Exciting changes were coming to Kitzville in 1919! At long last, twelve years since it was platted, the little village would have a water system.

Did you notice the spelling of the village’s name in the headline above? In the following article from the Hibbing Daily Tribune on June 26, 1919, the village is repeatedly spelled with two “t”s. The founders of the town, platted on June 20, 1907, were Jacob and Annie Kitz and Edward and Hannah Kleffman. There were a few other couples who could be considered Kitzville pioneers: Solomon and Bertha Fein, Patrick and Hannah Slattery, and Andrew Hran. None of these names have two “t”s, so why the paper spelled it that way is unclear. Eventually, it seems to get worked out and in stories and ads that appear in later years, only one “t” is used.

Also, the article refers to Kitzville as being Hibbing’s “neighbor on the southeast”. Remember, at this point in time, Hibbing is still in its original spot, although the moving of the town is beginning. Today we’d be more likely to say that Kitzville is Hibbing’s neighbor to the northeast.

~ Mary Palcich Keyes

Kittzville – Hibbing’s neighbor on the southeast – is to have water. After years of attempts to obtain a supply for drinking and fire purposes, it appears at the present time that a solution of the difficulty has been found.

The Board of Education and the Village Council have had presented to them specifications whereby a water system can be installed for $15,000. The mains would be connected up at Brooklyn and water would come from the Hibbing supply.

Citizens of Kittzville have pledged themselves to the amount of $2,000 and the remainder of the cost would come from issuing bonds. Every Kittzville citizen promises to pay $25 the moment the water system is installed.

At the present time water is obtained by hauling and from wells. For public health a pure water supply is a necessity, the local health department says, and considerable sickness in the past is due to the unsanitary conditions brought about by drinking from a contaminated stream.


In Hibbing Daily Tribune editor Bert Ackerson’s “This ‘n’ That” column of August 12, 1974, he gives a nice summary of some of Kitzville’s history. He includes a paragraph that tells a bit about life in Kitzville as it concerns water prior to the 1919 water system advancement.

A jail was built in 1912 by village labor, “with the strongest iron bars obtainable.” Water was obtained in a few wells around town, but in 1913 the council contracted with Louis Bosnick to dig a well, furnish two pumps, and construct a 10 X 12 building over the well with a padlocked door. When completed, all other wells in town would be condemned. Water fee was set at $1.00 per month for family, $1.50 per month for boarding houses, payable in advance, with a key issued upon payment for the padlock on the well-house door.

No wonder everyone was so excited to have tap water in their own house – no padlock key required!


Looking Back items

The following items are taken from the Hibbing Daily Tribune or the Mesabi Ore, which are on microfilm at the Hibbing Public Library and/or Iron Range Resource Center at the Minnesota Discovery Center in Chisholm.


May 25, 1918

C.E. Everett, Range Probation Officer, mentioned by his friends as a candidate for the state legislature from this district, will not make a run.


October 1, 1940

Fish for planting in lakes located near Hibbing arrived last Saturday in the custody of W.L. Styles, of the State Game and Fish department. These fish, large fingerlings, were in fine shape. L.V. Peterson and Bert St. Vincent supervised the planting in West Sturgeon Lake. Four cans of crappies were put into this lake. Fred Venning, game warden, supervised the general work today and thanked Hibbing people for their cooperation. Fish were also planted in Island Lake, 19 miles south of Hibbing. Seven cans of bass were put into this lake.


April 19, 1955

The 41st consecutive season for the Georgian Bay Line, Detroit, Michigan, will get underway with special charter cruises beginning May 15. Regular passenger sailings of the Sister Queens of the Great Lakes, the SS North American and the SS South American, start June 18.


Dec. 6, 1957

Club Manhattan cocktail lounge at San Diego, California, is owned and operated by Paul Starcevich, formerly of Hibbing.


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