Stensing and Peterson Hardware Store

Trenham J - LabelsThis week’s photo in the series of Glenwood Photographs taken in 1876 by N.J. Trenham, is the “Peterson and Stensing Hardware Store”. It was located where Mecco 7 is today – the former Ben Franklin building.

According to J.G. Whittmore in an 1940 interview, this is Stinson (Stensing) and Peterson’s Hardware store and was located on Lot 5 block 24. Later is was used for Rigg Brothers and Webster Hardware Store. Pictured L-R: Mr. Peterson, George Thompson and Mr. Stinson (Stensing).

The hardware store site in 2015.

The hardware store site in 2015.

Newspaper as from 1876

Newspaper ad from 1876

This building was located on the southeast corner of Minnesota Avenue and Franklin Street – facing Franklin Street. In the Pope County centinnial book “100 Years of Greatness,” this building is listed as being the very first one constructed in Glenwood. It started as the “Kinney and Lathrop store building”, used by Sam Johnston for a general store until purchased by the Wollan Brothers., who formed the “Fremad Association” (Fremad means “forward”). According to the Wollan family files, it was purchased in 1872 by Michael and Casper Wollan, but they moved to a new location in 1874 as the Fremad Association expanded.

According to the tax records, Wollan Brothers purchased the north part of the lot between 1872 and 1874 and the Fremad Association bought the south part in 1875. So the Wollans owned the land, and probably the building, but the business was run by Peterson and Stensing in 1876.Trenham J

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N.W. Scott House

Trenham I - LabelsThis week’s photo in the series of Glenwood Photographs taken in 1876 by N.J. Trenham, is the “N.W. Scott Residence and the Printing Office.” N.W. Scott was the publisher & editor of the Pope County Press from 1874-1884.

The house was located on the North side of 1st Ave SW between Franklin and 1st Street. Where Someplace Safe office / back of Tom’s Food Pride is located today.

The houses's location as it is in 2015. Tom's Foodpride occupies the space today.

The houses’s location as it is in 2015. Tom’s Foodpride occupies the space today.

The building was moved to lot 8 and used as the north wing of the Frank Eddy residence. It later became part of the Glenwood Funeral Home. Frank Eddy was clerk of the district court in Pope County from 1884-1894 and in 1894, Eddy was elected as the first United States Representative from Minnesota who was a native of the state.

Trenham IMr. & Mrs. Scott and their daughters are in the photo.

The Pope County Press was published from 1874 to at least 1885. Chas. G. Parke took over for N.W. Scott in March of 1884. It was an avowed Repbulican newspaper.

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Durkee Hotel

Durkee Hotel 1876

Durkee Hotel 1876

This week’s photo in the series of Glenwood Photographs taken in 1876 by N.J. Trenham, is the “Durkee Hotel.” Located where Phil Stumpfs office is today – behind Palmer Creations (the former Glacial Printing office).

According to J.G. Whittemore in 1940, “Mr. Durkee’s Hotel located on Lot 6 Block 19. Built by Kirk J. Kinney in 1966, it was used for offices and a store. Upper rooms housed County Commissioner’s offices and all business was transacted there from 1866-1872. Pictured are George Thompson, Joseph Peacock, Mr. Stanley, Mrs. Durkee and Mr. Durkee.” 

What the site looks like in 2015.

What the site looks like in 2015.

A note on another copy of the photo claims it was built in 1870 by Judge Lathrop. 

I find it interesting that this was likely the actual “second courthouse” used for early commissioner meetings. Since Mr. Whittemore’s recollections are the only evidence I have at this point, I am not ready to assert that as fact. But, this large building is a likely candidate, since the building we call the “second courthouse” was probably not built until the mid 1870s.

Regardless of when it was built, it probably did not become a hotel until shortly before the Trenham Hphoto was taken. The need for hotel accommodations in Glenwood was critical in 1876 because the Fountain House Hotel, which stood where Glenwood City Hall is today, burned to the ground in February of 1875. According to an article originally published in March 11, 1876 edition of the Pope County Press, “P. & O. Schjerden run the Glenwood Hotel and are doing as well as could be expected in a contracted and uncomfortable building.” The newspaper also featured an ad for the “Glenwood House by P. & O. Schjerden A New Hotel just opened opposite the Post Office. (Where the Nelson, Kuhn & Nordmeyer Law offices are today.) Good Beds, and Good Accommodations for both man and beast. Board by the day or week at reasonable rates.” No mention was made of any other hotel or accommodations in town.

So, our assumption is that the building in this photo was converted into a hotel at some time between March and August of 1876. The sign on the roof clearly reads “Hotel”.

002It may not have remained a hotel for very long. There is an ad in the July 12, 1879 Pope County Press, for the Durkee Hotel, but it may not have been at the same location. The ad mentions a sign “Five Balls” on the corner of Green & Franklin Streets (where the Village Inn is Located today). It is not entirely clear if that is the location of the hotel – or just the sign.

A bit about D.M. Durkey. In 1866, he laid out a townsite on the Northeast side of Westport Lake. It was never developed into a community, but Mr. Durkee ran a trading post and rooming house there for many years as it was along the Red River Ox Cart Trail.

SIDE NOTE: Researching the businesses that were here in 1876 is extremely challenging because the March 11 edition of the Pope County Press is the ONLY local newspaper we have from 1876. We have microfilmed copies of the Glenwood Eagle from 1871-1874, then nothing until that single copy from 1876, one full year from May 1877-1878, then a single copy from July of 1879, then nothing until 1882. That is 8 years with only one year and 2 single newspaper editions! We know newspapers were published in those times, but as far as we know, no copies survived. Most of what we know is based on tax records and notes based on the memories of early residents.


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Trenham G - LabelsThis week’s photo in the series of Glenwood Photographs taken in 1876 by N.J. Trenham, is the “Courthouse.”

This building is known as the second Pope County Courthouse. The first courthouse is a small log cabin that has been moved to the Pope County Museum.

The men in the picture are County Attorney E.M. Webster, Norman Shook, George Rue and K.J. Kinney. According to J.G. Whittemore in 1940.Trenham G

According to G.C. Torguson in the 1942 his contributions to the statewide history project, the county rented space in the Lathrop and Kinney offices located on lot 7, block 24. That is the north side of 1st Ave SE between Franklin and 1st street – where the city parking lot is today – between the Village Inn and the Eye Clinic. (Lathrop and Kinney actually owned lot 8.)

The building was used as the courthouse until 1897, later used as a law office, then a feed store. Another source said it was used as Dr. Nils Holterman’s home after 1897, and that it burned down in 1905. Swanson Bakery was later located on that site.

3rd Pope County Courthouse

3rd Pope County Courthouse. Built in 1879.


We do know that the  “3rd Courthouse” was built in 1879, on the site where the current “4th Courthouse” stands.

Current courthouse constructed in 1930.

Current courthouse, shortly after its construction in 1930.

The current Courthouse was built in 1930.

BUT – I believe that the numbering system is off. It is clear that the log cabin was the first meeting place for county commissioners when they were forming the county, but notes on the Durkee Hotel state that the commissioners had offices and conducted official county business in THAT building until 1872, presumably when the building featured in this article was built.

There will be more on the Durkee Hotel next week.

I have another photograph – One I was going to save, but I will reveal it here… it was mixed in with the other Trenham photos and at first glance appears to be from the same photo shoot. But it is a different format, and closer examination reveals it to be from an earlier date. I will explain this photo in depth in a future post, but I add it here because it appears that the “Courthouse / Lathrop Office” is under construction.

Trenham ZA - Labels





This is how the site looks in 2015. The parkinglot occuplies the space where the courthouse once stood.

This is how the site looks in 2015. The parkinglot occuplies the space where the courthouse once stood.

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Lathrop and Blodgett’s Mill

Trenham F - LabelsThe next photo in the series of Glenwood Photographs taken in 1876 by N.J. Trenham, is the “Grist Mill” or “Lathrop & Blodgett’s Mill” or “Young & Clark Mill”. (We have multiple copies of all of these images and they often have different labels. Assembling and sorting out all the different labels has been a large part of this project.)

According to G.C. Torguson in his contribution to the Statewide History project in 1942, the mill  was located 20 rods east of Franklin Avenue 80 rods south of the N.P. Railroad viaduct. “The mill was established by Barret E. Blodgett some time before 1870. The mill had a capacity of about 7 barrels of flour per day. It was powered by an overshot waterfall about 15-20 feet in diameter. Each bucket on the wheel had a barrel of water. The water supply was a troublesome part of the undertaking and evidence can still be seen (in 1942) where a ditch was dug across Highway 29 to the springs on the hillside. It is also said that an effort was made to take the water from the present State Fish Hatchery supply. According to what old settlers say, this plan was not a success as the fall was not enough to bring the necessary amount of water to the mill.
“Some time after the mill was started, Mr. Blodgett sold a partnership to James Young. InTrenham F 1873 or 1874, this man was killed in the mill. He was working close to a large gearing when the sleeve of his jacket caught on it. He screamed to Blodgett to take an ax and cut off his arm. Blodgett instead tried to stop the water wheel, and being excited, he failed and Young was mangled to death. Mr. Young’s brother Samuel then came to Glenwood and took over his dead brother’s interest. Some time later Mr. Blodgett sold his own remaining interest to a Mr. Persons Clark.
“Then Young and Clark, the new owners, began experimenting with a turban water wheel for power. This was a failure. In an issues of a 1877 Glenwood Newspaper they placed an ad stating they had both steam and water power for grist and feed grinding. a 15 horse power portable steam engine was purchased at Swift Falls. About this time 4 other flour mills were built. The mills at Swift Falls and Terrace and the West and Marlow Mills on the east Chippewa River and southeast of Glenwood. These other milles were larger and had a good water supply and dams and soon put the little Glenwood Mill out of business.
“On April 13, 1878 the following ad appeared – which is the last newspaper record we have of the mill ‘For Sale A Valuable Mill Privilege and 160 acres of Land. A first class water power situated in the northwestern part of the village of Glenwood.'” (G.C. Torguson – WPA papers)

The November 4, 1871 issue of the Glenwood Eagle reported: “Lathrop & Blodgett’s mill is now running day and night. The spring which has required considerable engineering and much labor will soon be brought into the main creek will insure them a steady, unceasing, and abundant supply of water. The fact of one spring furnishing water sufficient for running a mill shows that their mill is to be permanent. The building is composed of grout, three stories high, and when completed will contain two run of burrs. It is at present grinding feed, corn, and Graham flour, but as soon as the necessary machinery can be procured they will turn their attention to flouring.”

The label on one copy of this Trenham photo read “Clark and Young Mill built by Blodgett and E.S. Lathrop.” Emory Sprague Lathrop was the brother of Alfred Crofts Lathrop, the Methodist minister and of Ebenezer Lathrop, probate judge. He was uncle to A.W. Lathrop, the lawyer / judge / miller and primary developer of Glenwood. Lathrop family files indicate that Emory Sprague Lathrop was indeed a miller in Glenwood in the very early days of the city.

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Death By Chocolate

dbc pic

The Minnewaska Showstoppers will present “Death by Chocolate” at the Lakeside Ballroom Friday and Saturday, January 31 & 31.

The Pope County Historical Society and the Pope County Lions Clubs will benefit from the proceeds.

We hope you will be able to attend this hilarious performance.

Tickets are $25. Social hour starts at 5:30, Diner at 6:30 and the performance at 7:30. You can purchase tickets at Tom’s Food Pride.

See you there!

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Trenham E - LabelsThe next photo in the series of Glenwood Photographs taken in 1876 by N.J. Trenham, is the “Bank”. Signs on the building read “Bank” and “St. Paul Marine Insurance Company.”

According to Steve Nestor’s research and the tax records, the bank was located on lot three of block 24, which would put in on the south side of East Minnesota Avenue. The land was owned by Ole Peterson in 1876. It faces south, so it sits where the Pizza Ranch restaurant is currently located (in 2015), but it faces what is now the alley. Minnesota Avenue did not exist yet and most of the commerce took place on what would become Franklin Street.

BUT – According J.G. Whittemore in 1940, it was “Glenwood’s First Bank Building. Trenham ELocated on Lot 3 Block 20, owned by Dr. Whittemore and Company in 1876. In 1882 it was sold to Mr. A. Webster, Mr. Tory Thorson, and Mr. Peter Peterson and operated under the name The Glenwood Bank. Later it was organized into the First National Bank, the old one torn down and a new one built which was owned by George Koplos. Pictured from L-R: Peter Peterson, Mr. Otis, Mr. Durkee, and Mr. Emerson.” Lot 3 of block 20 is the middle of the north side of East Minnesota Avenue, about where the license bureau is today.

While Dr. Whittemore was indeed involved in early Glenwood Banking, the tax records are probably more accurate in this instance, as least as far as the location. The overview photo from the Durkee Hotel (to be seen in a later post) also shows the bank to be on the south side of what is now Minnesota Avenue. According to a Newspaper report first published in Feburary 1876, the bank was owned by P. Peterson and Dr. Whittemore.  There will also be more information on the life of Dr. Whittemore in a future post when we see the photo of his home…stay tuned.

The bank's location as it looks today.

The bank’s location as it looks today.

Here is a photo of the bank's location from approximately the same spot. The bank faced what is now the alleyway.

Here is a photo of the bank’s location from approximately the same spot. The bank faced what is now the alleyway.

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