From Our Files - 10 Years Ago
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Thirty Years Ago (1989)
Dave Watson provided entertainment Sunday during the Belle Plaine Historical Society’s annual flea market as he turned an old elm tree in to a pioneer man leaning against a post with an eagle overlooking. Watson spent three days creating the work of art with a chain saw and finished the task, with the help of scaffolding, on Sunday.
The Belle Plaine School Board planned on a three-year cycle to complete the entire project of removing asbestos from all district buildings, which meant spending approximately $50,000 each year until the work was all done the summer of 1991.
Dr. Robert Miller and his wife, Judy, of Belle Plaine attended the International Rotary Conference in Seoul, Korea, May 15-25, along with 46,000 Rotarians from throughout the world, and extended their trip with a tour of Hong Kong and China. When they arrived in Beijing on June 1, they saw the Chinese students’ peaceful demonstration turn into gunfire in Tiananmen Square, as thousands died in a confrontation with the Special Army.
Eight senior athletes from the Lutheran Home who participated in the 6th Annual Senior Olympics at the Madison East Shopping Center in Mankato came back with thirteen individual ribbons in events, plus the traveling award for best regional theme. The Lutheran Home team depicted themselves as the Home on the Prairie with wheelchairs turned into covered wagons and pioneer garb. Belle Plaine’s famous two-story outhouse was mentioned with a sign that read “Gone to pot we’re not.”
Carrie Nordeen, who had just completed her junior year at Belle Plaine High School, was accepted to join a behavioral research program at the Minnesota Zoo for the three summer months. The program, for only ten students in Minnesota, encouraged advanced biology and gifted/talented students to pursue science interests beyond the traditional classroom and introduced science research skills and related career opportunities.
The Minnesota River Conference named Bev Wynne, a senior who had been moved to left field from the infield and batted .327 with twenty RBI, to the All-Conference Softball Team for the 1989 season. Honorable mention went to Amy Hayden, also a senior.
On Saturday, June 3, six Belle Plaine High School track athletes went to Brooklyn Center to compete in the Region 4A track meet. Dana Otto and Mike Jeff Zellman represented the boys’ team in the discus and pole vault, respectively. The girls’ team was represented by Missy Jacobs in the high jump and long jump, Wendy Behnke in discus, Jenny Klehr in the 400, and Heather Wiley in the 3200.
Missy Jacobs qualified for the state track meet by taking second place in the long jump with a jump of 15’5” at the Region 4A Track Meet. When she jumped in competition at the state meet on Friday, June 9, in White Bear Lake, Jacobs was unable to place.
The following students from Belle Plaine received degrees from the University of Minnesota: Daniel J. Smith – College of Education and Agriculture, Kirk A. Hardwich – Institute of Technology, Henry M. Dvorak – College of Biological Sciences, and Elizabeth J. Glisczinski – College of Liberal Arts.
Kim Karnitz, daughter of Einard and Donna Karnitz of Belle Plaine, was among 423 seniors who graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College in commencement exercises May 28. Karnitz received a bachelor of arts degree in biology and planned to begin graduate studies at South Dakota State University in Brookings.
60 Years Ago (1959)
Carol Stier, 18-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Stier of Belle Plaine Township, was chosen the 1959 Scott County Princess Kay. She was sponsored by the MinValley Milk Plant. Coronation ceremonies took place at the annual June Dairy Month Dairy Day in Jordan.
Twenty of the 35 members of the Bele Plaine High School class of 1949 attended a ten-year reunion at the Bell Restaurant in Chaska, as follows: Irene Bigaouette, Mable Buszman Trende, Tom Devine, Colleen Gaffney Dressen, Jack Heitkamp, Violet Ische Megli, Lorraine Keup Schultz, Gerry Lynch Wolf, Therese McRaith Panek, Elizabeth Meyer Peltz, Raymond Meierbachtol, Ronald Muehlenhardt, Betty Schmidt Priess, Irma Schultz Siemon, Donald Strobel, Mary Ann Voss Hunter, Ann Wagner Herrman, John Walsh, James Welch, and Earl Woestehoff.
John L. Sullivan, former St. Thomas boy and a graduate of Belle Plaine High School, was elected chairman of the Minnesota advisory committee to the farmers’ home administration. Sullivan was vice president of the North American State Bank at Belgrade, MN.
The summer recreation program attracted heavy participation from area young people with over 200 registered and an average daily attendance of around 150. Jerry Miller was program director and Judi Lehman was in charge of the girls and younger boys.
At St. John Lutheran Church took place the double ring marriage ceremony of Elaine Bessel, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Bessel, to Donald Zellmann, son of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Zellmann.
A reapportionment bill passed by the state legislature placed area counties into new districts, dividing the Scott-Carver senatorial district, which had prevailed since 1913. Scott and Le Sueur counties were united into District 12, while Carver and McLeod counties became District 14. Sibley and Nicollet counties’ district boundaries remained the same but were renamed District 15.
Rev. W.J. Jiracek, brother of Gus Jiracek, celebrated the 50th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood with a Mass of Thanksgiving at his parish church of St. Stanislaus in St. Paul and banquet, which was attended by Mr. and Mrs. Gus Jiracek. Mr. and Mrs. Kevin Gaffney attended a later reception for Fr. Jiracek.
St. John Lutheran Church was the scene of the wedding of Nadine Bullert, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Bullert of Green Isle, to Alvin Gohlke, son of Mrs. Esther Gohlke of Blakeley.
Mrs. John Flaherty, nee Ann Lynch, pioneer resident of Assumption, died at the age of 88 at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Jon Tuma, in Minneapolis.
Many friends and relatives helped Mr. and Mrs. Bill Steffen celebrate their wedding anniversary at their home.
Homer Hoelz, who had long been associated with his deceased brother, Harold Hoelz, in the feed business here, acquired sole proprietorship and changed the business name to Hoelz Feed Mill.
Rev. Ben Mueller, who was pastor of Sts Peter and Paul Church from 1939 to 1951, celebrated the 50th anniversary of ordination to the priesthood. A group of eight from Belle Plaine – Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Blaha, Mr. and Mrs. Dennia Hottinger, Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Effertz, and Mr. and Mrs. Adolph Walerius – traveled to Humphrey, Nebraska, for the occasion.
Brendan O’Brien, son of Mr. and Mrs. E.T. O’Brien, received his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Minnesota.
Former Belle Plaine residents, Mr. and Mrs. George F. Watson, celebrated their golden wedding anniversary with a dinner in their honor at Compton, California.
It was announced that the extreme east side of Scott County was scheduled in the proposal to route a federal freeway (I-35W) into the Twin Cities. The new freeway was to be built a mile or so west of the present Hwy. 65.
90 Years Ago (1929)
Scores of relatives and friends gathered to help Mr. and Mrs. Henry Lawrence of Jessenland celebrate their silver anniversary.
Rev. J. Janzig, for seven years pastor of the Redeemer Church in the German Settlement, was given a surprise when he returned from a trip to St. Paul to find his congregation and neighboring pastors awaiting him. The big reception that followed commemorated the 40th anniversary of his ordination.
Mrs. Johanna Runyan, 68, died in St. Paul and her remains were brought to Belle Plaine for burial in Sacred Heart Cemetery. She was the daughter of the Thomas Deans and was born in Belle Plaine Township.
Mrs. Hummel, 85, was out from St. Paul to attend the graduation of her niece, Malinda Dahlke, Mrs. Hummel lived in Belle Plaine before Minnesota became a state.
At All Saints Church in Lakeville took place the marriage of Theresa Edna Barlage, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Henry C. Barlage, formerly of Belle Plaine to Bernard Speiker of Prior Lake.
In St. Paul took place the marriage of Miss Julia Halloran, formerly of St. Thomas, to Egbert Nelson of St. Paul.
New farm home of Paul Sons Assumption was about ready for occupancy.
The marriage of Marcella Hessian and Leo Engfer was performed by Father Minogue at Sacred Heart Church.
The 19-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. John Lefte of St. Paul died as a result of injuries suffered in an accident where he was employed. The remains were brought from the city to Jessenland church for funeral services and burial.
The marriage of Miss Viola Bray, daughter of the Henry Brays of Faxon, to Benjamin Marshall of Minneapolis took place.
A St. Paul trucker was killed on the highway while fixing his truck at night without showing lights. Another vehicle crashed into the parked truck.
In St. Paul took place the marriage of Miss Mathilda Peterson, daughter of Mrs. Bertha Peterson of Belle Plaine, to William Buetow, formerly of Belle Plaine.
120 Years Ago (1899)
It was high water time and boats were needed to get across the river.
J.W. Cottier, our pioneer grain buyer, was back for a visit. He was still in the grain buying business.
A score of Belle Plaineites took advantage of the Omaha Railroad’s weekend excursions and took the trip to Duluth. The train went through the storm wrecked city of New Richmond, Wisconsin, and stopped for a period to give excursionists time to view the ruins.