100 years ago, November 17, 1921
• May Be Millionaires
Young men of Pelican Rapids and vicinity who went to Montana two or three years ago and took claims near Warren are likely to be rich men in the near future as a result of finding oil and gas in that community.
Those who have claims there are Allin Mills, Anton Anderson, Paul Lee, Wilbur Hoadley, Harry Smith, Tom Sim, and Earl Smith. Oil has been found within a few miles of the claims of these men, and in all probability, their land will be worth a small fortune in the near future.
• Skating Pond
Since the young people and many of the older ones are so fond of skating, the editor has been wondering if it would not be possible to fix an artificial skating rink that can be used for the greater part of the winter.
The Blyberg slough is an ideal place for a skating rink, if only it could be flooded occasionally to keep the surface smooth. The ice gets cut up more or less and if some inexpensive means could be devolved by which the surface could be flooded when needed, it would be a great sport for the youngsters and worthwhile.
75 years ago, November 21, 1946
• James Sim Has Disastrous Fire
Saturday at about noon, the James Sim family in the north part of Scambler Township had the great misfortune to lose a lot of property by fire. The loss is estimated at $3000 above the insurance.
There are two houses on the Sim farm, and one of them, a good substantial building, has been used as a granary, with the basement so arranged so as to house the tractor, car, and pickup truck. They had occasion to use the pickup, and as it did not start readily because of the cold weather, a pan containing gravel and kerosene was lighted to warm it up, which had been done often before. But while no one was watching, the heat set the pickup on fire, and it spread so rapidly that the building could not be saved.
Neighbors and the Pelican Rapids fire department helped to check the fire, but the building and 1000 bushels of grain and corn were burned. The tractor and car were saved and about 150 bushels of grain.
As in cases of fire, the insurance will fall far short of paying for the damage done, and losing the feed and other farm equipment at this time of the year makes the loss doubly heavy.
50 years ago, November 18, 1971
• Increase Noted in Area Burglaries
A rash of break-ins, burglaries, and attempted burglaries have been reported locally, according to investigating officers.
In a hoax perpetrated on a rural Pelican Rapids couple last Friday, burglars made off with a quantity of cash and merchandise from a filling station operated by Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Jacobs.
According to reports, the Jacobs received a telephone call Friday afternoon purportedly from the Coast-to-Coast Store in Pelican Rapids, notifying them they had won a $100 prize. To claim the prize, they had to come to the store immediately.
On their arrival at the hardware store, they learned that the call was phony and, suspecting something was amiss, sped to their home about 6 miles northeast of Pelican on Highway 59. There they found that the home had been entered, a quantity of cash taken, and candy and cigarettes missing from the service station.
Later Friday, someone entered the high school through a boiler room window, ransacked the shop area, and attempted to pry open a four-drawer filing cabinet in the principal’s office. Superintendent Chauncey Martin reported that nothing had apparently been taken. It is the fourth time since school opened that the building has been entered, Martin said.
The Farmer’s elevator, located across the street from the school building, was entered the same night. Entry was gained to the driveway area of the elevator, but the office was not entered. Again, nothing was missing.
The same night, Anderson grocery at Erhard was burglarized, and a quantity of cigarettes and several cases of beer were stolen.
Stories of strange phone calls apparently placed to find out whether or not homes are occupied have also been prevalent in recent days. According to one unconfirmed story, a woman was asked whether or not she would be home in the afternoon and told the caller she would not. She had second thoughts and decided to stay home. During the afternoon, a car with a large trailer behind entered the yard, but occupants made a hasty retreat when they saw the home was occupied.
Charles Sherbrooke, who lives at Pelican Lake, has joined the sheriff’s staff as a deputy and is being assigned to work in the lakes area around Pelican Rapids.
25 years ago, November 13, 1996
• Runningen, Gottenborg, Magnusson are Choices for Pelican Rapids Offices
Pelican Rapids voters turned out in what could be record numbers last week to elect a new mayor and two new city council members.
Nearly 81 percent of registered voters – 867 in all – cast their ballots Tuesday.
Because of retirements, three city offices were up for grabs, and the result was a field of eight candidates: two for mayor and 6 for the city council.
In the mayoral race, Wayne Runningen was picked to replace the retiring mayor, Jim McDonald. In the race for the two open council seats, David Gottenborg and Denise Magnusson were top vote getters. They replaced LeRoy Martens and Phil Stotesbery, both of whom declined to seek another second term.
• Fire Destroys Barn
A fire Monday evening destroyed a barn located about 1½ miles northeast of Pelican Rapids.
Firemen were called to the scene about 8 PM to find the vacant barn engulfed in flames. The cause of the fire is believed to be arson, said Fire Chief Richard Peterson.
The unoccupied farmstead is owned by John and Alice Grabarkewitz and includes a house and several outbuildings.