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Dusting Off the Archives


News from Verndale's Past



75 Years Ago, February 15, 1945

• The Verndale Fire Department was called out for the first time in 1945 about 6 p.m. Wednesday afternoon when an alarm was turned in for a fire at the Waterhouse Impl. Co. The fire is thought to have started from a defective chimney with the fire being in the east addition to the garage building between the ceiling and the roof. It was a stubborn fire for the firemen and more were called to aid from the local Wadena Fire Department. The firemen fought the fire for over an hour before it was brought under control.

• Word was received here last week that Pfc. Earl Johnson, a nephew of John Lambert of Bartlett Township, was wounded in France on January 20. Pfc. Johnson is the son of Lyle Johnson, former resident of Wing River. Earl attended school in Verndale.

• The Verndale Pirates A-team took it on the chin for two more losses the past week, losing their two remaining conference games to Menahga and New York Mills.


40 Years Ago, February 21, 1980

• The roof came tumbling down as firemen arrived at the scene of a barn fire at the W. J. (Bud) Brinkman farm about one and a half miles northeast of Verndale late Sunday afternoon. Because of the intensity of the blaze, efforts were confined to saving adjacent structures. Three 150 pound pigs housed in the barn were lost in the blaze. Brinkman had completed chores and had returned to the house. Looking out the window a half hour later, about 5 p.m., he noted smoke coming through the roof of the barn. A call was placed for help and he rushed out to lead six cows out of the burning structure.

• Displaying the trophy they earned in the FHA competition on the district level are winners from the Verndale Chapter. They are Janice Horsager and Donna Lovelace. They gave a demonstration entitled “Smart snacking-nothing lacking,” involving low-cal nutritious snacks. Cathy and Margaret Runyan won on their dissertation on “Family Recreation,” about canoing and Sandy Anderson and Shelia Stone told how to plan and set up your books for living expenses entitled, “Budget your books.”

• To learn what it was like on the other side of the desk, a number of students took on new roles as teachers, administrators, cooks, etc. for a day. Last Friday, Dan Schluttner became “Mr. Schluttner, principal for a day,” as he sat in his office doing paperwork while Mr. Tholkes looked on to make sure his work was being done in proper order.


15 Years Ago, February 17, 2005

• The Verndale School District held its final oral rounds for the Spelling Bee on February 4. Twenty-nine students competed. Nicole Bart, eighth grade, was the winner. Brittany Van Roekel, sixth grade, was the runner-up.

• The Verndale PEP Club/Pirate Enrichment program held their Family Fun Night on February 1 at the school. The evening started with a scalloped potatoes and ham supper prepared by Embers in Wadena. The Science Museum presented their “Bright Ideas” program which focused on inventions and inventors. Some of the inventions discussed were silly putty, glass, telescopes, Kevlar, wireless transmission, Velcro and more. Dick Johnson, local inventor, started the program by sharing his design for a new golf club.

• At the January meeting the council reviewed a request from the Verndale Historical Society for the city to provide an annual billing rather than the $13 per month which covers 1000 gallons of water usage. The $156 yearly expense for the historical society is a large amount for their budget. They plan to install a bathroom which would be the only reason for having water and sewer connected to the building. The issue was tabled until the February meeting. At the February 7 meeting Mayor Stave brought up the issue saying he didn’t want to set a precedent for other organizations by allowing the historical society to receive an annual billing of actual usage, rather than the $13 monthly flat rate.


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