Sesquicentennial Highlights

Excerpts from the Plain Talk

By Cleo Erickson
1941

The Clay County pie baking contest will be held to determine the best pie baker in Clay County.  It will be held June 21 at the Vermillion High School.  Cash prizes totaling $75.00 will be awarded to the 28 best pie bakers in the county with $25.00 going to the champion pie baker.  The winning pies will be sold at auction. The only requirement in the contest is that lard be used as the only shortening in the pie.  Lard is a Clay County food product and should be used in this county.

The City Council authorized the purchase of $25,000 worth of defense bonds with part of the money in the city's depreciation fund of $30,000, which is merely on deposit.

Additional land for the National Guard gun shed now under construction was purchased from Lloyd Holmes for $300.00. The additional land was necessary to provide a driveway into the gun shed.  

The airport committee was authorized to buy a heating plant and canvas door for the hangar at the airport.

A drive to provide for funds to provide recreational, social, and spiritual facilities for men now in army camps will begin in Vermillion soon as part of a nationwide campaign of the USO for National Defense.

The first local draftee group will report Wednesday, July 10, 1941.  Eleven men will report on Wednesday for induction into the army.

A new pool hall and bowling alley ordinance lowers the minimum age from 21 to 18 and changes the closing hours from 11 o'clock until midnight and permits pool halls to be open on Sunday for the selling of merchandise.

The first draftee group pulled out of Vermillion by bus Wednesday on their way to Ft. Crook. Nebraska where they will be inducted into the regular army.

President I. D. Weeks was the youngest University President in the United States when he became President of USD1935.

The fair will be held only one day this year.  No admission will be charged.  Features will be the 4H achievement day, home extension club demonstrations and a grain show.

The first spades of dirt were turned over for the new administration building by President I. D. Weeks and Frank Cundill, President of the Board of Regents.

The construction of 180 mile addition to the lines of the Clay Union REA has been delayed 6 weeks.  The trouble stems from not being able to secure copper wire.

Fullerton Lumber Company is planning an extensive remodeling program.  An enlarged office and store space along with a modernistic front will be added.  New streamlined windows and a recessed doorway will be a part of the plan.

Vermillion women are stocking up along with the rest of the nation on silk stockings.  President Roosevelt has ordered the closing of silk mills.  There is still a plentiful supply in Vermillion stores.

The Board of Education set the school levy at $55,000 for 1942, which is about $7,500.00 under the average levy for the past 10 years.  The Board hired Howard Connors to teach in the high school.

The REA office was broken into by removing a small pane of glass from the garage door.  The thieves were able to get $7.40 in cash and $90.00 worth of checks was stolen.

Corp. Ivan Brown had a lucky break when he met movie actor Barton McLane at a restaurant in Klamath, California.  Brown had a nice chat with him and it ended with the actor giving Brown a $10.00 bill with which to treat his army buddies.

Nebraska residents are intensely interested in ferry service to Vermillion.  The Chamber of Commerce has begun contacting boatmen to see if a ferry can begin operating next spring.

Thirty friends and neighbors came to the rescue of Mrs. Lloyd Hancock last week.  The thirty men had a husking bee that started at 8:00 AM and the 30 acre field of corn was out by 3:00 PM.  Mr. Hancock passed away a couple of weeks ago.  Merchants in Vermillion cooperated in serving the lunch to the men.  This was a great help for the widow and was greatly appreciated.

In July of 1941, plans to construct a large dam at Yankton was announced by Harold R. Ickes, Secretary of the Interior.

The City Council has offered to pay the local Boy Scout troops five cents a tail if they want to go on a trapping expedition.  There are far too many rats in the alley north of Main Street.  However, the local troops have not yet decided if they will accept the offer.

Clay County farm land sold for $100.00 an acre for the first time since the depression.  The land sold was the Wigdahl farm near the Greenfield store.

Vermillion Mayor, the American Legion, the VFW and the mothers and fathers of our service men have sent open letters to our service men in the Plain Talk.  A double page with the names of 147th being listed and they are also sent Christmas greetings from all the business places in Vermillion.

Several local men are now serving in the Army and Navy in the Hawaiian and Philippine Islands.

Two Vermillion residents who left here about 2 weeks ago to spend the winter in California have returned home after experiencing two black outs.  Mr.  & Mrs. John Chaussee arrived in California the day Japan declared war on the US.  After three days, they decided to return to Vermillion.  The blackouts lasted for 4 or 5 hours.  They were told there was little point in their renting a house as they probably would be asked to move from it soon to make room for defense workers.  On their way home they saw many tourists on the road leaving the coast.
 
End 1941

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