A large stone wall with many blocks of rock.

Our Company

Since our founding in 1925, Dakota Granite has seen many great changes in its business, manufacturing, and industries. Change always comes with challenges and opportunities. Dakota Granite has embraced change throughout the years, continuously meeting the challenges, rising to the occasion, and implementing new technology. Yet, through it all, Dakota Granite is dedicated to providing innovative, practical, and top-quality stone/granite products. Dakota Granite has never swayed from its founder's original

Integrity. Quality. Commitment. Innovation.

These values determine the way we work, the quality of our products, and the commitment we have to our customers and our stewardship to the memorial and construction industries.

A Century of Excellence:

Whether it's the change in people, the wire saws we use to quarry our stone, or the computerized equipment we have cutting and polishing our stone, the changes Dakota Granite has gone through in the last century are extraordinary. With all that change, however, one thing that has remained constant since 1925 is our commitment to excellence.

What does a commitment to excellence mean?

For Dakota Granite, it means treating every stone as if it is our parent's memorial. It means the highest level of pride is felt with each stone, whether it's a small flush marker, or an all-granite walk in building. It means polishing a sign to a brilliant luster as if it was our own personal signage. It means assuring that the tolerances on a flamed sidewalk are as tight as if we were the ones who had to set that final product in place. 

Our methods of quarrying, our people, and our equipment to process our granite will continue to change, but our commitment to excellence will continue to lead the industry for almost a century.

Generations of People Using Quality Stone to Create Legacies

Our strategy for success

Dakota Granite is dedicated to supporting professionals in the memorial industry. Our commitment encompasses national retail memorial companies that align with our core values. Through our passion for manufacturing quality products and ongoing technological investments, Dakota Granite has established itself as a reliable American manufacturer. Our dedication to quality and customer service drives industry progress and contributes to the success of our partners. Proudly serving the memorial industry for almost a century, Dakota Granite is honored to assist retailers in commemorating American family stories.

Past Leadership

The quality of a company is expressed through the quality of its leadership. For almost a century, Dakota Granite has benefited from its strong leadership, dedicated to the founding values.

Core Values:

  1. Team Player – Working together to achieve success, we got your back.
  2. Empowered Optimism – When a positive attitude and a willingness to learn are applied, huge tasks are overcome.
  3. Passion for Excellence – When you strive to be your best, greatness surrounds you.
  4. Problem Solver – Through innovation and creativity, solutions become clear.
  5. Tenacity to Deliver – With a tough work ethic, strong finishers overcome obstacles.



Dakota Granite is incorporated. Partners are George Liebenstein, Wesley Swenson and Alexander Dewar.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

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.


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.

First computer system introduced. Multi-part shop tickets created for use in quality control.


Company ships first granite from the port of Duluth, MN. Destination is Italy. low pressure water jets replace jet burners in the quarry.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Dakota Granite Company proudly celebrates its 75th year as a quarrier and manufacturer of Dakota Mahogany™ granite.


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.


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.


Slab production increases with the addition of a Gaspari multi-diamond wire block saw.


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.

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.


Dakota Granite Company proudly celebrates its 90th year as a quarrier and manufacturer of Dakota Mahogany™ granite.


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.


Our Granites