A worker from Wentz-Laff and Laabs Construction of Arlington

A worker from Wentz-Laff and Laabs Construction of Arlington checks to see that the cement blocks are in place for the new grandstand at South Park. The construction finally got started after much debate and many changed plans.

From Our Files - 10 Years Ago

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Thirty Years Ago (1989)

During the last two weekends of October, a “sentence to service” crew from Mankato worked to clean up thousands of tires, which had floated from the V & S Salvage Yard down the Minnesota River during a flood. The tires had tested positive for tree-hole mosquitoes, the type which carries encephalitis.

The Country Cupboard, the 3½-year-old gift shop that owners Gene and Diann Nowak were planning to close at the end of November, was sold to Sandy Johnson of West Union and her sister, Fran Smith, of Maple Lake. As a result, the shop remained open and inventory expanded.

After two years of gathering funds, having discussions, and making changes in plans, construction of the new grandstand in South Park began at the end of October. It will be 114 feet long and built in three sections each 38 feet long, at a depth of 25 feet, 8 inches. It will seat between 350 to 400 people.

Evelyn Schmitt, a longtime friend and volunteer of the Lutheran Home in Belle Plaine, received a Special Achievement Award for exceptional service to the Scott County (RSVP) Retired Senior Volunteer Program.

Retired teacher Elizabeth S. Albrecht, 85, died Sunday, Oct. 29, at the Belle Plaine Lutheran Home. She was named Teacher of the Year in 1967, Future Teachers of America outstanding advisor in 1970, and became the first woman member of the Belle Plaine City Council in 1971. Albrecht was a justice of the peace, chaired the Library Board, helped organize the Belle Plaine Girl Scouts, and was president of the Senior Citizens’ organization, as well as music director at Our Lady of the Prairie Church and a member of the VFW and American Legion auxiliaries.

Harvesting was nearly completed and farmers in Scott and Carver counties were in good spirits. In Scott County, the corn yield varied from 90 to 160 bushels per acre while the soybean yield was between 35 and 45 bushels per acre. Corn contained 17 to 22 percent moisture while the soybeans had 8 to 10 percent, according to Scott County Extension Agent Dave Hart. Graydon Snapp, Carver County’s extension agent, reported that top producers were seeing corn yields of 150 to 175 bushels per acre, with moisture at about 18 percent. However, grasshoppers and other insects had been a problem in Carver County, reducing the quality of the crops to some extent.  Also, the subsoil moisture was way down and much more rain was needed that fall and next spring to bring ground-water levels back to normal.  

The Minnesota River Conference named Jayme Bergs and Shannon Moriarty to the All-Conference Tennis Team for the 1989 season. Eighth grader Jayme Bergs finished 5-1 in conference play at the number two singles spot. At number one doubles, sophomore Shannon Moriarty had a conference record of 4-2. Honorable mention went to Katie Moriarty, grade 8.

The BPHS Volleyball Team lost to undefeated Mankato Loyola, by scores of 15-9, 15-11 and 15-2, in their last home match of the season. The Tigers completed the conference in second place losing twice to Mankato Loyola, the MRC champions, and once to Jordan early in the season.  


60 Years Ago (1959)

The Belle Plaine Farmers Creamery installed three new pieces of equipment, which would increase the plant’s potential capacity by 75 percent, according to manager Fred J. Heiland. The new equipment, designed to streamline operations, includes a 4,000 gallon cream storage tank, a high temperature short time pasteurizer, and a vacuumizer.

The BPHS Junior Class, under the direction of Roger Delgehausen, was starting rehearsals for its annual play. This year’s offering was “Little Women” from the novel by Louisa May Alcott. The cast included Ann Ramstead, Lois Stier, Patty Mahoney, Mary Ann Herder, Helen Stier, John Miller, Duane Wagener, Marlene Rebers, Otto Schultz, and Mark Albrecht.

Automobile owners were getting through the mail their applications for 1960 license plates. More than 1,600,000 Minnesotans were due to receive them.

Rev. Robert Schlicht was installed as the new pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church. He came from Globe, Wisconsin, and was married to the former Loretta Manthe, who taught at Trinity Lutheran School from 1952 to 1955. They had one son, Stephen, age 1½.

Starting the following week, the Belle Plaine Commission Company switched from night to daytime sales, announced Wayne Ediger.

Another sign of early winter came with an inch of snow which fortunately disappeared soon but not before producing icy roads.

Word reached here of the death of two former residents of St. Thomas, Mrs. Mary Spence of St. Paul and Mrs. William Butler of Middleton, Wisconsin, who passed away following a car accident at Humbird, Wisconsin.

Martin Neisen was given a surprise birthday party at his home in Belle Plaine with friends and relatives attending.

Mr. and Mrs. Henry J. Latzke have taken occupancy of the fine new home they had built in Belle Plaine, a two-bedroom rambler with utility room and full basement. The farm they vacated in Blakeley Township had been Henry Latzke’s since 1911 and was now occupied and operated by their son, Lloyd.

Mr. and Mrs. John D. Mager Sr. celebrated their 43rd wedding anniversary with a large gathering of relatives and friends.

Lynn Alice Simcox, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Murrell Simcox, became the bride of Robert Edward Moody, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ed Moody at Zion’s Evangelical and Reformed Church in Le Sueur.

Novak’s Drug Store began advertising Christmas cards with box selection ranging from 69 cents to $1.49, and Smith Shell Oil hawked snow tires from $18.70 to $22.80.

Greg Engfer, captain of the Belle Plaine football team, was named a member of the 20-man Minnesota River All-Conference team.

Forty-two boys in grades 9-12 tried out for the basketball team under head coach Ron Peterson.

Hunters who had already returned home with their game included LeRoy Moenke, Floyd Denzer, Robert and James Ciminski, Ed Otto, Wesley Oldenburg, Harry Otto, Howard Lawrence, and Don Trimbo. Jack O’Brien and his three sons and the Meyer brothers, Ben, Minnow, and Walter, also all brought home their own deer.

90 Years Ago (1929)

The B.M. Hughes family, who had resided in Belle Plaine for nine years, moved to Minneapolis, after selling the Ford agency to F.M. Tillquist and associate.

The annual chicken dinner by the ladies of the Presbyterian Church drew the usual large attendance.

The marriage of Miss Ida Chard and Emil Holste took place at St. John Lutheran Church, with Rev. P.J. Haupt officiating.

William Mahoney, one of the pioneers in Saskatchewan getting land in the homestead period, was back for a visit in his old home community and inspected his old farm here, then owned by Fred Moenke.

The paved highway across the width of Carver County, Glencoe to Chaska, was open for travel.

George H. Sandberg, former Blakeley boy, was re-elected president of the Minnesota Education Association at the annual state meeting.

The marriage of Evelyn O’Neill and George Duffy took place at Holy Rosary Church in Minneapolis. Clem Duffy was his brother’s best man.

Mrs. Julia Churchill, mother of Mrs. Thomas Newell of Belle Plaine, died at her home in Minneapolis at the age of 90. She had been a frequent visitor at the Newell farm.

An oil promotion company was endeavoring to get Carver County folks “oil-minded.” They were making a show of securing leases on 1,400 acres in the vicinity of Mayer. The company claimed it would put down a test well.

George Schultz, son of Mr. and Mrs. Herman Schultz of near Belle Plaine, and Miss Lily Schultz of near New Rome, were married at the latter place.

Leonard Langele, adopted son of Mr. and Mrs. Louis Langele, died at a Minneapolis hospital at the age of 26.

The Belle Plaine High School football squad wound up its season without a single defeat. Schools defeated were Le Sueur, Watertown, Montgomery, Le Center, New Prague, and finally Henderson with a 75 to 0 defeat.

120 Years Ago (1899)

It was a long and pleasant Indian summer.

The railroad section crew was reduced to two men for the winter at wages of $1.25 per day.

The Gran Mill was running day and night and the management was considering the installation of additional equipment to speed up production.

One store after another was putting in acetylene gaslights, which was considered the last word in interior illumination.

Having come to Belle Plaine in 1857, Adam Krieger died. For many years, he was the town’s leading carpenter and builder.

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