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Hardwick history continues with lodges, fire department

Bits By Betty
Lead Summary
Betty Mann, president, Rock County Historical Society

The following appeared in The Rose History in 1911.
Rock County Village continued from 8-20-20 edition of the Star Herald.
The Lodges
         Four lodges have active organizations in Hardwick, the Modern Woodmen of America, Royal Neighbors of America, Odd Fellows and Rebekahs.
         The oldest of these is Hardwick Camp No. 3851, M. W. A. It was instituted May 11, 1896, by M. H. Carleton. Following were the first officers and charter members: J. F. LaDou, V. C.; J. P. Kennedy, W. A.; E. H. Albrecht, clerk; H. T. Holverson, banker; L. M. Larson, escort; Thomas Kennedy, watchman; D. J. Stoakes, sentry; T. E. Kirby, H. F. Heiden, H. N. Warner, S. A. Dailey, C. J. Moe, Henry Meyer, Ole J. Foss, S. Sanderson, George O. Ross.
         Valentine Lodge No. 1993, R. N. A., was instituted February 16, 1901, with the following charter members: Petra Moe, Minnie T. Case, Emma Piepgras, Marie LaDou, Liza Abbott, W. L. Armstrong, Stella Fellows, Mina C. Dailey, Ella S. Beaty, Lydia Groen, Ella Reed, E. O. Bredekken, S. A. Dailey, L. M. Larson, Florence Bruce, J. F. LaDou, David Fellows, George Piepgras, Clara Peterson, Mary Harding.
         Hardwick Lodge No. 90, I. O. O. F., which now has a membership of about fifty, began its organization February 12, 1909, with the following named nine members; M. L. Wahlert, Herman Hemme, O. H. Gravatt, John Oye, Hans H. Hansen, William F. C. Krohn, John F. Krohn, John Holmbeck, M. L. Hatch.
         Evangeline Lodge No. 125, Rebekahs, received its charter March 15, 1910. Its first officers and charter members were: Lousie Wahlert, noble grand; Nina Hagedorn, vice noble grand; Tena Hatch, secretary; Dora Ahrendt, treasurer; John Oye, chaplain; M. L. Wahlert, M. L. Hatch, P. D. Whyte, Bertha Whyte, W. O. Larson, T. H. Marxon, Caroyln Paustian, Lillian Paustian, Anna Heckt, Maria Oye, H. J. Hemme, Anna Hemme, Emma Will, Nora Piepgras, Anna Wiese.
Fire Department
         Hardwick has an efficient fire department with an active organization. So early as the spring of 1899, before the water works system was installed, we find the city council investing $25 for three patent fire extinguishers. This constituted the fire department of the village for about two years. After the water works plant was installed, in January, 1901, a cart and hose were purchased and a department organized. A reorganization was effected in 1905, when E. Olson was chosen chief. Since that time the department has maintained an active organization. The present officers were W. T. Murray, chief; L. A. Tollefson, assistant chief; E. V. Iverson, secretary; O. H. Gravatt, treasurer.
The Bank
The Farmers State Bank of Hardwick is the only financial institution of the town. It was organized as a private bank in January, 1893, by A. W. Sleeper, E. E. Brintnall and D. J. Hawley. It opened its doors in a lumber office and was under the local management of Mr. Hawley. In May, 1893, it passed to the control of E. E. Taylor and George O. Ross, and during the next eleven years Mr. Ross conducted the bank. From June, 1904, until after the reorganization D. J. Ross was the cashier and local manager.
         The Farmers State Bank succeeded the private institution December 13, 1907, when it began business with a capital stock of $10,000. The officers of the new concern were E. E. Taylor, president; D. J. Ross, cashier. Other incorporators were B. B. Van Steenburg, A. E. Buck, O. H. Gravatt, H. T. Holverson and C. H. Christopherson. Mr. Ross was succeeded as cashier April 30, 1908, by O. H. Gravatt, the present officer in charge. In January, 1910, the stock owned by H. H. Buck was purchased by local parties, and the stock is now owned almost entirely by residents of Hardwick and vicinity. The officers and directors in 1910 were as follows: H. T. Holverson, president; O. H. Gravatt, cashier; M. L. Wahlert and E. E. Taylor. In Decemeber, 1910, the capital stock was increased to $15,000.
         The story of the village of Hardwick will continue in the Sept. 3 edition of the Star Herald.
         Donations to the Rock County Historical Society can be sent to the Rock County Historical Society, 312 E. Main Street, Luverne, MN 56156.
Mann welcomes correspondence sent to

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