Tricounty News

Reserve your place in history

W-Gary-Abbott287From the Tri-County News Nov. 1, 1962, reprinted Thursday, March 8, 2001.

Four days in the life of Gary Abbott were re-discovered during our weekly indexing of history by The Kimball Area Historical Society. He recently wrote a letter to the editor, and is a regular subscriber to the Tri-County News. Local boy visits U.N.

Now seems a good time to congratulate him once more in recognition of his 1962 achievement. It is hoped that our history
columns are enjoyed by Gary and others.

Gary Abbott, son of Mr. and Mrs. Monroe Abbott, was among a group of 78 persons who spent four full days in New York City observing the world organization in action. Each day there were some hours when U.N. personnel and members of various delegations spoke to the seminar on the activities of the U.N. and issues currently being debated.


More memories of the railroad

I just wanted to add a little to the history of the railroad through Kimball.

When I was in elementary school in Kimball, we lived on the old Doctor Sherwood Guernsey Farm, if people can remember that.

Every Sunday morning, I would wait for the westbound Soo Line train to go through Kimball. The train ran just south of the house, so it was just a short walk to watch the train. I would sit or stand by the fence, and every Sunday morning, the train crew would toss out the Minneapolis Sunday Tribune for us. We never had to buy a Sunday paper. Besides, we probably could not afford it anyhow.


Cokato Historical Society 14th annual New Year’s open house

The Cokato Museum & Historical Society invites the public to its 14th annual New Year’s open house from 1-4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014, in the Centennial Room of the Cokato Public Library.

As a part of this open house, a demonstration of the Finnish custom of “melting tin” will be held. Small pieces of tin are melted in an iron lathe then cast into a pail of cold water, where the tin forms unique shapes. Tradition holds that these shapes will foretell the upcoming year. Area residents familiar with this custom are especially encouraged to attend.

This event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

For more information, please contact the museum at (320) 286-2427, on the web at, or check out their Facebook page.

The Cokato Museum is a cooperative effort of the city of Cokato and the Cokato Historical Society.

Civil War digest: Dec. 23-29, 1863

Major Highlights for the Week

Wednesday, Dec. 23, 1863

Fighting broke out at Jacksonport, Ark.; Culpeper Courthouse, Va.; Corinth, Miss.; along with Mulberry Village and Powder Springs Gap, Tenn. Confederate President Jefferson Davis hoped that General Joseph E. Johnston and the Department of Tennessee would be able to “commence active operations against the enemy” soon.

Thursday, Dec. 24, 1863

While the major fronts in Virginia and north Georgia remained quiet, skirmishing flared near Germantown and in Lee County, Va.; Rodney, Miss.; at Estenaula, Jack’s Creek, Peck’s House near New Market, Mossy Creek Station, and at Hays’s Ferry near Dandridge, Tenn.


All aboooard!

Reprinted from the Tri-County News May 3, 2001.w-Railroad-Depot--1915

In 1886, the Soo Line Railroad decided to bypass Maine Prairie in favor of Kimball Prairie, five miles to the south. With the arrival of the railroad, Kimball became a regular passenger and freight stop for the shipping of farm products, buildingh materials and merchandise. The railroad also created local jobs, and Kimball continued to grow. That is what brought Addie Dalton Lutgen to Kimball in 1962, when her late husband Donald Dalton became the Soo Line Depot Agent at Kimball. She has graciously shared here some wonderful photos and memories from those years. She still resides in Kimball, with husband Ben Lutgen.

“When a depot was available for a new agent, they were assigned according to their seniority. A main line assignment was choice (Minneapolis to Winnipeg was a main line with branches off from it). My husband was several years older than me, and at one time I remember he had the most seniority of any agents on the Soo Line.

“The depot agent and his family could live in the depot building free as part of his wages. There was no running water in the Kimball depot. It had two bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen, a small pantry off the kitchen, and a small cellar under the pantry. Other depots we lived in had the living quarters upstairs and were larger than the one in Kimball. The depot itself had an office, waiting room, and a large freight house. On Saturdays (before laundromats) I would wash clothes in the waiting room and put up lines so the clothes could be hung there to dry.