Hannaford Elevators

The first businesses referred to as elevators were really only warehouses.  The first building in Hannaford was a small shack set up on posts and used for storing grain in sacks.  This blew down and was replaced by another warehouse by Cargill.  When R. C. Brophy came to Hannaford in 1886 it was reported he took the job in the Cargill Elevator, but this *~as the warehouse.  In 1888 Cargill did build an elevator and their warehouse was used as an annex.  Mr. Brophy left Hannaford in 1888, but returned in 1891 to build an elevator for which he had an agent in charge.

The Monarch Elevator was built in 1898 and the Olson Elevator in 1901.  W. S. Hyde started a custom grinding business in 1895.  In 1897 he had an office at Crane & Johnson and bought all kinds of grain in car lots, but he did not build an elevator until 1902.  An elevator burned in 1903, which must have been the Brophy elevator.  In 1905 the Enterprise reported there were four elevators in Hannaford and they were run by N. K. Markuson, Holmes, Gad and Isaacson.

In June of 1905 the farmers began to think about organizing their own elevator.  Mr. Armstrong was chairman and Mr. Hoggarth secretary of their first meeting.  Niels Hemmingsen, R. Hadlock, Christ Jackson, Olai Fogderud and John Mulroy formed a committee to contact the area farmers to see if they were interested.  At the next meeting Hemmingsen was chairman and I. A. Kampen secretary and they found they had raised $2000 towards an elevator.  A board of directors was elected consisting of John B. Armstrong, Donald Campbell, Ole Fogderud, H. Robinson, J. M. Freer, Andrew J. Anderson and Mark Curtis.  Soon $4000 in shares had been raised.  Mr. Hyde offered to sell his elevator for $8000.  This was considered too high, but it was already the middle of July and they decided they either had to buy it or wait another year to go into the elevator business.  Mr. Hyde bound himself to take the elevator back for the same price in a year if the farmers were not satisfied with the deal at the end of that time.  C. J. Holmes, who had been with the Cargill Elevator the past year.  He was hired as buyer.  Turle & Company of Duluth was chosen as commission firm for the elevator.  Armstrong and Campbell resigned from the board of directors because they did not feel they had the time necessary to look after the business properly and Niels Hemmingsen and Paul Troseth were elected to take their place.  This new enterprise came into being in August of 1905.  Four elevators stood in a line on Wheat Street.  Beginning at the south end of the street where it still is located was the Farmer's Elevator.  North from it stood the Monarch (P V), Olson and then the Cargill Elevators.

The Farmer's Elevator burned in January of 1906, but it was rebuilt.  The Monarch Elevator burned in June of 1910 and was not replaced.  In 1913 the Cargill Elevator was torn down and shipped to Grace City.  The Cargill coal sheds were purchased by the Farmer's Elevator and moved to their property.  Crane-Johnson built additional buildings on the site of the Cargill Elevator.

Also in 1913 an elevator was built west of the Great Northern depot and was called the Ely-Salyard Elevator.  Mr. Ely was the buyer.  In 1927 this elevator was taken over by the Wheat Grower's Warehouse Company and in later years it was used for overflow grain by the Farmer's Elevator.  This elevator burned in 1960 and was not rebuilt.

The Farmer's Elevator burned in October of 1931.  It was the only elevator operating in Hannaford at that time.  The Olson elevator had been standing idle for many years and the Wheat Grower's Elevator was also closed.  After the fire the Farmer's Elevator purchased the Olson Elevator from the Woodworth Elevator Company who had owned it since 1926.  By December of 1931 this elevator had been moved from its site where the American Legion Hall stands today to the site of the Farmer's Elevator.  W. H. Richardson and a Jamestown contractor had the contract for moving the elevator.

Today the Farmer's Elevator is managed by Marvin Grosser with Allen Klipfel as his assistant.  Directors are: 

Herbert Sonju, President, Ernest J. Johnson, Vice-president, Milford Gronneberg, Treasurer, Clinton Brown, Secretary, and Emil Eslinger.

Source: Griggs County History 1879 - 1976 page 116

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