From the Echo Press archives, 1972: Burglars boost bulk butter from Garfield Creamery

This week in history in Douglas County.

Picture of Rachel Barduson
Rachel Barduson

This Week in 1972 – 50 years ago: The Pioneer-United Telephone Company has announced a construction program of $432,000 for the Alexandria-Long Prairie district in 1972. Of this total, $322,000 is scheduled for the Alexandria part of the district. Major additions include a new cable line from Alexandria to Holmes City. The Holmes City switchboard will be removed in November. Large new cables will also be placed toward Garfield to provide for toll-free service between Garfield and Alexandria, and north along both new and old Highway 29. The rural lines out of Alexandria will be changed to new switchboard equipment so that a rural customer can be moved from one line to another without changing his phone number.

1972, 50 years ago: Authorities are still investigating the theft of 53 boxes of bulk butter from the Garfield Creamery. The burglars worked for their haul as each box weighed nearly 70 pounds. Entrance was gained by breaking the rear door. The burglars started to peel the safe open but gave up and decided to spend their time in loading the butter (valued at $2,500) unto a waiting truck.

The District 206 Board of Education approved continued support and possible financial contribution to the proposed vocational-secondary education center now being discussed by three area schools. The center would be a grouping of a number of area schools to provide some vocational courses for students seeking vocational training while still in high school. This would enable some students who do not plan post high school education a chance to gather some skills in certain fields before graduation. Currently Evansville and Villard are studying the program with Alexandria.

1997, 25 years ago: Beginning April 2, 1997, all classified line ads submitted to the Echo Press will automatically, at no extra charge, be shown in a worldwide market via the Quest Network’s “AdQuest.” Based in Waupaca, Wisconsin, the Quest Network is an online classified service that brings buyers and sellers together on the Internet and through a live operator 800 service. The Echo Press is one of 165 publications in 10 states now on AdQuest with a total daily circulation of those publications of over 10 million.

The Nelson Creamery held its 103rd annual meeting. The financial report showed gross sales of$13.23 million with a margin before distribution of $388,000 and 82 million pounds of milk received. The Nelson Creamery has 127 shipping members and is managed by James A. Kohnen of Alexandria.


2012, 10 years ago: Early in 2012, Bug-a-Boo Bay and Fat Daddy’s at Garden Center Lanes pursued – and won – the right to extend their last call from 1 a.m. to 2 a.m. Rapper’s and Depot Express soon followed suit. Tourist crowds that emerge from the cabins and come up from the cities this summer will embrace the 2 a.m. close they have been requesting, local bar owners believe.

Just for fun – 1962 - 60 years ago: Debbie Krueger, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Donald Krueger, was pictured beside a blackboard displaying “incendiary,” the word that made her the Douglas County Spelling Champion.

Also in 1962: “Rusty” Rustad, retired implement man, conceived the idea of a farm equipment mechanic course in Minnesota vocational schools. The idea was first adopted by Austin, then in Staples, and now in Alexandria.

Sports Trivia, 1972 – 50 years ago: Gymnastics at Jefferson High School is not a new activity for girls, but 1972 marked the first year of competition with other schools. Renee Mohawk holds a school record by finishing first in the uneven parallel bars in all three meets the team entered. The group is small but with stimulation from competition, Mrs. Bev Lohrman, Jefferson’s all-girl coach, hopes to see the program grow.

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

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