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Clerk Kermit Peterson (left) waits on customers Albert Kulbech and Nellie Gustafson at the Fairway Food Store in Webster in 1939.

Have you ever wondered what the county’s budget was in 1938?

Well, wonder no more.

County Administrator Nate Ehalt brought a little book that looked very old to the October board of supervisors meeting. In the book, Ehalt noted a few things like what the county treasurer made for a salary 80 years ago.

The short answer is $1,200 for a year of work done for the Burnett County Treasurer’s Office.

The 2020 budget for Burnett County is just over $28.6 million. Ehalt stated the budget for 1938-39 was $108,895.

“It has increased significantly in the last 80 years,” Ehalt said.

Recently Beth Rank, 4-H Youth and Family Development educator for UW-Extension, announced that Burnett County 4-H has met their goal of having 100 kids in 4-H.

There was a stat for that too in Ehalt’s book. He stated in 1938 there were 329 kids in 4-H.

This sparked a brief conversation about changes in farming. No one seemed to know the number of farms currently in Burnett County, but Ehalt did point out that in 1938 there were 211 farms throughout the county.

Ehalt even had statistics on forestry acreage. In 1938 the County had about 76,000 acres of forest. In 2019, the county has approximately 111,000 acres in the county forest.

Forest Administrator Jake Nichols joked, “We’ve expanded a bit.”