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Looking Back

60 Years Ago

Items taken from the Sun of April 14, 1953

Citizens of Independent School District No. 1 are invited to attend a public mass meeting in the Morris High School auditorium April 15 at which time the proposed $400,000 bond issue for the construction of additional school facilities in the district will be discussed. The mass meeting has been called to give an opportunity to all voters in the district to learn the facts about the need for the proposed addition, to learn about the costs and other financial aspects, and to present them with an opportunity to ask any questions they might have about the proposed building program.  The proposed building would contain 14 elementary classrooms, a large playroom-auditorium with stage and other facilities, a kindergarten room, a library, a principal's office and a nurse's room among its main features.  

The drive-in theatre on Highway 28, just east of the  city, to be known hereafter as the Rand Drive-In, will re-open about May 15, it is announced by Mel Randgaard, owner.

The drive-in theatre was not operated last season but is being readied now for the season and numerous improvements are being made.  The parking area is being graded, footing for the steel towers for the screen are now under way, and a new structure to house the projection booth and refreshment stand will be built.  The drive-in will be able to accommodate 416 cars, with individual speakers for each car.  

Three Morris High School students competing in the regional speech festival in Detroit Lakes last Friday earned superior ratings.  Winning top ratings were Robert Alger, Kenneth Weltzin and Mary Christian.  

The 51st successive monthly shopportunity day in Morris is scheduled for Wednesday of this week.  The day is the special promotion of the service stations in the city and eight of those firms have announced that each will give a quart of motor oil free on that day with every purchase of five or more gallons of gasoline.  Cooperating in this offer are the Community Oil Co, Joe Killoran, Leo's Sinclair Station, Lucken's Mobil Service, Morris Co-op Assn, Morris Oil Co., Schultz Standard Service and Service Oil Co.  Special showings will be featured by many of the firms for the one day.  In addition to being Shopper Day in Morris, it is also the regular weekly Wampum Day.  The person whose name is drawn for the big prize must be in one of the Wampum stores or shops when his or her name is announced at 2:30 Wednesday afternoon.  

40 Years Ago

Items taken from the Sun of April 24, 1973

Last Thursday afternoon 11 men worked 200 acres in three hours on the Harry Smith farm six miles west of Donnelly.  Mr. Smith is hospitalized at the Stevens County Memorial Hospital.  The neighborly men were Harold Trost, Mike Horning, George Moerke, Ron Kopel, Nick Daly, Audray Smith, Don Huebner, Ellwood Diehl, Lester Huebner, Calvin Bjorlin and Peter Erdahl.  Persons contributing time and food for lunch were Mrs. Clifford Bjorlin, Mrs. Calvin Bjorlin, and Sandy and Judy; Mrs. S. H. VanZomeren, Mrs. Nick Daly, Mrs. Joe Busch, Mrs. Les Huebner, Mrs. George Moerke and Ray Johnson  Jr.

The first of the farm disaster relief program checks to be received in this county following re-instatement of the program after it was cut off by an administration order last Dec. 27 arrived Thursday.  Thirty-three checks were received Thursday, according to Randall Grimm, Farmers Home Administration supervisor for Stevens and Grant Counties, and were distributed Friday in temporary FHA quarters in the community room of the Otter Tail Power Co. building. Nine more checks arrived in the mail Monday morning, reported Mr. Grimm, making a total of 42 received up to yesterday.  A total of 623 farmers-374 in Stevens County and 249 in Grant County-have made applications for the disaster relief funds since the program was revived as a result of a decision handed down by U.S. District Judge Miles Lord on March 20 ordering the emergency loan program be re-instated.  

The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra will return to the University of Minnesota, Morris for a concert April 26 in Edson Hall Auditorium. Performing with the Orchestra will be the Morris Festival Choir, a 45-voice choir from the campus and the Morris community, under the direction of Dr. Kenneth Nafziger of the University of Minnesota, Morris music faculty.

The pickup of abandoned automobiles and other junk materials in the county under a program sponsored by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, in conjunction with Stevens County, is now in progress.  The work is being done by the Oakleaf Car Crushers of Hartford, S.D., which some time ago was awarded the contract by the county to pick up, crush and dispose of abandoned automobiles and other junk materials in the county.  The program is being funded 100 percent by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and is being administered by the Stevens County Highway Department under the direction of the Stevens County board of commissioners.

The Kiwanis Club of Morris has reached a noteworthy milestone in its history and on April 30 will celebrate its golden anniversary with a special Golden Anniversary Banquet at the Sunwood Inn.  The Kiwanis Club of Morris was founded Jan. 22, 1923.

20 Years Ago

Items taken from the Sun of  April 6, 1993

About 500 prisoners from Puerto Rico will come to Minnesota as early as this month under a deal that finally will fill the privately operated prison that Appleton built in a farm field to create jobs.  The $28.5 million medium-security penitentiary has been standing empty since it was completed four months ago, and Rep. Chuck Brown (DFL, Appleton) has been trying to interest the state in buying or leasing the prison.  On Wednesday, Appleton officials announced they have signed a multi-year contract to board prisoners from Puerto Rico at the new Prairie Correctional Facility.  Ninety-three Puerto Rican prisoners will occupy the prison in about a month.

The Nick and Sandy Kill family was honored as Stevens County's Outstanding Farm Family of the Year at a ceremony and banquet March 18, on the St. Paul campus of the University of Minnesota.  Sixty-three Minnesota farm families were recognized at the 13th annual event. The Kills were nominated by the Stevens County Extension Committee for their achievements in farming and for contributing to local civic and agricultural organizations.  

Minnesota Army National Guard member Spec. Aaron Wevley of Morris recently completed 21 days of winter operations training in Norway.  Wevley is an M-60 machine gunner with the Morris based Co. A 1/194th Infantry.  

Randy Tschetter from Morris recently received his multi-engine pilot certificate from the University of North Dakota's Aviation Department. To earn this certificate, he successfully completed all the academic and flight lab requirements as established by the Federal Aviation Administration and the University.  

The Academic Choir from the Petrozavodsk Conservatory, Karelia, Russia, will be presenting a concert in Morris April 17 in the Morris Area Elementary School Auditorium. The choir consists primarily of music students who are preparing to become choral directors.  Although most of the members are 21-35 years of age, there are a few older students who have returned to school for additional training. This is the first American tour by an ensemble from the Conservatory.  


New look, new system. Bob Stevenson, deputy registrar of motor vehicles in Stevens County, and Miss Martha Proudfoot, clerk, displayed the new 1974 look in Minnesota auto license plates.  The '74 plates will bear orange numbers on a cream-colored background.  The present congressional district designation on plates has been dropped in favor of a two-letter, four-digit combination, with a specific set of letters assigned to each deputy registrar in the state to give a general idea where a car is from.

Question: A question from a reader wanted to know what used to be in the Pizza Ranch location.

The corner part next to the alley was the original building. This originally was Bakey Studio (1950) then Garberick joined Bakey (1957) and Garberick bought out Bakey in 1960.  In 1971, Garberick Studio sold to John Feuchtenberger for the Papa John's.  Pizza Ranch moved into this location in 1988.  

The building next to the original Pizza Ranch started out as a bakery and was a bakery under many different owners from 1948-1953.  Kreidler Paint moved into this building in 1959 and continued until 1980.  Walt's Antiques (Walt Hanse) business occupied it in the fall of 1980.  This two-story building was torn down and became the addition of Pizza Ranch in or around 1988.

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