Humboldt’s Business Hall of Fame was created by the Humboldt & District Chamber of Commerce in 2011 to recognize those who have shaped the business landscape in Humboldt & Area.
Nominations are open year round. The inductions take place at the Annual Mark of Excellence Awards Banquet.
After leaving high school in Grade 10, Michelle embarked on an entrepreneurial career journey that has certainly left its mark on Humboldt, and Saskatchewan.
Michelle Bankowski has been a passionate, determined and extremely successful businessperson. In 1985 she opened a fine jewelry store called Diamonds of Detroit. At that time, it was one of three jewelry stores in Humboldt. Diamonds of Detroit quickly gained a reputation as a high quality retail business that would not have been out of place in any urban setting. Michelle brought in jewelry lines that were cutting edge, trendsetting and always something to be coveted by the thousands of customers that she served throughout her 30 years of ownership. Diamonds of Detroit quickly became the market leader, and after only a few years, the only jewelry store in Humboldt and area.
There were not many female entrepreneurs in Humboldt in 1985, but that did not deter Michelle. With drive and determination, she built her business into an award winning, provincially and nationally recognized entity. In 2003 Diamonds of Detroit won the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce ABEX Service Award. In 2013, the company won the Service Award again and was also awarded ABEX’s highest honor – Business of the Year. Diamonds of Detroit has also won many Humboldt Chamber Mark of Excellence awards in several categories throughout the years. This recognition validated what thousands of customers already knew-that Diamonds of Detroit was a distinguished, first rate business providing exceptional customer service and an excellent buying experience. The level of excellence achieved by Diamonds of Detroit was due almost entirely to Michelle’s direction and influence.
Employee training and development was a major factor in the success of Diamonds of Detroit. All staff underwent sales and jewelry training programs provided primarily by Michelle but also by outside professionals in different areas of specialization. Michelle fostered a culture of continuous learning, providing ample opportunities for employees to improve themselves professionally and personally
While growing her business Michelle also dedicated six years to serving her industry on the board of Canadian Jewellers Association. In 1995, she became the third woman President in the association’s over 80 year history.
Michelle has also put in countless volunteer hours to raise money for various organizations in Humboldt and district. Some of her volunteer activities included involvement in JCI, formerly the Jaycettes. She was also a founding member of Action Humboldt. This strategic planning and leadership development movement helped create a new vision for the Humboldt Region, focused on sustainable growth and an ‘open for business’ attitude.
Other organizations that have benefitted from Michelle’s drive and passion include;
Humboldt District Hospital Foundation – Have a Heart Marathon. This event has turned into an annual fundraiser for the organization to raise money for equipment purchases for the Humboldt District Hospital.
Rush for Gold – Fundraising and support initiative for Humboldt’s Olympic Athletes, Lyndon Rush and Brianne Theisen-Eaton. A 24-hour marathon pancake breakfast, Street Barbecue, Student Rally, and a Gala dinner and Silent Auction packed this two-day event, and raised a significant amount of money for these athletes to offset some of their training expenses.
PARTNERS Family Services – Michelle endeavored to raise the profile of this important community agency by becoming a board member. Following on the successful formula of the Rush for Gold fundraiser, Michelle orchestrated two extremely successful events in consecutive years. In the first year, former NHL star, sexual abuse survivor and author Theo Fleury visited Humboldt. And in 2015 award-winning author and kidnap survivor Amanda Lindhout came to the city. These high profile individuals brought their inspiring and motivational messages to Humboldt and area students and residents. PARTNERS Family Services benefitted by raising tens of thousands of dollars for their programming needs.
Michelle has spent hundreds of hours leading these projects – connecting with the community businesses, her clients and her personal network to ensure these events were flawlessly carried out. Her attention to detail and her ability to build support for these fundraising events have greatly improved the quality of services offered in Humboldt and area.
Michelle sold her business in December 2014. She and her husband Kevin have since moved to Saskatoon to enjoy more time with their family.
While the partnership between brothers Donald and Murray began in 1960 when Ted and his sons began operating together as Brockman Transport, Brockmans were a staple in Humboldt and area for more than 30 years before that. Their father Ted had started in business in 1926. However, the transport side of the business was sold and in 1966 the company name changed to Brockman Enterprises Limited. By 1979 expansion to a new location east of town included a new computer assisted Redi-Mix concrete plant to augment the expanding business that included gravel crushing, excavating, sand hauling, snow removal, demolition and many other applications that required heavy equipment. In 2010, Murray’s son Greg and Donald’s son Kevin became shareholders. Eight years later, Murray and Greg, along with partners, became the sole owners of Brockman Enterprises. In the nearly 90 years of operation, there were few, if any projects in which Brockman enterprises weren’t involved, whether it was the tearing down or the new construction side of the business. The business continues to grow.
Donald received his education at St. Augustine School, then St. Peters College until 1949, after which he joined his dad, diving into the manual-labour business. He delivered fuel for Purity 99, then took on the lease for the company in Humboldt for several years. The partnership with his brother and father lasted through till his retirement in 2012, though that didn’t stop him from being a regular visitor at the plant, ‘just to see how things were going.’
While the partnership between brothers Donald and Murray began in 1960 when Ted and his sons began operating together as Brockman Transport, Brockmans were a staple in Humboldt and area for more than 30 years before that. Their father Ted had started in business in 1926. However, the transport side of the business was sold and in 1966 the company name changed to Brockman Enterprises Limited. By 1979 expansion to a new location east of town included a new computer-assisted Redi-Mix concrete plant to augment the expanding business that included gravel crushing, excavating, sand hauling, snow removal, demolition and many other applications that required heavy equipment. In 2010, Murray’s son Greg and Donald’s son Kevin became shareholders. Eight years later, Murray and Greg, along with partners, became the sole owners of Brockman Enterprises. In the nearly 90 years of operation, there were few, if any projects in which Brockman enterprises weren’t involved, whether it was the tearing down or the new construction side of the business. The business continues to grow.
For over 60 years Murray has been involved in nearly every construction project in Humboldt and area, from the 1950’s through to 2018. A handshake from Murray was often enough to seal the deal. It was his bond. Murray married Betty and had two sons, Gregory and Robert. In 1984 he married Audrey. They both belong to the Roman Catholic Parish and to various organizations in the community. Murray has proudly serviced Humboldt and area, giving generously of his time, service, expertise and mentorship.
Wilfred Chamney was born in 1917 in Humboldt. At age 17, he began working with his stepfather in McNab Flour Mills. After a fire destroyed the mill in 1956, Wilf took the opportunity to build a small grain elevator on the mill property. Over the next few years, the business grew and two more elevators went up. In the 1960s, Wilf introduced the growing of mustard seed first in the Humboldt area and eventually around the province. Soon, he was known as the Mustard Man, and mustard and lentils were being shipped from Humboldt to countries around the world. The Prairie Rose brand became well known along with his Five-in-one cereal, Wilf’s special breakfast blend. Anhydrous ammonia fertilizer stations were set up and a satellite grain-buying business was established in Winnipeg. The company went public in the early 1990s. In the late 1980s, Wilf purchased property and commissioned the first German-themed building in Humboldt. Wilf retired in 1995 and passed away in 2000.
Ken Dust was born on September 5, 1922, and received his schooling in both Humboldt and Muenster. He joined the Armed Forces where he served for over 3 years. Ken’s business career started with his father in who had founded Dust Motors in 1921. In 1947 he started an auto-body, paint shop and sporting goods store and was the first dealer to bring snowmobiles into Humboldt region. In 1971, he opened Dust’s Furniture and Sporting Goods Store. He also invested in real estate in both Humboldt and Saskatoon. Ken served on city council and was elected as Mayor in 1949 at the age 26, making him Canada’s youngest Mayor. He also served as Mayor from 1963-1965 during which time the Town Hall was built. Ken also served with the Knights of Columbus, Lions Club and Chamber of Commerce as well as the Legion, St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, St. Augustine parish council, and the Young Men’s Board of Trade. As Chairman of the St. Mary’s Villa he announced the finalization of the 40 bed addition which was eventually named in his memory. Ken died suddenly of a heart attack in 1975 at the age of 52.
After moving to Humboldt in 1984, Darlene took over the management of the Dairy Queen restaurant, which had been in operation since December of 1981. At the same time, Dave opened a new law practice in the City of Humboldt. Darlene and Dave, along with partners, built the mall that the Dairy Queen is located in, the Carnoustie Centre in 1981.
In the ensuing years, while running the Dairy Queen, Darlene also opened and operated the Nutters Bulk Food Store. This business remained under her guidance for five years, all the while, growing the Dairy Queen operation.
While Humboldt was very good to the Eberle family, they also gave back to the community and province. Dave was on the Catholic School Board, Humboldt Minor Hockey Board, served on the Emmanuel Health Board, the St. Elizabeth Hospital Foundation, chair of St. Paul’s Hospital Local Council, Humboldt Bronco Board and was a founding member of the Humboldt Kinsmen Club. Dave also served as the Chair of the Workers Compensation Board, during which time he spearheaded Mission Zero.
Darlene also gave back. She was on the Humboldt Tourism Committee, was the chair of the Humboldt and District Chamber of Commerce, a board member and then chair of the Central Plains Health District, then the Chair of the Saskatoon Health Region. The new Humboldt and District Health Centre was approved and constructed while she served in those capacities.
At the core of it all was the Dairy Queen. In their over 40 years in business, they had the privilege of having many great employees, both full and part time. Everyone assisted in the success of the Dairy Queen. In 2009, the Eberle’s saw an opportunity to fill their staff compliment, with the use of the foreign workers. This strategy has resulted in many of them staying on and calling Humboldt their home.
The family business will now continue, with Natasha and Gavin having taken over.
The City of Humboldt and area has greatly benefited from Darlene and Dave Eberle.
Albert (Al) Gaetz was born in Cudworth and grew up in Spalding. When he left school he worked for the Sask. Department of Highways as a surveyor. He and his wife, Jean moved to Humboldt with their family in 1958 when he had an opportunity to join a Furniture and Appliance business. The business was located in the old McLeod’s building on the corner of 6th Avenue and 9th Street – where the Beheil Law firm is located now. After several years Al purchased his partner’s share of the business and relocated it in the old Bruser building on 9th Street – where it I today. He renamed the business Aline Furniture and Appliances. Ralph Frank, Geoff Lockhart & Clare Isert became partners and share holders in the business. In the 70’s he sold his share to his partners and started a Mobile Home court and became a Mobile Home & RV dealer. Al sold the Mobile Home business and court to Francis Kehrig and pursued other business ventures.
He started a company called Rabco Enterprises, selling RVs, boats & trailers, became a partner in Jaycee’s Men’s Wear with Gerald Hergott and Joe Draude, he became a partner in Eastview Manor apartments and he built and sold spec homes. In the mid 80’s he & Ralph Frank built the Office & Fitness Center building on the corner of 10th Street and 7th Avenue. They started a Real Estate company and over the years had agents Gerald Batty, Shirley Seidel and Dan & Cheryl Torwalt join them. These people later became brokers and now operate their own offices. In 2005 Al sold his Real-estate business to ReMax/Saskatoon. Since that day he has remained active as Branch Manager and Associate Broker in their new ReMax Real Estate office in the former Discovery Ford building. In 2007 Al sold his office building on the corner of 10th St. and 7th Ave. to Dan Torwalt.
Al has been a business person in Humboldt since 1958 — a total of 58 years. He is still a devoted builder of Humboldt. He doesn’t plan to ever fully retire. Through the years he has been available to advise and encourage young people to become their own business owners. During that time Al made time for community involvement and activities. While on Town Council, he encouraged the town to acquire land to build the local Airport and started planning for the water pipeline to the Saskatchewan River. He was instrumental in helping the Humboldt Golf Club fund the installation of watered fairways and grass greens by signing bank a note and in 1999 he volunteered his time to help raise money to finish the new nine.
Al longed for a new home for the Broncos and in 1982 he became involved with the committee responsible for building the Uniplex. Seeing the need for a new Arena, he accepted the position of Building Chairman of Phase 2 of the Uniplex Corporation. It was under his direction and guidance that the Uniplex Arena became a reality. He spent many days, weeks and months seeking financing, planning and overseeing construction, etc. —– finishing $150,000.00 under budget. At the ’94-’95 annual Humboldt Broncos Board of Directors meeting, with the club having a deficit of approximately $200,000.00 and folding of the club being considered, Al was appointed to the Board, becoming Office Manager. He initiated the first Humboldt Bronco Combine Lotto. It was due to his dedication and efforts that the Lotto was successful, showing a profit of $250,000.00 profit in four months — taking the club out of debt, and with money left over to start the new season. And chaired four more profitable lotteries.
He also belonged to the following organizations through those years, helping them in Humboldt’s growth:
Stony Lake Water Sports club; Member, President & Senator of Humboldt Jaycees; Elected as Councillor for Town of Humboldt; Elected to Humboldt Collegiate Board; Member and president of the Humboldt Retail Merchants Association; Member of Humboldt Chamber of Commerce for over 50 years; President of Humboldt Chamber of Commerce 1972-73; Building Chairman of Phase 2 of the Uniplex Corporation; Member and Chairman of Waldsea Lake Regional Park; Founding member of Sask. Snowmobile Association; Member, Manager, President and supporter of the Humboldt Broncos; Founding member of Humboldt Credit Union; Development member of Humboldt Golf Club; Lifetime member of Humboldt KC’s; Member of St. Augustine Church Finance Committee; Member of Board of Governors of Sask. Junior Hockey League; Recipient of the Bill Shinsky Builder’s Award in SJHL 1997; Inducted into Humboldt’s Sports Hall of Fame 2011; Honored at the 30th Anniversary of the Humboldt Uniplex 2013.
Al Gaetz has been in business in Humboldt for 58 years!
Edward Gamola was born in 1946 on the family farm in the Carmel district. He went to school at Mount Carmel, Carmel, and Humboldt Collegiate.
Edward married Lucille Pray in 1969 and their daughter Corienne arrived in 1972. Corienne married Clinton Binsfeld and has two children, Jared and Amy.
Upon graduation in 1964 Edward worked for Lang Brothers Construction and Bloski Home Construction. From 1966-1982 he managed commercial construction at Humboldt Co-operative Association Lumber Department. During that period he was involved in the construction of many senior’s duplex units in the town of Humboldt and around the province, plus private housing.
In 1982 Edward became a shareholder at Humboldt Lumber Mart Ltd in partnership with Jim and Bill Monz . Edward was responsible for the commercial construction in Humboldt and the province.
As the Monz partners retired, Tim Kiefer, Evan Pronych and Kimberly Lauzon became partners, with Edward as major shareholder and president. In 1983, HLM began Landmark Estates, a townhouse development on the original location of Brockman Enterprises. In 1985 HLM purchased 40 acres and developed the Big Sky office and Water Ridge Estates. HLM also purchased 3 acres to facilitate a large expansion. A shop was constructed, called Holzmeister Millwork, specializing in the manufacturing of all finished millwork products. Humboldt Lumber Mart is presently Rona Building Centre.
Edward was responsible for the tendering and construction of many projects which are noted buildings within Humboldt, such as: St. Mary’s Villa, Humboldt Fire Hall, the Humboldt Public School renovation and many more.
Throughout the province Edward constructed 50+ major projects specializing in Special Care Nursing Homes, Hospitals, Schools, Health Clinics, RCMP Detachments.
Edward, enjoys fishing, hunting, golfing and his beloved Montreal Canadiens. He is a member of the Knights of Columbus, Royal Canadian Legion, Humboldt Vintage Club, Humboldt Wildlife Federation, St. Augustine’s Catholic Church Parish, and a past member of the All Saints Catholic Church Board. He is a very honest and humble man and is devoted to his wife, family and many friends and to his Catholic faith. In 2014 Edward is retiring after 50 years of service in construction.
Tim Graf was a lifelong Humboldt entrepreneur. Shortly after graduating from Kelsey Institute with an Interprovincial Journeyman Carpenter Certificate in 1983 he started a construction company with his brothers, Greg and Keith. Together they built numerous homes, condos and seniors complexes.
Tim was a partner in businesses such as Humboldt Lumber Mart, Tasko Developments and Humboldt Home Hardware. These companies were integral in building Humboldt and area and offered employment and opportunity for hundreds of our residents.
His companies won numerous awards for excellence. Most notably, in 2002 Humboldt Home Hardware was recognized as the National Best Home Hardware.
Tim was more than an entrepreneur, he also gave generously to the community. His companies sponsored hundreds of events in Humboldt and area. He helped his community, not for the recognition, but because it was the right thing to do.
Tim generously gave his time to develop exceptional people. His mentorship helped many people start their own successful businesses. He constantly sought training and learning opportunities so he could pass his knowledge onto others.
His successes and generosity can be seen throughout our community. As a lifelong Humboldt resident and entrepreneur, Tim Graf exemplified what it means to be a community builder.
Gerald Hergott was born in 1935 in Bruno. In 1960, Gerald purchased a 1/3 interest in his Uncles business and became Sales Manager of Hergott Farm Equipment Ltd. In 1966, they moved to their current location on Highway #5 east. Hergott Farm Equipment holds the distinction of being the first International Harvester XL and Partsmart Dealer in Canada. They have also achieved the highest level of excellence attainable by an International Harvester agricultural dealer. Gerald has been involved in many committees and organizations throughout the community and his business world, but spent the majority of his time as President of the Community Centre of Humboldt & District Inc. which was established solely to promote, build, and manage a centre containing a curling rink, community hall and a 2000 seat arena, know today as the Humboldt Uniplex. This dedicated committee met every Thursday at lunch for 6 years. Today, Gerald remains active in Hergott Farm Equipment Ltd. as General Manager and shareholder.
Dennis Korte was born in 1942 in Muenster. An entrepreneur at a young age, Dennis operated a Dray business with his brother, using a horse and flat wagon or a toboggan to haul and deliver the freight from the trains. Dennis started his printing career at St. Peter’s Press in Muenster in 1961. In 1969, he established Graphic Arts Printing in Humboldt. A very active member of the community, Dennis has said that “he was never at work” as he chaired and belong to many organizations for the betterment of the community. He served as Town Mayor for 6 years and was instrumental in the District Health Planning Committee that formed the Central Plains Health District. Dennis has also been very active in his Church, Humboldt history, tourism and sports. Today Dennis continues to operate Graphic Arts Printing which is celebrating its 42nd anniversary this year.
After graduating from the Alberta College of Art, in Calgary AB (1966-71) I felt that big city life was not my style and I returned to my roots, Humboldt SK. In August 1971 Graphic Ad opened as a one-man operation that most people thought was destined to fail. Thankfully there were a few people who, although they probably felt my chances of success were slim, encouraged my efforts. This group of informal mentors provided motivation and guidance in many areas where I needed direction. This was not a formal process but occurred indirectly through general conversation and observations.
My goal was to use my art education to provide sign, design, and screen-printing services to a variety of customers within the region. These potential customers included the retail sector as well as the manufacturing and mining industries that covered a radius of approximately 80-100kms which, over time, expanded to include much of North and Eastern Saskatchewan as well as other geographic locations both in Saskatchewan and elsewhere.
My most important business relationship is with my spouse, Maureen Doetzel, who, although not employed in the day-to-day operations did regularly pitch in to do the accounting duties during the early years. As time went on she continued to be a crucial “sounding board” and critic of my suggestions and ideas about how to grow the company. I was also fortunate to employ a female employee, a move that was not very common in the industry in the 1970s. I quickly found that a female’s perspective brought some very important characteristics to the company, especially in areas of organization and accuracy. I discovered that women were also much more effective in calling overdue accounts requesting payment! Graphic Ad didn’t have a great number of female clients but they did have a positive influence in helping me to progress the company, especially in areas of caring, compassion, and community. In particular, Leanne Neufeld, the general manager of the television stations in Yorkton, and Prince Albert was an especially strong mentor in helping me to build the confidence to expand my horizons.
My idea was to provide customers with products and services that would help them professionally portray their company’s goods and services to their market. In many cases, the customer market was much broader than our regional area making it necessary to compete with marketing approaches that were more sophisticated than they were accustomed to in our smaller market.
The driving motivation for me was to prove to myself that my vision of growing a graphics company in a smaller urban and rural market was viable. For many years I was too busy trying to keep the wolf from the door to even anticipate an exit strategy. This was a major mistake in my management as I feel that some of the decisions made without an exit plan in place made it more difficult to establish a strategy later on. After about ten years in business, I had a minor health issue and began to be concerned about what would happen to the company if I was no longer there. It was at that point that I began to seriously work towards replacing myself.
I joined an international industry association which was structured in a way that had regional operating data available that helped me to understand how Graphic Ad was operating in comparison to its peers. These elements resulted in the development of a marketable company in addition to providing me with the comfort that my decisions were on the right track. As a member of this organization, I had the opportunity to meet and work with many industry people throughout North America as well as Asia.
Dr. Bill was born in 1936. He attended school in Runnymeade Country Schooland in Foam Lake. He went to Teacher’s College in Saskatoon, and taught three years.
In 1958 he returned to the University of Saskatchewan for two years of pre Dentistry, then he moved to Winnipeg for 4 years of Dentistry at the University of Manitoba. Upon Graduation in 1965, he moved his family back to Foam Lake and to open his first practice. In 1967 he bought the dental practice of Dr. Kirby in Humboldt, practicing in the Humboldt Pharmacy building. Several loyal Foam Lake patients followed him to Humboldt and are still patients today, in some cases four generations. In 1981, Dr. Bill, in partnership with his brother Dr. Fred, built a new office at 617 7th Street in Humboldt. He practiced until November 2012 when he sold his practice to two young dentists. In his 49 years of practicing Dentistry he has been very dedicated to his patients, staff of 10 and Humboldt and surrounding area of 150 mile radius, and still enjoys working full-time as an associate. Historically, Dr. Bill has provided 24 hour emergency call for patients, including the Humboldt Broncos. He performs dental surgery in the Humboldt District Hospital for the Health Region. He also provides training and mentorship to staff for their dental assisting certificates.
Dr. Bill served on many boards: Humboldt Public School Board during which time there were renovations and a new gym built; Humboldt Minor Hockey Association; minor baseball coach; Ducks Unlimited; Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation; Humboldt Lions Club; Humboldt Legion; Town of Humboldt Councillor; Chamber of Commerce Vice President; Saskatchewan Community Planning and Appeals Board. Dr. Bill was also involved in Saskatoon and Sherwood Park real estate. In 1980, he bought land south of Humboldt which the family farmed.
Dr. Bill is married to Bev and they have four children Brent, Darrell (Sharlene), Sherrie (Mike) and Dean (Maureen) and grandchildren Ryan and Carmen. Dr. Bill has enjoyed hunting, golfing, fishing, farming and spending time at his cabin at the lake and in his beautiful yard with family and friends.
Douglas Daniel Ross was born in 1911 in Fernie, BC and Kathleen Blanche McClellan was born in 1925 in Coleman, Alberta. In early 1950, Douglas and Kathleen moved to Humboldt where Douglas and his business partner established a new jewellery store called Graham and Ross Jewellers. Douglas became the sole proprietor in 1958 and the store was renamed Ross Credit Jewellers. In 1975, the store transitioned again and was renamed Ross Jewellers Ltd. Douglas was involved in the Lions Club, was the president on the Board of Trade and ran the Red Cross swimming program for over 25 years. Douglas was in charge of the maintenance and repair of the town clock for 29 years. He was also a railroad watch inspector. Kathleen raised her children at home but also worked in the store at busy times. When the children were older, Kathleen went into the store full time and became an active business partner with her husband. Kathleen was active in many of the bridge clubs for over 60 years, was instrumental with initiating gymnastics, and was active in the figure skating culture. Douglas passed away in 1979. Kathleen and Gordon continued to run Ross Jewellers Ltd until 1987.
Mark Seidle was born on August 1, 1942, in Bruno, Saskatchewan, where he attended grade school. His high school years were spent at St. Peter’s College, followed by Allan Business College in 1962.
His career began in 1963 at JH Ashdowns Wholesale then worked for Thurmeier & Hergott Chartered Accountants. Mark partnered with Jerome Hergott for Hergott & Seidel, Public Accountants from 1969-82, then operated Mark Seidel Accountant and Lux Services Ltd.
From 1985-97 he continued the tax service and with Henry Hauber, established Commercial Industrial Manufacturing Ltd (CIM). They developed and produced many products including steel truck boxes, gravel boxes, silage boxes and street light standards. They purchased St. Gregor’s Western Industries and established Coil Tech Industries. They began producing garbage disposal bins which led to the development of Prince Albert Waste Disposal Service Ltd. In 1997 Mark sold his interest in C.I.M. to Henry’s son, Allan Hauber.
Mark earned certificates from the Insurance Council of Saskatchewan from 1994-2000. In 1997, Mark built a office and operated as Mark Seidel Accountant and The Cooperators Insurance. Mark’s daughter Kelly, CMA, moved to Humboldt to provide her expertise. Dean Hergott joined the business, becoming known again as Hergott & Seidel. Today Mark is still active in Accounting, Tax and Insurance and has provided notary services for 20 years.
Mark served on Town Council for 13 years, including 5 years as Mayor of Humboldt. Projects he was involved with include: Humboldt designation for a 4th level care facility, Harry Ford Center, home care in Humboldt Area, creation of Industrial Park, new sanitation landfill, Uniplex, Museum, new library location, lagoon system extension, and first swimming pool.
While President of the Humboldt Jaycees, they hosted a provincial convention and started the demolition derby. He was a Big Brother for 13 years.
Mark served on the provincial SaskTel Board from 1983-1988. He was on the Saskatchewan Community Bond Board, E-File Association of Canada, St. Elizabeth’s Hospital Board, Humboldt & District Swimming Pool Association, Quill Plains Winter Games, Humboldt Swim Club, Stoney Lake Cottage Owners and Humboldt & District United Appeal.
Murray Stebbings, born and raised in Humboldt, Saskatchewan, was the youngest of 3 boys born to Robert and Canada Stebbings. In 1954, Murray married Madaline Merkosky and raised six children, Linda, Lynn, Brent, Donna, Jane and Carla and have 14 Grandchildren and 11 Great-Grandchildren.
Upon completion of his childhood education at Humboldt Public School and Humboldt Collegiate, Murray worked various jobs. He got his first taste of the clothing industry when he spent 13 years working at Bruser’s. This keen interest in the clothing trade resulted in Murray, along with business partner Don Wassil, opening a retail clothing store in 1964, Murray’s Men’s Wear.
Murray took over sole ownership of the business shortly after purchase. The business flourished and the store became a prominent retail outlet for Humboldt and the trading area. During the 28 years of owning and operating Murray’s Men’s Wear, Murray proved to be a believer in diversification. His clothing business was known to sell hockey sticks, snow mobiles, jackets for sports teams, printed and stenciled hats and T-shirts, and was even in the tuxedo rental business. Murray opened a bargain shop in the back of the store and sold used furniture, appliances and almost anything else you could think of. Later on, the southeast corner of his store became home to his Brother Harry’s Barber shop. At one point Murray opened and operated a children’s clothing store on Main Street called the Clothes Horse. Another of his business ventures was the purchase of a school bus. He loaded it with work clothes, toiletries and snacks, and every week went south to Guernsey where he became a welcomed service for the Mine workers. This led to Murray opening a clothing store in Lanigan which was managed by Walter Strueby. In 1992, Murray sold his business, but found he wasn’t ready to retire so he obtained his Realtor’s license and started selling real estate. He continued to do so until 2002 when he officially retired.
Murray was very active in the Humboldt community. He acted as president for the Jaycees, Chamber of Commerce, curling club and golf club. Murray spent 2 years on Town Council and was a member of the Oddfellows and Royal Canadian Legion. In 1970, Murray was awarded Senatorship in the Jaycees. In the late 80’s and early 90’s, Murray was instrumental in the building of the new United Church through his work on the Church board. Murray had other interests outside of business. In his younger years he played hockey, refereed hockey, and enjoyed curling. Over the years he also took up flying, golfing, fishing, camping and wood working. He was an avid junior hockey fan and rarely missed a Bronco game.
Murray was a humble, hardworking, friendly man …. an asset to the community of Humboldt. He passed away suddenly on December 26th, 2005 at the age of 73.
Herb was born in 1923 and Cliff in 1930 to Joseph and Margaret Schlosser of Bruno. Both Herb and Cliff started their careers working at the family-owned business, J. Schlosser Garage.
Herb married his love Geraldine Parker in 1946 and they have 9 children. In 1953, Cliff married Mary Weiman, and they have two children.
In 1955 Herb, Cliff and Edmund bought the garage in Bruno from their dad. Herb worked in Bruno until 1960 then purchased the Ford dealership in Humboldt and called it Humboldt Motors. In 1964 Herb and Cliff purchased the Mercury dealership on 9th street and called it Schlosser Motors.
In the 1970’s they combined forces under one roof as a duel Ford/Mercury Lincoln dealership as Humboldt Motors where automotive sales, parts and repairs were offered. The business on 9th street became an auto body repair shop.
In 1976, Herb and Cliff built a new building, to accommodate for their growing business. They had the most up-to-date repair equipment and also had a fully stocked modern parts department.
Humboldt Motors was one of the largest Ford dealerships in the province and they captured many top awards over the years. These awards included Ford Distinguished Achievements award, overall scope of operation for cleanliness of tools and for the friendliness of sales staff.
When Humboldt Motors opened its doors in 1960, they had nine employees. Over the years that number grew to over thirty, some of whom worked for the firm for over thirty years.
Herb and Cliff sold Humboldt Motors in 1993. They kept their Body Shop and were able to enjoy semi-retirement.
Herb was involved in his community, including volunteering with the Bruno fire department, Knights of Columbus, Royal Canadian Legion, Lion’s Club, and School Board Trustee. He shared many stories of his experiences as the volunteer ambulance driver for the town of Bruno. He was also a true Humboldt Bronco fan, supporting them from the start.
Herb collected vintage vehicles and was most proud of his carefully maintained 1923 Model T Ford. He drove it in the parade for many years and treasured showing her off whenever possible.
Herb’s had a severe stroke which forced him to retire. Herb’s grandchildren became a big part of his life and always kept him young at heart with that unmistakable smile. Herb passed away in 2008. His interest in the automotive business lives on with his wife Geraldine as owner of Humboldt Motors Body Shop.
Cliff served on Town council for two and a half terms and was on the Housing Authority Board. He was a member of Knights of Columbus, the Legion and a Lion’s Club member. He was a Humboldt Bronco fan and supporter.
From Left to Right: Robert Adam Telfer (1880–1953), Walter Paul Telfer (1914–1981), Donald Lloyd Telfer
The Telfer family published the Humboldt Journal – Robert and Alice Telfer (1905-1956), William Telfer (1907-1942), Walter Telfer (1932-1981, including 1939-46 in the Canadian Army) and Donald Telfer (1957-1994).
The Humboldt Journal was founded in 1905 by Robert, who was joined by his brother William in 1907; he retired in 1943. Upon Robert’s death in 1953, his wife Alice took over as publisher. When she died in 1956, Walter assumed the position. Donald Telfer, the third generation of the family, entered the business during high school, and became editor and publisher in 1981 after Walter’s death. The newspaper was sold in 1994.
Robert Telfer was a Town Councillor from 1908-1917 and Mayor of Humboldt from 1918-1919. He was a charter member of Humboldt Lions Club and the Independent Order of Oddfellows. Alice was a charter member of the IODE, and for 26 years was president of St. Elizabeth’s Hospital Ladies’ Aid. An accomplished musician, she also taught piano and voice.
Walter served as president of Humboldt & District Chamber of Commerce, and was president of the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce. He was one of the founders of Humboldt Jaycees and later was named a governor of Canada Jaycees. He was involved in the development of St. Mary’s Villa, Waldsea Lake Regional Park and Humboldt Historical Park.
Donald as well was president of the Humboldt Chamber. He was involved with several organizations such as the Humboldt Active 20-30 Club, Humboldt Economic Development Committee, Saskatchewan Heritage Foundation, the Society of American Travel Writers, and the Travel Journalists Guild. He was a director of the School of Journalism, University of Regina, and School of Journalism, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in Calgary. He also was instrumental in creating the Humboldt Christmas Cheer Fund, and was involved in publishing the Best of Humboldt history books in 1982 and 2006.
Both Walter and Donald held the position of president of Saskatchewan Weekly Newspapers Association. Walter also was president of the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce.
After Don left the Journal, and with the encouragement of Air Canada, he continued travel writing and photography which took him to 67 countries on six continents. His articles were published in newspapers and magazines across Canada, and in publications in New York, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, London, Singapore and Hong Kong.
While Robert Telfer is widely regarded as the first in the family to call Humboldt home, his father made a “visit” in 1885 during the North-West Rebellion. James Telfer of Portage la Prairie joined the militia organized by Gen. Fred Middleton and Col. George Denison, and was stationed at the Humboldt Telegraph Station southwest of present-day Humboldt. James later became the first sergeant-at-arms in the new Legislative Building in Regina. His nephew, Walter Scott, was the first premier of Saskatchewan.
The City of Humboldt recognized the contributions of the Telfer family by naming a street after them.
Don Wassill was born in August of 1928 and lived in Zenon Park until he married and moved his family to Humboldt to start his business career. Don`s career as an entrepreneur led him to be the first person to introduce many new products to Humboldt. Don opened several businesses including the first fast food drive-thru restaurant in 1959 which was then called the Corral Restaurant and featured the legendary Super Burger. He opened Murray`s Menswear in 1964 with his partner, Murray Stebbings. He built and opened one of the province`s first Kentucky Fried Chicken franchises called the El Rancho as well as built and opened Humboldt`s first automatic car wash. He also opened a Pop Shoppe on Main Street. Along with his business ventures, he was active as the administrator of St. Elizabeth`s Hospital for 26 years and served on numerous provincial health boards and on the St. Elizabeth`s Hospital Building Fund Committee. He was a key committee member in building Humboldt`s first outdoor swimming pool, served on the Chamber of Commerce, was a senator with the Jaycees, member of the Knights of Columbus and Lions Club and refereed hockey. Don eventually retired to St. Albert, AB and passed away in 1995.
Werner Wittke was born in 1934 in Humboldt. His younger years were spent on the family farm 4 miles north of Dixon. In 1962, Werner, along with his father Carl, purchased both the Arlington Hotel and Windsor Hotel in Humboldt. In 1965, he began construction of the new Pioneer Hoteland, upon completion, operated all 3 of Humboldt’s hotels as well as continuing to farm. The Pioneer Hotel and Motel is still owned and operated today by Werner’s 3 sons, Brad, Russell and Murray. Up until about 1980 Werner continued to expand his farming operations. In 1980, he demolished the Arlington Hotel and constructed a new motel building with a mall. In 1983, he built the first condominium building in Humboldt and in 1988 he purchased 36 acres for future commercial development. This property is now home to the Quill Centre, the major retail development on the South West end of the city. Throughout his life he continued investing in farmland, real estate, and property. Werner was also active with the Lion’s Club, Humboldt School Division Board member, Chamber of Commerce, Humboldt Bronco board and others. Through his businesses, he also supported the various levels of sports organizations in Humboldt and other worthy causes. Werner was a proud father and grandfather. He passed away suddenly in 1991 at the age of 57.