A well known physician of Milwaukee owned about 2,000 acres of land in Walnut township where the railroad was surveyed, and he offered the railroad company a half interest in the northwest quarter of section 9, through which the right of way passed, if they would plat a town. The railroad officials, desiring to be in on the ground floor, organized the Cedar Rapids, Iowa Falls & Northwestern Town Lot Co., which took the half interest in the town plat of Graettinger. The railroad went through late in the year 1882.
For several years there was nothing to the prospective town but the depot and a house on the hill occupied by August Teichle. In 1885, J.A. Spies and his father came to Graettinger and built a house there, and also put up farm buildings on their farm in section 5. The town lot company became discouraged about this time and Mr. Spies bought them out. H.N. Oshier was station agent at that time and asked Mr. Goodell, the division superintendent at Estherville, if he could put in a small stock of goods in the depot as they had to go clear to Emmetsburg for their supplies. Mr. Goodell replied that they were about to move the depot to Osgood and that it would not be worth while. This was the first intimation that they had that the enterprising people at Osgood were offering to move the depot down there free of charge.
Fortunately for Graettinger the town lot deal was not fully closed and Mr. Spies notified the town lot company that they did not want the lots if the depot was moved. The prospect of this deal slipping through their fingers roused the officials to action, and the order to move the depot was rescinded, and Graettinger was saved by narrow margin.
History of Palo Alto County - Dwight G. McCarty ©1910. Provided Courtesy of The Reporter.
Today, Graettinger is known for the Oldest Labor Day Celebration, the event is an annual event for three days over the Labor Day weekend. Tour the community's largest employer, Energy Panel Structures, a manufacturer of energy panels used for commercial building, homes, turkey and livestock barns. For more information, contact Energy Panel Structures (712) 859-3219.