Article Reprinted from
the 75th New Leipzig Jubilee book of 1985
Stelter Repair, Inc. was created
from the Kovalski blacksmith shop which was owned by two brothers
from Poszen, Poland who were originally named Kolodjeski. For
social & business reasons the name was changed to Kovalski.
Lawrence & Valentine started the
blacksmith shop in Old Leipzig in 1902 & relocated their business
to a brick building & house on the west end of New Leipzig in 1910.
The large two story brick home is probably the only home in the
country with a red slate roof.
The blacksmith shop was essential
for the livelihood of the early settlers & farming couldn't be
done without it. Wagon rims were repaired & tightened. Horse shoes
were made & horses shoed. Plow shears were repaired & sharpened.
All iron & woodwork, the mainstay of the early prairie, was done at
the local blacksmith.
Robert Schulz also owned the
blacksmith shop & is remembered for building airplanes in his
Other owners were John Bohnet in
cooperation with Earl Zimmerman for rental. John Stelter also
owned the business.
CLICK Images To
Kovalski Blacksmith Shop
August Stelter Blacksmith Shop
August Stelter purchased the
blacksmith shop from John J. Schulz, who had purchased the shop
from John Jacober on September 8, 1926. August operated it from
November 10, 1943 until the time of his death in 1954. August
learned the trade on his own & today, son Clarence, operates the
Stelter Repair Shop along with his son, Mark. The blacksmith
business is now in its third generation of the Stelter family.
In the fall & winter of 1976 & 1977
a 70'x100' steel building was added.
The first few years when August
operated the shop it was called "City Blacksmith" & in 1948 the
name was changed to Stelter's Repair.
They now have four full time
employees & two part time & do very little blacksmith work but
still have one forge & trip hammer set up. Their work now is
mostly welding, machining, & some manufacturing.