Today when we want to hop in the car, insert the key in the ignition and fire up the engine we take it all for granted. But it was
as little as 100 years ago when cars were a novelty in central Minnesota and especially the rural areas.
One of the first accounts written of the automobile’s emergence to the Watkins area was penned in 1911 in the diary of the late Rev. Nicholas Donnay, who grew up on a farm near town. Excerpts from that diary were published in the Watkins Centennial history book entitled “The First 100 Years.”
John Steman is manager of big tract in Maine Prairie Town
Text taken from the Daily Journal-Press, St. Cloud, March 20, 1928. Reprinted from the Tri-County News Thursday, Sept. 20, 2001.
Stearns County boasts of many wonderful farms equipped with every facility to properly conduct such institutions.
Among these, none are more worthy of commendable mention than that of Wm. Bros, located on Trunk Highway 24, a mile northeast of what is known as Maine Prairie Corners. This farm comprises 480 acres, and is given over largely to the raising of blooded milk strain short horn cattle. This farm is probably one of the best in the county, and is under the capable management of John Steman, a practical farmer who has spent all of his life in this branch of husbandry. He is a native of Minnesota, and was raised in Meeker County, locating on the Bros farm some six years ago.
Come to the Stearns History Museum from 10:30-noon Saturday, March 16, to enjoy a cup of coffee and a conversation with Bill Morgan, author of Earth, Wood, Stone Volume II. Bill will talk about how the book came to be and why, then he’ll take questions and lead discussion about local history.
Many of you know Bill through his fascinating articles in the St. Cloud Times, or as the beloved retired history professor from St. Cloud State University. Bill is an authority on architectural structures and a gifted storyteller. This book is a compilation of stories about historical places in our area, with the Morgan touch! Bill will be autographing copies of his books (available at the Museum Gift Shop).
Cost is free to members, $5 to non-members. Location is Stearns History Museum and Research Center at 235 S. 33rd Avenue, St. Cloud, MN 56301.
Major Highlights for the Week
Wednesday, March 4, 1863
The U.S. Congress adjourned. Fighting occurred at Unionville, Tenn., and at Independent Hill in Prince William County, Va., Federal forces moved from Franklin to Spring Hill, Tenn. The Federal cavalry escaped after being surrounded by Confederates under Brigadier General Nathan Bedford Forrest and Major General Earl Van Dorn.
It is that time of year when winter is getting a tad old and we all are looking forward to spring and the wondrous things that come with it, including baseball. Spring training is under way for the pros, and it won’t be long until the local boys of summer, our town teams, take to the field.
Looking back in history, baseball has always played a prominent role in Watkins. One of the earliest teams in town history played in what was known as the Great Soo League and dates back to 1926. Charter teams were Watkins, Eden Valley, Holdingford, Albany, Paynesville, Waite Park, St. Joseph, and St. Anthony Parish of St. Cloud.