Leidel’s Apples has been in the family for 6 generations and started when pioneer, Heinrich Henry Leidel, emigrated from Erfurt, Germany and settled in La Crescent, MN in 1854. He bought a section of land on North Ridge from the Government Land Agency in La Crosse, WI. Heinrich cut and cleared the land and sold the wood to the steamboat business and later the railroad. He started a thoroughbred Holstein dairy business which sold over 3,000 pounds of butter a year. Later he had a son, Herman Leidel, who eventually took over the family business.
In 1908 Herman split the property, now a total of 120 acres to his two sons, Joseph Leidel and Henry Leidel. Joseph started the first ever Apple Orchard in La Crescent, MN with over 2,000 apple trees. His brother, Henry, was soon behind and planted 1,000 apple trees in 1917. Henry operated the orchard and a berry farm for 24 years, until he sold the orchard to his son, Victor Leidel, in 1944.
Vic Leidel grew the orchard to 140 acres and bought back some of the land that his Grandfather, Herman, owned. He built an Apple Stand in La Crescent below his home on Oak Street and ran the Apple Orchard and Apple Stand with his wife, Gladys, for 40 years.
Vic’s youngest son, Kevin, took over ownership of the orchard after Vic passed away. Three decades later, the Leidel family still owns the apple stand, which is currently being run by Ferguson’s Orchards, a local apple grower in the Mississippi River Valley. The Leidels and the Fergusons are excited to continue the Apple Stand’s legacy as the premier seller of quality, locally-grown apples and products in La Crescent.
|The Land Grant document
for Heinrich Henry Leidel
signed by the office of
Abraham Lincoln in the
1860′s for 40 acres of land
in Winona County, MN.