TODD HALE: Dan Long, SP 35, rode horses, motorcycles for state patrol | Community

Each time I pass the former location of the Arnold Hotel, I think of the story of Owatonna’s Dan Long, who, before he bought the Arnold was a member of the Minnesota State Patrol. That was in the mid-thirties. He took training in the first State Patrol school conducted at Camp Ripley near Little Falls. Following completion of training, Dan was assigned to Hibbing for a short time before being transferred to the Owatonna station. He lived in the barracks above the Minnesota Department of Transportation maintenance garage in Owatonna until he married Millie Bringgold in 1939. He retired from the State Patrol in 1954 after which he purchased the Arnold Hotel which he and his wife operated until 1984.

Dan spent a bit of time on horseback keeping order at union meetings, but he was most proud of the years he spent on his State Patrol motorcycle. I’ll always remember his tale about a bee that flew into his shirt while he was patrolling the area highways. When he rode the cycle, his shirt billowed out in the back. The bee flew into his shirt and Dan was afraid to slow down and allow the shirt to “deflate” for fear it would sting him. I never did find out how he solved that problem.

I remember Dan’s daughter, Kathy, citing her father’s generosity to Korean War troops. She said, “In the early 50’s, the war had ended and the troops were on the move coming home. Many of them were on the buses that stopped at the Arnold Hotel. They ended up in our depot café with no money, hungry and very homesick. Dad gave them a hot meal and a few bucks and a bus ticket home. He kept a little piece of paper with the date and the amount of money lent, but he never wrote down anyone’s name. A few soldiers left their watches or cameras or other items to keep until they returned with the money. Dad got paid back…

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