Sesquicentennial Highlights

1953

New Years Day, 20 years ago, brought a prospect of a deepening economic depression. Ten years ago (1943), the nation and the world was in the midst of a divesting war. The Number One wish for this country as we enter 1953 is that the year will see an end to the fighting in Korea and that it may mark the beginning of a long period of peace in the world. On the National scene the year ahead should be an interesting one. A new administration takes over and the happenings in Washington will focus on such matters as taxes, federal expenditures, and foreign policy. Whether any material cut can be made in federal expenditures will depend to a large degree upon the course of defense spending.

The University has announced the retirement of W. H. Over, former director of the museum. For Dr. Over, the retirement rounds out more than 49 years of service to the University. When he took charge of the museum it had only one box of mineral specimens and a small case of fossils. By 1949, the museum had approximately 75,000 exhibits and items and was attracting more than 12,000 visitors a year. The Board of Regents named the museum in his honor in 1949. President I. D. Weeks indicated the 87 year old Dr. Over may continue as an advisor to the museum as long as his health permits.

Gene Autry, cowboy entertainer and his Melody Ranch Gang from radio and television will appear in a show in Sioux City on January 17th.

In 1952 marriage licenses and births far outnumbered divorces and deaths in Clay County.

New modern lights have been installed in the operating room and delivery room at Dakota Hospital. The new equipment was purchased by the Vermillion Eagles Club.

AN INTERESTING BIT OF HISTORY PRINTED IN THE Plain Talk on Feb. 5, 1953:

(Information on this article was taken from a letter received by Martin Piersol of Vermillion from his uncle, Chas. Nash. Mr. Nash lived west of Vermillion until the flood of 1881. He now lives in Bath, N.Y. and is in his nineties.)

�Back in the early 1870�s, I was just a young boy spending all the time I could enjoying the outdoor life on our farm by Meckling.�

�This one particular morning I was playing around when a stranger rode in on horseback. He jumped off his horse, gave me the picket rope to hold and went into the house where my mother and father were. While he was in the house I patted the horse and admired him. He was a fine animal. In a little while he came out with a flour sack full of food which my mother had fixed for him while he waited. He jumped on the back of his horse and started for the road where four other members of the party waited for him. I hung on to the stirrup and talked to him about farming and about school. He had a clear ringing voice. I liked him.�

�When we reached the road and the four waiting men I started to pat their horses, too. They all loosened their check reins so the horses could drop their heads to me. They waited for me to go to each one. They all talked to me and seemed to like me. I liked them.�

�Of course no one knew it at the time, but those five fellows were members of the James gang. They were on their way south after robbing the bank at Northfield, Minnesota. The one I had talked to was Frank. Other members were Jessie, Bob and Cole Younger and Cling Miller.�

City and rural traffic is getting back to normal following one of the most paralyzing snow storms to hit Vermilion and Clay County in several years. Twelve inches of snow fell on Thursday and Friday along with high northwest winds. Travelers were marooned and the temperature dropped to 10 above zero. Street crews stayed on the job for 16 hours in a stretch on Saturday and Sunday to work on clearing the streets. The snow hauled from the streets was dumped at Prentis Park and on the school property on north Elm Street.

Dollar for dollar you can�t beat a �53 Pontiac, a General Motors master piece now available at Meisenholder Motor Company.

Announcing the opening of the Center Street Barber Shop ? block north of the Jo Ellen Shop. Owner is Ken Sailor.

A magazine subscription agent from Harrisburg, PA is being held in the County jail on charges of burglary and grand larceny in connection with the theft of $30 in money and jewelry from the Thorson home in the Westreville community. His age is estimated at �about 30�. The Thorsons left the door unlocked for their son who was expected home from school in a short time. The Thorson boy told the sheriff that the robber came down from the porch as he was returning home from school. The boy asked the man what he wanted and was told he was selling magazines. Suspicious, the youth quickly checked the house when the man left. The youth found the money and jewelry gone and notified the sheriff. The stolen articles were found in the possession of the man, when he was picked up by the sheriff.

A proposal that the city buy lights and other equipment on the Prentis Park baseball field from the Community Athletic Association stirred up some heated debate at the City Council meeting. Action was deferred to give the council members a chance to get the public reaction to the proposal. A postcard ballot on the matter will be distributed to all qualified voters in the city. Voters are asked to express their opinion for or against the proposal.

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