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Oakdale youth and adults packed the Lois Johnson Memorial Library in Oakdale for their grand opening on Monday afternoon.
During the event, guests enjoyed cookies and drinks while having the opportunity to browse through new selections and view the renovation that happened in the building.
According to Sharon Kinnan, workers found a hardwood floor underneath the carpet in the side room at the library. The floor was stained and finished.
“When we took the carpet off we found out that there was a hardwood floor, so that all has been refinished,” she said.
That room has now been changed into the “Children and ‘Tween’” room, where the selections in that room cater to those age groups.
“All the books in that room are for children all the way through what our librarian calls ‘tweens,’” she said.
In the main room, the adult sections have been rearranged. Also, a reading center has been set up with multiple chairs and a table for guests to enjoy a book in comfort at the library.
Kinna said that the library received multiple donations in the form of books and movies for the library.
“We have had quite a few donations of DVD’s and children's books for the library,” she said.
The Lois Johnson Memorial Library is named after former Oakdale resident Lois Johnson, who passed away in 2015. Before her death, Johnson purchased the building the library is in now and donated it to the city.
Kinnan said that Johnson was very active in the community before and after her retirement.
“She was a teacher, she taught in many different schools. She retired in 1985, and she was very active in almost everything in Oakdale,” she said.
During her life, Johnson was president of the Oakdale Cemetery Auxiliary, served on the Library Board, was helpful in the Antelope County Historical Society and was very active in the Methodist Church, where she traveled to attended many meetings as a delegate.
Kinnan said that Johnson was the first person to come to mind for any questions about the town.
“I called her the ‘Historian of Oakdale.’ Anything to do with Oakdale she knew about. She grew up here. She was the go-to person when anyone had questions about Oakdale.”
Over the summer, the Lois Johnson Memorial Library will host multiple events. Their summer reading program starts on June 18 and will run through July 20. Ages 2-5 will meet with librarian Becky Williams at 2:00 on Monday’s, ages 6-10 will meet at 2:00 on Wednesday and ages 11-17 will meet 2:00 on Friday’s. The library will also hold a movie viewing every Saturday, and will host Neligh’s Peter Sample to make balloon animals on June 29.
Kinnan said that the library is something that the public has to see to believe.
“Come and check it out, you might be surprised at what you find!”
The Oakdale Memorial Day program started off with a flyover.
Jimmy Fox of the U.S. Air Force flew a KC135 over the Oakdale Cemetery prior to the start of the program in honor of fallen American soldiers.
Chad Boggs gave the message and the Neligh-Oakdale band provided the music.
The Battle Creek-Meadow Grove-Tilden American Legion Post provided color and honor guard.
The voices of the past will come alive Sunday night as the inaugural Fireside Chat at Oakdale Cemetery kicks off.
The event will be Sunday, May 27, starting at 6 p.m., and is free to the public. People are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, as it is planned to last for about an hour, if not a little longer, according to event organizer Sharon Kinnan.
The cemetery is located a half mile south of Oakdale, just off of 527th Ave.
Throughout the evening, there will be five people dressed the parts of early settlers, a Depression Day play and square dance and readings of wars and veterans’ names who were buried in the cemetery. Veteran Service Officer Tom Nelson will read the veterans’ names. Cookies and tea will be provided afterward.
The five early settlers being portrayed include A.J. Leech — who bought the land and started the cemetery — Kate Brainard, his daughter; Orson Fields, John Malzacher and C.H. Torpin. Kinnan said Malzacher will be portrayed by a relative and Fields will be portrayed by either a grandchild or great grandchild.
Additionally, lanterns will be placed at each of these five settlers’ graves to mark their locations.
“We’re going to hang lanterns so that people who want to walk to their grave and see where they’re buried, they can,” Kinnan said.
The late Lois Johnson helped inspire the idea and had plans for hosting an event similar to the Fireside Chat of Renown Voices of the Past, but she passed away in 2015 before they were ever carried out, Kinnan said.
“She had a big part in keeping all of the history of this cemetery going,” Kinnan said. “She and I had always talked about doing something like that, and we never got it done while she was alive.”
About 20 volunteers will be involved with the evening’s events and production. And as it’s the first year, Kinnan said she is unsure how large of a turnout it will bring.
“I just hope everybody has fun, and they learn a little history of the cemetery and the early settlers,” Kinnan said.
The Oakdale Cemetery will hold a Fireside Chat of Renown Voices this Memorial Day weekend.
The event will be held at 6 p.m. on May 27, 2018. Refreshments will be provided but attendees may wish to bring a lawn chair. Events for the night include a Depression Day play and square dance and a listing of wars and veterans.
Forty-five mph wind gusts were no match for the teamwork seen Sunday afternoon as firefighters, farmers and community members battled two different fires in Antelope County.
A fire southeast of Oakdale in a cornfield quickly spread and jumped the road at 844th and 528 Ave. Tilden responded as mutual aid with multiple tankers, followed by Neligh with its tankers and grass rig. The fire was contained in about 45 minutes, although firefighters remained on scene putting out hot spots.
Farmers with tractors and discs, along with water rigs from Ag Agronomy and other local farmers were used to put out the blaze.
At Orchard, a fire west of town lead to not only the fire department on scene but also lots of community members as they worked to contain the fire. Royal and Ewing Fire Departments also responded.
The Oakdale Volunteer Fire Department will be hosting a Fish Fry on Friday, March 9 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Oakdale Community Center.
The meal includes fish, coleslaw, fries, drink and a dessert. The cost is $10 for adults and $5 for 12 and under. All proceeds will be used for fire department equipment and training.
Warm up with a bowl of soup in Oakdale on Friday night.
The Oakdale Booster Club will be hosting a soup supper on Friday, Feb. 9 from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Oakdale Community Center. They will serve three kinds of soup: chicken noodle, chili and broccoli cheese; and three kinds of sandwiches: chicken salad, beef salad and cheese. Dessert will be included as well.
A freewill donation will be taken, and all proceeds will go toward Oakdale's community celebration.
Two Oakdale firemen were honored for a combined 100 years of service and dedication to the fire department.
Gene Kinnan and Steve Jockens received plaques during the Appreciation Dinner for the Oakdale Volunteer Fire Department on Friday night. Kinnan was presented an award for 53 years of service and Jockens was recognized for 47 years.
The dinner, hosted by the Oakdale Booster Club, was held in the Oakdale Community Center.
Fire Prevention Week runs through Oct. 14, and Antelope County is proud to honor the volunteers with the Oakdale Fire Department. Thank you for your dedication.
Members are: Gene Kinnan, Tom Henley, Amanda Boschen, Kelli Wilkinson, Aaron Kinnan, Jesse Mitchell, Joe Cornett, Jeff Treu; Back Row: Henry James, Justin Paulsen, Art Griffith, Sheryle Griffith, Kathi Henley, Matt Wilkinson, Mark Sanderson, Kris Sanderson, Geoffrey Carr, Brian Carr and Kyle Guggenmos. Not pictured: Don Bauer, Casey Garcia, Steve Jockens, Jeremy Jockens and Jude Freeman.