Looking Back: 1940 -- Worthington man re-emerges after going missing

One year ago Election night produced a few changes in the region, with Keith Vreeman, a former deputy with the Pipestone County Sheriff's Office, being elected to the job of Pipestone County Sheriff; additionally, Wilmont residents voted to end t...

One year ago

Election night produced a few changes in the region, with Keith Vreeman, a former deputy with the Pipestone County Sheriff’s Office, being elected to the job of Pipestone County Sheriff; additionally, Wilmont residents voted to end the city’s contract with the Nobles County Sheriff’s Office by a margin of only three votes.

Community leaders and representatives from PurNet broke ground Wednesday for the new 10,000 square-foot PurNet building in the industrial park just north of the Worthington Event Center. PurNet Founder and CEO Darlene Vortherms said the expansion would eventually allow for 50 to 60 new positions at the company.

A majority of District 518 voters agreed to a new operating levy, while Mike Kuhle captured the three-way Worthington mayoral race with 1,335 votes (43.76 percent), toppling three-term mayor Alan Oberloh and contender Chris Dybevick.

A new crop of volunteers was being sought to assist as bell ringers in the greater Worthington area for the Salvation Army’s annual red kettle campaign during the Christmas season.


Five years ago

The Worthington High School band was awarded first place in Class A and was also named the overall parade grand champion (out of 14 bands in two classes) at the Anoka Halloween Grand Day Parade. The band performed its “Phantom of the Opera” parade show.

The Nobles-Murray Rural Electric Trust awarded $7,780 to local organizations, targeting the areas of community service, leadership, education, youth projects, environmental projects, emergency energy assistance and disaster relief.

Mike Kuhle, Worthington Ward 2 alderman, narrowly survived a challenge from Roger Nelson but receiving 790 votes to Nelson’s 771, while Alan Oberloh was re-elected to his third term as Worthington’s mayor. Oberloh defeated challenger Carol Culver with a final tally of 1,845 to 846.

Keith Ailts of Rushmore completed a landscaping project at Sunset Rest Cemetery near Rushmore as part of his effort to become an Eagle Scout. Ailts, the son of Gary and Melody Ailts, was to receive the Eagle Scout designation at a Nov. 21 ceremony.

The Worthington Area United Way set a 2010 campaign goal of $140,000, with hopes to raise $6,000 at its annual telethon.

The Worthington City Council certified the city’s 2011 tax levy increase at 3.2 percent.

10 years ago


Learning Links, a Minnesota Youth Community Learning Initiative, was seeking volunteers to serve as mentors for District 518 high school students who were “disconnected” from learning.

An escalating number of vandalism calls was noted at the Worthington Police Department, dating to Oct. 24. More than 20 vehicles had been targeted, with broken windows, slashed tires and items stolen from their interiors in recent days. A reward was being offered for information leading to the crimes being solved.

Windom City Administrator Dennis Nelson resigned, effective Nov. 23. Nelson has been employed with the City of Windom for 26 years but was leaving to join (as a senior project manager) the private Wenck Associates Inc., a company that provided engineering, environmental and business consulting services.

Items relating to the military records of the Lais family were on display at the Nobles County Art Center through Nov. 14. The collection included helmets, original artwork, books and photos from Lais family members’ military service in World War I, World War II, the Korean War and Desert Storm.

25 years ago

On Nov. 1, the high temperature recorded for Worthington was 75 degrees. Somewhat cooler temperatures were expected as the week progressed.

Showing this week at Worthington’s Northland Cinema were “Postcards from the Edge,” “Desperate Hours,” “Good Fellas” and “Ghost.”

Minnesota 60 from Windom to Mountain Lake reopened on Friday. The eight-mile stretch had been closed for some time due to a widening project.


The Worthington Area United Way campaign had reached 40 percent of its 1990 $105,000 campaign goal.

Workers at Worthington’s Monfort plant were reportedly finding it difficult to locate housing in Worthington; a headline declared a “housing shortage” for Monfort workers in the Nobles County seat.

The Worthington Police Department reported a quiet Halloween - in fact, one of the quietest in years. With only a few reports received of egg-throwing and smashed pumpkins, the police said there were no serious incidents at all.

Advertised specials this week at Worthington’s Gobbler Café included an eight-ounce mushroom steak with mashed potatoes, gravy, salad and roll for $4.89, a quarter fried chicken meal with mashed potatoes, gravy, salad and roll for $3.59, or a choice of a fresh roasted turkey sandwich or hamburger with a bowl of soup for $3.89.

Minnesota Gov. Rudy Perpich and DFL U.S. Senate candidate Paul Wellstone made a Saturday campaign stop in Worthington.

Vacancies existed for Adrian’s mayoral position and a city council seat, but candidates for the posts hadn’t presented themselves as the election was set to occur.

50 years ago

David Ross was elected president of Worthington’s newly reorganized Jaycee organization. John Holst was selected first vice president, Gene Fujan was elected second vice president, Lowell Swanberg was chosen treasurer and Gary Stowell achieved the role of secretary. Board of directors’ members included Gary Crippen, Harold Hoppe, Don Bruce, Mike Davis, Doug Cole and Jim Schissel.

A special committee of the Worthington Chamber of Commerce set up a not-for-profit corporation to build a dormitory and dining hall for Worthington Junior College. No detailed cost figures were yet prepared, but the project was expected to cost about $650,000. Its purpose was to provide a supervised housing program for students at a low cost, and also to meet an acute housing shortage in the community. Present junior college enrollment was at 600 students, about half of whom were from outside an easy commuting distance.

Mrs. Walter F. Mondale, the wife of Minnesota’s Junior Senator, presented an illustrated talk entitled “Politics and Art” to DFL women from five southwestern Minnesota counties at the Country Kitchen in Worthington. Mrs. Mondale related art and politics, using color slides of paintings of selected artists.

One person was killed and six people were injured in auto accidents over the Halloween weekend in southwestern Minnesota and northern Iowa. The death occurred on Highway 60, two miles southwest of Worthington, at 11:40 a.m. Saturday.

The Worthington High School sophomore debate team of Del Jeppesen, Scott Wallace, John Darling and Greg Johnson collected the first-place trophy for the B Division when they tied for first place with Sioux City at the Trojan Invitational Debate Tournament in Worthington. In all, 83 teams competed in both A and B divisions.

About $400 in cash and $200 in checks were stolen Monday night from the Clover Farm Store in Fulda, owned by Raymond Reker. The intruders broke a side window to enter, then vandalized the office safe to access the money.

75 years ago

Ernest G. Fike, the Worthington man for whom state highway and county officers dragged the Kanaranzi River near Adrian Tuesday, reappeared in Worthington on Wednesday, reporting he had been dazed for a day and a half by a blow he received in the back of his head in a crash Monday night. Fike said he couldn’t remember how he got back to Worthington after his car hit a bridge abutment Monday night, and added he didn’t regain complete consciousness about his whereabouts until Wednesday morning. Herbert Schaefer, day clerk at the Adams hotel, reported the appearance of Fike after the search for him had started at the river. However, Fike said he didn’t recall even seeing Schaefer at the hotel. Fike was staying with his brother-in-law, John Doeden, south of Worthington.

Austin Waager was elected president of the Indian Lake Progressives 4-H Club at a Tuesday night meeting at the Herman Doeden home. Gordon Wilson was chosen vice president. Other officers included Barbara Posorske, secretary; Lola Mae Wilson, treasurer; Phyllis Langseth, reporter; Rodney Langseth, song leader; and Gaylord Doeden, sergeant-at-arms.

Worthington Junior College presented a performance of “Our Town” by Thornton Wilder.

Worthington passed a peaceful Halloween, awakening with windows unsoaped and no visible evidence of time-honored depredations.

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