History

    1925
    Dakota Granite is incorporated. Partners are George Liebenstein, Wesley Swenson and Alexander Dewar.
    1927
    Ezra Stengel becomes the first full-time manager of Dakota Granite for $50 per month. Office equipment is a $12 typewriter on a table covered in quarry dust.
    1930
    August 15th lightning strikes the plant and everything is destroyed but a two room office building. Insurance covers most of the loss and a new 40'x180' plant is occupied by November.
    1936
    Heavy duty contour machine and a gang saw purchased. Another quarry purchased that still produces American Rose. Also purchased is a large diesel-electric generator assuring continued power to this rural company.
    1941
    The Pearl Harbor attack plunges the nation into WWII. The company suffers for lack of steel, rubber, coal and gasoline. Many of Dakota's best men taken for the war effort.
    1950
    Jim Stengel finishes his Navy and college career and joins the firm. He designs a new slant marker production facility. Brother Jack would join him in 1961.
    1952
    Ezra Stengel dies at home on January 25th after a 3-year bout with leukemia. He was 51.
    1953
    Dakota Granite contacted by the sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski for a granite pedestal. This begins a long-term relationship with the sculptor's family now at work blasting, drilling and moving rock at South Dakota's Crazy Horse Memorial.
    1955
    Dakota Granite installs the industry's first hydraulic splitter and retired chains and belts in favor of vacuum for lifting slabs and monuments in the plant.
    1969
    Steel and concrete have replaced the old wooden building and plant is now a 80'x487' structure. Annual production has risen to 100,000 cubic feet.
    1970
    First computer system introduced. Multi-part shop tickets created for use in quality control.
    1979
    Company ships first granite from the port of Duluth, MN. Destination is Italy. low pressure water jets replace jet burners in the quarry.
    1988
    Dakota Granite buys a complete tile line from Pedrini in Italy and builds a sawing and polishing plant. Tile-Line operational in weeks. World's largest diamond saw completes the saw line of six. Granite countertops now in full production.
    1992
    Installation of a computer driven Hensel top grinder and polisher capable of processing multiple dies simultaneously. The machine changes its own heads on five processes.
    1994
    Addition of a diamond contour saw capable of following a computer driven pattern of a Dakota design. Pro-Edge machine installed for precision countertop polishing and edging.
    1998
    March 8th the old office complex at the quarry site burns and is a complete loss. A new larger office is built and now all employees of Dakota Granite are located at the plant and quarries.
    2000
    Dakota Granite Company proudly celebrates its 75th year as a quarrier and manufacturer of Dakota Mahogany granite.
    2006
    James Lowell Stengel, who retired in 1992 after 40 years at the helm of Dakota Granite - and in 2005 as a member of the board - died April 3, 2006, two days after his 80th birthday.
    2007
    Dakota Granite converts manufacturing software. Originally going computerized with a DOS manufacturing platform, Dakota Granite now a custom program manufacturing platform that is windows based.
    2009
    Slab production increases with the addition of a Gaspari multi-diamond wire block saw.
    2010
    New equipment installed: An additon of a Hensel slab polisher is installed in the mausoleum plant and 6-axis Gaspari diamond wire saw in the production plant.
    Change of the guard - Chuck Monson retires as CEO at the end of the year, Rick Dilts (Vice President of Sales and Marketing) has assumed the position. Dilts has been with Dakota Granite Co. for a total of 15 years, having started his career with the company as a territory representative. John Kampen retires as Plant Manager and Pat Raffety takes over as plant manager. Bill Ruoff retires as Commercial Sales Manager and Mick Redmond changes hats from Quarry Manager to Commercial Sales Manager. Wayne VanHout assumes the role as Quarry Manager. Nancy Fosheim retires as CFO with Curt Kunde as her replacement.
    2014
    Company invests in virtual network. Four large servers, that connect machines and office staff together, is now virtualized in one little box. Architectural Department is growing, Dakota Granite is fabricating for the Arlington Cemetery cremation expansion project.
    2015
    Dakota Granite Company proudly celebrates its 90th year as a quarrier and manufacturer of Dakota Mahogany granite.
    2016
    New saw technology is installed. Our new Donatoni saw for slants and hickeys is up and producing. The saw has a 64" blade which can saw up to 24" vertically or bevel slants up to 18" tall. It is also CNC controlled which means more consistency in movement resulting in a better product for our customers.
    Installation of the new Breton SmartCut 550 Optima saw; The saw was purchased primarily for our columbarium and building stone production lines. It is a state of the art complete sawing system that places an emphasis on efficiency and slab yield. The saw comes with 2 cameras that can be used to take pictures of the slabs either when they are done being polished or loaded on to the saw conveyor. The operator can then look at the picture and import the pre-drawn work pieces to layout on the slab. This allows us to maximize slab yield by working around any imperfections. The saw is also 5 axis CNC controlled and can also be used to core holes and saw inside corners for relief cuts.

    Contact Us

    • 48391 150th Street
      PO Box 1351
      Milbank, SD 57252
    • phone: 800-843-3333
    • fax: 605-432-6155