What Do the Papers Tell Us?

Because it is so difficult to find people who can or will discuss the Andreessen event, I have turned to reviewing local newspapers, particularly The Stout Weekly News section of The Grundy Register. Many hours of scanning and reading the incredibly small type (I had to finally invest in a magnifying glass) reveals an ordinary family and a hard-working, well-respected man. His several interactions with town matters show a man committed to being a part of his community and not a man prone to disturbing actions.

One such entry from July 23, 1931 states the following:

Nanno Andreessen has received authority from the railroad company to install an electric pumping device for water to the Stout stockyards. The old equipment has never given satisfaction when required. The well is now practically empty and it will be up to the railroad company to secure water from some source for this purpose. If the railroad company had rented the pump that is now installed in the yards at the beginning of the year, they would have been able to conserve much water as the mindmill [sic] pumps night and day and a great deal of water has been wasted.

Other pieces show that he was involved in civic matters, such as an entry on July 3, 1924 noting Articles of Incorporation of the Farmers Trust and savings Bank of Stout, Iowa. His name is included as one of the provisional directors.

Additionally, as The Stout Weekly News was filled with many of the daily comings and goings of its citizens, I found numerous mentions of Nanno himself, or Nanno and family, as having been Sunday afternoon visitors at one neighbor’s home or another. He was also very busy with his shipping business as other notes comment on yet another carload of hogs or cattle driven to Cedar Rapids or Chicago.

Apparently, he was well-liked and his family was respected.  His family, and that of his wife’s, were integral parts of Beaver Township and had well-established roots there. Clearly, much of what is laid out about his life, at least in The Stout Weekly News, provides no hint of what was to come that February day in 1932, which leaves more questions than answers, I’m afraid.

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