2010: Tornado claims life in Almora

This week in history in Douglas County.

Rachel Barduson
Rachel Barduson

1920, 100 years ago: The farmers of Douglas County took a hitch in their belts and “stuck” all along the line at the primary election, the entire Nonpartisan League ticket sweeping the county by tremendous pluralities running from 500 to 1,000. With only two precincts missing, the vote for governor in Douglas County stands 1,876 for Shipstead to 899 for Preuss.

Small Birkshire pigs for sale, $6 each while they last. Alfred Foslien, Garfield.

1970, 50 years ago: Directors, officers and employees of the Alexandria State Bank hosted an open house to celebrate the completion of the bank’s beautiful new building located at 720 Broadway. Martin Haar, president of the bank and Herman Felt, executive vice president, welcomed the Calvary Lutheran Church youth and explained technical innovations, architectural design and service areas. The youth were especially interested in the pneumatic carriers for the drive-in deposit lanes, the size of the vault door and its electrical operation of its opening and closing, and the processing of checks by means of electronic computers.

The commercial printing portions of the Park Region Publishing Co. and The Lake Region Press, Inc., have been purchased by Mr. and Mrs. O.M. “Bud” Aker of Alexandria. The transaction completes a move in which the Akers now have full ownership of the commercial printing of both firms. Mr. Aker remains as the publisher of the Lake Region Press newspaper which is a separate organization. Aker’s printing firm is now known as “Echo Printing.”

1995, 25 years ago: For the first time in the history of Alexandria, residents are being asked to limit their outdoor water usage to every other day. An all-time water usage record was set on June 20 when Alexandria Light & Power (ALP) pumped 2.6 million gallons in a 24-hour period. That’s almost twice the amount of average summer-day use. On the previous day, June 19, when temperatures nosed just shy of 100 degrees, ALP distributed a historical peak of 35.423 megawatts of electricity.


2010, 10 years ago: The United Way of Douglas and Pope Counties is enjoying its new home – 2504 Aga Drive, next to the Alexandria Airport. More storage space will allow new programs, including the creation of a program that would allow students from lower-income families to be able to have a home computer. United Way is going beyond fundraising and distributing. The goal is to bring the community together and help fill in the spaces that other organizations are unable to fill.

Tornadoes took a life in Almora last week and left wide-spread devastation in Wadena. The storms came from the direction of Morris into the southwest corner of Douglas County, and although it didn’t cause as much commotion in the lakes area, law enforcement officials, emergency personnel and weather spotters had their hands full.

Just for fun 1970 – 50 years ago: Calvary Vacation School Tours, of which the youth toured the new Alexandria State Bank, were begun in 1969 and are being conducted again this year. Pastors Giles Ekola and William Bruggeman accompanied the 7th and 8th grades. Following the tours, class discussions on faith in life are led by the pastors.

Sports trivia 1995 – 25 years ago: When the Alexandria Central High School swimming pool opened in December 1968, Barb Benson and her 9-month old son Jed were about the first people to plunge into the new pool. Now, nearly 27 years later, mother and son are back in the same pool again, teaching children how to swim. Closed since October 1994, the pool re-opened recently as part of the new Douglas County Services Center, a totally refurbished building that used to be the Central High School.

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

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