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Living History - Feb. 8 edition

20 years ago

Excerpts from the Feb. 5, 1998 Pioneer Journal

• Complaints about Wadena County Historical Society appear unfounded

Despite anonymous complaints, it appears the Wadena County Humane Society will favorably pass questioning from the State Attorney General's Office.

Society officers Merlyne Bissell and Joyce Palmer reported about the incident to the Wadena County Board at the regular meeting Feb. 3. They told the board that they felt the society would be exonerated.

In a later interview, Joyce Bock, a staff member of the historical society, explained that someone wrote the State Attorney General's Office more than once, complaining that the historical society was misappropriating funds.

Funds that the complainant referred to came from the Lempiainen Endowment Fund. These are funds specifically set aside for education. Questionnaires were sent to the society by the attorney general asking how they used their funds. The historical society returned all the paperwork requested.

At an informal meeting with a representative from the attorney general's office, the historical society was told that they have done nothing inappropriate. Society members hoped to face their accuser but that person was not there and their name was not released to the board. Bock said the representative from the attorney general's office told the historical society board that it was probably a disgruntled employee. The numerous complaints received by the attorney general's office indicated that the informant had intimate knowledge of the workings at the historical society. The historical society is now waiting for a formal letter clearing them of any wrongdoing.

50 years ago

Excerpts from the Feb. 8, 1968 Pioneer Journal

• Wadena Elks lodge becomes reality

Fe. 10 is "E" Day in Wadena, "E" signifying the Elks.

Wadena Elks Lodge No. 2386 will become a reality Saturday afternoon at ceremonies to be held in the new high school gym, according to Exalted Ruler Russ Kaber.

Approximately 220 new members have been enrolled and will be initiated Saturday afternoon. Officers and secretaries from nine lodges are expected to be on hand to aid in the registration and ceremonies. Kaber states the program will begin at 2 p.m. with a team of state officers, headed by District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler james Metcalf rendering the Ceremony of the Initiation for the charter class.

At 3:30 p.m. there will be a break allowing wives and other members of the general public to come in and witness the installation of local officers.

The initiation ceremony will be performed by a team of former state presidents, headed by District Deputy Metcalf. Following the ceremonies, the group will adjourn to the new Wadena Elks Home for a social hour, buffet and dancing.

Approximately 220 new members have signed to join the new lodge here. It is hoped that the new clubrooms will be available today in order to give club manager Ken Stofer and his staff a chance to become acquainted with the new Elks Lodge facilities.

Elected to head the lodge for the coming year are: Russ kaber, Exalted Ruler; Gordon Lundeen, Leading Knight; Charles Paper, Loyal Knight; Dave Paulson, Lecturing Knight; Alan Pettit, Secretary; John Askew, Treasurer; and Clarence Horn, Tiler.

Named to the initial Board of Trustees were Jake Smith, Al Bernauer, Bill Fosteson, Floyd Erickson and Ken Stuntebeck.

80 years ago

Excerpts from the Feb. 10, 1938

• Mother finds child with clothes aflame

Mary Ann Johnson, two-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Joel Johnson of Menahga, is in Wesley hospital with severe burns to her face and neck. The child was heard screaming in a downstairs room of their home. When the mother rushed to her from upstairs, she found her in flames. It is a mystery how the fire started.

• Kerosene lamp blast injures Mills man

Emil Pajumpaa of Leaf Lake was badly burned about the hands last week when kerosene which he was pouring into a lamp caught fire. Before the flames could be extinguished, curtains had caught fire and considerable damage was done in the room.

• Mumps proves fatal to New York Mills girl

Funeral services were held Thursday for Ruth Oja, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Oja of Toad Lake. She died at the Park Rapids hospital Friday after a severe case of mumps. Besides her parents, she is survived by a number of brothers and sisters. Rev. S.A. Krankala conducted the rites in the Wolf Lake Church.