Clayton County Register

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Fri
23
Aug

Clair Tschirgi

Clair Francis Tschirgi, 76, of rural Elkader, passed away Tuesday, August 13, 2019, at Mercy One Elkader Medical Center. Clair attended school at St. Joseph’s through 8th grade, then transferred to and graduated from Central High School with the Class of 1962.
He was a farmer and mechanic – farming the family farm south of Elkader. He had the title of the “Neighborhood Mechanic.” If he did not have time to fix a vehicle for you, he would tell you how to do it. He loved tractors and attending the annual Plagman Barn event. Clair loved all Fords and Ford Tractors; he especially enjoyed his Ford pickup.

Clair was an avid animal lover who enjoyed feeding the birds and turkeys. He dearly loved his farm cats. His greatest joy was the time spent with family and friends chatting at the kitchen table over cookies and a Pepsi.
Clair was a lifelong member of St. Joseph Catholic Church and a Board Member of the George Maier Rural Heritage Center and Museum.

Fri
23
Aug

Nyal Clinton

Nyal Clinton, 75, of Strawberry Point, passed away peacefully Sunday, August 11, 2019, at Mercy Hospital in Des Moines. Nyal Richard, son of Vernon and Ruth (Baars) Clinton, was born on May 23, 1944, in Littleport, Iowa. He was baptized and confirmed at Hope Lutheran Church in Littleport.

Nyal attended school in Littleport and graduated from Central in Elkader in 1962. He then joined the United States Navy in June 1962. He served two tours of duty in Viet Nam and also served on the USS Kitty Hawk. Nyal earned several awards while serving his country – which he was proud to serve. He was presented a quilt at a Quilt of Valor Ceremony in August of 2017. Nyal was honorably discharged from active duty June 5, 1968.

Tue
13
Aug

Art in the Park Area artists collaborate on unique work

Retired art teacher Ken Balk created this tree using cattle markers, rope and other medium. Eighteen members of Clayton County Artists contributed the smaller canvases. The piece will be auctioned off as part of the Art in the Park festivities this weekend in Elkader.
Retired art teacher Ken Balk created this tree using cattle markers, rope and other medium. Eighteen members of Clayton County Artists contributed the smaller canvases. The piece will be auctioned off as part of the Art in the Park festivities this weekend in Elkader.

By Pam Reinig
Register Editor

A product often found in barns was integral a painting that will be auctioned off this weekend during Art in the Park.

Retired art teacher Ken Balk of West Union formed the painting’s central element—a large, dramatic, 3-dimensional tree—using cattle markers. These oversized paint sticks were originally made to mark animals for identification purposes. Artists have been using the medium for years, citing the inexpensive cost, array of colors, consistency and fast drying times as their reasons for turning to this unusual product. One artist likened it to painting with a large tube of lipstick.
Cattle markers are also the reason Balk became involved with Clayton County Artists, who are sponsoring the work.

Tue
13
Aug

Mary Bries

Mary Bries
December 14, 1946-August 4, 2019

Mary J. Bries, 72, of Elkader, died peacefully on Sunday, August 4, 2019. As was her wish, she passed away in her own home surrounded by her children.

 
A funeral mass was held at 10 a.m., Saturday, August 10, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Garnavillo. Mary’s children received visitors from 4 to 7 p.m. on Friday, August 9, at the St. Joseph’s Church Hall in Garnavillo.

Mary Jean Berns was born in Guttenberg December 14, 1946, to Peter and Marie Langel Berns. She was joined in marriage to Charles Bries on February 17, 1968 (25 years and one day after her parents were wed) at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Garnavillo. Over the course of their 51 years of marriage, Mary and Charlie raised four children who blessed them with 12 grandchildren.

Tue
06
Aug

Reworked program Planting seeds of conservation in NE Iowa

A new cooperative program will look at a number of conservation topics, including tallgrass prairies. The program combines on-line sessions with field experiences.
A new cooperative program will look at a number of conservation topics, including tallgrass prairies. The program combines on-line sessions with field experiences.

By Pam Reinig
Register Editor

A 20-year-old program for people who want to be more connected to the land has been redesigned to leverage state and local specialists on topics ranging from tallgrass prairies to aquatic ecosystems.

The Iowa Master Conservationist program for Northeast Iowa begins Thursday, August 22, and continues through October 3. It combines online lessons led by Iowa State University researchers with with local conservation leaders and citizens.

“There will be a number of a-ha moments,” promises Jenna Pollock, Clayton County Conservation Director. “And everyone involved will learn from the program. Those with an interest in nature, water quality, soil health, forestry and eco-systems will gain skills that can be applied to their own property, workplace and volunteer opportunities. The knowledge shared by a diverse group of specialists will help participants make educated decisions in their everyday life.”

Tue
06
Aug

Sonya Stagman

Sonya Stagman
July 23, 1961-July 26, 2019

Sonya Fay Stagman, 58, of Farmersburg, Iowa died Friday, July 26, 2019, at Northgate Care Center in Waukon, Iowa. Sonya Fay was born July 23, 1961, to Clark and Sandra (Cota) Roeder in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She graduated from Central High School.

Sonya was united in marriage with Rodney Stagman on June 29, 1991, at St. John Lutheran Church in Farmersburg, Iowa. Throughout the years she worked for Monona Wire for 20 years, part-time with Service Guard, packaged cheese for Swiss Valley in St. Olaf and worked at Fluorescent Light in Monona, Iowa. Sonya was also the director of the Farmers Market in Monona and sold Avon. She enjoyed helping at the church, quilting, knitting, fishing and baking.

Sonya is survived by her husband, Rodney Stagman of Farmersburg, Iowa; two best friends, Lady and Daisy; and several cousins. She was preceded in death by her parents, Clark and Sandra Roeder; and her grandparents.

Tue
06
Aug

Lee Roy Coanner

November 9, 1958-June 27, 2019

Lee Roy Coanner, 60, of Omaha, NE, formerly of Elkader, passed away of a sudden illness on June 27, 2019.

Lee Roy was born in Clarksdale, MS, November 9, 1958, to Willie and Rosie (Swopshire) Coanner.

Survivors include his daughters: Cadeisha Jones and her children, Ny-Dier, Royality and Willie; Suenora Conner and her daughter, Khloe, both of Milwaukee, WI; and Raelynn Jean Coanner and her mother, Cathy Knudtson, Elkader, IA; a brother, Macon Coanner, Las Vegas; sisters Orlena Jackson, Las Vegas, and Rosie Lee Coanner, Omaha, NE; and several nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Lee Roy was preceded in death by his parents; brothers Frank Lee Coanner and Lourenzie Coanner; and grandson, Malachi Lee.

Mon
05
Aug

New scoreboards may offer career opportunities for Prairie du Chien students


Employees of R&K Services of Eau Claire look over one of four new scoreboards for the fieldhouse at Prairie du Chien High School Friday afternoon.

 

By Ted Pennekamp

 

Four new scoreboards were installed in the fieldhouse at Prairie du Chien High School on Aug. 2. The scoreboards included two that are 6 feet by 8 feet, one 4 feet by 8 feet and one big one at 13x7.

Tue
30
Jul

Business Spotlight Son, grandson continue Bob Grau’s legacy

Chris Grau, left, and his son, Pat, are the second and third generation foresters of a sawmill established by Chris’ father, Bob, in 1948. The Graus help landowners make solid decisions about harvesting their woodlands.
Chris Grau, left, and his son, Pat, are the second and third generation foresters of a sawmill established by Chris’ father, Bob, in 1948. The Graus help landowners make solid decisions about harvesting their woodlands.

By Pam Reinig
Register Editor

It started as most new business ventures do—with a dream.

Robert Grau dreamed of working directly with landowners to show them how to make money from their trees while also preserving their woodlands for generations to come. He decided that the only way to realize his dream was to start his own sawmill.

Bob grew up in western Iowa, served as a pilot in the U.S. Air Force, and earned a degree in forestry at Iowa State College (now Iowa State University). He worked as a forester with the Extension Service for a short time before his love for the heavily wooded bluffs of Northeast Iowa drew him to Clayton County.  With his GI insurance and a loan from the local bank he purchased a used sawmill and a couple of used trucks. In August of 1948 he bought four acres of land on the east edge of Elkader and started Grau Logs and Lumber.

Wed
24
Jul

Business Spotlight Good times brewing at new taproom

Deb Winter, owner of Deb’s Brewtopia, has recently opened a taproom to serve the beer she’s been brewing in the historic Clayton County Register building since 2011. The taproom is open Thursdays through Sundays.
Deb Winter, owner of Deb’s Brewtopia, has recently opened a taproom to serve the beer she’s been brewing in the historic Clayton County Register building since 2011. The taproom is open Thursdays through Sundays.

By Pam Reinig
Register Editor

Award-winning brewster Deb Winter has found herself in the last place she ever wanted to be—and she couldn’t be happier about it.

A few years ago, when Deb first began brewing beer in the old Clayton County Register building, several people suggested she serve her product there, as well. She dismissed the idea because she doesn’t like the raucous crowds that often gather in drinking establishments. She wanted to brew beer, not run a bar.

“People reassured me, ‘It won’t be like that,’ they said. ‘It’ll just be a nice place for people to gather and relax.’ I guess I was finally convinced,” Deb recalled. “I took a short break from brewing, made some changes in here and opened the taproom in mid-May.”

Comfortable but unpretentious, the taproom has quickly become a favorite gathering spot, exceeding Deb’s greatest expectations.

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