A Few Gentle Reminders to be Pondered over. We Need a General “Shaking-up”- - Let’s Start Early. -------------------------------------by Tribune Printing Co., editor: Joe Phillips Mazeppa is certainly not booming-- in fact this was never true of her--but for several years past she has not seemed to advance much in growth. Notwithstanding this fact, however, we feel that we can point with pride to several things about our community (it would be wrong to mention anything to the contrary) and its general condition of prosperity during the past few years. A small town and not in direct communication--connection would better express the idea--with the larger centers and markets of our section of the country, we have been hampered in the way of freight rates, etc., and many of the inducements which would otherwise attract capital to so fertile and wealthy a country as are the three extremes of Goodhue, Olmsted and Wabasha counties, which are tributary to Mazeppa. Nevertheless, we are today as wealthy, as sound and as prosperous a community as you will be able to find anywhere in the state. Have we any paupers in our midst? No. Have we had a single business failure in the past five years? No, if our memory serves us correctly. Have you noticed that ninety-nine per cent of our farmers have been advancing steadily toward the goal of success, while the other one per cent are struggling to get further into debt? Yes. Have you seen anything but a general, steady prosperity among our citizens? Better living, better clothes and better homes as the years advance? No. Well, then, why shouldn’t we have more business establishments here; more laboring people and more growth? Reasons are plenty, but one stands out so boldly as to defy ignorance: we have made no attempt to secure them. Because the mill, which was being only partially worked, was burned; because the dam which was only a relic of former grandeur and better days, went out with last season’s freshet; because the elevator which received most of the grain formerly raised in this section was also burned, is no reason why the town should blow out her lights and retire from the procession of live hustling villages of the state. The elevator has been replaced by the plants of the R.E. Jones Co. and Maas & Co. These concerns have proven that they are amply able to care for and receive all the productions of the farmers of this vicinity. Thus the elevator has been replaced by two live, active firms. The mill is a goner, still Mr. Comstock has again proven his faith in our village by remodeling and repairing the custom mill, formerly owned and operated by Hager & Preble, so we have a mill. But the dam? Well ____ it, what good was it anyway after the mill burned? We can get along without it. The row of frame buildings burned after the mill fire have been replaced by a substantial brick building built by Taft & Co. That is the extent of our building record for the past three years---business buildings we refer to. Now if we do not testify to our own confidence in the town how can we expect others to come here and invest their money? During the past ten years our business transactions have increased two-fold. Why? Because our merchants, our dealers of all descriptions, are carrying stocks far in advance of those carried in the towns around us. They are pushing their business and as a result are drawing trade which belongs to other towns. Still we are not growing in point of buildings, etc. The year 1893 has been a hard one, financially, and not much of an advance was to be expected, but the year 1894 is going to be as bad in one sense, for the reaction has made every business man realize that he must lie close for a time. Good crops for our section the coming season will show a wonderful state of prosperity in our neighborhood. But to the point. The chances of the present business year being a difficult one in the matter of labor and closeness of money, it is fitting that the $3,000 which the village treasury of Mazeppa will have after the coming municipal election should be expended in a way to materially advance the village and leave something to show for its expenditure. Everything possible is done each year to keep the school buildings in proper repair and we feel it would be a waste of money to discard the present building for a new one. We should like to see a solid substantial village hall erected--one in which our council, our local courts, our elections. etc., can all meet for their several purposes and have a place to be always depended upon. The fire apparatus should have one floor--but if preferred that could be passed and our present building be continued in use. The little jail now in use would disgrace a smaller town than Mazeppa, and a room or two could be built for that express purpose. A village hall would prove a valuable addition to our town and would not be a burden upon the tax-payers if properly manage by those in authority. The taxes will not have to be increased in order to build it and if we ourselves do not show a tendency toward advancing our own interests and using this money for some purpose which will leave its impression behind, we should not expect anything other than a continues state of desuetude. Wake up citizens and show that push and energy which Mazeppa was but a few years ago famed in this section of the state. Let’s show the country about us that we breathe, we live and intend to continue living! Here’s for a town hall first, last and all the time! Only recently a gentleman was here looking for a building in which to start a harness shop. Whether he will come here or not cannot as yet be stated. Be that as it may, we are assured that several parties have their minds set on Mazeppa as a point for a new furniture store. In fact, we were ourselves approached only recently by a pair of city hustlers on this point, but with the characteristic spirit of the rest of the town, feared to recommend their coming. Let’s start the ball rolling ourselves by voting for a town hall and building it this summer. Depend upon it, it will be the best expended money ever laid out by the village. After this, we may pluck up courage enough to invite outsiders to come here and start new business enterprises. The fact that outsiders are considering the town continually as a good point in which to locate is additional testimony to the belief that all we need is a little live energetic action and this is the year to begin it. A strong pull all together and we shall be able to start forward with sufficient impetus to keep going and gather strength at each succeeding step. Again we say, here’s for a town hall!
A SCHOOL HOUSE ! Our Postmaster Prefers a New School-House To a Town Hall Editor Tribune:--While there is considerable being said about a village hall, permit me to express my idea regarding it and which, I believe will interest every tax payer or citizen of our village. A village hall would, no doubt, be a benefit to our village, but is there not other improvements that we need as much as a village hall? Would it not be far better to put the same amount that it would require to build a village hall into a new school house? I believe it would be much the better plan. It is not an un-frequent thing to hear some of the pupils complain of its beings too dark to study, or sitting in school with cold feet, etc. I would say by all means let us have better school accommodations, larger rooms, well lighted, well ventilated and well heated, and if need be a basement might be prepared for our fire engine and hose and a public hall on second floor. A new school house would not only beautify our village, but is something that is badly needed. By Levi E. Scruby
Mike’s $.02 - The Town Hall issue had been an object of conversation and disagreement for some time. Voted down at last election and on the ballot again at the next. Only to be voted down by a slim margin once again. I happened to talk to a couple from St.Paul two weeks ago who were looking for a older building in Mazeppa to open an art shop. Having been through Mazeppa a few times prior they were very much pleased with the small town setting Mazeppa offers. Pointing out some of the buildings for sale I encouraged them to very much to consider locating here. I recently received an e-mail from them stating they were still impressed with Mazeppa but have chosen not to locate here. Reason not given. “The more things change the more things stay the same“.
News: Did you hear the school-house bell ring Monday evening? One of the scholars got locked in and rang the bell to be rescued from a night’s lodging in the building. FIRE: The home of Joseph Jerry Burned to the Ground. Joseph Jerry, generally known as “Bony”, was burned out last Friday noon. The fie originated up stairs and was not discovered until the roof was about ready to fall in. They were eating dinner when it was discovered. Mrs. Jerry, his mother, was very ill at the time and as it took pretty much all of his time in removing her to the home of Geo. Plummer, they did not have time to save anything. They carried no insurance, so it was a total loss of about $500. Joseph was pretty badly burned and his mother is considered to be in a precarious condition in consequence of her sudden removal. Later--we learned that Mrs. Jerry is somewhat better. Mike’s $.02- As told to me by Jay Goodman the “Boney” Jerry place is now the Joanne Befort place. This house that burned may have been located on the east side of the Plank/Sanborn road as an old plate book showed a structure at that location.
Deaths: February 21, 1894- Herman Hofschule, aged 59 yrs. - Heart disease February 18, 1894- Porter E. Webb, aged 24
Mazeppa Area Historical Society Mazeppa Minnesota 55956