Phoenix Drumline

Main Street’s Picnic in the Park July 19, 1996, included entertainment by the Phoenix Drumline, music and laughs by members of the Hutchinson Clown Club, and a picnic lunch featuring pork riblet sandwiches grilled by Bill Arndt, a Hutchinson member of the McLeod County Pork Producers.

125 YEARS AGO: 1896

Kleinmann's ice wagon went down Main Street driverless, drawn by a plunging team that missed carriages and people only by the cuticle of their bicuspids.

Fourteen members of the Hutchinson Bicycle Club made an excursion to Brownton. Ten of them were ladies and beside a very pleasant trip, a picnic supper at Lake Marion was included.

The tramp question is becoming a serious one in counties around McLeod. It is said that the M & St. L through Sibley County is alive with "weary walkers." Railroad men at Glencoe say that the trains passing through there carry an average of 50 a day on bumpers, brake beams and any old place. The events of the past month in McLeod County have made hoboes shy of us. The citizens of Renville County have called a meeting to discuss the tramp nuisance and to adopt a system of gathering statistics on who is the vicious and who is the unfortunate; by what means can they be compelled to work for being fed and sheltered; and as to whether a county organization can be established for uniformity of action.

100 YEARS AGO: 1921

Lt. Harold G. Peterson, son of Mr. and Mrs. S.G. Peterson of Hutchinson, aviator who gained international notice when he was captured by Mexican bandits a couple of years ago, has organized the Harold G. Peterson Aircraft Co. at White Bear Lake and will give instructions in flying. 

Hutchinson American Legion Post 96 has gone into the movie business. Arrangements were made with Edward Ewing, manager and director of the Commercial Photo Plays of St. Paul, to photograph the picture "The Spirit of the American Legion" in Hutchinson. The picture will be shown as soon as completed at the Rex Theatre and will become the property of the Legion Post. There are only two principal characters in the cast who will work all through the play. Many others will be in the limelight off and on and in some scenes the entire population of the community is wanted.

75 YEARS AGO: 1946

Two squadrons of 12-15 Navy planes will maneuver over Hutchinson at two different times at the dedication of the airport. The planes will be here between noon and 2 p.m. and again between 3 and 5 p.m. Included in the flights will be Grumman Hellcats, Corsair Fighters, Curtiss Hell Bombers and Torpedo Avengers making this the most spectacular air show yet held in the Midwest.

50 YEARS AGO: 1971

A 24-hour-a-day business operation comes to Hutchinson with the announcement by Johnson's Super Valu that the store will be open around the clock, seven days a week. 

Extensive fire damage was done to an Oliver tractor on the Donald Jergens farm near Biscay. The Hutchinson Fire Department was called for the fire, which started after Jergens had finished putting gasoline in the machine. Jergens used another tractor to pull the burning tractor from the gasoline tanks before the firefighters arrived.

25 YEARS AGO: 1996

If everything goes as planned, all 31 libraries in the Pioneerland Library System will be connected to each other and to the internet by the end of 1997. Details of the plan were presented to the Hutchinson City Council during a joint meeting with the Hutchinson Public Library Board. 

Incumbent Third District Commissioner Eloi Hamre will face a crowded field during elections this November. Four others have filed to run for the post including: Mark Erickson, a Hutchinson school board member; Lucille Arlt, a former educator and former Hutchinson School Board member; Grant Knutson, county commissioner until 1992; and Tim Hacker of Hutchinson.

Anyone who has enjoyed local community theater or has listened to the harmonies of the Hutchinson Community Choir has seen Sue Gerver in action. Gerver, who was recently selected as the new Crow River Arts Center director, loves so many things about the fine arts that she can't pick a favorite. She replaces former director Jeff Fain, who resigned to fill a full-time position in Waconia.

People's Platform: I'm calling in regard to Miller Woods. When I was walking through, I noticed a pile of grass clippings and branches on the south side. This is a public park. Take your branches and clippings to the tree dump. We need to keep our parks looking nice.

The three-day flight of the annual Cosmos Space Festival drew hundreds of people to the small Meeker County community, 20 miles west of Hutchinson July 19-21. The town with all the streets named after planets hosted a galaxy of good times, such as a kiddie parade, volleyball and softball tournaments, a toy show, good food, pedal pull, music and a parade.

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