Sunday, June 24, 2012

Hustling Beroun

From The Pine County Pioneer, March 18, 1898

Beroun, six miles north of Pine City, on the St. Paul and Duluth R.R., is the post office and village point for a country that is being rapidly developed and quickly settled. In 1897, 6,000 acres were sold in this vicinity and there will be a big immigration this spring. A dozen families are expected this week and for the season it is confidently believed that the population will increase fifty per cent.

Two years ago Joseph Chalupsky came to Pine county on business and after looking it over and seeing the clover and timothy growing spontaneously concluded to come here and go into the stock business. He bought 800 acres of land, 160 of which he platted and has sold fifty lots. He also started a mercantile house, and in real estate business has 30,000 acres on his lists. He is a native of Bohemia – came to this country in 1870, and from New Prague here in 1896, as many more citizens of this belt of country did. Mr. Chalupsky is a prominent man in more ways than one as he is Supreme President of the Catholic Union, which has 13,000 members, and he is Supreme Treasurer of the Catholic Workmen.

F. Warlieck also came here two years ago. He owns a farm with 80 acres of splendid meadow two miles from town and he has a general store therein and ships wood and produce. He came here from St. Paul, where he was a noted cabinet maker and builder and is putting substantial buildings on his place.

Beroun has a railway station, two stores, a hotel, post office, blacksmith shop, public school and Roman Catholic Church.

C.H. Furman is also a real estate man and has just returned from Washington state.

John Shilkr is the blacksmith and postmaster and he hardly knows a word of English.

Joseph Chalupsky has handled over 2,000 cords of wood up to date, and his lumber yard will be well patronized this and following months.

The Beroun railway station is admirably conducted by Horace Wilcox, a member of a pioneer family of Pine county. He was brought to this region in 1869, and was born in Sunrise over in Chisago county. For sixteen years he has been a disciple of Morse, and for fourteen, as agent at points on the St. Paul and Duluth.

The timber lands and meadow lands in this region are cheaper than will be six months from now.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Big Danish Settlement

From a Pine County newspaper, January 19, 1906:

The Townsite of Partridge Selected as Homes for a Large Number of Thrifty Danes

With the passing of time Pine county land is receiving much favor from parties who are in search of money-making real estate. Nearly all of Pine county soil is rich enough for the abundant growth of anything adapted to this climate. On this account a company, known as the Dansk Folkesanfund, has purchased the entire townsite of Partridge, and has taken the agency to sell an optional 15,000 acres of land belonging to the Farmers' Land & Cattle Co.

The company is preparing to colonize the tract of land just purchased with a settlement of Danes, who will build houses and till the soil and do good for themselves and the county. The erection of a church and a church school is contemplated and a town may be started at an advantageous point in the settlement. The farms and roads will be improved with the advent of time, and the Danes, who will cast their lot in Pine county, will undoubtedly prosper, for they are a thrifty and industrious class, as is proven by other thriving settlements throughout the state.

To illustrate the desirability of Pine county land we quote the following from the Sandstone Courier which contains a good account of the deal represented in this article.

“Some time ago they decided that they had enough settlers at Tyler, and that they would secure more land for another settlement in this state. They selected a committee of three, composed of K.H. Duus and L.C. Pedersen, of Tyler and A.H. Jurgenson, of Menomonee, Mich., to thoroughly search the state for the most desirable location. They went to Wadena, Bemidji, Solway and Cromwell and carefully examined the counties of Beltrami, Hubbard, Itasca, Aitkin, St. Louis, Carlton and Pine. After careful consideration, they decided that Pine county is the best suited for their purpose and that the most desirable land could be secured here at reasonable figures. They also gave as a reason that it is the best location in the state for marketing their produce as it is midway between four of the largest cities of the Northwest.”

Monday, June 11, 2012

Fun Facts – Bruno – Part 2

1. The State Bank of Bruno was incorporated in 1910 and opened for business on June 1. Early shareholders included J.H. Lingren, Fred Jesmer, W.H. Rowcliff, E.E. Jesmer, and M.W. Tuttle. J.H. Lingren served as cashier and Will Ames as assistant cashier. The bank moved into a brand new, modern, fireproof building in 1912.

2. Bruno received a new school in 1915 after the current building (built in 1904) was condemned by the state. The new school cost $15,000 and served students in Kindergarten through twelfth grade.

3. The Bruno Cornet Band organized in 1915 when a group of interested musicians met at the Didden barber shop. Band members John Didden, H. Lund, R. Lund, Ralph Williams, Albert Fairchild, Elton Bigelow, Ray Fairchild, Edwin Fairchild, Floyd Fairchild, Sylvester Marihart, J.C. Anderson, Tommy Rodenberger, William Sague, and D.C. Holst immediately started practicing. Apparently they experienced a few difficulties at first because some Bruno residents reported “agonizing noise” coming from the practice room, but the band gave its first concert in June.

4. The village of Bruno was spared during the great forest fire of 1918, but several Bruno-area families lost their homes and farms to the blaze, which killed over 450 people in Carlton and Pine counties. Near Bruno, Ray Fairchild died along with his wife and son. The wife was trapped in the family home and died there. Mr. Fairchild and his boy tried to escape the fire but were badly burned and died a few days later.

5. In 1919, school superintendent Mr. Cook bought a moving picture machine, and the movies came to Bruno! Community members enjoyed such early silent films as Carmen and Mary Pickford's Rags.

6. One hundred Bruno farmers got together on April 1, 1920, to organize the Farmers' Cooperative Creamery. Farmers purchased one $10 share of the creamery for each cow they owned, and $2,500 was raised that day. The group elected the following officers: Nels Lindh, president; E.J. Rodenberger, vice-president; and I.B. McNelly, secretary-treasurer. Creamery directors were Fred Matthews, W.M. Plaisted, Louis Lindstrom, and A.L. Churchill. Otto Pearson received a construction contract for the creamery in October, but it was not open for business until 1923. Mr. Muffet was the butter maker.

7. By 1921, Bruno's business community included three general stores, a garage, a lumber yard, a feed and seed store, a farm machinery dealer, a lath mill, a blacksmith, a harness and shoe shop, the creamery, and the bank.

8. Beginning in 1931, Bruno had its own newspaper, Pine County Beacon. It was printed in Markville and featured news from Bruno and Kerrick.

9. In November of 1937, robbers made off with $2,500 from the State Bank of Bruno. Apparently, the thieves were professional about their work, for they robbed the bank in the middle of the night and poured water into the safe so the paper money would not be destroyed as they burned a large hole in the safe with a torch. In January of 1938, the bank installed a burglar alarm.

10. Bruno began to decline in the 1940s and 1950s. The Bruno school lost its high school program in 1947 when students were sent to Askov instead. Two stores, the Markus general store and Andy Traxler's Fairway store, burned in March of 1950. The creamery dissolved in August of 1951, and the bank closed the next year.

Sources: Courage in a Rugged Land by Edna Bjorkman and Robert David Olson; Pine County...and Its Memories by Jim Cordes

Bruno in 1908

Monday, June 4, 2012


Images of America: Kanabec County!

From the back cover:
"Featuring 217 historic photographs, Images of America: Kanabec County guides readers on an exciting journey into the past as it explores the daily lives of the people who helped make Kanabec County in East Central Minnesota what it is today. Each chapter examines a unique aspect of Kanabec County’s history. Readers meet Native Americans, settlers, and loggers from the county’s earliest days; learn about early government, industries, and transportation; catch a glimpse of towns and villages in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; go on a shopping trip with county residents; discover the fascinating histories of area schools and churches; and find out what Kanabec County people did for fun in the days before television and computers."

Images of America: Kanabec County is available at Kanabec History Center and Dandelion Floral in Mora, Minnesota, and online at