30 Years Ago: Four years of little rain followed by a spring of heavy rains caused trees and debris to jam the Minnesota River

Four years of little rain followed by a spring of heavy rains caused trees and debris to jam the Minnesota River as it passes Belle Plaine. Logs collected at the Highway 25 bridge, coming downstream from Le Sueur where they were caught up last week.

From Our Files - 10 Years Ago

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Thirty Years Ago (1990)

A total of 770 people (a return rate of 43 percent out of 1,800 households) responded to the BP Community Survey, revealing their opinions of the services provided by the city as well as the needs of the community. In the part relating to the community in general, more than 84 percent agreed that BP was a good place to live. About 32 percent felt crime was a serious problem in BP, and 67 percent believed drug and alcohol abuse were serious problems in BP. Only forty-five percent felt the local streets were well maintained, and 82 percent rated the water quality as poor. Seventy-five percent said the downtown area needed to offer a better mix of goods and services, like additional groceries, apparel, variety, and pharmacies. More than half of the respondents believed the city needed to add apartments, condominiums and townhouses, and 61 percent believed the city needed more elderly housing. When asked whether BP should develop a local golf course, about 55 percent said they’d never use it. In the part of the survey pertaining to labor, about 86 percent of the respondents reported that they were working, while 13 percent were not. The lowest pay that most respondents would have accepted to work for a business or industry in BP was $7.65 or more per hour or $30,000 or more per year. Forty-one percent were   employed in BP, and about 52 percent said the maximum distance they would be willing to commute one-way was between 20 and 40 miles.

Four years of little rain followed by a spring of heavy rains caused trees and debris to jam the Minnesota River as it passed under the bridges outside of Le Sueur and BP. One local river watcher, 79-year-old Matt Hally, stated this was the worst logjam on the river he could recall seeing in BP. The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) came to BP to work on the logjam on Wednesday, June 27.

BP was one step closer to extended area telephone service. The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) met June 12 to formalize what telephone companies had to do to extend metro area service in BP and 20 other exchanges in the seven-county metropolitan area.

Asbestos tiles were being removed from the BP Elementary School gymnasium during the last ten days of June. The nine-inch square tiles were taken up and replaced with 12-inch square vinyl tiles. This was the most expensive summer maintenance project for the BP School District and included removal of asbestos from some pipes near the ceiling over the stage, as well as one of the tunnels in the high school building. The total cost of the project was $47,268, according to Head Custodian Dwight Petty.

Debbi Jo Buttshaw, age 10, daughter of Sandy and Dick Buttshaw, was a finalist in the Miss Minnesota American Pre-Teen Pageant, on July 6-7 at the Radisson Hotel in St Paul.

The Town Tiger Baseball Team improved their overall record to 12-0, by edging the Carver Black Sox 2 to 1 on Thursday night, June 21, and defeating Victoria 8 to 4 on Sunday afternoon, June 24, in BP before nice-sized home crowds.

In the 3rd annual Star of the North State Games in Rochester, BP was represented with three volleyball teams, as well as four tennis players and two track and field athletes. The 14 and under volleyball team members who took first place were Tara Baynes, Karee Chevalier, Sara Volek, Shelley Keohane, Wendy Lange, Danielle Schmit, Kim Dressen, Margaret Labo, and Kate Fogarty. The 16 and under volleyball team from BP earned a bronze medal and consisted of Pam Aufderhar, Margie McCue, Heather Wiley, Kelly Behnke, Andrea Mahoney, Amy Weldon, Amy Bruder, Megan Murphy, Amy Haedike, and Erin O’Reilly. The 18 and under volleyball team took fourth place and included Denise Koepp, Jenny Klehr, Michelle Gransee, Cindy Berger, Tammy Bauer, and Jenny Hennen. Four local tennis players met tough competition at the games. Katie Moriarty and Cathy Mahoney each won one match and lost two. Shannon Moriarty and Paul Longhenry each lost two matches, both with an exciting tiebreaker. In track and field events, Josh Baynes won a silver medal in the 16-year-old division of the triple jump. Gabe Kostecky won a gold medal in the 13-14-year-old division of discus and a bronze medal in shot put.

60 Years Ago (1960)

While many rural towns were finding it difficult to attract medical doctors, BP considered itself remarkably fortunate because two young doctors were setting up practice: Dr. Roger Hallgran, who had just completed three years as a Captain in the Air Force Medical Corps, and Dr. B.D. Kaiser, who had just completed his internship.

About 1,500 red and white buttons went on sale at most area businesses to promote Bar-B-Q Days.

A $516.000 bond issue for a sewage disposal plant was approved in Shakopee.

Shirley Karnitz, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Victor Karnitz, married Kenneth Krant, son of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Krant, on June 25 at St. Thomas Catholic Church in Jessenland.

The BP Fire Dept. was called to the vacant lot adjoining Schostag Feed Service where the firemen quickly brought the grass fire under control.

Fred Keup Sr. entered his name as a candidate for the office of county commissioner in the first district of Scott County. His name made a total of five men in the race.

Rev. Kenneth Gansmann celebrated his Silver Jubilee with a solemn High Mass at St. John’s Church, Union Hill.

Dorothy Stoppelmann, daughter of Fred Stoppelmann of Blakeley, joined the Lutheran Brotherhood as an employee in the bookkeeping dept.

Redeemer Lutheran Church of the German Settlement observed the 35th ordination and 35th wedding anniversary of their pastor, Fred Lutz, on June 26.

Green bugs, the small aphids which caused so much damage to area grain crops the previous year, had returned and were infesting the barley, oats, and other small grains.

Juli Riley Goggins, a schoolteacher in BP and the inventor of the U.S. military casket, died June 26 at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester.

Al Mechtel retired after operating an independent oil station on East Main Street for ten years.

Mrs. Steven Huss, lifelong resident of the Union Hill community, died June 23 at the New Prague Hospital, following a stroke she had suffered a week earlier.

Karen Marie Stuewe, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Harold Stuewe, married Warren Kamps, son of Mr. and Mrs. Milton Kamps June 11 at Zion Lutheran Church in Benton Township.

Annette Fogarty attended Girls’ State from June 16 to 23.

With more than 255 people registered, summer recreation programs were in full swing. More than 100 people attended swimming trips to the Le Sueur pool.

The Tiger Town Team lost 9-2 to Prior Lake due to a reckless start with many unearned runs and errors.


 90 Years Ago (1930)

Early grain cutting was due to start in the area the first week of July. The rye and winter wheat fields on the BP prairie had taken on a deep golden hue, and corn was better than knee-high. The growing season was most satisfactory.

Emil Schmidt and family and Ernst Buszmann were back from a 3,000-mile tour of Montana. A jaunt into western Canada was called off on account of bad roads.

Following an explosion of gasoline, the farm home of C.A. Neil, between BP and Blakeley, burned to the ground. Every item of household equipment and furnishings was destroyed.

A professional from the Golden Valley Golf Club, Minneapolis, was laying out the golf course on the Emil Affolter farm, using the acreage south of the farm buildings.

The marriage of Ruth Snyder of Minneapolis and Sylvan Taylor of BP took place in Minneapolis.

Mrs. Fred Virkholz, nee Hannah Herlihy, died at her home in Minneapolis. Before her marriage, she lived in St. Thomas.

Roy Hahn of the Hahn Store and his family left on a three-week trip to New York.

A very large group of West Union folks were at Winthrop to attend the silver wedding celebration of Mr. and Mrs. Victor Anderson.

Quite a number of friends of Mr. and Mrs. M.M. Gaffney went to Winnebago for the funeral of Mrs. Gaffney’s mother, Mrs. G.F. Kinney, age 58.

The annual congregation picnic of the German Settlement Church took place in Chris Woestehoff’s oak grove.

120 Years Ago (1900)

The drought described as “the worst ever known in this locality” was broken by an all-day rain.

Mr. and Mrs. E.E. Chard returned from their European trip during which they saw the World’s Fair in Paris and visited at the home of Mr. Chard’s boyhood in England.

H.H. Sistermann’s buildings east of town came near being destroyed in a grass fire set by sparks from a locomotive. The fire burned over several acres and set trees ablaze. Neighbors kept the fire in check by plowing furrows in front of the buildings.

Rev. Kassian Tritz, who was ordained in the Franciscan order at St. Louis, came to BP to celebrate his first Mass at Sts. Peter and Paul’s Church, followed by a reception at the home of his parents.

Andy Donovan started construction of a new home on the Bailey farm in Faxon and rumor had it that it was going to be the finest residence in the township.

Frank Myers caught a five and one-half pound walleyed pike in the river here, which was said to be the largest fish of that variety ever caught here.

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