Fotos from the Past
Researched by Michael J. Caylor Jr
Workers from the Lincoln County Highway Department are busy working to widen Highway 51 north of Merrill as the area prepares for the onslaught of summer traffic. Workers are widening lanes north of Merrill about one third of a mile north of the present four lane section. State DOT officials believe that eventually they will need to install a four lane highway through Merrill from the area of the court house to two miles north of the city in order to handle traffic on weekends. (Four lane bypass opened in 1975)
Six students graduated this week as the inaugural class of Holy Cross College. At a dinner held at Dick’s Riverside Club Val Chilsen, assistant to the president, spoke of the students accomplishments during their time at the college. Sister Elaine Paluck, college president, cited students for their academic accomplishments. Graduates included Angie Makrtis and David Tiesling of Rhinelander along with James Hackbarth, David Lindstrom, James Strasman, and Richard Polebitski all of Merrill.
As a sign of summer, the Lincoln Canning Company will begin seeking applicants this Monday for seasonal work at their factory.
Governor Warren Knowles will be in Merrill this Saturday to dedicate our newest industry, the House of Merrill. Nearly 50,000 feet of production space is now located on North Ohio Street where homes will be manufactured ranging in size from 24 by 36 to 24 by 60 feet. Both single family and duplex homes will be built along with motel units according to M. J. (Mert) Jensen, general manager. Merrill Mayor Ralph (Fata) Voigt will preside at the dedication of the facility during a program which will get underway at 9:00 AM. The House of Merrill hopes to be in full production by August with about 60 employees building 10 homes per week.
Word has been received of a US Serviceman who has been killed in a car accident near Fort Leavenworth. Sgt. Thomas Monroe, 22, was killed in a one car accident early Sunday. Sgt. Monroe is the son of Mrs. Natalie Monroe, and the late Melville Monroe. He was a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church and entered the Army in 1969, returning this past September from a one year tour of Vietnam. The body will be brought to the Taylor Funeral Home; funeral services will be Thursday at St. Johns.
Mayor John Gerritts presided over his first (and last) city council meeting this past week as area boy scouts held City Government day programs. The scouts were quick to spend money in some areas such as a new fire truck, new central fire station, two new busses, and sewer cleaning equipment. However the scouts voted down resolutions to extend bus service to the Council Grounds and out to the Pine Ridge area. Besides Gerritts’ role as mayor, Ron Pflieger was the acting fire chief, Randy Schenk was City Clerk, and Richard Helm II was the City Attorney. The event was put together by scoutmaster Eugene “Skipper” Schulz.
The West Side Business Association has honored Adlor Koebe at a dinner at the Riverside Club. Koebe has worked for 50 years as the clerk/deliveryman for the former Gruett’s Drug Store, now known as Schulze’s Pharmacy, at 416 W Main St.
The Merrill Park and Recreation Department has announced that pool patches are now on sale for the 1980 season. Patches cost $7 for children, $10 for adults, and $25 for families. There are no higher rates for those who live outside of the city, unlike past years. (You could only have one bathing suit for the season back then or you would have to get a new patch for mom to sew on)
The case of the prowling intruder to Merrill has ended after police captured the suspect and released it in neighboring Taylor County. Reports of a black bear wandering the city began last Wednesday evening after David Meyer reported the bear walking down Grand Ave. The previous Monday the bear was spotted prowling through yards on Nast Street on the east side. By Thursday the bear was spotted hanging around the area of 10th and Adams St which led to DNR Warden Joe Ryder being called in. He and wildlife manager William Meier set a live trap and within an hour the bear accepted the offer of the free meal which led to its capture.
Lincoln County will consider adding a full time finance director on its books to handle its books. The addition will be part of a centralized finance department where bookkeeping and accounting now handled by the County Clerk will now be handled. County Board Chairman Frank Mangus hopes the new department will be better able to control expenditures, establish financial goals, and monitor the effectiveness of its financial commitments.