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Tri-County News
Kimball, Minnesota
October 17, 2013     Tri-County News
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October 17, 2013

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PAGE 8 Thursday, October 17, 2013 Compiled by the Kimball Area Historical Society Boiler explodes at Kimball Creamery, 1954 Reprinted from the Tri-County News Sept. 6, 2001. Kimball was shaken Friday morning, Dec. 24, 1954, about 11:30 when a large boiler at the Kimball Creamery and milk dry- ing plant exploded and shot into the air, landing in the driveway between the creamery and the drug store. The force of the explosion tore the roof from the rear of the building, crumbled the walls, and a fire was started. At the moment of the explosion, only two men employees were within the build- ing. Tony Pelzer received wounds in the abdomen, and burns and lacerations about his face and arms. He was taken by Granite City Ambulance to the St. Cloud Hospital where he had surgery to determine the extent of the abdominal injury. His condition proved to be not serious, and it was thought he might be released by Wednesday. Oswald Hemple received inju- ries to his back, and he received x-rays here at the doctor's office. Pete Borman also suffered an injury to his back and was x-rayed. Fire departments from Watkins, Annandale, Maple Lake, Litchfield, and St. Cloud responded to the call for help. The rapid, efficient action of the local department served to start check- ing the fire, and helped to avoid it spreading to other buildings. Steps were taken at once to make arrangements for the dis- posal of the milk until it could be again taken care of locally. In a surprisedly short time a tem- porary boiler was installed in the driveway between the drug store and the creamery. The work of clearing the wreckage and restor- ing as much as possible the oper- ation of the creamery is moving at a remarkable pace. Large crowds have been in town daily to view the wreckage. The following letter to the editor was published in the Tri- CountyNews Sept. 13, 2001. How well I remember the creamery boiler explosion. I had been unsure of the date until your recent article. The micro- film record of the Kimball News- papers does not include the issue in which the explosion was writ- ten up, and so I have never seen any information. My father and I had been in Annandale early that day for an appointment with Dr. Bendix. As we were returning to Kimball, we noticed a large column of black with Joyce you'll be glad you did! Many people stopped to observe the damage of the Kimball Creamery boiler explosion the morning of Dec. 24, 1954. The location of the creamery was in the place where the kimball Post Office is now located. smoke that seemed to be com- ing from Kimball, and at the time my dad was wondering if there was a problem at the school. We drove into town and saw that the creamery was involved. Since this occurred during Christmas vaca- tion, I was able to spend time downtown looking at the dam- age. Even at that early age, I was most interested in steam engines and boilers and was fascinated by the damage that had been done. The boiler that exploded was of the "locomotive" type that had an enclosed firebox and one pass of flues. The water level in the boiler had dropped below the level of the top of the firebox, and so this metal had overheated. It was thought that the water sup- ply pump had then turned on and flooded water over the red hot steel in the firebox and that this had caused a tremendous increase in boiler pressure which could not be relieved by the safety valve. I remember that the lon- gitudinal seam of the boiler bar- rel had ripped open and that as a result, the boiler acted like a rocket-propelled device. The boiler could have gone a few more feet to the south and then would have caused lots of damage to Abbott's drug store. At the time of the explosion, our good friend Gilbert Ahlstrand from Cyrus, Minn., had at least part ownership of the creamery. Later operations of the cream- ery were moved to the Paynes- ville creamery, I don't remember when the creamery was closed in Kimball. I do remember very well watching the buttermaker take Living and day and butter out of the large churns and form it into blocks. Our home in Kimball had two garages and for a time the single garage was used to store products while rebuilding was taking place downtown. If I was closer to Kimball, I would attend [Kimball Area His- torical Society] meetings but I do anxiously await the issues of the paper that carry articles you pre- pare. Your work is very important! Sincerely, Dr. Gerald Gysler Parker Casselton, N.D. Annual Meeting Tuesday, Oct. 22, featuring "Memories of Kimball" from 1950s, 1960s, 1980s and more including his early ancestors on Maine Prairie to the present. Now returning from Africa again with his history and family stories, come build another memory Oct. 22, with Michael Stanley. It's in Kimball's historic City Hall at 7 p.m. Refreshments and fellowship follow. There is no charge. Bring family and friends. Everyone is welcome. Coming soon. It's time to start thinking about our Seventh Annual Holiday Potluck. With Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner, and these events are the last for 2013. For new or renewed member- ships, only $10 for single, $15 for family, $25 for business, all tax deductible. Your support helps to ensure that Kimball Area His- torical Society will continue to present innovative educational programs that give children and adults an understanding of com- munity responsibility articulated so eloquently by our early settlers. For information, please con- tact at Box 55, Kimball MN 55353, or call (320) 398-5250, or 5743, or e-mail us kimballhistory@meltel. net. You can find lots of local history on-line at WWW. tricounty news.MH Major Highlights for the Week Wednesday, Oct. 14, 1863 Confederate Lieutenant Gen- eral Ambrose Powell Hill's lead- ing corps of the Army of Northern Virginia struck the retreating rear units of Federal Major General George G. Meade's Army of the Potomac near Bristoe Station, Va. However, Hill's forces were not sufficient to defeat the strongly posted Federals and the Con- federates also failed to strike the center of the long Union column as it retreated. The rearguard action gave Meade time to pre- pare his lines in and around Cen- treville, Va., not far from Manas- sas, the site of two previous bat- tlegrounds. Other fighting in the same area broke out at Catlett's Station, Gainesville, McLean's Ford, St. Stephen's Church, Grove Church, near Centreville and at Brentsville. Thursday, Oct. 15, 1863 The Army of Northern Virginia and the Army of the Potomac, fac- ing each other in the area along Bull Run, skirmished at McLean's, Blackburn's and Mitchell's fords and at Manassas and Oak Hill. Each army tried to ascertain the other's strength and intentions. In Charleston Harbor, S.C., the Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley sank for a second time during a practice dive. Hunley, the inventor, and seven men died. The vessel was raised again. Friday Oct. 16, 1863 Orders from Washington cre- ated the Military Division of the Mississippi, combining the Departments of the Ohio, the Cumberland and the Tennessee with Major General Ulysses Grant in command. Grant was ordered from Vicksburg, Miss., to Cairo, I11., while Secretary of War Edwin Stanton himself was on his way west to meet with Grant. Saturday Oct. 17,1863 Federal Major General Ulysses Grant, at Cairo, Ill., was ordered to proceed to Louisville to receive instructions. En route at India- napolis, Grant arrived by acci- dent at the same time as Secre- tary of War Stanton, also head- ing for Louisville to meet with the general. Proceeding together, Stanton handed Grant his orders that created the Military Division of the Mississippi under his com- mand. The orders had two ver- sions for Grant to choose from. One left department command- ers much as they were. The other relieved Major General William Rosecrans from command of the Department of the Cumberland and the army at Chattanooga. Grant accepted the order reliev- ing Rosecrans and placed Major General George H. Thomas in command. Major General Wil- liam T. Sherman was to lead the Department of the Tennes- see, and Major General Ambrose Burnside was to continue head- ing the Department of the Ohio. Rosecrans, badly beaten at Chick- amauga, was criticized for slow- ness and for being surrounded at Chattanooga. It was hoped that a more stable commander operat- ing under Grant directly would be more effective. In Washington, President Abraham Lincoln issued a proc- lamation calling for 300,000 more volunteers for Federal armies. "0 years a 1861 CIVIL WAR 1865 Sunday, Oct. 18, 1863 Federal Major General Ulysses Grant assumed command of the Military Division of the Missis- sippi, which gave him control over Federal military operations from the Mississippi River on the west, to the Appalachian Mountains in the east. This came after rumors from Chattanooga that Major General William Rosecrans might retreat. Major General George H. Thomas was now in command of Rosecrans army. Monday Oct. 19, 1863 It was a day of light fighting as skirmishes broke out at Gaines- ville, New Baltimore, Catlett's Station, Haymarket and Buckland Mills, Va.; Zollicoffer and Spur- geon's Mill, Tenn.; Smith's Bridge, Miss., Murrell's Inlet, S.C.; and at Honey Creek, Mo. Tuesday, Oct. 20, 1863 The Confederate cavalry retired across the Rappahannock River as the campaign towards Bristoe and Manassas ended, resulting in little change of ter- ritory and few losses. The casu- alties for the campaign were 205 Confed~erates killed; 1,176 wounded for a total of 1,381 casu- alties. The Federals sustained losses of 136 killed, 733 wounded and 1,423 missing for a total of 2,292 soldiers. Major General Ulysses Grant, after conferring with Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, left Louis- ville, Ky., for Chattanooga, Tenn. From Nashville, he wired instruc- tions to Major General Ambrose Burnside in east Tennessee, as well as to other officers. Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of Oct. 14-20.1863 1st Minnesota Volunteer Infan- try - Participated in the Army of the Potomac's Bristow Campaign until Oct. 22, 1863. 2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry - On duty in the Siege of Chattanooga, Tenn., until Nov. 23, 1863. 3rd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry - Participated in the capture of Little Rock, Ark., where they remained for garrison duty until April 28, 1864. 4th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry - On the march from Helena, Ark., to Corinth,-Miss.; then Memphis and Chattanooga, Tenn., until Oct. 20, 1863. 5th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry- On duty at Bear Creek, Miss., until Oct. 14, 1863. 6th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry - On garrison duty in Minnesota until June 9, 1864. 7th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry - On duty in St. Louis, Mo., until April 20, 1864. 8th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry - On garrison duty in Minnesota umtil May 24, 1864. 9th Mimnesota Volunteer Infantry - ~Moved to Jefferson City, Mo., for" duty guarding rail- road from Kansas Line to near Civil War/To page 9