L. W. Leighton moved to Globe, Arizona in 1899 and in 1903 to Los Angeles, California where he lived for a number of years. At the time of his death, June 11, 1919, at the age of 69, his home was in Altadena. California. He was one of Dassel’s most outstanding men in business; in his day our only insurance agent, full of old and interesting stories. Here are some of them;
The early street commissioners of Dassel built up the streets of our village so they are now kept in good condition without much labor or expense. The first one holding this important position was in 1878. J. H. Mclntyre and later on Stewart Johnson, John Riordan. Milton Forder. John Clark, J. A. Coding. Isaac Vervalen, J. C. Edminster, L. N. Lundine, J. G Sjoquist. J. S. Hough, Geo Norton, Chas. B. Dunn, and Grove Penney. All of them gave the best of service to the village.
From 1878 to 1890 we had the unpopular poll tax of two days work each year on the streets or the payment of three dollars if you were a man of 21 or over. The three dollars hired a man in your place. Only members of the fire department were exempt from this tax.
Win. Porter established a wagon, carriage and repair shop in 1880 with special attention to picture framing, giving the best of service to his many customers. He was in this work until 1884 when he moved to Brandon, Minnesota, operating a grain elevator in that village. Later the Porter family moved back to Dassel.
Henry L. Babst opened the first hardware store in the Andrew Linquist building in 1880 and in 1882 sold out to A. M. Bell. He ran the establishment until 1886 when he sold it to Bartholomew & Co. They then sold the store to Wm. Galiger and Wm. S. Cox. the firm being known as Galiger & Cox. In 1889 Cox sold his interest in the firm to Galiger who became its sole owner. Wm. S. Cox was the Republican candidate for Sheriff of Meeker County in 1890. He died May 5. 1891, his age was 37.
In the year 1882, L. W. Leighton and J. M. Johnson started a second hardware store, the partnership lasting until 1887 when Johnson became the owner of this business. In 1891 he sold out to John Clarquist. Peter Rudberg bought the store in 1895 and operated it until 1900 when the fire of January 12 destroyed it and all the other business places on Atlantic Avenue in Block Eight. The lot was then sold to S. N. Gayner & Co. They built a brick building for a new hardware store, which is now owned by Gayner Bros. S. N. Gayner died June 15, 1942. his age was 75.
After the sale of the hardware lot in 1900, Peter Rudberg moved to Des Moines, King County, Washington, where he established a general merchandise store which is now managed by his son. Victor F. Rudberg. Peter Rudberg died August 28. 1933, age 79 years. John Clarquist died February 20. 1920. He was 71 years old.
In 1886 John Osterman started a tin-shop on second street. He sold this store in 1889 to Swanberg Bros., who then added a full line of hardware and in 1891 they sold out to Peterson & Wickstrom. The Brown Hardware Co. in 1901, with C. D. Brown as its manager, opened a hardware store which they sold to Fred Rudberg in 1903 who operated it in connection with his furniture and undertaking business until his death on June 29, 1905. This is now the Holm Bros, store.
In 1898 Wm. A. Linquist established a jewelry, bicycle and hardware store and was in this line of business until 1904 when he sold out to L. B. Wheeler and moved to Minneapolis and opened a music store which is located at 14 South 8th Street.
John M. Johnson opened a hardware store in 1900 which was destroyed by fire in the fall of that year. Later on he established a store of that kind in Howard Lake which he operated for several years.
In 1900 Erick Hagelin, Wm. A. Linquist, Chas. S. Linquist, Minnie B. Linquist and Oscar E. Linquist, built a two-story building, 80×116, on the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Third Street. After its completion it was occupied by the Dassel Post Office, Chas. Robison’s Barber Shop, Wm. A. Linquist’s Hardware, Jewelry and Bicycle Store, Norgren Bros. General Merchandise, and Olson & Co. General Merchandise. On the second floor was O. E. Linquist’s living apartment, B. A. Record’s room, D. E. Murphy and Axel Nelson’s two rooms, Dr. J. H. Kauffman’s offices. The Dassel Anchor’s Printing Office, Dassel & Collinwood Telephone Co., the A. O. U. W. Hall, and the Dassel Opera House. In the basement was Boyer & Edminster’s Bowling Alley. This building was destroyed by fire September 12, 1931.
Peter Johnson in 1886 built the Swedish Tile Stove Works in Dassel, the only one of its kind in the U. S. A. An exhibit of these stoves was made at the Minneapolis Industrial Exposition in 1886 and 1887. They were called Kakslungs but could not compete with the American stoves on account of their high cost, so after a few years, the plant went out of business. Peter Johnson died in 1913, at the age of 75.
Charles H. Nash established a cigar factory in 1887 which he operated with success until 1889 when he sold out to Charles L. Phifer who continued in this business until 1905 when he discontinued cigar making and retired from active business. His most popular and best selling cigar was the “Gold Leaf”; they were on sale in all of our neighboring towns. In those days any town of any size had a cigar factory, some had two. but in a few years cigar making machinery and highly advertised brands made it impossible for the small factories to operate at a profit so now few if any are in this business. Charles L. Phifer died April 6, 1910, his age was 59.
The five cent cigar was the most popular one and among the names of the best selling brands we find Gold Leaf. P. V., All Stock & No Style, Solomon Isaacs. Henry George. Anna Held, Monte Carlo, Double Eagle, Reminder. Sight Draft, Tom Keene, Yellow King, Little Seal, Speckled Trout Vindex. Duke Junior, 252, and the J. D., a La Crosse cigar sold to our merchants by Simon J. Dietel.
The ten cent cigar sold here was the Chancellor, General Arthur, West Hotel Boquet, Seal of Minnesota, Hoffman House Boquet. Judge de Powers. Wm. Penn, Tom Moore, Washington Irving, Hoi-Tan, La Preferencia, Hazel Kirke, Gen. Lew Wallace, Duke of Parma, El Firma, Aquilla and Seal of Minneapolis. A few of them are still in existence and sold in our village.
In the old days there was a great demand for chewing tobacco. It seemed that to be a man you had to chew tobacco, most of them as boys starting at 10 or 12 years of age. Now almost all tobacco chewers have left for the “Happy Hunting Grounds” and no one to take their places. Battle-Ax, Newsboy, J. T., Horseshoe, Star, Drummonds, Piper, Heidsieck, and Climax, were among the popular brands used. Some of these brands are still with us for an occasional sale is made but not many.
Dassel’s first commercial telephone line was built in 1898 from the Dassel Post Office to Murphy Brothers store in Kingston. You could talk as long as you wanted to for only a dime. Later on in years, it was connected with the local telephone exchange and is now a part of its regular line. The Northwestern Bell Telephone Co. reached Dassel in 1900, the long distance booth being located in the Dassel Anchor Printing Office. Then the Tri-State Telephone & Telegraph Co. line came in and is now consolidated with the Northwestern Bell. The Dassel and Collinwood Telephone Co. commenced business with an exchange covering the village and adjoining country.
In the seventies, eighties and gay nineties, the arrival of the day trains 13 and 14 were events that brought many of our citizens, especially business men, to the depot, just to see who arrived, departed and was on the trains. The early and late trains, 9 and 10, were also daily events of importance. In the summer months the windows were generally open and there were no vesticuled coaches. 13 and 14 were hauled by engines No. 127 and 133 and others of that type, something like the Wm. Crooks but larger. No. 9 and 10 used engines No. 887 and similar ones, three drivers on each side and more powerful than used by the day trains.
Our citizens became well acquainted with the popular conductors and the best known were W. J. McMillan, Geo. Bonney, John Sprague, Jack Canty, Geo. Pennock, Ham. Demmitt, Oscar Doble. J. J. Purcell, J. C. Struble, S. K. McGuire, Joe Goran, Wm. Kinkerter. Charles Montgomery, Jack Sheridan. Marvin Lewis, John Trudeau. Lee Cunningham. Wm. Dyson. Thos. Casey, C. L. Angell, John Rodenbur, Charles Hardy, W. C. Kane, Mike Flynn, and J. P. Devaney.
In the spring of 1868 the Saint Paul & Pacific Railroad surveyed a route through the townsite of Collinwood which was a thriving and enterprising village, having a water-power flour mill, hotel, store, postoffice and other business places. Noah Parks owned the land, needed, for their right-of-way. Parks held a high price en his real estate and would make no concession to the company. His neighbors, T. H. Pendergast and H. C. Bull, tried their best to have him accept the company’s literal offer but it was in vain. Then the St. P. & P. R. R. located their track one mile north, bringing Dassel and. Cokato into existence. Collinwood joined the ranks of the ghost towns.