Sesquicentennial Highlights

Excerpts from the Plain Talk

1954

The new state law which went into effect on January 1, 1954, provides that any person operating a car on the public highways without a permit shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. The New Year in Vermillion was celebrated in a quiet and orderly manner; however, there was one arrest on the charge of drunken driving. This brought about the first revocation in the county of the new state drivers permit. The driver may not operate a vehicle for 6 months on public streets or highways and he was fined $50.00 and given a 30 day joint sentence with the jail sentence being suspended.

The parents of the Austin School children should be very happy at the prospect of a new school building if the bond issue passes when the vote is taken on Feb. 9th. The Jolley School will be enlarged with a new wing, also depending on the passing of the bond issue.

A local man was treating all his friends last week while coffee was still five cents. Now they will have to treat him when a cup costs ten cents.

The new 1954 Vermillion telephone directory was distributed the past week. There are 16 white pages and 36 yellow pages in the book. There were 50 more directories distributed this year. That tells us of the increased number of telephones in operation in the community.

It is estimated that the cost of the new Austin school building will be about $220,000. The unit to be added to the Jolley School will be about $115,000.

Elmer Tiezen of Marion, SD took over the ownership of Hoffer Maytag store on Main Street on Monday.

Vermillion voters approved the bond issue by the margin of 901 to 228 at the special election last Tuesday. Two years ago approval of the bond issue was turned down.

Vermillion�s police recovered a car stolen from the Benson Motor Company last Friday night. After a high speed chase through the city streets the car was recovered but the two occupants escaped down an alley under cover of a cloud of dust. Near the county shop building on West National the driver slammed on the brakes and brought the car to a stop in a cloud of dust. The two occupants scrambled out and disappeared before officers could get to the vehicle.

The City Council considered a request from the Board of Education at their Monday night meet that legal steps be taken for the transfer of the Austin Park property from the city to the school board. The school board proposes to build the new Austin school on the Austin Park site. The deed that the city holds provides that unless the property is maintained as a city park the land shall revert back to the heirs of the Austin estate. Mrs. A. H Whittemore, sole remaining heir, has said she is willing to approve the use of the site for a school building.

Tickets are now on sale for the 30th annual Military Ball. Billy May and his band will play for the danced.

Interest continues that some kind of a crossing of the Missouri River be made south of Vermillion. The ideal solution, of course, would be to build a bridge but that would take more funds than any level of government will make available at the moment. Most immediately, possibly would be a ferry. There is a fairly good site for a ferry crossing on the Nebraska side that would connect with a road which runs one mile east of Maskell.

Dedication ceremonies will be held for the Andrew E. Lee Medical Science Building at the University on March 27 1nd 28th.

Price of Austin Dairy milk has been lowered one cent a quart. The price is in effect at both grocery stores and on the retail routes.

The City Council authorized the Mayor and City Auditor to execute a contract with the school board containing provisions relative to the transfer and to the maintenance and use of the school grounds.

The Austin Park shelter house is being moved to the north section of Prentis Park.

The old blacksmith building on the southeast corner of Market and Kidder Streets is being torn down. It has stood at this location for 70 years. The ground will now be used as a parking lot by Benson Motor Company.

The Vermillion Fire Department has been called to ten fires in ten days. Seven of the ten fires were rubbish and grass fires which went out of control to destroy two barns, one hog house and a garage.

In 1954, Vermillion celebrated the 95th Anniversary of the first settlement of the city. Sioux City is celebrating 100 years of that community and several towns in eastern South Dakota, including Brookings will celebrate their 75th anniversary.

An eastern company has developed a speed control device that automatically cuts out the ignition when a car reaches a certain set speed. The adjustable governor can be set and locked at a certain maximum speed on a dial on the dashboard. When Junior borrows the family car that is equipped with the locked governor, he will be limited in speed to the maximum set on the dial.

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