Memories of Jenkins
by Glen Leverington
My memories and stories about Jenkins and what I can remember from my Dad Leslie Leverington and my Mother Josephine (Sandstrom) Leverington.
My Dad and his brother Erv came here from Oelwein, Iowa to cut ties for the railroad, this was about 1903. There were jobs and money working for the rail road. They were supposed to slab off one side of the tie and take the bark off the rest of it. Get the wagons filled and deliver the ties to Jenkins. They soon found out the ground would only be solid enough when it was frozen or really dry otherwise the wagon would sink into the dirt. (Remember, they were hauling these ties at least 10 miles or more to town on just a wagon trail not maintained roads.) So they got a contract made with the railroad company to haul when they could. They had brought four head of horses and hauling equipment with them on the railway when they moved up to Minnesota.
They purchased a piece of land in Moose Lake township (on the now Joe Strom place – where County Rd. #28 & #25 meet.) They built a house and barn, and then cleared land till they had grass and could put up hay for cattle.
Jenkins was growing into quite a town by then it had a large cattle corral to the west side of the intersection of Hwy 371 & Lilac Street. Many cattle, sheep, and hogs were brought into the area off of the train. People were moving here to start a new life to farm the land that had been cleared.
More Leverington’s came from Iowa, my Grandpa James and Grandma Elizabeth and Aunt Maud. Jenkins was growing fast by that time (about 1910) and a creamery was built. Everyone separated their milk, so they only sold the cream. Dairymen who lived near one another took turns taking the cream to the Jenkins Creamery. (Still going to town by horse and wagon). There was also Ryan’s Land Company run by Carl Ryan and a Bank. My parents were married in 1910.
My Dad had about 20 cows to milk and 100 sheep to sell lambs from. I had two older sisters. Dad sold his lambs and thought we were such good kids to help that he gave us each a lamb to sell and we got $12.00 each. We thought that was great, but then the bank in Jenkins went broke and us kids lost our $12.00, and my Dad lost all his sheep crop that year. The Leverington’s drove theor teams out to North Dakota for harvest in those days; it was a pretty long trip. Everything was done with horses in those days. There were two veterinarians in the area, Hiles and Slocum, My grandparents and the rest of the family, except my Dad, went back to Iowa in about 1910.
About 1920 until 1930 my Dad took what he had to sell in the fall to Jenkins to meet a cattle car on the train. He herded the cattle ahead of a wagon load of sheep and hogs. With his riding horse tied just on the back end of his wagon. It was 10 miles from where he lived to Jenkins. If neighbors thought he was having trouble they would help him get the cattle going down the trail. He left his team and riding horse in the Livery barn at Jenkins while he was gone on the train. He got in the train car and went with his cattle. Our family was glad to see him home when he got back.
My name is Glen Leverington, I was born in 1919 on my folk’s family farm, 10 miles west of Jenkins. My wife and I were married in 1941, we live on our ranch 9 miles west of Jenkins where we raised our three kids. Stop in and see us anytime and we will talk old times with you.