Krem, North Dakota

Another town that no longer is to be found in the county is Krem. It was the largest town in the county at one time, but it too declined when the railroad bypassed it and towns were built to the south of Krem.

Krem was established on September 17, 1888 by Carl Semmler. He named the “Krem” after the Crima in southern Russia, where many of the settlers in the area had come from.

The post office was established in 1890. In 1899 Samuel Richter, Martin Netzer and John Kunz built a 50 barrel capacity flour mill, ground a fine grade of flour. It was here that the local farmers brought their wheat to be milled into flour. The cost of milling a bushel of wheat was .21 cents. For this the farmer received 38 pounds of flour and 20 pounds of bran. The price of wheat in 1915 was .75 cents per bushel.

The mill was destroyed by fire in 1904, but was rebuilt again in 1905.

Martin Netzer built the first general store, which was managed by C.F. Schweigert, he was also the postmaster. A year later a second store was built by William Richter. This store was managed by C.G. Fuerst. Competition between the two stories was very fierce.

Krem became the largest town in Mercer County and got most of the local trade. It contested with Stanton to become the county seat. Krem lost the election, but gained business from the other towns. Dr. L.G. Eastman moved here from Mannhaven. A drug store, bank, pool hall and a hardware store were built. Frank Wernli established a lumber yard. J.C. Schleppergrell started a newspaper “The Mercer County Star”. This later became “The Hazen Star”, after the paper was moved to Hazen.

The farmers would haul their wheat to Expansion and Mannhaven, but would do most of their shopping at Krem.

In 1914, when the railroad was surveyed and the road planned south of Krem, most of the business places moved to Hazen. The post office was closed on November 14, 1941 and the mail was sent to Hazen, North Dakota.


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