1970: Voters approve $5.25M for new hospital

This week in history in Douglas County.

Rachel Barduson
Rachel Barduson

1920, 100 years ago: Mr. Rudolph Jobe, south of Alexandria, is having a Silent Alamo Farm Light Plant installed this week. He is also having an electrically driven power pump installed for his water system. He will use a portable motor to operate his pump, cream separator and so forth. Mr. R.W. Howard, the electrician for C. J. Newhouse is doing the installation.

H.J. Mooney sold his Consumers’ Cash Grocery on Sixth Avenue East to the McKay Brothers who will continue the grocery business at the same stand.

1970, 50 years ago: The beautiful new Trumm Drug building located on the corner of Sixth and Fillmore in Alexandria, will be featured in full color on the cover of the national magazine, “The American Druggist,” in its April issue, with an article describing the features of the building. The Kensington Runestone will also get coverage, which goes coast-to-coast in every drug store in America.

Nearly 6,000 Douglas County residents overwhelmingly approved the $5.25 million hospital bond issue. All but one of the county’s 35 townships voted in favor – and Millerville Township was close at that – 31 yes and 32 "no" votes on each ballot. The hospital board can now complete the necessary arrangements, which means that construction of the new facility should get underway in 1971 and completed in 1973.

1995, 25 years ago: A pile of rubble and twisted metal was all that remained of the Parkers Prairie Fire Station, which was destroyed by a propane gas explosion. All of the city’s fire-fighting rigs were destroyed in the blast and the ensuing fire had to be fought by fire departments from neighboring communities. Thankfully no one was hurt, but initial estimates put the damages from the explosion well over the $500,000 mark, although that’s expected to go higher. At least three commercial buildings and the city hall sustained damage and as of press time, it was still uncertain whether the buildings will have to be torn down.


2010, 10 years ago: Nearly 150 area emergency responders gathered at Runestone Electric Association’s Operations Center to learn about the potential dangers of contact with a power line. In addition to first responders, volunteer firefighters, police and sheriff department personnel, more than 75 law enforcement students from the Alexandria Technical College attended the training seminar.

After a generous offer by a local resident and landowner, Douglas County Commissioners changed their minds about applying for a Regional Park Legacy Grant. The grant would be used for acquisition of land that would be added to Lake Brophy County Park. Because there is more than one parcel of land to be purchased, there are at least three phases to the land acquisition project.

Just for fun – 1920 - 100 years ago: Andrew McKay was for many years employed in the Alexandria Post Office and for a short time in the grocery department of the Alexandria Leader Company. Sherman McKay used to carry mail on one of the rural routes of Alexandria. He spent a few years in the West, and during the World War, was in Uncle Sam’s service. The McKay brothers are sons of J.A. McKay, veteran real estate man of Alexandria. They have many friends wishing them well in their new grocery business.

Sports trivia 2010 – 10 years ago: Rosey Erickson won four events and set a new CLC Indoor record at the Central Lakes Conference Indoor Championships, leading the Alexandria Cardinal girls’ track and field team to a fourth-place finish. Erickson’s new record mark came in the 60-meter dash where she won in a time of 7.91. That broke the old record of 7.94, which had stood for two years. Jamie Peipenburg broke her own record in the 3,200-meter run. She won in a time of 10:56.90, eclipsing the mark she set last year of 11:11.98.

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

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