Sesquicentennial Highlights

Excerpts from the Plain Talk

By Cleo Erickson
1938

Persons born before 1905 do not have a recorded birth certificate unless a delayed application has been made.  Anyone lacking a birth certificate is advised to make immediate application.  The applicant must have at least one witness to sign the affidavit testifying to the truth of the application.  There are already people in this community who will never be able to prove their birth date through lack of living or available witnesses.

 Life for owners of filling stations on West Main will take on a rosier hue today when Highway 50 west of Vermillion will be open.  A fast drying cement receives credit for ending repair on the viaduct more than three weeks ahead of time.

 The police department employs three regular officers and during special days several extra men are employed to take care of the traffic and do police duty.

 The Vermillion Plain Talk has a real "humdinger" of a deal for their subscribers.  Just send them $3.00 and for the whole next year you will get 52 Plain Talks and 72 magazines including McCall's, Pictorial Review, Woman's World, Good Stories, Farm Journal and Brooder's Gazette.  The regular value is $5.25 – you save $2.25.
 
The midget auto racers will be able to test the new track recently completed at the fairgrounds.  It is located inside the half mile dirt track.  As the track is not lighted the racing events will have to take place in the afternoon.

FIRE WATER UNDER MISSOURI STILL THERE AFTER 70 YEARS

 Only lack of funds through decades has abetted whiskey hunt.  The swirling, muddy waters of the Missouri river hide innumerable secrets, tragic and otherwise; they have caused enough damage and destruction to stagger the imagination, if the total figure could be reckoned; yet for more than 70 years they have formed an impregnable storehouse for at least one cargo that has been increasing steadily in value and potency.  The heavily laden "Leodora," bound for Fort Benton in the summer of 1866, struck a sandbar and sank four miles north of Elk Point, South Dakota.

 Although the $65,000 cargo included some perishables, the chief item was whiskey, stored in the hold in sturdy wooden barrels.  If, as would seem to be the case, the barrels and their contents have been safely preserved beneath a heavy layer of silt and sand, this huge consignment of firewater has been aging in wood for nearly three-quarters of a century and by now should be capable of staggering far more than the imagination.  Although the steamboat caught fire while sinking and was partially burned, the hold where the whiskey was stored was not damaged.  The exact spot where the wreck was buried is not known; but several attempts to salvage the cargo have been planned, only to fail from lack of funds.  To salvage a boat after it has sunk in clear water is difficult, but possible; to find and raise one buried in an unknown spot on the sandy bottom of the Big Muddy is practically impossible.  So this liquid treasure, originally headed for the dusty gullets of hard-bitten trappers, Indian fighters, and lonely sodbusters, seems unlikely ever to fulfill its destiny, unless by some strange quirk during one of her unpredictable sprees, the boisterous old Missouri suddenly regurgitates her hidden liquor in which case the resurrected spirits will no doubt inhabit  the bodies of the finders.

 Canned peas have been added to the list of surplus commodities being distributed by the state department of social security to persons on relief rolls.  South Dakota has received 482,000 cans and expects another car containing 24,000 cans.

 Nels Abrahamson opened a grocery store in his building which formerly housed Silverberg's Dept Store.  Going into the same building will be the JoEllen Shop and the George Bendixen linoleum shop.

 The city has appointed an official Dog Catcher.  Don't let your dog run loose.  If caught you must pay a fine.

 Twenty cars will compete in the midget races on Sunday.  Last week a large group was in attendance and more are expected this week.

 The Council Oak Stores are your friend at mealtime.  Specials this week include Standing Rib Roasts..19 cents per pound.  Two pound jar grape jam, 21 cents, quart jar of sweet pickles,27 cents, California Navel oranges, large size, 29 cents per dozen, 10 pound bag of new potatoes, 25 cents.

 The famous Dalesburg Band, the oldest rural band in America, which has been functioning continuously in a Swedish settlement in Clay County for 50 years, will be heard on WNAX at 2:30 Sunday afternoon.

 There were between 20 and 30 dog owners that did not heed the Police Chiefs warning to buy a license and were picked up by the dog catcher.  A license must be purchased to redeem your canine.

 At the 56th commencement the University will grant 173 degrees to students.  The eighth grade rural school commencement will give diplomas to 80 students.  Sixty six will receive diplomas on Wednesday night.

 A film exploded at the Coyote Theatre and caused $75.00 loss.  It burned 2000 feet of film and some machinery was damaged in the projection room.

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