75 Years Ago
A focus on businesses
A lot of building occurred in the late 1930s, the WPA time frame. Morris saw a boom during this time; here are a few of those achievements:
Completion of the front of the new Red Owl Store building on Atlantic Avenue has occupied most of the past week as the task of preparing the store for occupancy reached its final stages. Though work on the structure will not be entirely completed by Saturday evening, the public will at that time have its first opportunity to inspect the interior of the building on the occasion of the dance being given under the auspices of the local Legion post. No definite date has yet been set as to when the local Red Owl Store will move into its new home. (Taken from the Morris Tribune of November 5, 1937) The November 19, 1937 Morris Tribune stated that this particular date was the first day of business.
Another grand achievement seen on main street and other streets of businesses in 1937 was new street lights which were called "new white way." The Morris Tribune of Nov. 12, 1937 states a local prominent physician, who was the most active commission member for a white way system, pulls the switch: The completion of the white way marks the attainment of a goal long desired by residents of the city and is another step in the very definite growth and progress that Morris has enjoyed in recent years. The white way system itself is of the most modern design and one of the most attractive to be found in any city in the state. The posts are of hollow-spun granite of graceful design topped by a large single globe. There are a total of 75 posts in the complete system, with the two principle business blocks of the city, from Fifth Street to Seventh Street, having the largest number of units per block with eight in each block. The white way on Atlantic Avenue extends from the highway department building to 10th street. An informal program last evening heralded the completion of the white way and the turning on of the lights for the first time. To Dr. C.E. Caine, dean of Morris' medical fraternity and member of the city commission, went the honor of pulling the switch which turned on the new lights.
Another major addition to Morris occurred this year, the Morris Post Office:
The Morris Tribune of Oct. 29, 1937 mentioned this project: The $50,000 post office project, the largest building job in the city for a number of years, has reached that stage where the attractive appearance and convenience that will mark the completed structure is clearly indicated. The crew of the West Central Construction Company, general contractors on the building, finished the exterior brick-laying some time ago and are now putting on the roof of the structure. With the building enclosed before cold weather set in, the inside work will continue steadily during the winter. In addition, work on that street will include widening the street an additional ten feet in that block.
Nov. 26, 1937 Morris Tribune mentions an addition to a business also on Atlantic Avenue: A double celebration combining the formal opening of the recently built addition to the Home Builders Company hardware store with the Christmas opening of the enlarged store will be staged on Saturday, Nov. 27, according to an announcement by the company. The new addition to the firm's store quarters is 26 feet by 36 feet attractively finished in stucco to harmonize with the main structure. The addition makes the complete store an L-shaped building with a total length of 86 feet, and provides needed space for the display of the large hardware and home appliance stock carried by the firm. The addition doubles the previous floor space in the store. The Home Builders Company has also done considerable other building in its yards during the past several months, erecting a new lumber shed, a new cement shed, a new warehouse, and five new coal sheds.
60 Years Ago
Items taken from the Tribune of September 5, 1952
Dr. Watson, formerly with the Bratrud Clinic in Thief River Falls but more recently with the United States military forces, has come to Morris and will be associated with his father-in-law, Dr. A.I. Arneson, in the practice of medicine here. Mrs. Watson is the former Ruth Arneson. The couple has three daughters.
Enrollment in the Morris public schools when the new term opened Wednesday just edged the 1,000-mark, the first day total hitting 1,001, reports Supt. Frank Fox. It is by a considerable margin the largest enrollment in the history of the local schools and will likely climb a little higher as a result of late registration. Thus, two years after the completion and opening of the new grade-high school addition, the school buildings are beginning to "bust out at the seams" again because of the steadily increasing enrollment.
Something new has been added at the Morris high school athletic field. The "something new" are bleachers, capable of seating 800 persons, which have been set up for use by Tiger football fans.
The Wartman Garage, which has been located at 510 West 5th Street, is being moved to the building at 405 Atlantic Avenue, formerly occupied by the Kolling Motors and prior to that by Breck-Dickey Motors. The work of moving the equipment and setting it up in the new location will be completed by Saturday of this week, according to "Butch" Wartman, proprietor.
If anyone has any pictures of Morris businesses of any kind, no matter if buildings are partially obscured, that you are willing to use for publication, please either drop them off at the Morris Sun Tribune office or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Permission to use the pictures must be granted. Pictures that are dropped off at the office will be returned within a reasonably short period of time.