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Ziesmer Motor Company, Mankato, Minnesota. Papers, 1933 - 1975.

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: SMHC Collection 1383

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of items relating to the Ziesmer Motor Company of Northfield and Mankato, Minnesota. This collection covers forty-two years of the company’s history, beginning with its incorporation in 1933. The collection is divided into three series, with the portion devoted to sales records making up the bulk of the collection.

Series 1. Incorporation and Business Papers This portion of the collection contains a variety of items pertaining to the daily operation of Ziesmer Motor Company. Meeting minutes, correspondence, sales agreements, and items from the company’s incorporation are all included in this section. Several other folders pertain to the company’s 1968 move to its location on Highway 14 in Mankato. These records include contracts, building plans, rezoning requests, photographs of the new location, and other miscellaneous papers relating to the move.

Series 2. Financial Statements and Papers Tax return information, financial statements, auditor’s reports, and other miscellaneous papers relating to taxes and financial statements are included in this portion of the collection. The items in this portion date from 1934 to 1971. Some of the records in this series are restricted.

Series 3. Sales Records and Ledgers This portion of the collection contains lists of cars and trucks sold, expense ledgers, a payroll ledger, and sales and purchase journals for the company. These records are rather extensive. All of the information is in bound volume form with the exception of the sales and purchase journals, which are arranged in chronological order and held in two oversized records center cartons. Some of the records in this series are restricted.


  • Majority of material found within 1933 - 1975


Conditions Governing Use

This collection contains sensitive payroll and financial information about Ziesmer Motor Company. Use of certain portions may be restricted. The researcher assumes full responsibility for observing all copyright, property, and libel laws as they apply.

Biographical / Historical

The Ziesmer Motor Company was founded by George Frederick Ziesmer in 1924, and was originally located in Northfield, Minnesota. The company moved to Mankato, Minnesota in 1933, and was located at 611 South Front Street until their facility was built near Highway 14 in 1968.

This Ford dealership was originally known as the Garden-Ziesmer Co. In 1934, Olaf O. Garden sold his portion of the company to another group of investors, including Norman J. Vorlander. The company became known as the Ziesmer & Vorlander Co. In June of 1939, Ziesmer purchased Vorlander’s stock and the company became known as Ziesmer Motor Company. George Ziesmer retired from the company in 1972. He died in January of 1976.

Historical information obtained from the collection, the Mankato Free Press, 23 January 1976, and from Polk’s Mankato City Directories, 1934 – 1935 and 1936 – 1937.


8.00 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials



This collection consists of items pertaining to the Ziesmer Motor Company of Northfield and Mankato, Minnesota. Included in the collection are the various records compiled by the company over a forty-two year period, beginning with the company’s establishment. Financial records, meeting minutes, correspondence, building plans, photographs, and sales journals are all included in the collection.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Anne K. Ziesmer donated this collection in October 1978.



Ziesmer Motor Company, Mankato, Minnesota. Papers, 1933 - 1975.
Karyn Nester processed this collection
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Revision Statements

  • 2001-03: Finding aid revised by Robert Russell
  • 2002-01: Jeff A. Jenson updated this collection

Repository Details

Part of the Southern Minnesota Historical Center Repository

Minnesota State University, Mankato
Memorial Library
PO Box 8419
Mankato MN 56002-8419 US