Jump-starting cars

Frigid winter temperatures Jan. 6, 1996, forced several people in Hutchinson to jump-start their automobiles. The mercury dropped to 24 degrees below zero, creating problems for many who left their cars outside. Willie Garcia, left, and Freddie Medena try to start their cars at Country Club Terrace in Hutchinson.

125 YEARS AGO: 1896

Tell us, gentle Annie, is this spring?

Uncle Charlie McEwen came to town with a fresh batch of wit and philosophy.

Every room in the Hutchinson schools is crowded to its utmost capacity. Next year new rooms will have to be provided and this cannot be done without putting up a new building or attaching additions to the present buildings. 

From the desk of Leader Publisher Burt Day: Immigration this year will slightly exceed 230,000 against 167,663 in 1894 and 352,944 in 1893. The figures are a fair test of business recovery and indicate that there will be a continued gain in 1896. 

100 YEARS AGO: 1921

Although improvements to be made in Hutchinson this year such as the white way, auditorium and hospital did not materialize to help swell the money expended on new buildings and improvements of old ones, the total amount is to be approximately $340,000. There were 24 new residences built or begun during the year of 1920, making a total of 165 new homes built during the past seven years. Among the larger items in the following lists are the addition to the A.A. Fallon garage, the improvements at the Seminary, the Luce Line spur at the brick and tile factory, the Hutchinson Produce Company improvements and the fine new stock barn at the McLeod County Fairgrounds.

Chief of Police Herman Schramm asks the Leader to mention the fact that the restroom at City Hall is kept open for the exclusive use of ladies, and is not to be used as a trysting place by lovelorn couples. Mr. Schramm reports that on several occasions recently he had been compelled to advise young couples who had taken possession of the room of this fact, sometimes late enough at night so that the mothers of the young ladies were doubtless wondering where their daughters were.

75 YEARS AGO: 1946

Mrs. Joe Callier of Stewart received a telephone call from her son Staff Sgt. Herbert Callier, who had just arrived in New York that day. He is with the famed 82nd Airborne Division, which will march in New York City's big Victory Parade, the first in New York since the war ended.

Marriage licenses in McLeod County dropped during the past year, in contrast to many counties, where there was an increase. A total of 170 licenses were issued by Hestor Benson, clerk of court during 1945. This is almost 100 less than issued the previous year, when there were 260 licenses issued.

Sixty-three firms in the city of Hutchinson are listed as paying more than $100 in personal property taxes, an increase of one since last year. However, a number of the firms show a large increase in the tax due to added equipment or stocks. The Kraft Foods Co. is the city's largest personal property taxpayer with taxes of more than $2,700, an increase of $600 over last year. The Pacific Grain Co. is again in second place, and the Co-op Creamery is in third place.

50 YEARS AGO: 1971

The official population of Hutchinson is 8,031. This is a 29.4% increase from 1960 when the count was 6,207. The official figure, released by the Census Bureau in Washington, D.C., is up from the earlier announced preliminary count of 7,079. McLeod County overall had a 13.4% increase in the 10-year period going from 24,401 to 27,662.

An expressway to serve West-Central Minnesota has been designated for the vicinity of U.S. Highway 212 from results of a corridor study by the Minnesota Highway Department. An expressway, which is a four-lane highway with limited access, would serve the area from the Twin Cities metropolitan area to the South Dakota border. At one time, State Highway 7, the east-west route through Hutchinson, was reportedly designated as an expressway. 

25 YEARS AGO: 1996 

Surgeon Margit Bretzke and Dr. Matthew Griebe, both Twin Cities doctors who hail from the Hutchinson area, were among 385 professionals selected by their peers as top docs in the January issue of Mpls. St. Paul magazine. Bretzke, who made the cover of the magazine, specializes in breast cancer surgery and works with Associates in General and Vascular Surgery with the Piper Breast Center at Abbott Northwestern Hospital and with Riverside Medical Center. "It's been fun, Bretzke said. "It's nice to have my parents and family so proud of me. I've even been hearing from other people I hadn't heard from in 10 years." Bretzke is one of two women out of 28 surgeons mentioned in the magazine.

The Leader's First Baby of the Year event is perhaps the longest running promotion in Hutchinson. The contest marked its 46th anniversary in 1996. The very first "first baby" was Robert Rasmussen born in 1950.

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.