Tricounty News

Ten years is a long, long time

The following is reprinted from the Tri-County News Oct. 3, 2002.

Highway No. 15 North, remains bad in spite of State Dept. promise

Below is printed an item which appeared as an editorial in the St. Cloud Journal-Press in September 1925, and it is reprinted here as it seems a fitting reminder of the condition of that portion of Trunk Highway No. 15 lying north out of Kimball when it was under local control, in view of the fact that the road is now listed in all state highway road condition bulletins as “impassable”.

Frequently many highways may become impassable because of extraordinary and unusual weather conditions but how can the Highway Department excuse itself for allowing an important link in the Trunk highway system, such as the stretch from Kimball to Luxemburg to become impassable because of a lack of either building, or proper maintenance? The men employed on maintenance of this stretch have accomplished all that anyone could with the equipment that they have been furnished, but from allowing the grade to wear down over a period of years, to such an extent that it becomes a “canal”, with the previous ditches higher than the road bed, it is impossible to maintain the road without grading by heavy maintenance equipment.

The Highway Department has promised several visiting delegations from St. Cloud, Kimball and other interested communities that this piece of road would be built in the spring of 1937. We sincerely hope all maintenance, except the removal of snow fence, has been removed from this piece of road and we doubt that a poorer piece of Trunk Highway existed in the state, even prior to Tuesday night’s snow, the road being so rutted that it will be impossible to get a snow plow over it and the SUN will be awaited as the only improver capable of results for the next few weeks. The reprinted editorial is as follows:

“The Maine Prairie men have a long and consistent record as good road builders. Long before the state and trunk highway systems were born, when roads were the sole child of towns, the best road anywhere in this section was that from Kimball towards St. Cloud, lying in Maine Prairie Township. It was the only town road that we remember in those days that was properly graded and graveled. These men know that it takes money to build good highways, and that it is a good investment. The Community Club of Kimball, having a membership of farmers and businessmen, at its meeting Monday night, unanimously approved the Babcock plan, a refreshing evidence of good sense.”

The people of Maine Prairie and Kimball are still “good roads” enthusiasts but are at a loss to understand why this one short stretch should mar an otherwise fine highway which leads from Armstrong, Iowa, to
St. Cloud and the Northern Minnesota lake regions, unless the Twin Cities hold enough power with the Highway Department to retard the development of a highway that will allow out-of-state visitors to reach the Lake Region of the north over a good highway without traveling the traffic congested streets of the “Twins”.

The above information was reprinted from the Tri-County Messenger, March 25, 1937.

Highway No. 15 is now impassable

Emergency exists on road north from Kimball Village

The condition of Trunk Highway No. 15, north out of Kimball, still remains impassable as listed on the Highway Department bulletins. After last week’s snow, when the road became impassable for even teams, the maintenance men employed on that stretch of road were laid off and all efforts to open the road were abandoned. However, after a “bee” was organized by farmers and fellows in town, which group of men shoveled the snow out by hand, the maintenance men were put back to work. It should be noted that the men employed on the road assisted with the shoveling on their own time.

This particular stretch of highway is on the line of travel of two rural mail routes and a school bus route, besides being the only road available for travel to Kimball by many of the people living immediately north of Kimball. But even as important items as these failed to win any consideration from the men responsible for the maintenance of this piece of road.

Rumors are now current that, although a promise has been made to build this piece of road this year, that there is to be no improvement made on the road. Whether or not these rumors have any foundation, we have not been able to ascertain, however, no early contract has been let as promised and it leads many to doubt that any improvement will be made. Action of some sort is necessary and the Kimball Community Club could hardly find a more worthy project for community benefit, than to aggravate or agitate to any extent where some action is secured toward the building of this stretch of highway.

We are without sufficient information to determine whether or not Senator Rockne’s proposed investigation of the expenditures of the Highway Department is justified, but we would like the opportunity to conduct the Senator and the Highway Department heads as well over this stretch of No. 15, and we are sure they will all agree that no funds have been wasted at this point.

Reprinted from the Tri-County Messenger, April 1, 1937.

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Holiday memories are made of this. Thanks for making our seventh annual Holiday Potluck event another huge success Nov. 12. Time passes so quickly when we get to spend it with good friends like you.

We continue to seek pre-1900 photos we can copy of any original Maine Prairie Village buildings. All photos will be copied and returned to you intact.

For more information, membership, souvenir gifts, tax-exempt donation, your stories and photos, contact the Kimball Area Historical Society at Box 55, Kimball MN 55353, or call (320)
398-5250, or 398-5743, or e-mail:
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In two weeks,
it’s Thanksgiving – Enjoy.

When we count our blessings,
we count you.

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