By Paul Gubrud, Columnist
100 years ago, October 13, 1921
• Justice Trial
Last Wednesday afternoon, a justice court trial was held in Justice C. D. Haugen’s court, the case being Floyd Hoadley against P. O. Randall. The suit was brought for personal injury sustained as a result of an accident last February with a saw rig outfit belonging to Mr. Randall.
The jury rendered a verdict in favor of the defendant, which practically meant that there was no negligence upon the part of the defendant.
G. W. Frankberg of Fergus Falls was the attorney for the defendant and L. E. Zumwinkle for the plaintiff.
75 years ago, October 17, 1946
• Memorial Services for Gilmore Weik, Pelican VFW namesake
Sunday forenoon at the Ringsaker Lutheran Church, very impressive memorial services were held for Gilmore Weik, who lost his life on Oct. 21, 1943, when the U.S.S. Murphy, on which he was serving, was wrecked in a collision in the Atlantic 100 miles off Norfolk, Virginia.
Gilmore Erlin Weik was born July 26, 1918, near Pelican Rapids, his parents being Oscar and Josie Weik. He entered service on April 1, 1942, being at San Diego for a time and then being transferred to New York and assigned to the U.S.S. Murphy in July 1942 and serving until his death, having been trained as a radar operator and made many trips to North Africa and Sicily.
While 100 miles out of Norfolk his ship, a destroyer on convoy duty, traveling without lights on an inky black night, was rammed by a tanker amidship, cutting the Murphy in two as if cut by a knife. The bow of the Murphy slowly sank, leaving 110 men in the water and floating oil. The stern remained afloat and reached the coast. When the rescue was completed, it was found that of the 110 men, 35 were missing and 12 seriously injured. It was hoped that Gilmore had escaped death, but conclusive evidence came later that had been killed in the collision.
It is in his honored memory that the local V. F. W, Gilmore Weik Post No, 5252 was named.
• Hospital Notes
Pelican Rapids and surrounding communities have now a hospital organization actually doing business, with office employees and a temporary office set up in the REA where Miss Ella Strachan, Pelican Valley Health Center bookkeeper, is handling all membership and hospital donation payments. The association has also paid for and acquired title to the R. L. Frazee property and is going ahead with the preliminary plans for a hospital building.
Two medical doctors, Dr. Koliher and Dr. Korda have located in Pelican Rapids. These young men have pledged their support to the hospital organization and are now located at the Boysen Hospital, which they have purchased and which will be used until the new hospital is completed. The Pelican Valley Health Center has contacted the proper authorities handling the federal aid that will be available sometime after Congress meets in January 1947. It will be possible to secure aid in the amount of one-third to two-thirds raised locally raised in the communities included in the Pelican Valley Health Center.
50 years ago, October 14, 1971
• Fisherman Missing at Cormorant Lake
A Minneapolis man is missing and feared drowned at Big Cormorant Lake after his boat was found adrift.
Dragging operations over the weekend were unsuccessful in locating the body of Lawrence Wiersgalla, 48. An airplane was also used in the search. Dragging operations were discontinued at the end of the week, but a watch is being kept.
Wiersgalla was last seen at about 1:00 AM, Saturday, and appeared to be having trouble keeping the outboard motor running.
• Pelican Downs Barnesville, 14 – 8
Pelican Rapids built up an early third-quarter lead on the power running of Paul Evenson and Dave Ritchie, then held off two of three desperate Barnesville bids in the closing quarter for a 14 – 8 victory.
The Viking’s game plan was to run the ball, and that’s what they did on 55 of 60 plays. The Vikes introduced a new formation, the Power I, which netted them 199 yards rushing. Pelican’s leading rusher was Paul Evenson with 93 yards in 28 carries. Dave Ritchie had 89 yards in 18 carries.
The “Boys from Borneo” were up to their old tricks again. They caused five fumbles, recovered four of them, and intercepted one pass. Bob Michels recovered two of the fumbles and intercepted the pass. Allen Waasdorp and Fred Lokken recovered the other two fumbles, and Jeff Robley led the team in tackles.
25 years ago, October 9, 1996
• Influx of Refugees Fill School’s English as Second Language Classes (by Julie Tunheim)
Enrollment is climbing in the English as a second language (ESL) program in the Pelican Rapids School District, stretching current resources, according to Supt. Keith Klein.
“We have more students than we’ve ever had,” he stated last week. “We are watching it; looking at enrollments.”
It’s a situation that warrants his concern, as eventually, the district may need to increase the teaching staff in the ESL department.
At the elementary school, ESL instructor Sheryl Anderson works with 49 children this year, an increase from 35 last year when her position was increased from part-time to full-time.
By far, the largest group of new students are Bosnians, about a dozen, but she also has a new Sudanese student. Most of her second and third-year students are Hispanic. She also has a Vietnamese student.
“It’s been different this year,” says Anderson, noting the new language barriers and the increased class load. It’s hard because I want to do so much… I want to do my best.”
• Police Arrest Four Juveniles for Car Theft
Charges are pending against four Pelican Rapids juveniles following their arrest at 5:10 AM Tuesday.
The four were in a stolen vehicle taken from the Pelican Lake area earlier in the evening. A Pelican Rapids police officer observed the vehicle north of Pelican Rapids and was assisted by Otter Tail County Sheriff’s deputies in the arrest, which took place in Tansem Township, Clay County.
Charges pending against the juveniles, all under 18, include unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, minor consuming, and minor in possession of alcohol.