Sesquicentennial Highlights

Excerpts from the Plain Talk

By Cleo Erickson
1936

 A check artist gave local business man, W. T. Scott the slip on Saturday night.  Vermillion had its first man-hunt in several months when local officers and business men sought an unknown man who attempted to pass a forged check at the J. C. Penney's store about 10:00 o'clock Saturday night.  The man picked out several articles of men's clothing and gave a check for $8.29.  Mr. Scott, manager of J. C. Penney's  had been warned about several stolen checks and when he checked the numbers on the checks that had been reported stolen, the check proved to be among those listed.  As soon as the check artist saw Mr. Scott coming back with check in hand, he walked hurriedly out the door without the purchases.  Mr. Scott followed him and asked Mr. Carl Iverson to help him.  Near Meisenholder's corner they picked up Bill Donohue and shortly later asked a group of men by Davis Drug to stop the man.  However, the check artist proved to be too fleet of foot, and out ran the men and lost himself within a block or two.  He was never found.

In just three days Mrs. Julia Bervin planned to celebrate her 98th birthday but she passed away at her home north of the Bluff Center School.  She was the second oldest woman in Clay County and one of the longest residents.  She came to Dakota Territory in the fall of 1870.  She often talked about the terribly cold winters and blizzards; preparing the soil for farming using oxen drawn; plows; grasshoppers and drought, no roads, no fences.  She was born in Norway, July 15, 1838 and came to America in 1879.  She was one of the early homesteaders in Clay County.

Flies are being electrocuted at Jacobson's Bakery.  It is no longer "Swat that fly", it is now "Electrocute the fly."  That novel device does just that at the bakery.  The electric fly exterminator is devised so that a morsel of food is placed in the device and the flies are drawn to it.  When the fly comes in contact one of the many bars of electrodes (which it almost has to do), a charge of electricity immediately kills it.

 A fire was started from the exhaust of a tractor on the John Steele ranch and caused all but about three acres of the field to be completely burned. Because of the extreme dryness of all small grain fields at this time of year many farmers are taking out 30 day fire insurance policies on their fields.  

South Dakota farmers are WPA Employees and getting road work underway in several counties.

A slight shower fell at Burbank on Sunday but the intense heat dried it up immediately.

A history of Clay County is rounding into shape and nearing completion by the state planning board at the university.  The history is being written by Joseph Geiger, of Belle Fouche and Miss Bernice Martin of Parkston, members of the board.

Air conditioning in restaurants is said to increase efficiency of employees and to result in less breakage of dishes.

The Vermillion Fire Department is given credit for saving the Wakonda business block.  Two buildings were burned before they arrived.  The two buildings destroyed housed the Devine Pool Hall, Parker's Barbershop, Keene's Café and the Hanson Shoe Shop. Exactly 30 minutes after receiving the alarm the truck from Vermillion was near the scene of the fire.

The mercury dropped 34 degrees in an hour when one-tenth of an inche of rain fell.  It was the first rain in 24 days.  The worst heat wave in the history of Vermillion and Clay County was abruptly brought to an end about 4:30 PM Sunday.  The temperature went from 104 to 70 degrees in about an hour.  Along with the rain came a heavy dust storm which for a time lowered the visibility to less than 300 feet and forced motorists to turn on their lights.  On Thursday and Saturday this week temperatures reached 107.  On Friday it was 114 degrees for the high and 75 for the low.

Dr. I. D. Weeks conferred diplomas on 48 summer school students this week.

Charlie Miner caught a 65 pound catfish in the Missouri River on Saturday.  It supplied several dozen Vermillion residents with steaks.

GROCERY SPECIALS AT SILVERBERGS:  PHONE 175
Due to the drought, all vegetables will be much higher.  We advise buying now by the case or dozen lots.
 Kraut # 2 1/2 size cans  $1.00 per dozen
 Tomatoes # 2 size cans solid pack $1.10 per dozen
 Carrots # 2 size cans $1.00 per dozen
 Peas, Hub Brand, sweet and tender  $1.10 per box
 Peaches for canning, California Elbertas  $1.19 per box

Clay Countians are invited to use the municipal pool free of charge all day Sunday.  Residents of all the rural districts and the town of Wakonda, Meckling and Burbank are invited to be special guests of the city to take a dip in the Prentis Park pool.  Elk Point will be the next community to be sent an invitation.

 For the first time since June 21 the filtering plant stored up an oversupply of water after the small amount of rainfall and a cool breeze has taken the edge off the demand for water.  However, the demand again shot up to heat wave proportions again Wednesday and Thursday morning when more than half million gallons had been used by Vermillion residents.

The county's provisional budget is lowered more than $2000.00 for 1937.  That is more than $2,000.00 under last year's budget that totaled $163,704.00.

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