The first blacksmithing in Brewster, according to old records, was a shop started by John IVERSON in 1872. Between that time and 1898 I found that Ole BERG had been in the business. In 1898 John HEIN began his career of forty-four years in Brewster. In 1906 Mr. HEIN bought the 7 H.P. engine used in F.D. WELLS mill and installed it in his machine shop. Mr. HEIN injured his ankle, while taking down the boiler of his steam engine but, when he recovered, finished the job and put in gasoline in the place of steam.
In 1907 B.T. MCCHESNEY sold his machine shop to MILLER and AHRENS. In 1909 Maynard MORRISON was employed there. William MILLER of Heron Lake sold his shop there and came to work at Brewster. In 1910 John HEIN made plans for a new shop. In 1911 MILLER and AHRENS added a new wrinkle. They installed a large air compressor to inflate automobile tires in ten or fifteen minutes. That marked the beginning of the “free air system” in Brewster. In 1919 Fred NELSON maintained a blacksmith and machine shop.
In 1922 A.D. PATTERSON of Slayton bought the MILLER shop. He specialized in plow work. In 1929 PATTERSON left to do work in Worthington. Arthur SEXTON worked here at the trade.
In 1942 John F. SCHULTZ of Alexandria purchased HEIN’S shop. In 1947 it was sold to Archie JERGENSON of Minneapolis. In 1948 Donald KRANTZ of Sioux Falls opened the shop for business. In 1950 he erected the present new building southeast of BUSCH’S. In 1953 KRANTZ sold the business to Edward ZEMECKIS of Harvey, Illinois. In 1957 ZEMECKIS moved to Logansport, Indiana. Steve VAN WESTON bought the shop. Employed there have been Albert POOL, Harry PEIPGRAS, and John POOL. John POOL has now purchased the shop.
I failed to mention that Mr. HEIN’S son, Ed helped him for a number of years in his shop. In 1948 Mr. HEIN passed away, living in our midst for fifty-one years of which forty-four were spent blacksmithing.