Golden Jubillee - Chapter III - Businessess and Businessman
pages 9 - 10
Not unlike other small towns 'and villages in Iowa, our business places and craftsmen are oriented to serve the farmers of our trade territory. You will recall the business director listed in Chapter II for the year 1916. The following businesses and individuals call Brunsville their home today.
ELEVATORS: Borchers Grain & Feed — Jack and Virgil Borchers, Owners
LUMBER & HARDWARE: Brunsville Lumber and Hardware — Alvin Jelken, Prop.
SERVICE STATION: Reese Oil Co. — Jack Reese BANK: First State Bank
COLD STORAGE LOCKER AND MEAT PROCESSING: Gene's Meat Processing Plant — Gene Dickman, Prop.
CAFES: Jean Vernon's Coffee Shop
PLUMBING, HEATING & ELECTRICAL: Plueger Electric & Plumbing
CHIROPRACTOR: Dr. L. Brooks
TAVERNS: Midwae Tavern (Wm. Bruns, Prop.) — Vernon's Tavern (T. Vernon, Prop.)—American Legion Clubrooms & Hall (Frank Morris, Prop.)
INSURANCE: Harms Insurance Agency
TRUCKING: Oltmanns Trucking Service
BLACKSMITHS: A. C. Klemme
FERTILIZER SERVICE: A. Jelken — Nutra Flo & Uran
BOOKKEEPING SERVICE: Herman Wilken
SPRAYPAINTING: James V. Mead & Sons
PLASTERING: Darrel Luken
RUG CLEANING: Riteway Rug Cleaners
REPAIR SERVICE: Frank's Refrigeration & Appliance Repair Service —Frank Crow
FEED DEALER: A. W. Klemme — Vigortone
Some of the businesses are fairly new on the scene such as Frank Crow's Repair Service and Gene's Processing Plant. Others have been around practically since the town was founded such as the bank and the lumber yards. They may have changed hands or the name, but they have continued to operate in much the same manner down through the years. For instance, the First State Bank, was opened in 1911 as a private financial enterprise under the name of "Bank of Brunsville." According to the statement of Assets and Liabilities of Dec. 31, 1911, the bank had total assets of $21,430.23, and C. B. Elsen was the president. Total assets as of December 31, 1961 were $1,107,468.97, or roughly fifty times as large.
Another of the original business which is still operating is the lumber business. In 1910, the Moore Lumber Co. of Le Mars opened a branch yard here. It continued to operate as a branch for many years, first with George Popken as manager. Later on Carl Popken was manager and still later, Louie Plueger. In 1948, Alvin Jelken purchased the yard from Moore's and proceeded to enlarge and update the stock of lumber and hardware and associated products in the building field. Today, our lumber yard rates among the best anywhere in the county and it continues to grow. In 1959, the liquid fertilizer business was added to serve the needs of our area.
No small town would be complete without a grain elevator and mill and our town is no exception. In the early days of course, there were two active elevators, the Farmers Elevator and the Frank Hoese Elevator Co., one of a chain. The Hoese Elevator operated independently until some time in the late twenties when it was sold to the Farmers Elevator. Some of the early managers of the Farmers Elevator include Jobe Kennedy, who was the first manager, Carl Pop-ken and Otto Pecks. In 1931, the directors of the elevator hired Herman Harms to manage the business and in 1935 they sold the two elevator buildings and grain business. In 1939, the North building, which was the operating elevator burned to the ground. It was at that time that the South building was put back into operating condition and it has been in use since. Jack and Virgil Borchers bought the business from Herman Harms in 1958 and have made many improvements and additions. At this time they are in the process of building a new feed storage building.
There were several gas stations in town down through the years, but now there is only one. The Reese Oil Co. was started in 1,932 when Jack Reese purchased the station from the Oltmanns Bros. It has since been operated under the same ownership. For many years, Jack has operated a tank wagon service and in 1954 he purchased a bulk tank set-up.
All of these businesses have operated successfully for many years, growing and improving their services as the demand arose. An additional service business was started in 1958 when Gene Dickman. moved here from Merrill to start Gene's Meat Processing plant realizing that there was a large area without facilities for handling the increasing home freezer market. This plant which employs three people full time is hard pressed to keep ahead of the demand which has far exceeded the original expectations.
These then are the larger businesses, which along with the various craftsmen make up the business directory in Brunsville today. The increasing demand for their services is clear proof of a need which they are intent on filling. It is evident that the quality of their services is high. As an example of this, Luken's Plastering now covers an area from central South Dakota to central Iowa and south into Nebraska. Only top quality workmanship can command attention for this large an area. It seems that what we lack in quantity, we strive to make up in quality. May it continue to be so in the future as it has in the past.