by Brenda Brand, Columnist

‘Pelican Brand’ butter discontinued in 1970, after 60 years of churning

100 years ago May 13, 1920
• Bad Auto accident
A very bad auto accident occurred Sunday afternoon near Dalton when their car was hit by a Great Northern fast train.

There were four occupants in the car-Guy Rustad, Peter Nelson, Miss Myrtle Foshaug and Miss Agnes Hammer.

Mr. Rustad and Miss Foshaug were killed outright and the other two were injured seriously but are expected to recover. The car was thrown thirty feet.

• Mother’s Day
Mother’s Day services in the Congregational Church Sunday were especially fine. The choir sang special numbers and one class of young ladies of the Sunday school sang the verses of a song and the choir sang the chorus, which was very effective.

Lawrence Anderson sang a solo which was extremely appropriate to the occasion and very nicely rendered. He has more than ordinary talent as a singer. Pelican Rapids people are much pleased to hear him sing.

Miss Lee’s class of Sunday school girls, who had accumulated a sum of $14 or $15 used this money to buy flowers and presented each one who came to the service with a beautiful white or red carnation. This generous act upon the part of the girls was deeply appreciated.

75 years ago May 17, 1945
• Barn and 19 head of stock burn Wednesday
At about six o’clock Wednesday morning the barn on the Melvin Wahlstrom farm in Maplewood was burned to the ground with nineteen head of stock, milking equipment and harnesses, caused by the explosion of a kerosene stove being used in the milk house adjoining the barn. Only one cow was gotten out of the burning building.

Firemen from the village were called but did not arrive in time to give any assistance, but the neighbors all responded to the call for help and managed to save the other buildings.
Included in the nineteen livestock lost were eight milk cows, 2 horses, a bull and several head of young stock. A new cream separator, milking equipment and new harnesses were also lost in the fire.

The loss was a heavy one for the Wahlstroms as they had just done considerable work at quite an expense in making repairs to the barn. The Wahlstroms had insurance on the property which will partly cover their loss.

• Defense workers quitting by the hundreds
In sending in his renewal of his subscription, Steve Page, a Pelican Rapids man, has this to say:

“I am still working for Kaiser Ship Building Company here in Vancouver, Washington. We are working on huge cargo vessels about 15,000 tons. Our yard has the contract for 25 of these and 8 large aircraft carriers. One of these cargo ships are launched every 12 days here. Workers are quitting by the hundreds and going back to their former homes Now that the Germans have surrendered.”

50 years ago May 14, 1970
• “Pelican Brand” butter is gone
Butter churns at the AMPI (former Farmers Creamery) plant in Pelican Rapids have stopped turning, marking the end of nearly 60 years of Pelican Brand butter.

Henry Cluever, manager of the creamery, said that whole milk brought to Pelican Rapids is now being separated, with the cream going to the AMPI plant at New Ulm where it is churned into butter. The dryers at the plant here continue to process the skim milk.

The butter is being marketed here under the Gold Medal label used by the former Five Star cooperative at New Ulm before that plant became a part of the AMPI system. AMPI may develop a private label to be marketed by its plants, Cluever said.

Most of the butter being manufactured at New Ulm, however, is being packaged in private labels for supermarket chains such as A & P and Kroger, Cluever noted. A & P alone buys one and a half million pounds per month.

The New Ulm plant utilizes a new soft butter printing system which accounts for a smoother consistency of the Gold Medal butter, Cluever said. Pelican Brand butter printed (formed and wrapped in quarter pounds here was hardened before printing, and was thus more “crumbly”, Cluever said. He anticipates that consumers will like the new butter more, but admitted that it may take some “getting used to”.

Cluever said that the creamery here was founded in 1912, and, as far as he knows Pelican Brand butter went on the market the same year. The last of it disappeared from stores last week to be replaced by AMPI’s Gold Medal.

• Pelican Bowling Center sold
Mr. and Mrs. Magnus Stensvold became the new owners of the Pelican Bowling Center on May 7.

The Stensvolds, who came to Pelican Rapids from Deer Park, Wisconsin, purchased the 8-lane bowling center and supper club.

25 years ago May 17, 1995
• Public invited to view expanded processing plant
An $8 million-plus expansion of the West Central Turkeys, Inc. plant in Pelican Rapids will be open for public viewing Saturday.

An open house offering tours of the facility and a sampling of the many products it produces is being held from 9 to 11 am.

Rick Rogers, who heads up the management staff at the plant, notes that a number of employees have volunteered to man their work stations to explain the various turkey processing steps to visitors taking guided tours.

Much of the expansion involves the further processing department, where whole turkeys are cut-up, deboned, and the meat processed into convenience items. Samples of the cooked and smoked turkey products will be provided for tasting.

The shipping area was also enlarged as part of the recently completed expansion.

• Rainbow Choir earns top ratings
Viking Elementary School’s Rainbow Choir, a group of fifth and sixth graders, earned a superior rating Saturday at a music festival in Bloomington.

Group members are: Marie Wichmann, Tia Pierce, Kyle Weckwerth, Erick Johnson, Tiffany Capouch, Kaija Thorson, Ryan Lindstrom, Christa Gilbert, Raina Kollar, Ashley Belz, Kayla Thompson, Becky Lundquist, Britta Trygstad, Kathleen Bruns, Anna Larson, pianist Beth Peter and director Carole LaRue.