A Look Back

30 years ago November 12, 1992

Remembering earlier times in an article by Steve Eide, female veterans from the Hastings area reflected on World War Two. Among the service opportunities available to women in the mid-1940s were the WAVES and WACs, standing for Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES) and Women Army Corps (WACs) respectively. “This was a lonesome town,” said one of the war years. “You felt like you should be doing something.”

Also of note from 30 years ago, the search was still ongoing for a regional airport. Held through the Minnesota Extension Service, was a seminar planned Nov. 30 on property acquisition. To be covered by the seminar were such topics as property owners rights and eminent domain, with many near the site of the proposed airport concerned about land rights and the obligations of public officials looking to buy a site. The free program was provided at the Dakota County Extension Building in Farmington.

55 years ago THE HASTINGS GAZETTE November 16, 1967
Coming in for grocery prices a half century or so back, a pork chop pack could be purchased for 59 cents a pound at the Owl store, while cranberries were 23 cents a pound and Kraft Miracle Whip was 24 cents with coupon.

November 9, 1967

Meeting to be briefed on “emergency behavior” some 55 years ago, local municipal and county officials would learn how to better function in an emergency, the get together held at Eagles Hall in Hastings on Friday, Nov. 10.

Learning about printing in the high school press shop, meanwhile, were Mike Werner and Joe Wagner, said by their instructor to know more about the press than he did. Thanks to what Gazette business manager Jim Muirhead called “the increasing demands” of offset press equipment, a good used letter press was able to be purchased at low cost, or around $3,000. The high school instructor had approached the Gazette about setting up a press class for students.

80 years ago THE HASTINGS GAZETTE November 6, 1942 For obituaries from November 6, 1942, Mrs. Aloysius Stevens had recently passed  away, after “a brief critical ill-ness,” being buried in Guardian Angels cemetery.
Up at Basswood Grove, the never married Stephen Cook had died after a somewhat longer illness, having spent his entire life in the Basswood Grove and Hastings area working for farmers. Although never married, Mr. Cook had lived with the Will Perkins family and left behind one brother named William Cook of Stillwater and three half brothers named Robert, Dennis, and Charles, of Hastings. Parents of the 75-years-old Cook had been Mr. and Mrs. Robert Cook, pioneer settlers of Hastings. Burial was in St. Mary’s cemetery at Basswood Grove.
Coming in for war fallout, the gas ration was soon to come to Hastings, with some 1,500 motorists expected to apply locally, with 10,000 in the county as a whole. The three day registration period running Nov. 12 through Nov. 14 was arranged alphabetically, so that Nov. 12 was the day for those with names starting with “A” through “G” to register, Nov. 13 the day for those with names beginning with “H” through “M,” and Nov. 14 the day for those with “N” through “Z.” Bus drivers were reminded to have their application filled out and to Detroit by Nov. 15 “in order to be entitled to gasoline.

105 years ago THE DEMOCRAT Published at Hastings November 9, 1917 If a modern Rip Van Winkle should come back to Hastings after a twenty-year nap what change would be most marked? We venture to say that the automobile would be the most surprising thing he would view. Twenty years ago there wasn’t an automobile in Hastings but today Second Street is lined with them. So, if there is anything that would make this modern Rip stick his eyes out it would be the horseless carriage.

Everybody surely remembers the first automobile in Hastings. About the year 1900 or 1901, Dr. Sumption brought the first automobile. It would attract attention on a street now because of its oddity just as it did then but now it would be odd, because it would be so old-fashioned. It surely was a funny looking little automobile with the funny little top and the strange lines. And what a commotion the first automobile made in Hastings! Everybody talked about it. Many who were used to driving horses thought that it shouldn’t be allowed on the streets. In the afternoon when Dr. Sumption would be real busy his phone would ring and a female voice would say over the line something like this: “Oh, is that you doctor, well we want to know if you are going out tonight with that machine of yours? We were planning on going for a drive but your machine scares our horses and we were hop-ing that you wouldn’t go rid-ing tonight.”
That was scarcely fifteen years ago that the horse and buggy owners felt as though the automobile was a nui-sance, an infringement upon their rights and a detriment to the community…Shoe repair men claim that automobiles have ruined their trade as the modern man only wears out shoe leather pressing down on the clutch. Walking soon promises to become a lost art. Other means of conveyances will perhaps spring up in the near future, so that the next generation will look surprised when they hear their grand-mothers talk of walking.

130 years ago THE DAILY GAZETTE November 13, 1892
The following is the official vote of Dakota County at the election held on Tuesday, 8th inst.:
For President Hastings Ward 1 – Harrison 33, Cleveland 108, Weaver 7, Bidwell 0
Hastings Ward 2 – Harrison 101, Cleveland 95, Weaver 7, Bidwell 3
Hastings Ward 3, 1st – Harrison 98, Cleveland 69, Weaver 6, Bidwell 16
Hasting Ward 3, 2nd – Harrison 92, Cleveland 55, Weaver 8, Bidwell 7
Hastings Ward 4 – Harrison 43, Cleveland 40, Weaver 3, Bidwell 0
Some parties of the day Republican – Democrat – Fusion – People’s – Prohibition

October 24, 1857 Curiosities of Electricity
The peculiarities of that terrible but mysterious agent, lightning, are made the subject of an interesting paper in a recent number of the British Quarterly Review.

Two clouds are not necessary for the production of lightning, which is frequently discharged from a solitary clump of vapor…It has been shown by Farady that the electric fluid in a single flash might perhaps be supplied by the decomposition of one grain of water alone.

November 16, 2022