The Gnometown tale of “The Founders ”
The Founders of Dawson Mills:
Glen Blomquist, Art Lee, John C. Hanson & Bert Dahl
There came a time in Gnometown when the children who were out of school were not finding work and found it necessary to move on to other communities to exist. They wrote home on tear stained corn husks about how they missed their gnome parents and all the good people they used to help everyday. Every gnome living in Gnometown is concerned. Tonight is the big council meeting to discuss this problem; everyone is to bring ideas.
It is finally dark, and a fire has been started on this crisp fall day to warm the air. Council gnomes and town gnomes ambled somberly toward the gathering place, under the big willow tree on the riverbank. All eight of the elders of the council are present and Daws, the leader of the gnomes stands up to begin the meeting. The gnome crowd quiets, as Daws states the problem to be discussed. “Come forth with your ideas,” invites Daws.
“Perhaps, we should all move on, maybe to the big city where they are building cars and tractors,” says one of the gnomes in the back row.
“No,” replies Daws, “living in the city is a hard life, it’s all cement and hardly any grassy area for us to live, and the people tend not to believe in us so there is no gnome honor there. Why, they don’t even know who their neighbors are or help each other. We would get lost and be no more.”
“There are canneries, in southern Minnesota, who beg for help when they can peas, corn and lima beans. Let’s move there,” pipes another gnome.
Elder Del gets up from his place on the root, and said, “There is work there, but it is seasonal. In a very short time we’d be out of work. And the smell…if the crop isn’t perfect it is left in the fields and the stench is awful. There must be something else to do.”
Elder Blomquist, known as Glen, to all the gnomes, rises confidently and moves to the center near the fire. “I and three other council gnomes have traveled to other farm areas and have an idea. Come up and stand by me so everyone knows who you are. Gnome Art Lee, stand to my right, Gnome John C. Hanson, stand on my left and Gnome Bert Dahl, you stand here, pointing to his right. We have seen machinery which crushes corn for cattle feed; we have seen oats made into cereal and flax into paper. We have this,” holding up a large orb. The gnomes are puzzled over the importance of a soy bean. They see them all the time in the fields, pick those which fall out of the bins and roast them in ovens for winter food.
“There is oil in this ball of bean,” says Art Lee. “Oil which can be used for many things. The closest plant which takes the oil out of them is far away.”
“We are proposing a plant for our Gnometown to squeeze the oil out of them and maybe even make pancake flour from them,” adds Bert Dahl.
At that point, John Hanson leans down, takes a stick and draws a triangle in the dirt by the fire. “We think we should call it Tri-County Soybean Association. The triangle represents the three counties we can get beans from and the green color would signify the growers.”
“Other communities have gone together and made big plants. I know we can too,” Gnome Blomquist adds with enthusiasm, “but it’s going to take a bunch of money and a lot of hard work.”
Gnome Harris Ronning rises quickly and volunteers to help draw up plans and do the construction. He also thinks Gnome Gerry would be a big help with designing the machinery.
“Gnomes Morris Benson and Joe Givens can canvas the three counties and raise money,” said Daws. “And I appoint Gnome Harland and Gnome Rudy to take care of marketing the products. And you, Governor Ted, go to St. Paul and get any Senators and Representatives to help make this possible.”
A loud cheer roars up from the gnomes on the bank, their faces beam from the light of the fire and the grins on their faces. This is a great plan, instead of moving, they would create jobs here in Gnometown, and their children could come home.
And so it was, a huge plant was built. They shortened the name to Dawson Mills, and then they shortened it again to AGP. I doubt they can shorten it any more and still make sense.