Pockrandt Lumber and Fuel Company was a landmark business in
the Park during most of the 20th Century. Located at 6325
Highway 7, the firm was situated on a triangular piece of
property between the railroad tracks and Highway
7, across from the High School (Central). It was well positioned to
take advantage of the Park’s
housing boom following World
Various ads seem to indicate several different years that
the original lumber yard opened. One says that it was
founded in 1900 and even provides a photo. Others compute to
1914, 1917, even as late as 1918. Highway 7 itself was
not built until 1934 - before that the business was listed
at Main and Highland (Dakota and 36th).
Most information shows that the Burnham-Kilbride Lumber
Company started in 1910. The company sponsored a
baseball team that year that included
Frank Werner, Peanuts Nelson, Dutch Miller, Al Olson,
Ray Johnson, Irving Johnson,
Andrew Nelson, Carl Nelson, William Klebs, Bob Hinkle
and Jack Nelson.
The business became Pockrandt
Lumber and Fuel in 1915. Although it was obviously
named for and possibly owned by Julius E. Pockrandt,
Minneapolis directories consistently list Pockrandt as the
secretary and treasurer and A.C. Andrews is listed as
president. The 1930 Census lists Pockrandt as the
proprietor. In 1934 general manager is added to Pockrandt's titles, but Andrews remains listed as president
in the directories until at least 1944. (Pockrandt is listed
as president in the 1940 Census.) In 1944 E.M. Hamre
is listed as general manager. In
1941 the company added another location in Inver Grove.
The St. Louis Park yard burned down in 1920 or '21 and was
rebuilt to about half its eventual size. A new main
building and the area west of Dakota was built in 1936 or '37. An undated news blurb
indicated that the offices were remodeled, Len Bjorklund was
the manager, and there were 17 employees. Their slogan
and policy was "The BEST at LEAST for CASH."
1919 - Hugo Lindberg, Axel Lindquist, Harry Bird, Julius
1955 The old Central building is in the background.
1962 - the huge sign with the signature lumberjack was a
familiar sight on Highway 7.
It is unclear when the company closed. It is last
listed in the St. Louis Park directory in 1966.
However, in 1967, City Council minutes indicate that the
company requested that Dakota Ave. south of
Highway 7 be vacated. Dakota at that location would
have run right through the property. It may have
been that the company sought to consolidate the property in
order to sell it.
The site is now part of the 6363 Hwy 7 parcel, a parking lot
and drainage structure.
THE POCKRANDT FAMILY
Julius Edward Pockrandt was born on
November 4, 1874 of German parents. His birthplace is
variously reported in the Census as Russia (1910), Prussia
(1920), Russia (1930), and Germany (1940), reflecting
political changes in his homeland. He came to the U.S.
in the 1890s (also variously reported). He married
wife Florence on August 12, 1902 in Minneapolis.
Minneapolis directories from 1903 to 1910 report his
occupation as bookkeeper. The 1910 Census reports his
occupation as bookkeeper for a lumber company. From
about 1916 to 1919 the family lived in St. Louis Park -
otherwise they lived in Minneapolis.
Florence and Julius had a daughter, Helen Pearl, born on
July 1, 1903, who apparently died young as she does not
appear in the 1910 Census. Daughter Dorothy (Barrett)
was born in about 1906.
Julius was a member of many civic organizations, including
Minneapolis Scottish Rite, Zuhrah Temple of the Shrine, the
Hoo Hoo club, Six o'Clock club, the Minneapolis Athletic
club and the Automobile Club of Minneapolis. Julius
died on February 16, 1948 in Phoenix, Arizona. He had
been active in the management of both lumber yards until his