From Our Files - 10 Years Ago

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Thirty Years Ago (1989)

Belle Plaine and Jordan’s joint bid to host the 1992 state amateur baseball tournament was accepted by the Minnesota Baseball Association’s Board of Directors who met October 1 in St. Cloud. John Bailey represented Belle Plaine and John Breimhorst and John Bruenig represented Jordan at the meeting. Belle Plaine and Jordan had hosted the first duel site ever held by the association in 1981, which was one of the better attended tournaments with an attendance that year of 15,463.

Though differing opinions still lingered, the Belle Plaine City Council came to an agreement Monday night, Oct. 2, in hiring an engineering firm, Benestroo Rosene Anderlik & Associates, to begin investigating the construction of a third city well.

Country Cupboard, Belle Plaine’s gift shop on East Main Street, began a going-out-of-business sale Thursday, Oct. 5. Owners Gene and Diann Nowak considered expanding their business, which had opened in May 1986, but in the end, decided instead to close up shop. After looking into buying a larger building downtown and into building a new building along the highway, the couple chose to close the business.

The Belle Plaine City Council approved the school district’s request to house both the preschool program and early childhood family education program in the St. John Lutheran Church parish house next door to the church on Chestnut Street, for one school year, even though Florence Leonard, who lived across the street from the parish house, had expressed concerns about increased traffic, availability of parking, and safety of the children.

Emma Krumbee’s Market was holding its sixth annual Great Scarecrow Festival through the end of October with both weekday and weekend activities for children and their families. Thirty scarecrows were recognized with ribbons and cash prizes for first place ($300), second ($200), third ($100), and honorable mention ($25), with fifteen Belle Plaine entries among the winners, including Audrey Zurn of who created the first prize entry in the adult traditional category. In the plump pumpkin contest, David Woestehoff of Henderson earned the first place prize of $25 with his 267-pounder. In preparation for the festival, the market grew 8,000 pumpkins on four acres of their own land this year and another four acres of Indian corn, according to market manager Jan Barlage.

There was good news and bad news concerning the grandstand project in Belle Plaine’s South Park. The good news was that the engineering and architectural firm of KKE had certified the revised plans for the new concrete structure. The bad news was that the underground sprinkling system in the baseball field’s outfield, as well as the infield, needed to be replaced.

In a two-car crash seven miles southwest of Belle Plaine on Tuesday, Oct. 3, Mark Allan Hildebrandt, 19, of rural Le Sueur, was taken by helicopter to North Memorial Hospital in Robbinsdale after the 1986 Honda he was driving south on Hwy. 169 was struck broadside by a 1980 Chevrolet Citation driven by Gunner Johnson, 85, of Red Wing, who was heading west on Hwy. 19.  Hildebrandt was listed in critical condition, but Johnson was not seriously injured, which highway patrolmen attributed to his wearing a seat belt.

The BPHS Volleyball Team played 28 games in eight days during Homecoming Week. Coach Brinton Hawkins was extremely pleased with her team’s performance. “The team is beginning to jell. We are working more as a team; we are beginning to read defense a little better and our timing is improving. I feel the only place we lost [in a few games] was on the scoreboard.” Team leaders throughout the week included Denise Koepp, Karen Boschee, Pam Aufderhar, Erin OReilly, Amy Haedike, Cindy Berger, Michelle Gransee, and Jenny Klehr.


60 Years Ago (1959)

Excelsior Plastics Incorporated signed a contract for the construction of a 30 by 100-foot cement block building in Belle Plaine. The factory will manufacture plastic materials for Northwest Plastics Inc. of St. Paul, designers and modelers of plastic products. The building will cost about $30,000 plus machinery installation valued at between $25,000 and $50,000. Edberg Construction of Belle Plaine received the general contract. Both Jordan and Belle Plaine had been considered for the plant, but Belle Plaine won out because of its superior factory site.

The area was yet to be visited by frost, and temperatures continued to be very mild. Farmers would welcome frost for the corn and bean harvests.

William B. Farrell, director of business and industrial services at the State Dept. of Business Development, spoke at the meeting of the Belle Plaine Development Corporations, giving information on industrial development throughout the state and what Belle Plaine can look forward to in the way of future industries locating here.

The Development Corporation elected its charter board of directors: Maurice Gaffney, president; Orison Hahn, vice president; Maynard Harms, secretary; and Emil Ashauer, treasurer. Other board members were C.F. Mueller, Harold Edberg, Tom Lynch, M.J. Daly, F.J. Keup, and Ed Townsend.

Mr. and Mrs. John B. Carney celebrated their golden wedding anniversary at an open house at their home hosted by their children.

A large number of neighbors, friends and relatives gathered at the home of Mrs. Ray Duffy for a surprise farewell party on the eve of her departure from her farm home. At midnight everyone departed for their homes, wishing Mrs. Duffy much happiness in town.

Robert Edward Moody, 22, of Belle Plaine was appointed a Scott County Deputy by Sheriff W.B. Schroeder to replace Norbert Schmitt who resigned.

F.M. Tillquist of Belle Plaine Motor Company announced the showing of the 1960 Fords with the new Ford and the smaller Falcon on display in his newly remodeled showroom.

A well-known native son of Green Isle, Hugh Davitt, died in St. Paul, the city where he had long lived. He was employed in the St. Paul post office for many years until retirement.

Though a little premature, the Commercial Club announced tentative plans for its Christmas Home Lighting Contest. The club encouraged residents to take advantage of the warm weather to lay the groundwork for outdoor decorations.

Just two years after taking over operation of the Belle Plaine Commission Company, Wayne Ediger unveiled an enlarged sales barn. The 66 by 46-foot north wing addition with cement floor included more enclosed pens, a new office, and three loading chutes.

Mrs. George Taubman, who recently moved from Belle Plaine to Grove City, was injured at that city’s high school homecoming celebration when two dogs started fighting in a crowd where she was standing, knocking her over. Her leg was chewed and torn to the extent that 36 stitches were needed to sew up the flesh wounds.

Fulltime police protection was established in Belle Plaine. Mayor Mueller and his councilmen voted to go ahead with a plan to hire former Scott County Deputy Sheriff Norbert Schmitt as a fulltime second policeman. Previously, Chief Orlin Smith was the only fulltime officer with Emil Laabs serving as a relief officer for Smith on his days off.

The Forty Hours Devotion at Sacred Heart Church was well attended with 14 visiting priests, including Father Hessian and Father Minton from the Twin Cities participating in the closing exercises.

Divided Hwy. 169 claimed the life of a Chaska girl, Lorraine Schmidt, when the car she was a passenger in failed to yield the right of way and was hit broadside by another car near the J & W Tavern four miles east of Belle Plaine.

Miss Donna Lehnert, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Roland Lehnert of Blakeley, was united in marriage to Connie J. Denzer, son of Mr. and Mrs. Logan Denzer, at St. Anne’s Catholic Church in Le Sueur.

Le Center outran Belle Plaine 27-0 in a steady drizzle, which found the Tiger defense sometimes as soggy as the playing field. It was the Tigers’ second straight loss.

 90 Years Ago (1929)

The high school section of the Belle Plaine Public School was finally able to move into the new addition, which was started the previous spring.

D.H. Flynn, former Faxon Township boy who relocated in the Los Angeles area, was engaged in a different kind of farming than he followed in his boyhood. He reported picking and packing 30,000 boxes of pears.

Erwin Schomburg was promoted to management of the creamery at Lansing, Minnesota.

Fred Karnitz had bought the 80 acres of the John Riley farm east of Belle Plaine and planned to move onto it the following spring.

Mrs. Julia Brown rented her home here and moved to St. Paul to be with her daughter, Agnes, who was attending the University of Minnesota.

Matt Neisen, who farmed in Belle Plaine Township for nearly 50 years, died at the age of 79 at his home in the borough where he spent his last eight years.

It was a period in the promotion of group banking. The First National Bank of Belle Plaine joined the newly organized Northwest Bancorporation.

A baby clinic was held here and 52 babies were presented for examination by a Minneapolis baby specialist.

A.W. Bjorkman of the automotive firm of Messenbrink & Bjorkman sold his interest to his partner and moved to Great Falls, Montana, with his family.

Matt Barten, a popular young Union Hill farmer, died at the age of 31, and his funeral was held from St. John’s Church, Union Hill.

Martin Rolf of Hancock Township bought the 190-acre farm of George J. Herrmann, described as one of the best farms in Carver County, for $155 an acre.

Belle Plaine High School football team had beaten both Le Sueur and Le Center but lost the service of its star player, Clifford Johnson, who suffered a broken leg in a practice game.

120 Years Ago (1899)

A camp of Modern Woodmen of America was organized with 24 charter members, and that made eight fraternal organizations in Belle Plaine.

The borough council set its tax levy for the ensuing year at $2000, half of which was to apply on bridge bonds.

President McKinley had arranged to visit the Twin Cities. The Omaha Railroad made a local rate of $1.20 for the round trip at the time of the President’s visit.

Letters from Belle Plaineites still in the Klondike were to the effect that the gold excitement had lessened and many mining claims were being abandoned.

Hunters from everywhere were making a big drive on the quail crop in this area.

What was known as the Battle of Hoffer’s Hill created excitement. Someone entered the farm home of the aged couple during their absence, and a cry of robbers spread. A crowd gathered but was held at bay by a broomstick pointed out the window and mistaken for a gun. A courier was dispatched to town for assistance, and Marshal Wagnener and Charles Pfenning went out with a supply of firearms and ammunition. They captured a 13-year-old boy who had nothing with which to harm anyone.

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