Merrick County's 100th Year: 1858-1958


Compliments of



Over forty years ago, Charles L. Coolidge, a farmer near Palmer, and a long time resident of Merrick County, decided to do something worthwhile for his community. The result was the Coolidge Hospital and Sanitarium in Palmer, built in 1917. This building has been kept in excellent condition and the Hospital and Sanitarium continues to care for about a dozen patients regularly.

Doctors C. S. Minnick and Wm. Arrasmith, Mr. G. S. Lambert and M. V. Lambert were among those who co-operated with Mr. Coolidge in establishing the institution, and seventy individuals subscribed as stockholders. M. V. Lambert has continued to serve as secretary-treasurer to the present time. In addition to cash furnished for the construction of the building, Mr. Coolidge deeded 160 acres of good farm land, located three miles south of Palmer, for the benefit of the hospital. Mr. and Mrs. Coolidge were parents of two children, a son and a daughter, both of whom died in early adulthood. Mrs. Coolidge also died many years before the death of Mr. Coolidge, which occurred in 1922 in Palmer.

For the past eleven years Mrs. Carrie Knapp has been in charge of the Coolidge Hospital and Sanitarium.


Palmer's two elevator companies have a combined storage capacity of about 750,000 bushels of grain. Their buildings cover a large area in the south part of town and extend high above the tree tops. Both The Farmers Grain and Coal Co., and Dindale Bros., Inc., have added several new buildings to their facilities during the past few years.

With the large government bins at the edge of town, Palmer has a total storage capacity of about 1,000,000 bushels. That amount equals two old fashioned farm wagon loads for each man, woman and child in the county.

Below; a part of the grain buildings of elevators
along the Burlington track in Palmer.


Yes, there were detours in the horse and buggy days too. This team and buggy was used by Harold Rice soon after he began carrying mail on a rural route out of Palmer over thirty -six years ago. When the bridge in the background was closed for repairs, he had to detour around it through a pasture. One day while on he detour, he gave his horses a rest long enough to take this picture of his "mail wagon."


The Palmer Co-operative Creamery was built in 1919, and for nearly forty years, has served as a good market for cream, eggs, and poultry. Floyd Stratman has been manager since 1942.


This airplane view shows only that part of the Lemmerman Poultry plant that is located within the city limits of Palmer. Eight more big buildings, from 26 to 40 feet wide and 120 to 340 feet long, are located on the farm east of town. Total floor space is 120,000 square feet. This would cover an area more than 90 feet wide by one-fourth mile long. Lemmermans employ an average of 20 persons besides family members, to operate their hatchery, farm and modern uptown store, where remedies, equipment and feeds are sold. They maintain a flock of 75,000 laying hens, Leghorns and DeKalb hybrids.




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Site Updated: 03 December 2015