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property. Moved by Roy Shellborn, seconded by L.B. Gusdal that we do not further consider Carl Bengston's offer. The annual meeting was held in Westmount School on May 27, 1939. Knut Peterson and Peter Warwaruk requested that the secretary write the manager of the Sandy Lake Co-op Store and ask him to attend our annual meeting.
At the meeting held May 3, 1939, by the three groups, Mr. J. Rochelle was present and gave information on the Sandy Lake Co-op Store. It was moved by Paul Gron back, seconded by Peter Warwaruk that the districts be canvassed with shares set at $10.00. The men that would canvas were: Paul Gronback to canvas from the township line and North 18-18. Ernest Lofgren to canvas east of the town line. Arvid Ullberg to canvas west of Highway, Roy Shell born to canvas from highway to the town line, Ernest Lofgren to canvas in the Clear Lake district, Donald Johnson canvas north of Westmount School district to township line 18-18. The canvassing was to be done in the month of June and the money for shares to be collected by the 15th of September, 1939. Thus the reality of many farmers and town folk became known as the Erickson Consumer's Co-op. In 1939, the charter was granted and, with grocery and dry goods stocks pur chased from a local merchant, the Co-op store was opened for business. Many hard working men made the possibility of having a Co-op store in the Village of Erickson. The Charter members were Emil Johnson, John Magnell, George Knight, Fred Wetteland, Carl Nielson, Ted Lee and Nels Peterson. Emil Johnson sold his old garage with almost no down payment and so much a year if they had the money. If not, the payment would be delayed till the following year. After converting the old garage into a makeshift store merchandise was ordered. Bags and bags of puffed wheat, as it was cheap and bulky and made the shelves look fairly well stocked, was a must in the grocery section. Assets the first year were $600.00. The first manager, Ken Hall, was hired at a salary of $50 per month plus one per cent commission on sales. There was one clerk, Pearl Landstrom. The first year the grand total in sales was approximately $10,000.00 with a net earning of $467.00. Mr. Hall not
Erickson Consumers Co-op.
only managed, but was also chief engineer, operating a small generator in the back warehouse for giving a supply of power to the few twelve volt bulbs in the store. Most of the time light was supplied by gas lamps which had to be filled, cleaned and air pumped. It wasn't long before business started to increase and additional staff was needed. More staff included: Gertrude Stovin, two of the Halverson girls, Harold Kennedy and Ada Nystrom. Many, many more were to follow as the years passed and business expanded.
|To The Shareholder||May 22, 1944|
Your Board of directors have called a special meeting of the shareholders to be held in the Municipal Hall at Erickson on Friday, June 9th at 8 P.M.
The meeting is called to discuss the proposed purchase of Albert-Ramgren's business, and to take any action decided upon by the meeting in that connection. As this is an important matter, please be present.
Yours very truly,
ERICKSON CONSUMERS' CO-OPERATIVE LTD. Roy Shell born, President
Soon the store expanded by buying out Albert Ramgren's store next door. A hallway was built con necting the two making one large unit connecting footwear and drygoods. Gas pumps and the Massey Harris Implements complimented the operation. The main supplier in those early years was Western Grocers and the Co-op carried all "Red & White" merchandise which was Western Grocers trade name. For awhile the Co-op operated a truck hauling grain for the farmers.
The Present Erickson Consumers Co-op Store.
Soon a service station and bulk gas and oil was added. It was erected on a corner lot and is still in the same location. Bert Gustafson was the first manager along with Harold Stitt who is still in charge of the bulk depot and service station. Later the property across the street from the service station was purchased as an outlet for farm supplies and feed fertilizer.