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Cylinder History

August 13, 2010 - Jane Whitmore

When we first began planning to print a commemorative special section for Cylinder’s Quasquicentennial, we put out a call for photos from the community.
The first person through the door was Harlan Meier with three big scrapbooks of photos. This was exactly what we needed.
Along with his photos, Harlan brought a history of the Meier’s business from 1947 to 1980 in Cylinder.
• Gerald Meier had the Allis-Chalmer Implement, a full line of all parts and equipment. There was a body shop in back, which was run by Johnnie Dewall. If that wasn’t enough, Gerald also accumulated the franchise for Motorola T.V., delivered and installed.
• Harlan Meier purchased the Propane Bottle Gas business from Cooney Kliegl. He also purchased the hog business from Claude Miller, hauling from Cylinder to Austin, MN. Two years later, Harlan bought out Herman Norland’s hob buying business.
• Harlan bought 1954 and 1959 Chevrolet trucks and started hauling grain. Then he bought the Cylinder Café from Delbert Beckoner. After a year, a 30x40 Bar & Grill was added to the back of the café.
• Then Harlan started a Sport Shop and sold snowmobiles and Kawasaki and Snow Jets. He also had cycles available, Chaparral, Brut and Benelle. He had boats and canoes and a variety of three wheelers, plus a full line of Yardman equipment, including tractor mowers. Harlan acquired the Yamaha dealership, offering motorcycles and snowmobiles along with parts and equipment. He also offered trailers for motorcycles and snowmobiles.
• In the late 1960s, Harlan bought the DX station. He was the first to sell gasohol, with a big picture of corn by the station. He later added two car washes on the south side.
Harlan spent some years in Colorado, but came back home to Cylinder.
We had some help from Sharon Mueller identifying people in the pictures. Thanks to her, too. You know, as busy as people have been this summer they still take the time to offer help when and where they can.
The next group of pictures came from Deb Weisbrod. These were pictures of Cylinder long ago. How much fun. We are happy to have had the opportunity to use these old photos in the Quasquicentennial special section.
Along with her pictures, Deb brought Carol Bonnstetter’s scrapbooks from Cylinder’s 1985 Centennial. That was before scrapbooking was popular and Carol did a fabulous job. She had every newspaper clipping, program, script and lyrics from the Centennial Celebration.
Tilford Egland is a quite researcher. He gave permission to use his list “Notes on Cylinder” from the Emmetsburg newspapers. This information dated from 1885 to 1930. Tilford is quite a historian.
To all of these people, we owe a big Thank You. You helped make our job a little easier, even though you were up to your ears making plans for this weekend celebration.
There is a lot of history packed into 125 years. Residents,  former residents and guests will be in Cylinder this weekend to celebrate. We can’t wait to be there to celebrate with all of you.                                                  --Jane Whitmore



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