Revised Version: Mike Worcester, "The Silent Policeman." In The Midst Of, Cokato Historical Society (Winter, 1997) vol. 17 no. 1.
By the early 1902s, Cokato had become a village full of automobiles. The recently completed Glacial Highway 10 (now Highway 12) had given area car owners a way to travel further than ever before. And while trains were still the main mode of transport, cars were here to stay.
But with these cars came new problems for city leaders. Parking difficulties, horse owners complaining about the new-fangled machines scaring their animals, and excessive speed, were just some of the hazards that arose. Of particular concern was proper etiquette for cars at intersections. While city ordinances specified that all cars must keep to the right of center and six miles per hour was the maximum speed allowed while making a turn, close calls and fender-benders abounded.
Revised & condensed version: Merlaine Samuelson, "Three Pedals And A Lever." In The Midst Of, Cokato Historical Society (Winter, 1995) vol. 15 no. 1.
This is all history now but in the spring of 1947 we went farther back in history. Lois Bergman and I decided we should buy a car so we could get beyond the confines of Cokato when the weather was so nice. With a teaching salary of $280 per month we knew that the car could not be new or even recent, so we went to Harold and Rub Harkman for some suggestions. They told us of a bachelor living in town who was now too old to drive; he had a 1917 Model T Roadster that was in excellent shape. We went to meet Mr. Gust Flood and bought his car for fifty dollars. Gust had only used it to go back and forth to Stockholm to care for and harvest ginseng (a medicinal plant which he marketed in New York) which he raised on his farm in Stockholm.
Martha Jacobson,"The Titanic Disaster and its Cokato Connection," In The Midst Of, Cokato Historical Society (Fall, 1993) vol. 13 no. 4.
RMS Titanic, April 10, 1912. Photo taken by F.G.O. Stuart (1843-1923). Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.
In this day when we hear of global disasters almost as they happen, is it not surprising to learn how slowly and by what manner, news was carried--and often distorted--as recently as the early years of this, the twentieth century?
On April 25, 1912, the Cokato Enterprise reported that a Cokato couple perished in the treacherous waters of the North Atlantic. This story--recreated below--created much speculation by local residents and more recently an inquiry to the Cokato Historical Society from the Titanic Historical Society, Indian Orchard, Massachusetts.
MRS. WM. LAHTINEN DIES WITH HUSBAND
Refuses Chance to Be Saved and
Both Go Down With Ill-Fated Titanic
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