From Our Files - 10 Years Ago

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Thirty Years Ago (1990)

The grandstand committee met with the contractor, the supplier, and the engineer, and the building inspector to resolve the problem of removing the untreated wood, which had been used in early construction of the new grandstand. Jerry Meyer, president of the committee, said, “It was just a simple oversight and thankfully we caught it when we did. It was a very positive meeting in dealing with a negative situation; there was no blaming and no excuses.” The group set an April 1 deadline for completion so the project would be done for the high school baseball season.

The directors of the McKnight Foundation approved a $65,000 grant to Southern Valley Alliance for Battered Women, which is headquartered in Belle Plaine. It was a multi-year grant with $35,000 in 1989, $20,000 in 1990, and $10,000 in 1991. Overall, it was the largest grant that SVABW had received to date.

A crack in the chimney caused a fire that partially destroyed the Don Slathar home in St. Lawrence Township, which he and his sons had been working on for the past ten years. The entire roof of the house was destroyed, but the outside structure was still standing and Slathar planned to rebuild the stone house. The amount of damage was estimated at $50,000.

The number of fires was lower in 1989 than in 1988, due to more rainfall. There were 44 fires last year, compared to 60 in 1988, according to the Belle Plaine Fire Department’s end of the year report. Total man-hours for both city and country fires were 1,280 compared to 1,756 for 1988, averaging out to approximately 42 hours per firefighter. The top five firemen based on attendance records were Mike Herrmann, George Herrmann, Jack Schuneman, Marv Hartman, and Vern Nyblom.

Belle Plaine Sports and Equipment, formerly Fahey Sports and Equipment, re-opened for sales and service after being closed for about a month, according to Red Gottschalk, owner. Alan Fahey owned and operated the business at 727 E. Main St. for four and a half years. Gottschalk had owned it for nine years before that.

Elsie’s Klothes Patch, at 102 S. Meridian St., was closing out all clothing and patterns and focusing on the sewing business, according to the owner, Elsie Wolff. “Clothes just don’t seem to go because we’re so close to the Twin Cities,” Wolff said. Elsie’s Klothes Patch had been in business seven years and planned to continue to offer fabric, altering, sewing notions, and craft supplies.

Katherine Engfer, 89, a U.S. Post Office worker in Belle Plaine for 42 years, died Sunday, Jan. 14, at the Lutheran Home in Belle Plaine.

The Belle Plaine Boys Basketball Team continued winning with an undefeated season record standing at 10-0. After an 89-72 victory over the Le Sueur Giants, the Tigers were in first place in the conference. Leading the way for the Tigers, with five people finishing in double figures, was Erik Einertson with 20 points. Jeff Trost, Brandt Vinkemeier, and Brad Muehlenhardt each finished with 14 points; Shannon Keohane had 12 points.     

60 Years Ago (1960)

The Commercial Club members treated their wives to a ladies’ night dinner of chicken and all the fixings. No business was transacted, but the officials of the new plastics plant were in attendance to tell briefly about the town’s new industry.

Mori-Dean Oestrich, the son of Maurice and Gretchen Oestrich and grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Vernon Schultz of Belle Plaine, died at the New Prague Hospital at the age of 21 months.

The L.A.A.O.H. met and installed the following new officers: Mrs. Emmett Minton, Mrs. Emmett McCue, Mrs. Dan O’Leary, Mrs. Richard Sullivan, Mrs. John Fisher, Mrs. James McCourtney, Mrs. Sylvester Mahoney, Mrs. Warren Willson, and Mrs. Harold Madden.

In an era of rising mill rates, the mill rate in Belle Plaine Borough on taxes payable in 1960 advanced less than one mill. It went from 239.31 to 240.19. For rural property, the rate was lower at 215.19 mills.

Three high school teachers, Jerry Miller, Walter Liese, and Fran Richard, took an audio-visual class at Mankato State. Elizabeth Albrecht, Maynard Harms, and Ronald Peterson represented the high school at a teachers’ conference of the Southeastern M.E.A. at Owatonna, where they studied teaching ethics and public relations.

The school board revised the age for children entering the first grade as six years before Dec. 1. The board’s research proved that children were too immature to begin schoolwork and activities at ages which they were allowed to begin in the past.

Robert Wayne, of Red Wing, was named Scott County Agent, starting Jan. 1, 1960. He replaced Arnold Sandager, who left to become an agent in Washington County at Stillwater.

The community raised $150 in a drive for the Retarded Children’s Association.

The Belle Plaine Lauderama had a grand opening with two free loads of washing and drying and free coffee.

William Petter, well-known St. Lawrence farmer, died suddenly of a heart attack at his home at the age of 60.

About 650 people attended John Deere Day sponsored by the Belle Plaine Implement Company.

Keith M. Brown, 63, a former mayor of Fairmont, died of injuries he suffered when struck by a car in Belle Plaine. He was attempting to walk across Hwy. 169 at Walnut Street and was hit by a northbound car and thrown about 15 feet, landing on the highway shoulder.

Elmer Stier was elected to membership in the American Angus Association. He was one of seven breeders of purebred Aberdeen Angus in the state elected to membership during the past month.

The boys’ basketball team lost two non-conference games to Norwood and Cleveland, but gained a position in the conference standings from fifth to fourth.

“Pillow Talk” was playing at the Le Sueur Theater. The movie starred Doris Day, Rock Hudson, Tony Randall, and Thelma Ritter.

Loren Stier attended the Dairy Equipment Company National Sales Conference in Madison, Wisconsin. A highlight of the meeting was a tour of bulk coolers and Karikool truck tanks used in the process of manufacturing.

Game Warden Ernie Boyd of Shakopee related some of his experiences on his recent safari to the big game regions of Africa at the Sportsmen’s Club meeting. In other business at the meeting, the club set up a foxhunt.

90 Years Ago (1930)

Farm commodity prices were still sliding, with buttermilk at 41 cents and hogs at $8.25.

All township roads in Carver and Sibley counties north of Belle Plaine had entered into contracts with the Waconia Snow Removal Company, which was getting the township roads open.

J.N. Schram, pioneer merchant in Belle Plaine, died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. John J. Fahey, of Norwood, at the age of 87. After leaving Belle Plaine, he ran a store at Green Isle quite a number of years.

Mr. and Mrs. Aaron Erickson celebrated their golden wedding at the West Union Hall with a large gathering of relatives and friends.

The Minneapolis motorist, who was bent on confusing other drivers in use of his spotlight and was fined in Justice Gabbert’s court, lost his appeal in district court and threatened to carry his case to the state supreme court.

Mrs. Rebecca Hewitt, who was born in Belle Plaine in 1860, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Smith, died at her home in Minneapolis.

The herd of 23 Holsteins owned by Walfred Felt was credited with having the highest record in cow testing of any herd in Carver County during 1929.

Attending the Farmers’ Short Course at the University was a group of St. Thomas men – Wm. Duane, Ed Walker, John P. Halloran, W.J. Sharkey, and Raymond O’Connell.

The nearly 74 years that John Donovan lived on his farm south of Belle Plaine ended with his death. His funeral was held from Sacred Heart Church with his son, Rev. Martin Donovan, the celebrant of the requiem Mass.

The Omaha Railroad’s crack train, the Nightingale, escaped with only locomotive damage as it smashed into the county’s snowplow at the railroad crossing in Blakeley. The two men on the plowing equipment leapt to safety as the train threw the outfit off the track.

Meyer Moses, known for many years as Jordan’s great merchant, died at the age of 65. Some years before retirement, his store was known as the largest in the county.

120 Years Ago (1900)

Fred Latzke went into the milling business with his brother William, and the firm was to be known as Latzke Bros.

Jacob Krekelberg and John Melchoir brought into town four large raccoons they had captured in one night’s hunt.

Chaska voted a bond issue for a municipal electric light plant.

Governor Lind surprised the politicians by announcing he would not be a candidate for re-election.

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