Dr. Keith Kamrath

Debuting before more than 21,000 baseball fans, Dr. Keith Kamrath of Hutchinson sang the “Star Spangled Banner” for the Twins-Orioles game on Aug. 2, 1994, at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis. The next morning, Kamrath was excited to share the news that the Twins staff invited him back for another appearance in the future.

125 YEARS AGO: 1894

Hutchinson has come to be quite a whist town, and the North Park region seems to be its stronghold. On most any evening you’ll see a table or two of its devotees on the lawns, deep in the intricacies of duplicate whist. Among the most enthusiastic players are: W.E. Harrington, Dr. McArthur, Dr. Wakefield, J.V.V. Lewis, Mr. and Mrs. Hutchinson, Mrs. Ellen Harrington and Mr. and Mrs. Merrill.

A baseball umpire was chased from the field by a Chicago mob and barely escaped with his life. He is supposed to have referred to the good old days of the past, when the Chicago club occasionally won a game.

A number of Hutchinson’s adult male citizens — mostly middle-aged men and heads of families — are spending a good many leisure hours playing croquet, and they seem to imagine that they are having about as much sport as there is going. But they are mistaken. It’s the Man on the Square and the lookers on who get the most fun out of the games. There hasn’t been one played yet in which some of these more or less dignified and grave citizens did not get mad — swearing mad — over the important and weighty issues involved in the game.

100 YEARS AGO: 1919

Minnesota now has 21 $1 million counties from the standpoint of creamery butter production, according to a report from the dairy and food commissioner. It shows McLeod County to be one of the foremost butter producing counties of the state, and that Minnesota’s output increased not only in price but in volume during the war, showing a gain of more than 11 million pounds for 1918 over the year before.

Up to unlucky Friday, Will Bernhagen had a nice Dort touring car. All he has of that car now is the running gears and some blackened irons and rods. It was a recent morning when Will started out with his family for an outing at Stahl’s Lake. Nearing the lake, he found that the gas tank had sprung a leak and turned in at Gustave Popp’s to make repairs. He found the leak and started to plug it when, bang she went and the car was an instant mass of flames. Luckily, his family left the car when he started to tinker with the tank, otherwise there might be something worse than the foregoing to chronicle.

Raising wages will not alone solve the problem of the high cost of living. There must be a reduction of prices or turmoil and trouble will not end.

75 YEARS AGO: 1944

The Hutchinson Public Library had a circulation of 21,183 volumes during the past year, an increase of 682 over the previous year. The largest increase came in books lent to children for home use, which totaled 8,848. Nonfiction circulation went up to 5,168 volumes while adult fiction readers dropped 816 volumes to 7,167. A total of 1,517 borrowers were registered at the library.

Lt. Wayne Etter, son of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Etter of Lake Marion, was praised for the way he handled a battered Flying Fortress and brought her safely home. Etter was recently promoted to first lieutenant and has been decorated. When he first went overseas he was a flight officer and has been twice promoted.

50 YEARS AGO: 1969

A 16-year-old girl will drive one of the fastest horses in the harness races at the McLeod County Fair. Joelen Budahn, driving for her father, Jack Budahn of Norwood, will handle Stormy Way. The horse has lifetime winnings of nearly $59,000.

The opening date for the sale of food stamps in McLeod County will be Sept. 4. Certification for the program began Aug. 1 and, so far, interest in the program has been high, said Stanley Groff, McLeod County welfare director.

25 YEARS AGO: 1994

School bus safety changes will top the list of priorities addressed by the Hutchinson Board of Education in preparation for the Sept. 1 start of school.

Thousands of people came together for fun and community pride during the 25th Pola-Czesky Days Aug. 5-7 in Silver Lake. The climax of the celebration occurred Sunday at the crowning of Liz Hlavka, 1994 Pola-Czesky queen, and 1994 princess Stephanie Hanson.

The mid-July Index of Prices received by Minnesota farmers was 124, down four points from last month and down eight points from a year ago, according to the Minnesota Agricultural Statistics Service. All crops except navy beans and sunflowers were down from last month. All livestock prices except sheep and lambs and prices for milk were down substantially from a year ago.

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 johnson@hutchinsonleader.com.

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