The Rochert Post Office and Store

Article from the 1976 Peoples History of Becker County as told by Helen Heuters, published in Centennial Issue 1991.

 

Nicholas Heuters came over from Germany about the year 1880 and settled in St. Paul, MN.  He was married in 1888.  Their first son, Joseph was born in 1889 and died in 1910 from typhoid fever.  Their second son, Carl was born in 1890.  They had two daughters, Marie and Helen.

There soon was activity in St. Paul with the N.P. Railroad getting settlers to go up to what was known as Detroit and settle on land which was later known as Holmesville Township.

The Rochert Post Office was established in 1903 in the Heuters home.  Nicholas named it “Rochert” after his birthplace, “Rocherath, Germany”.  Rochert was the English translation.  Mrs. Heuters was appointed postmistress.  The mail was brought out from the Detroit Post Office three times a week.  Charlie Krause was one of the first men to bring the mail out.  The neighbors would come over in the evening and wait for the mail man to arrive to get whatever mail there was.  Eventually a rural route was established at Detroit Lakes, which delivered mail and picked up from the boxes and also brought out the mail bags for Rochert and points east.  This rural route was a daily route, a big improvement in service.  In the early thirties the Rochert Post Office was moved to the Cotton Lake area.

The Rochert school house was first built on a hill east of the Heuters home.  It was a little log building, built in the 1800’s some time.  The new building was built west of the Heuters home one-fourth mile in about 1901.  Nicholas had a lot to do with getting the land and getting it built.  It proved to be a great center for community gatherings.  The Rochert building and land was later sold to the Noah Nelsons for a home.

The Rochert Store was started by Carl in the summer of 1917.  A room was added to the west off the kitchen with a full basement.  In the corner nearest the kitchen he had to put a cistern.  An oil burner was put in the basement.  The store was a family operation.  The post office was then moved to the southwest corner of the store.  Electricity came in the early fifties.  The farm was later sold and an auction sale was held a week later.  The contents of the store were sold to Rog Roy.

 

Operates Family Store at Rochert Opened in 1915

Newspaper article published in 1954 which was included in the Centennial Issue 1991.

 

As a storekeeper and as a postmistress, Miss Helen Heuters of Rochert is carrying on family activities of long standing.

She left the post office job in 1947 but she is still going strong as proprietor of a country store that keeps the people in her community supplied with groceries, hardware, and gas.

Miss Heuters is a member of a pioneer county family.  Her father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. Nicholas Heuters, came to Rochert in 1892 after spending five years in St. Paul.  They had two boys at the time, Joe and Carl.

It is not commonly known but Rochert was named after Mr. Heuter’s birthplace in Germany – Rocherath.

The idea of the store was suggested in 1915 by Carl following the death of their father.  All of the children were home at the time, and there was plenty of help available to operate the farm, the store and the post office.

Miss Heuters says she plans to keep right on operation the store as long as she can.  Most of the land on the home place is still intact and it is rented out by Miss Heuters.  She figures she has plenty to do in just operating the store.

Rochert is located about 12 miles northeast of Detroit Lakes in Holmesville Township.  The Heuters family at one time numbered seven children.  Five are still living.  In addition to Helen, there are Mrs. Marie Nelson, Berkley, Calif.; Agnes, San Francisco, Calif.; August, Royal Oak, Mich.; and Leo, Billings, Mont.