Lawrence Sellner serves half century on township board
LEAVENWORTH TOWNSHIP – When Lawrence Sellner joined the Leavenworth Township Board of Supervisors in 1964, gasoline cost about 30 cents a gallon, the first Ford Mustang was produced, The Beatles and Rolling Stones rock and roll bands took the world and America by storm.
Receiving a plaque for his service at the March 31 township board meeting, Sellner, sitting at the board meeting with a large accounting ledger book, recalled his earlier days of service.
“We only met every two months back then. I never did use computers. I do the work by hand,” Sellner said. He turned over his clerk duties including a large ledger book, to David Schumacher.
Sellner was a Leavenworth Township Board Supervisor for 14 years before serving as township board clerk for the next 36 years. “He did a great job,” Leavenworth Township Supervisor Sylvan Schumacher said.
Much of his time was spent managing the township budget which included judging elections, grading gravel, snowplowing and mowing ditches. Sellner said the County Auditor’s office now handles more of the voting responsibilities than it used to, but that township election judges now receive training every two years in Windom or Mankato.
Sellner said the annual township budget that was about $8,000 when he joined the township board, now tops $100,000. More than half of the budget is spent on maintaining gravel roads. He recalled some of the most severe winter storms that challenged the township.
“The 1965 St. Patrick’s Day Blizzard lasted three days, dumping about 20 inches of snow. The March 3, 1965 blizzard and winter of 1996-1997 were some of the other roughest winters for snow and ice,” Sellner said. “The (Brown) County (Highway Department) couldn’t make it out with their snowplow so they called Mathiowetz Construction who used their Brockway truck, an old Army bridge retriever, which they attached a big snowplow on to clear the road. It helped get a pregnant woman in our township get to Sleepy Eye Hospital.”