Looking Back

Compiled by Joan Isaacs from the files of the Deer River Newspapers.

110 Years Ago—A packed house of proud parents and others witnessed the best entertainment ever given by the school children of Deer River. Principal Miss Eastman and Prof. Reid were justly proud of their success with the children. Deaths: Mrs. F.L. Vance died in her home in township 149-27. The Vance family lived in Deer River for four years before locating on their present homestead.

100 Years Ago—The Minneapolis & Rainy River railroad will begin carrying mail to post offices on the line from Deer River. A new Institute of Arts is opening in Minneapolis on 10 acres of donated land on 24th Street between Stevens and Third Ave. The complete building is expected to cost about $3 million. O.M. Bye of Jesse Lake and his brother have entered the real estate business and opened up a general store at Jesse Lake.

90 Years Ago—The local Deer River High School debate team wins. It is composed of Roger Harmon, Mabel Johnson and Evelyn Hoffner. Mrs. J.W. Dysart returned from Minneapolis where she has been a patient at the University Hospital. Deaths: Mrs. A.J. Morisset, who came to this vicinity in 1903.

80 Years Ago—The former Herreid Clothing Store building is to be remodeled by Harmond who plans to move his cafe there. Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Osufson, son Clifford and daughter Frances of Oslund leave on motor trip through southern states and plan to go as far south as Florida.

70 Years Ago—The pupils at West Oteneagen school under the direction of Mrs. Conrad Rasmussen, had a Christmas program and were able to use the new electric lights that were installed just last week. Members of Clara Lutheran Church have discussed moving Clara Church into Deer River. In January the congregation will be asked to vote on whether they wish to hold meetings for the remainder of the winter in Deer River Village Hall. In the Service: Harold (Milford) Jones of Spring Lake is reported missing in action. Maynard Tubbs is wounded in action for the second time, first in Italy and is now in the hospital in North Africa.

60 Years Ago—H.H. (Doc) Parmeter, Deer River, renews his subscription to the Deer River News for the 57th time. Paul Christian, operator of Willow Beach resort, and wife Millie were unhurt when their plane crashed near Eveleth. Escaping injuries in separate accidents when their vehicles went through the ice were Paul Christian, Lester Voight and his son, Elmer, and brothers Mike and Bob Sparks.

50 Years Ago—There are two new businesses in Deer River: Formen Lumber Co., Inc. is being formed by Milton and Don Drotts and Clarence Hedquist; also the Evergreen Land Company, a firm that will operate and manage a real estate business and buy, sell and process wild rice. It was formed by M.J. and W.R. Salisbury and F.I. Moore, all of Grand Rapids.

40 Years Ago—First National Bank of Deer River advertisement explains “Individual Retirement Accounts.” The Congress passed a Pension Reform Law in 1974 establishing IRAs. The contributions could not exceed $1,500 per year and were tax deductible. The First National Bank was paying 7 1/2 percent interest on savings and accounts were insured up to $40,000. Lois Bunker and Patricia Hoff of Deer River attend Income Tax short course in Minneapolis.

30 Years Ago—One Act play students in Deer River are: Maggie Hageman, Greg Winter, Chris Olson, Dave Cartwright, Kris Palmer, Jim Sweedman, Jill Olsen, Mike Riehle, Pam Mackley and Joy Craven. Stacie Braford is first place winner of “Voice of Democracy” contest. Second was Brian Smith and third Karen Puddicombe. Effie’s fifth and sixth grade band participated in the Bigfork-Effie Winter concert. Solos were performed by Aric Streeter, Kim Huju, Heather Nixon and Michael Latterell. The cost of liquor insurance could affect the future of the Deer River municipal liquor store.

20 Years Ago—Itasca County Board turned down a request to add a $15 service fee to county homeowner’s taxes. Terry Greenside from the Solid Waste Department told the board the department is $367,000 short of meeting their budget for 1995. Yvonne Wilson was named to fill an unexpired term on the Community Memorial Hospital board, replacing Mable Heinlein who resigned in October. Dolly Satko of Deer River is winner of a 13-inch color television from Deer River Telephone Company’s Christmas Open House.

10 Years Ago—The Red Kettle Campaign collected $3,338.75 for the Salvation Army this year. Ninety-six volunteers from six organizations manned the kettles. Itasca County was one of the counties receiving grants from the Emergency Food and Shelter (EFS) Program. It received $34,068. Children First! New Year’s events funded by a Blandin Foundation initiative were held at Squaw Lake, Inger and Ball Club. The official temperature registered at the Bigfork Airport listed a low of -23 degrees on the evening of Dec. 23 and early morning of Dec. 24. The wind chill brought this down to the -40 range.

Logging was a major winter industry in the Deer River area in the early 1900s. The message on the back of this postcard is: “This is a load of pulpwood for Itasca Paper Mill. We have shipped over 1500 cds and still have some besides the logs. Mr. Wallace just sold 2,000,000 ft. to Big mill at a pretty price. They cut about 7,000,000 ft. at our camps this season.” The Itasca Paper Mill was located in Zemple on the shore of White Oak Lake.
Logging was a major winter industry in the Deer River area in the early 1900s. The message on the back of this postcard is: “This is a load of pulpwood for Itasca Paper Mill. We have shipped over 1500 cds and still have some besides the logs. Mr. Wallace just sold 2,000,000 ft. to Big mill at a pretty price. They cut about 7,000,000 ft. at our camps this season.” The Itasca Paper Mill was located in Zemple on the shore of White Oak Lake.