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Looking back: Dakota County mourned the death of President Kennedy 50 years ago

50 years ago

From the Nov. 28, 1963

edition of the

Dakota County Tribune

County and nation mourn president’s death

Funeral services for John Fitzgerald Kennedy, former president of the United States, were held Monday in Washington.

Somehow the journalistic formula for reporting the event of a man’s life does not seem fitting....

Whether people felt emotion for the death of a great man, in sympathy for his family or because the man represented a nation is now a moot point….

Here, in Farmington, the effect seemed a cross-section.

The first reaction for most was shocked disbelief.

Then, as brutal reality penetrated unbelieving consciousness, people jammed local restaurants and bars, stood in small groups around radios and television sets; in suspenseful silence they waited for the official announcement of the president’s condition....

A tear wet the eye of more than one and an undescribable awe settled over the town.

Men dragged nervously on cigarettes waiting for the report....

The Tribune’s public address system in Farmington repeated the solemn and sad news that the President of the United States, John F. Kennedy, was dead.

People were enraptured with the voice of the TV announcer as he summed up the events leading to the murder of the president....

The country was without a president for only 98 minutes, a report said....

People gave up trying to unravel their jumbled emotions and began to speculate on the events of the weekend and what they meant.

They went to church services held by all the denominations in memory of the president.

They stayed home and watched television because the businesses of Farmington agreed to close Monday in the president’s memory.

75 years ago

From the Dec. 2, 1938

edition of the

Dakota County Tribune

Geologist tells plan to preserve rock

The preservation of Castle Rock, a white sandrock column, located a mile east and a half mile north of Castle Rock station, is the object of literature distributed by Edward P. Burch, geologist, 1729 James Ave. S., Minneapolis.

The geology of the historic monument and a suggested program of preservation are contained in a leaflet sent out to 130 members of the Geological Society of Minnesota....

The rock has been visited by Nicollet and many of the early explorers and studied by Winchell, Upham, Scofield and the early geologists.

Winchell records that in 1872 Castle Rock was 91 feet high. In 1900 the upper 19 feet of the shaft was destroyed by people or a windstorm. The remnant is now about 52 feet high, measuring from the lowest white sand outcrop in the marsh to the east....

Castle Rock is visited on Sundays by hundreds of people, as a picnic site. Children and olders carve their initials; take specimens, particularly from the red lower bands, and break off large hunks just to watch them roll onto the adjoining marsh.

Within the past five years it has decreased in volume and attractiveness. Cans, bottles and picnic rubbish have accumulated. The immediate adjacent land is valueless for farming or grazing....

A definite program is now suggested for the preservation of this geological monument, so well known to early explorers, old settlers, and the farming community as follows:

Purchase or receive the property from the J.B. Hinz estate.

Get the property fenced and cleared....

Erect signs demanding protection of the rock for future generations....

Place the property under the protection of the State of Minnesota, Department of Conservation, state parks division....

Window peeper still peeping

The window peeper is still at it.

This time he showed up at the home of H.L. (Doone) Clark, at the Mary McGrath residence, a block southeast of the Ed Peters home where he did his peeping last week.

And he came at the same hour, about 10:00 at night.

Mr. and Mrs. Clark went away Monday night and left Irene Cox in charge of the house.

Irene heard someone come onto the glassed-in front porch where he stood peeping into the front window with a flashlight. She was frightened and ran to the telephone, prompting the peeper to flee. She got no vivid description of the man or boy.

That lame-brain – whoever he is – is going to peep once too often, according to what one hears on the street.

100 years ago

From the Nov. 28, 1913

edition of the

Dakota County Tribune

Boy accidently shoots himself

Lloyd Cook, the 14-year-old son of Geo. Cook, living five miles east of town, accidently shot himself in the right arm Thanksgiving afternoon and it was necessary to sever the arm near the shoulder.

The boy, in company with his father and a young brother, was hunting rabbits and when about three miles from town he got out of the buggy and reached for his shotgun. In some way, it was discharged and the load was lodged in his arm.

The father and brother immediately bound the wound and hurried for home. Dr. Dodge was called and he found the nerves and arteries so completely destroyed that amputation was necessary.

Although the boy lost considerable blood, he is getting along very well.

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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