From Our Files - 10 Years Ago
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Thirty Years Ago (1989)
Many area youth received certificates for having completed the S.I.E.R.A.S. Club Babysitting Clinic.
When Belle Plaine Schools opened on Tuesday, Sept. 5, at total of 1,072 students were enrolled, an increase of seven over last year. The public schools had fifteen more students and Trinity Lutheran School had five more (from 88 to 93), while Our Lady of the Prairie Catholic School saw a decrease of thirteen (from 84 to 71).
Belle Plaine Schools welcomed eight new teachers to their staffs for the new school year. Pamela Gilchrist was a new sixth grade teacher, John Kulick was hired to teach third grade, and Terri Moseley became a fifth grade teacher at the Belle Plaine Elementary. Scott Hallgren was the instructor for the newly-established Learning Lab for at-risk students at Belle Plaine High School, and Mark Riggs became a physical education teacher at the high school. Jeana Hamm was the new principal and CCD coordinator at Our Lady of the Prairie, and Jeanne Heer was hired to teach second grade at OLP. Patty Hennig became the new third and fourth grade teacher at Trinity Lutheran School.
A new program called Discipline-Based Art Education (DBAE) began at Belle Plaine Public Schools. The overall goal of DBAE was to establish a district-wide program of regular art instruction that leads to knowledge about art, understanding of its production, and appreciation of the aesthetic properties of art and other objects, with the belief that “art is for everyone.”
Local 4-H members fared well at the Minnesota State Fair. Jacob Sellnow, son of Darrell and Barb Sellnow, was named Reserve Grand Champion Junior Showman in the Dairy Beef Show. The dairy animal of Beth Jones, daughter of Loren and Hazel Jones, placed fourth in the Holstein Winter Calf Class. Loren Westphal, son of Orin and Nancy Westphal, showed a purple ribbon senior buck in the rabbit show and was once again a finalist for Champion Senior Showman. Chris Kiewel, son of Larry and Marci Kiewel, showed a blue ribbon market lamb. Jenny Johnson, daughter of Tom and Marilyn Johnson, exhibited her needlework project for a red ribbon at the state fair. Sellnow, Jones, and Johnson were members of the Blakeley Clippers 4-H Club; Westphal and Kiewel represented the We-Do-It 4-H Club.
Paul Buesgens was released from St. Francis Hospital in Shakopee on Wednesday, Sept. 6, following an accident in which the motorcycle he was riding was struck broadside by a car in downtown Belle Plaine at the intersection of Meridian and Church streets. Buesgens suffered a broken leg when the 1980 Oldsmobile Cutlass, driven by a juvenile, struck the motorcycle while attempting to make a left turn.
Belle Plaine opened its high school football season with an 18-6 non-conference loss to Janesville. The Tigers showed signs of promise but had too many opening game penalties. Their new quarterback, Shannon Keohane, connected on 12 aerials in 25 attempts for 222 yards. Top receivers were Tom Hoelz with three for 116 yards, Kirby McDonald with three for 39 yards, Mark Mahoney with three for 25 yards, and Brandt Vinkemeier on one for 23 yards. Special teams played consistently with nice punting by Dana Otto averaging 30.7 yards.
The Belle Plaine girls’ tennis team shut out Mankato Loyola 5-0 to raise their record to 2-1. The Tigers were strong at both singles and doubles winning 48 of 51 games. Against their first conference opponents, both Jayme Bergs and Katie Moriarty won all of their games in singles play, with Lisa Liebhard winning by forfeit. In doubles play, Heather Gregory and Susie Simcox won 6-3, 6-0, and Shannon Moriarty and Cathy Mahoney won 6-0. 6-0.
60 Years Ago (1959)
The most despicable instance of vandalism to occur in Belle Plaine took place when eight of the stained glass windows in the historic Episcopal Church were broken by stones. The windows had withstood the test of time since 1869 before succumbing to vandals’ senseless actions 90 years later. Monetary value was unknown, but replacement would run into thousands of dollars. A vacant house a block north belonging to the McKenna estate also received smashed windows.
A 30-year tradition in the restaurant business in Belle Plaine came to a close when Hottinger’s Stop Inn Café closed its doors for good. Joe Hottinger, who moved here from Mankato, started the town’s oldest and best-known café in 1930. His son, Milton, ran it for three years until younger son, Daniel, purchased the business in 1939 and ran it since then with his wife, Lucille. The restaurant was known for its collection of antique woodworking tools and wooden planes on display.
A total of 96 pupils were registered at Zion Lutheran School of Benton Township. Teachers were R.C. Eckhardt, Eugene Brunow, and Ruth Gennrich.
Dr. and Mrs. H.M. Juergens returned form a vacation trip to the Pacific Northwest. They went on the Canadian Pacific Railroad and returned home by plane.
Mr. and Mrs. Palmer Schuette were given a big surprise in honor of their 40th wedding anniversary.
Death came unexpectedly to Gus A. Jiracek, on of Belle Plaine’s most respected citizens, by way of a heart attack. For 46 years, beginning in 1913, he was one of the town’s barbers, and at the time of his death, he was associated with Gerald Logelin’s shop.
Enrollment for the opening day of school in Belle Plaine reached the impressive total of 868, which was 31 more than the year before. Of that total, 114 were enrolled at Sts. Peter and Paul School and 97 at Trinity Lutheran School. The junior and senior high enrollment was 361 and the elementary had 296.
The Twin Cities Metropolitan Planning Commission predicted extensive growth in the population of Scott and Carver counties in the years ahead. The 1959 estimate for Scott County was 20,500, a 24% increase over 1950. Carver County’s estimate was 20,400, an increase of 2,000. Scott County was expected to swell to 29,000 in 1970 and to reach nearly 60,000 by 1980. Carver County was expected to go over 25,000 by 1970 and to reach 36,000 by 1980.
One of the largest and most modern barns in the area was completely destroyed by fire near St. Patrick. The 180 by 50 foot loafing barn with a milking parlor on the Melvin W. Pomije farm burned to the ground in a blaze believed to have started from combustion of green alfalfa. Twenty dairy cows were destroyed and 17 others burned. Loss was estimated at $45,000 to $50,000.
Called to serve on Sibley County jury duty were John Morrison, Lloyd Schultz, Elmer Larson, Cliff Brazil, Elmer Martin, Arnold Oelfke, Emil Zumberg, John Wherley, and Mrs. Harold Schwich.
Walter Buszmann’s purebred Landrace entry was classified as excellent by the Minnesota Swine Producer Association’s swine evaluation station at New Ulm.
Miss Sylvia Grace Robeck and Robert James Bigaouette, son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Bigaouette of Henderson, were married at St. Mary’s Church in Arlington.
At St. John’s Church at Union Hill took place the marriage of Miss Phyllis Kathryn Schoenecker, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John T. Schoenecker of Union Hill, to Werner Hartman, son of Mrs. Margaret Hartman of St. Benedict.
90 Years Ago (1929)
The public school opened with an enrollment of 193, of whom 117 were in high school and 76 in the grades.
Paul Brandt, who had been renting the Mrs. Lanz farm in Blakeley Township, purchased for $13,200 the Herman E. Tiegs’s place.
At Jordan took place the marriage of Miss Clara Lambrecht, formerly of east of Belle Plaine, to Henry Henning of Wilmont.
Our creamery was undergoing extensive alterations, with an enlargement for the can washing, a new in-take room, and the office room going upstairs.
Jeremiah Sullivan, 52, native of St. Thomas, died of a heart attack at his home in St. Paul, and the remains were brought to St. Thomas for funeral services and burial.
Executive order of the Governor ordered a closed season on prairie chickens in this portion of the state.
The Diedrich Engelsen farm of 80 acres in Benton Township, Carver County, sold for $185 an acre, considered a top price for the period.
John Kuhlman, who was born in Blakeley Township in 1858, died at his home in Lester Prairie where he had moved in 1889. He was identified with the firm of Weise and Kuhlman, extensively known throughout this part of the state.
Jimmy Weldon, veteran railroad man in the Duluth area, was back for a visit in the town of his youth and visited at the farm of his uncle, Wm. Weldon, Sr.
Louise Neubeiser departed for Maddock, N.D. to become a science teacher in the high school.
At his farm on the south side of Shakopee, Abraham Robinette shot his wife and then used the gun to take his own life. Their two little children witnessed the double crime.
120 Years Ago (1899)
Belle Plaine had two flourmills and two saw mills in operation.
The Gran Mill announced it was running full capacity day and night and had plans for enlargement.
The Johnson and Latzke Flourmill was being enlarged with an additional story and new boiler room built.
Father Ramond Holte arrived to take over the pastorate of Sts. Peter and Paul Church.
The railroad water supply ceased when its well filled with quicksand. The tank was kept filled by running a pipeline to the river and setting up a pumping station on the river bank.
Parlor cars with observation ends made an appearance on this division of the Omaha Railroad.
With the British government concentrating troops in South Africa, the beginning of the Boer War seemed at hand.