OF THE “MAGNUSON HOUSE”
Robert Magnuson was born in Grantsburg in 1875. As a young man, he left his parents farm and went to work for Silas Thoreson, a local merchant. In 1897, he and Silas built the Magnuson Store as partners. The store was Webster’s first retail business and only the fifth building in the small town of Webster, which was established in 1895.
Robert Magnuson became Webster’s second Postmaster in 1900 following M.H. Carroll. In 1905, he moved his Post Office Department into a small 15’ x 15’ building that he built just outside of his store. This became Webster’s first Post Office building. Robert was the Postmaster until 1914, when James A. Corcoran took over that position.
Robert married a local Karlsborg girl, Anna Olson, and they had one daughter, Leona. Her life was short-lived and they then adopted another child who’s parents were killed in a train accident. Her name was Helen.
Naming of Emily’s Luncheon Around 1920, Robert and his family moved to St. Paul where he ran a shoe store. At this point, the house belonged to Silas Thoreson and was rented by Pete and Capitola Bridlson. The Bridlson’s had two sons and lived downstairs. The upstairs became three apartments and the closed Post Office also became an apartment. Rural students who didn’t have bussing to and from school rented the rooms. Some of these students were Margaret Connor, Erma & Bernice Gatten, Ruth Somers, Kermit Knutson, Allen & Sylvia Shinler, Grace, Perry & Selena Shinler and Franklin & Henry Connor.
In 1946, Theiman & Madonna Danielson purchased the house from Thoreson. They had rented and lived in the Post Office building prior to buying the entire property. The apartments, at that time, were rented by Ivan & Elaine Paulis, Mr. & Mrs. Peterson and Mr. & Mrs. Douglas Sears. The Danielsons lived in the house raising a large family until 1999, when Vicki Tollander bought the property and established “Aunt Thelma’s Antiques & Gifts.”
In 2005, after Aunt Thelma’s had been closed for a short period, it was purchased by Merle & Marilyn Meyer and reopened as Emily’s Luncheon, Antiques, Crafts & Collectables. The old Post Office building was restored and is now Emily’s Ice Cream Parlor & Gift Shop.
Merle & Marilyn Meyer chose Emily as the name of their business because it was a special name in their family. They each had an aunt (Emily [Meyer] Vornbrock & Emily [Suchan] Plessel) in their family tree and their grandaughter is Emily Peoples.