Detasseling corn

Surrounded by cornstalks, sunshine and pollen, Jesse Berglund of Hutchinson was just one of more than 30 Hutchinson-area detasselers who soaked up some sun while making a buck during July 1995. 

125 YEARS AGO: 1895

From the Pioneer Press: It has come at last, the trousered woman has appeared on the streets of Chicago minus the bicycles, and has stopped in serene skirtlessness for an entire afternoon.

From the Slayton Gazette: There is a great deal said and written about the new woman, but it will be a long time before women will be able to wear out their bloomers sitting on dry goods boxes, squirting tobacco juice, telling smutty stories and making off-color remarks about the men passing by.

The pastures are parched.

Brownton voted $6,000 in 6 percent bonds to complete the system of water works and it was a wise move on the part of one of the best towns in the county. The vote stood 55 to 36.

100 YEARS AGO: 1920

Frank Goemer's barn at Ellsworth has burned. It contained quite a quantity of hay, but the stock was all rescued. It is thought a lighted cigarette may have started the blaze.

Be on the look out for the sow thistle. This worst of all noxious weeds has been found in Hutchinson. If you don't know what sow thistle looks like, examine the specimens in the Leader window. 

75 YEARS AGO: 1945

The next tin can pickup will be next week, and housewives are urged to collect and prepare every possible empty can. They should be washed, flattened and out on the curb early in the morning. Scouts and volunteer trucks will take care of collecting the cans.

The famous KSTP Barn Dance with Main Street and other features will appear in the Hutchinson Armory, giving a complete stage show and radio broadcast. Special equipment is being installed in the Armory, and radio engineers will be on hand to place special microphones and feed the program over a special telephone cable to the KSTP studio in St. Paul. 

Lt. Garson Krasean is home from overseas a second time, and by coincidence, both trips were made on the Queen Elizabeth, the world's largest ocean liner. This time the giant ship brought home the entire 44th Division of 15,000 men, in addition to a station hospital complement.

50 YEARS AGO: 1970

There are only five townships left in Meeker County to be mapped for areas where wild hemp, marijuana, is still in existence, according to Russ Bjorhus, Meeker County Extension educator. As mappings are completed, all property owners with hemp growing on their land will be informed of it by letter and instructed what to do to get rid of it.

Increased rates will go into effect Sept. 1 at Burns Manor Municipal Nursing Home in Hutchinson. The Burns Manor board of directors has set the new rates at $12 per day for skilled nursing care and $10.30 a day for intermediate care.

25 YEARS AGO: 1995

The new AmericInn is up and running. The new Hutchinson motel franchise is 60th in the expanding lodging operation. The goal is to have 90 motels by the end of 1996. Rates at AmericInn range from $49.90 for a single person in a standard single room to $79.90 for one person in one of the two, two-room suites. There are 19 different color combinations for bedspreads and curtains. "We are happy to be part of Hutchinson," said manager Marcia Goff. "The startup has gone smoothly because of the extra effort of our housekeeping staff."

Hutchinson's total debt was $54.4 million at the end of 1994, but much of that was in the form of bonds backed by revenues. "Moody's said debt was high, but manageable," said Ken Merrill, the financial director for the city of Hutchinson. Moody's is an investment rating service. Forty cents of every dollar collected in city taxes is applied to debt retirement. 

The McLeod County Board of Commissioners scrapped the formal affirmative action plan governing county employees. Board members reached the decision in light of recent, sweeping changes to affirmative action at the national level. 

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission met recently to decide how to make changes to the 612 area code to meet the growing demand for local phone services in the Twin Cities metro area. Because of the increasing number of phones, second phone lines, pagers and faxes, US West, the state's largest local call provider, has said that numbers in the 612 area code will be depleted in late 1996 or early 1997. The state Public Utilities Commission staff has recommended that the 612 area code be split. The metro would retain the 612 area code, while cities to the west including Hutchinson would receive a new area code. 

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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