Saturday, December 3, 2011

Cambridge Veterans from WW II Can Be Found in Story County Index from Ames Historical Society

The Ames Historical Society had their World War II Veterans Index online in time for Veterans Day.  This contains nearly 5300 service personnel from all branches, both from Ames and throughout Story County, Iowa.  There are thousands of scanned articles, photos, and other materials available online.

Preparing this information for online availability was aided with a grant from the State Historical Society of Iowa.  Learn more about the creation of this material during WW II and its history in this Ames Tribune article.  The Ames Historical Society.also describes how it came to be available online.

While you cannot search for Cambridge specifically (as far as I can tell), the index does contain many Cambridge veterans.  Those that I noticed so far are:
Note that the Ames Historical Society welcomes additions to the project.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

More on the Old Cambridge Theatre

While looking at our microfilms of the Cambridge Leader, I saw  some more items about the Cambridge Theatre.  I probably would not have noticed them if not for our recent posting about the Cambridge Theatre in the Hollywood in the Heartland database.  They do have some information which was not included in the history of the Cambridge Theatre.  Looking at them reminded me to check our first book, Cambridge, Iowa The First 150 Years, as well.

In our book, pages 128-129 describe the Opera House and the Movie Theatres.  Some of that information came from these Cambridge Leader articles.

The front page of the September 29, 1921 Cambridge Leader announced that H. A. Hoskins and L. Collins have gone into the movie show business by renting the Cambridge Opera House.  The first show in the Star Theatre was to be "Charlie Chaplin in the Kid".

A little more than two months later, the front page of the December 1, 1921 Cambridge Leader had two items about the movie theatre.  The first announced a change of ownership (again), with Hoskins and Collins selling out to H. F. Spencer and son of Ames.  The second was an announcement that the first offering by them would be that Saturday with Harry Carey in If "Only Jim" followed by the shorter "Vamps and Scamps".

Monday, November 28, 2011

Florence Wheeler Can Be Reached at Sunny View Care Center

As you may have heard, Florence Wheeler fell and broke her hip this fall.  After later surgery, she is doing well and can now be reached at the Sunny View Care Center.  You can visit or reach her at Sunny View Care Center, 410 NW Ash Drive, Ankeny, IA 50023-1590.  She can be reached by phone at 515-964-1101, which is the main number for Sunny View.

Florence was the founder of the Cambridge Historical Association, which for many years was located in her residence.  We wish her a speedy recovery!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Old Cambridge Theatre is listed in Hollywood in the Heartland

Hollywood in the Heartland is a research project of Preservation Iowa and the Iowa State Historic Preservation Office that seeks to document Iowa's movie legacy.  Part of this has been identification of motion picture theaters and other buildings that have served as theaters.  Their online database of these buildings allows searching by name, city, county, and architect or builder.

Among the 16 buildings found by searching for Story (as a county), is the Cambridge Theatre shown above in its current incarnation as the Cambridge Library and the American Legion Post 233.  The Cambridge Theatre link describes its history and architecture.

The project is continuing to look for information about the theaters it has identified and any that it has missed.  You can help them by adding to their survey as described in Get Involved on this page.

Also, be sure to check out the section labeled Extras.  This includes Iowans in Hollywood and Hollywood in Iowa.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Cambridge Railroad Bridge Postcard on the Web

The Penny Postcards site, a USGenWeb Archives Web Site, includes a postcard of the Chicago Milwaukee & St Paul bridge near Cambridge as one of the postcards from Story County.  Thank you to Roxane Sesker for alerting us to this.  We have  the same picture in our book, Cambridge, Iowa The First 150 Years, on page 21.  It identifies the bridge as the first river crossing and then shows pictures of the double track "High Bridge" which replaced it.

Penny Postcards from Iowa, part of the site, has links to the postcards by county.  Then within the counties many are arranged by town.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Armistice Day in Cambridge - 1931

Armistice Day, now known as Veterans Day, was an all-day event in Cambridge 80 years ago according to the Cambridge Leader.  The morning school program was with the American Legion, the Auxiliary, and the Community Band.  After basketball games in the afternoon, a veterans dinner was followed by an evening program.

Among the guests was a Civil War veteran Andrew Nelson.

This article was on the front page of the Cambridge Leader, November 12, 1931.  It and articles from the November 12, 1929 and October 31, 1929 front pages can be seen here as well.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Iowa Genealogy Websites

Many of those interested in local history have a strong interest in their family history.  Family Tree Magazines 2010 Best State Websites includes these Iowa websites:


Iowa Genealogical Society
This active genealogy group has provided county-by-county research guides, an alphabetical index of pioneer ancestors, a list of available naturalization papers and more.

Iowa GenWeb Project
While all the state sites in the USGenWeb Project are useful, this Hawkeye State project goes way beyond the usual links to county pages. Check out the many special projects, including the family group sheet collection, gravestone photo project, transcribed history books and state censuses, Civil War and WWI compilations, newspaper clippings, and WPA graves registration survey.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Open House September 30, 2011 - 3 to 5 p.m.

As part of the Ballard High School Homecoming, the Cambridge Historical Association will be open on Friday, September 30, 2011, from 3 to 5 p.m.  Come tour the museum at 504 3rd Street in Cambridge, Iowa.  And following this attend the Dollars for Scholars Meal at the Ballard High School (5 to 7 p.m.) before cheering at the game with Clear Lake.  Details on the Homecoming schedule can be found in this PDF from the Ballard School District.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Jubilee Days Schedule - June 10 - 12, 2011

The 2011 Cambridge Jubilee Days begin Friday June 10 and continues through Sunday.  As part of this, the Cambridge Historical Association will be having an open house following the parade until 4 p.m.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Memorial Day Ceremony at Cambridge Cemetery 2011

The American Legion Post 233 has ceremonies honoring veterans on Memorial Day each year at several local cemeteries.  This slideshow has pictures from this years ceremony at the Cambridge Cemetery. Thank you to the city, the American Legion Post, and the American Legion Auxiliary for preparing the cemetery and this ceremony.

The Cambridge Historical Association prepared an updated list of veterans in the Cambridge Cemetery for the ceremony.  You can  see/download a copy of this as a PDF here.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Reminder: Open House June 4, 2011 - 3 to 5 p.m.

Before the Cambridge Alumni Association Banquet this Saturday, June 4, visit the Cambridge Historical Association open house from 3 to 5 p.m.  The public is invited as well to see our Cambridge displays and use our materials for research.

The following Saturday, June 11, 2011, we will again be open following the Jubilee Days parade.  Stop in and see us then as well!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Memorial Day Services Honoring Veterans at Cambridge Cemetery - May 30, 2011

The American Legion will have their ceremony honoring Veterans at the Cambridge Cemetery at 11 a.m. on Monday, May 30, 2011.  The American Legion Auxiliary has placed American flags at the grave markers of the veterans.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Cambridge Alumni Association Banquet - June 4, 2011

The annual Cambridge Alumni Association Banquet will be June 4, 2011.  If you did not receive a form, you can click on the pictures to the left for details. (Click on the picture a second time for a larger version.)  A PDF of the form for printing is available here.

The Cambridge Historical Association will have an open house before the banquet from 3 to 5 p.m.   Come and see our Cambridge School memorabilia among other displays.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Talk with American Legion Auxiliary - March 1, 2011

The Cambridge Historical Association was invited by the Mathias-Wire Legion Auxiliary to speak with them at their monthly meeting.  Florence Wheeler and Wayne Messer discussed the history of the Cambridge Historical Association, some of our current projects - particularly the Veterans lists for Memorial Day - and some of the upcoming events.  Afterwords, many from the group joined us for a tour of our building and displays.

Thank you for the invitation and your hospitality!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Creating a Search Checklist

To help us provide better service for requests for history of Cambridge and surrounding area residents, we are developing a checklist of our sources.  The current version is shown below so we and you can work with it.  Please let us know your experience with it and how we might improve it. 

Background:  What does the requester know about the topic already?  And what would they like to know?  Any dates, events, locations, etc.will help suggest sources to check or ignore.

Searching for individuals and/or families:
  1.  Are they in our books?  The expanded table of contents for the Sesquicentennial and Schools books may help.  Also, we have begun a name index for the Sesquicentennial book.
  2. Are there any Family Histories of interest?  Our Family History holding are being listed.
  3. Are they a veteran?  The Sesquicentennial book lists many of the Cambridge veterans.  A Civil War Veterans working page is available.  Also see the Veterans binder.
  4. Check the obituary index and the alphabetical binders.
  5. Are they buried in local cemetery?  We have the 1992 listings from the Story County Genealogical Society for many of the local townships.  These each have indexes by name and readings of the gravestones at the time.
  6. Check binder(s) for particular years.
Also, outside sources that may be useful include:
  1. Check History of Story County Vol 1 Vol 2 (Google Books)  We have parts of these; however, by using the Google Books links you can search within the books.
  2. Check Nevada Community Historical Society Family Trees.  Despite its name, many other Story County residents are included.
  3. Check Roland Record.  You can search and view these papers online.  If searching for Cambridge, do not include Iowa.  Most of the entries assume Iowa for Cambridge.
  4. Check Story County Genweb.  They have a variety of materials available.
  5. For World War II Veterans, check the Ames Historical Society Index to WW2 Veterans.
As we update this checklist, you can see the most recent version here.

    Friday, February 11, 2011

    Family Histories at the Cambridge Historical Association

    As part of our collection, the Cambridge Historical Association has a number of family histories.  Some of these are genealogies and others are collections of articles or other materials from or about particular families.  We are listing these holdings in a series of entries on our website.  Those whose name begins with A - B can be found in our earlier post.

    While we are doing this, we are also creating what will be a list and description of our complete holdings in this area.  See this page on our wiki to follow the ongoing creation of the list.

    Part of what we are adding to the complete list are cross-references from other family names to help us locating pertinent material for requests.  Please let us know what other information might help you in using this.

    Friday, February 4, 2011

    2010 Meeting with County Supervisors

    The Story County Historical Alliance meets with the Story County Supervisors each year to describe our accomplishments.  This year the Ames Historical Society hosted a meeting with Jane Haliburton, Wayne Clinton, and Paul Toot on November 23, 2010.  You can read a short summary of the other historical societies programs here.

    The accomplishments we reported were:
    • Moving the Cambridge Historical Association into the building donated by the Masons.
    • This has lead to an increase in Life memberships and artifacts donations
    • It also provided a location for expanding our displays for Jubilee Days open house
    • Updated our Veterans list to work with the American Legion and American Legion Auxiliary for Memorial Day
    • Working with Civil War Remembrance group for the Civil War Sesquicentennial
    • Added a current events website Cambridge Happenings to announce upcoming local events
    • Obituaries index being updated and expanded
    • Our volunteer hours are approaching 500 this year (before the end of the year we did pass 500 hours!)
    Thank you to the Supervisors for their continuing interest and support.

      Tuesday, January 25, 2011

      Family Histories - A - B

      As part of our collection, the Cambridge Historical Association has a number of family histories.  Some of these are genealogies and others are collections of articles or other materials from or about particular families.

      We have two Apland collections.  One is various clippings about the Apland barn (Apland/Freeland Barn), Apland reunions, and obituaries.  The other is Ole Birchaug Descendants from May 2006 which goes back to 1710.  Many local family names are included.  Copies of Apland i Merika Avis (Aplands in America newsletter) from March 1996 and 1999, Norway in World War II, and a translation of "The Early Settlers from Stavanger and Hadaland, Norway in Central Iowa" are also in this binder.  The translation is from a Norwegian book by Hjalmer Rued Holand A.M. 1908.

      The binder Bastesen contains exerpts from Erasmus Rosenberger and His Families in Germany and America.  The earliest entry in the parts we have is from 1758.

      The Bauge binder has articles about the historic Bauge Farmhouse and its move to Ames.  Nils Bauge was the original member of the family living in the log home which was built in 1866.

      The Berhow Family Tree also contains minutes from the Berhow Reunion from 1932 to 2000.  Berhow was named for a farm on the island of Halsnoy on the coast of Norway.  The family tree has names to before 1692.  As an aside, the Huxley Historical Society has information about the origin of Berhow Park in Huxley, Iowa.

      The Bundy Descendants - Descendants of William Bundy has the first child born about 1667 in North Carolina.  This is 12 pages long and includes some information from 2001.  Local family names include Cook, Tillotson, and Zook. 

      Thursday, January 20, 2011

      Monthly Meeting and Election - November 16, 2010

      The Cambridge Historical Association met Tuesday, November 16.  The meeting was a combination of our regular meeting and our annual election.  The business meeting discussed upcoming meetings including:
      • Meeting with the Story County Supervisors and the other members of the Story County Historical Alliance November 23.
      • Meeting with the Cambridge Legion Auxiliary.
      • Hosting the Story County Historical Alliance at the end of April.
      • Having an open house in conjunction with the Cambridge Alumni Banquet.
        The meeting concluded with election of the following officers for 2011:
      • Wayne Messer - Co-president
      • Val Moore - Co-president
      • Don Erickson - Treasurer
      • Julie Erickson - Secretary
      • Joyce Williams - Director
      • Florence Wheeler - Director
      Our meetings are held the third Tuesday of the month, 7 p.m., at 504 Third Street, Cambridge, except for December.  Contact us at 515-220-HISTORY (515-220-4478) or by email at

      Saturday, January 15, 2011

      Cambridge Historical Association Meeting - Tuesday January 18, 2011

      The next meeting of the Cambridge Historical Association will be Tuesday, January 18, 2011 at 7 pm.  Learn about our accomplishments in 2010 and help us make plans for 2011!  We will be meeting at 504 3rd Street (the old Masonic Lodge).  Contact information:  515-220-HISTORY (515-220-4478) has an answering machine or you can email us at