Redwood Falls Gazette
  • A trio of the town’s finest

  • When was this photo shot; well, there are a few facts that can help to pinpoint the date or provide a timeframe as to when this photo was taken....
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  • The police officer in the middle of this photo (right) was Clarence Johnson, chief of police of Redwood Falls. The officer on the right was Claus Maurstad and the younger officer, on the left, would you believe was Tom Arnett, Jr.. When was this photo shot? Well, there are a few facts that can help to pinpoint the date or provide a timeframe as to when this photo was taken.
    Claus Maurstad died Jan. 4, 1947, so we know it was before 1947. From reading some stories a cousin of mine wrote some time back, the impression is it may have been taken in the mid to late 1930s. It was probably taken before Tom Arnett, Jr. enlisted in the Army Aug. 27, 1943 at Fort Snelling. Clarence E. Johnson was born Nov. 22, 1893 in Balaton, Lyon County. He lived with his family in Balaton, attended country schools and later attended the police academy and barber school in Minneapolis. During World War I, he served as an Army cook while stationed in France. On May 26, 1917 he married Ann Marie Gubrud in Tracy and lived in Little Rock, Lyon County in 1930. They lived in various communities before moving to Redwood Falls. They ran a hamburger shop in the Burris Building in about the year 1931 and then sold out to Herman Arndt and opened a shop at Renville called the Night-hawk Cafe. They farmed for a few years and operated the Home Cafe at New London for six years. They also moved to North Redwood where Clarence operated a truck farm for several years. On March 30, 1935 they opened the Silver Dime Cafe on Second Street in the Burris building. In 1940, Clarence and his wife lived in Redwood Falls, and then in 1941 they had moved to Aitkin County. In 1945 they moved back to Redwood Falls, and in 1948 they resided at 412 East Second Street. He was the police chief in Redwood Falls for 16 years, at two different times – once while E. A. Johnson was mayor. E. A. Johnson served as mayor from April 1951 to 1957. At other times Clarence Johnson and his wife operated the Cozy Nook Cafe on Mill Street and the Coffee Kup Cafe on South Street, which they established. Later it was re-named the Tin Street Cafe. C. E. and his wife were the parents of three girls: Dorothy Marie, Thorine Clarice and JoAnne. Clarence Eddie Johnson died April 10, 1992. He had almost reached the age of 100. Claus Maurstad was born Nov. 19, 1877 at Nord Fiord, Norway. He attended high school at Bergen and entered a military school there. After his graduation, he was commissioned a sergeant in Norway’s army and spent several years drilling recruits. In 1903, when he was 24 years old he sailed to the United States, came immediately to southwestern Minnesota and worked as a farm hand in the Delhi community. Maurstad married Lena Molstad at Delhi Nov. 28, 1908. He served as deputy to Redwood County Sheriff L. J. Kise for 12 years and then joined the Red-wood Falls police department. Claus L. Maurstad died Jan. 4, 1947 in Red-wood Falls. Thomas “Tom” Arnett, Jr. was born May 7, 1911 in Redwood Falls. He was son of Thomas Arnett, Sr. and his wife, Daffodil Sophia Scoates. Tom Arnett, Jr. married Naydean Geraldine Reese at Lake Lillian Aug. 17, 1940. They lived in Redwood Falls all of their married life. She was employed at Herrold’s Shoe Store for 27 years; I believe, working for Carl and Effie Farnberg. Tom had built their home at 111 West Flynn Street with his own two hands. He was a very good carpenter. Tom and Nay-dean had one daughter: Betty Jo. Naydean died June 15, 1971 at Miller Hospital, St. Paul. Later, Tom Arnett, Jr. married Mrs. Leona (Woods) Weeks. In the 1930s, he was a police officer in Redwood Falls and then a bus driver for the Redwood Falls schools. He also owned the fleet of school buses. Tom Arnett, Jr. died Aug. 14, 1998 in Redwood Falls.
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