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Kimball, Minnesota
December 19, 2013     Tri-County News
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December 19, 2013

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D A 17  _A LE I ... II U, _JL..,,,, l!i : .IL /"t_.l.l.. U  ::i ': :?" S'ii: Thursda, December 19, 20I mm .............. Memories of Christmas include visits from Santa, sledding Mike Nistler Kimball in the 1960s, remembers forget! We would start at the top Writer Who doesn't have fond mem- ories of the Holidays when they were a child? And as the years pass, those memories become stronger. Old timers in Watkins remem- ber a Christmas tree being placed in the middle of the downtown during the Holiday season to brighten everyone's spirit. Bill May, the proprietor of May Theatre, would make sure that the children always had a bag of candy and a Christmas movie to watch. And, for outdoor fun, a parking lot would be flooded and iced over to provide for figure skating and ice hockey fun. Bill May's generosity in Wat- kins is legendary. "We believed that he financed many of the activities and gra- tuities available to young peo- ple," remembered the late Eugene McCarthy, who grew up in Wat- kins and would later become a U.S. Senator and presidential candi- date. "He was a Santa Claus to the town of Watkins." In Eden Valley, it was the Cham- ber of Commerce that was respon- sible for sponsoring a Christmas party for children, which included a visit by Santa and free movies. The chamber was also in Charge of decorating the streets during those early years. An early photo of Kimball City Hall which was an integral part of Christmas celebrations for many local familes. A story is told about one year when the decorations were hung and left up a bit too long. Christ- mas passed, as did New Year's Day and then Valentine's Day and St. Patrick's Day. The parish priest at that time, Rev. Schreiner, reminded cham- ber members that the decora- tions really should be taken down before Easter. Those old decorations became so beat up that one year resident Don Nohner saw an ad for Christ- mas decorations being sold by the city of Brainerd. He purchased them and brought them back to Eden Valley where they were used for a number of years. Eventu- ally, George Kummet redesigned and rebuilt the ornaments so they could be used for a few additional years. Folks who grew up in and around Kimball remember watch- ing black and white movies in City Hall and awaiting Santa's visit. "Everyone got a small bag with peanuts, hard candy and I think there were apples sometimes, too," remembers Debby Duncan. Jim Fogarty, who grew up in U.S.-Dakota War documentary set to air A documentary examining the U.S.-Dakota War will air statewide on public TV starting Dec. 26. The two-hour production is entitled, "The Past Is Alive Within Us: The U.S.-Dakota Conflict." It was created through legislation Rep. Dean Urdahl, R-Acton Town- ship, authored as chairman of the House Legacy Division in 2011. "The program combines his- torical information and con- temporary stories," Urdahl said. "The goals are to provide a better understanding of the events which took place, explain how Minneso- tans are still impacted today and to spur critical thinking. Footage from a ceremony at Ness Church in rural Litchfield is included." Twin Cities Public Television - Channel 2 in most cases - will first air the film 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 26, with repeat showings also available. Check local list- ings or visit, for more information. Descendents of those involved in the U.S.-Dakota War 150 years ago participat- ed in a healing and forgiveness ceremony called the Wiping of the Tears Aug. 19, 2012. Footage from that ceremony will be included in the two-hour PBS special that starts Dec. 26. File photo by Jean Doran Matua. Kimball City Hall recognized by Preservation Alliance The Kimball City Hall, origi- nally Maine Prairie Village Hall, was named by the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota (PAM) as one of 18 successfully revitalized civic landmarks in the state. Eigh- teen sites are representative of a wide range of historic projects completed in Minnesota. Preservation or demolition of historic sites and landmarks pose difficult decisions for communi- ties. According to the PAM bro- chure, "Choosing rehabilitation instead of demolition will provide long-term rewards for communi- ties and benefit all Minnesotans through our strengthened Civic Legacy." An exhibit of banners depict- ing each of the 18 sites will be pro- vided by the Preservation Alliance to display in the year ahead. In an ambitious project spanning seven years and six phases, the 1908 original Kimball Prairie Village Hall and Kimball City Hall is the only City Hall in Stearns County on the National Register of His- toric Places still in full use as a City Hall. Other sites named were the Dassel History Center & Ergot Museum; Thief River Falls City Hall and Carnegie Library; Big ForkCity Hall; Old Central School Marketplace, Grand Rapids; Todd County Courthouse, Long Prairie; Christmas vacations from school during the holidays. "Us kids, meaning the Fogartys, Van Vleets, Mertens, Browers and Hinz family would take our sleds up to the street ... to Cherry Street South," Fogarty wrote. We would cross over Linden Avenue East on a sled ride you would not soon of the hill and end up down by the railroad track. Many times, with the right flying start, we would go across the railroad tracks. We never had any accidents, but we did take a lot of chances. Usually one kid would stand on the corner and say, 'You can make it.' Civil War digest: This week 150 years ago Major Highlights for the Week Wednesday, Dec. 16, 1863  le JP'-II  The Confederate government   [] illillL Ill announced several major corn- ,/ [] .2 I i mand changes. General Joseph I[llbldllN1llgprV E. Johnston was named to corn- mand the Army of Tennessee, suc- ceeding Lieutenant General Wil- liam J. Hardee, who had temporar- ily taken over for General Braxton Bragg. Lieutenant General Leon- idas Polk was left in command of the Army of Mississippi at Bran- don, Miss., replacing Johnston, who headed to his new command at Dalton, Ga. Federal Brigadier General John Buford was promoted to the rank of major general just a few hours before his death in Wash- ington of typhoid fever. Upon the recommendation of Major Gen- eral George Stoneman, President Lincoln assented to the promo- tion and wrote, "I am informed that General Buford will not sur- vive the day. It suggests itself to me that he will be made Major Gen- eral for distinguished and merito- rious service at the Battle of Get- tysburg." When informed of the promotion, Buford asked, "Does _.he mean it?" When told that it was a genuine promotion, Buford replied, "It is too late, now I wish 1 could live." .tte passed away at 2 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 17,1863 President Abraham Lincoln forwarded to Congress a plan by the Freedmen's Aid Society to set up a Federal Bureau of Emanci- pation to assist freed slaves. Noth- ing came of the proposal until the Freedmen's Bureau was estab- lished in March 1865. Skirmishing was confined to Sangster's Station, Va.; and Rodney, Miss. &Speech Rehabilitation Little Falls Carnegie Library; Par- amount Theater, St. Cloud; Atwa- ter City Offices; Acoma Town Hall; Glencoe City Center; Willkommen Park Pavilion, Norwood-Young America; Lepak/Larson Historic Farmhouse, Shoreview; Land- mark Center, St. Paul; Central park Condominiums, Red Wing; Res- idences of Old City Hall, Roches- ter; New Richland Library; Red Rock Center for the Arts, Fairmont. The Kimball Area Historical Soci- thankety sponsoredall who donated.the fundraising and nep|-*- "es to better serve .YOU. HINNESOTA 1861 CIVI k WAR 1865 Friday, Dee. 18,1863 Minor fighting broke out with action at Bean's Station and Rut- ledge, Tenn.; Indiantown or Sandy Swamp, N.C.; near Culpeper, Va; and at Sheldon's Place near Barren Fort, Indian Territory. Chaplains in the Confeder- ate Army of Northern Virginia met at Orange Courthouse, where reports indicated a "high state of religious feeling throughout the army." Saturday, Dec. 19,1863 Several skirmishes in Virginia and West Virginia resulted from the long-continuing Federal raids on railroads connecting south- west Virginia and West Virginia with the seaboard area. In Washington, the Lincoln's held a reception for congressmen, other officials, and the officers of Russian warships visiting the United States. Federal naval forces continued their destruction at St. Andrew's Bay, Fla., including 290 salt works and 268 buildings. Sunday, Dec. 20,1863 President Abraham Lincoln told an official of the Massachu- setts Anti-Slavery Society, "I shall not attempt to retract or modify the emancipation proclamation." Civil WarTo page 26 . Rehabilitation Therapy Adult Day Care Hospice Care Respite Care Blood Pressure Screening