Opera House 1914
(Present Senior Citizens Center)

Anamoose Circa 1917

Written March 19, 1997 by Helen Nolden

Soo Line Caboose

I’m still going through the brochure about Anamoose dated around 1917. We are informed that Anamoose is generally known as a church town with a Baptist, Catholic, Congregational, Evangelical, and Lutheran church in our community.

There are large, well organized Sunday schools and, in the summer, there’s a school for religious training. Churches and rural schools are, also, found in surrounding townships.

Anamoose is progressive and up-to-date in every way. A flour mill with a 50 barrel capacity has been constructed. The city is lighted with electricity with 24 hour service and has a fine White Way in the business portion of town. I love that paragraph!

Twenty-two rural telephone lines cover the surrounding country like a huge web. These and five long distance wires enter one office. Rural mail routes have also. been established so that farmers have practically all the city conveniences.

Anamoose is a great shipping point for potatoes, cattle, and grain, and is a distributing center for farm machinery and merchandise. It is not a manufacturing center though one plant has been established to manufacture water tank heaters, the invention of a local citizen.

Our community is a great commercial city with a large modern hotel, costing $25,000, just erected.

Formerly Anamoose was one of the largest markets for small grain in the country. In 1901 it was the largest primary flax market in the USA.

Old Soo Line Boxcar

In 1912 Anamoose marketed about a million bushels of wheat.

During the past year, in addition to the large quantity of grain ground by our mill, we shipped approximately 700,000 bushels of grain. Enough to fill a solid line of freight cars five-and-a-half miles long.

The brochure lists letters from Otto Pillatzke, Frank Nitz, Jacob Hauser, John M. Schmidt, W.J. Quade, Robert Bartz, and August Kurzweg. These are men who have purchased farm land. All are very satisfied with their farms.

J.S. Murphy, immigration agent, Soo Line, Minneapolis, says, “ The best and surest way to learn about Anamoose and McHenry County is to go and look at the country yourself.”

Our ad states that no country will produce better feed for stock. Milk can be obtained in as large a quantity and as good a quality as anywhere in the world. Foot and mouth disease and hog cholera are entirely unknown in this area.

Potatoes raised in North Dakota are famed throughout the country as the best and most perfect that can be found for table use or seed.

Visit any farmer in the district, and you will find a man who will tell you how he came to this district with practically no means, some with as little as $500 in money and property combined. Some with little or no knowledge of farming have seen very good results.

After reading this brochure and the letters the gentlemen from Anamoose had written I thought what a nice time that would have been! All of the building going on. They were building a town, a community. I can see them plotting the lots for businesses, laying out streets and avenues, and planting trees. No wonder they had three or more lumber yards all going at the same time. No wonder the grocery stores also sold nails and hammers in their stores. I would imagine the harness shop was a very busy store.

I think I would have liked the Opera House and the Waldemar Hotel. They built a little city that has lasted almost 100 years. Next year we celebrate our centennial.

Yes, I think I would have liked walking the streets of this little town with six elevators, stores galore, a millinery shop, a silent theater and so much more. What a time that was. Sounds good to me! The “Spirit of ‘98’, Still Going Great!”

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