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Observations from Archives: 1917: Newspaper office vandalized

1917, 100 years ago: Carl A. Wold, Editor of the Park Region Echo found the door to the Echo office had been forced opened, and on the floor were scattered bills, receipts, and letters from the Echo letter files. Upon investigation he found the filing cabinet had been cleaned out and the contents taken away. Further he discovered the linotype had been ruined. The delicate mechanism had been wrenched and broken. In the other room attempts at demolishing the large press had been made.

A special train of soldiers passed through here enroute to Camp Dodge, Iowa. Among the boys on the train was Edwin Koxvold who has a home here.

1967, 50 years ago: Mob action will be studied, and controls practiced, by the National Guard companies from Alexandria and Morris. The companies will practice riot control with the cooperation of the fire department, police and sheriff's office. Spectators will be allowed in a designated area but may remain at their own risk.

Karl "Bud" Kolstad, Alexandria men's clothier, has been cleaning bricks from the Christian Oppel home, next to the Unruh Garage. He purchased all of the bricks, 10,400 to be exact, from the building, which was being wrecked. The old bricks originally came from the McKay and Bundy brickyards in Alexandria in 1881 when the Oppel home was built. The Kolstads, Bud and Naomi, are dreaming of a new dwelling "some day in the not too distant future" when these antique bricks will form the nucleus of its construction.

Camilla Bock, Alexandria hairdresser, won first place in a statewide competition at the Minnesota Hair Fashion Committee's annual event in St. Paul. Camilla was representing the Heart O'Lakes Hairdressers in which Alexandria hairdressers belong.

1992, 25 years ago: Alexandria has a new Amoco Service Station and Food Shop, at 1109 3rd Avenue East. The new station will feature seven self-serve pumps and a 1,600 square-foot convenience store.

Rick Ekstrand, president and the board of directors of Rural Cellular Corporation will open offices in Alexandria. RCC, marketed as Cellular 2000, provides cellular service in 35 northern Minnesota counties and is located at the Midway Mall, Hwy 29 South. Cellular 2000 has developed America's largest contiguous rural cellular service area covering more than 50,000 square miles in Minnesota.

2007, 10 years ago: The District 206 $24.5M referendum, which will include building a new elementary school, make repairs at Garfield Elementary School and purchase land for a new high school, passed with an overwhelming "yes" vote — 66%. More than 8,400 people — 44% of District 206 — turned out for the special election.

The Douglas County Board agreed to research potential green sites for a new jail while continuing talks with the city of Alexandria regarding the current downtown location. The most notable concern about downtown: Jails are not part of the city's recently updated comprehensive plan.

JUST FOR FUN 1967, 50 years ago: The Alexandria Telephone Company has received a construct permit from the Federal Communication Commission for installation of a mobile telephone system in which car phones will be available in the Alexandria area. Each car so equipped with a mobile telephone will have its own dial phone number and it can both originate and receive calls from the telephone company. A one-way paging system for reaching people on foot will be included as part of the system.

SPORTS TRIVIA 1967, 50 years ago: Two high school teams not expected to "be very much" have made a shambles out of the 1967 West Central Conference football race. Willmar and Litchfield were the pre-season favorites according to reports filtering out of coaches and writers all around the conference. Alexandria and Benson were not expected to be much more than hopefuls. After a month of play, both teams are undefeated in conference action with Alexandria on top of the loops with a 3-0 mark, including a 7-0 win over the heavy favorite, Willmar.

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