Redwood Falls Gazette
  • Grandson of A.C. Burmeister talks about town's history

  • August Charles Burmeister paid a visit to Redwood Falls recently; no, it was not the A.C. Burmeister who famously helped bring electricity to Redwood Falls, It was his grandson, A.C. “Chuck” Burmeister....
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  • August Charles Burmeister paid a visit to Redwood Falls recently. No, it was not the A.C. Burmeister who famously helped bring power to Redwood Falls. It was his grandson. A.C. “Chuck” Burmeister visited his hometown as part of the sesquicentennial celebration and talked about his family during a series of presentations held at the Redwood Falls Public Library. Burmeister admitted he does not remember a lot about his grandfather who died in 1940. Chuck, who was born in 1933 was just seven years old when his grandfather died, which means he was not able to create a lot of memories with him. “I do remember he would spend summers at their cabin on Green Lake,” he said. “When we were there he would take us fishing.” Chuck said he has learned more about his grandfather by watching some 16mm family movies and through times he was able to talk with other older family members. A.C. Burmeister was born in Germany in 1861, said Chuck, adding he came to the United States with two of his brothers. A.C. ended up leaving New York and heading west arriving in Wisconsin where he started working for a miller. Burmeister began working for the local miller in Lake Milles, Wis. and developed a fondness for the boss’ daughter. That, added Chuck, was a fortuitous decision, as he married Lillian Hooper. Chuck surmised it may have been a family dowry that allowed his grandfather to head even farther west where he bought the local mill. “People told me my grandfather had a lot of mechanical skills,” said Chuck, adding that quest to keep learning is what led to his move toward using the business to generate power in the community. When Burmeister wanted to expand the power availability he works to create the dam on the Redwood River in Redwood Falls. “When they decided to flood the land behind the dam I was told my grandfather had one farmer he was having trouble with,” said Chuck. “They finally arrived at a price they both could live with, and the dam was built. He increased the drop to give it even more power.” The Burmeister family, including his children, lived along west Bridge Street - the row of houses east of the old bridge. For many years the homes were known as the Burmeister home, the Austbo home and the Parsons home. His daughters Winifred and Edith lived with their families in the same neighborhood. Chuck said he and one of his sisters are all who are left from his generation, and he enjoys telling the stories he knows about his family with those who will listen. After all that is how history lives on. Chuck Burmeister now lives in Spicer on Green Lake where he is retired.
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