Looking Back: 1966 -- Ralston-Purina announces new Worthington plant

One year ago Construction on an addition and renovation project at Worthington High School was under way. District 518 Superintendent John Landgaard said the new parking lot, which would add 138 parking spaces, was expected to be completed before...

One year ago

Construction on an addition and renovation project at Worthington High School was under way. District 518 Superintendent John Landgaard said the new parking lot, which would add 138 parking spaces, was expected to be completed before school began on Aug. 24. Construction on the 19,300 square-foot addition wasn't slated for completion until December, although changes to the cafeteria (removal of former stage to allow for more seating) was hoped to be done by late August.

Legislation to establish 110,000 acres of new water quality buffer zone across Minnesota took effect July 1.The measure resulted in nearly 1,700 acres of additional conservation land in Nobles County, according to Nobles Soil and Water Conservation District's Farm Bill technician Kevin Roth.


Southwestern Minnesota Opportunity Council marked its 50th anniversary this week. SMOC had developed many programs to serve families and individuals, including Head Start, Energy Assistance, Child Care Resource and Referral and Emergency Crisis Assistance, to name only a few.

Sisters Elizabeth Kramer and Kaitlyn Killoran, along with their mother, Trish Kramer, recently started an online clothing store, Persona Co., and hosted a fashion show this week at The Vine in Slayton. The Kramer sisters were natives of Fulda.

The Worthington City Council approved moving ahead with an Active Living Plan on Monday in hopes of making Worthington a more pedestrian-friendly city.

District 518's Adult Basic Education program hosted a recognition event for the 42 volunteers who had assisted the program over the past year.

Five years ago About 800 cattle producers and ag business professionals were in Worthington for the Minnesota State Cattlemen's Association 2011 Summer Beef Tour and Trade Show.


Fifteen tour buses transported the attendees for tours at several area farms, and a meal featuring grilled steaks took place for the group at the Worthington Country Club.

A storm packed with winds, heavy rain and hail stripped soybean plants to their stems and flattened corn in an area at least two miles wide and about four miles long outside of Reading. The storm hit early Sunday morning, and a second storm that crossed the area early Monday combined to drop between two and five inches of rain on the surrounding area.

More than 40 members of the Worthington "Amazing" City Band were preparing to depart for Crailsheim, Germany, where they would serve as musical ambassadors, stay with host families and tour sites in the vicinity of Worthington's long-time German sister city. Traveling with them to provide intermission entertainment at their concerts were the members of the Great Plains String Quartet.

The Worthington City Council approved a plan for a regional stormwater retention pond, to be constructed on the campus of Minnesota West Community and Technical College. The pond was intended to collect runoff from a 40-acre area on the west side of Worthington.


Extreme amounts of precipitation were challenging city water and causing isolated areas of flooding throughout Worthington. More than four inches of rain fell in about a 12-hour period, flooding many local basements and low-lying areas in town.

10 years ago Toni Ingenthron, the daughter of Casey and Rosa Ingenthron, Worthington, was departing for Crailsheim, Germany, where she would spend the 2006-07 year as  Worthington's student ambassador to its German sister city.

Oscar Ricalde opened a new tattoo parlor, One Bad Habit, on Worthington's Third Avenue. Ricalde, with 15 years of experience in the trade, was one of two tattoo artists working in the parlor.

Family fun and free food were offered at Saturday's first-ever "Consumers and the Latest Ag Technology" open house, hosted at the Richard and Bethani Fellows farm south of Worthington. A Minnesota Farm Bureau mini-grant helped in part to fund the event.

Nobles-Rock Community Health Services received a $199,000 grant for Nobles County's Clean Air for Everyone (CAFE) organization. The grant was guaranteed by Blue Cross Blue Shield for up to three years, with the potential for extension.

The town of Jackson celebrated its centennial with a live broadcast of Minnesota Public Radio's "The Morning Show" at the Historic State Theatre as part of the featured festivities. A new event, Rhythm of the River, was also expected to attract many to town for the celebration.

The Lake Okabena Improvement Association was formed and a membership drive, offering household or business memberships at a rate of $25 per year, was under way.

25 years ago Mr. and Mrs. Duane Ahlness, 664 11th St., Windom, were the winners of Windom's Kiwanis Club Yard of the Month contest for the first half of July.

Kevin Donovan, a financial planner with IDS Financial Services, Inc., in Worthington for the past nine years, was promoted to the role of district manager for the organization. Donovan's responsibilities would extend to five southwest Minnesota counties, including Nobles, Jackson, Pipestone, Rock and Murray.

Fey Industries, Edgerton, began recycling its vinyl scraps, corrugated boxes, production and office waste paper and aluminum cans. Recycling these products was helping Fey Industries contain the skyrocketing costs of dumping garbage at the Pipestone County landfill. Fey Industries employed about 150 people throughout the year.

Ramona Hickey was the new proprietor of The Crystal Egg, a general bookstore located on Windom's Courthouse Square.

A former private residence at 509 Milwaukee St., Lakefield, was to soon become Jackson County's first group home for developmentally disabled citizens. Money from the state of Minnesota, Jackson County and private donations allowed for the property's purchase.

50 years ago A new sign was recently installed at the Gateway Standard station on Highway 59/60 south in Worthington, and was winning compliments from passersby. Standing about 27 feet in the air, the 8 x 20-foot sign read, "Hello: Entrance to Worthington and Lake Okabena. Stop here for gas--food--service." Some observers said the sign was a service to the entire community because they believed the Highway 59/60 city entrance had not been adequately identified in the past. Gary Roos owned the Gateway Standard station.

Elvin Yrjo, Worthington, a route salesman for Schweigert Meat Co., received an outstanding sales award from company president Ray Schweigert.

Rune's Furniture and Carpet Company was preparing to move to what it called "Minnesota's largest and finest home furnishing store" soon, and was holding a  "removal sale" before relocating from its 10th Street location to its new building at the corner of Second Avenue and 11th Street. Rune's had operated on 10th Street since 1957.

Surveys were underway in Rock, Nobles, Lincoln, Lyon, Pipestone, Murray, Redwood, Jackson and Cottonwood counties to determine if the effects of the hot and dry weather on southwestern Minnesota's crops were significant enough to apply for federal drought relief. Officials said the situation would worsen if the region's hot weather continued and soaking rains failed to fall.

The St. Louis-based Ralston-Purina Co. announced at the Worthington Chamber of Commerce offices it would construct a 40- by 85-foot building to house a feed mixing and grinding operation of steel construction. The building was to be located just south of Worthington's Armour Plant. Bob Dreeszen was to manage the new plant, which was expected to employ three people and be operational by early September.

85 years ago With Mrs. Retta Ford as president, the Nobles County Chautauqua announced is 1931 program as "one of the best offerings of recent years." The session was to open with an evening concert on Tuesday, July 28, and close on Saturday, Aug. 1. The Parnells, one of the most widely known platform attractions in the world, were to present a full concert the first night. Wednesday was to be a day of plays, with the Bergmann Players appearing in "The Intimate Strangers," and "The

Big Pond," a trans-atlantic comedy, scheduled. On Thursday, the colorful music group "The Filipiino Collegians" was to present an afternoon prelude and a full evening concert. Friday would bring the Cymbalom Orchestral Quartette, and the Singing Cadets, a male quartette appearing in a West Point dress uniform, were especially arranged to perform on Saturday.

Fireworks, and their sale or use within the city of Worthington, were to be banned by an ordinance to be drawn up by the city attorney for submittal to the city council.

An exhibit of craft work in connection with Worthington's summer playground program, under the direction of Miss Mabel Myrum, took place at Chautauqua Park. Students could be seen working from 1:30 to 3 p.m., with their handicraft on exhibition until 5 p.m. and again from 6:30 to 9 p.m.

Gloom reigned in the camp of the Worthington city fathers Monday with the receipt of a report from H.E. Whittaker, state chemist, reporting on the chemical analysis of a sample of the water taken from a test hole recently in the vein on the Ager property on Lake Avenue near the western city limits. Whittaker wrote that a chemical analysis showed a very hard water with a high iron content. Coupled with a statement from the well company that the deposit did not

show probability of a water volume approaching what the city expected, and the report dealt the Lake Avenue project what appeared to be a mortal blow, once more placing before Worthington the task of exploration in search of a water supply that would answer all requirements as to volume and purity.

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