Sunday, December 17, 2006

1932 air view of City

A photo of Holdingford from the 'Minneapolis Journal' from February 21. 1932. Taken by John J. Kollodge of the 109th air squadron flying with pilot Lieut. Frank Judd of Minneapolis.This was taken after a snowstorm. If you know the layout of town you can see what buildings were there at the time.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

A Holdingford noteable retires

Baseball has always been a big part of Holdingford's history. I thought this would be appropriate here.
This was in the Pioneer Press's Charley Walters column.
"Joe Brinkman, who is from Holdingford, Minn., will retire this month after 34 seasons as a major league baseball umpire. His career has included three World Series and three All-Star Game appearances. His 4,505 games ranks fifth on baseball's all-time list and is more than six of the eight major league umpires in the sport's Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., worked."

Friday, December 08, 2006 present has a early Christmas gift for you. If you are interested in tracking relatives that went through Elis Island. Between 1820 and 1960, more than 41 million people left their home countries seeking a better life in the United States. celebrates your immigrant ancestors by giving you FREE access to the newly expanded immigration collection. We’re also bringing you the Ellis Island Experience web site, which helps you understand your ancestors’ journeys to America.
Search a total of more than 100 million names from the records of over 100 of American port cities. This is realy a cool site. Just fun to go to.


Monday, December 04, 2006

Next Meeting Date

We had a good turn out for our first meeting. Our next meeting is set for January 2d, 2007. At the Corner Pizza & Antiques, it provides for a very friendly atmosphere for talking about the past.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Holdingford Area Historical Society

There will be a organizational meeting of the Holdingford Area Historical Society on December 4th 7:00p.m. at the Corner Pizza. Everyone welcome.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

1906 postcard

Thanks to the efforts of Mr. Thomas Betz and his wife Deborah of Minneapolis. We have recently came into possession of this beautiful postcard, through the generous gift from Mr. N. Kowalczyk, postcard dealer. It predates our other old card by a few years so this postcard is from about 1906. More on this later.


Friday, November 24, 2006

1912 Village of Holdingford

A picture of the Village of Holdingford,Mn dated 1912. Looking north, most of the buildings no longer exist

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

DCI in Holdingford

Here is the history of DCI written by Richard Konsor (written in 1995 for the 40th anniversary of DCI)

"I guess my twin brother Fred and I have always been building something. One of my earliest memories is of a sawmill-the blade was made of the end of a tin can and the logs were stalks of rhubarb! I can't quite remember what we had for a carriage, but we had one.

Much of what we were building was to help our Pa's farm. One of our projects was to improve a five-section harrow. We figured it'd be much easier to move if it would fold up; thus we hinged it so it would fold onto the center section that had the wheels. We thought the idea worth sharing so we wrote to International Harvester. Their reply was, "if something like that could be made, our engineers would have already developed it'!

Most things we made needed to be bolted together. Electric welding was just getting started. Fred and I started welding on our farm after first making our own welder using a Model Ford engine and two starter generators from an old Dodge car. In the 1920's Dodge cars had a 12 volt starter generator and we had to wind new field coils to make enough current for a welder. Next we had to learn how to weld after we had it finished! We did welding on the farm for customers, and one year we made 75 farm wagons from Chevrolet front car axles that had disc wheels. And that is how we got started in the welding business!

Fred and I went into the service for two and a half years during World War 11, and when we came back we started a shop in Holdingford in 1946 called Konsor Welding (at the present day location of Jim's Snowmobile and Marine). We did welding repairs and made wagons, etc. One day the local creamery wanted us to repair a stainless steel vat. Now we had never welded on stainless before, but we would tackle almost any job. When the repair job turned out ok, they wanted us to build a new vat. We then repaired an old horizontal stainless tank that was poorly built, and later they wanted us to build them a new horizontal tank-which we did.

A little later the buffer makers from Freeport and Villard wanted us to build each location a horizontal tank-5,000 gallons, I think. We didn't have much experience yet, but we took the job. As we didn't know where to got some of the parts needed, they went and picked up some peephole fittings, agitator shafts and propellers. I believe they obtained these parts from Stainless and Steel Products in St. Paul.

We made coned heads for the first tank as we didn't have any equipment to make dished heads then. We also made a horizontal tank for the Watkins' Creamery and did some repair work there. As our shop was small, we had to make the outside jacket first, and then build the stainless one on top of it.

would then wrap the jacket around the liner. Ralph Mader of Holdingford was our first employee. And dedicated he was! He stayed with the company for 32 years until he retired.

About the time we were building the Watkins tank, Bill Haggerty (the Watkins buftermaker) went deer hunting with the owner of Owatonna Creamery Supply, and Bill must have told him that he was having a tank made in Holdingford. Before the owner went back to Owatonna, he came to Holdingford to see what we were doing because he was selling tanks he was having made in Chicago. He then asked us if we would make some tanks for him.

At this time Carl Nielsen was a salesman for Owatonna Creamery Supply and the owner sent Carl to Holdingford with a tank order from them. He wondered if we could build one of that size--I think it was a 5,000 gallon tank. We took the order and when it was finished they sent their truck to pick it up.

We needed agitators for these tanks, so we bought them from Stainless and Steel Products in St. Paul. By then I think they were getting wise or suspicious of us, as one time they wanted to know what the serial number of the tank was. They thought we were installing the agitator on one of their tanks that didn't have any. We told them it was a tank we were building...and that was the end of getting any more agitators from them. It was a good thing, as then we made our own-befter and cheaper!

With the building of the tanks we got to see Carl Nielsen quite often. One day he inquired about going into business together. This was favorable to Fred and me and so Dairy Craft (later called DCI) was formed. We stayed in our little shop until 1955. We then bought the former Ford Garage, which now belongs to Polar. Years later Dairy Craft moved to St. Cloud because of space and rail transportation."
For more of the story you can read excerpts of of DCI from a historical account byCarl Nielson who was co-founder and President of DCI Inc.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

My Grandma's post card collection

Many years ago, my grandmother gave me her collection of post cards. She explained to me that as
a young girl back then they would collect them much as people collect baseball cards. They would be in series and tell stories as one collected each post card. I don't remember her saying if they were bought in packs or individually. A couple of samples Any way you may want to check out more of them here


Friday, November 17, 2006

The Minnesota Legislative Reference Library

The Minnesota Legislative Reference Library which has just put up a data base of Minnesota Legislators Past & Present. I found in about two minutes that there were more Legislators than I was aware of from Holdingford. The data base is very nicely done. it is cross referenced several different ways making it easy to use.
I had known of Randolph Holding being a representative, confirmed through the help of Senator Fischbach's staff, last year. I was going to request they also check up on Senator Batz, as he was referred to around Holdingford. I wasn't sure what he was senator of.
I was pleasantly surprised to find Holdingford was home to two more House of Representatives !

Valentine Batz- Senate 1899-1906 (District 54)
Counties Served: Stearns
City of Residence (when first elected): Holdingford
Randolph Holding- House 1872 (District 31)
Counties Served: Stearns
City of Residence (when first elected): Holding
G. Norsving- House 1872-73 (District 17)
Counties Served: Goodhue
City of Residence (when first elected): Holding
Otto Stein- House 1921-24 (District 46)
Counties Served: Stearns
City of Residence (when first elected): Holdingford.

Much thanks to the hard work of the folks at the Legislative Reference Library .

Tag: Holdingford Stearns County history

Monday, November 13, 2006

Holdingford Historical Society

I'm looking to see if anyone is interested in getting involved with starting a Holdingford Historical Society ? If so contact me. By leaving a comment, e-mail or if you're from the area. Give me a call. I'm not hard to find. I've been thinking about this for a while. It seems like now is the time.


Saturday, November 11, 2006

Longest Serving Mayor

Boniface Stoerman was the longest serving Mayor of Holdingford by far, serving as Mayor uninterrupted for 17 years from 1976 to 1993.


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Historic Election

A little election note, relevant today. The largest turnout in
village history was in the 1928 Nov 8th election where out of 740
possible voters votes only 20 voters did not vote.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Thanks to Herman Ebnet I have aquired photos of the east St. Mary's Church. the first is a architectual drawing. The second I am guessing was soon after the dedication in 1915 .

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Halvor Langsleth Letters

Tom and Debrah Betz , kindly sent me the copies of Halvor Langslet's
letters.It took a while to read them. Almost all were in english but
some are in Norwegian so I'll have to find someone to translate.
Actually the letters date from 1908 to 1911. They are a wonderful
collection almost like a diary. Halvor wrote every few days.
Especially when he went on the road selling Deval cream seperators
around Minnesota. He would come back to Holdingford to visit friends
and his wife would sometimes come down from 'Detroit' as they called
Detroit Lakes then. I'll be going into more detail as time goes on.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Letters from the Past

Have you ever seen the tv show ' If Walls Could Talk'
it's about people who buy houses and find things left by previous
owners. I received a phone call the other day. About meeting some
people about a former Holdingford businessman at the turn of the 19th
century. It turns out a gentleman by the name of Thomas Betz and his
wife were in town and they had a wonderful story to tell.
A friend of theirs had bought a house in Detroit Lakes,
Mn. After buying it, they were in the process of reroofing the
house. They came across a compartment apparently not assessable from
the house. A box that had over 200 letters in it.
Mr. Betz was given these letters. Being a person who cares
about preserving the past carefully, opened, flattened them placing
them under archival folders.
Now it gets really interesting. The letters were from a
Halvor Langslet to his fiancee. Written over a period of several
years. from about 1908 to 1912. Halvor had come to town working on
the railroad and opened up a general merchandise store with another
gentleman by the name of Vincent Klisch. I so far have just been
able to do a quick survey of them so far. They tell about the time.
Mr. Betz is graciously going to get us copies of the letters with a
little horsetrading of photos on our part. A real wonderful resource.
I am waiting anxiously to read them all.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

New Old Map of Minnesota

We got a new map of old Minnesota. Brought in by one of our residents. It shows the state of Minnesota by township, rail roads and state highways of the time. no date but the company that made the map was in business under that name between 1922-28. Which fits the roads shown on the map.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The cemeterys

There has been a inquiry as to the number of cemeterys and when they
started. As far as I can figure out
1892 Highland Cemetery started, this is actually two plots of land
parallel to each, one belonged to Union Evangelical Church Holding,
the other the Slovak Lutheran Church.
1896 St. Mary's Cemetery started, German Roman Catholic
1947 St. Hedwig's Cemetery started, Polish Roman Catholic
I also understand there was another cemetery called ' Willow Creek'
supposed to be located north of town but I haven't figured out where
yet. As I understand it no longer exists.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

The Holdingford Advertiser and Stearns-Morrison Enterprise

One way to find out more about the history of Holdingford is to get the 'Stearns-Morrison Enterprise' newspaper.  A weekly paper published in Albany. There is a column called 'Way Back When' that writes about tidbits about people and items of interest from various time periods. 

A way back when comment of my own. In 1909 the Albany paper wasn't supported enough in Albany and the paper was printed as part of the " Holdingford Advertiser"  now a days the reverse is true.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Holy Myrrh-bearers Orthodox Church

There was once a Orthodox Church near Holdingford, just northeast of town. It was established in 1895. To learn more about this I suggest you use this link to find out more. Holy Myrrh-bearers Orthodox Church

Monday, August 21, 2006

Valentine Herman Dies

Valentine Herman, was a very influentual member of the community. He was 66 years old when he died June 15th 1936.After being in poor health for a number of months.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Helping out folks

I have not been adding to this blog this summer as . IT'S SUMMER! But
when I got a call the other day from a gentleman from Illinois, who had
been directed to me by our Mayor. He was looking for, I am assuming a
relative who died in 1934 and buried he thought in Holdingford. Indeed
he was. It gave me pleasure to be able to help him out. I also found
out he had a blacksmith shop in town, was a mechanic and served on the
city council for a number of years.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The Hospital

I finally came across a picture of the Holdingford Hospital. Click on the photo you will able to read the article.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Electric power plant

Holdingford's First and only Electric power plant, was started by Val Herman in 1915. It was a diesel powered generator creating electricity stored in batteries. Starting in 1919 power was supplied by the St. Cloud Water & Power Co. and in 1927 NSP obtained the power rights.
In the picture Frank Wrobel is standing to the left of the door. I don't know who the other people were. I've heard there was a butcher shop there in later years.And there was a laundramat there until 2000 not sure when that started yet. It's now for sale. Maybe make a neat place for a Historical Society ?

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Recovery of Newspapers

Some good news, we are aquiring all the bound copies of the 'Holdingford Recorder' which turned into the 'Holdingford Herald Newspapers', until it was purschased by the Stearns-morrison Newspapers. They will be under the protection of the City of Holdingford. Someday I hope to see a historical society started in town. There is a rich local history here.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Representive R. Holding

I had heard a rumor that Randolph Holding served in the Mn. legislature, I tried searching various places without any sucess. I happened to be at a Holdingford Commerical Club meeting when Minnesota State Senator Michelle Fischbach was there speaking to the group. Afterwards. I told her of my search, I had found lists of the heads of senate and house and list of women legislators but not rank and file members. Two days later I recieved the answer. I found out through the help of Senator Michelle Fischbach & Jeanna Whitby from her staff, that Randolph Holding indeed did serve in the Minnesota Legislature as a House member in 1872 (District 31) he was on the 'Ways and Means' committee and the 'Rules and Joint
Rules' committee.
Acording to the 'Holdingford Advertiser' of July 1915 Randolph died at Ransom, N. Dak. at the age of 71.

Monday, January 16, 2006

A map of herman's Fairview Addition from 1915. It shows Gertude Avenue, this was his wife's name. The Holdingford City Council recently changed the name to Gertude Street as it was the only 'Avenue' in Holdingford. And running incorrectly against modern convention,east-west. This area of the city at one time was all woods, oldtimers have told me they used to go hunting in the woods here. In the late 1960's the land had been completely cleared and was partly used as a gravel pit.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Since this blog is named hermans fairview. After the addition in Holdingford of the same name . It Started in 1915. by Valentine Herman one of Holdingford's early movers and shakers in the community. Photo from 1920 as he ran for reelection to County commissioners.

Saturday, January 07, 2006


I took this photo the other day it is the cornerstone of the hospital built in Holdingford. As you can see it is dated August 27,1911. Thie hospital was on the west side of Two River Rivers, at the intersection of county roads 9 and 17. In the same year on the east side of the river, the "Holding Farmers Creamery" was started.