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proudly Serving Winger since 1904

City of Winger History

From generation to generation it is common to see land and property passed from father to son and to grandson.  This, in our pioneer story, has often been the case.  Many children and grandchildren of the pioneers now live on land that their forefathers home steaded and wrestled from the wilderness by pure hard labor and self-sacrifice.  Many others enjoy, in a financial way, the fruits of the labors of their fathers or their grandfathers.

But, aside from such things, we have a greater heritage -- a heritage that belongs to all of us.  The pioneers who first made a home in our community came here with the desire to establish a home where they could be free in spirit, where they could develop by their own ambition and perseverance, leaving their own home-land but bringing with them its best ideals and customs.

Though most of our early settlers were Scandinavians, other nationalities in small number from time to time mingled with the majority.  These fine people showed that it was possible, in a free land where decency, honesty, ambition, thrift and plain common sense prevailed, for all people to live together in friendship and harmony.

Our small community is only a small dot on the map but there are thousands more like it throughout our country.  Together, they all help to make up our nation -- a nation which, despite its many faults and shortcomings -- is made up of the same spirit and ideals.

100 YEARS

In 2004, Winger celebrated it's 100th anniversary.  On this page is a pictorial review of some of our community's history:

  1. The first bank in Winger was incorporated in 1904 under the name of First State Bank of Winger with capital of $10,000.  The original incorporators were Olaf Ramstad, O.A. Brattland, Frank Koester, A.M. Eckmann, H.O. Rask, and Gilbert Brattland.  The bank building was erected in 1905 and used by Farmers State Bank of Winger until 1951.  It later housed the Winger Post Office. The original building has since be incorporated back in to the new bank building housing Ultima Bank Minnesota.
  2. The Bethania and Storelvedalen church buildings were moved together and completely remodeled to form the present Calvary Lutheran Church.  The church was dedicated in 1952 as the Winger Evangelical Lutheran Church.
  3. The Winger Farmers Creamery Company was in operation until 1968.  This building was built in 1928, and a celebration was held June, 1928 to dedicate the new plant, one of the finest in the area.
  4. The Dovre Lutheran Church was the first congregation to be organized and have a church building in Winger.  The congregation was formally organized in 1895.  The building was moved to town in 1908, using steam engines.
  5. Scene from the Nels T. Wold funeral on September 25, 1921.  Wold was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his gallant service in aiding the advance of his company near Cheppy, France, where he was killed in 1918.
  6. The Winger Municipal Auditorium was built in 1936 as a project of the W.P.A. re-employment program.  It gave Winger one of the largest and most complete public gathering places in the area.  The building now houses the Winger Community Center.
  7. In 1923, an election was held to decide on a proposal to bond the school district in the amount of $20,000 to erect a new schoolhouse.  The Winger Grade School building was completed in 1924.
  8. The polar bear and Native American statues that adorned Sioux Corner in Winger were sculpted by Halvor Landsverk.  The polar bear remains on display at Sioux Oil.
  9. Street scene looking north in Winger.  Wilcox Lumber Company bought out two existing lumber companies in 1906.  The building pictured above was completed in August of 1928.
  10. Throughout it's history, the Sioux Corner has consisted of a cafe, grocery store, oil company, gas station, and beautiful landscaping.
  11. Street scene in Winger, showing a lot of business activity.  The Farmers State Bank of Winger's new building was completed in 1951.
  12. An early 1900's view of Main Street in Winger.
  13. The Soldiers' Memorial Monument is constructed of Hardwick Vermont granite.  On one side, it bears the names of servicemen from the area who died in action during World War I.  The other side lists all 87 area men who served.  It was dedicated in 1925.