Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Wednesday Club

     Every town must have a "ladies" group whose sole purpose is to meet and strengthen the bonds of sisterhood.  We have many in my small town of South St Paul (including the Mid-Week Study group, not to be confused with the Monday Study group) and they have been in existance for 70 or more years.  So I found it amusing when I came across this article written in the  Warren sheaf, February 20, 1902.



     The Members of the Warren Club Royally Entertained by the Argyle Ladies.

     EDITOR SHEAF:—Wednesday morning, January 12th, when the bells chimed the hour often in Warren, women could be seen coming
     from every direction, some came with their arms full of books, some with satchels and some with bags full of something, which I found
     out later was literature, and others with rolls after the manner of the Egyptians.  All were apparently in great haste and going in the same
     direction, toward the Great Northern Depot. By breaking my former record of speed I managed to reach the depot platform just as the
     Secretary of Wednesday Club arrived. The thought came to me that they must be having a meeting up the line somewhere and the secretary
     being young and inexperienced would be glad to give me the job of reporting the meeting.  When she had sufficiently recovered from her
     race with the train to be able to speak, she told me there was to be a meeting in Argyle and I was installed as reporter at once, was to pay
     my own car fare up and back, and they would board me.

     During the day many people in Warren remarked the unusual quiet the city was enjoying which led to the inquiry, why? Why, thirteen

     women had gone to Argyle that morning. The Wednesday Club were invited to meet with Mrs. Hunter, (who has been a member for years),

     And thirteen of these literary lights had accepted the invitation: it was these women that tried their speed down the street and through the

     alleys en-route to the depot.  The train came in due time and all were soon as comfortable as could be in a-crowded  coach. Some of the
     ladies were so very pleasantly situated, they seemed quite reluctant to leave the car, but when the precious burden was deposited in Argyle,
     all responded to roll call.

     Mr. Hunter met the delegation and piloted us through the city to his home, satchels, bags, bundles, rolls, and papers, all safe.  We received
     such a hearty welcome from our old friends and neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. Hunter, it made us feel doubly glad to be there.  After the hand
     shaking was through with the book, bundles, rolls, were safely put away for future reference, and each had been informed that the others
     were either well or not very well, or somewhat better, and the weather had been sufficiently discussed, we were invited to lay aside our
     work and repair to the dining room, where the table was laid for the crowd. It would be easier for me to say what was not on the table
     than what was there. The menu covered all the delicacies of the season which we enjoyed to the fullest extent. (It was at this time I
     began to realize what a bargain I had struck getting my office as reporter.)

     The dining room was very handsome and appropriately decorated.  Mrs. Erikson produced a most elegant card, an appropriate drawing

     on the front and name of guest on the back, with national colors, forming in all a very unique and attractive souvenir of the occasion.

     After the dinner was over this constellation of eloquence, beauty and adornment was placed under the the guiding hand of Mrs. Hunter,

     who had charge of program.

     When our tasks for the day were ended and the clock struck the hour of four, (several ladies of Argyle were present to hear the program),
     all were invited with us, to Mrs. Melgaard for lunch. There was no time to lose before train.  Mrs. Melgaard has a lovely home

     and her table was laden with more good things than I can tell you about, everything au fait.  While we feasted we were cheered

     by piano music and all went merry until time for us to leave. Every minute of that day was thoroughly enjoyed. Women, books, bags
     and bundles were all safe in Warren Wednesday evening. The only regret was that the day didn't contain more hours.


Although the little touches of elegance or protocal may have changed, not much else has. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

25th Anniversary of the Jensen's

While perusing through old newspapers the other day I came upon this notice of my great grandparents anniversary party.  It was in the Warren Sheaf., December 02, 1914, page 6.

"Last Sunday afternoon, Mr. and Mrs. Martin Jensen were made the victims of a pleasant surprise by a best of their neighbors and friends.  The occasion for this event, was the 25th, or silver wedding anniversary of Mr. and Mrs. Jensen. From about two o'clock in the afternoon until almost dark people were arriving at the Jensen home, each bringing vessel well filled with the very choicest of viands the land affords, which were placed on a long table stretching the full length of the spacious dining room, presenting a sight calculated to tempt the appetite of the most fastidious. And it would be but mildly stated, to say that all present did ample justice toward relieving that table of its great burden, and at the same time filling an empty void.

"After all had partaken to their hearts as well as stomach's delight, many basketsful of fragments remained. Supper being over, and everything cleared away the young folks engaged in music and various games and thus spent the time in a pleasant manner, while the men discussed all the topics pertaining to farming from the raising of alfalfa, clover, hogs and corn, and wound up on the outcome of the great European war, while the topics discussed by better halves, as overheard in part, was mostly concerning hats, frocks and pretty babies, and the price of poultry.  Well, maybe they did converse about other matters that we failed to catch.

"The bride and groom of a quarter of a-century, were the recipients of many beautiful presents appropriate to the occasion. At a late hour of the evening, after the self-invited guests had expressed their wishes for many years more of connevial bliss, they took their departure, realizing that it was good to have been there. Following is a list of the families represented at this gathering: S. J. Grandstrand and family; J. W. Swanson and family; C. E. Johnson and family; C. Poison and family; L. C. Jorgenson and family; J. W. Field and family; A. Lundin and family; S, Lundin and family; S. P. Jensen and family; Nels Jensen and family: Jens Jensen and family; Hans and Mrs. Christofferson, Mrs. Christofferson and daughters, of Stephen; Joseph Thorkildson and sister; Miss Magda, John Jensen and Jens Hanson."

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Martin Jensen's 2nd wife

For many years I have tried to find information on the second wife of my great grandfather, Martin Jensen.  I have a photo of 2 women in a picture that my grandmother claims is Minnie and her daughter, but I have yet to confirm or find notice of a daughter born to Wilhelmina Louise Mott. 

But today, while going through some old newspapers on-line, I came across 2 articles about Mrs Martin Jensen. 

Mott-Jensen Nuptials
Married three weeks ago at Thief River Falls, Martin Jensen, veteran rural carrier out of the Stephen office, kept his matrimonial alliance a secret from his friends at this point until the forepart of the present week, when a box of fragrant "perfectos" made their appearance simultaneously with an announcement of the event.  The bride was Mrs. Wilhelmina Louise Mott, a former Thief River Falls resident, and the wedding ceremony was performed by the Rev. Chas. Geflinger at his home in that city, on Tuesday, September 26. The bride and groom were unattended, and came to Stephen immediately after the ceremony, to make their home in Mr. Jensen's home just south of town. Stephen people will extend a hearty welcome to the bride, together with every good wish for the happiness and prosperity of the newlyweds.

Warren Sheaf, October 25, 1922, page 2

Coroner Clarence Hiaasen was called to Stephen Monday to ascertain the cause of the sudden death of Mrs. Martin Jensen. Mrs. Jensen was doing her household duties as usual Monday morning when she suddenly fell dead. At the coroner's examination the cause of death was attributed to acute dilation of the heart. Mr. and Mrs. Jensen had been married for only two months, and the sympathy of
many friends in this vicinity goes out to Mr. Jensen for his sad bereavement.
—Argyle Banner.

Warren Sheaf, November 29, 1922, page 5

My next move is to research Thief River Falls for more information on the Motts.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The "S" Club of South St Paul

     "Members of the South St. Paul High School "S" Club are initiating a program to raise funds in order to assist with expenses due to unusual athletic injuries incurred by local athletes.  The first project by the "S" Club members will be a "Rollin Glewwe Night" slated for Thursday, November 30, at the High school gymnasium.
          Rollin, 17, an outstanding member of the football team was hospitalized due to an              unusual injury and will be the first athlete aided under the new "S" club program.  He is
the son of Mr. and Mrs. Reuben Glewwe of 147 Fifteenth Avenue South."
     A gala evening is in prospect with teams composed of local High school football players and "S" club members battling it out on the basketball court.  Following the cage conflict the Jimmy Gerald orchestra will take over the festivities to furnish music for a dance.
     The game will start at 7:30 p.m. with tickets for the worthy "S" club project to be made available in the near future.  Other organizations in this city have signified their intentions of co-operating in making the initial effort a success."  SSP Daily Reporter, November 18, 1950, pg 4.

And what a great night it was.  It made the paper all week leading up to the big event.  Rollin, who was recovering at home was told by two of his teammates "not to worry about Joan, they would escort her to the dance."  And what a dance they had. 


The "S" Club handed Rollin's parents $500 to be used to help defray the costs of his injuries and stays in the hospital.  In a letter written by his folks to the "S" club they wrote,     "Dear Bernie:  We are very grateful to your splendid organization for the noble service they have rendered in collecting funds to help defray the expenses incurred during the time our son Rollin was hospitalized because of an unusual injury received while playing football with the local high school team.  Rollin's recovery thus far has been a miracle and he joins us in expressing his gratitude toward every member of the club for their unselfish and untiring efforts to accomplish what has been done.  We wish continued success to the S Club in promoting such worthy projects, but hope that never again become necessary to solicit funds for a similar cause.  Here's wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  Sincerely yours, Mr & Mrs Reuben Glewwe

Monday, September 24, 2012

Hall of Fame (part 2)

     Rollin Glewwe, high school football standout and down for the count......

     The other day, Rol in talking with his fellow teammate, Allan Stalmasik Elder , and mentioned that Allan had told him about what had happened during that Stillwater game back on Friday, October 13, 1950.  Allan remembers Rol playing the first half of the game and going back to the locker room during halftime.  While returning to the field, Rol had mentioned to Al that he was feeling woozy and was going to ask to sit out for the opening kickoff.  Al then told Rol that the next time he looked up, Rol was be taken off the field in an ambulance.
     Rol was taken to Riverview Memorial Hospital that night and for the next 10 days he would be a patient.  And while he was awake and resting, the problems persisted.  He would get weaker and his nosebleeds were increasing as the week wore on.  By the end of his ten day stay, he was losing all feeling in his body and was partially paralyzed.  The decision was made to transfer him to the Charles T Miller Hospital, also in St. Paul, MN. 

     It was here that Dr Robert L Merrick would make the discovery that had been keeping Rollin from recovering from his concussion.  Dr Merrick, who went on to become the chief neurosurgeon with the University of Minnesota, came in early Saturday morning and asked Rol if he was left-handed.  Up till now, the doctors had been looking for blood clots on the right hand side of the brain and would come up empty.  As Rol's condition was worsening, the doctors were stumped.  With Rol's answer in the affirmative, surgery was set up immediately with the doctors now looking on the left hand side of the brain.  It seems that left handed people's brains affect the function of the left hand side of the body.  The surgery took from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. in the afternoon.  Rollin was given many transfusions and what followed was many days of continual bleeding and convulsions.  His father, Reuben, wrote in his journal on November 2nd, that "Rol's speech was improving" and they were "very much encouraged."
    Rollin was released from the hospital on November 11, 1950, one month from when he took that first hit.

    But there is more to this story.  One about his great grandmother, Ursula Marxer, and one about the "S" Club and how this injury changed their mission.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Hall of Fame (part 1)

     Five years ago, the South St Paul High School Athletic Department started a Hall of Fame for past graduates who went on and made a name for themselves either in athletics/coaching or other endeavors and how participation in activities contributed to their career.  For such a small school district (3500 students total), but large in years of existence, (since 1853 when it was a mission school for the Kaposia Indian village), we have had a good number of students go forth and become famed athletes.  Such football notables like Jim Carter with the Green Bay Packers, Jim LeClair with the Cincinnati Bengals, and Stan Kostka with the Brooklyn Dodgers.  Or take the hockey standouts such as Warren Miller who played for Canada and the NY Rangers. Or Phil Housley, leading all-time scorer until recently, who played for the Buffalo Sabres as well as the Toronto Maple Leafs.  We've had our share of good coaches too, Doug Woog, who went on to coach for the U of MN and was the assistant coach for the US Olympics in 1984 to "Lefty" Smith, who went on to coach for Notre Dame.

     Not all high school stars continued on with their athletic careers though.  One case in point is my dad, Rollin Glewwe.  He was considered a high school stand out.  His position on the team was center and also captain.  The football team won the MN State Football Championship in 1949 and Rol was up for the All-Suburban Center for that year.  They had a strong team and 1950 was looking to be another banner year. 

    The first big loss was handed to the team at the Friday night game on September 22, 1950.  Anoka Tornadoes won the game 20-0, handing the South St Paul Packers their first defeat in twelve games, something that had not happened since 1948.  The following week, the Packers crushed White Bear Lake by the same score, 20-0.  Facing the Hastings gridders the next week, the Packers blasted through, winning 19-6. 

     But it was during the next week that things began to change.  Practice had began as usual for the Packers.  Rol took his place as center and the scrimmage began.  When I questioned him about this practice and did he remember getting hit, he responded that he had been hit and thought he had pulled a muscle in his back.  He also mentioned that during practice, the players did not always wear helmets.  By Thursday, Coach John Kulbitski, in an article in the local paper, reported that "Rollin Glewwe, starting center and outstanding linebacker, had strained his back and may not start tomorrow night.  In case the star performer is benched, he will be replaced by Keith Wells." (South St Paul Daily Reporter, vol. 58, no. 92, Oct 12, 1950, p4).

     It was October, Friday the 13th, 1950, when the South St Paul Packers trampled the Stillwater Ponies 35-0 and gained the first place lead in the suburban conference.  The following week they would play St Thomas Academy.  Homecoming was slated for Friday, October 27, and one of the girls up for Homecoming Queen was my mother, Joan Brossoit.

     Rol, wanting to play and still benched by a nagging back problem, went to the doctor.  While there, it was determined that Rol had suffered a concussion as by now his arms were tingling and were becoming numb.    Rol started in the Stillwater game but did not see it through to its finish.........

    Wednesday, October 16th, the headline on page 4 of the local paper read "Rollin Glewwe Out For Season.  A pall of gloom hung over SSP High school today when it was announced that Rollin Glewwe, first string football center and All-Suburban candidate for 1949 at that berth, was not expected to play for the rest of the season.  Coach John Kulbitski said this morning that a temporary  injury was forcing the benching of the top-notch athlete and that he would be badly missed."

      Homecoming night pitted the SSP Packers against Columbia Heights Heighters, with the ending score South St Paul winning 25-6.  It was the last game for the team's fullback Harold "Pinky" Pawlik, as he would be ineligible to play any remaining games due to his age.  But he made it a great game, with SSP rushing for 396 yards to Heights, 75. 

    Four members of the SSP football team were named to the All-Suburban Football team that last week in October, tackle Allan Stelmasik, backs Eddie Helseth and Harold Pawlik and center, Rollin Glewwe.  In the news article it said that "Rollin Glewwe, now hospitalized and seeing only limited action in the Stillwater game and none in the Columbia Heights encounter, impressed all with his prowess in both offensive and defensive  capacities during three earlier league contests to gain a berth on the All-Suburban team."

The SSP "Packers Crush Robbinsdale 33-0 in Season's Finale" was the headline for the last game of the season.  In three years, the football team had only lost one game, and for one player his last game.