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Historical Colfax candy counter looking for a home

By LeAnn R. Ralph

COLFAX — If you went to school in Colfax between 1960 and 1985, chances are you also bought your fair share of candy from Lloyd’s DX.

After all, when dozens of kids are jammed into a space like that at any given time during lunch break, five days a week throughout the school year — that’s tons of candy.

And if you remember Lloyd’s DX — then you most likely remember “The Counter.”
You know — “The Counter” — the one with the glass top and the curved glass sides that allowed you to look down into it to see the tasty treats.

Of course, if you ever rented movies at Colfax Video, you may also remember “The Counter,” seeing as it moved from the gas station to the video store and spent another quarter century of its life renting out movies.

According to lifelong resident of Colfax, Dick Toycen, the display counter used at Lloyd’s DX and at Colfax Video was made by Hjalmer Teppen in the basement of the Farmer’s Store on Main Street.

Teppen made furniture for all of the Farmer’s Stores, and the company, in turn, allowed him to also make furniture for his own woodworking business in his shop in the basement of the Colfax Farmer’s Store, Toycen said.

The Farmer’s Store operated in several locations, including Bloomer, Menomonie and Colfax and carried a wide variety of items, such as shoes, clothing and linens.
Toycen recalled that at one time while Teppen still had his woodworking shop, Toycen wanted new cupboards for his home on Riverview Avenue.

“(Teppen) came with one of those fold-up rulers. He unfolded the ruler, measured, looked up at the (existing) cupboards. Measured some more. Walked back and forth measuring. He didn’t write anything down,” Toycen said.

“I wondered how he was going to build cupboards without writing down any measurements, but do you know, when he was finished, those cupboards fit perfectly. They were beautiful,” Toycen said.

Candy counter

Lloyd Hainstock opened Lloyd’s DX in 1960 and operated the gas station on the corner of Birch and University for 25 years.

“Shortly after I opened the gas station, I got the candy counter from the Farmer’s Store … I don’t know what it was used for in the Farmer’s Store, but I used it for a candy counter,” Hainstock said.

“I needed a candy counter, and it worked good. It had the glass top and the curved sides. It had shelves in it. I sold a lot of candy out of that,” he said.

Lloyd’s DX “was the first convenience store in Colfax that was open on Sundays. That is, until the governor closed us down on Sundays,” Hainstock noted.

“There used to be 30 or 40 kids (in the gas station) all at once. It wasn’t a very big space, but they managed to fit in there,” he recalled.

“I don’t even remember how we got the candy counter in (the gas station). It was in the basement of the Farmer’s Store. They had a slide built so they could slide stuff down there. That’s how we took it out. We put ropes on it and pulled it up … it was heavy,” Hainstock said.

“I only broke the top glass once. Shaking dice. It cracked. It didn’t break it out. It’s plate glass,” he said.

“The candy counter went with the station when I sold it. Mike Hoyland bought the station,” Hainstock added.

“When we bought the station in ’60, there were five or six gas stations in town. One on the corner. Harold’s Texaco. The Farmers’ Union. Hill’s. And then mine. When I quit, there were only three of us. I sold more gas when there were more gas stations than I did at the end. The biggest share of them worked in Menomonie or Eau Claire by then, and that’s where they bought their gas. Not that I blame them for that. I was the last one to have full-service gas,” he said.

“Colfax was a ‘boom town’ at one time. We had the Farmer’s Store and there was a tobacco warehouse, potato warehouse, a stone quarry and the mill. You could buy just about anything you needed in Colfax years ago. Clothes, shoes, furniture, appliances, hardware,” Hainstock noted.

Video counter

After Lloyd Hainstock sold the gas station, the candy counter ended up at Colfax Video. Jolene Albricht owned the video store for 20 years. She worked part-time at Colfax Video for four years before purchasing the business.

When Albricht closed down Colfax Video in June of 2011, local Colfax historian Troy Knutson purchased the display counter.

Because of its long historical connection to Colfax, Knutson did not want to see the candy counter leave the area. At the time he purchased it, he was hoping that the Colfax Municipal Building Restoration Group could use the counter for historical displays and planned to donate it to the group.

The counter is more than eight feet long, and, apparently, is too long for the space available to CMBRG for historical displays.

Knutson says that he, too, purchased his fair share of candy over the counter at Lloyd’s DX.

Unfortunately, Knutson does not have room in his house for the candy counter.
“I’m really hoping that someone who has an appreciation for Colfax history will want the (candy) counter and can give it a good home,” Knutson said.

To find out more information about “The Counter,” look for the display ad in this week’s Colfax Messenger.