Mike Worcester, Cokato Historical Society, "In the Midst Of." (Spring, 1997) vol 17 no. 2.
Calgren's saloon, Millard Ave, circa 1910.
In the state of Minnesota today—'although no one is really quite sure—there are approximately sixty communities that are classified as “dry” towns.‘ Simply put these towns, by statute, do not allow the issuance of licenses to sell anything stronger that 3.2% beer. No strong beer, wine, or liquor can be sold. Cokato is one of those towns. And how it came to be this way is a story that is full of twist, turns, and legal shenanigans that could make modern audiences blush. Before we begin this tale though, some background is needed.
Mike Worcester, Cokato Historical Society, In the Midst Of. (Winter, 1999) vol. 19 no. 1.
Tuesday, March 12, 1912, was a usual spring day in Cokato. Temps were in the low-thirties, the sun was shining, and the dirt streets had turned to ankle deep mud. So why then, did the entire
student body of the Cokato public school slog through those messy streets and gather in front of city hall on the morning of March 12? That particular Tuesday was not just any day for the
town—it was election day.
Article by William A. Eliason from the Cokato Historical Society's newsletter In the Midst Of, December, 1985, Vol. 3 No. 4.
1910 Temerance Corner Youth League Gymnastics Club. William Eliason is front row far right
Having been invited to contribute something on the above subject I am glad to offer some reminiscences from my early teens (on the 23rd of November  I was 89).
Our rather sudden interest in athletics may have been a result of the success of Finland's entrants in the 1912 Olympic Games, in several gold medals won by them in the long distance races. Be that as it may, about that time an athletic club was organized, which held its meetings at the Temperance Hall—a center of the Finnish community. The leader of the group was my neighbor Peter Thompson, who was a respected farmer and well qualified to be an athletic director, since he possessed an admirable physique.