Vintage photos show 1910 Fourth of July parade
Wednesday, May 28, 2014 3:25 AM
With fun celebrations on the agenda, let's go back to 1910 for the Fourth of July parade in Spring Valley. The photographer set up his equipment in front of T.O. Kilburn's home on Section Avenue which is now the site of Zeimetz's pickup truck lot south of the Dairy Queen. I've always been curious as to why the board fence - if they at one time kept chickens or animals within the enclosure as we can see no fencing on it right now. First in the parade is Mr. Kilburn himself with two granddaughters riding along. Historian John Halbkat thought the auto is either a Metz or Winton, and you note along the back a sign that reads "Keep Your Eye on Spring Valley" which was a Commercial Club motto that year.
Thaddeus Onias Kilburn (1842-1911) was a Canadian by birth. He first set up a cooper's trade (making barrels) in the village of Fillmore; he served in the Civil War as part of the Second Minnesota Volunteer Infantry. He began his miller's trade in the once-thriving hamlet of Washington north of town in 1873 with a water-powered gristmill. He soon adopted the "new" concept of roller mills, a process that came from Germany, and moved to Spring Valley where he set up Kilburn Roller Mill in the southeast part of town at the end of Market Street. His son, Ed, joined him in the business. Together they supposedly owned the first "loco-mobiles" in the state, and Ed, as a skilled machinist, operated an auto repair and machine shop at the back of the home place. He was also an early Ford dealer, then an agent for the Brush and Maxwell autos.
T.O. Kilburn was much involved with community affairs, a member of the G.A.R., Masonic Lodge, and the family attended the Congregational church. After his death, Ed continued the business for a time, then sold it. The mill burned in the 1930s.
A gaily decorated auto sports the banner, "Pa Buys Our Shoes at Viall's." J.B. "Burke" Viall was a New Yorker, born 1847; and lived first in Preston with two uncles. He once carried mail on horseback between Austin and Preston on the Old Territorial Road. When the Civil War began, he lied about his age and joined up - actually serving during the "Indian Uprising" but was soon discharged. He opened a boot and shoe store in Spring Valley in 1878, and became known as Viall the Shoeman. His place of business was in the upper block on the west side south of Leuthold Store. He is listed as the first manager of the municipal light plant, established 1893, located on Park Street.
He and his wife had two sons: Fay, graduated in 1893, and later joined his dad in the shoe business. Fay was enthralled with music, and he is credited with forming the Mandolin Club. He married Mabel Chapman, and eventually moved to California. Son, Roy, was Captain of Company F in the Spanish-American War of 1898. The men served only a few months in miserable living conditions in Georgia where several men died of camp diseases and never saw battle. Roy married Emma, one of the Lobdill Twins of local fame, and operated several businesses over the years. At one time he ran the Rexall Drugstore with his brother-in-law, Elmer Lloyd, and served 14 years as local postmaster.
The Leuthold-Aamot auto has a wonderful top that looks like flowers but may be paper poufs, and plenty of patriotic themes. Leuthold was a local boy, born near Ostrander; he established clothing stores in southeast Minnesota as "The Fashionable Clothier." He came from Kasson in 1883, built the double building in 1893, the talk of the town. The bricks came from Isaac Todd's brick factory and the yellow stone came from the Thayer & Cummings quarry, bricked by local talent, Charlie Belden. The clothing store operated for over 100 years under Leuthold & Aamot, Leuthold & Majors, Majors and Roberts, and lastly with John and Darlene Vrieze. The beautiful facade of the building is now covered with aluminum, hiding its spectacular arched windows; and there was a stairway to the upper level where the telephone exchange held forth as well as many professional offices.
We're told the last auto seen here is a white Buick, hidden under blankets of flowers with Dr. J.D. and Mrs. Utley, with daughter Catherine in the rear seat with her friend, Allene Michener of Preston. Dr. Utley graduated from Rush College; came in 1892, and set up an excellent medical and surgical practice. In 1916 he moved to Minneapolis to become head of Midway General Hospital; later he was appointed to the Medical Reserve Corps, and went to Battle Creek, Mich. He then moved to California. Watch for more of this parade next week.