From Our Files - 10 Years Ago

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Thirty Years Ago (1989)

The Town Tigers finished off an amazing week of baseball, winning four straight games to take the Carver Central Playoff Championship in Class C on Sunday, July 30.

After a 115-year history in Belle Plaine, the Franciscan religious order was planning to leave Belle Plaine at the end of June 1990, because it did not have the manpower to handle as many parishes as it used to, according to Fr. Miro Wiese, O.F.M., the present pastor at Our Lady of the Prairie Catholic Church.

Every weekend from early August until late September, Shirley Hallgren of Belle Plaine put on a heavy velvet costume, adopted a foreign accent, and became part of a village at the Renaissance Festival south of Shakopee. Along with her partner, Marge Bush, formerly of Belle Plaine and now of Hastings, Hallgren was preparing for their ninth year at the festival in the pair’s Pouches ‘n Petals Shop. Items which the two crafters had created and were going to be featured in the Christmas Idea edition of the Better Homes and Gardens magazine included a “Best of Nature” Christmas wreath, a decorated Christmas tree in a three-season porch, a yule log, and a goose.

Farmers were relieved when the area received between 1½ and 2 inches of rain on Saturday morning, July 29. The most rainfall to come at one time arrived at a vital time in the maturation of the corn crop since the corn was tasseling and the silks were well into development.

The Minnesota Conservation Corps, Department of Natural Resources, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Sentenced to Serve Program, Scott County Court Services, and Scott County Environmental Services had been working for several months with V & S Enterprise owner Marvin Voss and city council member Cary Coop on removing some 400,000 tires from the salvage yard. About 65% of the tires were piled into huge mountains to clear out, but it was the remaining tires scattered over 15 acres of the salvage yard along the Minnesota River and overgrown with weeds that concerned officials with the clean-up effort.

The Scott County Board of Commissioners formed a task force to study the way it interpreted the tax law giving any ten-acre parcel of land agricultural status with the lowest tax rate of all county land classifications, regardless of its primary use. There were reportedly many abuses of the system in the county, where people were receiving the agriculture classification and living in expensive homes on ten-acre parcels without having so much as a garden on their land.

With temperatures in the 80s, at least 20 degrees lower than in the past two years, attendance at the Scott County Fair in Jordan was considerably higher. Many local exhibitors excelled with their exhibits, including the Westphal brothers – Lance, Loren, Leon, and Lucas – with their ribbon-winning rabbits.

Larry Matson of Jordan, husband of Linda Ernst Matson who was Belle Plaine’s postmaster, was appointed and sworn in as postmaster at Le Sueur, where he served about 7,000 people on four city routes, three rural routes, and 139 post office boxes.

Polly Hahn, age 75 of Waconia, formerly of Belle Plaine, passed away on Wednesday, July 26, at the Belle Plaine Lutheran Home, where she had resided since November 1986. Polly worked at Christensen’s Grocery and Clothing Store from 1928 to 1941, and after marrying Orison Hahn in 1943, worked at Hahn’s Store until her retirement in 1971 when she moved to their lake home in Waconia. Survivors included her husband, Orison, of Waconia; a son, Arthur, of Minneapolis; three daughters and sons-in-law, Susie and Dale Stender of Belle Plaine, Cleo Geisler of Le Sueur, and Eydie and Rob Edberg of Jordan; one sister, Catherine Effertz, of Belle Plaine; and seven grandchildren.

60 Years Ago (1959)

The 45th annual Scott County Fair took place this weekend with a big parade Sunday afternoon, 4-H and FFA exhibits and auction, and a tug-of-war contest. The program also included a performance by the Lydia and Jordan Square Dancing Club and by Bud Jacobson, the gentleman pickpocket.

It had been unusually hot and humid for two weeks and a record was almost set for continuous temperatures in the 90s. A small shower that proved mighty beneficial to corn in its present pollination stage broke the dry spell.

Belle Plaine native, Charles E. Meyers, 59, of Minneapolis, died and was buried in Fort Snelling National Cemetery. He was remembered as the young man who assisted his widowed mother in operation of a hotel in what was then known as the Hallinan Building.

Roger Ruehling, son of Mr. and Mrs. Earl Ruehling, represented District 13 of the FFA at the FFA Camp near Virginia, MN. Eighty boys and girls from all over the state attended.

Miss Margaret Scully passed away at her home following a lingering illness. The deceased was the daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Scully and was born and grew to womanhood in the St. Thomas vicinity.

The many friends of the Cletus Widmer family were grieved to learn of the tragic death of their oldest son in an automobile accident in New York. David, 22, was working for IBM in New York and was riding with three other boys when their car collided with another. Funeral services were held in San Antonio, Texas, where the Widmers were living since leaving Belle Plaine some years earlier.

Mrs. Elizabeth Gregory of Jordan was guest of honor at a family reunion picnic held at the Joe Gregory farm in Belle Plaine at which 61 of her descendants were present. If all had been able to come, there would have been eighty at the gathering.

At Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Benton Township, took place the burial of Mrs. William Bussmann, who had died at the nursing home in Waconia at the age of 83.

The stretch of Hwy. 169 which passes through Belle Plaine near the Tiger Drive Inn was the scene of another accident which caused heavy property damage when a 1953 Chevrolet driven by a Hamel man pulled out from Walnut Street onto the highway in front of a vehicle towing a 1936 Ford dragster.

The best-dressed men in Scott County were Sheriff W.B. Schroeder and his deputies Cy Maxa and Norbert Schmitt. Their new uniforms include suntan shirts with a brown stripe and light brown trousers with dark brown stripes on the leg. According to Sheriff Schroeder, the new uniforms will aid more efficient law enforcement.

Kathleen Ann Minton, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Emmett Minton of Belle Plaine and A. Leon Binger of Renville, were married at Sacred Hart Church, with the Rev. Robert L. Minton, brother of the bride officiating at the double ring ceremony.

Playing at the theatre was “Some Like It Hot” with Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon. WCCO-TV asked viewers to watch “The Roy Rogers Show” on Channel 4.

90 Years Ago (1929)

Some farmers reported winter wheat yields up to 40 bushels to the acre, which other farmers discounted on the plea that they were “large” acres.

The Sells-Sterling Circus showed to a record crowd here. The big tent housed three circus rings.

Marie Emily Hoeltgen, who was born in Belle Plaine in 1922, died at her home in Shakopee.

As he was making ready to move to a new farm, E.T. Carlson put 118 acres in wheat, which he marketed directly from the separator and received $4,300, the top price for quite a number of years.

Edward C. Logelin of Chicago was in Belle Plaine for a visit with his brother Fred, when he got a telegram stating that his only daughter, 35, had died at her home in Chicago.

Rev. Godfrey Piontkowski arrived as the new pastor of Sts. Peter and Paul’s Church. He came from Petoskey, Michigan.

John Nally suffered a fractured collarbone and four broken ribs in a fall from a load of hay on the farm in Faxon and had to be hospitalized in Minneapolis.

Senator Henry Arens of Jordan was in Louisiana as a delegate to the annual session of the American Institute of Cooperation.

New cars came on the scene early. The 1930 Chevrolets had a price range of $525 to $695, f.o.b. Flint, Michigan.

The Graf Zeppelin was making regular scheduled trips from Germany to Lakehurst, N. J., making its third landing in 95 hours.

The ball game of the season was the win of Belle Plaine over Watertown, 1-0, giving Watertown its first defeat of the year.

120 Years Ago (1899)

Mary Thiel, a Belle Plaine girl employed in a St. Paul laundry, had her arm torn off at the elbow while operating a wringing machine.

F. J. Whitlock and Matt Hally made a drive to Mankato by team, doing the round trip in 23 hours.

Paul Latzke killed a gopher snake in his field that measured five feet long and three inches thick.

Rev. Father Stravens was back from Oregon to look over the scene of his childhood. The Stravens farm was on the north side of the river and was sold to Robert Stratton in 1871.

John D. Rockeller made an investment in Minnesota real estate, buying 80 acres near Hibbing for $400,000. It was estimated the property contained 8 million tons of iron ore.

There was a ball game between the Fats and the Leans. On the Fat side were F.C., A.J., and C.W. Irwin, Matt Hahn, Chris Albrecht, Theo Beckers, P.J. and Matt Schmitt, and  Arthur Verville. On the Lean side were F.J. Gericke, John Melchoir, Steve Heally, W.H. Carlson, Jake Krekelberg, Frank Rihl, N.J. Frank, and Ben Nichols.

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