Hugo Armbrecht, retired New Albany Township Clerk, recounts 49 years of service

Briana Dunn
Hugo Armbrecht, retired New Albany Township Clerk, recounts 49 years of service

You’ve all heard of Ames and Nevada, Colo and State Center, but do you recall the small township to the east of Nevada at all? It’s a small, 36-square-mile plot of land named New Albany Township. After 49 years as New Albany’s clerk, there are many memories Hugo Armbrecht does recall.

“The township was formed to solve disputes between neighbors about fence lines, (to) grade the roads and (to) buy new fire trucks each year,” said Armbrecht.

Although the town of Colo is within the township’s limits, New Albany never had jurisdiction in Colo. Eventually, New Albany sold out to Colo, giving up its rights to have its own fire department. Prior to the sale, the township acted as a sole government entity for the New Albany area surrounding Colo.

“It was a big deal when we sold out to Colo,” said Armbrecht. “Many people didn’t want to give up our rights to own fire trucks.”

As township clerk, Hugo was in charge of keeping the books and making sure bills were paid on time. He worked closely with the three trustees on township business.

“Someone suggested I run for office in 1965, so I volunteered to run,” he recounts. “I was the Republican that took the office from a Democrat. I stayed so long because no one else wanted it.”

He only retired from his position in the township last year, because he felt it hard to keep up with everything switching over to computers. When he became the township clerk in 1965, his wife transcribed hundreds of hand-written manuscripts from old township meetings via typewriter so they would be legible and more easily preserved.

Hugo and his wife, Muriel, have been married 65 years; they have four children and many grandchildren. Joyce Armbrecht, one of their two daughters, passed away almost 32 years ago from cancer. Her death came as a great loss and huge shock to the family.

As a retired clerk, Armbrecht enjoys scrapbooking, collecting mugs and making rag rugs. He has compiled over 100 scrapbooks with the help of his sons and wife. Hugo has also made more rugs than he can count on the two looms he has in the basement and even plans to sell some at the upcoming craft fair in Colo.