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Wright-Cromwell News June 7 2018

As I sit down to write this week's news column, I am reminded that June 3 is the 99th anniversary of the opening of the Farmer's Co-op Store in Wright.

The Farmer's Cooperative Co. purchased D. C. Behren's Store building, organized and opened it for business June 3, 1919. Shares were $10 each and it was incorporated with $10,000 and annual sales of $60,000. Shares are still only $10, and you must have a share to be a voting member of the co-op.

The co-op sold lots of chickens and 35 cases of eggs and 115 tubs of butter every week. They also sold about 35 railroad carloads of potatoes, 600 sacks to a carload, annually. They hauled lots of potatoes to Duluth — two trips a day — and returned with a load of other supplies. Later, Louty Doe from Duluth started supplying the store with eggs and potatoes. The store also tested milk for farmers before Al Zoerb started his creamery. Feed came to the store by railcar.

John Knutilla was the first manager of the store. He would sell lots of merchandise on credit, but many didn't pay their bills. Finally, the store had to file for bankruptcy. They resolved the problem by offering to pay 50 cents on the dollar, so the debt of $34,000 was reduced to $17,000.

Just before World War II, the co-op built a modern service station and garage on Highway 210 across from the liquor store. Jay Tarr had a tavern at this location, which burned down in the 1930s. The co-op also purchased Bushey's and Hugo's stores after they closed.

The co-op is still in business and is now located in the old brick Twin Ports Creamery Building, which has been remodeled. The feed mill has closed, but agricultural products can now be purchased in the new addition to the north side of the store.

The manager is Tim Bury and board members are George Uecker, president; Beanie Randa, vice president; Jennie K. Hanson, secretary; and directors Scott Ferry and Jeff Navoichick.

Congratulations to this year's Cromwell-Wright Class of 2018: Cassidy Anderson, Stephen Dickey, Enrico Francato, Teana Hakamaki, Elizabeth Hansen, Brock Hascall, Alyssa Hoff, Rinrada Jaree, Kaylee Jatkola, Nicholas Johnson, Cayden Karppinen, Amber Lehti, Kyle Pfisthner, Tiffany Richards, Natasha Stenson, Jennifer Suhonen and Tanner Varo.

Graduation ceremonies were May 25 at the school. Valedictorian was Jennifer Suhonen and the salutatorian was Kaylee Jatkola. The Service Award went to Natasha Stenson, Citizenship to Amber Lehti and Leadership to Jennifer Suhonen. The guest speaker was William Pocernich and Nathan Libbon presented the diplomas.

Upcoming events

• Sunday, June 10 — Testicle Festival (Rocky Mountain oysters), Minetties Diner, Wright. Stop in and "have a ball!"

• June 11-13 — Vacation Bible School, 9:30-11 a.m., St. John's, Wright.

• Tuesday, June 12 — YOT, noon, Cromwell Park Pavilion.

• June 11-21 — Student swimming lessons. Call school to sign up.

• Sunday, June 17 — Father's Day and brunch, 9 a.m., Bethlehem.

• Tuesday, June 19 — Carlton County Retired Educators meeting, 11:30 a.m., The Street Car, Carlton.

• Thursday, June 21 — Cromwell Volunteer Fire Department blood drive. Call Ray Lally at 218-644-3739 to sign up.

• Friday, June 22 — CACC Steak Fry, Variety Show and Silent Auction. Burgers and steaks will be served. To donate silent auction items, call Ann Markusen at 218-428-3300.

That's all the news from the "Edge of Wright." Have a great week!