Neighbors: The warmth of small towns and more about that old elevator fire

The old Amenia Seed & Grain Co. elevator in Amenia, N.D. Special to The Forum

Many of you have sent stories to Neighbors of life in small towns.

Harriet Holler writes that she deeply appreciates those stories. Harriet now lives in Fargo, but she comes from Hunter, N.D.

“I love reading of those days in small towns and of the caring everyone had for each other,” she writes Neighbors.

“I still feel the warmth and friendships along the way.

“So many of my dear friends have moved to other areas or have passed away, but the memories left behind are priceless.

“Thanks for sharing those moments with all of us.”

Well, thank you, Harriet, for your note, and thanks to all of you who take the time to send in your thoughts about small towns or of anything at all.

And by the way, if it takes a while before you see your story published, please understand that Neighbors gets dozens of stories each week, so it’s always running behind on getting them in. But we will continue to publish your stories as fast as we can.

Thanks for your patience!

ARCHIVE: More of Bob Lind's Neighbors columns


The story of one town that was published here earlier this year was of Amenia, N.D.

That story told of the Amenia Seed & Grain Co. elevator, which burned down in 1976.

Additional information about the elevator comes from Al Poyzer, now of Fargo, who was manager of the elevator when it burned. He writes that it was owned by the Chaffee family.

Al sent in the elevator fire photo you see here.

Special to The Forum

“The elevator scale, office and grain dryer and some grain storage was rebuilt in 1982,” Al writes.

“I bought the majority stock from Chaffee family.

“When Jimmy Carter became president, he put a grain embargo on. When I purchased grain from farmers, the contracts were not honored by grain companies. The interest rate went from 8 percent to 20 percent in 14 months. My finance rate was 1.5 percent over the prime.

“Cargill took the elevator. I ran it for 10 years,” Al writes. “Then, Del Arnason rebuilt the large steel bins.”

The original column said the first elevator in Amenia was built on the east side of the Northern Pacific tracks.

But that’s incorrect. “I believe that would have been the Great Northern Railroad,” Gene Radermacher, Polson, Mont., writes.

“Wouldn’t want to insult James. J. Hill, the Great Northern’s founder, or his followers!” Gene says.

Sure wouldn’t, Gene.

If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107, fax it to 701-241-5487 or email