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Looking Back: 1964 - Fire causes excessive damage at area lumber yard

One year ago

The city of Wilmont was benefiting from a donation of 100 trees that were initially intended to be planted in Worthington as replacements for trees lost in the early April ice storm. The watering ban prevented their planting in Worthington, but Wilmont, whose trees had also suffered heavily in the storm, was able to accept them.

A lack of rain had spurred construction crews on the Minnesota 60 four-lane expansion project in Worthington, but setbacks from earlier spring rains had not yet been overcome. Therefore, instead of opening this week, Minnesota 60 from Armour Road and eastward was expected to open no earlier than Aug. 9, or possibly a week later.

Road work on U.S. 59 on Worthington’s outskirts (between Bioscience Drive and 27th Street) was beginning. During construction, traffic was being detoured onto a series of Nobles County roads.

Five years ago

Construction began on the new Unity House at the site of the former Central Elementary School, Worthington. The one-story, 10-bed adult residential facility was to cost approximately $1.5 million and was expected to open in the spring of 2010.

Showing this week at Worthington’s Northland Cinema were “G-Force,” “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs” and “The Proposal.”

Four juveniles were injured Saturday evening when their four-wheel ATVs crashed on a rural Worthington farm.

The Wii Phat team from Fulda lost the most weight in the 2009 Avera Worthington Specialty Clinic’s Weight Loss Challenge, losing a combined 131 pounds of 11.3 percent of their body mass index.

The Worthington City Council continued discussion on plans for a new fire hall.

A 19-year-old Brewster man faced several criminal vehicular operation charges, including driving while impaired, for a crash he allegedly caused that left another man with two broken legs.

10 years ago

The Dean and Carol Christopherson family of rural Worthington was named the 2004 Nobles County Farm Family of the Year. The Christophersons had milked cows for nearly 32 years, and all five of their daughters were Nobles County Dairy Princesses and Princess Kay of the Milky Way finalists over the years.

Thomas Williams was recently hired as Minnesota West’s first minority affairs coordinator. His duties encompassed all five campuses of Minnesota West.

A 66-year-old Worthington man was killed after the bicycle he was riding was struck by a motor vehicle at the intersection of Omaha Avenue and Oxford Street.

The Legislative Commission on Minnesota Resources recommended that $1.2 million in state funding be approved to aid in the construction of a stretch of the 80-mile Casey Jones State Trail between Pipestone and Lake Wilson.

James and Kim Ruppert opened The Rumor Mill bar and restaurant in Adrian. The spot was formerly known as Cookie’s and McCarthy’s.

25 years ago

Gerry Wachter, manager of the local Monfort pork plant, said the company donated $500 to each of Worthington’s two food pantries this week.

Three Jackson County buildings were added to the National Register of Historic Places: Church of the Sacred Heart in Heron Lake, District School #92 in Middletown Township on Jackson County Highway 9 and the Lakefield Hotel (formerly the Winter Hotel) in Lakefield.

Daphne Schiphoff of Hartley was named Miss Osceola County at the county fair in Sibley, Iowa.

The Adrian State Bank marked its 100th anniversary.

Tornado sirens sounded twice Sunday afternoon, with 12 sightings of funnel clouds in the region but no apparent touchdowns occurring. Funnel clouds were spotted near Chandler, Fulda, Dundee, Kinbrae and Brewster, among other areas.

50 years ago

A 24-year-old Pipestone woman died at the Pipestone County Hospital after suffering injuries in an automobile accident just over a day earlier. The car in which the victim was injured appeared to have gone out of control as it rounded a curve; her body was found 100 feet from where the car came to rest amid wreckage strewn for 200 feet along the ditch.

Fire roared through the Gramstad Lumber Company yard at the east edge of Worthington Wednesday morning, with losses estimated at more than $50,000. Firemen were helpless against the inferno and concentrated their efforts in saving several small buildings in the display yard. A northeast wind kept the flames away from the Gramstad house, which stood about 75 yards from the lumber company’s main buildings. The lumber company was outside the city limits and was not served by city water mains, though observers said the lack of water “didn’t change the outcome one bit” because the flames were “uncontrollable.”

Broken glass littered the roadway and ditch along Highway 60 three miles northeast of Worthington Tuesday evening when a pickup truck loaded with empty honey jars overturned. Two men were injured, and boxes filled with empty honey jars were strewn in the ditch and along Highway 60 just east of the Rendering Works. Allan Evans, Windom, was driving when he lost control of the truck. He suffered multiple lacerations and abrasions plus chest contusions; his 19-year-old nephew, George, was treated for minor bruises and released. Allan Evans operated a honey business; strong winds may have contributed to the accident.

75 years ago

Edward Cunningham of Elk and James Dickey of Worthington were to represent Nobles County at the farm boys’ camp hosted in connection with the state fair. Edward had been in club work for seven years, with an interest in livestock and crops projects. James was in his sixth year of club work and had carried projects in livestock, crops and junior leadership.

Up to $17,000 in corn price adjustment payments were received this week by 180 Jackson County corn growers, according to Hartwig Johannsen, treasurer of the Agricultural Conservation Association.

The high temperature in Worthington on Wednesday afternoon was 96, equaling the season’s record. On Thursday, the mercury was only 92 degrees, and storm clouds moving in promised to break the intense heat wave that had gripped the area for two days.

Verena Bremer was knocked unconscious while working at the Wilmont switch board Monday morning when a bolt of lightning struck during a severe electrical storm. She was given immediate medical attention by the local doctor but for several hours remained in a dazed condition. She “did not care to have the experience repeated.”

Mary Crippen, 8, was taken to a local hospital Thursday afternoon after being struck by a car in a traffic jam at Third Avenue and 10th Street, Worthington. The hospital was unable to give a report about her condition, and the name of the driver remained unknown to police several hours after the incident.