HORDVILLE NEBRASKA CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION
SEPTEMBER 2ND & 3RD 2006
In the fall of 2005 the Hordville Centennial Committee was formed to begin plans for the Hordville Centennial celebration in 2006. Members of the committee were:
Rod & Cindy Blase Bill & Tina Anderson
Scott & Laura Simonsen Rick & Cris Larson
Rich & Karla Person Pat & Wally Veburg
Maynard & Peg Holtorf Bill & Shelli Garrett
Carla Fowler Cleo Skinner
First order of business was to set a celebration date. It was decided to have the celebration close to the date the Hordville lots were sold on September 12th, 1906. Labor Day weekend of September 2nd, and 3rd was chosen for the two day event.
Next, a schedule of events was discussed. Everyone agreed that the celebration must be kicked off with a parade up and down the boulevard. Many other ideas were discussed including, car/tractor show, lawn mower races, kids carnival, quilt show, civil war re-enactment, old time band at the band stand, bingo, community barbeque, street dance, Sunday church service and community dinner, music festival, ice cream social, vintage baseball.
The committee also discussed selling T-shirts and commemorative items. Maynard Holtorf said the Hordville Lions Club was going to sell belt buckles. They were to sponsor a design contest at the High Plains Community School. The committee also expressed interest in some commemorative Hordville Bulldog items.
Bill Anderson confirmed that the First State Bank would sponsor a community barbeque on Saturday evening.
Bill and Shelli Garrett said that their son Jeremy, knows a band in Omaha that might want to come out to play for the street dance. The name of the band was Taxi Driver and they perform many different types of songs from 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, and modern country. Shelli said they would check with Jeremy to see if they are available and how much they would charge. Bill and Shelli also said they had been to a lawn mower race and said it was a lot of fun. They knew someone who had information and would check it out.
Rod Blase said that he would check into a small carnival that the company he works for uses at their large company picnic for children rides and games. He also said he knew someone who was into civil war re-enacting and would call for information on the vintage baseball game.
Tina Anderson brought up an idea to sell a historical cookbook with recipes submitted from residents past and present, along with pictures and a history of the village. She would research this.
A Sunday joint church service was discussed with local churches and pastors leading the service. Others suggested Pastor John Wilzewske as the guest pastor as he had spent years living in Hordville. A community dinner was suggested following the church service. Historical tours of buildings, a community auction, and a music festival were also discussed for Sunday’s events.
As the months went by progress was evident. On the commemorative items side, Tina Anderson received over 700 recipes for the cookbook. She also compiled a history, added photos and interesting facts about Hordville, and sold ads in the book. We had 300 pre-order sales. Our first order was for 600 which had sold out by the days of the celebration. She did order 200 additional after the celebration due to a huge response.
The Hordville Lions Club had a belt buckle design contest with a prize for the one chosen from the High Plains Schools. Whitney Flinn of Clarks drew the design that was chosen as the belt buckle winner. The Lions Club ordered 300 pewter and 25 gold ones. The pewter sold for $18.00 and the gold ones sold for $60.00 each. The Lions Club saved the #1 in the gold and the #1 & #100 to be auctioned off at the celebration.
The belt buckle logo was also used for the other commemorative items. After months of debate and discussion, it was finally agreed upon to add a motto given by Bill Anderson stating “Hordville – Always Home”. Dart Custom Printing of Henderson was given the contract for all the commemorative items. T-shirts and polo shirts were sold in 3 colors each. Also 3 different types of stoneware were sold. A 9” plate, a 10” bowl and a cookie jar with a short Hordville history on the back. We also sold Christmas ornaments and spoons. The cookie jars were a huge success. There were over 120 of those sold alone. The total receipts of the stoneware and ornaments alone totaled over $6,000.00. Another item of great interest was commemorative Hordville Bulldog glass tumblers. Over 300 glasses were sold in sets of 4 or individually. The glassware was ordered from 4imprint.com.
An oak handmade pendulum clock with a gold embossed glass front Hordville Centennial logo was purchased from Dart for a raffle fundraiser. Tickets were sold for $1.00 each or 6 for $5.00. Other items purchased were red silicone memory wrist bands with HORDVILLE CENTENNIAL 1906-2006 embossed on them. A total of 500 were purchased through Reminderband.com. These were to be handed out at the Polk centennial parade by the Hordville float and at the Hordville parade by the Girl Scout group. Cleo Skinner and Merlyn Fowler of Hordville also purchased 1000 wooden nickels with a railroad locomotive on one side and a tribute to the Hordville Centennial days on the back. These were handed out at both the Polk centennial parade and the Hordville Celebration.
Large color posters for the event were procured from Copy Cat printing of Grand Island. Three large banners were donated from Coca-Cola bottling of Grand Island.
The big days finally arrived! Of course it rained very early in the morning and the outlook didn’t look too good for the entire weekend. The morning was a busy time as the parade entries began lining up early. The town hall was opened up for early viewing of the historical displays of Hordville. The vendors arrived, along with the carnival rides and games, and of course the people. An estimated 800 people lined both sides of Hordville’s main street! What a wonderful sight it was and to walk along the street was like going back in time. We all got to see old friends and acquaintances, but also met some people we have never met in our life that had spent their lives growing up in Hordville long ago.
The Hordville Lions Club, led by Harold Ortegren, staged the parade entries. Bob Saeger judged the parade entries and then joined the crew at the Hordville Band Stand. Jeremy Garrett loaned the village his sound system for the parade and played some music while everyone sat nervously awaiting that noon whistle. Rod Blase and Bill Anderson were chosen to announce the parade entries as they marched past the Band Stand. Long time banker, resident, and community leader, Dick Anderson was chosen as the Grand Marshall of the parade. The parade stopped for a special presentation to Dick and his wife Gladys for Dick’s many years of service to the community, town council, and as mayor of the village. The Andersons son, Bill made the presentation. After the presentation the parade continued. There were 124 entries in the parade which lasted over an hour. A letter from President George W. Bush was read with congratulations for our centennial.
After the parade many events were held simultaneously. Starting on the North end of town, Lawn Mower races were held on an oval made of straw bales in the middle of the Hordville football field. Three classes were held with stock, modified, and outlaw divisions. There were some lawn mowers capable of speeds of up to 50 M.P.H. on the open road. Many people attended the races sanctioned by the Lawn Mower Racing Association. Bill Garrett was in charge of this event.
At the Hordville town park, things were very exciting for the young ones visiting for the celebration. Fundways of Omaha brought out carnival rides and games. Tickets for the games and rides were given out by the Girl Scouts during the parade and were available for purchase at the carnival. The Girl Scouts also helped out with the games. For 3 hours the park was pure chaos as children had fun winning prizes and riding rides. Rod and Cindy Blase were in charge of the carnival.
The Hordville Event Center (formerly the Hordville Gym) was home to many events on Saturday the 2nd. Cleo Skinner hosted a quilt show in the old music room of the school. Many locals had their quilts on display along with many items on display for a community auction to be held on Sunday.
An opera curtain that was used early in Hordville School history was found miraculously under the old stage in the old part of the Hordville school building. Karla Person was the person who made the discovery. With help from Dale and Pat Carlson of Central City, they hung the curtain up for display in the Event Center on the stage. Many people got to see this curtain purchased sometime around 1928.
At 5:00 the First State Bank sponsored a free community barbeque for anyone at the Event Center. Woody’s Barbeque of Hordville catered the event. The employees of the First State Bank served the very large crowd. Bill and Tina Anderson and Scott and Laura Simonsen were organizers of this event.
The First State Bank also had an open house for everyone to see the newly remodeled First State Bank building. Many people came in for a visit and to talk about old times. The original First State Bank building across Main Street was also open for people to view and to reminisce of days gone by.
The original Hordville town hall was open for viewing at some of the history of Hordville. Rod Blase used the old windows removed from the building to display old pictures, news articles and other artifacts about the history of Hordville. The Hordville Opera curtain was also brought out of storage for the celebration. Many old Hordville businesses had their advertisements on the curtain.
Across the street from the hall, where Gil’s Market used to be, the Hordville Lions Club held an antique car and tractor show. The car show had a good amount of cars on display, but probably would have been better if the early rain had not come. The tractor show was very successful with many of shined up tractors brought out for the first time in years. Each participant received a dash plaque commemorating the event.
The Hordville Community hall was open for anyone to sit and visit at their convenience. Later in the afternoon, bingo was played sponsored by United Farmers Cooperative. Rich and Karla Person were in charge of the bingo games.
On the South end of Main Street a small company of Civil War soldiers were in attendance. Visitors were welcome to talk to the participants and also help pack the cannon. Throughout the day the ground was rumbled by the blast of the cannon. Doug Rung of Geneva portrayed General Ulysses S. Grant. Rod Blase was in charge of the Civil War organization.
Taxi Driver of Omaha was hired as the evening entertainment for the street dance held on Main Street. The band played from 8 p.m. – 1 a.m. with an estimated crowd of over 500 in attendance. Bill and Shelli Garrett steered the Hordville Centennial Committee in the direction of Taxi Driver.
All in all the first day was a huge success. No injuries were reported and many people old and new got to spend the entire day reminiscing and reliving Hordville’s past.
The 2nd and final day of the celebration began at the Hordville Event Center with a community church service. The service began at 10:30. Sister Marie Arie of Fridhem Lutheran Church of Hordville organized and led the service. Other churches and officials were Pastor Ralph Supernaw of the First Baptist Church of Hordville and the Mamre Evangelical Church of rural Hordville and Marquette. Pastor John Wilzewske of Beresford South Dakota, delivered the sermon. Pastor John and his wife Mary were citizens of Hordville in the 80’s. Pastor John spoke of the celebration events and what an accomplishment 100 years can be.
After the service all were invited for dinner catered by A & K Catering of Hordville owned by Anita Wochner and Kerri Sundberg. There was a free will donation for the meal, with Hamilton Telecommunications donating $750.00 toward the meal. A crowd of 550 attended.
Once the dinner was completed, the Immanuel Lutheran Church hosted fellowship outside the event center and also gave away home made ice cream. There were also kids’ games hosted by DeMers Service and Bob Blase Repair outside the building. Inside the building the next event was the auction of donated items. Richard Carnes was the auctioneer for the event. There were several items up for auction including a quilt donated by the Nimble Thimble quilt club commemorating the “underground railroad” to free slaves. Dale and Pat Carlson of Central City purchase this quilt as well as the one donated for the Polk Centennial one week earlier. A total of $4000.00 was raised for the event center. The Hordville Centennial commemorative clock raffle was won by Dave and Betty Blase of Lincoln NE. It was later donated by them back to the Village and sits in the First State Bank.
After the auction, there was a music program organized by Karla Person. Several performers showed off their talents.
The final event of the day and the weekend was a vintage baseball game held at the baseball field. Dale and Sonja Beye of Grand Island supplied uniforms, bats, a ball, and rules for the game. The teams were supposed to be the City Slickers vs. the Country Boys, but the participants were mixed. Each player had a nickname, with some being quite amusing. In a real slugfest the game ended in a 27-27 tie. After the game, participants signed the game ball and had pictures taken for the event.
The Hordville Centennial celebration was a huge success. For months and maybe years later, people will re-live the two day event. Not only does the Hordville Centennial committee deserve thanks but also to the countless number of people who helped with many other details of the event. While we enjoyed our look at our past we also look to the future of our little town Hordville. Hordville “Always Home”!
Hordville Centennial Chairman