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Observations from the archives, 2004: Larsons living American dream

By Rachel Barduson - Echo Press Columnist

1914, 100 years ago: The annual meeting of the Brandon Cooperative Creamery Association was held at the village hall. All the previous officers were re-elected. It was decided to build a residence for the butter maker, to cost about $1,600. It was also voted to receive cream only on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays until 2 p.m. The secretary’s report showed a net gain of about $800.

1964, 50 years ago: An extensive air search for two Clitherall men, missing in their light plane, was conducted out of the Alexandria airport headquarters. The men were found on a farm six miles north of Henning on Sunday, February 2. Killed instantly were Richard E. Nelson, 53, owner of the Old Town Camp on Lake Clitherall, and Arnold Lukken, 43, a contractor. They were long-time friends and hunting companions. The plane, a Taylorcraft, was owned and piloted by Nelson. Harold Chandler, Alexandria airport manager, and Sheriff Howard Urness began the search by scanning the territory from the air by moonlight. Pilots and planes from many communities had gathered here to continue the search by daylight.

1989, 25 years ago: Douglas County Auditor William “Rock” Anderson was presented with an “Excellence in County Government” plaque from the Association of Minnesota Counties at a Douglas County Board meeting. He was among only three other county-elected officials throughout the state to receive the prestigious award.

Other people in the news: Reed Becker of Alexandria has been named director of architectural services for the firm of Widseth Smith Nolting. Becker is a registered architect, having received his architecture degree from the University of Minnesota in 1971. MarLynn Eastlund has joined the staff of the new Colorful Seasons Nursery and Floral in Alexandria. She will be specializing in floral and garden store management. She has 29 years of experience, including 20 years in management.

2004, 10 years ago: Bob and Lette Larson are living the great American dream of having “a home where the buffalo roam.” The Larsons are the owners of Crooked Lake Bison Farm near Nelson. They began their operation in 1999 when Lette’s father, who is a dairy farmer, decided to sell some of his herd, which left him with an empty pasture. The Larsons purchased three female buffalo, which was the humble beginning of a herd that now encompasses about 50 at any given time. Sometimes they purchase animals from other sources, but usually the calves are born and raised on their farm until they are old enough to be sold for processing.

Just for fun – 1964, 50 years ago: J.E. Rustad, chairman of the agriculture committee of the Kiwanis club, awarded the club’s 4-H Radio Speaking championship trophy to Lorlee Bartos of the Lucky Stars club, following the contest over KXRA. Second place winner, Barbara Kloehn, is a member of the Chippewans club.

Andes Tower Hills’ Coke Classic T-shirt winners for improving the most in giant slalom and slalom competition included Lowell Anderson. Andes is located 15 miles west of Alexandria.

And finally, the Alexandria Elks Lodge will host the 50th anniversary of its “Fisheroo” this weekend. The first Fisheroo was held in 1964 and was conceived as an ice-fishing contest between the Minneapolis and Alexandria chapters of the Elks.

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Rachel Barduson of Alexandria is a regular contributing columnist to the Echo Press Opinion page.