Used for testing grain bin or ground soil temperatures, this sturdy-looking thermometer was a premium, or giveaway, from the Flensburg Cooperative Creamery Association of Flensburg, Minnesota. Constructed of reinforced aluminum, the thermometer was recently donated to the Morrison County Historical Society by Doug Ploof, a popular Little Falls Community High School teacher and naturalist who grew up on a farm in the Flensburg area. Doug’s parents, Donald (1928-2003) and Jeanette (Brixius) Ploof, farmed for about twenty-six years until Don’s retirement in 1990. Don also worked for the Hennepin Paper Mill Company in Little Falls.
Flensburg is a community about ten miles west of Little Falls with a strong agricultural and dairy industry history. Originally known as “Flynn’s Siding” after local teacher, legislator and Northern Pacific Railroad inspector, J. C. Flynn, the community was incorporated as the village of Flensburg in 1900. The village got its start as a railroad siding and depot built to “…accomodate the shipping out of that community the vast amount of hard wood timber that mother nature produced in that community where the village of Flensburg is now located….” (Kasparek, Valentine E. Village of Flensburg & School Dist. #63. November 1944) The cleared lands allowed for farming to take root and grow.