Sesquicentennial Highlights

From the files of the Plain Talk


A total of 230 births were recorded in 1956.  That�s five more than 1955.  Also recorded were 86 �delayed� births for which records were not recorded in previous years.  There were 104 deaths recorded in 1956 compared to 96 the previous year.  Only 79 marriages in 1956 compared to 87 in 1955.  There were six divorces recorded in 1956 and five in 1955.

When Mr. Cecil Harrington of Burbank was loading some hogs for market, he dropped his watch.  The hog must have been hungry as it took the watch and promptly swallowed it.  Wonder who bought the hog at market?

The City Council discussed the possibility of finding a use for the old Austin School building on West Main Street and the Council is wondering if they should purchase the building.

The 1956 personal property tax list is published this week.  It lists the names of all residents in Clay County with the valuation and tax each household shall pay.

The dial telephones are expected to be in use in Vermillion in about two months.  It is a tremendous job to convert the 2,350 phones on the Vermillion exchange for dial use.  When the work is done the Vermillion exchange will be known as Market and all local numbers will be known by the prefix MA.

Residents were saddened to hear of the death of 90 year old Wm. H. Lawton, a prominent Vermillion businessman for many years.  He began his career as a young man at one of the early newspapers in Vermillion and then trained in photography under Wm. Butler, one of Vermillion�s early photographers.  He recorded a great amount of early history on film.  He lived for a time in Elk Point but returned to Vermillion in 1896 and his studio was located on Market Street.  One of his photos received nearly nationwide circulation when he took the dramatic shot of the old wooden water tower as it was being felled.  In 1916 he opened a soda fountain, candy store and cafeteria on Main Street.  In 1918 he took over management of the Waldorf Hotel until 1946 when he retired and sold his interest to Howard Macy.  For several years he clerked at the hotel after his retirement.

The Vermillion police report there were 94 arrests in the City in 1956.  In 1955 there were 128 arrests.

The Thrift Shop, sponsored by the Civic Council will be open in the basement of the Public Library on Tuesday at 7:00 pm.  The shop is sponsoring a sale to raise funds for the Dakota Nursing Home.  The committee is asking for better things for the sale and would appreciate better items for this sale.

Stewart�s Standard Service Station and Charlie�s Standard Station were robbed last Saturday night.  A total of $168 in cash and checks, several credit cards and nine cases of .22 caliber long rifle shells were taken from the stations.  A glass cutter was found outside a window at Charlie�s Station. At Stewarts, the thieves took $18 in half dollars and quarters along with the Federal brand rifle shells.  The thieves didn�t bother with the dimes and nickels at Stewarts.

Loss is estimated at $41,000 to equipment of the State Chemical Laboratory and the USD Chemistry Department when fire broke out Friday night.  Vermillion�s biggest fire in several years brought out interesting sidelights.  Let it be known that chemistry students were not trying to hook up fire hoses to gasoline pumps instead of water mains.  The firemen were hampered in fighting the fire because of the heavy screens.  It was a very cold night and the screens became coated with ice.  Efforts to blast holes in the ice with shotguns and pistols proved rather ineffective.  The temperature that night was 10 to 15 degrees below zero.

Another robbery occurred this Saturday night.  This time the thieves entered the Austin Dairy store on the corner of Main and Elm Streets by gaining entrance through a side door.  Nothing in the store was disturbed except the cash register that contained $150 that was taken.

The City airport was a mighty busy place on Sunday at least until the wind and dust arrived late in the afternoon.  Fourteen planes were taking off and landing.  The activity attracted sight-seers and there were as many as 29 cars parked at the airport at one time during the afternoon. Work has begun by the city on the administration building to provide rest room facilities. Several other projects, including runway improvement, are also well along in the planning stages.

This weekend the phones in Vermillion have been turned over to the dial system.

A total appropriation of $1,872,714 was granted the University of South Dakota by the 1957 legislature.  This is an increase of 40 per cent above the amount approved in 1955.

There is little, if any, room for controversy in the question which will be submitted on a special ballot for the approval of the voters in the election next Tuesday.  It is a request that the council be given the authority to prepare, in ordinance form, a schedule of possible rental rates on sanitary sewer facilities to be ready in case the city should ever install a sewage disposal system.  The action is being taken as a matter of foresight by the council and has the unanimous approval of all members of the governing board of the city.

Everyone is invited to visit the beautiful new Dakota Nursing Home on Sunday, April 14, 1957. The new facility was constructed at a cost of $320,000. Four acres of ground on South Plum Street just south of Dakota Hospital were secured from Thomas R. Walker by the directors of the Dakota Hospital Association. The home will accommodate 40 guests. There are 12 double rooms and 16 single rooms plus the dining and reception rooms, a sun room, offices, workrooms and service facilities.

The Hub City Store will have their Grand Opening on Saturday.  Stop by and enjoy free coffee and cookies.

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