20 YEARS AGO: NEWS FROM THE ISSUE OF JUNE 21, 2001

Communications towers stretch skyward in many areas of Meeker County, and another such site is on the way as the result of action by the county board. The board approved, on a 3-1 vote, a conditional use permit for SBA Communications to erect a 300-foot tower with a 15-foot antenna in Cosmos Township. The Meeker County Planning Commission had approved the project 6-0. However, during Tuesday’s meeting, Commissioner Roney Kutzke, who represents the area, opposed granting the permit. Commissioners Dave Gabrielson, Dale Smolnisky and Hugh Wagner cast affirmative votes. Commissioner Amy WIlde was absent. Objections to the tower were entered by owners of two planes, who maintain the air strip about 3,500 feet from the proposed tower. However, the owners of the air strip never acquired a conditional use permit for their operation and the air strip in legal terms does not exist. Hence their objections to the tower have no status legally.

As of this month, travelers to Litchfield will have another lodging option. After a last-minute scramble, the AmericInn opened in Litchfield. The motel, which was built last fall along U.S. Highway 12, has a total of 38 rooms. Accomodations include two whirlpool suites, four king suites and 10 mini suites.

Though they seemed in agreement that something needed to be done about trailers parked throughout the city of Litchfield, City Council members had a hard time deciding just what an ordinance would say. “What do we do?” Councilman Greg Gilbertson questioned. After a discussion, council members decided more study would be needed before taking legislative action. The issue was sparked by complaints from residents who were concerned about the length of time some of the trailers stay parked on the street. “There are some people who park their trailers on the street all summer and they never move it,” Council member Peter Kormanik noted. Council member Gordie Lien was adamant that a 24-hour parking limit be established for all trailers. “Something’s got to be done. It’s getting to look pretty junky around some of those places,” Lien said. Mayor Vern Madson said one option might be to provide trailer parking at the Meeker County Fairgrounds.

50 YEARS AGO: NEWS FROM THE ISSUE OF JUNE 16, 1971

The Meeker County Board of Commissioners is considering the purchase of a two-way radio system, which would link the county’s 11 road grader-snow plow units with a base station at the county engineer’s office. However, the proposal has run into opposition from Meeker County Real Estate Taxpayer’s Assn. “We’re against it,” William Casey, Darwin, president of the taxpayer’s association, said. He said the organization has started a petition against the purchase. However, Henry Knieff, county engineer, maintains that the system would “be a great asset to the county, and save money, too, in the long run.” Knieff said that maintaining communications with 11 summertime road grader operators and a force that number 22 in wintertime is very difficult with current equipment. “Here we have a half million dollar road maintenance budget for the county and we don’t have adequate communications,” Knieff said. The County Board has budgeted $23,000 for the project and will call for bids at its next meeting.

Sharon R. Euerle of Litchfield was among 424 graduates at Winona State. The graduation was the 111th at Minnesota’s first state college. Sharon was awarded a bachelor of science degree in physical education and health. She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Euerle and is a 1967 graduate of LHS. At Winona State, Sharon was a member of the college varsity basketball and volleyball teams.

Father Joel Kelly of Puerto Rico and Father Reby of Nassau in the Bahamas spent Sunday with the Ben Kelly family in Litchfield.

75 YEARS AGO: NEWS FROM THE ISSUE OF JUNE 20, 1946

Double parking is everyone’s problem who is interested in the welfare of Litchfield. The practice is becoming so common and takes so much of the street away from cars traveling through Litchfield that traffic might have to be rerouted. A highway through a community is important to town and Litchfield residents should do everything possible to see that this does not happen. Signs will soon go up on main street limiting parking to one hour and prohibiting double parking. Much can be accomplished in the meantime if Litchfield shoppers and car owners will refrain from double parking. Cooperation on the double parking from business men and all citizens is vital. We do not want to lose the highway through town.

Carl Ulrich, owner and operator of the airport in Litchfield, has purchased a new Aeronoca two-passenger plan recently and with the delivery of the plane last week, Carl now has two planes with one more on order and offers many varieties of service at the airport. Included in the services is instruction by Hudson Collins, former lieutenant in the Army Air Corps.

What might have been a disastrous fire occurred at the home of Julius Nelson at Darwin last evening about 10 p.m. during a downpour of rain. Mrs. Ben Hagen who lives a short distance west of Mr. Nelson in the south part of Darwin, discovered the fire and upon entering the home found Mr. Nelson, who had been in poor health, overcome by smoke and carried him out of the burning house to her home. Both the Litchfield and Dassel departments responded to the call and the house was saved, although badly damaged. Origin of the fire is unknown. Mr. Nelson had a parlor furnace in the home and the fire may have started from that. Mr. Nelson has recovered nicely and is staying temporarily with relatives in Darwin.

Wayne Nelson, who is attending the University, and Leroy Nelson, who is attending Iowa State College, are spending their summer vacation at the home of their parents, Mr. and Mrs. Carl Nelson of Rosendale.

Ludvig Anderson, who lives near Greenleaf, left Minneapolis at about 7 this morning for New York where he will board a transatlantic plane and fly to Sweden. Just to show how small the world is getting, Mr. Anderson, after boarding the plane at 10 o’clock Friday morning, will arrive in Stockholm at 3 p.m. Saturday, or a total of 17 hours in the air. He was raised near Stockholm and will visit friends and relatives for about a month. On the return flight, Mr. Anderson will have to fly from Sweden to London on a Swedish airline, then board the transatlantic plane at London for the flight back to Chicago. It’s not far to the old country when the trip can be made in a total of 17 hours.

106 YEARS AGO: NEWS FROM THE ISSUE OF JUNE 9, 1906

Victor Sampson, a lad 14 years old, was kicked on the jaw by a horse last Thursday, which he was leading out to water. Besides having his lower jaw fractured, he received other slight injuries. Dr. Chapman and Dr. E.B. Weeks were called and reduced the fracture.

On Wednesday afternoon just after the train pulled out, a young lady, a stranger in our city, in crossing the track, stepped on one of the loose boards on the north side of the track and quite badly hurt one of her feet. These boards have been loose for the past two weeks and the railroad might avoid a damage suit by fixing the walk. A few nails and about 15 minutes of work might save the Great Northern a few thousand dollars.

It is a well known fact that when the people of Litchfield make up their minds to do a thing, they go at it with all the go. Litchfield is going to have a Fourth of July celebration this year that will never be forgotten. On account of the state U.R.K.P. encampment, which is to be held here, we are going to celebrate for three days. Indications point to the biggest and best time ever offered by this or any other city of its size.

If the city council should adopt an ordinance and enforce the same compelling the owners of dogs (and cats) to pay a tax on each animal, the revenue derived from that would go a long way toward rebuilding the dam and bridges at Lake Ripley and other parts of the city. It is a well known fact that Litchfield is blessed with more dogs — worthless dogs — than any other city of its size in Minnesota, and the members of the council would have the everlasting gratitude of the citizens of our beautiful city. Why not get together on this subject at the next meeting and do something which would benefit the entire community?

Confirmation services will be held at the German Lutheran Church of this city and Ellsworth tomorrow. At the church here the following will be received into the church: Elsie Maetzild, Celia Kopplin, Bertha Maetzold, Albert Koerner, Herman Berg and William Rosenow. AT the Ellsworth Church will be confirmed Gertrude Harder, Hattie Lawrence, Lena Martin and Herman Werner.