Early Reynolds History

Before the railroad came to Reynolds, Frog Point (later called Belmont) was the nearest point to travel for supplies and mail, or to ship out grain, etc.  Freight was brought there by steamboat and then transported to its destination by wagon and vice-versa.  The address on a letter in those days was simply the name of the person and the county in which they lived.  With a post office and a railroad though, life indeed became a little easier for the Reynolds pioneers.

There was, of course, a language barrier, since many of the earlier pioneers spoke only German or Norwegian.  With their determination, they learned to communicate with each other almost immediately, usually by motions and drawings.

The initial city ordinances of the 1880's included a chapter on the old "boardwalks", sidewalks.  "All sidewalks built along the north line of blocks five and six, original town site, and three and four, third addition, and along the south line of blocks one and two, first addition, and forty-three, three addition, shall extend eight feet into the street from the block line, and shall be built of two-inch pine plank six inches wide, laid upon four two-by-six pine stringers placed upon edge, all other sidewalks shall extend four feet into the street from the block line and shall be built of one-inch pine boards, six inches wide, laid upon three stringers of two-by-four inch pine scantling placed upon-edge.  All stringers shall be securely blocked or imbedded into the ground, or when built upon trestles shall be made secure and safe."  In 1909 this ordinance was repealed, and thereafter all sidewalks were to be bui1t of cement.


The gravel road between Reynolds and Thompson was the Meridian Highway or old Highway 81. From Reynolds going south, it crossed the railroad tracks and went south on what we call the "dump ground road." It was the job of the Dray Man to maintain part of the highway and at that time it was done with a horse-drawn grader. If the Dray Man left for Thompson in the morning with his grader, he would make it there by noon for his meal, then back to Reynolds just in time for supper.


The City had occasional paupers passing through looking for a meal, or a night's lodging. The local businessmen took them in and later the City reimbursed the businessman.


The City also quite regularly provided food, coal, etc., to the very poor who resided in the City. The very destitute were sometimes sent to the County "Poor Farm." 


Reynolds had a Motorcycle Club in the early 1900'sl From a picture which belonged to the now deceased Joe Renners, six of the members were identified as Joe Renners, Hans Salsburg, Ernest Neubauer, Ed Schreiner, Fred Fair, and Thomas Mealy.


Reynolds had their fraternal organizations, too. The Masons were the first.  They had leased a portion of the third floor of the Rockaway Hotel as their lodge room. They In turn welcomed the Modern Woodmen Foresters and Modern Brotherhood of America to hold meetings there. With the Increase of Government and State aid, many of the fraternal orders went out of existence.


The Campfire Girls date back to the mid 1900's and also held their meetings in the Rockaway Hotel. A Mrs. Warra was one of the group leaders.


As early as 1910, Reynolds had a baseball team. Regarding the name of the team, the Eagles and the Red Sox were both recorded. Some of the early team members were: Clarence Schulstad, Henry Severinson, Elmer Olson, Henry Schulstad, Mike Olson, Clarence Peterson, Cliff Lebacken, and three Burgess brothers. Orlando J. (Ole) Lebacken was the batboy. In the late 1920's and through the 1930's, another team was very active. Some of the boys who played on the team during that time were: Ray and Joe Colee, Harry Mealy, Tillman Otson, Jim and John McMenamy, Norman Iverson, Ken Merrigan, Milford Henry, Clarence and Met Olson, Oliver Olson, Danny McMenamy, and Vernon Blake. Their manager was Joe McMenamy.


In 1908, the businessmen of Reynolds organized a commercial club with principally one object in mind, and that was to interest strangers in the rich farm lands lying within a radius of ten miles, of Reynolds. They printed booklets and advertised their assets.


In 1917, another pocket directory was printed; compliments of the business firms existing at that time. The city officials were listed as; Mayor, D.J. Hennessy, Alderman: C.O. Lebacken, L.L. Berg, Ole Haga, and Martin Erickson; City Auditor, M.N. Brathovde; Treasurer, H.R. Schulstad; and Chief of Police, A.B. Steen. The following is quoted from the directory; "The room is here for thousands of people; those who are just starting out in life or desire to change their locations, some with limited means and a laudable ambition to possess a home; others with capital who desire to get in on the ground floor and secure property that must of necessity, in the next few years, increase greatly in value.  All branches of trades are well represented and the history of the growth in farm products in the township shows it to have been very healthy.  In educational advantages, the town is on a par with any town of several times its size, and the children here are given the advantage of a high school education."  Railroad fares were listed from Reynolds to the neighboring towns as; Buxton, 15 cents, Hillsboro, 45 cents, Fargo,$1.45, Thompson, 20 cents, Grand Forks, 50 cents, Devils Lake, $2.70, Minot, $5.65.


A 1917 dance bill recalls this occasion on New Years Eve in 1917.  It was the Old Settlers Dance and read:  "The big event of the season.  Everyone welcome - dancing room for all - hall, especially enlarged for this affair only - everyone come and dance the Fireman's Dance, Money Musk, Virginia Reel, Highland Fling, and swing the girl behind you in the Old Quadrille, and all the latest toe and elbow dances for the younger crowd ... dance to commence at 9 o'clock sharp with the Grand March of the Buffaloes."


With the advent of modern conveniences, especially vehicular, businesses declined as people did business in larger towns.  Consequently, there was a decline of population, and by 1915, Reynolds population was down to 412.  The City was still very active then, and at that time in one of the issues of the Reynolds Enterprise Newspaper, the city was described as "Reynolds The Live Town" and there's no room for dead ones!  In this same issue, a brief history was given of the businesses existing then.  They are listed below and followed by brief histories of later businesses and organizations, and including the present businesses.



The largest building ever constructed on Main Street was the Rockaway Hotel.  It was built in 1891 at a cost of $20,000,00 and was situated on about one quarter of a city block.  The hotel was built by the Rockaway Co. of Long Island, New York.  John Henderson was sent here by the company to supervise the construction of the hotel, and he was the first manager.  O.L. Sande was the second manager, then James T. Mealy, who owned and operated the hotel for many years.  Mr. Mealy helped haul the rocks that were used for the foundation of the hotel.  This building was three stories high, with a full basement and had four fine light front rooms on the ground floor, with all large plate glass windows.  It had a large dining room, washroom, cloakroom, and kitchen.  On the two upper floors were thirty-seven bedrooms, each one with outside windows, it was noted that Mr. Mealy served his guests excellent meals and his hostelry was we11 patronized by both travelers and the local people.  In later years, the two top stories were removed and also the kitchen and dining room at the rear.  The rest of the building was used for many different businesses in its remaining years.  The building was demolished in the late 1950's.



George Ryerson established the Reynolds Enterprise Newspaper in 1891. The following is from the first Reynolds Enterprise ever published – dated October 2, 1891:



Published every Friday

Geo. L. Ryerson - Editor




"FRIENDS AND CITIZENS: We have today the pleasure of presenting to you our first issue of the Reynolds Enterprise, which we hope you wilt all welcome to your homes...


"CITIZENS OF REYNOLDS: We ask you to Join with us in our effort to make this a live and progressive paper ... one that will be a credit to our beautiful little village and one that we can send to our relatives and friends abroad with pride ...


"FARMERS: it also becomes necessary to ask for your support. We must work together. Your prosperity means our prosperity, your welfare ours ... we shall endeavor to give you a clean paper ... One that you can carry home to your families ...


"NORWEGIAN SPEAKING CITIZENS:  If you cannot read an American paper yourselves, don't keep your children in ignorance of what is going on around them, but let them have the Enterprise and read the news in their own American language ... taught them in the public schools ...


The newspaper covered the national and local news, advertising, and even an occasional crossword puzzle.  In 1910 Kenneth Williams purchased the newspaper. The next owners were A.J. Berger and Max Berthold. On October 7, 1926, the newspaper changed its name to the Red River Valley Citizen.  Records indicate that the office moved to a room in the rear of the Dickieson building, and then later still, it was published in Grand Forks, North Dakota as a county weekly.  It went out of business In 1932.


The newspaper building itself, has a long history of occupants. The telephone office was on the second floor for many years. After the newspaper moved, the ground floor was used for two separate residential quarters. Adolph Ostlie's were one of the occupants; the other was Mr. and Mrs. Harry Wold.  Their daughter, Mervyn (Mrs. Glenn Lebacken) was born there. Later it became the Armour Cream Station operated by Harry Mealy. Then started a long line of cafe owners and operators: Phillip Beltz was believed to be the first, and also operated the adjoining beer parlor. A few more familiar names are: Anna Vien, Harold Miller, Frank Rolzynski, Ed Riddle, Olga Christianson and Hazel Broderson, Cliff Haarsager, and finally the Prying Pan Cafe. This cafe was started by local businessmen and interested parties who did not want the city without a cafe. They were called the Frying Pan Club and saw to the operation of the cafe until the new Bee Hive Lounge and Cafe was built in 1975. Reynolds Supply Company acquired the property, and the building was later torn down.



Ludvtg Schulstad built his hardware store in 1889; He carried a complete stock of shelf and heavy hardware. His business had a 20 feet by 40 feet warehouse at the rear of the store and also a loading platform.  It is recorded that Ludvig Schulstad named his first son Henry Reynolds Schulstad. Dr. Reynolds was so honored that he deeded Mr. Schulstad several city lots as a gift. Henry Reynolds Schulstad was a cashier at the State Bank for many years, and then took over his Father's business. Mr. Schulstad stayed in this business until the 1940s. He sold the store to the Braaten Brothers in 1950. One year later, they sold the building to E.H. Enger.  The warehouse was moved, and is now the Farmers Oil Company warehouse.  The hardware building was torn down in the early 1960's.



Before purchasing the Smith Implement business, the Lebacken Brothers operated a general merchandise store in the former "Bee Hive".  M.O. and C.O. Lebacken and Murphy established the Lebacken Implement.  Murphy's share was purchased in 1905.  The Brothers handled a complete tine of farming implements, machine and hand made harnesses, threshing machinery and seed, and the international and Deere Weber Lines.  Orlando J. Lebaken, better known as "Ole", was the last owner of the store.  It was sold to the Reynolds Supply Company in 1969.



In 1908, the City had gas streetlights, and in 1912 installed a municipal electric generating plant.  The superintendent of the plant was Gunder Christianson.  The main street was lighted with a beautiful "white way" of twenty posts, each post with five lighted globes.  Because of this lighting, the main street was referred to as the "white way".  The residential section had suspended lights.  Several years later the Electric Construction Company built into Reynolds, and in 1926, the Northern States Power Company, then called the Red River Company, bought out the Electric Construction Company.  Their first representative was E.H. Enger.  The plant building was usually called the Power House.  It served as the city hall for many years, and in the early 1940's became the fire station.  The building is now vacant.



D.J. Hennessy purchased this elevator from the Minneapolis and Northern Elevator Company in 1911.  He had been the local buyer for the elevator eleven years previous.  This elevator was referred to as "The High Light Elevator" because it had a 500-watt lamp at the top. Mr.Hennessy held the Mayor's office for four full consecutive terms.  This building is now the Reynolds Co-Op Elevator.  Mr. Hennessy was a very congenial man and a clever one too.  He composed a poem about some of the Reynolds people.  (You will find that poem printed on another page.)



Fred Fair purchased the Home Bakery and Restaurant from G.H. Rose on

October 1, 1914.  His business had a soda fountain and lunch counter, and also confectionery, fruit, cigars, tobacco, and Ice cream.  Herman Ostiie owned the business after Mr. Fair.  In March 1929, a fire started in this building and it was completely destroyed.  Bernie's Service Station is now on this site.



The Farmers Store was actually the Reynolds Co-Operative Company, managed by M.T. Iverson.  This company was organized in 1910 and was capitalized for $8500.00.  The farmers owned most of the stock in the company.  This store handled general merchandise and groceries, and the wooden salt barrels with wooden staves for lutefisk and herring. At the rear of the building they had a large warehouse with a loading platform and a hitching shed extending to the alley. A few days before Christmas in 1920, fire destroyed the building.



Charles H. Taber purchased the drug store from J.B. Kerfoot in December of 1912. He was one of the youngest businessmen in the community. He carried a complete line of drugs, toilet articles, school supplies, cigars, and confectionery. This building was destroyed by fire along with the Farmer's Store.   The fire station is presently on this site.



The flour mill was constructed in 1891, and owned and operated by William and Frank Janney. The machinery was driven by a 45 horsepower steam engine, and had a capacity of 100 barrels per day. They had a wheat exchange system that proved to be a great saving to the local farmers and others who came miles to take advantage of the offer. In September of 1927, it burned to the ground. The mill was located on the corner west of the present John Weber residence.



C.O. Gorder operated this business for many years. He also had a shoe repair shop and a board and rooming business and later a saloon. Mrs. Gorder (Ella) operated the business after her husband passed away.  In the late l800's, before the Gorder's started their business, we can just assume that the following businesses were in the building; Porter Brothers, general store; Frank Drengson, harnessmaker; John E. Larson, butcher. This building was torn down and the property belongs to John Weber.



The Davis Bowling Alley was owned and operated by C.H. Davis. It Is believed to have been in operation for a few years during the mid-1900's. Originally, the property belonged to the following: Gunder Christianson, garage; Michael Forde, blacksmith; Jacob Anderson, shoe store. The Davis building was believed to have been torn down, then in the 1920's, the Knutson Brothers constructed the building that is now Weber Grocery.



KeitePs Barber Shop was one of the well-remembered businesses the town. Nicholas Keitel opened his shop around 1905. It was a two-chair shop, and also a billiard parlor. Soft drinks, cigars, and tobacco were sold. Later, a bowling alley was added at the rear of the building. Mr. Keitel advertised in the local newspaper as "The Tonsonal Parlor," and offered free tourist road information. Mr. Keitel passed away in the late 1920's. The building was unoccupied for some time. The following are a few who operated a business in this building; Joe McMenawy, beer parlor and a meat shop; Duke McMenamy, Herb Nienas, Pete Avery, Nels Samuelson, and Vance Hanson, were all café operators. Vance and Lola Hanson operated the cafe from 1955 - 1963, and they were the last business in this building. It then stood empty until the 1970's when the building was razed.



Sven Ellingson, a pioneer businessman, carried a complete line of the latest in furniture, rugs, glassware, and a crockery line.  His son, Oscar later carried on the business.  This building too, had a long history of owners, Emmett Ellingson operated a restaurant here, and later Duke McMenamy took over that business.  Archie and June Benson started a grocery store in 1948, and in 1950, Duke McMenamy returned to operate the grocery business.  He sold the store and business to Henry Hallan, and Mr. Hallan is believed to be the last person to occupy the building.  It remained empty until the 1970's when the building was demolished.



On December 2, 1899, the Valley Lumber Company, who owned yards at Hillsboro, Buxton, Cummings, Kelso, and Grandin, purchased the local yard from McKinney and McWilliams.  H.T. Taber was named the manager.  They carried a complete stock of lumber, cement, plaster, coal, and wood.  M.T. Iverson was a later manager, and in 1926 it was called the Thompson Yards, Inc.  This business was located north of the present Farmers Oil Company office and belongs to the Farmers Co-Op Elevator.



This bank was organized as the Farmers State Bank in 1909 with a capital of $15,000.00.  Its President was S.N. Thompson; Vice President, John K. Rosholt; cashier, Martin Erickson.  On March 20, 1914, it became the First Nationa'1 Bank with a capita] of $25,000.00.'  S.N, Thompson remained President, and Rosholt and Erickson were both Vice Presidents.  The new Cashier was William F. Huck.  Shortly after President Roosevelt declared his "Bank Holiday" in 1933, the bank closed.  The next business to come into this building was the "Bee Hive".  It is interesting to note that in the 1930's, Dr. Ralph Mahowald used an office on the second floor for his weekly medical visits.



N.H. Borgelin started his business in 1900, He specialized in wall paper hanging, interior and exterior painting, sign painting, and general decorating A Mr. Hoyte was believed to be the next painter on this site.  It then became the present United States Post Office building.



The Reynolds Opera House was constructed in the late l890's.  Dances, band concerts, movies, plays, etc. were held in this building.  It was the “Town Hall” of the early years.  It was located west of the Catholic Church.  When George Berthold acquired his property next to the Opera House in 1934, the hall was still in use, but not frequently.  Mr. Berthold purchased the Opera House and property about two years later.  He removed the maple floor from the hall and installed it in his home.  He tore down the building, with the exception of the entrance section, which was moved to the Bill Leddige farm, (present Verdeen Leddige farm), and used for a granary.  The rest of the lumber was used to build his residential garage, which is still standing. Robert Severinson presently owns that property.



Herman Schotthoefer was a machinist and opened his garage and engine repair shop in 1911. George McCumber joined him later as an expert boiler and steam engine repairman. Together they added a gasoline station and an air pressure tank. Later owners of this building and business were Fred Berthold, and the last was believed to be Ted Breidenbach. The building was demolished in the 1940's.



In 1900, Ole Haga purchased his blacksmith shop from Martin Mela. His shop was fully equipped with all the latest machinery, such as a trip hammer, polisher, disc sharpener, etc.. He was an expert horse - shoer and blacksmith and had one of the busiest shops in the area. Mr. Haga was an avid skier, and won many trophies for his skill on the slopes! He was also an alderman on the City Council. Mr. Haga retired in 1953, and the last blacksmith shop was demolished in the late 1950's. His two daughters, Verna Haga, and Mrs. Donald (Bernice) Severinson still reside in the City.



The Reynolds Construction Company was organized in 1914 with capital stock of

$10,000.00. George E. Duis, K.O. Berge, Ferdinand Berthold, M.N. Brathovde, and J.V. Koelman were the incorporators and Board of Directors. The company manufactured cement blocks for building purposes. The factory was located about two miles south of town near the Berthold gravel pit. This site is now the Verdeen Leddige farm.



William H. Hemmy established Hemmy’s Quality Store in 1900. This business was a general store, carrying the No-Vary line of groceries, a full line of dry goods, shoes, clothing, and tobacco. He also had a stock of candy and cigars, and a five and ten cent counter. With the coming of electricity, Mr. Hemmy installed an electric motor for turning the coffee mill.  In 1963 William and Laura Sorenson purchased the building and operated a cafe and pool hall and for a short time, a beer parlor. O.K. "Slim" Foss, and George Berthold operated a saloon after the Sorensons quit their business. Oscar Severinson purchased the property in 1943. Krogstad Garage is now on the site.



This building, erected in 1905 from native rock, at a cost of $10,000.00, is unanimously agreed, the most beautiful structure ever built in the City.

The bank was established in 1891 with a capital of $25,000.00. M.F. Murphy was the first President; Vice President, Steven Collins; Cashiers, M.N. Brathovde, John Murhpy, and H.R. Schulstad. John Murphy later became president of the bank until It closed In the later 1930's.  It then became a bank station for the First State Bank of Buxton with Sid Lommen of Thompson, North Dakota as president and Joseph Olson of Buxton, North Dakota as the Buxton President. The building was then used as a private residence for a short while.  It was later demolished and the Northwestern Bell Telephone Company purchased the property and constructed their new building on the site.



The Reynolds Tow Mill, whose manager was C.H. Davis, was built in 1903.  It was located approximately three blocks south of the main street on the west side of the railroad tracks.  It was advertised as the largest tow mill in the world.  It had a capacity of fifteen tons every ten hours, and turned out from 350 to 400 bales of tow every day.  The mill had its own electric light plant and during the rush season in the fall, it operated night and day.  Between twenty and twenty-five men were employed in the mill the whole year round.  It was destroyed by fire in the mid 1920's.



Josef Schotthoefer was a cousin to Herman Schotthoefer who operated a machine shop in Reynolds.  He lived in the country on the former J.V. Schumacher home.  He did his work in a building on the home site and had to transport the finished product to its destination by horse and wagon. A few of his masterpieces were the wrought iron Lebacken Implement sign which was erected atop their building; another was the fence for the Catholic Cemetery in Grand Forks, which by the way, was transported in pieces in two teams of horses and wagons, and then assembled.  That fence is still surrounding the cemetery.  Another work of Josef's art was the communion railing in the Catholic Church in Reynolds.  The railing was removed from the church in the 1960's when the Sanctuary was redecorated.  Josef wished to see the railing preserved, and since he lived in the state of Michigan at the time, he asked John M. Adams and Fred Ackerman to store it until he could transport it to his home.  After he safely got the railing home, in appreciation to John and Fred for storing it, he made them each an occasional table with a section of the railing as a base.



H.C.Richsteig purchased the meat market in 1910.  He featured fresh meats, homemade sausages, and smoked meats.  An icehouse was located at the rear of the building.  Joseph McMenamy was the next owner of this business until it was destroyed by fire in March of 1927.  Mr. McMenamy then moved his business to the Rockaway Hotel building, and later on to the Keitel building.



H.R Dickieson's general merchandise store was established in 1882, the same year he came to Reynolds.  He purchased the business from Abe Abrahamson. Mr. Dickieson stayed in the business many years.  The building then had different businesses occupying various sections.  The building burned in March of 1930.  At the time of the fire, the James Merrigan family was residing on the second floor.  George Berthold was operating a pool hall.  The post office and Merrigan's Barber Shop were also En the building.  The First National Bank owned the building at that time.  Mr. Merrfgan then opened a barbershop in the Rockaway Hotel, and the post office moved to Borgelin's Paint Shop and has remained there ever since.


An interesting story about the Dickieson's is that when they arrived here from Boston, Massachusetts, they brought with them their Negro slave.  He did not wish to be free, and stayed with the Dickieson's until his death.  He is buried in the Lutheran Cemetery north of Reynolds.  His tombstone reads, "Oliver Bowland, Negro, faithful servant of H.R. Dickieson."


Anker Steen's business consisted of groceries, confectionery, and general merchandise.  It was once part of Delmer Krogstad's Garage.


E.C. Olson, A.B. Almquist, and Halvor Severinson were the city contractors and builders.


Peter Anderson operated the livery Stable on east Main Street.


J.A. LaBounty operated a barbershop in the west room of the Dickieson Building.


Halvor Olson had his tailor shop in the Rockaway Hotel building.


J.F. McMenamy was the postmaster in 1915; the office was then in the Dickieson Building.


Mr. M Bye operatee a board and rooming house on main street.


Ed Sorenson's Pool hall also carried a line of confectionery, tobacco, cigars, and soft drinks. That building is now a granary on the Douglas Ackerman farm.


Howard S. Downs purchased the K.N. Knudsvig Jewelry Store on November 1, 1915, and moved the business to a room in the Rockaway Hotel.



As early as 1898, the city had their own band, known as the Reynolds Cornet Band with Conrad Berg as the leader.  In 1918-1919, and again in 1936-1938, the city had a band. Two of the later bandleaders names were Gunder Christianson, and Roy Christianson. The band gave many concerts and marched in numerous parades.  Mrs. Thea Krogstad, E.H. Enger's mother, was a dressmaker and made all the uniforms for the band in 1936-1938. The free concerts were given at the town hall and in the city park. This park also had an ice skating rink in the winter. The park is now the site of the school bus garage and county shed.


The city also had a bandstand that was located in the park and was used for many of the band concerts.  It was later moved across the street to the west of Delmer Krogstads Garage.   Years later, Harry Wold moved it to his property and enclosed it and used it for his garage, it sat on that property for many years, and the present owner of the property, Howard Drees of Thompson, North Dakota, gave the Centennial Committee permission to remove and restore it for their own Use. Many of the local residents took part in its restoration, and plans were made to use it during the Centennial Celebration. Further plans were made to locate it in the new city park.



Since the cities incorporation the first recorded ordinance with the telephone service was dated August 5, 1895 with the Northwestern Telephone Exchange Company. The ordinance gave the company the right to erect their poles and wires through the city.  In May 1902, the Buxton, Reynolds, Belmont, and Climax, Minnesota Telephone Company held the franchise.  In 1904 they were referred to as the Red River Valley Telephone Company.  In October 1904 the Tri State Telephone and Telegraph Company was granted permission to construct their long distance lines and poles in the city. The switchboard office was relocated in the Reynolds Enterprise Newspaper Building on the second floor and remained there until about 1935 when the office was moved to the residential building that was in the site of the present Mary Sitter residence.  The Telephone Company was still called the Red River Valley Telephone Company.  Those were the days of the long and short rings, and when five long rings was for everyone to answer their telephone as this meant there was an emergency, good or bad news, and even advertising to be relayed.  The Pioneer Telephone Company held the next franchise in 1953 and that was the beginning of the dial system.  The switchboard was removed from the building and no longer needed.  The last three operators were Wilma Tweeten, Ruby Davis, and Pearl Berthold.  The telephone company then had a small building constructed for its equipment south of the former building.  From January 1972, until January 1973, until the present, Northwestern Bell Telephone has held the franchise.  They constructed a new building on the corner of main street, which was formerly the State Bank and Schulstad Hardware locations.  In November of 1976, we were able to call Grand Forks toll free.  During the last two years, the telephone posts were removed, and the lines were buried.



In the early days of Reynolds City the Dray Line was an important part of the community.  The main job of the City Dray Line was to haul freight from the train depot - such as coal, lumber, groceries, etc.  Also in the early days of the Dray Line (and when they were still using their teams), they would haul water from several different springs into town and fill the cisterns of the town's residents.  Two of the springs were Tony Rakoczy's and Einar Bronken's.  The hauling of water eventually graduated to a "water truck" until the City became connected With the Grand Forks – Traill Water Users, Inc.  The City hired the Dray Line for snow removal on the street; but as the times changed the duties of the dray line changed.  The City Ordinances, adopted in 1893, state that in order to operate a Dray Line in the City of Reynolds a license must be obtained for the sum of $10.00 per year.


The first known operator of the Dray Line was Charles G. Swift, who was listed in the Gazetteer for 1896-97. In 1903 when Lars L. Berg moved to Reynolds, he operated the City Dray Line.  Since then other operators have been Martin Austreng, Iver Severinson, Alfred Johnson and Ole Tweten.  Before World War II, Virgil Bohm bought the Dray Line and his brother Bill ran it until Virgil returned from service in 1945.  Virgil was the last one to operate the Dray Line until the "City Dray Line Era" ended, about 1958.


To give you some idea as to where these early businesses were located on main street:  On the south side of main street, beginning at the present sewer lift station, was the site of the city Jail, and also the artesian well, with a water trough which was used by the farmers who came into town with their horse and buggy, and also by the local people who had cattle and no well.  Across the street on the corner and going west was:

Davis Bowling Alley - now Weber Grocery Gorder's

Mrs. Bye's " former Braaten building

Rockaway Hotel - now Bee Hive


Then continuing west across the Street was:

The First National Bank" former Bee Hive, now Reynold's Supply Co

Lebacken Implement - now Reynolds Supply Co.

Ellingson Furniture - now Reynolds Supply Co.

Keitel's Barber Shop - now Reynolds Supply Co-

Hemmy's Quality Store - now Krogstad Garage

Steen's Confectionery - now Krogstad Garage


Across the street to the north and then going back east:

Fred Fair's Confectionery - now Bernie's Service

Knudsvig Jewelry

Richsteig's Meat Shop

Swanson's Barber Shop

Dickieson's Store

Farmer's Store - now City Hall

Taber's Drug Store - now Fire Hall


Across the street to the east:

First State Bank - now Telephone Company

Schulstad Hardware

Schotthoefer Shop

Reynolds Enterprise Newspaper - formerly Frying Pan Cafe

Power House - former Fire Hall

Borgelin's Paint Shop - now Post Office

Haga Blacksmith Shop

Severinson Wagon Shop

Sorenson Pool Hall


Across the street to the east was the Livery Stable, now the property of Marvin Grass. At one time there was another livery barn, (and harness shop) at the rear of the Lebacken Implement and both were in operation at the same time.


A slaughterhouse was once located at the former dump ground site and later, another one was located east of town near the coulee, on the Larry Griggs property.




I am the Artist who pencils your face

Till there isn't a wrinkle left any place;

But I tell you right now as I told you before,

I can't make old maids look "just twenty-four".


I am Seiger, the man on the corner

I am not playing "little Jack Horner";

But if you want cake or a pie

Just bring your panger and you can buy.


I am Gunder, I'll fix your wheel

Or sell you a new one on any deal.

I'll mend old wheels, I always said

But I can't repair the ones in your head.


I am Thompson and Erickson

When we open up you'll see some fun

We're just commencing, everyone knows

So make your own prices - everything goes.


I am Halliday, medical man

If I can't cure you, no one can.

I came to Reynolds when a mere boy

Just give me a chance, I'll be here when you die


I am Schulstad, Ludvig for short

With plenty of hardware of every sort.

I'll solder your kettle or fix your drum

Quote you low prices, "That'll help some".


I am Murphy, the Reynolds Bank

Too modest to say, I am not a crank.

Of course we want interest on every loan

And a nice bonus all for my own.


I am the oldest blacksmith here

Martin Mela, isn't it queer.

I've shod wild bronchos and done it so well

And never got kicked into heaven or (hell).


I am McKinney, the Enterprise

On our paper there is no flies.

We print all the news of interest to you

Excepting one item - Subscription's due.


I am Smith, farm implement man

I've spread out my wings like no other can.

For a telephone, a binder or rake

I am always ready your hand to shake.


I am Swen with the furniture store

I've been in business since Eighty-four

I'll sell you furniture of any shade

And give away coffins for all the old maids.


I am the hotel Rockaway

Where meals are served three times a day

We always can give you a Currant Pie

But at present our Herrings are rather dry,


I am the Austin's, Aleck and Jack

When our work goes out it never comes back.

When your horse is so lame be can't walk or trot

We then work our game with that noted "hoof rot"


I am Rankenz, you know the rest

'Tis fifteen cents for my very best

But if your beard has a single root

I'll shave you for half, with a shampoo to boot.


I am Mela (Mealy), or shorter Jim

We keep no knic knacs or silly whims.

All our stock is each year renewed

Excepting good Jim, he's the same old dude.


I am Doc. Smith for teeth and dollars

I never quit when a patient hollers;

It gives me great pleasure to bore to the quick

But it gives me great pain to do it on tick.


I am Lebacken, Christ and Matt

We keep a full line except antifat

Our goods are all new, the best to be found

Our clerks are the neatest fellows in town.


I am Gorder, I'm doing well

I keep everything a store can sell

I give you hot coffee whenever you're cold

For twenty-five cents, I'll saveth your soul.


I am Dickieson, right on the spot

With one store here and one at Why-Hot.

My clerks are all right and work like a charm

But they manage to keep the old duck oh the farm.


I am Kerfoot, a druggist you see

You all know I sell Rocky Mountain Tea.

I have no young clerks employed on my staff

But B.J. is there with a good hearty laugh.



I am Severinson, the worker in wood.

When I mend your wagon, I do it good.

I've only one fault, the people say

I'm rather slow at getting my pay.


I am Seiger with Bikes and Cakes

With tires and headlights and flavored milk shakes

I run a bicycle shop in town

And a restaurant that Martinson handed down.


I am Gorder, I am last 'tis true

But I'm here to play my role.

When these darlings wear out their dainty shoes

I am called on to mend their soles.

Others may make a grand display

Of their business with all its rush

But I am the same every day

With my shoe, may last and my brush.


Guess who ya am da call me Knute

Ya handle some coal and lumber to boot

Ya vas the whole cheese in da wood business, too

But dem other guys cut my profit in two.


I represent the four wheat buyers

The farmers call them the four big liars

But it gives me the greatest pleasure indeed

To say four straighter men never did breathe.


I represent the millinery store

Come in ladies and look my good o'er

I'll find you a hat that's "awfully nice"

And I won't forget to find you a price.


I am Janney's, William and Frank

We've money to spare and some in the bank.

We sometimes enjoy a game of Whist

But we'd rather try a game with your grist.


I am Lavalley, the Jewelry store

When I once fix your watch, you need fix no more

I have gold wedding rings

But the Reynolds boys have no use for such things.


I am the post office, Hilliard, A.B.

But I put in my time looking after P.V.

But Delia, Miss Amos, you'll always find there

And I know that your letters are handled with care.


I am Linfoot the merchant tailor

I keep a fast horse, she's a real sailor

I make suits of clothes with prices right too

But I tell you - bring your money with you.


I am Herring the meat market guy

Some of you think my prices are high.

But go out and try to buy a fat steer

You'll never again say beefsteak is dear


I am Reynolds Concert Band

Our name is known all over the land

Out Prof. is alright, I tell you that

To none but Sousa he'll doff his hat.