Our History

Historical Article From The New Leipzig 1985 Jubilee Book

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 spare time. Other owners were John Bohnet in cooperation with Earl Zimmerman for rental. John Stelter also owned the business.


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.