Looking Back - 1937: Longtime Worthington resident Florence Vance diesA weekly look back at regional history
By: Jane Turpin Moore, Worthington Daily Globe
One year ago
The Alliance for a Healthier Minnesota was introducing a state-wide Biggest Loser Challenge, and Nobles-Rock Community Health Services was coordinating the challenge in Nobles and Rock counties.
A man serving a life sentence for conspiracy and kidnapping resulting in the 1997 death of 15-year-old Gregory Sky Erickson spent Wednesday afternoon on the stand in Jackson County District Court, answering questions about events leading up to Erickson’s murder and the involvement of another defendant.
About four inches of snow fell in the Worthington area on Monday, according to the National Weather Service, and winds continued to blow the accumulation around through the next day.
After Dan Anderson’s post as Nobles County Emergency Management Director was cut from full-time to three-fifths time, Anderson resigned from his job effective Jan. 21. Anderson had filled the position for the past 4½ years and was planning to move into a consultative role with nearly 30 counties across southern Minnesota.
Five years ago
About 200 recent immigrants and long-time area residents joined together Sunday afternoon for a potluck meal at Prairie Elementary, Worthington. The event was coordinated by the Nobles County Integration Collaborative, the Minnesota Immigrant Freedom Network and the Local Union 1161-United Food and Commercial Workers.
Florence Vance, a decades-long Worthington resident, community patron and accomplished musician, died at age 92. Vance first came to Worthington in 1947 to teach music in the local schools. She later married Jim Vance, former Daily Globe publisher, and continued to be highly engaged in politics, arts and other community affairs. One friend and resident referred to Vance as a “beacon” in the community.
Minnesota’s 7th District Congressman and newly elected chairman of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee Collin Peterson addressed a packed hall at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s annual meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah. Julie Buntjer of the Daily Globe covered the meeting to keep tabs on regional interests. Peterson’s address dealt primarily with the 2007 Farm Bill.
More than $2,300 worth of merchandise was stolen over the weekend from Jim’s Standard Store in Brewster. Owner Jim Weaver said he’d had his share of break-ins over 37 years in business (including the most recent only five months earlier), but he was frustrated by the problem and disappointed people resorted to theft.
10 years ago
Marlene Jueneman, a sales associate with Johnson Builders & Realtors, Worthington, was awarded the certified residential specialist designation by the Council of Residential Specialists for having completed advanced courses and demonstrated professional expertise in resident real estate. Only 35,000 real estate agents nationwide had earned the credential.
Xcel Energy had submitted its application to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission for upgraded transmission lines to carry wind-generated power for Southwest Minnesota to its upper Midwest power grid.
Robert Curry, president of PM Beef Holdings, announced that the PM plant in Windom had started an $18 million expansion and planned to spend more than $200 million to buy beef from area cattle producers.
Scott Peterson was recently elected — by unanimous vote — to the role of senior pastor (from associate pastor) at Worthington’s Assemblies of God church. Peterson had been on staff at the local church for 12 years, and was now the church’s sole pastor.
The Nobles County Public Works department was settling into its new, $1.8 million addition at 960 Diagonal Road, Worthington.
25 years ago
Bob Yeske, the 33-year-old mayor of Bigelow and owner of Bob’s Body Shop, was among the 212 “old” students enrolled at Worthington Community College for the current academic year. Of the 570 full- and part-time students at WCC this year, 212 were over the age of 30.
The three candidates for the title of Nobles County pork queen were Ami Schemper, Worthington; Carmen Eisele, Reading; and Kathy Petersen, Lismore. Schemper ultimately received the title, saying she thought “it would be a good opportunity to meet a lot of people, and it’s a good way to promote pork.”
Two persons received minor injuries in a three-car collision that occurred at 11:02 p.m. Friday south of Fulda just inside the Nobles County line. In addition, two Hills residents were treated at the Luverne hospital for injuries sustained Saturday when their car struck a tractor on a gravel road.
The official high temperature in Worthington on Jan. 12, 1987, was 55 degrees. Impromptu football games were played along boulevards and on vacant lots, motorcyclists roared by on city streets and scores of walkers filled the sidewalks. For six weeks, “the region has basked in temperatures which have ranged between the 20s and the 40s.”
50 years ago
Otto Lindeman of Bigelow was named chairman of the Nobles County Board of Commissioners for 1962. Lee Anderson, Worthington, was named vice-chairman.
The temperature hovered near 12 degrees below zero and a 35 mile-per-hour wind blew as Worthington volunteer firefighters worked to kill a fire that burned the home of Mr. and Mrs. James Jansen in Shore Acres on the west shore of Lake Okabena, Worthington. Mrs. Jansen carried four small children bundled in blankets from a bed to safety. Damage estimates were not available at press time.
About 100 people attended a public meeting in Edgerton to discuss possibilities of building a new facility for the Southwest Christian High School.
Worthington High School debaters won top honors in the seventh annual Trojan Debate tournament in Worthington over the weekend. Forty-one four-man debate teams from five area states participated in the competition. David Kanellis, tournament director and high school debate instructor, said the contest was “one of the largest and best” in the event’s history.
75 years ago
Eight firms in Nobles County were to pay personal property taxes in excess of $1,000, according to a Daily Times survey. Again the Worthington Creamery & Produce Co. led the way, followed closely by the State Bank of Worthington; others included the Farmers State Bank of Round Lake, the Boote Hatcheries, Montgomery Ward store, Farmers Co-operative Co., and the Worthington National Bank. In 1936 only six institutions were distinguished thusly.
Sunday morning (Jan. 10) saw the first fire alarm of 1937 — and it was a false alarm. Quitting their accustomed Sunday morning doze at the insistence of the power house siren, firemen proceeded to the Benjamin Bakery, where the only fire discovered was where it belonged — in the giant oven. It was revealed that an occupant of a neighboring apartment mistook the ruddy glow of the court house beacon on low-hanging clouds of steam for flames.