Lightening Bolt Cleans Sewing Machine of Dust in 1939

The Hastings Gazette, June 28, 1939

Smashing panes in the lower half of a window as it entered, a bolt of lightning in the form of a ball of fire, shattered a radio and cleaned the dust from a drophead sewing machine, leaving it piled an a ball under the undamaged machine in the home of the Joseph Pilcher family in southwest Coates during the storm Sunday evening.

After hitting the radio and the machine at opposite sides of the room, the ball of fire floated to the feet of one of the Pilcher boys, who was sitting in the room, stunning him for several minutes, then left the house through an open door. The radio  was blown to pieces and the control knobs were strewn about the room like flaming balls.

It was an experience that neither Mrs. Pilcher nor any member of the family would care to go through again. The freak incident occurred during an electrical storm which did considerable damage to trees, silos and other buildings in that area.

State Champion Football Team of 1939.

The Hastings Gazette, November 17, 1939

Three championships in succession don’t just happen. What’s more, they aren’t a common thing. Yet by defeating Cannon Falls Friday, the Hastings high school football eleven garnered its third consecutive Mississippi Valley title with the ease of child’s play.

Art Kranz, Jim McNamara, and Jim Moore earned  merited places on the all state high school eleven for their performances of the season.

Left to right- back row: Co-captain Les Wilke at halfback; Amos Welshons at fullback; Jim Moore at Halfback, James “Buss” Monty at halfback; John Hankes at quarterback. Front row, left to right: Co-captain Art Kranz at right end; Bernard Wildes at right tackle; Jim McNamara at right guard; Charles Welch at center; Clarence “Bud” Zeien at left guard, Donald Sanford at left tackle, Paul Berge at left end.

Presenting the Class of 2000 in 1987

Hastings Star Gazette, September 17, 1987

Kindergarteners usher in new century of education

Kindergartners at Tilden Elementary School follow the lead of teacher Liz Wintermeyer in the Pledge of Allegiance

With milk money jingling in their pockets, the Hastings High School class of 2000  packed up their crayons and pencil boxes and walked into their very first classroom last week.

In the meantime Board of Education Chairman Don May wanted to know what will they wear on their letter jackets- 00? For now letter jackets are unfamiliar to the class of 2000. But according to veteran kindergarten teachers, the class of 2000 is much more familiar with their world and able to learn more than kindergarteners of previous decades. Children are more mature and ready to learn more than the kindergarteners who preceded them.

Double zeros will be worn on the letter jacket of this year’s kindergarten class of 2000 when they reach  high school.


An Ounce of Prevention Prescribed in 1924

The Hastings Gazette, November 21, 1924

Dr. P.H. Cremer, local health officer, seems to be of the very logical opinion that the proper time to fight an epidemic is in its inceptive stages and not after it has been turned loose in the community to run its costly and tragic course of destruction.

Acting upon that opinion, he has issued an order, which appears in another column of this publication, to the effect that all amusement halls, in which crowds are assembled and physical exertion is most strenuous, as in dancing, roller skating and athletics, be closed until the existing small pox menace is removed from this vicinity.

While this order may bring temporary disappointment  or even a certain monetary loss to a few, it is quite apparent that there should be no complaint concerning the action. Human lives are too precious to be sacrificed where such comparatively trivial matters as personal amusement or temporary financial loss are the only issues upon which objection to the health precaution might be based.

Therefore, shall we not make the best of it and smile. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Runaway Causes Genuine Thrill in 1924

The Hastings Gazette, Friday October 17, 1924

That a real old-fashioned runaway, with a high spirited horse furnishing the motive power, is a bit unusual in these days of gas-propelled conveyances was evidenced on Second Street last Monday afternoon when the rapid clatter of a horse’s hoofs on the pavement and a voice excitedly shouting “Whoa!” nearly stopped all industry in one block of the main business thoroughfare and filled the doors of most of the establishments with eager and somewhat startled faces.

The runaway animal, belonging to Henry Brummel, a young farmer of the vicinity, had fortunately chosen to get out of the business district as quickly as possible an thereby avoid all traffic troubles. Becoming frightened, it is thought, at a passing motor truck, the horse, which was attached from the control of young Brummel and dashed across the pavement, jumping the sidewalk on the south side of the street and plunging into the Karpen Bros. monument yard where a large tombstone momentarily blocked the buggy and enabled spectators to seize the frightened animal before it could resume its dash for freedom.

The driver, who had remained in the buggy during the brief but exciting  dash but had been unable to check the animal’s flight, was uninjured and assisted the men who had come to his rescue in freeing the horse form its tangled harness. The tombstone that had terminated the runaway so luckily was pulled from its base but fortunately but fortunately did not break in the fall.

Class Outing of 1916

One has to wonder what the occasion was for this apparent outing for the Hastings High School Class of 1916. Some of the people in the photo have been identified by Ethel Thieling. Around the horses and umbrella are, right to left, Britton Leavitt, Faith Page, Harlo Johnson, unknown, and Earl Graus (holding two books), who was Class of 1917. Seated in front  in the wagon with the hat on is probably English teacher Marie Moreland. (Photo from the Sloniger collection).

Class of 1891 Over 90% Living Yet in 1941

The Hastings Gazette June 13, 1941

Here is the remarkable class of 1891 of Hastings High School. Of the 11, 10 are living and probably could have attended the reunion. All of the graduates have made outstanding records and stand high in their respective communities. Seated left to right, Miss Marion Crosby, Charles S. Lowell, Mrs. Elizabeth Kohler R. Wright, Miss Emma Truax, Mrs. Minnie Anderson Christensen. Standing, left to right, Mrs. Ellen Dobie Cornish, Arthur Colby, Mrs. Minnie O’Brien Thuet, Mrs. Laura Wright Mackintosh, Maurice Rich (deceased) and Miss Nellie Hanna.

9 MPH and You’re Speeding

Hastings Gazette, August 23, 1962

A reminder of the days when a horse could have been picked up for speeding on the streets of Hastings, is this old sign which Pete Werth displays in his antique-repair shop. Pete isn’t sure just when this particular sign, restricting speed to 8 miles per hour, was in use, but he thinks it may have been between 1922 and 1924, when Jim Smith was mayor of Hastings. “He started quite a crack-down on speeding,” Pete recalls. According to Pete, the “8 MPH” signs at one time were posted on Vermillion street south across the river from the King Midas Mill; at 10 and Tyler: and at 55 and Pine. This particular sign is hand-made, of one-eighth inch sheet metal, with the lettering punched and drilled out.

Girls Agriculture Class of 1915

Hastings Star Gazette Yesteryear page, November 1, 1990

Shown is a 1915 female agriculture class. Pictured in the first row from left to right are: P.S. Jordan, ag. teacher, Agnes Judge, Mable Berges, Esther Carlson, Francis Smith, Edna Huowles (?), Lucia Simmons, Kathryn Brummel, Theresa Thena and Mabel  Nelson. Second row: Hazel Humm, Jessie Shultz, Jessie McHattie, Ruth McChesney and Mable Reid. (photo courtesy of Sloniger collection)

Privates’ Karnick and Monty say goodbyes to Man’s Best Friend in 1941

Goodbye for a Year, Old Pal

The Hastings Gazette, January 24, 1941

These boys of Battery E 216th Coast Artillery, (AA), were loading the baggage car preparatory to leaving Hastings on Thursday evening, January 16, 1941 for March Field, California. Private James Monty, star half back on the Hastings high school untied, undefeated football team of last year, and also of former years, is holding his dog Peggy, a little brown animal 7 or 8 inches high and about twice that long, a companion of his for the past 11 years or almost ever since the Monty family came to Hastings, At the right is Private Raymond Karnick who is apparently telling  his Irish dog he will have to stay home as the soldiers will soon be on the road west.