On July 4, 1891, C. L. Phifer held a popularity contest to select the four best liked citizens of the village. The Meeker Co. Cigar Factory then placed a new cigar on the market with the picture of B. A. Records, L. M. Norgren, J. H. Kauffman and John Riordan on the box lid which soon proved to be their best seller; they were the four highest in this contest. John Riordan died March 29, 1923, his age was 69.
Herman Quady had the first confectionery and lunch room, opening it for business October 1, 1882. In the early days of Dassel, John E. Bunker, Remick Bros., Spath Bros., Moon & Edminster, Boyer & Edminster, and Chas B. Dunn were at various periods in this line of business. Chas. B. Dunn died March 31, 1925, age 93. In addition our postmasters carried a stock of confectionery, their compensation as the village postmaster being too low for a living.
In 1891 B. A. Records resigned his position as village marshal and opened a confectionery and lunch room which he sold to E. Braun, Jr., in 1893 and moved to Puyallup, Pierce Co., Washington, to try his luck in the wild west. But there is no place like home, so in 1894 Ben came home and bought back his former place of business. This he then operated with great success until his death December 9, 1913, age 53 years. In his day, Records was the meeting place of the people.
Dassel had a lot of lodges in its earlier days, so many that you would almost be afraid to shake hands with some of our citizens. We had the Knights of Pythias, A. O. U. W., Modern Woodmen, I. O. G. T., Oriental. Women’s Relief Corps, A. F. & A. M., Sons of Veterans, I. O. O. F., and Colfax Post of the G A. R. A few of these old members are still here.
Justices of the Peace were busy in our pioneer days, 1869 to 1904, court being in session several times a week. The cases were drunks, using abusive language, assault and battery, language to provoke assault, suits for judgments, garnisheements and many other minor cases. Our first justice of the peace was Peter Johnson who operated a real estate, insurance and loan office. He was also financially interested in the tile stove factory, woolen mill, saw mill, and other business ventures. Other justices in that period were John Osborn, John E. Bunker. A. F. Johnson, W. S. Bartholomew, J. H. Remick, A. J. Woolsey, Isaac Vervalen, Wm. H. Spath, H. F. Ames, W. S. Jones, E. J. Sangren and Chas. W. Henke.
Peter Johnson on January 2, 1871, asked a violator for some minor offense, “Are you guilty or not guilty?” The prisoner answered, “Judge, that is for you to find out.”
In many of the cases the defendants demanded jury trials and when they pleaded not guilty our local attorneys handled their defense; but if they were not available, Milton Forder and John Riordan took their place in a most able manner; while not lawyers they knew just how to do the work. The juries most of them business men of the village, received fifty cents each for serving, which was considered easy money in those days.
The constables serving papers were: J. H. McIntyre, Henry Adlerbjelke, David Flack, John E. Bunker, Geo. Norton, B. M. Olson, John Riordan, Charles S. Royce, Charles Penney, J. A. Forsberg, Charles H. Remick, B. A. Mead, and W. J. Elliott,
In those old days a constable was often in need of the sheriffs help and there he got some able assistance. A. A. Sanford was our sheriff in 1869 when the St. P. & P. R. R. established Dassel. In the following years of this write-up we had Wm. M. Campbell. N. J. March, Pete Ekstrom. Dan Flynn. Nils M. Holm. Jas. F. Maher, Chas. A. May and Frank T. Nelson in this important position.
And our able county attorneys were often needed. The first one used was Henry Wilson in 1869, followed in the order named by Henry Hill. C. B. Howell, F. Belfoy. Chas. H. Strobeck, E. A. Campbell, Seward Plumley, W. L. Van Eman. E. P. Peterson. J. M. Russell, N. D. March, A. F. Foster and E. W. Campbell.
Dassel’s first policeman was Henry Adlerbjelke who was appointed to this important job on January 1, 1880 by H. P. Breed, President of the Council.
We needed good, reliable men in those days and the position was held by Alex Cofield, David Flack, Ole Rundquist, O. W. Olson, Stewart Johnson, James Bailey, Milton Forder, J. H. Mclntyre, John H. McKenzie, Wm. Desmond John Riordan. Ole Rundquist, Asbury E. Smith, Aug. Barfuss, Chas. S. Royce, A. L. Remick, John Clark. Ole Berg. John A. Forsberg. G. L. Enestrom. Theo. Singleton, H. B. Royce. B. A. Records, Wm. S. Cox, John Thompson. J. A. Goding. L. G. Adkins. B. M. Olson. A. D. McKinney, John Bergeson. Chas. H. Remick. Jerome Pankake. Henry Christian. J. L. Rutherford; Robert Dalton and Peter Olson. The salaries were from $18 to $50 a month.
In the eventful eighties on great celebration days when a special policeman was needed, John H. Colwell was appointed to help keep order. He often visited Dassel where he had many friends and relatives. He was a native of New York, coming to Saint Paul in 1863, an athlete and boxer, winning a match with Patsy Cardiff and in a return bout, a draw. He also had a draw with Pat Killen, Saint Paul’s champion of those days. He was in the insurance business and during one of our Republican administrations, appointed State Building Inspector. He died at Saint Paul, Minn., on July 9, 1934, age 77.
Wm. Wallace was our early photographer with tin-types the only pictures then to be had. His gallery was opened for business in 1873 and a going concern for years. After business hours, he would entertain his many customers with violin playing which helped in getting more customers.
In 1885 J. J. Sundquist of Norwood moved to Dassel and built a store building and put in a stock of drugs. In a few months he disposed of them and opened a small general store with a photograph gallery in connection with this business. The store he sold and then operated the gallery to the satisfaction of his customers for many years. Tin-types were now a thing of the past.
Campion & Wolfenden in 1897 had a portable gallery and also specialized in outside views. They enjoyed a good business here for two years, then moving to another location.
D. Winck started a shoemaker shop in 1877 in which he worked for fifteen years, then retiring and moving to California in 1891. Others at various times in this line were O. Vicain, C. B. Nelson, O. Christopherson, A. P. Suncell and Ole Nystrom.
In the old days, villages had millinery stores. Mrs. J. H. Mclntyre established a business of this kind in 1879 which she sold out to Mrs. J. M. Johnson in 1884. Mrs. O. B. Knapp started a second store in 1894, both meeting with success in this line of work. Later on general stores put in millinery departments and then these small stores went out of business as there was not enough to go around.
Luther W. Leighton from the Republican state of Maine was our pioneer wagonmaker and repairman, opening a shop May 1, 1874 with a horse tread power to run the machine. In 1882 he started a hardware store with John M. Johnson as his partner on the same location. On January 1, 1887 he sold out his interest in the firm of Leighton and Johnson. He then went into partnership with Louis Osterlund in the general merchandise business, the firm being known as Osterlund and Leighton. In 1890 this partnership was dissolved and the stock of merchandise divided in equal parts and each of them opening a store on his own account. Leighton’s store was destroyed by fire in 1894 and he then opened a new general merchandise store in larger and better quarters east of his former location. He operated this store with success and in 1898 sold out to Murphy Bros.
In 1901 they built a two story brick building, 40×110, on the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Fourth Street. The main floor was used for their store which did a thriving business for many years. The second floor consisted of rooms and apartments. The building was destroyed by fire October 11, 1919.
Louis Osterlund after operating his store for twenty years, sold out to And. Olson & Co. in 1911 and retired from business. He died in Dassel on February 2. 1914, he was 61 years old.