30 Years Ago: City Officials take oath of office

City Officials take oath of office - City Administrator Cynthia Dressen administers the Oath of Office to (from left) Dick Peterson, re-elected council member; John Ploetz, re-elected Mayor; and Karl Keup and Paul Chard, newly elected council members on Monday, Jan. 7, at the first regular Belle Plaine City Council meeting of 1991.

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Thirty Years Ago (1991)

Operation Desert Storm hit close to home, as Anthony O’Day, a BPHS graduate in 1988, was called into service as a gunner in a tank division in the Gulf War. After one day’s notice, Anthony, the son of Gary and Bev O’Day of rural BP, left Dec. 28 from Port Stewart, Georgia. He had recently completed two years of his four-year commitment at Fort Schinefurt in Germany and was home on leave Nov. 11.

The BP Borough Riders, a new snowmobile club, was formed amidst several complaints of snowmobilers trespassing on private property and boulevards. The group of 30 members intended to establish trails to the Le Sueur County Trail and the Minnesota Valley Trail. Officers of the club included president John Mahoney, vice president Bob Harsh, secretary/treasurer Dave Latzke, and trail master Steve Rost.

At their first regular meeting of 1991 on Monday, Jan. 7, the BP City Council appointed Robert Kruse as the new public works superintendent to replace Pat Fogarty, who planned to retire March 1. City Administrator Cynthia Dressen administered the Oath of Office to new council members Karl Keup and Paul Chard, re-elected member Dick Peterson, and re-elected Mayor John Ploetz. Certificates of appreciation were presented by Ploetz to outgoing council members Dan Zurn and Ed Townsend.

Judge Richard Menke gave the Oath of Office to Scott County Commissioners at their first regular session of the county board on Tuesday, Jan. 8. Re-elected commissioners Dallas Bohnsack and William Koniarski and newly elected commissioner Dick Underferth of district four promised to serve the county. Koniarski, a 30-year veteran of the board from district one, which included Jordan and BP, was elected chairman for 1991.

Other Scott County officials sworn in at the courthouse in Shakopee on Tuesday, Jan. 8, included Tom Muelken, treasurer; Jim Terwedo, attorney Tom Hennen, auditor; Bill Nevin, sheriff; Paul Wermerskirchen, recorder; and Bill Schmokel, surveyor.

 BP resident Jean Peterson, policy services manager with American Family Insurance, served as a loaned executive for the 1990 United Way of Minneapolis Area fundraising campaign. Loaned executives and other volunteers helped raise over $45 million that fall to support more than 385 health and human care programs serving residents of Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, and Scott counties.

The Internal Revenue Service recommended that people claiming refunds have their 1990 federal income tax returns filed electronically starting in January. Electronic filing involved using a computer and a telephone modem to send returns directly to the IRS, which saved time, trouble, and worry by speeding up refunds and reducing errors by an average of more than 80 percent. Nationwide, more than four million federal income tax returns were filed electronically in the past year.

The BP Kid Wrestling Team kicked off its season during the first weekend of January with two tournaments. In all, 42 out of 52 team members participated, and 19 first place trophies were claimed. In the Prior Lake tournament, Cory Bauer, Jacob Dvorak, Tommy Otto, Preston Kolsrud, Nick Slack, Randal Bruegger, and Tony Gansen won championships. In the Le Center tournament, 12 of 24 competitors won championships, including James Thomason, Neil Koepp, Bobby Simonette, Corey Bauer, Lucas Westphal, Jesse Wolpern, Preston Kolsrud, Nick Slack, Jose Bodon, Sonny Willson, Michael Hanson, and Randal Bruegger.

60 Years Ago (1961)

Bill Steffen, of Steffen Hardware, was named the new president of the Commercial Club at the group’s annual meeting. He had previously served as first vice president for two years. Maynard Harms was the outgoing president.

An Arlington woman survived when the car she was driving collided with a freight train near Brownton. The impact derailed four freight cars and tossed the auto 75 feet from the crash. She received head lacerations and a fractured ankle.

The county board was operating with only four members, due to an election controversy between two candidates for the fifth district. A court order from a chief justice instructed the board to seat incumbent Stepka, until a decision was made by the State Supreme Court.

Lloyd Schultz, who farmed in Faxon Township, was chosen the outstanding Soil and Water Conservation Farmer in Sibley County for 1960.

Several boys from the BP FFA Chapter attended the Beautena Show and Sale at Faribault. Bill Morrison showed the BP calf, which placed in the white ribbon group and was the 10th highest selling animal, going for $265.

A favorable financial statement and a favorable outlook for the future highlighted the annual meeting of the Minnesota Valley Milk Processing Cooperative Association. Skim milk received at the local plant increased more than 3 million pounds from the previous year, bringing the total to 219,468,000 pounds.

Daniel M. Murphy, 85, lifelong resident of the St. Thomas community, died Jan. 4 while in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. He had a heart condition for many years and died suddenly. Mass and burial were at St. Thomas Catholic Church.

Jan. 17 was John Deere Day in BP. Logan Denzer, of BP Implement, had a big all-day program planned. A feature film about the history of farm equipment was shown at the State Theater.

Theophilus (Ted) Thomason, 73, died Jan. 9 at his home in BP. Burial was at Sts. Peter and Paul’s cemetery.

The open house at the new establishment of the BP Motor Company drew an immense crowd of visitors. New partitions, new painting, and remodeling made the building more convenient.

Funeral services were held Jan. 7 at Sacred Heart Church for Mrs. Margaret Lucy, 90, lifelong resident of this community.

The remains of Mrs. Agnes Gannon, 72, of Minneapolis, were brought to Sacred Heart Church for burial. She died Jan. 6 in St. Peter, where she had been a patient for four years.

The Model Clothing Store had a stock reducing sale featuring suits for $42.95 to $29.95, white dress shirts for $2.98, overshoes for $6.98, and flannel shirts for $2.79.

The bank’s statement of condition for 1960 had total assets of $3,732,644, total liabilities of $3,373,747, and total capital accounts of $358,897. W.J. Gatz was the bank president, and M.M. Gaffney was the cashier.

Sidney Poitier and Alan Ladd starred in “All the Young Men” at the Le Sueur Theater.

Le Sueur handed BP a decisive 60-38 basketball defeat at the start of the post-holiday conference season.

90 Years Ago (1931)

The first zero weather that winter was registered in mid-January but there was no snow up to that date.

When Ed Eckardt sponsored anything, it drew a crowd. His January dance at the Roseland Ballroom brought 300 couple from all four counties.

Gus Price, veteran railroad telegrapher at the BP Depot, died at a St. Paul hospital and his remains were taken to his old home in Le Sueur for burial. He was strongly loyal to the railroad company which he had served all his adult life.

Judge Tift granted a petition of landowners for construction of a judicial road south from the Gotha store to the Busch corner on TH 25.

With the franchise with the Interstate Power Company soon to expire, there was considerable argument for a municipal plant in BP. A group of New Prague people appeared before the borough council to give a review of their experience with municipal ownership.

John Bailey, the only son of Mr. and Mrs. Will Bailey, died. While a student at the University of Minnesota, he suffered a bruised arm in an auto accident while driving out to BP and infection developed.

BP Borough had a mill rate of 85.7 mills, of which 37 mills were for school, 22.7 mills for borough, 20 mills for county, and 5.7 mills for state.

Mike Mangan, native of BP and one of the town’s most popular residents during his years here, died at the hospital near Rolla, North Dakota, to which place he had moved in 1912.

By 1931, there were 16 concerns in BP that paid more than $100 in personal property taxes.

Warren Denzer, who was born and reared on the Henry Denzer farm at St. Thomas, died at the hospital at Frazee in his 50s.

Infant daughter of the Emil Schmidts died at the hospital in Minneapolis and her funeral was held from St. John Lutheran Church.

120 Years Ago (1901)

The post office department was advertising for bids to carry the mail three times a week from BP to Joel (German Settlement).

William Henry, “the old judge,” was back from Minneapolis to greet old neighbors.

Michael P. O’Connor, who served three years as a soldier in the Civil War, died.

Mr. Wall, 53, died at Morton and his remains were brought for burial in the BP Episcopal Cemetery beside the graves of his parents who were interred there 30 years earlier.

The county was so excited over the chance to arrest Pat Crowe, kidnapper of young Cudahy, that reward seekers were arresting men everywhere for Pat Crowe. Pat Lunch went to Minneapolis from BP and was in that city but a few hours when a detective tapped him on the shoulder and said he was under arrest as Pat Crowe. After being under fire at the station house for 20 minutes, Lynch got permission from the police to call Judge Mahoney of that city who quickly satisfied the police of Lynch’s identity, Judge Mahoney being a native of BP.

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