Backward Glances: Redwood man links 128-foot gum wrapper chain

Joshua Dixon
Redwood Falls High School vocational agriculture teacher Ben Broberg (center) received a plaque from Northern States Power company noting his 20 years service as an ag teacher at the Valley Steak House in North Redwood, as seen in this photo that first appeared in the Oct. 20, 1970 Redwood Gazette. Presenting the plaque were NSP Sales Supervisor Reed Just (left), NSP Rural Relations Supervisor Russell Stansfield (standing) and RFHS Superintendent Thomas Lykins (right).

50 years ago

October 1970

• A member of the third graduating class in Redwood Falls, Elizabeth (Bissell) Luedtke, of the Redwood Falls Class of 1888, celebrated her 100th birthday while living in a nursing home in Fairmont.

• The vocational training center in Redwood Falls was looking into offering “farm cooperative” courses for eligible veterans of the Vietnam or Korean wars.

• The Redwood Falls Mother of Twin Club meeting was at 8 p.m. Monday, in the basement of the State Bank.

• After Richard Heiling was injured doing maintenance on a pole barn, his friends turned out with four combines, four pickers, four plows, three choppers, seven trucks and four tractors to harvest his entire crop in one afternoon.

• Redwood Falls High School displayed its latest technology: white boards in the science rooms that could be written on with marker, and that could also double as screens for projected movies and as bulletin boards with magnets.

• The federal Department of the Interior added the Lower Sioux Agency site to the National Register of Historic Places.

• St. Anne School announced changes in the dress code: boys were allowed to wear any type of slacks except blue jeans and shirts designed to be worn with slacks must be tucked in. Girls were permitted to wear “...flirts, culottes, dress pantsuits, scooter skirts and pantdresses.”

25 years ago

October 1995

• The day he left to his retirement home in Florida, Redwood Falls businessman Martin Ehlers, 86, confirmed he was the mystery man who had already donated nearly $2 million dollars to local good causes such as the public library and RFHS scholarship funds.

• Redwood County Extension Educator Wayne Hansen returned from two weeks representing the United States teaching American ag practices at a university in Krasnodar, Russia.

• It was 21 years in the making, but Michael Knutson decided it was time to display his creation to the world: a 128 foot long chain made of 3,301 silver Wrigley’s gum wrappers he had started creating one day in high school, when he was bored, had a couple sticks of gum with him and needed something to do. Knutson acknowledged many of the silver gum wrappers were found on the streets of Minneapolis when he was attending trade school there.

10 years ago

October 2010

• Ham radio operator Harry Johnson used the home-built radio equipment in his Redwood Falls basement to stay in touch with other radio operators all over the world.