20 YEARS AGO: NEWS FROM THE ISSUE OF APRIL 12, 2000

The Wright County Conference has extended an official invitation to the Litchfield School District to join that conference. The invitation was followed b a meeting at the school on Wednesday by school officials to discuss the invitation. The Litchfield School Board will likely decide at its April 23 meeting whether to switch conferences. At Tuesday’s board meeting, Activities Director Mike Olson presented the board with further information on the advantages and disadvantages of the change. Olson said Litchfield was the only school to be invited. Advantages include stable school populations, average distance to schools is 18 miles closer than in the current format, and many of the Wright County Conference schools are sectional opponents. Possible increased enrollments in the current Wright County Conference schools is seen as a problem.

It may have been a full day off from the regular grind of classroom instruction, but last week’s health fair at Litchfield Middle School may have been one of the most valuable days of learning that students will see this year. “This is such a positive experience,” said Jan Fawcett, Litchfield Public Schools nurse. “Everything they see here today is something that will impact their life.” The health fair brought more than 20 health professionals from a variety of fields as well as several guest speakers to the school for a day of instruction. Along with a health fair in the gym with 30 booths at which students could pick up a variety of information on everything from protecting their hearing to improving self-esteem, students could choose from topics ranging from drunken driving to health eating. and whlle it was a fun day of educations for students, it was also a valued day for health professionals. “It’s exciting to see the schools make health this important,” Mickey Scullard, an educator with Meeker County Public Health, said. “It’s so satisfying to come in and work with schools.”

50 YEARS AGO: NEWS FROM THE ISSUE OF APRIL 14, 1971

Saturday was anything but a pleasant day for members of the Litchfield Fire Department. The firemen’s day began with a morning grass fire west of Darwin, which burned across a pasture and along the railroad right of way. Then, in mid-afternoon, firemen began a five-hour battle with a wind-whipped blaze that started in the city dump and spread across most of East Lake Ripley swamp. Then, at about 8:15 p.m., firemen were called to the Bethany Home where a mattress in one of the rooms caught fire. Battling the dump fire in the brisk winds was tough and grimy work. It started when a fellow brought a load of ashes to the dump and assured the attendant that they were four or five days old. As soon as they were dumped, flames flared across the debris of the dump. The fire got in a bunch of old tires and thick, black smoke fanned by a strong south wind billowed from the dump. Sparks from the dump fire touched of a raging fire in the dry grass south of the dump.

The Litchfield Women’s Club honored senior Girl Scouts in a tea Monday afternoon at Zion Church. In the group of senior Girl Scouts honored were Brenda LaLonde, Janet Olson, Lynn Johanneck, Flavia Maggi, Mary Schlosser, Wendy Halvorson, Sandy Archbold, Gail Snegosky, Lori Neperud, Wendy Norine, Wendy Anderson and Kerri Thissen.

The Litchfield School Board addressed the decreasing enrollment in the vo-ag courses at its most recent meeting. Supt. Richard Johnson said a survey of enrollment in these classes indicated the school may not need the two vo-ag instructors on the faculty this year. One, Les Eastman will be drafted into the Army at the close of the school year. Johnson said one of the reasons for the cutback in interest in ag courses has been a surge in enrollment in carpentry classes.

Two teenage youths received fractures of the leg in a freak accident at the county park north of Dassel. Lonny Warren Servin, 17, of Dassel and John Merle Solmonson of Dassel were carrying leftover food to a parked car after a weiner roast when they were struck by a car driven by a 16-year-old youth who veered over the center line. Both boys are patients at Meeker Memorial Hospital here and reported in satisfactory condition.

75 YEARS AGO: NEWS FROM THE ISSUE OF APRIL 11, 1946

Nope, there isn’t a catch to it. You can have elm trees planted free in front of your home simply by calling the City Recorder or Mayor Plate. The city has quite a number of young elm trees on hand and will have them planted in the boulevards. The program will start next week and continue for the better part of the month. The purpose, of course, is the beautify our boulevards, so if there is a dead tree in front of your house give the city a call.

Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Nystrom and family have moved to the Mrs. Emil Nelson farm. Mr. Nystrom managed the Coast to Coast store for two years during the absence of Martin Luedtke, who was in the Army. Mr. and Mrs. Marvin Sletten (Judy Larson) have also moved to a farm since Mr. Sletten’s return from military service. They purchased the Quam farm a mile ease of Darwin.

Fire on Monday morning damaged the Kinsel residence in the village of Kingston and endangered other nearby homes. The fire started in the walls of the house and broke through the roof. The Dassel Fire Department assisted in fighting the blaze.

Carroll Bergerson of Dalton began work Monday morning at the Northwestern National Bank. Mr. Bergerson is a veteran of 38 months in the Army. He was employed at the bank in Deer Creek for three years before entering the service. He was overseas in North Africa for about 30 months.

The Trinity Church in Litchfield will have a new organ installed about Oct. 5. The Moller Organ Company of Hagerstown, Maryland having just recently acknowledged the church. The new organ will be large and one of the most modern in the area.

115 YEARS AGO: NEWS FROM THE ISSUE OF MARCH 31, 1906

Some of our Cosmos young folks do not mind Lent very well. Certainly they should not be dancing for just six weeks.

There has been a small attendance at church in the area recently. It seems to be the severe weather rather than some type of dissatisfaction with the clergy.

John Teberg’s team made a record yesterday when they got away twice,. In the last instance Mr. Teberg was somewhat bruised.

The Messrs. Markle and Lenhardt, who have been operating the St. Cloud House for some time, have leased the American House and will operate the same. They also have purchased the Schultz barn across the street and will run a livery and sales stable in connection with the hotel.

Fred Schultz, otherwise known as “Curly,” was on a tear Tuesday afternoon and evening, and during the course of the spree abused his parents. He was locked up for the night and the following morning Judge Hershey gave him 40 days but suspended sentence on condition that he would shake the dust of Litchfield off his feet and remain away for a period of two years. “Curly” took to the railroad tracks.