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Humboldt Elevator Association


Rick Bakken

Junior High Division


On July 12, 1919, the Articles of Incorporation of theFarmers Mutual Elevator of Humboldt, were filed in the office of the Registerof Deeds of Kittson County. This is what constituted the beginning of theHumboldt Elevator Association. The men that formed the corporation were:T. R. Brown, John C. Johnston, Albert Brown, A. H. Anderson, John Franks,Fred Bockwitz, and Edward Florence.

The capital stock was to be set at $200,000.00 cash anddivided into 2,000 $10.00 shares. The maximum stock was set at no higherthan $1,000.00 and no one was allowed more than 1 vote. Interest was 8%on the stock and the profits were distributed once every year.

The records were believed to have been destroyed in thefire that burned the Farmers Mutual Elevator to the ground in 1946.

At the time, the Farmers Elevator Company was formed afew years earlier than the other four were, and was managed by J. D. Irving.Later Nels Finney became manager.

The new Farmers Mutual Elevator Company bought out theMcCabe Brothers House and Albert Brown became manager. He was previouslythe manager of the McCabe Brother House.

The Red Lake Falls Elevator Company was closed in 1920,and was torn down leaving only three elevators.

In 1920, the original Farmers Elevator was taken over bythe New Farmers Mutual Elevator Company, and in 1925 it was moved to Grampianby a team of horses.

The St. Anthony and Dakota Elevator Company burned in 1931,leaving two elevators. It was in that year the Farmers Mutual Elevator Companyin Grampian closed.

On July 8, 1933, the newly elected board was, John Hemmes,W. G. Reese, Carl Wiese, R. L. Kempf, Fred Bockwitz, Ole Berg, and W. S.Ash. The directors were Fred Bockwitz, President; John Hemmes, Vice-President;and R. L. Kempf, Secretary-Treasurer.

A short while later, Humboldt got the Hill Elevator andoperated it. According to the minutes of May 25, 1934, a vote decided thatthe Hill Elevator be reshingled leaving the Farmers Mutual Elevator as theonly one in business. On May 25, 1936, a contract was let for $3,000.00and scale setting to move the Hill Elevator and annex on its present facilities.

L. P. McEwen was second man in 1934. He was first mentionedin the minutes of May 10th meeting in 1935 and was paid a bonus of $50.00and retired in 1951 because of bad health.

On April 31, 1941, a contract was let to the I. E. IbersonCompany to build a 60,000 bushel annex on the side of the elevator at about$10,692.00.

On August 12, 1946, the plant burned down to the groundover night and at a meeting of the board it was voted that they rebuildas soon as possible. Hoganson Construction Company built a new house of60-70 thousand bushel capacity. During this time, steps were taken to amendthe By-Laws and Articles of Incorporation so as to become a tax-exempt cooperative.In November 7, 1946, the amended By-Laws and Articles of Incorporation wereapproved by stock holders vote. The new Articles of Incorporation changedthe name to Humboldt Elevator Association.

On December 23, 1949, the Board was authorized to go aheadand build an annex to the house, of at least 60,000 bushels storage room.Subsequently, a bid was let on February 6, 1950 to Hoganson ConstructionCompany to build such an annex on the north side of the elevator.

In June of 1954, an O'Day Equipment Company dust collectingsystem was installed in the elevator by Hoganson Construction Company, thatconstruction, $4,366.41.

Since then, the elevator has had some repairs, I'm sure,but is still running at its top rate. It also serves as a cable T.V. hook-upfor all of Humboldt.


Gatheridge, William, Humboldt, MN, Interview

Humboldt Elevator Association Booklet, February, 1969

Finney, Keith, Humboldt, MN, Interview, January 30, 1975

Mair, Richard, Humboldt, MN, Interview, January 31, 1975

Mair, Richard, Humboldt, MN, Interview, January 31, 1975