History

"I believe that people are right in saying that small-town life is changing, but I also know that some of the qualities that were so important in nurturing me are still there in very real ways," said Holstein native, Mary Knuth Otto. This quote was taken from an article from the New York Times issued on September 25, 1988.

Foundation of Holstein


The initial lots in Holstein were sold and the town platted. The 1st train had finally arrived that fall and vital transportation would now be available Although the actual town of Holstein didn't become a reality until 1882, as early as 1868 pioneer farmers had been preparing the way.
In 1879, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Thielmann had purchased prairie land in Ida county one mile east and one mile north from the present town of Holstein. At this location a combination saloon, blacksmith shop, and dance hall was built. This area was widely known as the "German settlement." Jochim Thode, one of the early settlers of the area, having arrived in 1876 with other settlers from New Holstein,

In 1882, the railroad was completed through the area. The depot was to be built two miles from the "German Settlement", so the town was platted with First Street running parallel with the railroad.

The name "Holstein" was suggested by the first mayor and one of the first settlers, Jochim Thode, in honor of the province in Germany that had been the homeland for so many of the residents of the new town. By 1883, the new town had grown to include two hotels, six general stores, two hardware stores, four lumber yards, four elevators, one bank, one meat market, two harness shops, two blacksmiths, two livery barns, three doctors, one lawyer, two shoe shops, one barber shop, three wagon shops, one roller rink and four saloons.