100 years ago, January 25, 1923

• Aged Couple Asphyxiated

Mrs. Karl Kopperud returned last week from Milnor, N. D., where she was called by the death of her cousins, Mr. and Mrs. E. H. Jaer. 

Mr. Jaer was 70 years of age, and his wife was 72. They lived a short distance from town and were asphyxiated while asleep in bed. A neighbor called at the house the next morning, and when he got no response, he forced an entrance and found Mr. Jaer dead while his wife was still breathing. A physician was summoned, but her life could not be saved.

They had been using soft coal in a hard coal heater and the gas escaped in sufficient quantities to cause their death. They leave six grown-up children.

75 years ago, January 22, 1948

• Worst Storm of Season Struck Last Week

People of this section had cherished the fond hope that there would be no severe storms this winter, for up to last week Wednesday there had been scarcely any wind to drift the snow. But that day, there was a snowfall of a few inches, and a strong wind came with it. During the night, more snow came, and Thursday morning there was a blizzard of good proportion in the works. The roads were badly blocked, so traffic was curtailed to quite an extent. As the school buses were unable to run Thursday, the village school was closed, and due to some trouble with the heating plant, there was no school Friday.

All over the Northwest the storm impeded truck, bus, and other traffic, and the evening mail from Fergus did not arrive. When the storm subsided, most of the main roads were opened, but many of the side roads were in bad shape. The local mail carriers covered only a part of their routes except for Roy Goecke, who made the entire trip.

Monday, a repetition of last week’s storm was experienced. Quite a strong wind developed Monday evening, and during the night, more snow came, and with a fierce northwest wind, another blizzard developed Tuesday, though perhaps not so severe as the one last week.

The weather has been cold, the thermometers registering as low as 32 below the latter part of last week, and there has been sub-zero weather nearly every night and sometimes during the days.

50 years ago, January 25, 1973

• Acting Chief of Police Resigns

Charles Clark, who has served as acting chief of police for the village since the death of Police Chief Merlin Rieman last year, submitted his resignation to the council last week. The council accepted the resignation with regret at a special meeting Monday evening.

Clark’s resignation is effective today, January 25. He has joined the carpet department at Johnson’s Furniture and will continue to make Pelican Rapids his home.

The resignation means that the village has two full-time patrolmen, Ernest Johnson and Greg Ballard, but Johnson’s resignation is expected by March 31. The council allowed him 90 days in which to submit a resignation following a hearing last month.

• Walleye Takes Top Prize in Fishing Derby

Ben Gardner, Dilworth, hooked a 4 pound 13½ ounce walleye to win the top prize in the annual Pelican Rapids Jaycees fishing derby at Lake Lida on Sunday. Gardner won a power ice auger for his entry.

The second largest fish was a 3 pounds 1 ounce northern caught by Bill Selck of Detroit Lakes, who won a Polaroid camera. The largest pan fish was a one pound 2 ounce rock bass caught by John Ledouy of West Fargo, winning a Thermos cooler.

Drawing prizes awarded included a snowmobile won by Mrs. Carl P. Carlson of Wolverton, a snowblower won by Harold Thrane of Kindred, North Dakota, and Swedish ice augers won by Jeffery Knapp of Fergus Falls and Simon Lagager of Moorhead.

25 years ago, January 21, 1998

• Body Found in Burned Out Home

The body of Arnold A. Krause, 38, Breckenridge, was recovered Monday from a burned out mobile home near Crystal Lake, northeast of Pelican Rapids.

The mobile home, located in the Crystal Hills area, burned Sunday night or Monday morning. Because of its location in an isolated area, the fire was not noticed or reported. Two brothers of the victim discovered the burned-out trailer.

The Pelican Rapids Fire Department was called to the scene Monday morning and secured the area while the State Fire Marshall’s office and Otter Tail County sheriff’s department officers investigated.

The body was recovered from the burned mobile home on Monday afternoon and taken to the coroner’s office for identification.

The cause of the fire has not been determined, and the investigation by the fire marshall and sheriff’s office is continuing.

• Community Service Club Known as “The Soup Label People”

Community Service Club is well known in the Pelican Rapids community as the organization behind the collection of soup labels for the elementary school.

“We’re the soup label people,” says Linda Sheryak, current president of the club.

That’s because the members collect, trim and ship soup and other food product labels, which are redeemed by Viking Elementary School for merchandise in the Campbell’s Labels for Education Program.

According to Sheryak, 1997 was a good year for labels. They collected approximately 57,000 of them.

Collection boxes are located at the local grocery stores and at the elementary school for label donations, but many simply drop off their labels with members.

Teachers go through catalogs and select small and large teaching aids for their rooms – globes, tape recorders, video cassette recorders, cassettes, paper punches – whatever they can use in their classroom. A VCR requires 24,000 labels, while a microscope is 3,000, a wall map is 1,600, and a miniature tape recorder is 2,400.