A tale of two Mauses

Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
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By Jean Doran Matua, Editor

This year's Kimball Days grand marshals are Andy and Dorothy Maus. After several years of being asked, they finally relented.

"It's about time, I guess," joked Dorothy.

If you belong to St. Anne's Catholic Church in Kimball, you are probably very familiar with the Mauses. Andy has been serving mass since he was a boy. Their son Steve has been a reader since he was a boy.

And nearly everyone could put two-and-two together and guess that Andy Maus was connected with "A.M. Maus and Son," although not all know that he's the "son" of that 82-year-old company.

But there still may be a few things people don't know about this couple.

For instance, they met and dated some in high school. When they first met, Dorothy thought Andy was "cute, but kind of ornery." After graduation they went their separate ways: Andy into the Army, and Dorothy to work at Herberger's Department Store in St. Cloud. After his discharge from the Army and return to Kimball, they met up again and, as Dorothy put it, "The spark was still there!"

Dorothy (Konz) grew up near Pearl Lake, the second-youngest of eleven children. She attended Holy Cross School and then Kimball High School.

Andy was born in the church parsonage (which is now Mary Johnson's home) and grew up in Kimball with six sisters and a brother. He graduated from Kimball and attended St. John's University after finishing in the Army.

Dorothy and Andy celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary this year with a big family do. They raised five children (Ed, Cary, Ellen, Donna and Steve) and have six granddaughters. They are expecting their first great-grandchild in October, a boy.

Andy's father Andrew Sr. started the family business Feb. 1, 1928. He built the dealership building (which is still there) in 1946, with the gas station next to it. They sold farm implements and cars, and had a filling station, in the heart of Kimball for many years. Andrew Sr. was active in the business for 35 years; he died in 1974.

After Andy's discharge from the Army, he took a train as far as St. Cloud, arriving at 3 a.m. Andrew Sr. met him at the train station to bring him home. Along the drive home, Andrew Sr. instructed Andy how things were going to be now: it was time for him to settle down, and he would work in the family business.

"He probably rehearsed that speech all the way up to St. Cloud," chuckled Andy.

Andy did as he was told. Besides farm implements and cars, they sold eggs and chickens. Andy's sisters candled eggs late into the night, grading them for sale. Andy helped move chickens, two or three in each hand from the chicken batteries to customers. He added that they always saved the best chicken for one particular customer every week, who shall remain nameless, for her Sunday dinner.

Andy settled down, too. After they got married, Dorothy and Andy briefly lived in St. Cloud as there were no houses available in Kimball at the time. They had a house built for them in 1960, in Kimball, and they live there still.

It was several years after they married that Dorothy learned to drive.

"Can you imagine? I didn't drive, and I married a Chrysler dealer," Dorothy said.

In 1971 Andy took over the Standard station which by then had been moved onto Highway 55.

A year later, Andy bought 40 acres in the northwest corner of Kimball. There he built a new car dealership which is still thriving and expanding. The remainder of the 40 acres were carved into lots now occupied by several businesses that share the address of "Maus Drive."

By 1973 they stopped selling implements. The egg-and-chicken business had stopped long before.

August 1 marks 54 years that Andy has been active in A.M. Maus and Son. By now, he has turned the business over to his three sons, Ed, Cary and Steve, with equal shares. Dorothy was quick to point out that Andy still oversees the business, when he's there, nearly every day.

Dorothy and Andy enjoy visiting their cabin on Pearl Lake, just down the road from where Dorothy grew up. In fact, she used to walk past the original house there on her way to school every day. They are avid Twins fans and have a large garden in their backyard.

"It's an honor," said Dorothy of being named grand marshals.

Watch for Dorothy and Andy in the parade Sunday, starting from St. Anne's at 2 p.m. They'll be in the really nice Chrysler convertible at the front of the parade.