Bancroft News

Horses kept businesses alive


Mark Knight was the speaker at the Presbyterian Church on Nov. 29. The church is getting a new "coat" of steel siding. It's going to look nice.

Rose Grothe had Thanksgiving dinner with her daughter Janice in Brookings.

The address for Larry Martens, who is in an Oklahoma hospital following a serious motorcycle accident, is St. John’s Hospital 2100 S Wheeling Ave. Tulsa, Okla. 74104. A lot of the swelling has gone down, but since he is under light sedation, he hasn't woken up yet. Your prayers are surely needed yet.


One of the more renowned buildings in Bancroft was the blacksmith shop started up by James Costello, who was well into the business by 1906. He worked out of an old, small shack on the site of Mrs. Bill Austin's garage. This was later torn down, and James put up a larger building. Cars were coming into use, and larger buildings and garages were needed. It was located too far from main street, so it did not prove to be the success. Duke Teijen ran the shop from 1919 to 1923, using it as a smithy. George Perry used the building for IHC machinery in the front for a short time. The back was where suppers were served, and it was used extensively for this. The building also served as a roller rink in the early '30's and a gathering place for the community for a short time.

What was a garden in 1989 was once the going business of the Bancroft Livery and Dray Service until its death when the truck and car proved the horse to be a less necessary item. In 1989, only a few pieces of the foundation remained. The earliest livery owners were the Van Averill Brothers who later tore their barn down.

It was in 1909 the livery gained its first solid start as E. W. "Bud" January started the Bancroft Livery and Feed Stable. E. W. joined with his brother Bill about 1912, and they operated the business together for three years. At that time, Emil and Bill Dirksen, also brothers, joined together to keep the livery going, but Emil passed away and Henry Kruger came into the partnership.

On July 10, 1923 or 1924, a sports day enthusiast let go with a firecracker which blew into the barn and caused the livery to burn down. Bill Dirksen was not to let this be the end of the livery business and built another building in its place.

Many stories were told of the livery barn and the harvesting bums who stayed there for free, or the dray teams hauling groceries, cement or coal from the railroad tracks to the stores, but no story will ever come close to 'living on a day when one could watch the Livery and Dray service carry on its work.


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