Sesquicentennial Highlights

Excerpts from the Plain Talk

By Cleo Erickson
1939

The new fire truck was in Vermillion less than a day when it saw its first action.  It was called to the Will Palmer farm to extinguish a field fire that had spread to a shed behind the main farm buildings.  The new addition proved its value by ensuring the safety of the larger buildings.

The truck had arrived in Vermillion the day before by several members of the fire department escorting it from Laverne, MN.  The truck was at the Barnsdall Service Station where it was undergoing last minute adjustments when the call came in.

The entire amount of the cost of the truck was paid for shortly before it arrived here.  Many of the rural school districts donated $10.00 each toward the purchase of the truck that helped to round out the sum needed to purchase the truck.

The replica of the Log School House has been completed according to Dr. W. H. Over, Director of the University Museum.  With the building finished, Mr. Over said the committee is now considering the matter of finishing the interior.

Sgt. Owens and Sgt. Wilson of Omaha were in Vermillion this week seeking recruits for the United States Army.  To be accepted the man must fulfill the following conditions:

He must be able bodied, strong, active, and free from disease; unmarried, of good reputation, a citizen of the U. S. between the ages of 18 and 35 years, able to speak, read and write the English language.  Men under five feet four inches in height and 115 pounds in weight cannot be accepted.  If between 18 and 21 years of age, the applicant must have a written consent of his parents or guardian, authenticated by and witnessed by a notary.

L. J. Gravis has leased the Commercial Billiard Parlor to Walter Bouchey.  Mr. Bouchey has been associated in the business for more than a year.  Mr. Garvis plans to leave for California in the fall.

During the month of June 28 marriages were held.

Two women and one man, who are believed to be professional thieves, were arrested here on Friday.  They were sentenced to 10 days in jail and $10.00 in fines and are now serving out their time in the Clay County jail.  They arrived in Vermillion only a short time before being arrested.  They were driving a Nebraska car with a trailer that was loaded down with trunks, suitcases and boxes.  Automobile accessories from the Swanson Chev. Co., were found among their items.  All three were equipped with money and they seem to have been careful never to steal anything valued at more than $30.00 so they can't be convicted of grand theft.  Their fingerprints were sent to Washington the same day of their arrest and their records are expected to be returned by the weekend.

Grasshoppers are causing quite a problem for most Clay County Farmers.  They eat the tassels on the corn stalks. Many farmers are spreading bait in the fields with good results.  However, the bait supply is about gone, but on Sunday some of the bait stations were getting more supplies.

Reduction of South Dakota's old age assistance rolls, necessitated to assure regular monthly payments for the needy during the entire year, is virtually completed.  A total of 13,898 aged persons are now receiving assistance at an average payment of $17.48 monthly.

New grasshopper traps that attach to the front of a car and pushed through the field have received both criticism from various people but proof of their value can be had in the Meckling community.

One ten foot trap caught slightly over two bushels of hoppers in five minutes in a demonstration before several business men.  Three Meckling farmers, L. H. Ahrendt, Walter Kaeberle and Theodore Kryger built the machine themselves.  They sold it to Gunnar Werme this week as it was too large for their cars. They are now building an eight foot model.

Free movies are being held at the Greenfield store on Friday nights.

Territorial Pioneer Day will be observed on the second day of the Clay County Fair.  Prizes of $2.00 will be awarded to the man and woman being the longest time resident of Dakota.  Territorial pioneer couple coming the greatest distance.  Territorial pioneer couple with largest family of living children.  Earliest married couple in Dakota Territory.  All articles of pioneer interest are being solicited for exhibits.

A 71 year old Nebraskan will make balloon accessions during fair time.  Mr. Winteringer from Neligh, Nebraska has been making accessions for the past 51 years and is advertised as the oldest and best man in the business.  He claims to have made 3,417 jumps during his lifetime.

The Vermillion Fire Department will hold the interest of the crowds by staging a waterfight on the largest scale ever to be held in Vermillion.  Two teams will battle it out in front of the grandstand.  The same evening, an outside speaker will also give a talk on "How to Prevent Fire".

R. E. Walpole of Springfield has taken over possession of the Neumeyer Pharmacy.  Mr. & Mrs. Walpole arrived and are ready to take over the pharmacy.

Question:  How many motor vehicles were registered in South Dakota in 1939 and for the same period in 1938?  Answer:  190,234 in 1939 and 182,078 in 1938.

Two men were arrested here Monday by Hwy. Patrolman Thomas, following a 36 hour state wide search for a 1932 Willy stolen at Watertown.

Over 1,500 tourists have visited the W. H. Over Museum in the last 90 days.  Visitors were from 24 states, Canada, Turkey, Hawaii, and the District of Columbia.

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