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Days Gone By (4/6/06)

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Submitted photos are always welcome for this column. Black and white or color photographs will be scanned and returned in original condition with photo credit given. Call Pat Hunter, 425-1561, for more information or e-mail your photos to phunter@rivertowns.net.

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10 YEARS AGO

APRIL 4, 1996

Headline of the week: "Dog swims for life after earth opens up."

"It's a heck of a thing to have surprise a guy," Dr. Peter Rayne said, as he looked down into the 20-foot deep hole that appeared in his farm's driveway after a heavy snow and rainfall. The hole, remains of an old well concealed many years ago, pulled Sadie, a dog owned by Jesse Hunn, into it as the ground fell, leaving the dog swimming for its life until Rayne, Hunn and local Deputy Doug Ducklow could pull her to safety.

In another happy ending, River Falls police were able to return Alesha McKinney to her worried mother, Jeri, after police found the 8-year-old girl perched 25 feet up in an old cottonwood tree. Alesha had been reported missing for over an hour.

20 YEARS AGO

APRIL 3, 1986

Headline of the week: "Airport fails 804-462"

City voters decided by an overwhelming majority that they did not want city council to continue to explore the development of a city airport. Mayor Jerry Wilkens said he didn't think the airport itself was the issue as much as the idea of taxes going up.

Local eyeglass prescriptions could now be made in River Falls with the addition of the new business, Eyewear On Main.

While it was necessary to tee off over still-frozen ponds, more than 235 golfers turned out at Clifton Hollow Golf Course over the weekend due to the 80-degree weather.

30 YEARS AGO

APRIL 1, 1976

Headline of the week: "River Falls citizens get latest news on city's problems."

Ninety people turned out for an informational meeting regarding plans for a new waste water treatment plant. The current plant, built in 1963, had a capacity for 7,000 residents, but city population was closer to 9,000, with the university. That left four choices open to the city: they could say no to all further growth in the city; they could build the plant totally with city funds; they could build one funded 25 percent by the state; or they could build a plan using 75 percent state and federal funds. Cost would be about $3.5 million.

Peg Steinmetz became the first woman ever to be elected to the River Falls Golf Club Board.

40 YEARS AGO

APRIL 7, 1966

Headline of the week: "Several Pierce, St. Croix incumbents lose."

City elections provided two surprises: Mayor Spike Hoffman won re-election for an unprecedented sixth term; and newcomer Bill Wells defeated incumbent Lyle Lewis. Less than 54% of the population of River Falls voted in this election.

WSU-RF (Wisconsin State University-River Falls) fees for board, room, and book rental totaled $965 for Wisconsin resident students.

50 YEARS AGO

APRIL 6, 1956

Headline of the week: "Over 1600 votes cast in city Tuesday!"

Voters trekked to the polls anyway, despite the day being "not conducive to a large turnout." Hoffman was elected mayor by just 57 votes.

Local harness maker Jacob Schorta retired after 36 years at the same job, anticipating now many pleasant years of work in the upholstery business.

75 YEARS AGO

APRIL 2, 1931

This area escaped terrific storms that visited the rest of the country, causing death and destruction by immense snowfall.

The Odd Fellows held a Father and Son banquet last Friday at the Odd Fellows hall. Mrs. Carl Pearson officiated as toastmaster, invocation was by Brother Everett Doe, and Mayor Sutherland gave an address of welcome; Geo. Th. Smith, representing the fathers, described the ideal son; and Walter Pearson, on behalf of the sons, gave the response. Musical entertainment included selections by Eldry Pace, violin; with Mrs. L.J. Webster at the piano, and three sons by Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Chapman.

"Order your baby chicks now," with custom hatching by Mrs. W.S. Oligney, read her ad. Chicken eggs priced at 3 cents each and turkey eggs 8 cents each. "We set every Monday and Wednesday!" the public was informed.

80 YEARS AGO

APRIL, 1926

Headline: "Doughnut Revealed as Poison Gas Producer."

Here is summary of an article posted in the Journal in 1926, we hope, as a public service, and not a joke!

"Life seems to be just one menace after another. Here is a man who has died from the fumes of cooking doughnuts. Having reached the saturation point with all the other sorts of major threat, and damage for the time being become measurably adjusted and reconciled to them - bolshevism, communism, anarchy, foreign wars and complications - just when we are all growing a bit easier in mind, this most unexpected and unnatural peril arises." Later, the story goes on to say "The doughnut is a work of peace... Now it turns out that the doughnut has suddenly committed murder by an unsuspecting capacity to produce poison gas. For the sake of the merest fragment of belief that there are still harmless and innocent things in the world, it is to be hoped that this doughnut story may prove to have been exaggerated."

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