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POCKRANDT LUMBER CO.

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 War II.


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." 



July 10, 1919 - Hugo Lindberg, Axel Lindquist, Harry Bird, Julius Pockrandt



1955  The old Central building is in the background.



1960



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 death.

 

 

This information comes from a variety of sources: newspapers, books, yearbooks, phone directories, interviews, etc. Given the varied sources, we cannot guarantee that all of this information is correct, and welcome any additions and corrections. Please contact us with your contributions and comments.