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Hadley Minnesota



The village of Hadley, which is located in Leeds Township, originally known as Summitt Lake, was started in 1879 — the same year the Omaha branch was graded from Heron Lake to Woodstock.

The first general store was erected the same year by L. Lucason. The first hardware man was O. M. Olson, who built a store the same year. The first lumber yard was managed by J. Sipple.Dr. Thos. Lowe was the first and only doctor to practice medicine in the village of Hadley. L. Bryan was the first depot agent and he bought grain as a side line. Hadley had the first brass band to toot a horn in Murray County. The first blacksmith was A. C. Dale who in after years moved to Lake Wilson. Hadley at one time supported a good drug store. The druggist's name was P. Chase. He was also postmaster here for a number of years. In spite of the many changes Hadley has the largest co-operative creamery in this section of the state.

The Woodstock branch of the Omaha was built during 1879-1880. A sketch of the first train up the branch. The railroad was extended to Pipestone five years later



The Hadley baseball team has a record that is not surpassed by any village in the state of Minnesota.

Baseball started in Hadley in 1882 and ever since that year there has been a baseball team—a real record.

The first baseball team consisted of Dave, Tom, Bill, Jack and Alex Lowe, Ed Sardeson, Ben Stine, Andy Hoye and Bill Forsaith and a mighty team of sluggers they were. Baseball masks, catchers mitts and pads were unknown. At the county fair one year, the Hadley boys beat their opponents 56 to 7.

At one fair date, the team played a picked team from the county. There was a 2nd baseman on the county team that was over aggressive. Andy Hoye was full of pep and somehow jolted the 2nd baseman and the result was a broken leg for the 2nd baseman. The purse offered by the fair board was $25.00 and the cost of setting the leg was $25.00, so the Hadley team broke even, and they won the game.

Here is the team that played Lake Wilson, June 30th, 1903: A. Fresk, 2nd base; Oscar Fresk, right; Dony Knutson, 3rd; Fredstrom, Catcher; C. Johnson, center; St. John, left; Trig Knutson, S. S.; Wm. Fresk, pitcher; Wm. Clauson, 1st; Lud Glarum, umpire. They lost to Lake Wilson. It was a rotten game. Hadley made 15 errors and Lake Wilson, 12 errors. In the early '40's the Hadley baseball team really came into its own. Here is a record that no town in Minnesota the size of Hadley can equal.1941 Hadley was champion in Gopher League, lost toIvanhoe in finals.1942 Hadley was champion of Gopher League, made statemeet, but lost to Minnesota Lake. 1943 Hadley again made the state tournament. Won firstgame from Virginia, but lost to Nothem in the secondround. 1944 Hadley lost in finals to Worthington.1945 Hadley won in Gopher League, lost at state meet to Ashby.1946 Hadley lost in the semi-finals.



Here are the names of some of the boys who were active in the early history of the work.

1924 Dairy calf exhibited at the Minnesota State Fair1924 Everett Clauson — Poultry at Junior Live Stock Show1925 Members:Goodwin Fresk, Glen Bennett, Nolan John-son, Lloyd R. Johnson, Everett Clauson,Allan Johnson, Amery Johnson, GordonFresk, Allan Engebretson, Howard Clau-son, Willard Clauson.

At the boys' camp at the State Fair in 1925 were Everett Clauson and Carl Grone.



No creamery in southwestern Minnesota has distributed more money to its patrons than the Hadley Co-op. Creamery, and no institution follows more closely the ideals of co-operation than this organization. Like most institutions that have grown steadily towards the top, it started in a humble way.

Hadley farmers and business men, back in 1905, were fully aware that the small grain crop was steadily forcing them backwards instead of forward. They started looking for a money crop, a crop that would bring money the year round instead of once a year, and the only practical answer was a creamery.


You are invited to attend a creamery meeting at the schoolhouse in Hadley, Saturday afternoon, Jan. 14, 1905. (Lake Wilson Pilot 1-13-1905).

Hadley Cooperative Creamery, Hadley Minnesota, 1930's
The Hadley Co-operative Creamery Built in 1922

The Hadley Cooperative Creamery - view from the south
The Hadley Cooperative Creamery - view from the south

The promoters of this project desire to organize on a simple co-operative plan. No stock to be owned or controlled except by patrons.

At a meeting on January 20, Axel Fresk, M. E. Blood, J. W. Olson and Joe Swanson were appointed a committee to solicit. They secured the necessary pledges for stock and 500 cows. On February 10, the stockholders selected the following officers: A. I. Olson, President; J. W. Olson, Vice President; George Vallance and F. R. Blake, directors; S. P. Satter, Secy. and Chas. E. Weld, treasurer. Sixty shares of stock were subscribed. Alex Lowe donated a lot for the creamery which was 24 x 42 x 12 with a 12 x 24 leanto. An ice house was completed, but there was no ice and a car load was shipped in from Slayton.

The original stockholders up to March 1, 1905 were:F. H. Snare, F. Haase, W. Schroder, A. Fresk, Henry Kollowa, J. A. Johnson, Fred Zbornick, D. F. McCarvel, M. Schwartz, Louis Leguil, Thos. Brewster, Sande Bros., F. R. Blake, W. Benter, H. Snare, A. Rinehart, J. W. Olson, J. Severson, W. Weber, P. Ellfson, C. Johnson, Wm. Fresk, L. C. Disch, S. P. Satter, C. Clark, A. Holman, John Voss, Ole Berson, Wm. Mooney, Chas. Swan, A. W. Legweg, Theo. Borg, George Vallance, Fred Ost, E. Buldhaupt, A. Kadolph, M. E. Blood, E. Larson, A. Martin, A. G. Johnson, B. H. Jacobson, N. B. Tyler, A. I. Olson, H. Benter, P. Doerhoefer, A. Olson, G. Paulson, A. L. Partridge, Thos. McCammon, J. Johnson, I. I. Moen, John Plambeck, C. E. Weld, Geo. Overbrockling, L. Resting, W. Forsaith, B. H. Larson, O. Heimness, W. Protextor, A. Pearson, Emil Depping, Lowe Bros., M. O. Holm, Engebretson Bros.

Gus Block of Westbrook was the first buttermaker. First machinery was an eight horse power gasoline engine, churns, separator, etc. The new well was 128 feet deep.

First Batch of Butter Churned on May 5, 1905

The first batch of butter churned in the new creamery amounted to 628 pounds. lt was called Hadley Gilt Edged Butter. On Wednesday, May 14, a ton of butter was shipped. On June 2 there were 98 patrons. On June 17 there were 115 patrons. Larger and moremachinery was purchased. Five thousand pounds of butter were shipped July 9, and there were 140 patrons on the books. Steadily the business and the service of the creamery expanded and on December 15, 1922, a new modern brick creamery was erected, filled with the latest modern machinery. A buttermilk dryer was installed in 1 927 and on December 15, 1939, the stockholders voted to construct a locker plant. The plant was finished in April 1940, with 233 lockers. The buying of eggs was started on March 1, 1945, on a graded business. Since its organization the Hadley creamery has paid producers over $8,250,000 including interest on stocks and dividends and has manufactured approximately 26,650,000 pounds of butter.

This is a record of service to the community and has been of real benefit not only to the farmers but to everyone living within the territory. Heading this worthwhile organization arc E. L. Engebretson, Pres.; Nick Schneider, Vice Pres.; Goodwin Fresk, Sec'y-Treas. and directors Harry Jacobson, and C. I. Klassen. The patrons today number 525 and the stockholders 450. The creamery was fortunate to secure the services of B. H. Crissinger. He has done a fine job in maintaining the standards of the creamery during the six years of his management.

Working in the Hadley creamery at this time are: Lloyd Olson, Eddie Nett, Wm. Schneider and Lester Solem, haulers; Harold Larson, helper and cream hauler; Delbert Peterson, hauler; B. H. Crissinger, manager; M. H. Deden, buttermaker; Howard Engebretson, helper; L. A. Schuster, engineer and dryer operator; Jean Van Klei, Zelma Van Klei and Eleanor Johanson, egg candlers; Arden Solem, assistant in egg dept.; Dolores Pommier, office secretary and Arnold Knutson, butcher.

Five of the employees saw service in World War II. We wish we had room to give complete records but lack of space prohibits it. Maynard H. Deden served with the 304th Ord. Reg't at Mississippi Ordnance plant at Jackson, Miss.—Arnold W. Knutson served in the 4th & 8th service commands, was instructor in meat cutting and cooking— Leonard A. Schuster had basic training at Santa Barbara, Cal. Served in Central Pacific with 124th Inf., was instructor in infantry weapons, came out a Staff Sgt. A. Howard Engebretson served in the engineers in European sector in the 3rd army, served in S. W. Pacific with 25 Div., saw service in Japan and Philippines, came out with Staff Sgt. rating. — Harold S. Larson, born February 22, 1922, entered service October 1, 1942, was attached to air transport service, 1333 base unit, AAF. Spent almost a year at Cairo, Egypt, and over a year in India at the Burma bases.



Among the solid co-operative business institutions that have done their part in the development and in the improvement of this section is the Hadley Co-operative Elevator Company. Today no company stands on a more solid foundation or has paid more regular dividends to its patrons and stockholders.

One reason for the fine showing of this company is due to the fact that every one of its present officers was an original shareholder when the company was organized over 32 vears ago.

This organization did not have a very auspicious start at the first meeting which was held on March 21, 1914. There were only thirty stockholders present and the organization of the new elevator was postponed until March 28, 1914. The small crowd present on March 21 was due to a severe snow storm. At the postponed meeting on March 28 there were over forty enthusiastic farmers and business men present and they elected the following officers for a year. The directors elected were Axel Fresk, B. H. Jacobson, John G. Johnson, C. E. Clark, and B. H. Larson. The off icers chosen were President, John G. Johnson; Vice President, B. H. Jacobson; Treasurer, Chas. F. Lowe, and B. H. Larson, Secretary.

Hadley Cooperative Elevator #1, Hadley Minnesota, 1940's
Hadley Cooperative Elevator #1, Hadley Minnesota, 1940's

Hadley Cooperative Elevator #2, Hadley Minnesota, 1940's
Hadley Cooperative Elevator #2, Hadley Minnesota, 1940's

According to the records of the company there were fifty- five shares of stock sold in 1914. These stockholders were the only shareholders in the company until 1916.

The first work of the new elevator board was the purchase of a building, and after investigation purchased the Hubbard & Palmer elevator for $3,125.00 which the company took over on JuIy 1, 1914. The elevator was in need of repairs and improvements and it was shut down for two weeks when the first manager, C. A. Chapman, arrived and took over his duties.

The business increased at such a rapid rate for the company that it was forced to secure more space for expansion so on August 15, 1916, just about two years after the start of the organization the company purchased the Benson Grain Elevator company building for $2,700.00. The west elevator was destroyed by fire in 1936 but was rebuilt two years later. The west elevator is being used as a storage for grain and seed grains of all kinds. The elevator also handles an ample supply of coal; more than enough for its regular customers. Cleaning facilities for cleaning grain are available also at the west elevator.

The elevator is a distinctly co-operative organization and has always paid satisfactory dividends.

The officers are real veterans: Axel Fresk serving as President since 1921, O.C. Wornson serving as Vice President since 1924, Donie Knutson has held the office of treasurer and secretary since 1934. Carl Johnson has been a director since 1937 and Chas. Swan has been a director since 1938. Ole D. Olson is manager of the company's business assisted by Leon Olson.

Ole D. Olson who has so ably managed the affairs of the company as manager for the last four years grew up in the business, serving seven years as assistant manager. Mr. Olson was united in marriage to Miss Gilletta Paulson on Deccmber24, 1944.

The following is a list of the original stockholders: John G. Johnson, Joel Swanson, P. L. Swan, J. Iverson, H. Brecker, Johanson Bros., Aug. Markwardt, Chas. Olson, Chas. Swan, Holmen Bros., J. J. Mihin, Hans Pearson, A. P. Fresk, Wm. Fresk, Mrs. Ira Engebretson, J. D. Knutson, H. Yager, W. J. Clauson, L. R. Jones, J. W. Olson, C. F. Lowe, Harry Kadolph, E. B. Halverson, O. C. Wornson, A. A. Berg, W. P. Rice, John Voss, Mary Wornson, A. G. Johnson, C. Weigand, H. Deden, F. Ost, A. Johnson, B. H. Jacobson, C. F. Clark, A. Kadolph, J. M. Low, Mrs. P. Doerhofer, Dinehard & Weck Sec. Co., J. V. Bosch, A. S. Amundson, Theo. Michaelson, Ole Pearson, Otto Herman, Axel Fresk, Marie Nelson, Pete Pearson, B. H. Larson, Geo. Paulson, Carl G. Johnson, F. R. Blake, Ed Christenson, C. A. Paige, Albert Ost.



On November 28, 1922, twelve women gathered at the home of Margaret Fresk to organize what they named the Political Study Club. Those present were: Margaret Fresk, Anna Wornson, Florence Nippert, Ovidia Lowe, Viola Knutson, Anna Chapman, Edith Dahlquist, Rebecca Holmberg, Jessie Reed, Jennie Smith, Violet Engebretson, and Walborg Satter. Of these charter members, four remain in the club today, namely: Margaret Fresk, Anna Wornson, Viola Knutson, and Violet Engebretson.

As its name implies, the purpose of the club was to study the political development of the nation. Some of the topics were: Muscle Shoals, St. Lawrence Waterway, National Farm Credits, and the Election of the President by the Direct Vote of the People. It is interesting to note that these topics are subjects of much discussion today.

The first officers of the club were: President, Margaret Fresk, and Secretary, Edith Dahlquist. Twelve meetings were held at the homes of the members and a special meeting at which the husbands of the members were entertained.

The second year the name was changed to Hadley Study Club and it became a member of the General Federation of Women's Clubs. The subjects of study since then have been general in character and have included book reviews, biographies, histories, and customs of foreign peoples, child psychology, geography, current events, bits of humor, literature, art, and problems of modern living.

The club members have given entertainments, sold recipe books, and acted as reporters of the Hadley news of the Murray County Herald. These activities, together with their annual dues, have enabled them to participate in many social, civic, and charitable projects. They have contributed to the upkeep of the local cemetery, to the Hadley band, to the Salvation Army, to the Red Cross, to the U.S.O., to the National Relief and Refugee Committee, to the Indian School at Pipestone, to the Federation Forest Fund, and have sponsored essay and flower contests in the Hadley schools. During the late war they sent layettes to Norwegian mothers, subscribed to the clothing drive, and gave playing cards and homemade cookies to the hospitalized soldiers. The club has established and maintained a small library of worthwhile books.

Past Presidents of the Club are: Margaret Fresk, Anna Wornson, Ovidia Lowe, Rebecca Holmberg, Edith Dahlquist, Effie Tyler, Winifred Gillette, Elizabeth Bishir, Loraine Brown, Viola Knutson, Lenore Ruppert, and Thelma Peterson.

The officers for the coming year are: President, Mildred Wornson; Vice President, Pauline Earhart; Secretary-Treasurer, Ada Swan; Pianist, Lydia Peterson; Assistant Pianist, Jane Paulson; Song Leader, Eloise Crissinger; Librarian, Mary Johnson; Historian, Pauline Earhart.

The club has twenty-four active members at present. There are four honorary members: Elizabeth Bishir, Edith Dahlquist, Agnes Engebretson, and Winifred Gillette.


In 1874 the women of the Lutheran Church met at the home of Mrs. Hans Jacobson and organized a Ladies' Aid Society. There was no church but an organization was effected in 1874 called the Beaver Creek Congregation. Services were conducted in the early homes by Rev. Lund of Old Westbrook in Cottonwood who often made the thirty mile trip by oxen. The houses were small and there was often not much room left in the little sod houses and log cabins.

Present at the first organization were: Mrs. Ole Wornson, Mrs. Hans Simonson, Mrs. Iver Peterson, Mrs. Lars Solem, Mrs. Gilbert Johnson, Mrs. Hans Jacobson, Mrs. Theo. Knutson, and Mrs. Christianson. The Aid was organized for the purpose of aiding the church.

The women were kept busy sewing and knitting. All the work was done by hand and there was no fancy work. Men's shirts, stockings, and ladies' aprons and other necessary articles were made. A sale was held later, but money was scarce and the women had such a hard time selling the goods that they discontinued their meetings for awhile.

The Aid was reorganized in 1893 at the John J. Johnson home by Rev. Tosdal. Meetings were conducted in the Norwegian language. The dues were 10 cents a meeting, whether members were present or absent. The ladies sold fancy work, sewed, made quilts, had ice cream and basket socials. The proceeds went to mission work and aiding the church.

This organization held until 1903. The Aid was reorganized again (the present Aid) by Rev. Bergsaker and in 1907-08 raised $487.

The church was remodeled in 1923 and the basement was enlarged, etc. All of this was paid for by the Aid.

In 1923 forty members joined the W. M. F. That same year the men started giving waffle suppers. Rev. Vordale was pastor at that time. In 1926 the Aid sponsored and organized the cemetery and paid the expenses.

The 50th anniversary of the church was celebrated in 1929. The former pastors who attended were: Rev. 0. J. Hagen, Rev. A. J. Bergsaker, Rev. Olav Linn, Rev. R. M. Vordale and Rev. Gustenson.

Rev. A. M. Nelson was the pastor from 1932 to 1943. He was succeeded by Rev. M. D. Hinderlie.

The two following incidents aptly illustrate the unselfish part that the women of Leeds township have played, not only in their homes and the community, but in their intense loyalty to their church.

"In 1930 the Aid was again called upon to pay. This time it was a note at the bank for $350. 11 for those who subscribed to the building fund and were unable to pay."

"In 1933 it became necessary for the Aid to give all necessary help to the congregation. We contributed $380.00." These notes were taken from histories of the Ladies' Aid As-sociation compiled by Mrs. 0. C. Wornson and the late Mrs. Alex Lowe.


The Hadley Lutheran Church is a branch of the Norwegian Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church which was organized by Rev. Lund of Old Westbrook, the first pastor, Sept. 6, 1873. It was popularly known as the Beaver Creek Church. It served a large territory taking in all the territory between Lake Shetek on the north,six miles east of Slayton on the east, west as far as Ellsborough Township and south and west including the territory around what is now Lake Wilson and Chandler. From official papers, Leeds Township was the foundation of the Lutheran Church in Murray County.

The territory served was so large that in 1879 the parish was divided. The church then went by the name of Beaver Creek Norwegian Evangelical Church. The first officers were: Deacons, Ole Wornson, G. Johnson, Peter Peterson and Lars Solem; Trustees,L. J. Heimness, Jacobson and Theo. Knutson; Secy., Peter Peterson; Treasurer, H. Jacobson. The first church was built in 1881, the second church in 1908 and in 1923 the present church was built.

The charter members of the original church were: Iver Peterson, Erik Stubboe, Benjamin Olson, Amund Olson, Ole Wornson, Lars Solem, Sven Nelson, Nils Sveinson, Gilbert Johnson, Hans Simonson, Hans Jacobson, Sacarias Thomson, Peter Sacriason, Christian Christianson, Tore Olson, Claus Clauson, Theo. Knutson, Lars Glarum, Tonnes Tonneson, Ingebret Rolfson, Andreas Gufarson, Ole Olson, C. Tonneson, Nils Grielson, Heming Sveinson, John Erickson and Christoffer Larson.

On January 1, 1947, the congregation had a membership of 270 souls. It is united in a parish with Lake Wilson Lutheran Church and Trinity Lutheran Church, Chandler, and served by the Rev. M. D. Hinderlie, who resides at Lake Wilson.

Membership of the Hadley Lutheran Church (May 8, 1946)

Mr. & Mrs. Albert Amundson
Mr. & Mrs. Oscar Anderson
Mr. & Mrs. Oscar Benson
Mr. & Mrs. Arthur Berg
Mr. & Mrs. Oscar Brown
Mr. & Mrs. Carl O. Clauson
Mr. Clarence Bergn
Mr. Ed Christianson
Mr. & Mrs. Wm. J. Clauson
Mr. & Mrs. Howard Clauson & Willard Clauson
Mr. & Mrs. Maynard Deden
Mr. & Mrs. Henry Deden (Madison Home)
Mr. & Mrs. B. O. Clauson
Mr. & Mrs. Archie Engebretson
Mrs. Carrie Engebretson
Mrs. Charles Erickson
Mr. & Mrs. William Fresk
Mr. & Mrs. Albert Holmberg, Rebecca
Mr. & Mrs. R. G. Gamble
Mr. & Mrs. Harry Jacobson
Mrs. Mary Jacobson
Mr. Gullick Gunderson
Mr. T. Palmer
Mr. Jewell Bjorkman
Mrs. Inez Grieser
Mr. A. R. Johnson
Mr. & Mrs. Karl Johansen,  Eleanor
Mr. & Mrs. Allen Johnson
Mr. & Mrs. Arthur Johnson
Mr. Andrew G. Johnson,  Avery
Mr. & Mrs. Douglas Johnson
Mr. & Mrs. Herbert Johnson, Marilyn
Mr. & Mrs. Leon Johnson
Mrs. Serena Johnson
Mrs. John G. Johnson
Mr. & Mrs. Richard Johnson
Mr. Oscar Johnson
Mr. & Mrs. Edor Johnson
Mrs. Mary Kadolph
Mr. & Mrs. J. D. Knutson
Mr. & Mrs. Jacob Matson, Olaf
Mrs. J. A. Knutson
Mr. & Mrs. Charles Lukens
Mr. Bert Ohme
Mr. & Mrs. Albert Olson
Mr. & Mrs. Glenn Olson
Mr. Austin Olson
Mr. & Mrs. Leon Olson
Mr. Lloyd Olson
Mrs. Lena Olson
Mr. & Mrs. Ole K. Olson, Paul
Mr. & Mrs. Ole D. Olson
Mrs. Robert Payton
Mrs. Robert Keller
Mrs. Harold Hendrickson
Mr. & Mrs. Charles Paige, Gordon Paige
Mr. & Mrs. Ralph Paige
Mr. & Mrs. George Paulson, Wayne
Mr. & Mrs. Willard Paulson
Mr. & Mrs. Gordon Payton
Mr. & Mrs. Delbert Peterson
Mr. & Mrs. Bert Sandberg
Mr. & Mrs. G. M. Skouge
Mr. & Mrs. Harold Sorenson
Mr. James Sande
Mr. & Mrs. Ole Solem
Mrs. Ralph Swarm
Mr. & Mrs. Cory Tims, Arthur, Buster, James, Benjamin, William Tims
Mr. & Mrs. Ben Toft
Mr. & Mrs. Leslie Wagley
Mr. Nels Wagley
Mr. Gilman Strom
Mr. Allen Smith
Mr. & Mrs. Harry Webber
Mr. & Mrs. Harns Wornson
Mr. & Mrs. Raymond Wornson
Mr. & Mrs. Olaf C. Wornson
Mr. & Mrs. Arthur Zinnel
Mr. & Mrs. Leonard Schuster, Joyce Herding
Miss Julia Wornson
Mrs. Melford McVenes, Dennis
Mr. & Mrs. Verne Johnson and Ronald    Home Page    Contact Us    Privacy  


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