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sons Dave, Ted and Ray purchased their father's share of the business. In 1951 they incorporated the various departments, (bookstore, school supplies, stationery, printery and the Echo) under the name D. W. Friesen and Sons Ltd. and a success story had begun. Throughout the 1950's additions and renovations were made as the printing plant ex panded and the Echo's circulation grew. By 1955 the Altona Echo had merged with the Morris Herald to become the Red River Valley Echo putting its subscription over 3,000 and bringing the firm's staff to over 20. By the end of the 1950's the firm was employing fifty people and was paying out $130,000 in wages and salaries annually. 47 This was only the beginning and in the next two decades the firm would more than quintuple in size.
David K. Friesen - President and Gener al Manager of D. W. Friesen and Sons Ltd. Born in 1909 D. K. Friesen was edu cated in Altona at the MEl. Beginning work for his father in his confectionery store and post office, he became involved in the school supply business in 1930. In 1933 he started up a print shop and in 1941 he began publishing and editing the Altona Echo, a weekly newspaper. In 1948 he and his brothers, Ted and Ray mond, incorporated the various family business interests as D. W. Friesen and Sons Ltd., which quickly grew into a thriv ing business. It has since grown into a multi-million dollar a year business. Friesen was also involved in Co-operative ventures and served as the first vice-pres ident of Co-op Vegetable Oils Ltd. He was also the manager of this plant for seven years. His public service and community activities have included serving on the vil lage of Altona Council, the Red River Val
ley Water Commission, the Board of Directors of the Ebenezer Home for the Aged and the Finance Committee of the MCI. He has also been actie in church affairs serving on the local Bergthaler Church, Finance Committee.
The main reason for the rapid growth of this business was the entrepreneurial ability and aspirations of the Friesen family. This was most clearly seen in the person of D. K. Friesen. As a youth he had aspired to move to a large eastern city to imitate Horatio Alger's climb from rags to riches. His father, however, convinced him that it was possible to accomplish a great deal in his home town and kept him in Altona by promising to buy him a car so that he could move into the school supply business."