Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » A Few Minutes in Council Bluffs, Iowa, 1940

A Few Minutes in Council Bluffs, Iowa, 1940

By: Ardis E. Parshall - September 02, 2013

6 October 1940

Minutes of the Testimony Meeting of the Council Bluffs Branch held at the Church at 11 a.m. Sunday October 6, 1940.

President Emil H. Uryss presiding and conducting. Elizabeth Charles playing the organ and Madeline Meidlinger directing the singing. Song #194 – “Sweet Sabbath Day.” Prayer, Br. Francis A. Charles (Seventy). Song #192, “O God, the Eternal Father.” Sacrament Gem conducted by Sister Myrtle Tartar.

Sacrament administered to by Cortland B. Tisher (Priest) and James F. Foster (Elder) and passed by Alfred C. Meidlinger (Teacher) and J. Fred Evans Jr. and Theron Tisher (Deacons).

The following, having been baptized by Priest Cortland B. Tisher at a Baptismal Service held at 9 a.m. today, were confirmed members of the Church as indicated.

Ramona Fae Thompson by Br. Francis A. Charles.
Partricia Ann Thompson by Pres. Emil H. Uryss.
Joan Thompson by Br. Edward A. Graham.

The Primary Association then separated for regular class work.

Pres. Emil H. Uryss explained the Lincoln Branch Building Fund campaign and urged all who could to contribute and to receive kindly the Members of the Finance Committee of our Branch. He also spoke on the laws of Tithing and Fast Offering and the desirability of everyone trying to live up to these commandments as well as all the covenants made with our Father in Heaven and bore his testimony to the truthfulness of the Gospel.

The time was then turned over to those present to bear their testimonies and the following did so. Sis. Myrtle Tarter, Cortland B. Tisher, Br. Francis A. Charles, Sis. Bessie Graham, Elder Walter Miller (Missionary), Matilda J. Hart, James F. Foster, Irene Hansen, Elder Wm. A. Brim (Missionary).

Primary Ass’n reassembled at 12:05 P.M. Song #38, “Parting Hymn.” Bene. – Br. Edward A. Graham (Elder). Members 37, Non Members 2, Total Present 39.

13 October 1940

Minutes of Council Bluffs Branch Sacrament Meeting held Sunday Oct. 13, 1940 at 6:30 P.M. in the Church at 9th St and Ave A. Elizabeth Charles at the organ and Madeline Meidlinger directing. President Emil H. Uryss presiding. Meeting under the direction of the Genealogical Society with Sister Agnes Larsen conducting.

Song #92 “Beautiful Zion Built Above.” Prayer Br. Elmer W. Farrar. Song #291 “God, Our Father, hear Us Pray.”

Sac. Administered to by James F. Foster and Cortland E. Tisher (Elders) (Passed by same)

Sister Irene Hansen gave talk on the merits of the Improvement Era, encouraging the saints to subscribe to this magazine. Mention was also made of a drive to be made to put this magazine in the Home.

Sister Margaret Hart gave a talk regarding the Genealogical work, the importance of the weekly meetings and what it means to us.

Miss. Dist. Pres. Walter Miller spoke on Genealogical work: The importance of this work; taking care of the work for our dead; the building of Temples in order that this work could be accomplished. Reference made to Pres. Brigham Young selecting the spot on which the Salt Lake Temple was built.

Piano Solo “Blueberry Hill” by Harriet Urld.

J. Fred Evans Sr. also spoke on Geneology work and Temple work.

Song #200 “Take Courage Saints.” Bene- Sis. Myrtle Tartar. Members 51, Non Members 3, Total 54

20 October 1940

Minutes of Council Bluffs Branch Sacrament Meeting held Sunday Evening Oct. 20, 1940 at 6:30 P.M. in the Church at 9th St. and Ave A.

Pres Emil H. Uryss presiding and Br. Burton L. Curtis conducting. Elizabeth Charles playing the organ and Madeline Meidlinger directing the singing.

Announcements by Pres. Emil H. Uryss. Song #102 “We Thank Thee O God for a Prophet.” Prayer, Elder Wm. Alman Brim (Missionary). Song #133, “Redeemer of Israel.”

Sac. Administered to by J. Fred Evans (Seventy) and Cortland B. Tisher (Priest).

Vocal Solo, “Hosannah” by Miss Mary Alice Cahill acc. by Mrs. E. Cahill.

Frances Meidlinger gave a talk on “Repentance.”

Vocal Solo – Miss Cahill acc. by Mrs. Cahill.

Br. [blank] Barton from Omaha spoke on “Our Heritage” – Do we appreciate our Liberty, etc.”

Song #126, “Zion Stands With Hills Surrounded.” Bene, Elder Ralph W. Kauer (Missionary). Members 58, Non Members 4, Total 62.

27 October 1940

Minutes of Council Bluffs Branch Sacrament Meeting held Sunday Evening Oct. 27, 1940 at 6:30 P.M. Elizabeth Charles playing the organ and Madeline Meidlinger directing the singing. Meeting under the direction of the Missionaries with Pres. Emil H. Uryss presiding and Dist. Pres. Walter Miller conducting.

Song #102, “We Thank Thee O God For a Prophet.” Prayer Sr. Frances Meidlinger. Song #110, “Guide Me To Thee.”

Sacrament administered to by Br. Francis A. Charles (Seventy) and Elder Wm. A. Brim (Missionary) assisted by Jack Wright (Teacher), George Larson (Priest) and Alfred Meidlinger (Teacher)

Announcements by Pres. Emil H. Uryss.

Vocal Duet, “I’ll go where you want me to go, Dear Lord,” by Martha and Lillian Bell acc. by Mrs. Letha Urise.

Elder T. Earl Tuckett spoke on “The Law of Tithing” and the “United Order.” We must work out our own Salvation.

Vocal Solo: Madeline Meidlinger.

Elder Bruce Tueller spoke on “Tithing.”

Vocal solo: Elder T. Earl Tuckett

Elder Ralph W. Kauer spoke on “By their Fruits ye shall know them.”

Song #218, “Count your Many Blessings.” Bene – Br J. Fred Evans (Seventy). Members 67, Non Members 4, Total 70.



  1. Um. They had women saying the prayers.

    Comment by Jeannine L. — September 2, 2013 @ 7:40 am

  2. Yes! Conventional assumptions that something was ALWAYS or NEVER the case in the past often break down when you actually look at the evidence. Kudos for noticing, Jeannine L.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — September 2, 2013 @ 9:07 am

  3. Somehow I suspect that what was heard by the congregation during the musical number “Blueberry Hill” is not the ‘thrill’-ing tune now stuck in my head…

    Comment by Coffinberry — September 2, 2013 @ 9:40 am

  4. Ha! It’s probably the very same song, even if it predates the hit version that’s eating through your brain now — quite a difference between what we deem as appropriate for worship meetings today!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — September 2, 2013 @ 10:01 am

  5. Oh for pity’s sake! You’re quite right. It would be the equivalent of playing a top-10 rock or country song in the middle of sacrament meeting today. (Think of that!)

    Blueberry Hill was first published in 1940, was recorded by at least 6 artists that year, and became a top hit that summer. Here’s Gene Autry from that year:

    Comment by Coffinberry — September 2, 2013 @ 1:34 pm

  6. Great variety. And lots of women speakers.

    Comment by David Y. — September 2, 2013 @ 5:34 pm

  7. Once a kid in our ward in New York played a clarinet solo–“Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling” in sacrament meeting. But since he didn’t bother to play any of the flats,nobody recognized the tune. Not even Frank Miller, who was our stake president and might have been there that day.

    Comment by Mark B. — September 2, 2013 @ 9:17 pm

  8. Okay, I had to turn to Google to decipher your comment, Mark, but as usual it was worth it.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — September 2, 2013 @ 9:24 pm

  9. Thanks Coffinberry for the link to Gene Autry. My grandfather loved him and had several of his records. I am sure “Blueberry Hill” was on one of them. I can remember sitting with my grandparents and Gene Autry singing to us from the record player.

    Comment by Jeffery Johnson — September 2, 2013 @ 10:32 pm

  10. Hey Mark, Frank Miller (the former Stake President, not the inbound train passenger) is my uncle.

    Comment by Bruce Crow — September 3, 2013 @ 12:52 pm

  11. Seriously, Bruce? That’s cool. My husband and I met President Miller a couple of years ago when we did sealings at the Manhattan Temple. The other people there were doing the work for close family members, and it turned out to be a lovely and memorable occasion.

    Comment by Amy T — September 3, 2013 @ 1:23 pm

  12. Glad you thought it was worth it, Ardis. :)

    Amazing connection, Bruce (and Amy). I am relieved that Bruce isn’t the nephew of a fictional character–that would disturb my sense that there’s some order in the universe.

    But, did your Uncle Frank ever tell you about his bishop who used to kid him about the line in that song: “until I shoot Frank Miller dead”? (I’ll give you a hint–that bishop’s initials are TSM.)

    Comment by Mark B. — September 3, 2013 @ 1:56 pm

  13. Mark, took me a minute, but I had to google Frank Miller and the title of that song to get past Frank Miller, the graphics novel writer and artist, to the punchline. Nicely played.

    Comment by kevinf — September 3, 2013 @ 3:16 pm

  14. Amy,
    When I lived in Maryland, every time I turned around I would meet someone else who knew Uncle Frank. Of course now that I have moved to Tennessee, it doesn’t happen as much.

    It is good to know I don’t disturb your sense order in the universe.

    Comment by Bruce Crow — September 4, 2013 @ 7:37 am

  15. The thing that boggles my mind about this discussion is not that so many have ties to Council Bluffs (what? no one has? curious!) but that so many people haven’t seen High Noon. How is that even possible? It’s one of the classics of American cinematography. It’s Western and suspense flick in one. It stars Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly. It has the classic Russian/Western music of Dimitri Tiomkin. And, furthermore, it couldn’t be more timely, with the current debate over Syria.

    Comment by Amy T — September 4, 2013 @ 8:13 am

  16. Don’t know if it’s still the case, but High Noon used to be required viewing for the American Heritage class at BYU. Great movie — lots of psychology going on along with the suspense and gunfights.

    Comment by lindberg — September 5, 2013 @ 12:17 pm

  17. Really? Required viewing for that class?? I guess BYU was taken over by the libruls after all, since many saw the film as an allegory for the blacklisting that was going on in Hollywood at the time it was made–and all the townspeople who were unwilling to join the sheriff in standing up to Frank Miller were like the folks in Hollywood who wouldn’t stand up to the evil HUAC.

    John Wayne himself said that High Noon was “the most un-American thing [he’d] ever seen in [his] whole life.”

    If someone is requiring that it be seen by students in American Heritage classes at BYU, I’d have to say, like Rick said of Captain Renault, that people there are getting broad minded.

    Comment by Mark B. — September 5, 2013 @ 1:26 pm

  18. Mark, one of the “many” who saw the film as an allegory for blacklisting included Carl Foreman, the screenwriter and also a co-producer for the movie. During the filming he was called up to testify before the House Unamerican Activities Committee, and ended up leaving for Great Britain when he wouldn’t name names. John Wayne should have had a bit part in that movie as one of the cowardly townspeople, perhaps. threadjack

    Comment by kevinf — September 5, 2013 @ 1:49 pm

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