Pelican area Civil War veterans lead the procession for Memorial Day a century ago

by Brenda Brand, Columnist


100 years ago May 20, 1920
• Townley Coming

A.C. Townley and Dr. Shipstad, the head of the Non-Partisan League and the candidate for governor, respectively are to be in Pelican Rapids June 4 to discuss the political issues from their standpoint. Townley is traveling in a flying machine and it is supposed that the people of this community will hear “the rustle of his wings.”

• Memorial exercises

The committee of the Victor Cornell Post and the citizens committee met Monday night to formulate a tentative program for Memorial Day. This year May 30th falls on Sunday so the day following, May 31, will be observed.

As usual, the morning will be devoted to the decoration of the graves in Lake View Cemetery. A procession will be formed at the band stand at 10 o’clock. The ex-service men are requested to be present in uniform and march to the cemetery. The civil war veterans, the school children and citizens of course will make up the entire procession headed by the band.

At about 1:30 in the afternoon there will be a program consisting of speaking, singing, band music etc.

Further particulars next week.


Milton Seifert wrote from Germany as peace ‘broke out’ around the world
The following excerpts are from a letter written May 4, 1945 by Pfc. Milton E. Seifert, who is in the Army in Germany, to his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Walter Seifert of Scambler Township.

Dear Mom, Dad, Jr. and Sis,

“Today there are peace rumors in the air. Boy! Will I ever be happy when they quit. The prisoners have been pouring in by the thousands. They come in driving their own trucks.

That’s the way I like to see it.

I’ve been at Nurnberg, Augsburg, and Munich. Munich is the second largest city in Germany. Perhaps you have heard of Munich’s famous Bies Gardens, where Adolph had some of his meetings. You have, no doubt, read about the fall of Nurnberg. Well, I was there. We took many prisoners. The place is mostly all pulverized. I’ve never seen such destruction before in my life. They had a parade after bulldozers cleaned the streets. They also raised the American flag over what they called ”Hitler’s Plaza.” The place where he raved, back in 1936.

I have surely seen a lot of country – more than I really care to have seen under the conditions. Germany is more beautiful than you can ever imagine. They have large orchards, grape arbors, besides many flowering shrubbery, plants, flowers, etc. Really nice, especially now in the early spring.

Almost every German farmer has a Polish worker working for him. No wonder they can produce enough……It seems like a very long time since I left. Every day seems like two, but I am fine and should be very thankful for that.

I am listening to “Star Light” over the radio. That’s an American song, the first music I have heard in three months now, and I appreciate everything so much more than I ever did at home.

Thanks so very much for those Crusaders’ you sent. That poem really hit the spot. Keep sending them. I have shown them to some of the boys. They think it’s very nice.

Guess what? I’m getting a chance to go to a rest camp in a few days. It’s back in France. Can’t say as I don’t need it. Am always tired. All for now. Write often.

Love, Milton

50 years ago May 21, 1970

• New Tourist Information Center opens

Pelican’s new tourist information center was opened for the first time over the weekend, with Miss Sandy Christianson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Art Christianson , at the desk.

The center was moved from a small building on North Broadway to the old pump house next to the mill dam. The concrete structure was painted inside and out, windows replaced, and new lighting and carpeting installed. The site affords visitors a close-up view of the dam and Pete, the world’s largest pelican.

• Pelican artist tops Wadena art show

A Pelican Rapids artist won first prize in the professional oil painting division of the Wadena Chamber of Commerce art show recently.

Miss Lula Brown’s entry, “Rocky Shoreline”, was judged as number one, with Mrs. Rose Edin of Staples entering the second place winner.

25 years ago May 24, 1995

• Vandals back at Sherin Memorial Park

As soon as the Sherin Park bathhouse opens, the vandals seem to appear.

It happened again last week when department of public works employee Bill Hanson was working at the park. Two juveniles on skateboards stopped at the bathhouse, and it was found that faucets had been left running and bathroom tissue had been strewn around.

The incident has been turned over to the police department for action.

• Western Days fun

Pelican Rapids kindergarten kids enjoyed “Western Days” last week. Getting to ride a horse was one of the activities for Mrs. Cindi Strand’s class: Michelle Hohman, Lisa Doll, Jess Axness, Falon Scott, Sophia Firnhaber, Karin Olson, and Katie Mattern enjoyed petting the horses and taking short rides.

Horses supplied by Larry Doll were: Ginger and Freckles and Sandy Anderson brought Ole and Bonnie.

Additional activities during Western Days included: enjoying a pancake breakfast served by Mrs. Judy Tabbot’s 7th grade home economics class, participating in a rodeo with their stick horses, and listening to western music by Sons of the Pioneers.