From the Echo Press archives, 1911: New law restricts marriage to second cousins or further

This week in history in Douglas County.

This week in 1911, 110 years ago: A new law going into effect on July 1 forbids “the marriage of persons nearer to kin than second cousins.”

1946 – 75 years ago: A gas stove explosion at Osterberg’s Café caused considerable disruption. Verlie Hollingsworth was the cook on duty at the time and he suffered a badly injured knee when the door of the oven was blown open. Another section of the gas range was blown to bits and windows in the kitchen broken. The accident happened around 4:30 a.m. while Hollingsworth was getting things ready for the day’s business.

1971, 50 years ago: The new Evansville Community Center, completed in March, will be dedicated Sunday, July 4, as part of the day-long Independence Day celebration. Seventh District Congressman Bob Bergland will be the featured speaker at the celebration, which will include a smorgasbord, watermelon feed, baseball game and fireworks.

Viking Plaza, the new shopping center under construction south of Alexandria on Highway 29 and 34th Avenue South, will open in mid-October. Phase I of a three-phase project includes two major retail outlets and room for nine assorted but smaller businesses. The size of the entire complex will be 94,400 sq. ft. of which roughly 83,000 will be leased footage. The largest store will be White Mart which will occupy 41,400 square feet and carry a complete line of consumer goods at a discount.

1996, 25 years ago: A 1.5-mile stretch of County Road 42 will be reconstructed in two phases beginning July 15. Phase II is set to begin in August. Dave Robley, director of the Douglas County Highway Department, said that the $860,000 road project will require detours for through-traffic, although people who live, work and shop along County Road 42 will be allowed access to the area.


Area businesses spent the weekend accommodating the estimated 30,000 Vikingland Band Festival visitors who were lodged in hotels/motels and schools, according to organizers. The crowd was treated to 25 bands from three states and Canada.

Work began on the county’s new Terrace Learning Garden, the 280-foot-long, three tiered retaining wall across from the county services center. With the right funding and help from volunteers, the garden will eventually have a display of trees, shrubs, native plants and grasses, annual and perennial flowers and a water garden. Signs will identify plants’ scientific and common names and sculpture from regional artists will be interspersed among the living things. A $3,475 irrigation system for the garden was installed earlier with funds from the Douglas County Board of Commissioners, but this is the only expense, at this point, to be funded with public dollars.

2011, 10 years ago: CentraCare Kidney Program-Alexandria Dialysis unveiled its remodeled dialysis unit at the Douglas County Hospital. The space had previously been used as an obstetrics unit. The conversion brought 13 dialysis chairs to the area. The program previously only had seven chairs available for patients.

Just for fun – 1971 - 50 years ago: The second largest store in Alexandria’s new Viking Plaza will be Pete’s Super Valu store which will occupy 18,000 square feet. As a comparison, the new Pete’s store will be twice as large as the current one and the new White Mart will be twice as large as the new Pete’s.

Sports trivia 1971 – 50 years ago: The Alexandria Clippers won their seventh game in 11 starts with a 7-3 revenge win over Browns Valley. They had dropped a 4-3 contest to them the previous week. After giving up a two-run homer to Jim Appel in the first inning, Clipper pitcher Jim Lantz settled down and pitched a brilliant game, striking out 20 Browns Valley batters while walking only two and giving up only three hits. The Clippers pounded out 10 hits in the exhibition contest.

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

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