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.