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8/6/2008 – News

Volume 125, Number 27           Wednesday, August 6th, 2008

During 50 years in Leeds Allan Young guided elevator
About 40 farmers gathered at Woodman Hall in Leeds on February 8, 1908 to organize a co-operative to build and operate a grain elevator in Leeds. Appointed to the subscription committee were J.W. Gaufield, Torger Sulland, W.H. Carnahan, John Fosen, K.A. Nestegard and W.D. Conway. Subscriptions pledged at the meeting totaled $4,750.
A committee was formed to set up the articles of incorporation and bylaws. Those named to the committee were P.O. Fossum, W.D. Conway and Elling Tufte. After incorporation the first board of directors was formed with John Fosen as president, Elling Tufte as secretary and P.O. Fossum, W.H. Carnahan, Peter Jorgenson, C.J. Fox, T.E. Russell, A.T. Straabe, E.S. Medhus, K.A. Nestegard and T.A. Skeie.
On May 23, 1908 a stockholders meeting was held for the approval of Stormswald Construction of Minot to build an elevator according to plans and specifications for $8,490 complete. The elevator will have 65,000 bushels of storage and be built on the Great Northern Railway between the depot and the stockyard.
A regular meeting of the directors was held June 15, 1908. It was decided to purchase the Hilman Merc. coal sheds on the Great Northern Railway for $900.
On June 27, 1908 a meeting was held to arrange finances. The First State Bank of Leeds was approved for local banking and a contract was signed with the Randall G. Mitchell Company of Minneapolis, Minn. to become the new elevator’s grain commission firm.
A special meeting was called August 29, 1908 to hire a grain buyer.
T.J. Myhre of Pingree was hired as the first manager at $100 per month. Stanley Stone was employed as helper at $60 per month.
A committee of two was formed to confer with manager Myhre on how to buy and sell grain. It was also decided to install electric lights and a telephone in the elevator.
At the regular meeting held December 16, 1908 the contractor’s final bill of $402.37 was approved and the new 65,000 bushel Farmers Co-op Elevator of Leeds was officially accepted by the board.
A meeting was held June 16, 1909 to set up a storage rate for the elevator. It was decided that grain in the elevator would be stored for one month free of charge and a 1 cent per bushel per month charge would be levied after that. Any grain taken out of the elevator would have a 1 cent per bushel redelivery charge.
The Farmers Co-op Elevator of Leeds was lost due to fire in 1914. The cause of the fire was lightning. At the annual meeting held June 12, 1915 it was decided to rebuild. On July 26, 1915 Western Improvement Co. of Minot was hired to build a new 45,000 bushel elevator at a cost of $7,850.
From 1908 to 1995 many additions and improvements were made. From the first 65,000 bushel elevator of 1908 to what stands today, the records show a total cost of $821,866. The 45,000 bushel main elevator built in 1915 is still in use today in Leeds.
On closing the books on May 31, 1994 the Farmers Co-op Elevator of Leeds paid off all stockholders, grain dividends and patronage retained earnings or revolving fund. This left all patrons paid up and the elevator completely debt-free.
In 1995 the board of directors decided to merge with the Farmers Co-op Elevator of Churchs Ferry and continue business as BTR Farmers Co-op. BTR continues operating today. When the Farmers Co-op Elevator merged with Churchs Ferry it had $802,494 in working capital and $500,000 in cash in the bank.
During the 87 years the Farmers Co-op Elevator was in existence it had four board presidents, seven board secretaries, six board treasurers, six managers and 11 helpers.
The managers were T.J. Myhre 1908-12, M.J. Cullen 1912-14, James Barton 1914-16, O.C. Bue 1916-30, Chas. Torgerson 1930-58 and Allan D.G. Young 1958-95.
Young, who still lives in Leeds, came from the McVille Farmers Elevator Seed House and began as manager June 1, 1958 at a salary of $400 per month.
Members of the board Young worked for and the years they were elected were George H. Anderson, president, 1947; Nels Fosen, vice president, 1949; John R. Conway, secretary, 1918; Oscar Jorgenson, treasurer, 1952; Jorgen Jorgenson 1952; David Ahlberg 1915; Tom Skeie 1908; Able Anderson 1925; Casper Anderson 1950; Arne Skeie 1957 and Arne Nestegard 1958.
John R. Conway served on the board 61 years and 49 of those years as secretary. Tom Skeie served 53 years and David Ahlberg served 49 years. The only director still living is Jorgen Jorgenson, who lives in Rugby and celebrated his 96th birthday in March.
The Farmers Co-op Elevator enjoyed many successful years and was a major asset to the Leeds community. In its last 37 years the co-op paid out $1,719,290 in grain dividends.
One day this year (2008) Young met Richard Jorgenson in the post office. Jorgenson said, "Allan, you’ve been here 50 years now, I believe," and after a few more comments he went on to say, "maybe they’ve been the best 50 years of your life." Young replied, "My wife Shirley and I moved to Leeds in 1958 and we raised and educated our four children here. We got involved in community and church, bought our house and made this our home. We’ve been very happy and thankful to stay put in Leeds. Yes, Richard, these have been the best 50 years of my life."

Allan D.G. Young was manager of the Farmers Co-op Elevator Co. of Leeds for 37 years and was instrumental in making it a business success. These days Young is battling health problems. His voice box was removed but he speaks quite well with the aid of electronic devices. He is undergoing chemotherapy and he recently suffered a heart attack.

Leeds soldier serving in Iraq
Editor’s note: Staff Sergeant Sam Hansen of Leeds is a member of the 191st MP Company.
By Spc. Jonathon Van Bruggen
When soldiers from the 191st Military Police Company received the alert for possible mobilization to Iraq, they knew they would be helping firsthand with the reconstruction of Iraq. Now that the soldiers are in Iraq, construction has become the order of the day.
Some of that construction found its way to the inbox of the first platoon’s third squad last month. Most of the construction has been geared to assist the Iraqi police to conduct better force protection — one of third squad’s main foci.
The first construction project was the conversion of an unused shed at the Iraqi police station. It was renovated and relocated to a parking lot across a busy thoroughfare to create a better environment for those providing security for Iraqi police civilian vehicles.
In addition to the shed project, two more facilities were built for use as checkpoints on other congested roads. The squad took two days on its Forward Operating Base to construct the main walls, floor and roof for each checkpoint. The items were assembled to ensure the finished structure was functional and then the structure was disassembled and loaded on a truck.
The next morning the squad transported the structures to their new locations, where soldiers showed Iraqi police how to assemble the entire checkpoint. The day allowed third squad the opportunity to reinforce lessons on force protection and security.
With the building portion of the project complete, it was decided a class on construction would benefit third squad’s Iraqi police partners. The squad hoped to instruct in the Iraqi police station to take advantage of the facility assets while staying indoors, but the station lacked a formal room for training. Third squad saw the situation as an opportunity.
Soldiers took an old break room and hired a contractor to fix the lights, ceiling fans and air conditioner. The room was cleaned to set the stage. Then 15 tables, 30 chairs and two whiteboards were purchased to set up the classroom. The end result is a training room that has already been used repeatedly for classes on weapons and force protection as well as a class on how to approach construction projects.
Whether third squad personnel are on patrol or with their Iraqi police partners, they are ready to meet the challenges of the mission, even if outside the duties of a military police officer.
The 191st Military Police Company of Fargo, Bismarck and Mayville consists of soldiers from more than 40 communities across North Dakota and neighboring states.

Members of the ND Army National Guard’s 191st Military Police Company mark the completion of an Iraqi police checkpoint with a group photo. Left to right are Sgt. Keith Robinson of West Fargo, Iraqi police advisor Mike Bowman; Sgt. Tyson Mattson of Fargo, Baghdad Iraqi police officer, Staff Sgt. Samuel Hansen of Leeds, Sgt. Joshua J. Peterson of West Fargo and Sgt. 1st Class Kelly Elkin of Bismarck.

Entertains at Minnewaukan
Irving Eng of Portland, ND provided music during the banquet at the Minnewaukan All-School Reunion. He is the father of Claudette Carlson.

Hard charging fishermen
The fishing team of Frank Mosser and Doyle Schwanke, both of Maddock, was awarded the Spirit Lake Marina’s Walleye Classic Open "Hard Charger" Trophies June 14-15. The fishermen weighed in a total of seven walleyes during the tournament. The two-man team rocketed from 45th place on the tournament’s first day to 14th place at the close of the event with a catch of 23.65 lbs. of fish on the final day.
Frank landed a 7.49 pound walleye, the second largest fish caught in the tournament.

Scenes from Minnewaukan All-School reunion banquet

Long-time coach Ron Carlson was honored at the All-School Reunion Alumni Banquet Saturday evening. Left to right are master of ceremonies Myron Hjelden, Ryan Carlson (Ron’s son), Ron Carlson, Dave Ambers, president of the Minnewaukan School Board and Supt. Myron Jury.

About half the crowd in the school gym at the All-School Reunion Alumni Banquet.

Brian Halvorson (class of 1987) of Grand Forks gave an entertaining and humorous speech to the crowd.

Rev. Marty Tollefson (class of 1990) of Grand Forks gave remarks about Coach Ron Carlson.

Minnewaukan triplet fawns
Minnewaukan is turning into a wildlife sanctuary. These triplet fawns have been hanging around town since they were born. Here they are seen at the basketball court west of the courthouse. They are a few of the many resident deer in town, along with wild turkeys.

Scenes from Minnewaukan celebration parade on July 26

The Minnewaukan Quasquicentennial and All-School Reunion Parade was led by an honor guard from the Robert Tovsrud VFW Post 757 of Harlow. Left to right are Loren Knutson, Dan Rangen, Jon Hermanson and Marvin Melaas.

The Gunnerud-Dietrich American Legion Post 86 of Minnewaukan had its color guard ride on a trailer pulled by Richard Peterson’s 1931 John Deere D.
On the trailer are Jerome Dahlen, Curtis Yri, George Schmid and Floyd Dressen.

Three parade marshals rode in Roger Odden’s Chrysler convertible. In the front seat is former rodeo star Duane Howard (class of 1952), who is probably Minnewaukan’s most famous son. In the rear seat are two members of the class of 1934 who were the oldest alumni present. They are Ida (Beck) Olson of Devils Lake and Louise (Probst) Dahlquist of New Rockford.

LeRoy’s Quonset and Muvey’s DJ of Esmond provided musical entertainment in the parade.

Two long-time teachers rode on the Minnewaukan School float. They are Mike Callahan and Ron Carlson. The sign states: "Minnewaukan School #1, Small But Mighty."

Members of the class of 1979 carried a banner in memory of classmate Lori Kay Howard, who died in 2006. Left to right are James Sogge, Dennis Streifel, Rick Scherr, Chris Teigen and Bob Dietchman.

The class of 1954 rode on Howard Schmid’s International truck. The writing on the door states "Schmid Farms, Lallie, ND 58357?."

The float of Sherri’s Hair Care and Hands For Healing was ridden by Sherri Thompson and Lisa Wold. The float had a Hawaiian theme.

The Devils Lake Elks Band appeared on its float and also gave a concert after the parade.

Robert Christianson of Leeds, formerly of Churchs Ferry, drove his 1918 Model T in the parade.

The class of 1967 rode in this Ford convertible owned by Dennis Johnson of Devils Lake. Many classes rode in classic vehicles in the parade and this one is representative of many.

Harold Halvorson of Leeds brought his John Deere A tractor to pull a trailer carrying the class of 1988.

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