From Our Files - 10 Years Ago
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30 Years Ago (1989)
The Scott County Sheriff’s Department was investigating an apparent act of vandalism at the Blakeley Cemetery between Sunday night, Oct. 8, and Monday morning, Oct. 9. The Blakeley Cemetery was a relatively small cemetery with a small number of gravesites located just south of Blakeley on the bluff overlooking the village. Lynn Albrecht of Blakeley discovered the destruction about noon on Monday as she walked through the cemetery, just as she had done the previous day.
The Belle Plaine Development Corporation held its elections during the annual meeting on Thursday night, Oct. 5, with the following results: Roger Delgehausen, president; Bill McCue, vice president; Tyrone Buesgens, treasurer; Pat Krings, secretary; and Tom Lubovich, Bob Miller and Jim Steffen, directors.
A rash of cases involving stolen cars occurred in recent weeks because the owners of the vehicles had left their keys inside the car, according to Police Chief Steve Rost, so he warned residents that there was actually a state law in which a person could be charged with leaving the key in a vehicle. All eight of the cases were solved and charges were filed against three juveniles, ages 12 and 13, from Belle Plaine. When interviewing the suspects, Rost said they told him they spent their evenings in both residential and downtown areas looking for keys in vehicles, so they knew who left keys in their cars and who didn’t.
The Scott County Historical Society did a lot of work that summer at the historical Episcopal Church grounds in Belle Plaine. With a $10,000 gift from the city of Belle Plaine, the society started working on a bathroom/storage building, which was designed by Larry Paul to complement the architectural style of the church. According to Margaret McFarlane, historical society president, volunteers completed all the work except for plumbing and cement work,. In addition, an old-fashioned circle of flowers was planted in front of the church, with plantings also added to other parts of the grounds.
A fall quarter enrollment of 16,315 was reported by Mankato State in tenth day class figures released Friday, Oct. 6, which was a record enrollment for the school, representing an increase of 2.3 percent over last year’s figure of 15,942.
The Belle Plaine High School tennis team ended the regular season of play with four wins and two losses in conference play, 9-5 overall.
In a letter to the editor, Belle Plaine City Councilman Cary Coop clarified that, in addition to beginning the process of building a third city well, the council passed a motion to begin metering the water use for all Belle Plaine water users. He said the third well would increase the water supply and metering would decrease demand, so the two approaches would eliminate water shortages experienced by the city in previous years. Also, metering water would make water bills more equitable, with metered households billed by the amount of water used instead of the current practice of purely billing per person. Finally, if the dual approach solved the water shortage problem, the council could begin looking into the water quality problem.
60 Years Ago (1959)
A ground-covering snowfall Oct. 12 likely set a record in this area. Though there had been early October snow flurries in the past, this was a real snowfall. In Belle Plaine level snow on automobile tops measured a strong four inches, bringing out snow shovels, overshoes, mittens, and other wintertime paraphernalia.
Students, alumni, faculty, and friends were getting ready for the annual homecoming celebration at Belle Plaine High School. Events scheduled were a bonfire, pep fest, snake dance downtown, parade, and coronation. Queen candidates were Sharon Lynch, Lois Smith and Del Mae Buesgens. A dance was to follow the football game against Arlington.
A two-car accident on Devine’s hill plus a dozen or more calls from motorists who “hit the ditch” were the result of the early season snow. The large flakes made visibility very poor and as the snow turned to slush, the slippery highway became exceedingly treacherous to drivers not orientated for winter driving.
At Zion Lutheran Church in Benton Township, a guest at the golden wedding reception of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Kassen suddenly collapsed and died. Minnie Skarland, sister of Mrs. Kassen, had just been called on to reminisce of the wedding 50 years ago and said this was indeed a happy occasion and that it seemed the only time she got together with relatives and friends was at a funeral, but this meeting was different and most enjoyable. After she stopped speaking, she walked to the kitchen and collapsed. A doctor present pronounced her dead.
Miss Mary Sedivy, home economics instructor, offered a series of classes for the women of the community and surrounding area on home decorating.
Mrs. Catherine Grosser, long a resident of Belle Plaine, died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Bollinger, in Minnespolis, at the age of 84. Death followed a decline in health over the past four months.
The Belle Plaine Development Corporation was conducting a house-to-house membership drive. The group felt that industrial expansions would benefit everyone including all property owners and residents. The need for members was great to get the ball rolling.
Philip Traxler, well-known Le Sueur County resident, died at St. Joseph’s Hospital in St. Paul, at the age of 49. He suffered a heart attack while duck hunting in his boat on Decker Lake. Though he was able to make it to shore and call for help, he died at the hospital.
A total of $600 was to be spent by the Commercial Club in decorating and promoting Christmas decorations this year. The street decoration committee planned to purchase four more illuminated street decorations and festoons to be strung diagonally across the two main intersections and two main entrances.
Janet Mahoney, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Peter Mahoney, became the bride of Glenn Oster, son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Frank Oster, at Sacred Heart Church.
At St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Henderson took place the marriage of Miss Monica Trimbo, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Howard Trimbo, to Elliot Adams Jr. of St. Paul.
A tremendous 261-yard aerial offense, combined with a strong running game, spearheaded New Prague’s lopsided 53-14 Homecoming victory over Belle Plaine. The win moved New Prague into undisputed first place in the Minnesota River Conference while the loss dropped Belle Plaine down to a tie for fourth place.
Matt’s Variety was holding an odds and ends sale, advertising tricycles for $14.77, plastic drapes for 77 cents, kiddies’ dresses for 87 cents, and phonograph records for 29 cents.
At the movies was “The Diary of Anne Frank”.
90 Years Ago (1929)
Mid-October that year was seeing temperatures that reached the 80 degrees mark and holding steady in the 70s.
E.T. Carlson was moving that week from the Oak Farm to his new property atop the hill north of Belle Plaine.
A Belle Plaine youth was pursued and tagged by a motorcycle cop and later fined because of a law few were aware of. He had too much company in the front seat of his car – four persons.
The annual dinner, prepared by the ladies of Sts. Peter and Paul Parish, featured 800 pounds of choice chicken which just melted away before 850 diners who came for the meal.
Henry A. Ruehling was the area’s noted Poland China breeder, and in that year’s fair season, he had brought home 70 ribbons. Then he bought the boar that took first prize at the Minnesota State Fair.
Townships in the area were being organized for the annual corn bushing contests, and township winners were to compete for the county championship.
A young lady from Hammond, Wisconsin, was here selecting talent for a presentation of “Kiddie Revue”.
Combined assets of the two Belle Plaine banks and the Blakeley bank were $1,175,000.
Two men claiming to be eye specialists representing a clinic in Minneapolis fleeced a Waconia farmer out of $257. The farmer had also given them a second check for $330, but the second check, when presented at the bank, aroused suspicion and was refused for further identification. The “specialists” fled the area with the proceeds of the first cashed check.
A seven-year-old Norwood child, Glenn Bovey, was hit on the highway by a Minneapolis car and killed.
The Belle Plaine High School football team was defeating all challengers that season. On the team were Flaherty, O’Day, A. Blaha, J. Blaha, Shaughnessy, M. Fahey, V. Johnson, C. Johnson, Weldon, Trimbo, Eckhardt, and Captain Omy Hahn.
120 Years Ago (1899)
Everyone who owned or could borrow a gun was out quail hunting.
A severe hog cholera epidemic prevailed in Carver and Sibley counties. In the Gotha neighborhood, farmers were losing as many as forty hogs a farm. All the remedies known at that time had no effect.
J.B. Fitzsimmons and Phil Roe were named by the Belle Plaine Township supervisors to supply and erect guide posts at all the township’s road intersections for the benefit of the traveling public.
A petition was circulated and sent to Washington for the establishment of a post office in the German Settlement at the Schmidt Creamery.
G.H. Weibeler installed a hot water heating system in his home, the first heating system of that type to be seen here.
Mrs. George J. Milton and children moved back to Belle Plaine from St. Paul, deciding to wait here during her husband’s absence in the Klondike.
The war in South Africa commanded first place in the news. The English were beating the Boers in the early battles.