Sesquicentennial Highlights

Excerpts from the Plain Talk

By Cleo Erickson

In the neighborhood of 7,000 racing fans attended the pari-mutual races here Saturday, Sunday and Monday and made it the most successful meet ever held here.  More than $11,000 passed through the betting windows during the three days.

Groceries are 12% lower than they were a year ago.  A ten pound bag of sugar is only 49 cents.  Folgers and Butternut coffee are 27 cents per pound and a large package of Post Toasties is .09 cents.  A 49 lb. Bag of Swans Down flour is $1.49.  Refreshing drinks like Coca Cola, Crown Cola, Root beer and pop at 6 for .25 cents.  Full quarts of salad dressing are .24 cents.  Fruits and vegetables are about 30% lower than last year.  Bing cherries for canning are $1.49 per lug.

Millions of grasshoppers are taking a liking for the fertile land in this area.  Observers could see the hordes traveling high in the air on Wednesday.  Many of the hoppers gave up the notion of traveling and decided to stop here.

Clay County's Bastille below the courthouse was empty this week for the first time in many months.  It's more than probable that the prison will have an inmate within a short time; however, as members of the sheriff's office have been conducting several all night patrols every week.

The grasshoppers have ruined many gardens for local horticulturists.  They are even boring into the bulb of the onions.

Check out the July sale of men's suits at Meisenholders.  Regular $22.50 values will go out the door for $14.00 and 5 gallons of gasoline will be given free with every suit.

The building and remodeling work in Vermilion is $75,000 for the spring and summer.  Five new houses are being constructed, two by fraternities.  The fraternity's expenditures are about $20,000 each.  The other three are the small and medium size which has grown popular in recent years. Both the Phi Delta House and the Delta Tau Delta will use brick and wood.  

The Vermillion City band will present a concert in Prentiss Park on Sunday evening.  It will begin at 7:00 PM.

Transients on criminal bend or with criminal record will find it unsafe to visit Clay County.  County officials pick up suspicious looking characters and hold them for brief investigation.  Their finger prints are airmailed to Washington for a check against records at the FBI.  Several criminals have been caught on their way through Clay County in this manner.  A year ago a bank robber wanted in Iowa was taken into custody.


In 1835 Fort Vermillion was established near the present location of Burbank, the descriptions of this post were left by Audubon, the famous naturalist, and by Father Ravoux.  Audubon visited the post in 1843 and Father Ravoux in 1845.

Vermillionites like to buy at home.  A survey taken by the University Business Research shows that 90% of good are purchased locally.

Clay County land values are the highest in South Dakota.  The average Clay County land is set at $58.78 per acres.  Last year the value was $57.18.

The local Garden Club has a move on to beautify the towns and country sides in Clay County by planting hollyhocks.  The flower will grow as readily as weeds when given a start.  The Garden Club appreciates your cooperation.

The drought and grasshoppers occurred during 1866 and from 1873 to 1875 inclusive.  In 1864 money was appropriated by congress for a road from Sioux City to Yankton.  It crossed Clay County and was completed in 1867.  In 1873 the Dakota Southern Railway opened a line between the same cities.  In 1870 five post offices existed in the county and in 1879 rural routes were established.

The Knittel Motor Company will be taken over by H. A. Benson and Milton Macy.  The building will be remodeled and will have a formal opening at a later date.  A complete line of Ford parts will be available.

WPA offers a typing and shorthand class beginning Sept. 22.  The complete course will cost the applicant $3.95 which includes the cost of books.  This will be the last year these commercial courses will be given.

Six thousand visitors have registered at the W H Over Museum this year.  It includes visitors from 32 other states, Turkey, Denmark, Alaska and Canada.  There are 21,202 items or collections now on display at the museum.

Clay County rural school teachers will get a raise in salaries this year.  The average salary paid will be $74.15 per month.  The highest salary paid will be $145.00 per month.  Lowest wage is $55.00 per month.  There are 713 pupils enrolled in the first eight grades in the rural districts compared to 730 last year.

The Rev. H. Severin Bly has accepted a call to a Lutheran Church in Redfield.  He has served the Bergen and Meckling churches for nine years.

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