No Yokel and No Man’s Echo
A young, Swedish immigrant chose Meeker County as his home in 1894. It is a pleasure to share the story of Magnus, our neighbor. Like a great many Dassel early residents, he came to the U.S. alone, was poor, had schooling only to the age of 12, couldn’t speak English and became a farmer.
As Magnus grew successful as a family man, farmer and local leader, he was also discovered by state-wide political leaders. Magnus’ speaking ability was an important tool in convincing farmers to form co-operatives to protect their economic interests. The early years of the 20th century started out being good financially for farmers. They expanded their acreage and bought the new machines available. Then the bottom fell out and farmers fell far and hard.
Grass roots politicians valiantly worked to come to their rescue. This was important because agriculture was still the basis for a good share of the American economy. Our neighbor Magnus climbed the political ladder and has the distinction of having served in the Minnesota House and Senate as well as in the United States Senate and House. He was instrumental in the creation of FDIC, ran for Governor, and helped start the Farmer-Labor Party, the longest lived third party in U.S. history.
This exhibit attempts to convey Magnus’ good work, his wisdom, loyalty to his peers as well as his great and earthy sense of humor.