Looking Back - Letters to Santa published in Daily Globe for Christmas, 1936A weekly look back at regional history
By: Jane Turpin Moore, Worthington Daily Globe
One year ago
A new robotics team was being created at Worthington High School, enabling interested students to draw on their math, science and technology skills and participate in the First Robotic Competition.
The District 518 Board of Education voted 4-2 Tuesday to authorize a one-time levy reduction of approximately $1 million for the 2011-12 year. The reduction was suggested after a budget work session on Nov. 15.
The Nobles County commissioners approved a pay increase for themselves, with the five board members to see their commissioner salaries increase from $17,000 to $17,510 as of Jan. 1. Commissioners approved the pay increase on a 4-1 vote, with Marv Zylstra voting against it.
For the second year in a row, Oliver Wolyniec won the annual Geography Bee at Worthington Middle School. Wolyniec was an eighth-grader who qualified for the 2010 state bee last spring.
Five years ago
A vigil took place at Prairie Justice Center as the approximately 50 attendees prayed for peace — and the reunification of an arrested mother with her young child — following the recent Immigration and Customs Enforcement action at Swift & Company plants (including at the Worthington plant). Later in the week, 20 people from the Worthington Swift plant were indicted on immigration-related charges, 15 involving identity theft.
Trends Salon, on Worthington’s 10th Street, underwent renovations and an expansion of 300 square feet.
The Ellsworth Fire Department was selected to receive a $210,425 grant through the Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters grant program. The grant would be used to purchase a badly needed pumper trunk; the existing model dated to 1949.
Sioux Valley Hospital announced its intention to donate $300,000 to the Worthington Area YMCA’s capital campaign, aiming to raise funds for a new YMCA facility in Worthington.
10 years ago
A trainer from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation worked with the Nobles County Library staff, offering personalized instruction for the new PCs the library received from the foundation.
After five years of leasing a building on Worthington’s outskirts, Fastenal Co. was to move into a new, 3,500 square-foot facility in Worthington’s Industrial Park in January.
Kraft Foods agreed to sell its U.S.-based Farley’s and Sathers confectionary businesses to FS Acquisitions Corporation. The transaction was expected to be complete by the end of January, and the change marked the third new owner for Farley’s and Sathers since 1996.
Minnesota Soybean Processors co-op was less than $3 million away from closing membership. The co-op’s 1,800 members had invested more than $28 million to build a 100,000 bushels-a-day soybean crushing facility north of Brewster.
25 years ago
Advertised specials at Hy-Vee in Worthington this week included an 8-ounce bottle of Tone’s vanilla, 88 cents; three eight-packs of 16-ounce bottles of Coke products, three for $4; a twin pack of Hiland potato chips, 88 cents; Betty Crocker cake mixes, 69 cents; and a five-pound bag of Gold Medal flour, 77 cents.
Playing this week at Worthington’s Northland Cinema were “Star Trek IV,” “The Golden Child” and “Heartbreak Ridge.”
Jim Lutmer was salesman of the month at Spomers Motors Inc., Worthington.
Wendell Erickson, a Hills native who had spent the last 22 years as a Republican representative to the Minnesota House, was defeated by Andy Steensma in the November elections and anticipating new challenges as the year drew to an end.
Gene Foth, Windom, was named District Sales Manager for Dahlgren and Company Inc., Crookston, which had begun marketing hybrid corn and alfalfa seed in southern Minnesota.
50 years ago
Seven Westbrook men had a collective 200 years of service to the volunteer fire department serving the Westbrook area. The seven were retiring this month, relinquishing their duties to younger men. Heading the list of old timers was Ernest Johnson, who was chief of the department for the last 28 of his total 40 years on the force.
Santa Claus had “office hours” in his snow-covered igloo on the lawn of the Nobles County courthouse in Worthington for the five weeknights preceding Christmas.
A crowd estimated at 1,900 assembled for the Worthington schools’ annual sacred Christmas Choral Concert. Five choirs participated, including the senior choir, the Worthington Junior College choir, and the seventh, eighth and ninth-grade choirs. The program concluded with a 350-voice, mass choir rendition of “Silent Night.”
Worthington’s high school varsity debaters won three first-place trophies in a single pre-Christmas tournament at the University of Minnesota High School Debate tourney, which attracted 50 debate teams from four states. Among the winners were Judy Bassett, Richard Wilson, Sharon Larson and Lawrence Soderholm.
Southwest Minnesota and northwest Iowa received a total of three to six inches of snow, with six inches recorded in the Worthington area.
75 years ago
James Gardner of Graham Lakes township was elected president of the Nobles County Farm Bureau Association, succeeding Joseph F. Balster of Wilmont.
Another 4 percent dividend was declared by the directors of the Worthington Federal Savings & Loan association, for the semi-annual period ending Dec. 31, 1936. A total of $1,620.09 was to be portioned among about 400 stockholders. H. R. Tripp was secretary-treasurer of the association.
Letters to the editor published in the Worthington Daily Times: “Dear Santa: I am a girl, 9 years old. I am in the fourth grade. I want a toy cleaning set and a toy circus and a rubber type set, please. Your friend, Dorothy Milton.” “Dear Santa Claus: I am so glad you are coming to Worthington to give us a visit. I am writing you a letter that you will come. And I hope you will leave us some more crackerjacks like you did last year. Yours truly, Fred Zishka.” “Dear Santa: I am a little girl 8 years old. I am in the third grade. My teacher is nice to me. What I want for Christmas is a Shirley Temple doll. And a fur coat and some doll dresses. And a snow suit. Some nuts and candy on Christmas Eve. A friend, Harriet Cunningham.”