by Paul Gubrud, Columnist
100 years ago, May 26, 1921
• Boy Drowns – High School Freshman Loses Life While Bathing
A very sad accident occurred here Saturday afternoon when Morris Gilberts lost his life in the mill pond while in bathing. The day was hot and he in company with some other boys went to the mill pond to go in bathing. The other boys decided not to go in and tried to persuade Morris to stay out as he was very warm at the time, but he jumped in near the mill-race and was in only a short time when he went under. He called for help once, and a boy ran for help but it was about fifteen minutes before the body was removed from the water. A physician was there as soon as the boy was taken out and he worked over him for a long time but all efforts to revive him proved futile.
• Farm House Burns
The home of Mr. and Mrs. B. B. Elsworth of Dunn Township was completely destroyed by fire Sunday night at about six o’clock. Mrs. Elsworth was sleeping upstairs and was awakened by the fire, and Mr. Elsworth was not at the house at the time. Some of the neighbors came to help them, but only a few of the household goods were saved. This is a hard blow on Mr. and Mrs. Elsworth and they have the sympathy of their friends in their misfortune.
75 years ago, May 30, 1946
• Junior Senior Banquet Held Saturday
The Seniors and Juniors of the Pelican Rapids High School held their spring banquet in the high school gymnasium Saturday evening, May 25.
The colorful Gay Nineties were used as a theme for the banquet. The ceiling of the gymnasium was covered by dark blue crêpe paper sprinkled with bright luminous stars and the walls were hung with bright streamers. On one wall of the gymnasium, a little village right out of the Gay Nineties was built. The dinner served was strictly Gay Nineties, the entrée was fried chicken.
• Please Return Uniforms
The American Legion Junior Baseball League is active again this year after a few years of inactivity, and they are experiencing considerable difficulty in rounding up the old uniforms for the boys. It seems that the boys did not all turn them in when the team disbanded a few years ago. Anyone having one of these uniforms should turn it in now to Ben Freng, please.
50 years ago, May 27, 1971
• Investigating School Burglary
Otter Tail County sheriff deputies and other local police are investigating a burglary at the high school here in which tools were taken from the Industrial Arts department.
According to Police Chief Merlin Rieman, the burglary took place last Tuesday night, but was not revealed immediately because of the investigation.
There was no forced entry of the building, police said, which leads them to believe that the persons or persons involved entered the building during the evening and remained inside after the school was locked. A number of activities were scheduled for that evening, including the annual school election and a meeting of the Board of Education.
The burglars were familiar with the building, police believe, removing a quantity of tools and equipment from the Industrial Arts area. Instructor Bob King estimated that the replacement value of the missing tools would be about $1000.
25 years ago, May 22, 1996
• Strong Winds Toss Boats, Topple Trees in Pelican Lake Area
A line of thunderstorms skirted much of Pelican Rapids Friday evening, but tossed some boats around and toppled trees in the area north of town.
Hardest hit was the Pelican Lake area, where damage to Fair Hills Resort on the lake’s northeast end was estimated at up to a quarter million dollars.
• City to Seek Bids for New Water Tower
Bids are being solicited by the city for construction of a new 500,000 gallon elevated water storage tank.
Under a plan approved by the City Council at a meeting last week, bids will be opened June 10, with an anticipated completion date of July 15 next year.
Consulting engineer Gary Nansen estimates the cost of the tower at $657,000. A second project linking the new storage tank into the present system, will cost an estimated $20,000.
• Rex Retires, Ending 31 Years on the Viking Basketball Court
It’s the end of an era in Pelican Rapids basketball, as Rex Haugen stepped down after 31 years as head boys’ basketball coach.
Haugen, who resigned from his teaching position last year, compiled a 430 – 266 record at Pelican Rapids. Counting a year as a freshman coach at the University of North Dakota and two years in Page, ND, his overall record is 467 – 289.
Among the honors his teams have achieved over the years are 15 Heart O’ Lakes Conference championships, eight District 23 Subsection titles, three Region Section 6A titles and one State Championship in 1983-1984.
“It was truly a gut-wrenching decision to let it go,” said Haugen about his decision to retire from coaching. “I could always find a reason to keep going.”