1996 Hutchinson playground

Could it be spring? Minnesotans have been looking for signs of spring for months now. Just three days after International Falls residents were dumped on with 6-8 inches of snow, Hutchinson playground lovers Hannah Conrad, Kelsey Woodworth and Bekah Conrad were wearing T-shirts and light jackets April 30, 1996, while breaking in the equipment after a long winter.

125 YEARS AGO: 1896

Counties which contemplate paying large sums for a set of real estate abstracts should not act too hastily in the matter. The Torrens system of real estate transfers, which abolishes all abstracts, is becoming popular and may be adopted in this state by the next Legislature. We advise our friends of the country press to study the Torrens system and agitate for its adoptions, as it is in the line of reform and honesty.

There was a great fight made against a public library in Litchfield. At the recent election, the proposition to have a public library was voted down two to one. A pretty poor showing for Litchfield.

100 YEARS AGO: 1921

Many happy returns was never said more heartily than when Grandma Karen Kaer celebrated her 103rd birthday with 65 guests calling at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Peter Kaer to congratulate her. Grandma Kaer is well and fairly active and enjoys keenly the companionship of her friends.

75 YEARS AGO: 1946

The old August Boller house on South Main Street had been sold and moved from its old location to a point on the river west of town where it is being remodeled by Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Schutz. This and other recent changes in Hutchinson brings the following reminiscences from one of the old timers here. Hutchinson, like many other towns, changes rapidly these days when under modernizing of living conditions and the stress of housing problems. New structures are appearing and old ones that may have been landmarks for two or three generations are disappearing.

50 YEARS AGO: 1971

Cynthia Kay Thorstenson, an employee in the order service center of the local tape plant, emerged as the 3M Queen from a field of nine candidates. Miss Thorstenson received her crown from 1970 Queen Linda Jensen at the sixth annual queen pageant sponsored by the company's 3M Club at the Hutchinson Public School Auditorium. Chosen as her attendants were Nona Katzenmeyer, first runner-up, and Nancy Reller, second runner-up.

McLeod County donors gave 714 pints of blood when the Red Cross Bloodmobile paid its semi-annual visit to the county. Hutchinson donors gave 328 pints, according to Mrs. Lowell Gilhousen, program chair.

25 YEARS AGO: 1996

McLeod County Sheriff Duane Kopesky makes no bones about it: He wants a K-9 program. And he has a difference in philosophy with the leadership of the Hutchinson Police Department. Just when the Police Department has decided to end its K-9 program, the Sheriff's Department is adding a new K-9 program, a project that Kopesky has been working on for the past three or four years.

Owners of car washes in Hutchinson may have to prepare for thinner slices of the revenue pie following the City Council's decision to grant a conditional-use permit and variance to Super Wash. The Morrison, Illinois, company is planning to construct a five-stall, self-serve car wash on two lots between Hardee's and Taco John's, at the corner of State Highway 7 and Glen Street.

Continued canvassing of Hutchinson School District residents indicates that prospects are good for passage of a May 21 referendum, according to Pete Carlson, chair of a volunteer referendum committee. The referendum would provide money for school improvements such as updating state mandates regarding fire, health and safety and handicapped-accessibility concerns, as well as additional classrooms and parking space at West Elementary; adding a physical education facility, general remodeling and recovering auditorium seats at Park Elementary; adding classrooms, parking space and a swimming pool at Hutchinson Middle School; replacing auditorium seats, replacing the clocks system, addressing fire hazards, and general remodeling at Hutchinson High School, plus improving technology throughout the district.

People's Platform: Have you all had a chance to read the leaflet about the proposed $12 million bond issue and the proposed $1.1 million operating levy? If not, I encourage you to do so. Notice some of the phrases contained in that leaflet: How will the bond referendum improve education? It will provide access ... . Excuse me, but the very arrogance of the committee in assuming (by their use of the word will in all of the examples in their leaflet) the $12 million bond issue will pass angers me. I will be voting no.

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 johnson@hutchinsonleader.com.