100 years ago, September 20, 1923

• Charles Siggerud Has Close Call

Last Thursday Charles Siggerud had an experience, which few men could go through and come out unscathed. He was using his emery wheel for grinding a corn cutter knife when the wheel exploded, hurling the pieces in all directions. The wheel was about a foot in diameter and two and a half inches thick. One piece went through the floor between Mr. Siggerud’s feet, another hit a large iron pully in the ceiling, breaking it into pieces and another flew to the back end of the shop, striking some sled runners. One little piece hit Mr. Siggerud in the abdomen, tearing a hole in his leather apron, but did not hurt him any. Outside of that, he was unharmed, which seems miraculous. The wheel rotated at a great speed and the force of the pieces must have been terrific, and if one had hit Mr. Siggerud he would never have known what happened.

• Good Shooting!

The local nimrods faired well Sunday so far as getting a good supply of ducks and prairie chickens. Some got their limit while others did not do so well but on the whole, the shooting was good. Hunters claimed that prairie chickens are unusually numerous this season.

75 years ago, September 16, 1948

• Problems to Solve (E. L. Peterson editorial) 

Our village and community have been greatly disturbed recently by the conduct of the boys who disregard the ethics of good citizenship by destroying property and doing other unlawful acts. Not that boys are any worse than in former years, but the fact that they have nothing to do during the summer months, or at any other time for that matter, outside of school work and activities, they have too much idle time on their hands and are prone to get into mischief.

The great question is how to keep the children occupied in mind and body and keep their thoughts away from evil tendencies. It would seem that there should be a solution to the problem and if older people will cooperate in solving the problem and parents give more time to training their children in proper conduct and righteous living, a partial solution could be reached.

A good citizenship organization might be formed, to which the youth might belong, under the guidance of a group of men and women, and the children were given some worthwhile projects to perform. Or a tract of land might be acquired near town where the boys could be put to work raising fruits and vegetables, the proceeds of which should be theirs. Or they might be enlisted in town improvements – help to beautify the town by cleaning up unsightly spots, planting flowers and shrubs, and keeping the streets and alleys clean and wholesome, thus instilling in the minds of the children a spirit of civic pride.

The Press has advocated cleaning up the river above the dam and developing a fine swimming pool, and acquiring a piece of land along the river which could be made into a pretty little park without much expense. This would be a worthwhile project as well as a great asset to the village. Children, under the supervision of a summer recreation instructor, would have a chance to work off some of their surplus energy in swimming and other sports.

50 years ago, September 20, 1973

• Drama Club to Present Play

The Pelican Rapids High School Drama Club will present the Pulitzer Prize winning play, “The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds”.

Hailed as the best American play of the 1970 season, the plot centers around an embittered and vindictive widow (Julie Straight) who supports herself and her two young daughters by taking in a decrepit old boarder, and in doing so, she wreaks a petty vengeance on everybody about her. One daughter, Ruth, played by Ann Larson, is a pretty but highly sensitive girl subject to convulsions; while the younger daughter, Tillie, (Cynthia Frendin), plain and almost pathologically shy, has an intuitive gift for science.

Encouraged by her teacher, Tillie undertakes a gamma ray experiment with marigolds which wins a prize at her high school and also brings on the shattering climax of the play. Tillie’s experiment proves that something beautiful and full of promise can emerge from even the most barren and afflicted soil.

Directed by Mrs. Mary Ann Franklin, the production also includes Joanne Smestad and Debbie Toso in its cast.

25 years ago, September 16, 1998

• School Burglarized; Electronics Taken

Television receivers, video cassette recorders, and computer equipment were stolen from the high school over the weekend.

“They knew what they wanted and where it was at,” according to investigating officers.

Taken were two television sets, a VCR, and a number of computer-related items.

According to investigating officers, those responsible for the thefts were probably in the building for an extended length of time, since much of the equipment was fastened down and other items had to be disconnected in order to be removed.

There were no signs of forced entry.

It was also reported to police that two other VCRs were missing from the high school, apparently taken during the summer months and not noticed until classes resumed a couple of weeks ago.

Also over the weekend, a Pelican Rapids man was apprehended while fleeing with property alleged to have been stolen.

The suspect was subdued in the parking lot of Park Region Co-op by Jeff Pearson and another man as he attempted to flee with two bicycles.

Police were summoned and Kadel was taken to detox, where he was put on hold for possible charges, authorities reported.

The incident began when a prowler was seen in the vicinity of Pelican Floral and nearby business buildings. The two bicycles were reportedly taken from a storage building owned by Len and Annette Zierke.