Looking Back: Story from Farmington reached Ripley’s Believe It or Not fame in 1937Ridiculous Days events were announced 50 years ago, and the need for a new school house was discussed 100 years ago. See what else happened this week in Farmington's history.
By: Michelle Leonard, The Farmington Independent
50 years ago
From the July 12, 1962 edition of the Farmington Independent
Kiddie parade plans made for Ridiculous Days here
New ideas for Farmington’s Ridiculous Days July 27 and 28 were aired at a Commercial Club meeting attended by 28 members, Tuesday noon at Mary’s Café.
Thus far, the headline feature is the Kiddie Parade which will be held Saturday the 28th.
Regarding the Kiddie Parade, co-chairman Jim Gerths and Don Paul have announced the rules....
A total of $150.00 in prizes is planned with the grand prize being a defense bond of $25. There will be five prizes in each of the following categories: costume, float and originality.
The parade starts at Gil’s Farm Service, and is open to anyone 12 years old or under....
A Ridiculous queen will be selected and a committee was named with Jerry Gorgos chairman, Wally Petricka (who suggested the queen idea), and Ron Thelen, as members.
Other suggestions, with nothing definite determined, were a Saturday afternoon picnic for the merchants who participated, a softball game, free coffee, performance of bands or other entertainment such as an organ concert, giving of prizes, and other ideas, street dance, merchants wearing Bermudas, etc.
Humphrey says sonic boom relief due
Senator Hubert H. Humphrey reported this week that the severe sonic boom problem which has plagued Minnesota in recent months will be relieved within a few weeks.
Humphrey said that after a series of conferences with Eugene Zuckert, Secretary of the Air Force, a decision was reached to divert training missions of B-58 bombers to other areas.
“The B-58 flights which have been utilizing the Twin Cities as a critical point in their precision navigation and bombing training missions will be shifted soon to other areas which now have the necessary ground equipment,” Humphrey said.
“Minnesota has been one of several areas in the nation which has had a high incidence of sonic booms from B-58 practice bombing runs at supersonic speeds.
“It is fair to remember that the training these Strategic Air Command crews is absolutely essential to the defense of the Nation.”
Dorothy Lau’s leg broken as cow kicks
Dorothy Lau, 28, of Farmington, suffered a spiral fracture of both bones between the knee and ankle of the right leg Wednesday of this week when she was kicked by a cow.
Dorothy was taken to Sanford Hospital where surgery will be necessary Thursday morning. A physician said screws will be placed in the bones.
The mishap took place at 7:45 a.m. Wednesday. Dorothy was about to milk a cow which had recently calved. Dorothy said the cow apparently didn’t want to be milked, and kicked her in the right leg.
She called her brother, Laurence, who carried her to the house. She was given a ride to Sanford Hospital by auto.
Klaus to seek re-election as representative
Walter Klaus, Farmington, incumbent state representative, has announced that he will file in Hastings Friday for re-election from the new House of Representative District 13 South. This district comprises all of Dakota County except the village of Inver Grove and the cities of South and West St. Paul.
Representing all of the county since 1957, Klaus has been a leader in securing legislative reapportionment and other laws and services benefiting the people of the county and state. He has fought for party designation of legislators, “so as to fix responsibility for legislative action.”
75 years ago
From the July 16, 1937 edition of the Dakota County Tribune
Sketch of Frank Wright used in Robert Ripley’s Believe-It-Or-Not cartoon
A Tribune camera shot was heard ‘round the world’ Tuesday when a sketch of Frank Wright, Farmington’s one-armed paperhanger, appeared in Believe-It-Or-Not Ripley’s cartoon, a syndicated feature that runs in newspapers in the far corners of the globe.
The sketch was made by Ripley from the photograph which first appeared in the Dakota County Tribune dated May 14. The flashlight photo was taken by Eugene Clay, 13 years old, while Mr. Wright was hanging paper in the parlors of the local Presbyterian church.
Cut lines under the three-column Ripley cartoon read: “One-armed paperhanger – Frank Wright, Farmington, Minnesota, who lost his arm as a child, has been a paperhanger 15 years.”
Credit for the wide circulation of the photo should go to Wayne Bell, cameraman of the Minneapolis Star, son of Wm. Bell of Farmington. Wayne first spotted the photo in the Tribune and was instrumental in having it frontpaged in the Star. Later it appeared in the Des Moines Register, the Chicago Daily Times, many other papers – then Ripley.
Extreme heat damages crops
The heat wave which has been blistering the whole nation since July 7 is beginning to damage some of the crops in this locality, H. A. Lawrenz, Dakota County agent, stated this week.
“Spring grains, especially those growing on lighter soil, have been prematurely ripened by the excessive warmth of the past few weeks. While it cannot be estimated how much the heat will reduce the yield, it is likely to be considerable....
“A number of the area farmers are reporting that their rye is yielding well at this time. But a number of stands of rye, notably those planted in low places, were hit by the late spring frosts.
“The corn on most farms of this vicinity,” the county agent said, “is in excellent condition right now. Sweet corn, however, is suffering from the extremely hot weather.”
Harvest of the oats and barley has been advanced from a week to 10 days ahead of the normal time by the heat wave.
School meetings Tuesday evening
Farmington citizens attending the annual school meeting Tuesday evening will choose from among the following three men who have filed for the two open positions on the school board of Dist. No. 40: T.J. Feely, Chas. S. Lewis, Donald Whittier.
D.C. Michel, clerk of the local school board, announced that the polls here would be open from 7 to 8:00 p.m.
Mill City firm low bidder on county R.E.A. project
Langford Electric Co. of Minneapolis were low bidders on the construction of 209 miles of rural electrification in Dakota County, their bid being $182,209.39. Six electric firms were represented when bids were opened by The Dakota County Electric Co-Operative at city hall Tuesday afternoon....
Ten days after approval at Washington, Engineer Banister will start driving stakes for the rural electric lines. The job is to be completed in 120 calendar days and will furnish electricity to 650 county farmers....
An additional 125 miles of rural lines was asked for in a new request for allotment sent in today by The Dakota County Electric Co-Operative.
100 years ago
From the July 12, 1912 edition of the Dakota County Tribune
New school house
The matter of a new school building in Farmington is being talked of. People who pay high taxes very likely will throw up their hands in horror, but, confidentially speaking, we must come to it.
The old building is inadequate – too small, unsanitary, poor light and illy ventilated.
Besides the building is in a poor place, being located on one of the business streets and only a block from two main lines of the Milwaukee where a great of switching is done, and we understand there are times when there is so much noise, classes cannot be heard.
In the construction of a new building, this building would not need to be torn down as it could be sold for factory purposes of some time at a good price. There are always new concern looking up locations and we might turn this property in as a bonus for some good concerns to locate here.