Sunday, December 06, 2009

The Henry Sandkamp Family

We recently had the pleasure of meeting another individual, one Tom Long from Maitland, Florida who has traced his great grandfather's family back to the early 1900's when they were active members in the village of Holdingford. He has researched the "Advertiser" newspaper for information on his ancestors.

Enjoy reading the following narrative of the lives and times of the great-grandparents of Tom Long, Henry and Katherine Sandkamp, and their family as reported by the Holdingford, Minnesota weekly “Advertiser” newspaper from 1908 to 1921.
The Sandkamp Family History

Tom is the newest member of the Holdingford Area Historical Society, you can join  also :)

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Legacies of Faith:Churches of Stearns County book Signing

 On November 2d John Roscoe presented the book Legacies of Faith:Churches of Stearns County to the Holdingford Area Historical society meeting.  It is a beautiful  full color, 232-page book with 180 color pictures by photographer Doug Ohman.

Below is excerpt from Article By Michael Jacobson, in Paynesville Press newspaper   9/9/09

Their new book - "Legacies of Faith" - traces the history of Stearns County, the founding of its 49 Catholic parishes, and the building and architecture of its 52 Catholic churches.  "We praise them for their architecture and their immigrant history.  What's remarkable is that throughout the United States, churches are disappearing.  But Stearns County is defying that demographic," said John, a retired English teacher in Albany who lives in Sartell.

 "When people drive by them, they take them for granted," agreed Bob, who studied architecture at the University of Minnesota and works in residential design, emphasizing historic preservation.  "They become commonplace.  And for people outside the county, they don't know they're here."

All the churches in Stearns County are still actively used, are in excellent condition, and have vibrant congregations.

The book - costing $19.95 - is being sold at various locations in the county, including the Stearns History Museum in St. Cloud and at Ben Around Books in Paynesville.  The book can also be ordered online at

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Holdingford's Soldiers Shrine

Holdingford's Soldiers Shrine: Anniversary quietly passes by
by Roberta Olson
(Created: Tuesday, September 15, 2009 10:16 AM CDT

The massive Soldiers Shrine is 42 feet long, 18 feet wide, and 22 feet high. It features statues, and flags. The statues were completely refinished in July of 2009.

An anniversary in Holdingford quietly passed by on Sunday, Sept. 6.

It was the 67th anniversary of the day the Soldiers Shrine was dedicated in 1942.

As the Parish of St. Hedwig prepares for its centennial in 2010, a new realization of the history of the parish, and of the World War II shrine, is being experienced.

The shrine in Holdingford, located across the street from the St. Hedwig's on a corner lot, was the very first shrine built in the United States to honor those who served in the U. S. Armed Forces, at home and abroad.

Five thousand people attended the ceremonies, held in the middle of World War II. Among the dignitaries were Governor Harold Stassen, Charles Brenny, mayor of Holdingford; Frederick Schilplin, publisher of the St. Cloud Daily Times; Rev. Gilbert Winkelman, OSB, dean of the School of Architecture at St. John's University; Dr. E. J. Schmitz, master of ceremonies, and The Rev. Fr. John Kromolicki, pastor of St. Hedwig's.

The shrine measures 42 feet long, 18 feet wide, and 22 feet high. Four carved angels with trumpets stand in procession, followed by a large statue of Christ. In July of 2009, in preparation for next year's centennial, the statues were refurbished by Linda Mader. The shrine's altars had been refurbished in 2007. Beautiful flower gardens have been planted around the shrine, and are at peak bloom now.

At one time plaques with names of more than 100 soldiers were embedded into the walls of the shrine. Today they are no longer visible. The four crosses on the shrine are in memory of four young men from Holdingford who died during the war. They are Elmer Kerestes, Pearl Harbor; Walter R. Mattson, St. Lo, France; Walter Krystosek, Anzio Beach, Italy; and Joseph Troxil, U. S. Navy who died at sea.

The original dedication

Gov. Stassen praised the countless volunteers who made Fr. Kromolicki's vision a reality. "The nation must hold true to the basic rights and precepts given them by God or a just peace would be but a vain hope," he said.

Fred Schilplin commented, "This beautiful community's Soldiers' Shrine is the expression of his love and the love of all the people of Holdingford, Stearns County and central Minnesota for the defenders of democracy everywhere." He said "The shrine will stand through the years as a loving patriotic tribute and a physical emblem of the faith of a whole community."

Rev. Gilbert Winkelman, OSB, dean of the School of Architecture at St. John's University, designed the shrine. It was constructed by Edward Feia, his son, Donald, and many parish volunteers. Many area farmers donated more than 540 loads of fieldstone for the construction.

St. Hedwig's Church is a member of the Five Parish Catholic Community. Fr. Mark Stang is the pastor, with Fr. Gregory Ombok serving as interim pastor. The five parishes include St. Hedwig's and St. Mary's of Holdingford; Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Opole; St. Columbkill's in St. Wendel; and Immaculate Conception in St. Anna.

St. Hedwig Church's Centennial celebration has been set for Sept. 12, 2010.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Philipsek and Welna family histories

Louie Welna, of Milton, Vermont has done a fantastic job researching the Philipsek and Welna family histories. This history is broken down into a sections on the old country , where he traced the family beginnings, as well as interviews, photos and family tree in this country. If you follow these links you can read Philipsek and Welna family histories.
Philipsek Part1a (old country)
Philipsek Part1b (old country)
Philipsek Part1c (old country)
Philipsek Part 2
Philipsek Part 3
Philipsek Part 4
Philipsek Part 5
Philipsek Part 6

I would like to note if there are other familes of the area that would like to create a link to the Holdingford Historical site let us know.

The Biglist of the people of Holdingford

Those who are interested in Holdingford should be aware of the book 'Ford in the River' by Father vincent A Yzermans written in 1985. We are very pleased to have been given access to the complete index of names mentioned in the book.
This massive list was compiled by Louis D. Welna as part of writing the history of the Philipsek & Welna family histories. He said it took a year to compile this list, which is very understandable as it is 145 pages long !
you can read The Biglist of the people of Holdingford.
A big thank you Louie !!

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Coming up in July 10-11 is Holdingford Daze , the theme this year is
RIDING THE RAIL TO HOLDINGFORD. Based on the one hundred years since the Soo Line Railroad was officially opened on September 8th 1909. It had been built in 1907 and used but not officially opened.
A couple of special events are Friday evening 6:00-8:00 pm & Saturday all day, the Mn Central Railroad Club HO Scale Model Train Display will be at the City Center.
Friday night from 6:00-10:00 pm will be the First Holdingford Classic/Antique Car Show (on Main Street)


Friday, February 20, 2009

Klisch & Langset Store

Here are two views of the Klisch & Langset Store in Holdingford. Note the bank in one but not the other

Saturday, January 10, 2009

1896 Map Holdings' ford & Wardville

1896 is the date of this map of Holdings'ford & on the west side of Two River River & Wardville on the east side.
Lot's of little tidbits here. Note the school [the 1st] on the corner of what is now the intersection of County roads 9 &17. There were 2 Main Streets at the time. On the corner of Plymouth & 2nd St was the Union Evangelical Church built in 1896. St Mary's Catholic Churcg was on the west side built in 1885

1894/02/19,Name of post office Changed to HoldingFord on east side of river (Wardville)VALENTINE BATZ Postmaster