From the Echo Press archives, 1997: Third Thronson sister crowned dairy princess

This week in history in Douglas County.

Picture of Rachel Barduson
Rachel Barduson

This Week in 1972 – 50 years ago: Forty-one Worthington businessmen and government officials came to Alexandria as part of a tour to see and hear how other towns are doing with their problems. The men from Worthington, a town with a population of 10,000 are concerned about the decline of rural population keeping their share of the local market as highways make it easier to travel other places and they are concerned about the parking issues in their city. What they found interesting is the idea that Alexandria has an identifiable theme or background; Alexandria with the Runestone and the theme “Birthplace of America” offered something to identify the town. The businessmen were also awed by Arrowwood; in fact, that’s where they stayed when in town.

1972, 50 years ago: They are going to turn loose 1,000 Jefferson High School young people to participate in a clean-up of all school and park areas in the district as well as roadsides throughout the area, coming or going, whichever way you may be pointed. All refuse and other foreign material will be placed in bags and collected by city, county and National Guard trucks.

An entire semi-truck load of Johnson motors arrived at K & K Sports as part of the shipments expected to arrive this year. The 85 motors in the shipment, according to Norm Kvitek, have a retail value of nearly $65,000. The motors range in size from 2½ horsepower models to 125 horsepower.

1997, 25 years ago: The Alexandria City Council rejected a request from the Douglas County commissioners to contribute money to move the famous Big Ole statue a few feet west, to the sidewalk near the Runestone Museum. The statue was removed from its familiar place in the middle of North Broadway last fall to undergo structural repairs. In April the county board voted unanimously to allocate $6,000 for Ole’s move from the middle of the street because of safety concerns, but only if the city of Alexandria was also willing to put up $6,000 and the Runestone Museum, which owns the statue, was willing to allow the move in the first place.

A $1 million redevelopment project on the corner of Third and Nokomis Street in Alexandria includes a new Burger King restaurant.


2012, 10 years ago: Natural elements that promote flexible learning environments are being incorporated into the design of Alexandria’s new high school. Classrooms will be set in an academic wing – it will be three-stories of “learning communities.” The media center will be located in the heart of the school on the second floor. The theater will host 1,000 seats. The commons area will be a large open space that incorporates a variety of dining and learning settings for students to gather.

Just for fun, 1997 – 25 years ago: It was the Triple Crown, literally, for the Stephen Thronson family at the American Dairy Association Banquet in Nelson when Kim Thronson was crowned Douglas County’s Dairy Princess. Her two older sisters were also crowned princesses – Rhonda ten years ago, and Nikki two years ago. Molly Week and Jessica Siira were named Thronson’s attendants. All are from Evansville.

Sports Trivia, 2012 – 10 years ago: A robot named Murphy, created by the mechatronics team from Jefferson High School in Alexandria, shot a basketball into the air while students cheered during a community night open house. The JHS FIRST Team 3313 built the robot in six weeks with a budget of $3,500. The team won the entrepreneurship award at regional competition in March. Murphy made three out of four programmed shots. Team members include Ryan Johnson, Jeremy Bydlon, Bryce Klang, Kacy McCormick, Steph Shimota, Jenna Seward, Jordan Roatch, Tyler Floding, Brandon Thoennes and Gabe Klepper.

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

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