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Answer Man: What is the origin of the name Hy-Vee?

November 20, 2018

Editor’s note: This column originally appeared in November 2003.

Where does the Hy-Vee name come from? — Checkout Charlie.

Dear Charlie: The grocery and drug store company is named for two Iowa men who started a general store in Beaconsfield, Iowa, in 1930. David Vredenburg and Charles Hyde went on to build the company, later named Hy-Vee, with Hyde contributing the “Hy” and Vredenburg the “Vee.”

In 2003, Hy-Vee Inc put up a statue at its West Des Moines, Iowa, headquarters to honor David Vredenburg’s son, longtime company executive Dwight C. Vredenburg, who died in 2002. Dwight Vredenburg was named president of Hyde & Vredenburg Co. in 1938, at age 23, and remained in charge until his retirement in 1989. He died in February 2002 at age 88.

The employee-owned company has three grocery stores in Rochester.

Answer Man, what can you tell us about the history of Indian Heights Park? It’s a wonderful, peaceful park in the middle of northwest Rochester. — Parking Pete

Ask politely, as this reader did, and the Answer Man always will tell you what he knows.

That parkland, in the 600 block of Terracewood Drive Northwest, was acquired by the city in 1974 through condemnation, at a cost of $200,000.

The 37-acre area was once the site of an Indian camp and burial ground, according to early histories of Olmsted County. According to one account, 200 American Indians camped in the river bottom during winter 1854, just several months after the first white settler staked a claim to land in what’s now Rochester.

A few weeks ago while playing with my two young daughters at the Silver Lake playground, I noticed someone had brought their pit bull along with them. Many parents (including me) seemed very concerned to have their children anywhere close to the dog.

Are there any laws against bringing a pit bull to a city park? — Dangerous Dog

Dear Dog: If the dog has been determined to be dangerous or potentially dangerous under city ordinance, there are some restrictions, but generally there’s no problem with taking a pit bull for a stroll in a city park. As I understand the law, the dog doesn’t necessarily have to be on a leash, as long as it’s within six feet of the owner and immediately responds to commands.

There’s also no problem with giving pit bulls a wide berth.

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