30 years ago: Band wins first place

Band wins first place - Seniors in the Belle Plaine High School Band show off the trophies and a plaque they won at the Orange Blossom Festival in Florida Saturday. The concert band won first place; the jazz band won second place, and Jon Ploetz won the outstanding trumpet soloist award for the jazz ensemble. The plaque was for participation. Senior band members are: (back from left) Mike Skelley, Jenny Johnson, Laura Bratsch, Brenda Latzke (front) Brett Kruschke, Terry Kahle, Jon Ploetz, Karen Boschee, and Nicole Lange.

From Our Files - 10 Years Ago

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Thirty Years Ago (1991)

BP successfully met the Star City requirements and was recertified for 1991. Completed objectives set last year included establishing an Economic Development Authority (EDA), increasing the number of jobs, improving parks and recreation, expanding fire fighting capabilities, completing the wastewater treatment facility, surveying residents and businesses, and setting up a display area for information at the Civic Center.

BP Schools received accreditation by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools at the association’s annual meeting in Chicago on March 20. BP was one of 21 schools in Minnesota to become NCA members for the first time. According to Principal Lowell Hoffman and Superintendent Tom Lubovich, accreditation meant that BP met the standards signifying that the school has the resources, personnel, and leadership necessary for effective education.

More than 100 horse units were expected for the German Day Parade in BP on Saturday, April 13. Last year was the first year the event was held and 48 units participated, according to organizer Jerry Onnen. After the parade, Trail Boss Truck Stop was planning to cater a free meal for all parade participants at Neil’s Rustic Room. Neil Keohane started German Day in 1982 to give equal time to area Germans, about four weeks following the St. Patrick’s Day celebration.

Wilmer and Erna Gruetzmacher, both full-blooded Germans, were scheduled to lead the German Day Parade as grand marshals. After the Gruetzmachers were married in 1936, they started farming with 13 horses, which were used instead of tractors in the fields of their 240-acre farm, as well as being the primary mode of transportation to town.

Plans were made to provide activities for children on Saturday, April 13, at the KARE Channel 11 Health Fair at BP Elementary School. The touch and see area for children included a children’s teddy bear hospital, children’s fingerpainting, Early Childhood Family Education play and learn area, and information on nutrition and safety. Children attending could also receive certificates, free balloons pencils, buttons, and stickers.

The BP School Board approved the individualized learning development aid certification, which lowered the teacher-student ratio to one teacher for at most 20 students in kindergarten and first grade. As kindergarten teacher Joanne Devine said, “Coming into kindergarten, some students can read, and some don’t even recognize their names.” In its first year, the program was successful because every child received more individual help when the class broke into small groups for reading and math.

Wesley A. Krumrey, 72, of BP, died Sunday, April 7, 1991, at Queen of Peace Hospital, New Prague. Survivors included his twin brother, Victor Krumrey, and wife, Grace; a niece, Marlaine Savelkoul, and her husband, Francis; and a nephew, David Krumrey, all of BP.

The BPHS Speech Team competed at the Le Sueur Speech Tournament on Saturday, April 6, with more than 175 students from seven schools. Thirteen of 15 BP students took home individual honors, including Kevin O’Laughlin who earned first place in extemporaneous speaking, Tina Pautsch placing third in creative expression, and Margie McCue earning third place in informative speaking.

Four of the 39 BPHS students who attended the Hutchinson Technical College Skills Fair on Wednesday, April 3, came home with awards, and all returned with knowledge of the college and its programs. In BP’s fifth year of participation in the one-day event, the winners were Erik Einertson, first in decision making and third in computer adventures; Melinda Traxler, first in nutritious meals; and Becky Mendlik and Mary Glisczinski, second and third in bulletin board displays, respectively.

The BP Knights of Columbus Council #1503 donated $4,500 to 15 different local and state organizations. Proceeds from the 1990 spring fundraiser were distributed to help as large a cross section of people as possible. KC members on the donation committee included Bill Shields, Dr. John Fogarty, Lowell Hiles, and Chris Weldon.

Jenny Johnson was chosen as one of the 32 ambassadors in the Scott County 4-H Program, based on her application and interview. Ambassadors strived to reach their own potential as leaders, promote 4-H, and assist with the expansion of 4-H youth programs in Scott County.

BP Elementary students, together with their teachers and parent chaperones, visited the Minnesota State Capitol on March 21 and had the opportunity to meet with State Senator Terry Johnston and State Representative Bill Macklin.


60 Years Ago (1961)

Work was progressing on the new $155,000 addition to the Lutheran Home for the Aged. The exterior of the 179-foot-long wing was almost completed. The new 32-bed addition was built at a right angle to the south end of the addition built a few years earlier.

The State Theater re-opened after being closed for two years. A new coat of bright red paint covered the marquee and doors. The first movie to show was “Operation Petticoat.” A live stage performance was held between shows on the weekend.

A Brooklyn Park youth, who was arrested in BP on Jan. 25 following an armed robbery in Minneapolis, pulled the first jail break of the Anoka City Lock-up, since the jail was built in 1955. He sawed a three-quarter inch steel bar, slid through the foot-wide opening and then dropped 25 feet to the ground from his second-story cell.

The annual district instrumental solo and ensemble contest was held at Arlington High School. Winners of ‘A’ ratings for solos were Elizabeth Novak, Elroy Riesgraf, Karen Klehr, and Robert Dickie. Receiving ‘A’ ratings for ensembles were Helen Stier, Judy Druke, Patti Mahoney, Reggie Hottinger, Elizabeth Novak, Ann Anderson, Erma Dahn, Terry Ische, Elroy Riesgraf, Annette Fogarty, Sharon Murphy, Robert Dickie, and Joan Zellmer.

James W. Morgan, 24, of Le Sueur, suffered severely mangled hands while working at the Le Sueur Foundry. He was operating a punch press. The index finger on his right hand and the index and little fingers on the left hand were retained.

Three area men were elected officers of the Scott County Soil Conservation District Board: Fred Schmidt of Blakeley as reporter, Gerald Bendzick of Jordan as vice-chairman, and Donald Seifert of Jordan as treasurer.

Fifteen local scouts participated in the Waconia District’s Parade of Scouting. Then they entered a booth demonstrating the preparation of ‘burro’ doughnuts.

Wilbert Buesgens, 32, of Chaska, a nephew of William Buesgens of this community, died in a tractor accident.

Edward Kahle, 71, well-known former resident of the BP community, died April 10 at the Gaylord Hospital following a two-month illness. He was survived by his wife, Clara, and four children. The funeral was at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Gaylord.

Dr. Howard Bateman, a native of BP, died April 10 at his home in Montana, where he had been a practicing physician and operator of a hospital for 50 years.

The funeral of Helen Coghill was April 3 at the Jordan Catholic Church. She taught school in BP.

Tom McKinney, manager of Excelsior Plastics in BP since the plant was started in 1959, submitted his resignation. Rudy Zoske of St. Paul took over as the new manager.

Stan Orcutt, president of the BP Sportsmen’s Club, was named temporary chairman of a new Conservation Federation which included five counties.

A flock of about 20 wild swans rested on nearby water during the annual migration north.

 90 Years Ago (1931)

The area had its first visitation by a dust storm which blew in from the southwest. For an entire day, the dust wiped out all visibility, and lights had to be turned on in homes.

Charles C. Diers, a native of BP, died at his home in Casey, Wyoming, at age 55. In his younger years, he was engaged in the printing trade and later turned to automobile sales.

Arnold and Louis Ische left with equipment to take over bridge construction jobs in Waseca County. Making up the crew were Matt, Ray, and John Meyer, Louis Ische, son Elmer, Jerry Kirchoff, and Nic Meyer.

John F. Collins, back from Montana, said drought conditions were so severe in that state that irrigation projects lacked water.

Mrs. Frank Rihl died at her home in BP at age 68. A native of Wisconsin, she came here with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Casper Blau.

The old Minnesota Valley Baseball League was re-organized with the following towns as its members: BP, New Prague, Jordan, and Le Sueur.

Frank Werrick, a former mayor of BP and long active in its civic and athletic pursuits, died at his home in St. Paul at age 63, and his remains were brought to BP for funeral services at Sacred Heart Church.

Fire from a grass fire obscured the highway southwest of BP as two cars were passing, and there was a collision with wreckage of the cars and injury to occupants.

The farm home of Jos. Kane was destroyed by fire. Kane and his sister, Elizabeth, had guests and all were at dinner when the fire was discovered.

Gottlieb Gabbert, 69, pioneer stone mason of this community, died, and his funeral was held from St. John Lutheran Church.

Veronica Schuman and Benjamin J. Trimbo were married at Sts. Peter and Paul’s Church. The couple established their home in Blakeley village.

Hazel Scott, 29, died at the home of her parents in Jordan, and her burial was at the East Union Cemetery.

The prevailing price for gasoline was 12.1 cents plus tax at the stations and 9.1 cents plus tax for tank delivery. There were rumors of a cheaper grade coming on the market.

120 Years Ago (1901)

A catfish weighing 21½ lbs. was hauled in from the river at Blakeley by Herman Habeck.

The streets looked deserted for a week or two during the busy seeding season.

Peter Becker opened the brickyard for another season’s run and gave employment to a large crew of men.

A baseball club was organized with the following players: Peter Meyer, Joe Albrecht, Nels Everson, John Bauman, James Conway, Peter Weibeler, James Meade, John Melchoir, and Frank Werrick as captain.

Peter Blau ordered the removal of the old buildings on his business lot to make room for a large brick building.

The Minnesota Legislature was wrestling with reapportionment of congressional districts. The 1900 census gave the state an additional congressman.

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