Looking Back; 2002 - Fire burns in downtown SheldonA weekly look back at regional history
By: Jane Turpin Moore, Worthington Daily Globe
One year ago
The Bigelow Fire & Rescue department received a $2,500 grant from AgStar Financial Services to help purchase new pagers and other needed equipment.
Dr. James Harris, a Worthington surgeon, was named a Distinguished Member of the 506th Infantry Regiment. Harris was nominated for the honor by a fellow soldier who served alongside him at Fire Support Base Ripcord, deemed the last large-unit battle in Vietnam.
The Commission on Judicial Selection announced two judgeship vacancies in Minnesota’s Fifth Judicial District.
Despite blustery, cold winds and crashing waves, several area fishermen tried their luck on Lake Okabena Monday. Winds were gusting up to 40 miles per hour.
A $3,000, one-time grant from the Nobles-Rock Community Health Improvement Program provided five days of healthy snack education for Prairie Elementary’s third-grade students.
Five years ago
The homes of Jerry and Joan Wachter, Jerry and Beve Vajgrt, Mark and Deb Boltjes, Ken and Pat Henkels and Randy Grimmius were featured as part of the sixth annual Christmas House Walk benefiting Worthington’s Hospice Cottage.
A new veterans’ memorial was dedicated in Hardwick, and a Veterans Day program at Worthington’s Prairie Elementary drew hundreds of guests.
The Fenton Wind Project, with 137 wind turbines in Murray and Nobles counties, was dedicated near Chandler. The wind farm was capable of producing up to 205 megawatts of electricity.
Representatives from several housing and political agencies, along with political leaders and city administrators, met in Worthington to address the critical shortage of housing in the city and throughout southwest Minnesota. The Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership helped organize the session.
10 years ago
Worthington High School students presented the mystery/comedy “In 25 Words —or Death” at Memorial Auditorium, under the direction of Linda Neugebauer.
The Dollar Tree Store opened at the strip mall on Worthington’s Ryan’s Road.
Worthington native and 1978 Worthington High School graduate Mark Meinders recently received a design patent for his polyvinylchloride pipe bird lawn ornament. Meinders, a diesel mechanic by trade, was a resident of Eutawville, S.C.
Local officials said multi-million dollars’ worth of construction development in Worthington was helping the town break out of a “temporary economic logjam.”
Prairie Elementary’s Kiwanis K Kids Club collected more than 50 boxes of food to donate to Worthington’s two food shelves.
Three downtown businesses were largely destroyed in a Saturday morning fire in Sheldon, Iowa —the Pizza Ranch, Iowa Theater and Downtown Video, and the Prairie Queen Bakery were affected by the blaze.
25 years ago
Leon Werner was elected chairman of the Worthington Chamber of Commerce for 1988, with Bonnie Karl to serve as vice chairman and Alvin Kooiman as treasurer.
Worthington Area Junior High School orchestra students received special instruction on a Saturday morning from guest clinician William Douglas, a teacher at Hopkins Junior-Senior High School and a member of Minnesota’s String Task Force.
The Worthington City Council voted to grant a $414,500 loan to Worthington Regional Hospital to purchase a CT scanner.
Former pilot, Vietnam POW and former Storden resident Leo Thorsness spoke at Windom’s salute to veterans. Thorsness survived six years in a North Vietnam prison camp, including 18 months in a four-by-eight foot cell with two other men.
Hair Ltd. celebrated its 10-year anniversary with stylists Wanetta Feikema, Brenda Witt, Pam Kontz and Lisa Lenz.
50 years ago
A Worthington man lay beside his wrecked car for more than two hours Thursday evening before being found by officers who were searching for him. Alexandre Weinandt, 76, was driving alone on Hwy. 15 and 60 about two miles south of Madelia when he sideswiped another car heading south, driven by Sterling Dewar of Lewisville. Dewar told officers his car went into the ditch and by the time he had it under control and looked back, he saw no sign of Weinandt or his car. He thought it was a “hit and run,” but Watonwan County sheriff’s officers began looking for the missing car. Weinandt was unconscious, suffering from severe head and facial injuries.
Michael Hanson, 13-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Hanson of rural Worthington, lost his left foot as the result of a Sunday afternoon pheasant hunt. He was hunting with two companions, Jerry Gronewold and Anthony Benjamin. An accidental gunshot blast struck Hanson above the ankle, damaging it so severely that it had to be amputated at the Worthington hospital.
The state convention of the Minnesota Association of Student Councils session was hosted at Worthington High School from Thursday through Saturday.
Problems connected with the proposed Heron Lake watershed were studied at Fulda this week. Engrossed with the study were delegates representing the soil conservation districts and extension offices of the four counties involved (Nobles, Cottonwood, Jackson and Murray).
75 years ago
F. E. Mixa, poultry specialist at the Worthington Creamery and Produce Co., accepted an invitation from the University Farm school to address an assembly program on Jan. 19 during Farm and Homemakers Week. He was likely to discuss the turkey raising programs fostered by his company over the past few seasons.
Only the house and a horse barn remained today of the farm development of Mrs. Gertrude Bigler and tenanted by Wesley Coyer in Bloom Township, Nobles County, following a devastating fire which raced through five buildings, completely destroying and their contents, causing a loss estimated at about $5,000.
Arlene Olson, member of the Elk Tiptoppers 4-H Club, was richer by $172 and displayed a grand champion trophy and a gold watch as Nobles County basked in the spotlight of her achievements at the Junior Livestock show in St. Paul. Olson brought distinction not only to herself and Nobles County but also to the Worthington Creamery and Produce Company by winning the grand championship in the turkey class. It was Nobles County’s only major award.
The Worthington Café advertised a “Special Sunday Dinner,” a four-course affair offering a choice of roast turkey, fried or roast chicken or steak for 50 cents. Also this week, the featured flavor of Worthmore ice cream at the Worthmore Creamery & Produce Co. was Peppermint Stick Candy —20 cents for a pint, 35 cents for a quart.