Memorial Day 1994

Veterans and their families and friends gathered on Memorial Day 1994 to remember the sacrifices, which encompass all wars. The Hutchinson American Legion Post 96 Quartet filled the crowd at Legion Park with emotion as they sang “America the Beautiful.” Quartet members were, from left, Franklin Boller, Gene Ebnet, Wayne Micka and Lyle Kohler. They were accompanied by Sharon Barton.

125 YEARS AGO: 1894

The Birch Cooley Battlefield, 35 miles southwest of Hutchinson, is soon to be designated by a monument provided by the state and costing $2,500. A recent issue of the Pioneer Press contains the following description of the desperate encounter: On the second and third days in September 1862, near the head of Birch Cooley on the prairie in Renville County, was fought one of the most desperate and bloody battles in the history of Indian warfare. For more than 32 hours the battle continued with doubtful result, until the ammunition of the soldiers and citizens was nearly exhausted and more than half were killed or seriously wounded.”

Subject Sunday at the M.E. church: “Christian manliness as tested by poverty.”

Dr. Sheppard has a curious specimen in the shape of a hairball, taken from a cow’s stomach. It is about the size and nearly as hard and heavy as a common baseball and is coated with a chocolate-colored, glossy substance. It has been cut into and is composed entirely of hair.

100 YEARS AGO: 1919

Hutchinson will have a ball team this season. The decision was arrived at a meeting at the Union Club rooms. The committee, with the approval of others who were present at the general meeting, decided to issue season tickets, which would admit the holder and lady or any two adult lady members of his family, also children of his family younger than age 18 when accompanied by their parents, to all games played on the local grounds. The price of this ticket will be $5 with war tax of 10 percent added.

When 10 years ago the Leader compiled statements of McLeod County’s 10 banks and the figures showed deposits of $2,475,000, people were surprised to find they had such a surplus on hand. The unfailing financial barometer, bank deposits, shows an increase of nearly 300 percent, the figures for May 1, 1919, being $7,722,531.15.

75 YEARS AGO: 1944

A total of 2 million pike fry were planted in lakes in the vicinity by a State Game and Fish representative and two members of the Gopher Campfire Club, H.P. Quade and Otto Zeleny. Several weeks ago, several million northern pike were planted in Hook, Jennie, Otter, Belle, Erie, Collinwood, Big Swan, Stella and Manuella.

There will be a special midnight show at the State Theater beginning at 11:15 p.m. when the regular show closes. It features the “Midnight Zombie’s Jamboree,” full of chills, thrills, mystery and suspense.

The contract negotiated between Kraft Cheese Co. and the Milk Drivers and Dairy Employees Union has been approved by the Regional War Labor Board. This was done in record time, the contract having been submitted about a month ago.

50 YEARS AGO: 1969

Summer school classes in Hutchinson’s public elementary and high school have been canceled for this year. In announcing the cancellation, the board issued this statement: “The elementary and secondary school teachers voted unanimously to continue their stand to not teach summer school unless salary negotiations were successfully completed.” Teachers could possibly earn as much as $125 per week for six-hour days.

Eleven girls will vie for the McLeod County Dairy Princess titles in the annual contest. Three of the 11 will be selected as princesses to represent the county in the Region 6 Dairy Princess contest. The 11 contestants are: Elizabeth Schuft, Diane Ruzicka, Linda Theuringer, Jane Graupmann, Patricia Dressel, Linda Neumann, Joyce Plamann, Yvonne Berg, Linda Wright, Carol Korista and Kathryn Hochsprung.

25 YEARS AGO: 1994

The fate of Park Elementary will likely be a tough decision for the Hutchinson Board of Education. The district’s architect and a structural engineer will review the building’s condition and options recently cited through a districtwide, comprehensive education study. Much of Park Elementary was built in 1937, with the rest built in the 1960s. From the outside, it’s been well maintained by a committed custodial staff. It’s used for everything from grades 2-5 school days to student community education classes and often is a backup site for summer events that get rained out. The auditorium seats more than any other school in Hutchinson.

If you’re planning any trips on Osgood Avenue, prepare to grit your teeth. You might also want to check your car’s alignment when you’re through. “If I didn’t live here, I wouldn’t drive on it,” said Osgood resident James Lobeck. Riddled with potholes and lacking any permanent base, Osgood Avenue is in bad shape. Fischer Street and Hayden Avenue are also rough rides.

Voters’ wishes came through as they elected Dave Borstad and incumbent Doug Kenning to the Hutchinson School Board.

Looking Back is a weekly column by Kay Johnson, Leader staff writer, 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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