Back in Time: Louise Katherine Stahl Fleming

Louise Katherine Stahl was born in Webster City, Hamilton County, Iowa in 1888 to Louis and Emma (Yungclas) Stahl. Her father passed away in 1895 at the age of 37 and is buried in Hamilton Cemetery, Webster City, Iowa. Following Louis’ death Emma and Louise moved to Genesco, Illinois where Emma tended to the sick and her invalid mother-in-law.

In 1902, Emma married her brother-in-law, Charles Stahl moving to Clarke County that year. They located on a farm four miles northeast of Osceola were they continued to live until 1907 when they moved to Osceola to their home on East McLane Street. Charles owned many acres of Clarke County land and at one time owned the ‘R.M. Lewis’ building on the northeast corner of the square. He died in Osceola in 1934 at the age of 65 years old and is buried in Maple Hill Cemetery in Osceola.

Louise attended Osceola schools. She was Valedictorian and first in the graduating class of 1907’s 14 students. She attended Elliott Business College, also known as 4 C’s Commercial College in Des Moines. She was very active in the Women’s Christian Temperance Union.

In 1909 Louise was appointed Deputy Recorder and assistance to Clarke County Recorder Jesse Fleming, since he had held the office.

Jesse has been the Street Commissioner in the early years. He served two terms as County Recorder and later was a successful real estate and insurance businessman. He had suffered two painful accidents in his life that impaired his physical faculties having his left eye removed in 1896 and having malarial fever as a young man.

On June 14, 1911 Jesse Fleming and Louise Stahl stole a march on their friends and took no. 10 for Chicago where they were married in the evening. From Chicago they went to Buffalo, New York where they attended a meeting of the Modern Woodmen. They also visited New York City and other points, returning home the last week of July making their home with his mother in West Osceola. George Kyte attending the Recorder’s office while they were away.

The Fleming’s made a substantial contribution for the new hospital site. Jesse dies in 1952 at the age of 84.

Louise created an incentive fund to encourage pupils of the graduating class each year to strive for excellent grades in important subjects. In 1968 the gift of $3,000 was invested and the earnings each year awarded to a member of the graduating class selected by the school board, superintendent and faculty of the school. The Louise Fleming Scholarship Award is still given today at Class/Award Day and has benefited many Osceola school graduates.

Louise Died at the age of 98 in 1986 in Osceola and is buried beside her husband in the Fleming plot in Maple Hill Cemetery, Osceola.

(Emma Stahl died in 1944 and is buried in Webster City beside her husband Louis Stahl. The dress worn by Emma for her weddings is at the Clarke County Historical Museum in Osceola, Iowa.)