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Observations from the archives, 1989: Parkers Prairie offers $5,000 reward for family doctor

1914, 100 years ago: John Thompson of Brandon is a member of the Viking Farmers Club of Moe. They have planned to send a man to the Agricultural Experiment Station to learn how to vaccinate hogs so as to save the expense of a veterinarian. They organized without the aid of the county agent and are not calling on him for aid in their other business. … In South Moe news, a new organ has been installed in the Finnish Temperance Hall, and the concrete basement barn at Fredricksons was started. John Fredrickson and son Carl were county seat visitors Friday.

1964, 50 years ago: The number of women in the labor force in Alexandria is on the rise. On the basis of the latest government figures, approximately 41.6 percent of Alexandria’s female population older than age 14 are now in the labor force. … The Alexandria Community Council decided to drop its Youth Work Camp promotion in favor of adopting a Youth Conservation project, according to incoming president Jim Chan. The federal youth camp idea was dropped because of a lack of clear-cut favorable responses on the part of organizations that make up the community council. … DeWayne Bisek has been hired as an Alexandria policeman. Bisek, 26, single and a native of Alexandria, had the high mark of four men who took the civil service test. Bisek formerly worked at Alexandria Boat Works and more recently has been a guard at the Stillwater prison.

1989, 25 years ago: The community of Parkers Prairie has resorted to “Wild West” tactics to find a family doctor for the city of 900. The person who provides the Parkers Prairie District Hospital with a “lead” that results in the hiring of a doctor will receive a $5,000 reward. Half of the money will be awarded when the doctor signs the contract. The reward winner will receive the remainder after the doctor has been in practice for one year. The situation in Parkers points out a common problem many rural areas face across the country: a shortage of general practitioners. Because of skyrocketing insurance costs, more doctors are moving into metropolitan areas and specializing in one area of care.

2004, 10 years ago: The Alexandria Beetles and Cellular 2000 announced that former Minnesota Twins pitcher Frank Viola is this year’s opening night guest. All games will be broadcast live over the Internet. The Beetles also teamed up with Lincoln Elementary to encourage reading. Students were treated to lunch and a kick ball game at Knute Nelson Field on the last day of school. … Al Lieffort, county parks supervisor, said county workers are surfacing the Central Lakes Trail between Garfield and the western edge of the county. When that surfacing is complete, there will be 55 miles of continuous surfaced trail.

Just for fun – 1964, 50 years ago: “To fish, water ski, cruise, skin dive, swim, hunt or just get away from it all, Americans will buy a quarter million outboard boats in 1964. They will range from tiny dinghies to luxurious cruisers. Some will cost less than $100 and others will run into thousands. Some will be powered by small fishing motors, others will sport powerful V-4s. Many will be constructed of Fiberglas, others of wood or aluminum. All will have one thing in common: Each will be owned by a skipper who thinks his particular rig is something just a little bit extra special.”

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