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A past question: History buff seeks information about past Hancock business

The implement box with the a manufacturer's note listing a former Hancock business. Submitted photo

Dave Thompson of the Starbuck area calls himself a history buff. Now, he needs some help from the the Hancock area, because his research on a past business so far hasn't been successful.

Thompson has the box from an implement with the inscription "Manufactured for Brerig & Erickson, Hancock, Minn." The other side of the box has the manufacturer's name: "J.W. Stoddard & Co. Dayton, Ohio.

An online excerpt taken from the book "American Agricultural Implements: A Review of Invention and Development in the Agricultural Implement Industry of the United States 1894" by Robert L. Ardrey

said J.W. Stoddard & Co. made Tiger hay rakes and other rakes. The company was one of the first manufacturers of a disk harrow.

A Tiger rake self dump was one of the favorite implements listed by the Iowa State Agricultural Society for the Year 1881, an excerpt from the 1882 Annual Report by the Iowa State Agricultural Society posted online said.

Various online sites on which to sell items also list posters and postcards for the J.W. Stoddard & Co. Tiger rakes.

Thompson also found information on the Wikipedia online site that said J.W. Stoddard & Co. started in 1884 but that John Stoddard began manufacturing agricultural implements in partnership with John Dodds in 1869.

But Thompson could not find any information about Brerig & Erickson in his online search.

"Somebody in the area should know something about Brerig & Erickson," Thompson said. "I'm curious. Maybe it was a huge farm implement dealer."

The box is about six-foot long and can hold about three or four bushels of wheat, Thompson said. The box was likely kept because it served as a storage box, he said. The box also has some ornate decoration in the wording, paint detail and sides, he said.

Thompson found the implement box in an empty shed on some property he owns. The shed hadn't been used for more than 60 years. He figures the box is from an implement that is likely about 130 years old.

Those who know something about Brerig & Erickson can call Thompson at 320-808-3957.

The Stevens County Times hopes to follow-up with Thompson and share what he learned in a story..