20 YEARS AGO: NEWS FROM THE ISSUE OF JAN. 18, 2021

The mournful wails of a coyote has increasingly become a part of the night sounds around Meeker County and the County Board, at its Jan. 9 meeting, took note of this wildlife phenomenon. Although it was not an agenda item, the paying of a bounty on coyotes was discussed at length by the board. County Administrator Paul Virnig noted that a number of central Minnesota counties have reacted to the increasing coyote presence by establishing bounties. Virnig lives in a rural area northeast of Cosmos and said that on several occasions coyotes have wandered into his yard. Coyote sightings have been common in the area southwest of Litchfield and also in the Forest City area. Commissioner Dave Gabrielson said he would favor a bounty as high as $25 per head on coyotes. He said coyotes can take a particularly heavy toll on deer fawns.

Miss Litchfield’s favorite colors are pink and purple, and her favorite Vikings player is Cris Carter. These were some of the answers first-graders received to questions put to Miss Litchfield Amy Jones during her visit to their classroom. Jones visited the first grade class taught by her mother, Ann. Amy talked to the students about the dangers of drugs and alcohol and the importance of being a good student. Beginning in June, Amy told the students, she would be attending some 30 parades, representing Litchfield at many civic celebrations.

It was just conversation, but the Meeker County Board of Commissioners discussed at its most recent meeting the rather controversial subject as to what extent the county should be involved in financing the proposed new Litchfield Library. Plans have been drawn for a $2.1 million library project. The city of Litchfield has committed $500,000 to the project and the library’s building fund contains about $250,000. Library Board members had hoped that the gap between the roughly $750,000 committed and the $2.1 million goal could be bridged by contributions from businesses and individuals. However, despite a year-long fund drive, it is doubtful that the goal can be reached through donations. The Litchfield Library Board has set a Feb. 6 meeting with the County Board to discuss future plans. Both commissioners Gabrielson and Smolnisky have indicated they support some county participation in library financing.

Tress Quinn will be honored at an open house celebrating her 90th birthday at Lincoln Apartments on Jan. 21. No gifts please.

Alyssa Zuehl, Dan Hicks and Jeremiah Johnson are tops at the Litchfield Middle School when it comes to geography. They finished 1-2-3 in the school’s recent geography bee, with Johnson taking top honors.

50 YEARS AGO: NEWS FROM THE ISSUE OF JAN. 20, 1971

Elsie Nelson, librarian in the American high school for servicemen’s children in Mannheim, Germany, was one of six Americans on a German tour of Israel during the Christmas season. The group spent part of their vacation as working guests on a kibbutz, a farming community. In letters to her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Nelson, Route 3, Litchfield, Elsie told about some of her experiences. Elsie, who is spending her third year in Germany, also spent six weeks last summer on a bus tour of India as part of a London tour group.

Closing the Darwin school could result in a savings of about $8,000 per year, according to a survey completed by the Litchfield School District. The Litchfield School Board met Friday to discuss the future of the school, which is now operated by the Litchfield School District. The Darwin school now has students in kindergarten and grades one through three. Enrollment is nine in kindergarten, 10 in first grade, nine in second, and nine in third grade. At Friday’s meeting, it was pointed out that with only minimal changes in transportation schedules, students from the Darwin school could be bussed to Litchfield.

Allan Knutson, newly elected Meeker County treasurer, is only the third man in the past 40 years to hold that position. Knutson succeeds Harold Curtis, who held the job for 32 years before retirement. A lifelong resident of the county, he was born on a farm in Danielson Township and graduated from Grove City High School. He was a summer time road grader operator and a winter time snow plower for 13 years prior to his election and recalls many tough winters behind the wheel of a plow. Faced with four primary opponents in his election bid, he figures he visited about 90 percent of the rural residents in the county in his campaign, and about 85 percent of the homes in the cities and villages. The energetic campaigning paid off as he won the position by a substantial margin in the fall election.

Grove City’s entry in the One Act Play contest received two A ratings and second place in District 20 competition held at Willmar Saturday. The play now advances to the Region 5 competition Feb. 6. Cast members include Bonnie Brown, Janet Hoerchler, Arne Martinson, Marlene Egge and Jerry Schmit, with Mr. Rubis as director.

75 YEARS AGO: NEWS FROM THE ISSUE OF JAN. 17, 1946

The village of Cosmos was without water for three days last week. To make the situation worse, the supply tank was empty. Because of lack of water, the village school was closed. The screen at the bottom of the 150-foot well became clogged. To cure the situation, Litchfield and Hutchinson well men poured acid into the well and drought was relieved by Friday. Cosmos counts itself fortunate in that there was no fire in the interim.

George Sandgren is rearranging his shoe store to provide more room for customers. More shelves are also to be added to provide additional stock of shoes and other foot apparel.

The Rev. John A Phelan, who has served the Manannah parish of the Catholic church for a period of three years, has gone to Minneapolis. He was recently appointed by Bishop Murray to establish a new parish to be known as Church of St. Margaret Mary. Father Phelan has been succeeded in Manannah by the Rev. Esser, who conducted his first Mass Sunday. He previously served as a chaplain in the military.

Mr. and Mrs. Arnold Mattsfield of Ellsworth town suffered a heavy loss Saturday night when their large chicken house, which housed 360 chickens, was destroyed by fire. The fire started from an oil heater used to keep the chickens warm. The Litchfield Fire Department made a run to the scene and was able to prevent the blaze from spreading to other buildings on the place.

115 YEARS AGO: NEWS FROM THE ISSUE OF JAN. 20, 1906

”On the Frontier,” a western comedy drama, will be presented at the Opera house Wednesday evening, Jan. 21, with Litchfield local talent. The production is under the direction of Mssrs. Oliver and O’Keefe, the amusement promoters from Chicago, who are producing the play for the Litchfield Bank boys. “On the Frontier” is a story of intense heart interest, avoiding all the sensational clap trap of a melodrama. The management promises a completely scenic production superbly staged and costumed.

A license to marry was issued Thursday to Leonard Anderson and Anna Erickson, both of Swede Grove.

Very little wood is being hauled to town in Manannah this winter.

Mr. Olson the blacksmith in Greenleaf is very low. He has rheumatisms of the nerves.

Hugh Angier was seen last Saturday ice boating on King Lake. Hugh does not load so heavy because it is hard work to back out of such big snowdrifts.

The Fred Putziers and the Archie Montfords had a good time at the home of Billie Shoultz in Litchfield last Sunday.

A criminal trial with Forest City parties as principals was on tap on Saturday of last week before Justice Hershey. F.H. Depew was the complaining witness and Fred Pekkettt was the descendent, who was accused of having stolen potatoes belonging to the former. The jury found the latter not guilty of the charge of petty larceny.

Mr. and Mrs. Roy Crosby of this city this week removed to the Gunnar Sunsdahl farm in Acton, which they will operate in connection with Charles Sunsdahl, having leased the place for a number of years.