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A community bash

By Staff | Jan 14, 2010

The village of Selz, tucked away in southern Pierce County, is planning a big party. And there is reason to celebrate.

The village, founded in 1910, will turn 100 and a centennial committee is planning a bash there July 9-11.

Some of the featured events include a school alumni banquet on July 9 at the Harvey Eagles. On July 10, there will be a parade, kid’s activities, a street dance and possibly some free stage events. A demolition derby is planned for July 11.

Although it’s no longer an incorporated city, there are about 45 people who reside there. Several hundred visitors and former residents are expected to attend, says Daniel Held, one of the centennial celebration planners.

Selz is located about 41 miles south of Rugby, but less then 10 from Harvey in Wells County.

A committee has been meeting several times over the past year to plan the celebration, Held said. A centennial website has been established. It is: www.selz100.com

Selz was originally named Dallas by people from Dallas, Texas who came to homestead in the area.

The first building on the present site was a general store constructed in 1910. However, it was later destroyed by fire.

Postal officials at the time objected to the town being called Dallas and the first postmaster is believed to have renamed the town Selz, after Selz, Russia, because many of the pioneers who settled in the area came from the German-Russian settlement with that name.

The town rapidly grew and at one time featured three elevators, a bank, a grocery store, a bar, train depot, bowling alley, cream station and butcher shop.

The Great Northern Railroad was completed through Selz in 1912, and train service was an important part of the community. That rail line today remains well used by Burlington Northern Santa Fe. It’s commonly referred to as the Surrey cutoff.

The school was established in 1915. The final school term was 1987-88 and featured six students, all boys. The school officially closed in July of 1989.

A fire destroyed St. Anthony Catholic Church on Jan. 6, 1959. However, through the efforts of parishioners, it was replaced with a brick structure and was open in time for Christmas service later that year. The church recently celebrated its 50th anniversary.

In 1972, the town installed a water and sewer system. Over the past 30 years, like many small communities, businesses and residents have left. Larry’s Bar is the only business in town.

Some information taken from a March 2000 profile on the town which appeared in the Pierce County Tribune. Other news came from the Pierce County Centennial Book, “A Century of Area History.”

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