‘I’m like a stubborn Swede’ | News, Sports, Jobs


-Photo of the messenger by Bill Shea

Arlene Hintch, from Harcourt, relaxes at her home. She was born on a farm just north of town and has lived her entire life in the Harcourt region.

HARCOURT – Few can possibly match Arlene Hintch’s long relationship and commitment to Harcourt.

She was born on a farm a mile north of Harcourt and has lived all of her 88 years in and around the small southern town of Webster County.

She touched many lives and contributed to many community projects during this time.

“I think I’m probably the oldest living person in Harcourt who has been a longtime resident of Harcourt,” she said.

“I do what I can still” she said. “I’m like a stubborn Swede.”

Over the years, Hintch has become the key figure that connects all of the alumni of the former Harcourt High School.

At Faith Lutheran Church, where her grandparents were among the early members, she did everything from watering flowers to teaching Sunday school classes.

“I always make Swedish rye bread” she said. “It’s my specialty when we organize our bake sales. “

Hintch has worked for decades with the Harcourt Community Club, hosting Appreciation Day and developing a concession stand service at the softball field. And if all that wasn’t enough, she served as president of the American Legion Auxiliary.

She has never lived far from Harcourt and has interesting links with the history of the city. For example, the former Harcourt prison today at the Fort Museum and Frontier Village served as a shed for the farm where she was born. She remembers going there as a little girl.

“They always said I was the glue that held them all together because I kept track of everyone and kept in touch with everyone.” said Hintch.

It relies on a proven technique to stay in touch with the elders.

“In general, I phone and call people” she said.

Hintch was baptized, confirmed and married to her late husband, Don Hintch, at Faith Lutheran Church. There she was a Sunday school teacher and choir member. She took care of all the flowers around the church. And she is still the financial treasurer of the church.

Through Thrivent, a nonprofit financial service linked to the Lutheran Church nationwide, she has been involved in fundraising and food donation drives.

In 1975, she became treasurer of the Harcourt Community Club. The organization awards scholarships to senior graduates, donates money for projects, and hosts Harcourt Appreciation Day. But the concession stand at the softball field is the community club project in which Hintch was most deeply involved.

“It was fun because you got to see the girls playing ball and you got to know them” she said.

The first concession stand, she recalls, was a picnic table. A real stand was built later. Hintch worked there regularly and got to know the people of the softball field.

“You almost knew what they were going to order when you saw them come to the window” she said.

She and her husband were married in June 1952. They had two sons and two daughters. She worked for Harcourt Savings Bank from 1973 to 2000. She still lives in the house where her family moved in in 1977. It was built in the 1920s by her uncle.

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