20 YEARS AGO: NEWS FROM THE ISSUE OF JUNE 28, 2001

The Meeker County Board of Commissioners gave its support to a long-range project involving construction of a recreational trail around Lake Koronis. One part of the trail would be in Union Grove Township in Meeker County. Don Pietsch, a member of the Paynesville Town Board, and Jeff Bertram, a former state legislator and Paynesville resident, outlined the project to the county board on Tuesdsay. Bertram said the trails project has a good chance of landing an initial grant of $300,000 from state and federal sources. The City of Paynesville and the Paynesville School District have also given support to the project. Bertram said a 14- member steering committee has met regularly to further the trails project. He said the plan has almost universal support of the Paynesville and Lake Koronis area.

Let the fundraising begin. Again. With a target price of $1.5 million for a new library reaffirmed by their architect, members of the Library Joint Management Committee agreed that the next step is a major fundraising pitch. “Now that we really know, I think it’s time to move,” Mayor Vern Madson said. “What’s nice about the meeting is that the architects said it cane be done for $1.5 million. I would hope that would serve as a selling tool for our fundraiser.”

Some might say that Mitch Aanden’s hobby is old-fashioned in this day of wireless and internet connections. Aanden would say just the opposite. In fact, he might tell detractors of amateur radio that his free time pursuit is out of this world. It would be hard to argue with him. Aanden, a 37-year-old Litchfield man, uses his short wave radio knowledge to bounce signals off orbiting satellites and talk with people all over the world. And his communications efforts truly have surpassed the bounds of Earth — twice he has spoken to astronauts on the international space station. Aanden has had a lifelong interest in electronics, sparked by his grandfather. He really became interested in amateur radio hobby when he moved to Litchfield and purchased a house here two years ago. Aanden became an enthusiastic member of the Crow River Amateur Radio Club, which had a weekend gathering at the Darwin ski hill.

50 YEARS AGO: NEWS FROM THE ISSUE OF JUNE 23, 1971

It’s about 80 miles from Minneapolis to Grove City, but it took a post card, recently delivered to the Vernon Brown farm near Grove City, about 12 years to negotiate the distance. The card arrived at the Brown farm a week ago Tuesday. It was mailed from Minneapolis in the summer of 1958. Vernon remembers he was en route to a convention in Texas when he mailed his card from Minneapolis back to his son David, then a boy of 10. David is now 23, married and living in Minneapolis. And in keeping with the sometimes strange workings of the postal department, the card, when it arrived, carried the stamped notation ... “three cents postage due.” Back in 1958, post cards cost three cents. Now the going price is six cents.

Jim Olson of Litchfield noticed that the guys on KP still sit outside peeling spuds and usually whittle away about half a potato in a single whack, but just about everything else about Camp Ripley has changed since 1931, the first year the camp was in operation. Olson, who retired two years ago from a custodian’s job in the Litchfield school system, was one of the guardsmen attending camp in Ripley’s first year back in 1931. Current Guard commander Lt. Willard Erickson arranged for Olson to visit Camp Ripley.

Ann Day Olson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Lee Olson of Litchfield, is among students graduating from the University of Kansas at Lawrence with distinction. She graduated in the top 10 percent of her class. Grade-point-average is not the only criteria for designation. There also must be evidence of unique academic accomplishments, such as creative writing, independent study and research.

Mrs. Myrtle Engebretsen will leave Friday for Povungnituk, an Artctic village where she taught for 10 years, to live with Eskimos to do research on the history of Eskimo art. She hopes by living with them she will get stories and history of old folks. She is sponsored by Dr. Nevelle Pearson, professor of audio-visiual education at the University of Minnesota.

75 YEARS AGO: NEWS FRO THE ISSUE OF JUNE 17, 1946

Eden Valley, Kimball, Dassel and Litchfield will receive six crates of pheasants July 10 from the state game farm at Madelia. The birds will be several weeks old and ready for release. They will be distributed through the county by sportsmen’s clubs.

Twenty-five members of the Litchfield Future Farmers of America, headed by E.W. Riebe, agriculture instructor, were on a five-day trip through the northern part of the state last week. Those taking the trip were Kenneth Kruger, Austin LaPlante, Harold LaPlante, Walter Tintes, Leland Danielson, Norbert Lohse, Rober Lohse, Henry Desens, John Rokala, Daniel Johnson, Ralph Miller, John Christies, Donald Holmgren, Gene Rick, Harold Herser and Bruce Koerner. The first stop was Duluth where a lake cruise took the group alongside a large freighter into which streams of grain were flowing from a large elevator. From Duluth, the Superior lakeshore was followed for a distance of some 60 miles. The lake on one side and the beautiful shore area with wooded waterfalls on the other. At Hibbing, the group viewed the world’s largest open pit iron mine. The last stop was at Lake Winnibigoshish, where fishing was enjoyed. Adolph Nelson was the bus driver and cook, ably assisted by Joe Sheridan.

Latest advice is that about 1,404 men and women of Meeker County who up to April 1 had entered the military service, have now passed through the various separations centers and are again civilians. That means about 74 percent of the county’s service people have returned to civilian life.

Adolph E. Nelson and Sylvester Loehr are announcing the purchase of a Chris-Craft speed boat and will give speed boat rides every evening starting this Friday at the dock at Memorial Park, Lake Ripley.

St. Gertrude’s Church at Forest City had the largest attendance Sunday in the church’s history of 80 years. The summer festival for the feast of Corpus Christi was attended by over 1,500 members and friends from all over the state. It was a colorful affair with many boys and girls of the church gowned in appropriate attire. The ceremony lasted nearly two hours. A chicken dinner was served to 1,200 guests after the morning program.

106 YEARS AGO: NEWS FROM THE ISSUE OF JUNE 23, 1906

The State Bank of Kingston, located in the village of Kingston, has been incorporated under the laws of the state and will open for business about September 1st. It will have a capital of about $10,000 and will be housed in a brick veneered building to be erected for its use. The incorporators are Olof Olson of Minneapolis, who will be the cashier. The remaining stakeholders are C.M. Buck of Faribault and E.E. McGraw, Axel Nelson and L.E. Larson of Dassel.

R.C. Doty, who is the helper at the Dassel depot, had the misfortune to lose three fingers on his left hand Monday afternoon while starting a pump when his hand got caught in the gearing and held him there powerless to help himself. He called and shouted for help until he was exhausted. He finally thought of the hatchet that was in a cupboard just back of him and managed to get hold of it with his free hand. With this, he chopped his fingers free from the gearing. After doing this, he attended to shutting off the engine, and walked up town nearly a mile for medical attention.

Miss Bertina Bendickson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Nelson Bendickson of the town of Danielson, Wednesday afternoon at 4 o’clock at the home of the bride’s parents united in marriage to William A Nelson, son of Mr. and Mrs. Isaac Nelson of the same town. The ceremony was performed in the presence of 150 guests by Rev. O. Hallberg of this city. The Misses Minnie Bendickson and Clara Nelson acted as bridesmaids and the groom was attended by Peter Draxten and Otto Nelson. The newly wedded couple at one began their wedded life on his farm near the village of Rosendale.

Some of the lads are preparing a fine ball ground over in John Brown’s pasture in Manannah.