A long line of tractors led by the Glidden-Ralston FFA club makes its way down a street in Saturday’s Sesquicentennial parade.
A long line of tractors led by the Glidden-Ralston FFA club makes its way down a street in Saturday’s Sesquicentennial parade.

August 7, 2017

Last Thursday, Glidden began its weekend celebration of the Sesquicentennial complete with outdoor music, face-painting, a parade and much more.

Looking back over the past 150 years, there are many highlights in Glidden’s history. Here are just a few of them:

In 1907 G.W. McNaught and sons Roy and Ira bought the first automobile in Glidden. It was a large touring car that held five people.

On May 12, 1916, the women’s club in Glidden staged a May Fete. They held a parade four-blocks-long, and children dressed in costumes to depict fruits and vegetables. Miss Iowa, Miss Adella Carter, Miss Carroll County and Miss Effie Walters were all present.

On Nov. 11, 1918 the First World War ended. Civilians in Glidden gathered down on Main Street and began a bonfire. From Glidden, 137 men and women had served in the war, but only 126 would return. Those who had lost their lives to war were: Merle Hay, Earl Dillavou, Ray Dankle, Joy Dillavou, John Knute, Garbrand Haase, Floyd Newton, Herman Knute, John Pasley, Orval O’Dell and Sam Molsbee. Hay was one of the war’s first casualties.

In 1945, Ralph Neppel, who served in the Army during World War II, was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, which was presented to him at the White House by President Truman. He also received a Purple Heart. During the war, one of Neppel’s legs was shredded and the other was severed below the knee. He still managed to find his machine gun and shoot down 20 German infantrymen. The Carroll National Guard Armory is named in honor of Neppel.

In 1957, 553 votes were cast in Glidden to approve a $75,000 bond to construct a swimming pool. Also in 1957, Glidden and Ralston school districts consolidated.

On March 9, 1965, 404 people cast their ballots for a new medical clinic in Glidden. Of those 404 people, 81 percent said yes in favor of the $30,000 bond.

In February 1966, 81 railroad cars were derailed in Ralston causing fuel oil to flood the surrounding area.

From 1984-1990 Paul Fairchild of Glidden played offensive guard for the New England Patriots. During his second pro season in 1985, the Patriots entered the Super Bowl, only to later lose 46-10 to the Chicago Bears.

In 1986, the current Municipal Building was completed, and a new library was added on the north side of the building in 2000.

In 1997, seven members of the Merle Hay Post received certificates from the American  Legion in recognition of their 50-year memberships. Those recognized were: Buel Lensch, Bob Van Horn, Lloyd Davis, Elmer Peters, Russel Bayer, Dale Linn, Bill Moorhouse and Fran Gregory.

In 2003, Glidden-Ralston hosted its first co-ed track meet at the Carroll Stadium.

In 2005, the new Glidden Aquatic Center opened on Memorial Day. The Grand Opening was held on June 25.

In 2007, the plans were announced for the Merle Hay American Legion Post to erect a monument in Merle Hay Memorial Cemetery to honor military veterans buried there.

In 2012, the City of Glidden constructed a new brick welcome sign along highway 30 north of the Aquatic Center.

This year, Glidden celebrates its Sesquicentennial.