The volunteer fire department in Howells puts out fires, but it also has put Howells on the map by building an auditorium without federal aid and sponsoring public dances with draw customers from one hundred miles away.
The Howells firemen started their ballroom sideline from scratch in 1931. Since 1934 they have spent 15 thousand dollars, after meeting all operating expenses, in building a unique auditorium and ballroom. No PWA or WPA help was sought.
Ernest Prucha, chairman of the ballroom committee, believes the venture’s success flows from the fact that Howells has made it a point to hire only first class orchestras. “Ours is one of the most respectable dance halls for miles around,” he says.
Frank Mejstrik is president of the fire department, William Kaspar secretary and Carl Kosta chief.
[Source: The Omaha World-Herald (Omaha, Nebraska), dated July 23, 1939]