Lake Lillian history #2
This page was published in the May 2012 issue of the Lake Lillian News

Most of this was found in the microfilm files of the Atwater Republican Press at the Minnesota History Center in St Paul. The country correspondents who originally authored or collected these items were not identified.

Mar 20 1914 ARP / SE Lake Elizabeth
Messrs. Gauer and Kilgore were around one day last week soliciting for the L.E.Line.. Richard John was around de horning cattle last Friday. He did not call at all the places as he was afraid he might catch diptheria. .. The state health inspectors visited the Riverside and Thorpe Schools last week. We do not know the results at this writing.
April 10 1914 ARP / SE Lake Elizabeth
We learn that Cosmos and Thorpe will each have a bank, which seems to be the first signs of the electric short line. (railroad)
April 10 1914 ARP / Cosmos
The large bank at Thorpe is nearly completed. It is being built on 4 wheels so it will be handy to haul it to the next station when the railroad comes. The cashier will probably be from Minneapolis.
April 20 1914 ARP / SE Lake Elizabeth
The bank at Thorpe opened for business last Monday... Jess Summerlet has purchased a "gas buggy" from Carney Brothers at Bird Island.
December 10 1915 ARP / Cosmos
The cosmos correspondent was at Hutchinson last Monday and had the pleasure of seeing the Luce Electric Railway. It goes just north of the mill and follows the river....
December 31 1915 ARP / Cosmos December 27
Last Monday we had the pleasure of attending an Electric short line meeting at the Thorpe School House. A representative of the line informed us that they would build through Lake Lillian, as the people of Lake Lillian had paid their pro rata share toward building the road ...... (Note that the Thorpe schoolhouse in those days was district 81N and located about 1.5 miles east of LL and on the south side of MN #7.)
April 21 1916 ARP / LL April 17
County Surveyor J.I. Rowate of Willmar is expected here in the near future for platting lots for the Lake Lillian Station on the Luce Electric Line.
June 29, 1923 ARP / article
Was Gala Day for Lake Lillian People
Thursday June 21, 1923 was a big day for the people living in the Lake Lillian territory, for on that day they celebrated the completion of the 30 mile extension of the Electric Short Line from Hutchinson to Lake Lillian. In the christening of the new rail road town of Lake Lillian many people along the line from Minneapolis to that point helped in the event. They boarded the special train carrying over 400 business men from the city who made the trip to celebrate the opening of the second extension. Aboard the train was the 135th Infantry Band, which played at the different towns of the line. Colonel Earl D Luce, president of the line, acted as host. The scene of the celebration was in Andrew Anderson Grove. Speeches were made by prominent city business men and officials as well as others representing the residents of the new section. The speach making followed a repast of good eats served to the visitors. The new towns are enjoying a boom and banks, stores, elevators, garages etc. are springing up.

My notes follow:
The Andrew Anderson Grove was located at the southeast corner of the T at the Lake. It was used as a park where events like Memorial Day, Midsummer and 4th of July were celebrated with programs and speeches. My guess is that the last big event was prior to WWII. Henry and Ione Wittman now live there in a house he built in 1963.

The following panoramic picture of about 200 people was taken about 89 years ago and may have been taken at the gala day in June 1923 near the lake. About a dozen of the people have tickets attached and many are carrying coats. People wore suits and best clothes to outdoor reunions and gatherings in those days.

The photo was found in a collection of family pictures handed down from my uncle Leo Gauer to his son Warren now living in Willmar. It shows several of my East Lake Lillian relatives: Clarence Gauer, Glen Gauer, Ellen Gauer, and an Anderstrom.

Click the image to load a very Large version and Let me know if you can help to identify these people. ca 1923