Albert Sexauer, Son of Cattle Baron

My December discovery is truly a piece of Sturgis history. The hot air balloon bunting and three small flags were used in the first Sturgis Dam Celebration parade in 1911. Not many items from the original Dam Celebration, especially delicate paper such as this, have survived 112 years.

They were decorations for Albert Sexauer’s car, parade entry No. 9. Albert was a farmer and the son of cattle baron, Solomon Sexauer. They owned land in both Lima (Howe), Indiana and Sturgis.

According to a Sturgis Journal article written by Carol Ankney, Solomon was a “cattle king” in the turn of the last century.

One of his cattle shipments on the Lake Shore train was valued at $14,000. Ankney wrote, “The Sturgis Times newspaper said a normal cattle drive began at 10 a.m. and after being driven down Nottawa Street by 20 men, they were loaded aboard the train, which pulled out by 1 p.m.”