Doug Anderson and karaoke

Doug Anderson uses props in his karaoke performances during June 1994 to hit the high notes of fun. Anderson is one of two local singers who will represent the area in the first Minnesota Karaoke Competition. The Underground at 101 Park Place in downtown Hutchinson was packed for the qualifying competition for the first Minnesota Karaoke Championship.

125 YEARS AGO: 1894

Halley’s comet, one of the most remarkable known in history and which in ancient times caused great alarm and excited the wonder of the sages, is approaching the Earth at a terrific rate, and with its flowing tail 60 degrees long, is expected to be visible in a few months. It was last seen in 1835 and by superstitions is said to be synonymous with war, pestilence and other blood-curdling calamities.

Cream is 10 cents per inch.

A.L. Pfiel proposes to start a pop factor in Hutchinson and there is a good opening for one.

Ginseng is worth 50 cents green and $2.50 per pound dry and is being dug in the woods, north of town.

Miss Olive Kouwe, who is graduating from high school, will attend the course in domestic economy, which is taught at the State Agricultural School.

One of the small boys who from early morn to dewy eve swarms about the mill dam, slid from the top of the dam into the deep water below and was saved by Ellis Lollis at the narrow risk of his own life. When he plunged in and grabbed the struggling boy, he received a kick in the stomach and the little fellow grabbed Ellis’ throat. Ellis had to choke him until he was nearly senseless before he could swim out with him.

100 YEARS AGO: 1919

The Hutchinson community chemical engine didn’t get a chance to save the West Lynn Creamery, but it wasn’t the fault of Henry Eggert, driver, or the four firemen with him. The call came at 1:12 after dinner. At 1:14, the red rig was burning gas and the roads in a race to the creamery, the roof of which had already caught fire from cinders. The 7 miles were made in 20 minutes and the firefighters had 1 1/2 miles of new-made road on which they had to slow down.

Remembering the vast number of men the North called into service to put down the rebellion of 1861-65, the number was pitifully small that was mustered in Hutchinson for Memorial Day exercises. Only 10 from Hutchinson were present: R.C. Dwinnell, W.E. Sivright, D.S. Todd, Alonzo Rose, H.H. Harding, William Schultz, Frank Brabec, E.H. Babcock, N.W. Gillett and Joseph Daak. Two of their comrades living elsewhere, William Denny, Anoka, and Perry Barnes, Brownton, made an even dozen men present as reminders of the great battles of freedom won by the soldiers and sailors of the Civil War.

75 YEARS AGO: 1944

A representative of the War Production Board met with members of the McLeod County Scrap Committee at the Hotel Jorgenson and outlined requests that are being made for scrap for this country. The quota for McLeod County for this year has been set at 1,731 pounds per farm for a total of 2,154 tons.

The wheels of the local Hemp Plant are expected to start operating in the near future with only one line to be operated first. However, two lines will be in operation as it is considered feasible. Each line employs about 35 people on one shift. It is also possible that two shifts will be operated if there is enough labor available.

50 YEARS AGO: 1969

Hutchinson has a 1 in 5 chance of being designated as the site of a new junior college within the next few months. A legislative bill specifically named Fairmont as one of the sites. The other site is to be selected from Alexandria, Cambridge, Hutchinson, New Ulm and Owatonna.

25 YEARS AGO: 1994

The fate of Park Elementary is not an easy decision to make, and it’s not one the Hutchinson Board of Education will make any time soon. District architect Bill Martins told the board that the window supports, or lintels, in the worst shape at Park are those along the front, east side of the building on the second floor. Fifth- and sixth-grade students have classes in that area. The board decided to move ahead with temporary shoring, a project that will assure structural safety for a couple of years. The board made no commitment yet to replace the lintels. The decision depends on the building’s long-term use.

The 1,500 McLeod County residents who signed a petition asking for the right to vote on a proposed courthouse expansion will get what they want and perhaps a bit more — a higher tax bill for many of those same people who signed the petition if the referendum passes. By a unanimous vote, the McLeod County Board of Commissioners set a special bond referendum for Tuesday, July 12.

Rep. Bob Ness has announced that he will seek re-election in District 20A. “It has been a privilege and an honor to represent my district in St. Paul,” Ness said. “It is my desire to continue to serve District 20A, as I am committed to working hard at the issues that are important to the people.”

Nearly 90 percent of all 1994 Hutchinson High School graduates will not be done with school come commencement exercises. They’re seeking further education. That compares to just 67 percent 10 years ago. Out of 194 seniors this year, 171 will open books again in the fall.

The name of the winner of the 1994 Hutchinson Board of Education election was incorrect in Sunday’s Looking Back column. The correct name was Steve Borstad.

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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