First Lady reading

Minnesota First Lady Susan Carlson reads to children Aug. 24, 1994, at the Hutchinson Public Library. Carlson was in town as part of the Action for Children Commission’s public awareness campaign, which emphasized the importance of creating a positive environment for children.

125 YEARS AGO: 1894

There are scores of strangers to be seen in Hutchinson every week and if you talk with them you will hear them say this is one of the prettiest, liveliest and most picturesque young cities they have seen. Outsiders seem to catch onto these things more than our own townspeople, who are perhaps becoming satiated with the beautiful, comfortable blessings that surround them.

100 YEARS AGO: 1919

The McLeod County Homecoming Celebration held in honor of returned soldiers, sailors and marines drew a monster crowd estimated from 15,000 to 25,000 people. The crowd packed Hutchinson from mid-forenoon until way late in the evening.

The Million Dollar Overseas Band is performing Sept. 5 in Glencoe. There is a ballgame in the afternoon between Arlington and Hutchinson and a dance in the evening.

75 YEARS AGO: 1944

Milan Dostal, age 15, was named McLeod County Health King, and Luanne Hawlish, age 12, was named McLeod County Health Queen at the County Health Contest. Both are members of the Silver Seekers 4-H Club and will represent McLeod County at the State Health Contest.

The McLeod County War Service Fund and USO campaign for 1944 will get underway Oct. 9. The War Service Fund Drive was very successful last year, McLeod having gone over the top early in the campaign. The quota for the county this year is the same as last year, $12,750.

50 YEARS AGO: 1969

Nearly perfect weather all four days brought a record of 18,757 people streaming through the gates at the McLeod County Fair Sunday-Thursday.

Ivan Hurt, Hutchinson, was presented with a plaque citing him for being one of Minnesota’s top 14 teachers.

25 YEARS AGO: 1994

Guns, weapons, coins, prints, knives, military and black powder shells and bullets, stamps and baseball cards will be exhibited at the 13th annual Gun traders show Sept. 17-18 at the Hutchinson Civic Arena. The show is sponsored by the Hutchinson Elks.

Secretary of State Joan Anderson Growe has announced that a record number of new business corporations formed in Minnesota during the first six months of 1994. Six thousand and eighty-seven new business corporations filed as compared with 5,533 for the first six months of last year, a 9.6 percent jump.

Substitute teachers who work for Hutchinson Public Schools will receive $67 per day this year, up from $65 per day the last three years. The $2 increase aroused a lengthy discussion about the district’s use of substitutes and whether use is greater than it needs to be. Excluding long-term substitutes, the district spends about $25,000-$30,000 a year on substitute teachers, according to Gary Henke, business manager.

Hutchinson driver Jerome Fink, sponsored by Rick’s Champion Auto, competed in the first heat of the super stock class at the demolition derby at the McLeod County Fair. His car was not one of the four in that heat that survived to advance to the finals.

Century Farms take a long time to cultivate. They are distinct in that they have remained near and dear to one family through blood ties to several families. Some owners continue to work their keepsakes while others simply stay for the enjoyment. McLeod County salutes its 1994 Century Farm families: Cynthia and Neal Dossett are the last members of Cynthia’s family to operate the farm started by her grandfather in rural Lester Prairie. Marian and Arnold Brelje treasure their farm south of Glencoe. Edward and Clara Dammann live on the home farm south of Lester Prairie, and Vernon and Edna Ide look forward to passing their Bergen Township farmsite to their son, Ryan.

McLeod County Commissioners Alvin Huff and Donn Ulrich welcomed county residents to an open house at the new McLeod Health and Human Services building in Glencoe. The former Glenhaven Nursing Home has been a center of controversy since it was purchased last year from the city of Glencoe. It will house two departments: public health nursing and social services.

A sold-out Grandstand saw Hutchinson driver Robert Merkins capture the super stock title in the annual McLeod County Demolition Derby Aug. 23.

Looking Back is a weekly column by Kay Johnson, arts and special projects editor, that highlights Hutchinson history. Photo submissions with captions are welcome. Contact the Leader by calling Johnson at 320-753-3641 or email

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