posted September 2022

by Gary Gauer

Lake Lillian in 1923
a Gala Day

This page was published in the October 2022 issue of the Lake Lillian News

The village of Lake Lillian began at its present site in 1923 when the Luce Line railroad was extended into southern Kandiyohi County after being desired and anticipated for many years..

Surveying for lots and streets in the future town started in 1916 when the rails from Minneapolis reached Hutchinson.  Railroad financing problems during WWI caused a delay so nothing was built or moved in to Lake Lillian until the railroad finally came in 1923 .

June 29, 1923 ARP / an article in Atwater Republican Press :

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 speech 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.

ca 1923

The photo above was copied from

"The First 100 Years 1864 - 1964" published by the Lake Lillian Civic and Commerce Association edited by Clarence Lund.

I wonder if a better copy of the photo still exists.

June 21 1923 was the Gala Day in Lake Llllian and the photo below was at the Anders Anderson Grove located just south of the lake where Henry Wittman lives.

ca 1923

On my Lake Lillian / Gauer Family History site you can see a very Large version of this panoramic photo. I recognize some of my dad's family. Let me know if you can help to identify some of these people.

The village government was established by vote in 1926 and thereby separated from the townships of Lake Lillian and East Lake Lillian. 

The 50 year anniversary was celebrated in 1973 as detailed extensively in the Lake Lillian Crier issues of August 23 and August 30 1973.