From Our Files - 10 Years Ago
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Thirty Years Ago (1989)
Hardees of Belle Plaine donated six Thanksgiving food baskets to needy families in town as part of a project carried out by many Hardees Restaurants throughout Minnesota. Each basket contained one 10-pound turkey, mashed potatoes, corn, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, one gallon of cranberry juice cocktail, one pumpkin pie, whipped cream, one pound of butter, brown and serve rolls, Italian bread, and pumpernickel bread, which totaled about $130. Each church in or near Belle Plaine was asked to select a needy family as the recipient of a food basket.
Rev. Joseph Coulter, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church and Rev. Mark Hall, pastor at St. John Lutheran Church and Redeemer Lutheran Church, were both leaving Belle Plaine. After serving in Belle Plaine for two years, Coulter left for the University of Tennessee at Knoxville to work in campus ministry. After serving both St. John and Redeemer for three years, Hall was called by the congregation of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Marshfield, Wisconsin.
The Belle Plaine City Council approved a sign variance for a joint sign for Fina and Hardees; however, the businesses did not get exactly what they were requesting. The largest sign allowed by the city ordinance was 150 square feet in area and 20 feet in height measured from the centerline of the adjacent highway. The two businesses wanted a sign 75 feet in height and approximately 400 square feet in area. The variance that was finally approved was for the 250-square foot area but only a 25-foot height variance.
Belle TV located at 104 East Main Street was leaving Belle Plaine within two weeks and moving to Arlington, according to owners Linda and Brian Trost. The couple said they needed more space and wanted to expand and start selling furniture and microwave ovens at their new location at 248 W. Main Street in Arlington, but the Trosts also planned to continue servicing televisions from their home in rural Belle Plaine.
The Belle Plaine City Council accepted the specific duties for a proposed ambulance clerk and recommended that the city administrator write a job description, even though council members were concerned that other volunteer groups in the city might want to do the same if they approved this proposal.
The confirmation class at St. John Lutheran Church included Joshua Osterkamp, Bonnie Gruetzmacher, Jeremy Bigaouette, Paul Gohlke, Joseph Adelmann, Jason Schmidt, Amy Havemeier, Christine Longhenry, Monica Bessel, Lance Voss, Jeff Gutzmer, Jackie Rickaby, Kimberly Koepp, and Gabriel Kostecky. Pastors Eugene Boschee and Mark Hall confirmed the fourteen youth on Sunday, Oct. 29.
The Minnesota River Conference named junior Mike Mahoney, son of Jim and Carol Mahoney, to the All-Conference Football Team for the 1989 season. Honorable mention went to Kirby McDonald and Mark Mahoney.
The Minnesota River Conference named senior Denise Koepp, daughter of Don and Diane Koepp, and junior Karen Boschee, daughter of Eugene and Marilyn Boschee, to the All Conference Volleyball Team for the 1989 season. Honorable mention went to freshman setter Erin O’Reilly.
The election meeting of the Belle Plaine Baseball Association was held on Tuesday, Nov. 14, with the following results: President – Gerry Meyer, Secretary-Treasurer – Vern Nyblom, General Manager – Marv Hartman, and Field Manager – Brent Meyer. Other board members included Lloyd Schultz, Orin Kruschke, and Gary Lockrem. John Bailey was stepping down after serving several three-year terms on the board, so Manley Vinkemeier was elected to replace Bailey.
60 Years Ago (1959)
Mrs. Margaret Wegan, 70, a resident of the Home for the Aged, walked away during supper and wasn’t found until shortly before 10 p.m. following an intensive search. Earl Meyer discovered the woman lying in a soybean field a block south of the milk plant. She suffered from exposure and frost bite.
Thomas H. McKinney, manager of the plastics plant, installed a new injecting molding press at the Stier building where the company planned to start operation on a temporary basis. The $35,000 press was the largest owned by Northwest Plastics. McKinney also interviewed over 100 applicants for employment that week.
Mrs. Ellen Bergin Danielson, wife of the late Oscar Danielson, passed away in her sleep at the age of 71 years. She had been a guest for several months at the Lutheran Home for
Friends, neighbors, and relatives brought tractors, wagons, corn pickers, and elevators to the Hilary and Linus Trimbo farms and picked their corn. Those who helped included George French, Sully Otto, Willis Castor, Milan Diers, Bill Doheny, Billy Kerkow, Henry Holste, Ray Malz, Armin Muehlenhardt, Kenneth Smith, John Carlson, Lyle Trimbo, George Wager, Pal Kehoe and Lloyd Oldenburg. Hilary Trimbo was convalescing at the Arlington hospital after losing his hand in a corn picker.
Edward E. Chard, better known to older residents as Ted Chard, died at his home in Oxnard, California, near Los Angeles. He was for many years cashier of the State Bank of Belle Plaine. Later, when he became interested in real estate development, Chard had moved to the Los Angeles area about 40 years previously.
Mr. and Mrs. William F. Schmidt celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with a gathering of relatives and friends.
Mrs. Elphie Mellgren, widow of John Mellgren, died at the age of 86. Her burial was in the East Union Lutheran Church Cemetery.
Mr. and Mrs. Wilmer J. Woestehoff of Blakeley Township celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary with an open house at the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Redeemer.
Mrs. Paul Schultz, mother of Mrs. John A. Halloran, passed away at her home in St. Paul. She had been in poor health for some time.
One of the largest audiences ever to attend a Belle Plaine High School class play had the good fortune of witnessing one of the best plays ever performed by a junior class here. A total of 950 persons watched the four performances.
Robert Koenig won third prize with his prize Hampshire barrow at the Junior Livestock Show at South St. Paul. The Associated Milk Dealers of St. Paul purchased the barrow for 60 cents per pound. The animal weighed 245 pounds.
Belle Plaine area residents had the opportunity to win $95 in cash prizes in the revamped Christmas home lighting contest sponsored by the Commercial Club. Two prizes were to be awarded for each of the following categories: religious, general home lighting, trees and shrubbery decorations, and business windows.
It was reported that Burnsville Township, which was at the east side of the village of Savage, would be the site of a 100-home development in 1960. A Minneapolis concern bought from Timothy O’Regan of Montgomery 215 acres across the highway from the Burnsville school and planned to erect 100 homes in the $15,000 - $25,000 price range.
At Sacred Heart Church took place the marriage of Miss Lois Mary Ciminski, daughter of Joseph Ciminski of Blakeley, to Robert Blaha, son of Mr. and Mrs. Leo Blaha of Blakeley. Father Patrick Curtis officiated at the double ring ceremony.
Norwood-Young America was to replace Lakeville in the Minnesota River High School Athletic Conference starting with the 1960 football season, as the result of its being voted into the conference at a special meeting of delegates at Waterville.
Sasses’ Coast-to-Coast Store held an 87 cent toy sale with play-doh, chalkboards, 9-piece coffee set, a bag of blocks, baby’s pony, barn and animal set, doctor’s bags, Hairless Harry game, and toy cars all going at that price.
90 Years Ago (1929)
After a wonderful autumn, the weather broke suddenly to zero. Coal dealers came out with big ads. Millers Creek sold for $11.70.
Mr. and Mrs. Fred Moenke celebrated their silver wedding anniversary with a gathering of relatives and friends.
Mrs. Mike Miller, a pioneer of the Assumption community, died at the age of 86. Two sons, John and Nick, both of near Assumption, survived her.
E.F. Killian & Son, owners of the Jordan Hatchery, leased the M. O’Connor building in Belle Plaine to set up a branch hatchery here.
Up to 800 pounds of poultry were shipped out by parcel post from the Belle Plaine Post Office that season.
Belle Plaine Legionnaires re-elected Edward F. Smith as post commander for another year.
N.J. Frank, life-long resident of Belle Plaine died. He was one of the community’s best-known carpenters, and many buildings in town and the country were of his workmanship.
The power company gave its customers a Thanksgiving present with notice of a reduction in rates.
At St. John Lutheran Church took place the marriage of Miss Ella Mahlmann to Howard C. Smith. After a wedding trip, the couple took occupancy of the new house built on the groom’s farm in Faxon Township.
Mrs. Matt Gansen died at the hospital in St. Paul at the age of 35 and the funeral was held at Union Hill.
Farm commodities were showing a steady decline. Hogs had a top of $8.30, butterfat was 43 cents, and #1 wheat was $1.15.
Mrs. Martin Meger Sr. died at her home in Derrynane Township at the age of 78. A native of Poland, funeral services were held at the Polish Catholic Church in Lexington.
A Le Sueur County deputy sheriff who was also a police chief in one of the municipalities was found guilty of stealing chickens from a farm.
120 Years Ago (1899)
The St. John’s Crusaders gave that year’s Thanksgiving Ball.
The large barn on the Pat Sherlock farm north of town burned to the ground and with it were lost 18 cows, 6 calves, 3 horses, and a lot of stored feed.
It was charged that all the quail were being killed off that fall. Hunters from the city and everywhere else had flocked in here in vast numbers.
John Nolan, who was operating a sheep ranch in Wyoming, was back for a sojourn in his old St. Thomas neighborhood.
Mr. and Mrs. Eisenhardt, who lived near the Omaha Depot at Jordan, were found dead in their house by a member of the section crew. Gas was escaping from a coal stove with the chimney of the house choked with mud carried in by sparrows during the long period the chimney was not in use.
Merchant W.H. Weibeler shipped a carload of Belle Plaine grown potatoes to the Kansas City market.