2019 Remsen Bell-Enterprise Year in Review: September - October

Thursday, January 16, 2020


On Thursday, August 22, 2019, Senator Joni Ernst and her staff, along with several other members of the community visited the MMCRU Industrial Technology Center in Marcus. People visiting the facility besides Senator Joni Ernst and her staff included Bill Anderson of Cherokee Area Economic Development and his team, Board of Directors for Little Sioux Corn Processors, Members of the Marcus City Council, and members of the community who wanted to come in and see Joni and the space. MMCRU Industrial Tech Center Instructor Matt Hanson lead the tour and stated, “The reason the senator was at our training facility was to simply tour the space and learn more about the impact our program is having on the area workforce. To learn more about our Industrial Technology program and promote school-to-work initiatives and workplace readiness. Bill Anderson collaborates with various groups in Des Moines with our politicians and Joni Ernst had expressed interest in learning what a few small towns in rural Iowa are doing to combat the extreme shortage of skilled tradesmen in our area.”

A Remsen woman who was reported missing on Monday, Sept. 2, has been found in Vermont. According to a press release issued on Tuesday afternoon, Sept. 3, by the Iowa Department of Public Safety, at around 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nicole Trometer contacted Iowa law enforcement officials and advised she was in Vermont. The release further stated, law enforcement requested she go to the nearest law enforcement agency and positively identify herself. As of 1:20 p.m. on Sept. 3, the Franklin County Sheriff's Office in Vermont confirmed they spoke with Trometer and positively identified her by her Iowa driver's license. Franklin County authorities advised Trometer was in good health. Trometer told Vermont authorities she traveled with Daniel Kittredge willingly. It was on Monday, Sept. 2, when the Remsen Police Department took a report that Trometer could not be located. The Remsen Police Department, Plymouth County Sheriff's Office, and the Le Mars Police Department, searched the area and were unable to find Trometer. According to a news release issued by the Iowa Department of Public Safety, Trometer was last seen Sunday morning, Sept. 1, in Le Mars with Kittredge. At this time, the missing person's investigation is closed.

RSM Homecoming Sept. 8-13, Lights, Camera, ACTION! Get ready for a Hollywood Homecoming! The lights will be bright -- the cameras will be clicking -- and the action on the courts and fields will be intense! The movie-themed homecoming week, September 8-13, at Remsen St. Mary’s Schools will be an action-packed adventure.

Parents and children stopped by MMCRU Schools in Remsen and Marcus on Tuesday, August 20 to meet their teachers, find their lockers, and check out the classrooms for the upcoming 2019-2020 school year. MMCRU Royal Boosters had school gear for sale and Iowa State Bank served hamburgers, chips, and beverages for a freewill donation, with the proceeds going towards the MMCRU Royal Boosters Club.

RSM Schools held their Open House and Back-to-School Bash on Thursday, August 22. Students found their lockers and classrooms, and talked to their teachers for the upcoming 2019-2020 school year. Iowa State Bank served hamburgers, chips, and beverages for a freewill donation, with the proceeds going towards the St. Mary's Activity Club.

The Remsen Bible Fellowship Church held their first worship service on Sunday, August 18, 2019 at 10 a.m. at the VFW Hall in Remsen. Pictured above, Pastor Will Dole gives his sermon from Matthew Chapter 16 of the Bible, and Scott Goeken reads Scripture.

The Remsen Heritage Museum, located in downtown Remsen, has been making some changes this year and making small progress in new exhibits for the museum. The idea first started to open a museum when the City of Remsen asked some of the citizens to start a museum board. Bill Daubendiek was one of those citizens that helped get the museum board going. Karen Harnack, Remsen Hertiage Museum’s Secretary, stated, “A group of us were asked by the City of Remsen to form a museum board back in 2006. On March 7, 2006, we had our first meeting of the board, and at that time, Bill (Daubendiek) became President. Original board members were Bill Daubendiek, Ethel Heidesch, Kurtis Kroeger, Hubie Nothem, Rick Roder, Kevin Rollins, and myself (Karen Harnack). Bill was the president up until May of 2019, when he decided to retire.” According to Harnack, Daubendiek has been a very important part of the museum’s growth and progress. Harnack explained, “He was instrumental in setting up an endowment fund and renovation fund. He also was instrumental for the first building we had (for the museum), which was Frank's Place. The first name (of the museum) was just Remsen Museum Board because we were under the City, and then took over in 2011 and renamed it to the Remsen Heritage Museum. He was the one that pushed the musuem to be our own organization. In 2011, we decided to become Remsen Heritage Museum and then we proceeded to take over ownership of this building (their current building located at 231 S. Washington St.) and became a 501c3 tax exempt organization.” “The board wants to thank Bill for all his hard work and support and wish him well in his retirement.” said Harnack. The Remsen Heritage Museum board has changed since it’s first inception back in 2006. Current board members are Donna Kendall, President; Brian Nitzschke, Vice President; Karen Harnack, Secretary; Kurtis Kroeger, Treasurer; and Mike Schnepf. According to Harnack, “We are always looking for new members. We have a new member this year, Brian Nitzschke, who came to join us. There is no limit to the number of board members.”

Wednesday, September 4, 2019 marked the 39th Annual Plymouth County Knights of Columbus Phonothon and its success continues to grow. Ninety percent of the proceeds from the fundraiser go to benefit Life Skills Training Center, with the remaining 10 percent helping the Special Olympics. On September 4, the Remsen Knights of Columbus made calls for the Phonothon from the VFW Hall. A Chamber Coffee was also held from 8-11 a.m. that morning with donuts, cookies, coffee, juice, and milk. Life Skills and the Remsen Knights of Columbus are very grateful for the donations.

MMCRU Homecoming Week Sept. 15-20. Theme: ROYALS “A Road Trip to Victory” Destination Theme.

Remsen St. Mary's welcomes two new students this year in the middle school/ high school. Pictured above, Lana Jungers, is the daughter of Katie and Anthony Jungers. Lana is in sixth grade. We would also like to welcome Kimberly Sauer. Kim, the daughter of Jeremy & Sandy Sauer from Granville, is a junior this year. Kim has one other sister, Sam, who is a senior at RSM.

The Catholic Order of Foresters (COF) have been working on raising funds for and completing work for a street project at the St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery. COF member, Larry Galles, explained how the project came to be and what work has been done so far on the project, “About three years ago, it was realized something had to be done at our cemetery as far as expanding to the West. With permission from Fr. Bill and the cemetery board, the Catholic Order of Foresters took on the project of adding new streets. Something had to be done, and we didn’t think gravel roads were the answer, so we decided to pour concrete streets. The streets are 6” thick, 20 ft. wide, and 1020 ft. in length with re-rod. We have received many generous donations from members of St. Mary's Parish, local business, other organizations, fund raisers and COF matching funds. When we started work in August, we had $43,000 and planned to just pour that much concrete, but the plan changed, and we decided half a project was not a good idea, so we went all the way and completed it. We hired all local contractors who we feel did a great job, everything was bought in Remsen that was possible.”

Bavarian Meadows hosted a Chamber Coffee on Tues., September 10, 2019 from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m., celebrating National Assisted Living Week, which took place from Sept. 8-14, 2019. Community members enjoyed many tasty treats together.

Remsen St. Mary’s was the first school in Plymouth County to hold their homecoming festivities for 2019. On Friday, Sept. 13, the high school student body crowned Emma Galles their homecoming queen and Jesus Samuel Bazan Medina the 2019 homecoming king. The 2019 Remsen St. Mary’s Homecoming Court, which included the entire senior class, are pictured above at Coronation, which was held on Friday, Sept. 13, right after Homecoming Mass. Pictured above, Front row, from left: Michaela Nelson, Madison Feller, Samantha Sauer, King Jesus Samuel Bazan Medina, Queen Emma Galles, Ashley Willman, Mariah Britt, and Noah Schroeder. Back row, from left: Seth Nelson, Spencer Schorg, Skyler Waldschmitt, Brady Homan, Wesley Smart, Brayden Ricke, and Jake Anderson.

Children from Le Mars Community, MMCRU, Remsen St. Mary’s and Gehlen Catholic, gathered at four area farms to take part in the 2019 Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce Ag Tour. A total of 219 elementary students took part in the annual Chamber Ag Tour Thursday, Sept. 12, to four farms in Plymouth County. Third grade students from Le Mars Community, MMCRU and Remsen St. Mary’s and fourth graders from Gehlen Catholic received an up close look at how and where food comes from and how crops are used in the process. Students, teachers and chaperones made stops at Plymouth Dairy for milk and milk products; the Mark and Lori Loutsch farm for sheep; the Dan and Lori Sheehan farm for swine; and the the Tony and Shirley Schroeder farm for beef.

MMCRU kicked off this year’s homecoming festivities on Monday night, Sept. 16, with Coronation. The student body crowned Cade Owens and Faith Olson their 2019 homecoming king and queen. The 2019 MMCRU Homecoming Court. Front row First Grade Crown Bearers, from left: Kenten Galles, son of Matt and Stacey Galles; and Elise Specht, daughter of Jeremy and Ashley Specht. Back row Court, from left: Zac Schmid, son of Jason and Theresa Schmid; Josh Maass, son of Terry and Amy Maass; Byron Carrillo, son of Byron and Claudia Carrillo; Isaac Goeken, son of Scott and Jennifer Goeken; King Cade Owens, son of Doug and Val Owens; Queen Faith Olson, daughter of Mike and Darcie Olson; Kaitlyn Goth, daughter of Jeff and Ann Goth; Christa Lux, daughter of Kevin and Carrie Lux; Shana Ames, daughter of Todd and Kristi Ames; and Taylor Schlenger, daughter of Joe and Danielle Schlenger.

Steve and Judy Bunkers of Remsen have been farming since they were married in 1976.

They were recently honored with an Iowa Farm Environmental Leader Award at the Iowa State Fair.

The couple, who run Bunker Hill, Inc., a family corporation, were nominated by Kristi Silverthorn, Deep Creek watershed coordinator, on behalf of the Plymouth Soil and Water Conservation District.

The Bunkers run an 800-acre corn and soybean operation and own 400 of those acres. Likewise, they have 5,000 head of finishing hogs. The farm has received Century Farm recognition and has been in operation for 126 years.

The ballot is set for the Nov. 5 general election for city and school elections. Filing deadline was 5 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 19. Six of the 11 towns in Plymouth County have contested races for at least one position. Remsen: The candidate list at Remsen is a short one. Incumbent mayor Joel Fisch is the lone mayor candidate, running for a four-year term. There are two candidates for two seats on the city council. They are Kendra Rensink and Mindy Klein, who are seeking a four-year term. Oyens: There is one candidate for mayor and two for city council. Donna Poulsen is seeking a two-year term as mayor. Seeking four-year terms on the city council are Jackie Benstead and Kyle Thoms. A total of 18 seats on five county school districts’ boards of education are up for election. All terms are for four years, except for two, two-year terms at Remsen-Union to fill vacancies. Remsen-Union: Two candidates are seeking the two at-large positions at Remsen-Union. They are Sara Krier and Travis Tentinger. Seeking to fill two seats with a two-year vacancy are Jason Loutsch and Talon Penning.


A boy, Parker James Wolf, born June 8, 2019, to Shaun and Ashley Wolf of Remsen.


Cyril John Haupert, age 90, of Alton, died Sunday, September 1, 2019 at Orange City Health System in Orange City.

Harlan F. Klingbeil, age 84, of Le Mars, passed away Wednesday, August 28, 2019 at Holy Spirit Retirement Home in Sioux City.

Carol Jean Weber, age 80, of Remsen, passed away Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019 at Happy Siesta Health Care Center in Remsen.

Bette Jean Zimmerman, age 78, of Remsen, grew her angel wings on August 31, 2019. She passed peacefully in her home, surrounded by the love of her family.

Ethel Mary Homan, age 89, of Remsen, passed away Monday, Sept. 16, 2019 surrounded by her children at her home in Remsen.


Steve and Shelley Ruden of Remsen announce the engagement and approaching marriage of their daughter, Kelsey Ruden of Remsen, to Dereck Hayes of Marcus, son of Sheryle Hard of Sioux City.

The couple will be married on Saturday, September 28, 2019, at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Remsen.


When Larry and JoEllen Mullally purchased The Golden Pheasant in Remsen 21 years ago, it fulfilled Larry’s dream of owning a steakhouse. Now they have decided it’s time to retire, and have sold the well-known steakhouse to an employee, Tom Ahlers. Larry has been in the food service business for near 60 years, starting with his father, Mike Mullally in Lally’s Eastside Restaurant, in Le Mars. That’s where Larry and JoEllen met, and the rest, you may say, is history. Tom, who grew up in Remsen, has worked for the Mullallys for seven years, and recently turned 21. The official date of new ownership was Sept. 1. “He had to wait until he could get his liquor license,” Larry said. “I’m probably the youngest person in Iowa to have a liquor license,” Tom added. He is a 2017 graduate of St. Mary’s High School and also studied law enforcement. It was on Sept. 14 when more than 200 people gathered at a retirement party for the couple to wish them well. Following that event, one employee posted on the Golden Pheasant Facebook page: “You are the true models of caring bosses and treated all your employees and customers with a loving and caring heart, many laughs ... stressful nights ... few arguments but it sure all worked! Thank you both so much for just being you. The one thing that so many people have said to me ... Jo and Larry treated everyone with love and respect.”

Danny Steiber, also known as “The Barn Quilt Guy”, shared his presentation about the Barn Quilts of Iowa and the "Underground Railroad Movement" to the community at the Remsen Public Library on Thursday, September 5, 2019, at 7:00 p.m. He explained the history of the Underground Railroad Movement and the development of Barn Quilts, 15 of which carried a special message to slaves traveling through Iowa in the 1800's on their quest to freedom.

MMCRU High School has two new foreign exchange students at the high school. One of them, Ruben Bryssinck, comes all the way from Hamburg, Germany. Hamburg is in northern Germany and that’s where he spends his time with his family and friends. MMCRU High School has another new foreign exchange student joining the student body. His name is Lucas Egginger, and he is all the way from Munich, Germany. Munich is in southeastern Germany and that’s where he spends his time with his family, friends, and many others.

Rose Majeres was recently honored by the Iowa Bankers Association for more than 50 years of service at First Trust & Savings Bank/American Bank in Remsen. The award was presented to Rose with her family present during the IBA Annual Convention on September 24th in Des Moines. Rose was one of 12 individuals recognized for reaching the 50-year service milestone. “Rose has been a mainstay in the community for as long as I can remember. I remember receiving tootsie rolls from Rose as a child and now I get the pleasure of working beside her everyday,” said Market President Jeremy Bunkers. Rose is quick to greet our customers and asks about how their families are doing. American Bank is proud of Rose’s loyalty and commitment to serve our community.

Fifth grade students at MMCRU learned about programming robots. They used Hummingbird Robotics Kit to program lights, sensors, and motors. Students used the SNAP code program to run their robots.

After a walk back from lunch revealed a leaf suspended by a spider web, Mrs. Heeren’s Kindergarten class at St. Mary's Elementary became interested in spider webs, and a new STREAM unit was in the works. One day after learning the four main types of webs (orb; funnel; tangled or cob; and flat or sheet), the students took magnifying glasses outside to see how many and what types of webs they could find. (They were really surprised at all the webs on the playground!)

On Friday, October 10, Remsen St. Mary’s inducted new members into the Honor Society at the school Mass. The members who were inducted represent the five pillars which are scholarship, spiritual, character, leadership, and service. The members who were inducted this year were: Tori Galles, Blaine Harpenau, Jeremy Koenck, Carly Ortmann, Brittany Johnson, Sydney Schroeder, Lexie Delperdang, Sam Sauer, and Sam Medina. Last year’s members lit a candle to represent the five pillars and explained the importance of each of the pillars to all in attendance. Those members were Emma Galles, Noah Schroeder, Spencer Schorg, Skyler Waldschmitt, Madison Feller, and Ashley Willman.

American Bank is pleased to announce that Tristen Jungers has joined the American Bank family in August, 2019. Tristen grew up on a farm near Sanborn, Iowa. She moved to Remsen in September, 2015 and has been married to her husband, Ben, for four years this coming April. Tristen has worked as an Interior Designer for the past five years and in her spare time enjoys redoing furniture, doing design projects around the house and going on walks with their Golden Retriever, Oliver. She is looking forward to her new adventure with American Bank.

The Community Foundation of Greater Plymouth County presented 23 groups from across the county with grants totaling $120,000 during an Oct. 10 event in Le Mars. Executive Board Member Kelly Nashleanas announced each grant award, with board member Rick Bohle presenting the checks. This year, one $10,000 award was given. St. Mary’s Schools in Remsen received the grant to fund it’s Health and Wellness Program. Others receiving awards from Remsen were: Community Ministry in Remsen, $4,500, for RU Middle School backpack program, which serves 75-100 students, pre-school through eighth grade, each week. MMCRU Archery team, $1,337, to purchase/repair archery equipment. City of Remsen, $7,072, to go toward replacing outfield fencing at the Marv Thelen Memorial Field.

Voters in the Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn School District will be asked to give their approval for a bond issue for additions for educational needs and community needs at the school. The issue is on the Nov. 5 ballot. Barkel explained there are three questions on the ballot: “The first question asks the MMC voters whether they will give the district approval to contract indebtedness and issue general obligation bonds of $14.255 million to fund a new PK-4 building, remodel the high school, and make parking and safety improvements to the site,” he said. “The second question asks permission from the MMC voters to issue general obligation bonds of $5.645 million to also build a daycare attached to the new proposed PK-4 building, and also build a new competition gym. “The third question asks permission of the MMC voters authorization to increase the tax levy rate to fund projects outlined in the first and second questions,” Barkel said.

Remsen Heritage Museum Vice President Brian Nitzschke sent in some pictures of progress at the Remsen Heritage Museum. They now have the bench work done for a model railroad layout. Nitzschke stated, “I hope and plan to have a train running on it by Old Fashioned Christmas, as long as I don’t run into any problems. The bench work is in our north front window so when one drives by or walks by they can see the train or see work being done on it. The scale or size of trains is HO scale and layout will be built to highlight the Remsen, Marcus, and Cherokee area as it had been in the 70’s.” The Remsen Heritage Museum will be open this Saturday from 9:30-11:30 a.m. during Oktoberfest.

During the Children's Bavarian Costume & Dance Contest, the 2019 Prince and Princess were crowned. This year's winners were Quinnten Mohning, seven-year-old son of Joe and Kristine Mohning and Lily Matgen, eight-year-old daughter of Michael and Kristen Matgen.

The Remsen Chamber sponsored their Second Annual Oktoberfest Spirit Contest. Chamber businesses submitted a photo and the Chamber posted the photos on their Facebook page. Then voting for the picture with the most Oktoberfest Spirit was open to the public from October 18 through 2 p.m. on October 21. The photo with the most "Likes" was the winner. The winner was announced on October 22 on the Chamber Facebook page. Six businesses participated: Happy Siesta, Beer City, Mid Sioux, WesTel Systems, American Bank, and Bavarian Meadows. Happy Siesta received first place; Beer City was second place; and Mid Sioux was third place. Happy Siesta will receive a Pizza Party for the whole business served by the Remsen Chamber Board members.

A later spring planting and rain have pushed the 2019 harvest season back a bit, with farmers anxious to get their crops in. “Well, we started late in a lot of fields, and we ended late, too. Soybean and corn harvest progress keeps running about two weeks behind normal — as did crop progress all season,” said Joel DeJong, ISU Extension crops field agronomist. He explained there were not many “stress days” due to heat this summer, which usually favors corn yields. “I think that soybeans could have used a little warmer August, with more sunshine for both crops. We are fortunate we had an average killing frost date, not an early one,” he said. “Early to mid-week last week had almost everyone in the field harvesting soybeans.” “Soybean harvest progressed very fast. Some neighborhoods have very little left — the county has a high percentage of soybeans harvested as of today (Oct. 24),” DeJong said.

Corn harvest, on the other hand, is barely begun. “I think the last crop report said about 15 percent harvested, which I believe. They seem to be just getting started on that,” DeJong said. As far as yields, DeJong said he has heard a large range for soybeans yields. “Most range from lower 50’s to about 65 bushels, with several reporting about 5 to 7 bushels less than a year ago. Of course, that is from discussions, and only limited data that I have seen. White mold, wet spots and late planting caused yield reductions,” he said. He also indicated on corn, early yield reports are pretty good, many reported fields over 200 bushels per acre. At the Remsen Farmers Cooperative, Manager Mike Thompson estimated farmers in the area are 85 to 90 percent done with beans. “Moisture wise, it’s been a challenge, a few of them are wetter than usual. Most have had to sit and wait and finally go. It’s definitely been a battle royal for them all,” Thompson. “It’s a late harvest the way it is. Hopefully the weather will level off and we will get an Indian summer. That would help,” he continued. “We’ve received some corn, but not a lot. We will definitely be drying corn,” he said. He added, harvest is going to be a long drawn out affair. Another aspect of harvest is seeding cover crops for soil conservation, something more farmers are doing.

Remsen Lions members Jeremy Bunkers, Jeremy Homan, Joe Harpenau, Chris Nielsen, Scott Jones, and Dusty Pick helped test students’ vision on October 16 and 17 for Preschool, TK, and Kindergarten students at MMCRU - Remsen & Marcus Elementaries and Remsen St. Mary’s. Roughly 122 students had their vision tested. Screenings are in conjunction with Iowa KidSight, in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital.

Children enjoyed the Halloween Book Walk at the Remsen Public Library on Wednesday, October 23, 2019 at 1:30 p.m. Children listened to the story "There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat!" while taking a walk around the block. Along the way, they received fun prizes and candy treats. The children came inside for a cookie treat before working hard on their craft project, which was a bat necklace.

Twenty contestants competed in the 2019 Children's Bavarian Costume & Dance Contest. After the contest, the children took a group picture together. Pictured from left: London Loutsch, Jayda Decker, Juliann Mohning, Braya Homan, Quinn Homan, Jenna Homan, Jaxon Schuttpelz, Madisyn Utesch, Jerzie Galles, Princess Lily Matgen, Prince Quinnten Mohning, Maelin Galles, Taytem Pearson, Savanah Sheehan, Lillian Klein, Zander Donovan, Breya Decker, Hazel Matgen, Adelyn Schuttpelz, and Veda Krienert.


Stan and Janice Scheitler celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary on October 4, 2019.

Stan Scheitler and Janice Krier were married on October 4, 1969, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Remsen. To celebrate, there will be a rock n’ roll band and dance in their honor at the Avalon Ballroom in Remsen on Friday, November 29, at 7 p.m. The couple requests no gifts, but encourages family and friends to attend and enjoy an evening of music and fun.


A girl, Berkley Ann Frericks, born July 16, 2019, to Mitch and Josie Frericks of Remsen.

A girl, Alivia Joan Andreesen, born born September 7, 2019, to David and Amy Andreesen of Ankeny.


Milton V. Delperdang, 96, of Marcus, passed away on Sunday, September 15, 2019 at the Heartland Care Center in Marcus.

Dennis J. Bachmann, 72 years old, of Montpelier, Va., passed away Wednesday, October 2, 2019, in Mechanicsville, Va.

Vincent Henry Masuen, age 93, of Le Mars, passed away on October 19, 2019 at Happy Siesta Care Center in Remsen.