Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

August 21, 2011

New Jersey robbers hit the Cincy Square and the Exline sign gets a face lift

By Curt Oden - Exline correspondent
Daily Iowegian

EXLINE — I guess by now, everyone that wanted to go, has probably just about all made it up, to attend the annual Iowa State Fair. This year, they were commemorating the 100th anniversary year of sculpting the Butter Cow, which is always interesting to see.  

There were even two butter cows in the cooler to view, if you were in the Agricultural Building this year. One, in honor of an early one, complete with a calf and two life size children depicted in butter and displayed on a rotating platform, so you could see it from all sides along with the regular butter cow.

Some interesting facts are that they use 600 pounds of butter to sculpt the cow, a lot of which, is recycled from year to year. Some of it may even be used over and over, for up to 10 years.

If a person used that much butter to butter your toast, you could put it on 19,200 slices of toast and it would take two lifetimes to eat that much butter.

The recipe for this week is kind of a fun one. My wife Denise said one of the girls she works with made this and brought it in to the office for everyone to try. She told me it was really good.


Puff Corn



1 bag Puff Corn

6 squares almond bark

2 Tb. Sprinkles or small bag of M&Ms if desired

6 gallon Ziplock bag



Place half of the Puff Corn in the plastic bag. Melt almond bark in microwave oven, being careful not to over heat it.

Pour the melted bark into the plastic bag over the Puff Corn that is already in there and then add the rest of the Puff Corn.  

Seal the bag tightly and shake to mix the Puff Corn and the melted almond bark together.

Add the sprinkles or M&Ms if desired and shake some more.

Once it is all blended, lay it out on a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper or waxed paper to dry. Then you may enjoy this delicious treat.


Did you notice the photograph of the brick building being torn down on what used to be the Cincinnati town square on the front page of the Daily Iowegian this past Monday?

That building is the last remaining brick building of all of the ones that used to be on all sides of their town square.

The upstairs of that building was a Masonic Lodge. It was known as Prosperity Lodge No. 504. The lodge itself, has had dwindling membership over the years. There are 10 men who are still members of this lodge, even though their building is being torn down.  

The group is currently in the process of petitioning Jackson Lodge in Centerville to merge with them, at which time the Cincinnati Lodge name would be dropped and their members would be consolidated with the Centerville Lodge and then they would go by the Centerville Lodge  name.

The Masons in Cincinnati owned the entire building and rented out the bottom two sides, to various businesses over the years. They even own the adjoining building that is attached to the south end of the building. It is leased to the Cincinnati Post Office.

The second floor of the lodge building, was where the Masonic Lodge room was located. In between the bottom two store fronts, was a doorway that led by way of a long staircase, to the upper floor where their meetings would be held.

Up over that door that led into the staircase from the outside, was a piece of glass that had the Masonic Emblem of the Square and Compass on it, as well as the letters A.F. & A.M., which meant Ancient Free and Accepted Masons.

Over the years, in the store fronts downstairs, there were various businesses. I know that there was a beauty shop in one of the stores at one time.   Also, some years ago, there was Britt’s Market located there, which was a small grocery store.

Long ago, in the bottom of that building, there was even a bank but it eventually closed.

In the early 1950s the letters that said Bank right on the big glass window were still printed on there, even though by then, it was a doctor’s office at that time.

Well, one day, two brazen would be robbers, rushed into what they thought was a bank and demanded cash, only to find out it was no longer a bank and only the waiting room for the doctor.

Those robbers were eventually apprehended by the local law enforcement authorities and at that time, they found out that those two men were from New Jersey.

It just so happened, when the attempted robbery occurred, my mom’s parents were here visiting from New Jersey, where they lived. When the news about the two robbers was released and it said that they were from New Jersey, my mom told me years later, my grandfather took quite a kidding about people from New Jersey not knowing the difference between a bank and a doctor’s office.

Murl and Marge Hatfield recently had visitors. Their son Donald from Blacksburg, Va. as well as Kathy and Violet Hatfield from Decorah.

Marge and Murl got word from their son Richard in California that his lightening fast motorcycle, succeeded in achieving a land speed record for an electric motorcycle. It reached speeds of 205 to 238 miles per hour. It also reached a speed of 206 to 207 miles per hour at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.

The sign that says:  “Exline, the Little Town with a Big Heart” has been restored.

The sign was originally made and painted by the late L.J. Johnson and his family, who was a hometown Exline boy.

It has been refurbished and repainted by Jim Sargent. It is now back on the front of the community building over the main entrance.