Elks Band has no competition, retains honor

Monday, June 10, 1957

The Mankato Elks Bank traveled all the way to International Falls to enter a competition that never took place. There was no competition because of “a shortage of entrants.” No one knows why, but for the first time since 1950, no other band entered the contest. 1950 is the first year the Mankato band took the championship, and had held it ever since. Because there were no other bands, the Mankato group played all 10 concerts during the weekend convention, including one before Governor Orville Freeman.

Farmer invents 4-row picker

Thursday, June 5, 1947

Arthur Abel, of Fairmont, and his sons figured a two-row picker worked twice as fast as a one-row picker, and a four-row picker would pick corn even faster. With Arthur Jr. and Robert, three months were spent figuring out how to get the contraption to work. They tried it out on 200 acres of corn owned by Arthur Sr., and discovered it “did a clean, quick job.” It was the first self-propelled corn picker invented. The patent was sold to John Deere of Moline, IL. Abel said his next hope was to attach a sheller to the machine.

Police raids net 43 “pickpockets” in local parlors

Tuesday, June 8, 1937

They had been warned. Blue Earth County Attorney C.A. “Gus” Johnson and Mankato City Attorney Norman Nitzkowski were out of patience when they ordered police to confiscate two pinball machines, 26 “vending” machines and 15 punchboards on Monday, June 7. Johnson called the devices “mechanical pickpockets,” paying winnings in cash, and ordered them to be taken into custody. The investigation continued.

Presidential train passed through Mankato at 4:20 A.M.

Wednesday, June 15, 1927

How many times have United States presidents visited Mankato? It depends on whether the passing through of Calvin Coolidge is counted. His train entourage did not stop in Mankato, though some 50 souls had made the effort to watch it passing through town. President Coolidge was on his way to a vacation in Rapid City, SD. No stops were planned in the state, except for at Winona, where a new train crew would board, at Waseca and New Ulm to take on more coal, and in Sleepy Eye for water. The train also stopped at Judson for five minutes to take on water.

How’re you gonna keep ‘em down on the farm?

Thursday, June 1, 1967

Kaydra Helling was a girl from Madelia who had hit the big time in 1967. She was performing at Michael’s Red Boot Saloon in downtown Mankato, playing piano and singing. In a newspaper interview, she was quoted as saying, “Entertainers are just like everyone else. They aren’t all dope addicts and alcoholics.” She was heading out on the road the week after she gave the interview, and was excited about it. “The musical tastes of Mankatoans is not very sophisticated, she indicated. People don’t appreciate music that requires concentration.” She also said that like most entertainers, she is allowed to drink on the job, saying, “It’s necessary to match the customers’ level.” Her musical debut was a rendition of “Yes, Jesus Loves Me,” for a ladies’ aid meeting in Madelia.

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