By Ginger Holm
No one seems to remember when the LeRoy egg house first started operations, but many citizens remember working there. Soon, memories will be all that's left of the old egg house as the building is collapsing, and the City plans to begin demolition as soon as possible.
The earliest memories can be traced back to Kermit "Bud" Halling, who, in 1946, began working for Goodrich and Shackelford, owners of the egg house at that time. Later, after the death of Mr. Shackelford in 1951, Halling became a partner.
Lou Linderman started working at the egg plant in 1956 and stayed until the business closed in 1980. When she started, eggs were candled by hand.
"We held two eggs, [one] in each hand, ... up to a bright light and candled them that way," Linderman explained. "We looked for blood spots and how big the air cell was and if there were any spoilage spots on the yolk, a spot that looked different from the rest or a dark spot."
Linderman continued, "We kind of guessed at the weight, but we did have a little scale that we weighed them on and they had to go in the proper cartons."
At that time, there were small, medium, large and extra large eggs, and double yolks. The double yolks went right in with the single yolks.
"It went by weight, so whoever got that double yolk, got a good one," Linderman laughed. Cracked eggs were put in a separate case.
The cracked eggs went to a breaker, I think, and were dried for powered eggs," said Linderman.
Virgil Speer, who worked for the eggplant the same time as Linderman, knew exactly where those cracked eggs were sent. He drove one of the egg trucks.
"Cracked eggs were sent to a plant that processed them for cake mixes," said Speer. "They called it a breaking plant because they took the cracked eggs. New Hampton, Iowa, had one for Sara Lee's down there, and St. Charles had a big one over there."
Over time, technology improved operations at the plant. Machines replaced hand candling.
"Eventually, the eggs came through a washer and came down a chute," Linderman said. "The eggs came over a thing in front of us and there were bright lights underneath. The eggs would come in front of us so we could tell if there was any blood or if it was an old egg."
The ladies picked out the bad eggs. The rest were weighed before going down a track that sorted them by size.
"The girls in the back had a machine that used suction to pick up a dozen at a time and place them in a carton," said Linderman. "The cartons were pushed out onto a [conveyer belt] that took them down to the round table where they were packed in boxes and shipped out."
Linda (Halling) Sanders said the round table was a circular conveyer belt.
"There were probably eight ladies filling the cartons," Sanders said. "From the round table, workers would pick up a carton in each hand and put them in a case till it was full."
Sanders was hired in 1967 to work in the office, when her mother, Eunice Halling retired. She left in 1971 when her third child was born.
According to Speer, "My first route was about 150 miles long. Toward the end, I drove 80,000 to 90,000 miles a year. I went from Sioux Falls, South Dakota to New Hampton; from there I went toward Cannon Falls and toward the Twins Cities and to Viroqua, Wisconsin.
"The biggest day I had was 470-some miles! We used to have seven or eight route trucks that went out and picked up eggs."
The trucks used for hauling had also gotten bigger and 522 cases of eggs could be packed in one truck.
"They put in two new machines that packed ten cases an hour," remembered Speer. "It held 30 dozen eggs; that's 360 eggs to a case."
"They processed the eggs, candled them, graded them and sent them out to Michigan, Chicago and some went to Memphis, Tennessee—wherever the buyer was."
The LeRoy egg plant also had an employee who went out to farms to separate the laying hens from the older hens.
"They used to cull [the chickens] to see if they were layers or 'lairs'," said Speer. "Homer Pooler used to do that. He would go out in the fall of the year when people would buy pullets or get new birds and he would cull out the ones that didn't lay. He would put them in a craft, take them back to town and leave the layers."
"They sold the ones [he had culled] and put them in Campbell's soup," Speer continued. "Homer Pooler used to be the number-one chicken culler. Spring Grove had processing plant for processing hens for Campbell's Soup."
"It was a great place to work," Speer concluded.
"When they sold out to New Hampton," said Linderman. "They sold with the [understanding] they weren't going to close up. Then, once the papers were signed, they closed up.
"The guy called and said shut it down. We didn't have any notice."
"LPC bought it and I worked there for almost 20 years," Linderman added. "I worked mostly on the Honeywell Line. We made things for air conditioners. I retired when I was 65, about 14 years ago."
"Bud was a good boss," she said. "We got along so good at that place, everybody got along. Everybody liked Bud."
Steve and Mary Lunning, along with Bob and Gail Subra, are pleased to announce the engagement and upcoming wedding of their children,
Katie Subra and Nick Lunning. Katie is employed as a second grade teacher at Banfield Elementary in Austin, Minn. and Nick is employed at Grain Millers in St. Ansgar, Iowa.
A September 27 wedding is planned, and the couple will reside on the farm in rural Rose Creek, Minn.
The weekend was rather quiet with not too much to do, but did catch up on the news articles Monday. Was at the picnic at the park Sunday noon, and the weather was perfect then. I think it rained some more that night. Friday evening was a scary time with the wind, rain, lightning and thunder. Matt, our sports editor said there was a two-hour delay in the football game between LeRoy and Grand Meadow, so he sat in his car waiting for the game which did happen, but it was near midnight when he finally made it home.
I had expected to see some of my sons here on Saturday, to play golf, but they got rained out over east and all of them went home including Dan who I did have breakfast with Sunday morning at Sweets. He's got a Green Bay Packers coffee cup at Sweets and he sure gets the mileage out of it, sitting among all the Viking fans. The six boys had part of their Big Al golf tournament done on Friday, the winners being the two youngest, Matt and Dave, with the four older ones, Terry, Tim, Greg and Dan having to buy them supper and possibly a beer or two! They must have had a really good time because Dan could hardly tell me about it he was still laughing about some of the things that happened. All that will be rehashed when they get together again at Christmas and some special awards are given out, and it's anybody's guess what they might be!
Sharon Thiel wants me to remind you about the Christmas Shoebox project which is in progress. If you have some trinkets, small t-shirts, washcloths, small toys, school supplies, toothpaste, tooth brush, combs, anything useful please bring them into the Senior Center where they will be shared among the boxes to be filled. This is a giant project and will take a big effort from all of us to make the goal of 1000 filled shoeboxes by late October when they will be taken to distribution sites. It's my understanding that these boxes will be given to children in the United States as well as it being an overseas project. Those who don't have things to donate, and even if you do, the project will need funds for mailing these boxes and that can easily be donated too. I can't imagine what a pile of boxes a 1000 of them would make, but it would be fun to find out. It is going to take a massive effort upon all our local area residents to get this project done and gone.
There's been a lot in the daily papers lately about getting electricity from solar systems and Marvin Winkels has a story to tell about his solar system which he had up and running when his house burned down this spring. But the fire didn't affect the electricity-making system, the use of it now only for pumping water at the well. So the other day he looked at what he had "banked" in the system and found that he had over 4000 kilowatt hours to his good. He said he couldn't believe it, but will enjoy the check from the electric company when the electricity is purchased for their own grid. Way to go, Marvin!
Glenda Nauman, our local artist and gardener, has been in the Methodist Hospital getting treatment for an infection which came upon her in recent weeks, her brother Dan said. She had gotten through the cancer surgery and the chemo, and was well on the way to feeling good when this happened. Dan said she was expecting to get home any time soon, and may possibly be there now. She needs your prayers.
Sympathy to the family of Duane Schumann whose funeral is today, Tuesday at the Lutheran Church. He had hospice care at home and died peacefully and without pain, his wife Dona said. Which is a blessing.
I couldn't believe the list of things that the gambling funds are able to purchase with the blessing of The LeRoy Community Foundation board. It is amazing that so much could be collected from the local system at Sweets and Travel Lanes. All these avenues of fundraising are a blessing to many, it looks like.
Forgot to tell you about an accident a couple of weeks ago and now I can't find my notes about it. But we are lucky to have Barb Kling still with us, I tell you. It can only be claimed as a miracle. She was traveling Highway 14, I think it was, and was in a town over east on her way to see her daughter in Winona, traveling in a horrible rain storm, and bang, a great big tree falls right on her moving car! But, she says, she was lucky because it hit the back part of the car and she was in the front, but hidden under the downed tree. She said it took awhile for the people to find her and they had to get a saw to cut the tree so she could get out of the car, uninjured, and be helped by kind people. The car was demolished, but thankfully Barb lived to tell about it. Amazing that the tree should come down just at the time she was passing by. A few feet either way and the story might not have had a happy ending.
And this is the end of the page too. So, please remember to thank God for all His blessings.
By Eileen Evans
Besides welcoming Kathy Farlinger as the new secretary for the Friends of Lake Louise State Park organization at its Saturday, Aug. 23 meeting at the park station, members discussed the successful open house celebration held at the park June 14. Not only did the Friends get donations of hot dogs, water and ice, pans of bars and cookies, but the George Chappell family brought their grill to the shelter to cook the hot dogs to perfection. Then too, when the money in the free will donation bucket was counted there was a total of $472, the best ever, with the raffle clearing $105. There were expenses for the open house of $101.78, mainly for the buns to go with the hot dogs, which brought up a lively discussion about possibly finding a business to donate those next year. Donations were also made by Garald and Verna Stockdale, who bought all the ingredients and made the fruit cobbler served for dessert at the open house, and Sally Vietor, who bought the paper supplies. Many thanks to all the donors and volunteers who had the happy duty to feed over 175 persons that day.
The State Park "I Can" program at Lake Louise had a good many persons attend the morning and afternoon canoe training classes at the park the same day. Charlie Anderson told about the instructor getting into a canoe, telling his students, "not to do this" and over he went into the water, but gave them a lesson in how to right the canoe and get back into it. Anderson noted that he remembered Bill Bellman doing the same thing when he began his job as ranger at Lake Louise, many years ago.
Next year's open house celebration, with hot dogs, will be on Saturday, June 13, 2015, on Outdoors Day when the park has free admission. Erol McCaslin, assistant park ranger and present at the meeting, reminded the Friends about the DNR ruling that nothing can be sold at the park other than permits.
The organizers of the Shooting Star Trail bike ride received many good comments on the June 28 ride out of LeRoy Trailhead. Unfortunately, this year was the first time in the Ride's 16 year history that an ambulance had to be called for an injured rider over in the western part of the ride. Members appreciated the club rule that all bike riders wear a biking helmet to be in the Ride. Date for the 2015 Bike Ride will be Saturday, June 27, starting in LeRoy.
All the fifth graders in Prairie Vision country schools, LeRoy, Sacred Heart and Southland, will have their annual Environmental Days on Sept. 11-12 at the park. The schools pretty much handle all the organization of this project sponsored by Prairie Visions.
The annual Fall Candle Lighted Walk has been scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 4 (full moon) from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the Shelter. Sally Vietor will get the apple cider and additional candles needed, and each member will be asked to bring a pan of bars. If able, please meet at the park at 9 a..m. to put the candles and sand in the buckets and at 6 p.m. to help set the buckets on the trail, and light them.
Due to liability issues, the Friends are not able to plow the walking trails but are able to pack the trails. Volunteers will groom the cross country ski trails, groomer is ready to go.
Deb Iverson is putting together a 2015 calendar of photos she has taken at the park, and two of her larger photos will be raffled off.
McCaslin reported that Lake Louise State Park has been busy and could possibly have a banner year! Work is being done on the manure bin in the horse area and the park staff have been working hard to keep the trails in good shape.
Anderson told the group a bench will be placed on the south side of Lake Louise near the dam by Jo Hamlin. Sally Vietor reported that the blue bird project counted 87 eggs with 57 of them hatched out.
Discussion was held on a location to house the history of Lake Louise at the oldest continuous recreation area in Minnesota, and the history of the LeRoy area. Consensus was a building on LeRoy's Main Street, if at all possible.
By Ginger Holm
Students at LeRoy-Ostrander High School will probably be hearing a lot of interesting stories about US History as Jesse Frisinger begins his new position at the school.
"My grandparents were part of the 'Greatest Generation,'" said Frisinger., referring to the Americans who lived during the Great Depression and WWII.
"They would tell me stories about surviving the Great Depression and what it was like during WWII, so, I love US history because I heard these stories from my grandparents," he said, adding that growing up in the '60s and '70s gives him some personal insight into modern US history.
"History is probably my favorite class, but any class can be a whole lot of fun, if the kids get into it," he said.
Frisinger, who is filling the position left vacant by Scott Hall, will also be teaching Geography and Government. He is originally from Richey, Montana, a little town about one-quarter the size of LeRoy.
Frisinger first came to Minnesota to attend college and, "I loved the area right away."
Frisinger's grandmother didn't like the direction he was heading.
"I wasn't getting in trouble," he said. "I just didn't have any direction. She told me, 'If you go to this church affiliated school (Crown College) for a year, I will pay for it.'"
Frisinger ended up meeting his wife, Amy, while attending Crown College and graduated with a degree in teaching, in 1995.
Although he loved Minnesota, he was offered a teaching job at his old high school in Richey and taught there seven years. After that he went to New Mexico and taught for another seven years.
"It was hard to leave there because it is such a great place, but this area is where we needed to be to help out family, so, we moved."
Frisinger, who currently lives in Northwood, Iowa, taught at Albert Lea for a year before coming to LeRoy-Ostrander.
"I got RIF'd (Reduction in Force)," he explained. "They had to cut 16 positions, and since I had only been there a year, I was last hired, and one of the first to be let go."
Frisinger sees his leaving Albert Lea as a blessing in disguise. "I am a small school guy. Albert Lea was way too big."
"Richey, where I grew up, is about 200 people," said Frisinger. I graduated from a class of 12."
"It is funny how I got this position. I had applied at Southland and was a finalist," he explained. " But, I really enjoy teaching high school, and the position at Southland was Junior high, so, long story short, I didn't get that job."
Keith Fleming, the principal at Southland, was talking with L-O Principal Aaron Hungerholt about the position at L-O and remembered Frisinger from that interview.
"Fleming told Hungerholt, 'I interviewed a guy, who I think would be a good fit for this job.' So Aaron called me and I got the job."
Frisinger has two daughters in high school; Mandy, a senior, and Emily, a freshman. He plans to continue living in Northwood until they graduate. So, he will probably be driving to work for the next four years.
"Northwood has a casino, so every graduating senior gets a scholarship," he explained. "Last year the graduating seniors got $8300 apiece, and there was no requirement other than you had to graduate from high school."
Frisinger, who played football and basketball in junior and senior high school,will also be coaching C squad Football at L-O.
"I have been very impressed with the work ethic of the kids. They don't complain [and] they don't gripe. They just do what I ask them to do. I think we will be successful, because they are willing to do what needs to be done. I am very excited about our season."
Frisinger will be shared with Southland Schools. He will teach four periods at L-O and two at Southland.
"I am very excited to be in LeRoy," he said. "I grew up in a small town. This is a big town compared to what I grew up in, but I really want to be in a small school.
"I like small communities because they get behind their schools, and I love farm kids," he concluded. "I grew up as a farm kid, and I think there is a different work ethic with country kids and a lot more accountability. Parents expect more from their kids, and I like that."
By Eileen Evans
While Sally Vietor's husband grilled the many hot dogs and brats for Sunday's picnic at the Lake Louise campgrounds, Gareld and Verna Stockdale were busy saying their goodbyes to the campers as well as members of the Friends of Lake Louise State Park who attended the appreciation and farewell picnic for the Stockdales at noontime. Potluck food items were added to the table which featured the grilled meat, buns, chips and beverage. This was the 10th summer for the Stockdales to be hosts at the park. Gerald Meier of Adams, who with his wife Marjie were campground hosts for 11 years, attended the gathering Sunday with Joyce Halver, also of Adams, who was instrumental in providing the funds to build and install the beautiful entrance sign for the Lake Louise State Park, a memorial to her late husband, Bernie Halver.
The hot dogs and brats, a donation from Next Generation Pork in LeRoy and products of Ody's Meat Market at Ostrander, were available for the picnic as a surplus from the Open House celebration in June when over 175 persons were fed.
Coming to the picnic were the campers and friends of the Stockdales including Dale and Mary Fagerlind of Rochester who have stayed at Lake Louise State Park for 124 days in the nine years they have been coming to the park each summer. Greeting them and their family was Deb Iverson who was out taking pictures in the park.
Sharon Jacobson, president of the Friends group, was out to the park to distribute information about the Moon Lighted Walk at the park on Saturday, Oct. 4, sponsored by the Friends.
The horse campground was full of people, horses, trailers and camping gear, with many families enjoying the final camping weekend for the park.
Verna Stockdale said they would be packing up their camping gear from the hosts' site Monday and Tuesday, the campground closing on Monday, Labor Day, and they would return to their home in Spring Valley with plans to do some work on Blue Bird houses as well as other hobby ventures.
Sally Vietor, the park's maintenance person throughout the spring, summer and into the fall, will be on duty until the latter part of October, she said. Keeping the park in tip top condition has kept her busy these past months. It was reported at the Friends' meeting that the local park had a banner season.
Michael Adams (Class of 1998)
Are you Married?
I am married to Tracy (Bigley) Adams, we met at an event in McIntire, IA in 2003 on our birthday weekend. They happen to be 2 days apart!
We have 2 kids Jack McCoy 7 (4-1-07), and AvaLee Monroe 3. (7-27-10)
You live where now? Where have you lived since LOHS?
We live in Riceville since 2005. I lived in LeRoy prior to that.
What is your favorite memory of the LeRoy-Ostrander School?
Some of my favorite memories of LOHS were playing basketball with great teammates and friends.
Where do you work and what do you do at your job? Where does your significant other work and what do they do?
I work in LeRoy for MN Drainage owned by Leroy Johnson. I operate a tile plow installing drainage tile for farmers as well as many other interesting tasks like driving truck, working on and in heavy equipment, and farm equipment. It is a fun job with various tasks and a good group of people. My wife is a nurse, and currently works in Ostrander for the Care Facility.
If you could go back to your Senior year at LOHS, what would you do again and what would you change?
If I could go back to my senior year I would appreciate the careless stress free days more. I would play ball again, and maybe give a little more effort into some of the classes that you carry with you into the real world.
Tell me more about your favorite memories of growing up in the L-O community.
Favorite memories of L-O community are knowing most of the people and being comfortable there. Working for Hanson Tire for 4 years as my first job was exciting and I worked with great people learning many things that I use every day as a worker. Also hanging out with all my old friends cruising main and having parties.
What would your former classmates of LOHS be surprised to learn about you now?
My proudest achievement since leaving high school was starting my own family which gets better to watch grow every day.
If you could add one business to Main Street or somewhere in LeRoy what would it be and why?
I always thought a taco bell would have been fun to have in town when I was younger.
Favorite song or band right now?
My favorite singer is George Strait, with Metallica in close second, even though they are very different.
Favorite teacher from your LOHS days and why?
Favorite teacher would be a tie between Mr. Schaufler and Mr. Archuleta who both were great teachers and down to earth people. What they taught were things that I still use and carry with me, as well as being good role models.
You have an hour of television to watch. What do you want on?
If I had an hour of television (depending on the time of year) I would watch Sportscenter, football, news, or Madmen.
Tell me about your proudest achievement since leaving LOHS:
My proudest achievement since leaving high school was starting my own family which gets better to watch grow every day.
What are your lifelong dreams? If you could have everything you wanted out of this life it would be…
My life long dreams are to watch my children grow into successful adults, and watch some grandchildren grow up. I hope to be a part of their lives and to always have the money to do the things in life that my family and I enjoy.
What do you do in your spare time?
In my spare time I like to ride motorcycle, snowmobile, camp, and go boating. Also working outside around my house and hunting for deer.
What do you know now that you wish you knew back then?
I wish I knew back then how stressful and busy the real world can be. I wouldn’t change anything now, but may have enjoyed more things when I was younger, because free time really is hard to find.
Besides your parents/family was there anyone in the LeRoy-Ostrander community who made an impact in your life?
Other than friends and family I would have to say LeRoy Johnson has probably impacted me the most from the LeRoy community. I lost a very good job when the economy crashed in 2009, and my wife was a full time nursing student. We also had a small child and planning for another. He offered me a job that has turned into a pretty good career I would call it. The work was different from what I had been doing, and I actually enjoy work now! I have learned a lot working with my co-workers there.
When your time on earth is up, how would you like to be remembered?
I would like to be remembered as a caring, hard working, good dad and husband. Someone who helped others when needed.
SEPTEMBER 6- Chicken Fry, Adams American Legion. Serving 5:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.
SEPTEMBER 6-7 - 2-day Real Estate • Antique • Flower Shop Household Auction, 9:00 a.m. Spring Valley Sales Auction Building.
SEPTEMBER 7 - 50th Wedding Anniversary Open House for Stan and Joanne Larson. LeRoy Community Center 2:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.
SEPTEMBER 7 - Chester Firemen Pancake Breakfast, 8:00 a.m.-12 noon Chester Community Center.
SEPTEMBER 7 - Turkey & Ham Dinner, St. John’s Church, Johnsburg, MN. 3:30 p.m.-7:00 p.m.
OCTOBER 4 - The annual Fall Candle Lighted Walk (full moon) from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. at the Shelter.
By Eileen Evans
As a gesture of goodwill, two Lions members from Adams, Bob Hanson and Earl Orvik, came to LeRoy Monday evening to help the LeRoy Lions volunteers to round up, roll up and store the 17 American flags which were put out to various home sites in LeRoy Monday morning, in honor of Labor Day.
The memorial flag project, sponsored by the LeRoy Lions as a fund raising endeavor, provides the donor with an American flag put in place in front of the home at 7 in the morning by Lions volunteers on each national holiday, and picked up again at 7 p.m. the same day by the Lions volunteers, then stored until the next national holiday.
At the present time, the Lions have 18 donors, but only 17 flags were put up Monday since the 18th site has not been established as yet.
On Monday morning, LeRoy Lions members Norm and Jan Hanson, Jerry Barber and son, John, Ben Reburn and Craig Bucknell teamed up to set up the 17 flags which are placed in an in-ground holder at each site. Then on Monday night, many of the LeRoy Lions showed up to help with the roundup of the flags, along with the Adams volunteers. The flags, which had been put out in a mist during the morning placement, were dry and could easily be rolled and stored until the next holiday which is Veteran's Day in November.
Craig Bucknell, president of the LeRoy Lions, said there will be a promotion during the month of October when the Lions will be offering the flag placement for the coming year, for the national holidays listed.
This past Friday Duane Schumann passed away. He was fighting cancer and lost his fight at the age of 84.
I met Duane about 16 years ago when Dad and I went to coffee at the old Main Street Cafe upon purchasing the LeRoy Independ-ent back in 1998. Being an old LeRoy businessman of the past, Duane just loved getting a “cup of joe” and listening in on the conversation, but also liking to dish it out. He always had his opinions and he would rarely bend one way or another, which I respected about him.
He, as many of the bygone coffee club members, was extremely involved with LeRoy as a volunteer, but also as a business manager. He operated the old Co-op Oil Station for 14 years and was involved in the LeRoy Farmer’s Co-Op as a Credit Manager. He also served on the LeRoy Fire Department, the LeRoy City Council and even as Mayor for two years (I didn’t know that about him). He was also an original volunteer on the LeRoy Ambulance Service, was on the LeRoy-Ostrander School Board, served on the LeRoy Lutheran Church council and was a director at the Root River Country Club, where he played golf for many years.
What I really know about Duane was that he truly did love his wife, loved playing golf, enjoyed his friends and was just an ideal individual for the community of LeRoy.
My condolences to the Schumann family and their loss of a wonderful man who truly celebrated living in LeRoy.
Over the years we’ve really lost some wonderful men of this community.
When I first arrived here in LeRoy, we had a very full table of coffee drinkers at Main Street Cafe. Granted we still have many coffee drinkers at Sweet’s, but some are the “new” guys on the block!
Looking back, some of the names lost were really the life-blood of LeRoy. You had Norman Hovde, Ray Jacobson, Loren Monson, Reggie Torrison, Don Johnson, Al Evans, and others. That’s just a small list of many who were some really great volunteers of LeRoy and the county.
These guys not only contributed as business owners, as employees, as teachers, as artists and more, but were volunteers in numerous organizations throughout town much of their lives.
They, like Duane, were the heartbeat that kept LeRoy alive and well and have been missed, but never forgotten.
Fortunately, we do have a “new list” of individuals (men and women) who have stepped up to the plate in helping our community, keeping it strong and well.
All I have to say, however, is that we need to tip our hats and coffee mugs to all of these great men and “thank” them many times over for the work they’ve done . . . it’s truly a blessing that LeRoy was their home town!
We miss ya!
Not speaking of just this coffee group, there is a super long list of individuals that have played an important part of LeRoy. We’ll equally miss them . . . and again, we’re blessed with their “giving” attitudes.