Jose Cole Circus 1996

Families who turned out for the Jose Cole Circus March 28, 1996, were treated to elephant rides, daring gauchos, acrobats hanging by their hair, death-defying motorcycle stunts, and many other tricks and gags.

125 YEARS AGO: 1896

Observer Roseboom's rain-and-snow gauge shows that 14 inches of snow fell last week. 

The Hutchinson line of the Great Northern had piled above its rails as much snow per mile as any road in the northwest. The regular train, which staggered through, was unable to return to Minneapolis and during that time the road was closed to business. The crew on the snowplow which came up "bucked" the drifts in the cuts. According to reports, it was an exciting and perilous trip. They had a powerful engine, which ran through long stretches of the damp, hard-packed snow 2- to 4-feet deep without stopping to breathe better. After leaving Lester Prairie, they found from 6 to 10 feet of "the beautiful" in cuts and occasionally the engine would exhaust her strength in the effort to go through.

100 YEARS AGO: 1921

The farmer is the one man in the cosmic scheme of things whom society cannot afford to see lose out on his job. He is pre-eminently the "key industry" that must be kept going even though the rest of the world is temporarily obliged to shut down shop. It is therefore of the highest importance that the farmer's occupation should be made as consistently profitable for governmental policy and human provision to make it. To stabilize his calling in this respect is to take a long step toward stabilization of the world industry, the supreme need today of our sadly shattered civilization.

100 YEARS AGO: 1946

The Honor Ten of the Class of 1946 at Hutchinson High School was announced. Mary Jane Luedtke is valedictorian and Lorraine Woller is salutorian. The others in the top 10 are: Roger Morrison, Eleanor Froemming, Ralph Geier, Lowell McEwen, Wanda McIntire, Janice Beytien, Helen Jensen and Raymond Geier.

50 YEARS AGO: 1971

Hutchinson High School's chapter of Office Education Association was named Minnesota's Chapter of the Year at the Minnesota OEA leadership conference in Minneapolis. It was a competition between 70 schools, with awards based on an oral presentation given by Carol Meyer and Connie Jacobson, a manual of activities prepared by Lois Hoff and Marlene Rusch, and the results of individual students.

After a two-day warm spell that saw temperatures shooting to about 65 and school children shedding their coats en masse, old man winter returned to Hutchinson with a vengeance on April Fool's Day. Strong northwestern winds pushed balmy south winds out of the area and residents awoke to a white blanket of snow pushed by 20 to 40 mph winds.

25 YEARS AGO: 1996

A dispute between the owner of Country Club Terrace Mobile Home Park and Midwest Cablevision has left residents of the trailer court in northwest Hutchinson staring at snowy television screens. Midwest Cablevision cut the feed into the park after warnings to park ownership failed to spur negotiations on a new contract. "There have been discussions this week, but at this point the ball is in their court," said Rob Gordon, district manager for Midwest Cablevision. 

People's Platform: I'm calling in reference to the person who said they shouldn't crack down on bad checks. We have a business in Hutchinson and we spend a lot of time and a lot of extra money chasing people down who give us bad checks and never even put money in the bank. Having a bad check is just like going to a gas station and robbing it. It's robbery as far as I'm concerned.

The Associated Press presented Janis Rannow, news director for KARP-FM Radio in Hutchinson, three awards during the Minnesota Associated Press Broadcasters annual award banquet at the Park Hotel in Minneapolis. Rannow received the Outstanding Cooperation Award for having more stories accepted for AP distribution than any other radio or TV station. She had 264 stories accepted by the AP in 1995. Rannow was also inducted into the Century Club for having more than 100 stories accepted, and she earned an individual honor for a feature story she did about Christmas Eve 1936 when electricity came to the Lake Jennie area for the first time. 

Steve Nemec bowled a perfect game of 300 at the American Legion State Tournament at Albert Lea. Nemec stopped visiting with his friends at the fifth frame. The bowling alley cleared six or seven alleys next to him by the eighth frame. After the 10th frame, Nemec had bowled his best game ever. And it was perfect.

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