Wednesday, July 12, 2017
1906 Catalog Farmer Seed Co. of Fairbault, Minnesota
1906 Catalog Farmer Seed Co. of Fairbault, Minnesota. Farmer Seed Company was founded in Chicago in 1888 by William L. Kueker and his brother-in-law Otto Kozlowski. As associate editors for a monthly farm newspaper in Chicago, they discovered a need for seed sources through numerous inquiries from farmers. It was then that the southern part of Minnesota was being settled by thrifty German-American farmers. In 1893, the men moved their business to a small 2-story building on West Fourth Street in Faribault. A catalog in the German language was distributed to 10,000 farmers in Minnesota and Wisconsin and specialized in pasture grasses, clovers, seed grains and corn seed. A second catalog was published in the English language soon after, and the circulation was upped to 20,000. The business quickly outgrew its space and in 1899, it moved across the street to a large stone warehouse. By the early 1900s, garden seed were added to the catalog. Then, after World War I, nursery stock was also included. A retail store was added in the late 1920s, and seed racks were distributed to more than 4,000 merchants across the Midwest. That retail store continues to operate today with home and outdoor decor, gardening tools and the popular wall of seeds. Farmer Seed and Nursery is now owned by Owen Nursery of Bloomington, Illinois, making it a part of one of the largest lawn and garden mail order companies in the United States.