By Paul Gubrud, Columnist

Historic settler landmark on north end of town dedicated 75 years ago

100 years ago, September 15, 1921

• School Children Admitted Free

The entertainment committee of the Otter Tail County Fair Association has arranged an entirely different program for the schools this year.

The first day of the County Fair, September 27th will be Rural School Day, and the rural schools of the county and the schools of the City of Fergus Falls will be admitted on that day at the gate without charge. On Wednesday, September 28th, which is Otter Tail County Day, the schools in the eastern villages of the county will be admitted by ticket signed by the superintendent of schools of the village.

On Thursday, September 29th, Underwood, Elizabeth, Erhard, Pelican Rapids, Foxhome, Carlisle, Rothsay, Wendell, Elbow Lake, Dalton, and Ashby will be admitted. This is Red River Valley Day.

By arranging in this manner, the children will not be so crowded and will be able to be better entertained and taken care of.

The Otter Tail County Fair Association has always been an educational institution, and it is the desire of the management and friends that every child in the county will be able to avail itself of the privilege of attending the fair and seeing the wonderful resources of the county and also learning how to do better farming, better stock-raising and all the other good things which go to make up a happy contented citizenship.

75 years ago, September 19, 1946

• School Opens With Large Enrollment

School opened Monday with a large enrollment, there being 231 in the first six grades the first day and 374 in 7th through 12th grades.

Arrangements are being made to secure another teacher to help out in the first three grades as they are too large for one teacher each.

• New Doctors Open Office

Dr. Howard Kalihar and Dr. Henry A. Korda, who came with their families a week ago to locate here for the practice of medicine and surgery, opened their office Monday in the Lynnes building just South of the Pelican River. They purchased Dr. Boysen’s hospital some weeks ago, but Dr. Boysen is unable to turn the place over to the new doctors until about Oct. 1.

Pelican Rapids most cordially welcomes these families and is well assured that the physical well-being of our community will be in competent and efficient hands.

• Historical Marker to be Dedicated

Much interest has been manifest in the community in the Sunday afternoon program when the historical marker just north of town will be dedicated in an appropriate manner. The grounds have not yet been completely landscaped, but the large marker containing ten bronze plaques has been finished, and the triangular piece to the south has been made in readiness for the planting of shrubbery and plants.

There are bronze plaques on which is engraved the early history of Pelican Rapids and surrounding townships, namely: Pelican, Scambler, Dunn, Lida, Norwegian Grove, Trondheim, Erhard, and Maplewood. These give a brief history of the first settlers and their historical data. The marker is constructed of native rock formation and cement and should last untold generations.

50 years ago, September 16, 1971

• Fire Destroys Large Barn on Kimm Farm

Fire destroyed a large barn on the Frank Kimm farm, located about 12 miles north and west of Pelican Rapids in Tansem Township.

According to a fire department report, Kimm noticed smoke in the barn as he was finishing milking Tuesday morning. He removed about half of his cattle from the building, but then heavy smoke prevented him from getting the rest of the herd out. By opening doors, Kimm was able to clear smoke out enough to get the remaining cows out.

The Pelican Rapids fire department was summoned about 7:30 AM, and firemen were able to remove the bulk tank and some milking equipment from the barn. Two cement stave silos were also saved, as were nearby granaries and outbuildings.

The fire apparently started high in the haymow of the building, where 5000 bales of hay were stored. The fire department remained on the scene until late Tuesday afternoon, although hay continued to burn.

Neighbors and friends pitched in to help the Kimms, the Press was told, and a temporary milking set up was being installed in another barn for the 35-cow dairy herd.

25 years ago, September 11, 1996

• Students from Estonia and Germany Among New Faces  

Marta Kirs and Hannes Zacher are the two foreign exchange at Pelican Rapids High School. Both are through the World Learning Program and plan to stay through the school year.

Improving her English is one goal of Marta Kirs, a 16-year-old from Estonia. 

“I write English very well,” said Marta, smiling. She indicated that speaking English is more difficult for her.

Marta is living in rural Pelican Rapids with Dave and Joanie Ellison and their daughter Laurel, who is also 16.

Hannes Zacher says he likes cows and the work associated with living on a dairy farm with Curtis and Mavis Holt.

The 16-year-old is from Braunschweig, Germany, a city of 250,000 near Hanover, so this is his first experience on a farm.

“I help with feeding the calves,” he said, stressing that he is enjoying farm life.