The Universal Laboratories building played a key role during World War II by ensuring that the United States had an adequate domestic supply of the essential crude drug ergot. As war threatened to cut off imported supplies of crude ergot, Universal Laboratories developed an effective collecting and processing operation in Dassel.
Thomas Barlow (T.B.) Walker worked his way through school and into Minnesota's lumber industry, where he became unusually successful. He later helped found two of Minneapolis's significant cultural organizations, the Public Library System and the Walker Art Center.
For thirty years, William Bleedorn was one of only a few cow bell manufacturers in the United States. Between 1863 and 1885, his foundry in Carver County produced thousands of bells that were used by farmers across the country.