Our Interesting History

Farmers, lumberjacks, railroad men, and miners were the first people to show up in Randall, all the way back in the 1890s. The first school opened in 1893, along with St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, established in 1896, and St. James Church, established in 1896. Just 11 miles north of Little Falls, all 535 residents were up Highway 10. Squeezed within is the two-block business district, located between the Burlington
Northern Santa Fe railroad tracks, and the Little Elk River, which wanders off to join with the Mississippi.

Back in 1972, fourteen inches of rain covered the area one summer, and what was once known as the Little Elk were now the Big Elk. During the storm, homes, vehicles, and businesses were flooded, and the only way to town was, through a boat.

Gloria Thornborrow is a native resident of Randall, and she works at our store. She recalls a time when a customer came through town on a flatbed truck, which was full of Christmas trees. He stopped in our shop and purchased a pair of Red Wing Irish Setter boots, and as he left his truck got hung up on the tracks as a train approached. While the man wasn’t injured, his truck was completely demolished. Due to the accident, he ended up short of Christmas trees, but the Irish Setters saved him.

Mary Jo Backowski was on her way to work, located in Little Falls, when she made a stop into our shop. She stopped to buy a pair of shoes, and was offered a job. She has been working with us for over 20 years and says, “We sell a lot of Red Wings because they’re good, and we have good prices”. She moved to Randall from Flensburg because she enjoys the friendly atmosphere, and knowing all the families throughout the town.

Tom and Carolyn Koenig, the owners, purchased the store in 1976, and now that Tom has retired, their son Tim has taken over.

We continue to go strong, and now we not only sell shoes, but we provide expert repair
services as well.