In 1937, the local Study Club in the Winnebago County town of Thompson voted to sponsor a community library as a civic improvement project. The club assembled a library board consisting of representatives from several local organizations; by January 1938, over 250 books had been collected and the library was operational. The library occupied a room in town hall for its first 45 years.
In 1983, the library board received a $20,000 grant from the Kinney-Lindstrom foundation to finish a portion of the new fire station building for library use. Community groups volunteered time and money for interior furnishings and library equipment, plus exterior landscaping. The library remains in the same location today; it’s open five days weekly.
Postal service was established in the Winnebago County community of Leland on November 18, 1881, though for the first four, the town was known as Lelandsburgh. The name was chosen in honor of the community’s first Postmaster, J. D. Leland, whose home served as the initial Post Office location. The Post Office was moved six times before settling in its present location in 1965.
The Leland Ted Brandstad VFW Post #6161 was organized in the Winnebago County community of Leland in February 1946 with four charter members. The Veterans of Foreign Wars post was named in honor of William T. (Ted) Brandstad, whose plane went missing during a bombing mission in New Guinea in March 1944. After initial family notification, his father received a letter twenty months later:
Since no information has been received which would support a presumption of your son’s continued survival, the War Department must now terminate his absence by a presumptive finding of death. Accordingly, an official filing of death has been recorded… However, no further report regarding your son, his crew members, or their plane has been received.
Ted was awarded an Air Medal, for Meritorious Achievements in bombing missions against enemy installations; the decoration was presented to his father. The VFW was formed shortly after his confirmed death. A VFW Auxiliary Post was organized twenty-one years later.