DeZURIK'S first manufacturing plant. 1932
1928 DeZURIK’S began with Matthew DeZurik. This building was their first factory, built in 1932 with 2,400 square feet. This brick building was located on the current site of DeZURIK’S on Riverside Ave.
Aerial views of DeZURIK'S
The DeZURIK Difference
"Stephen DeZurik was born in Bohemia in 1849. At that time, Bohemia was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire ruled by Emperor Franz Joseph. Drafted into the cavalry, Stephen became an excellent horseman. The night before his unit was ordered to put down an insurrection in a nearby village, Stephen was kicked by a horse and taken to a hospital. The next day, trapped within the village gates, his comrades were annihilated.
In a family memoir, Stephen's grandson, David DeZurik, said his grandfather was promoted to a Hussars' company, the elite horsemen of the Austro-Hungarian army. "When he came to America and settled in Royalton, Minnesota, he hung his huge fur coat, tall fur hat, and saddle in the attic."
Prior to settling in Minnesota, Stephen worked in the coal mines of Luxembourg and in the U.S. at Andrew Carnegie's steel mills in Pittsburgh until he had enough money to bring his wife, Anna, and sons, Steve and Mathias, to Minnesota.
In the family homestead near Royalton Stephen bred a line of farm horses of medium size that were also excellent workers. "They made a very beautiful sight, indeed, and people came from many miles around to buy horses from him. This is how my father (Matt) met my mother, "David wrote.
Michael and Anna Rudie, also Bohemian immigrants, and their daughter, Julia, lived in Bowlus, Minnesota. Hearing about Stephen's horses, they visited him, bringing along their daughter. Struck by her beauty, Matt later walked 18 miles to court Julia.
Mathias (Matt) DeZurik, founder of the valve company, was born in 1878 in Bohemia. He came to America aboard the ship that carried his mother and a brother. In 1900 he settled in Sartell where he became a millwright at the Watab Paper Mill. He soon gained a reputation as a man "who could come up with a unique and practical solution for almost any mechanical problem"
Matt and Julia's first home was a 16x20 wooden house without running water or indoor bathroom facilities. Matt was earning 20 cents an hour as a carpenter at the mill working a 10-11 hour day. Later, he was promoted to millwright.
Matt used the machine shop at the Watab mill at night where he invented products that were used by the mill. In 1932, he moved across the river to a garage-sized cement building where he started producing types of valves.
Matt had had only 80 days of schooling and "what he learned he had to teach himself through acute observation and extensive reading." At one time Matt's three sons-David, Laurence, and Raymond-held professional jobs at DeZurik's
In 1928 Matt designed a valve with a segmented plug with a cam (eccentric) closure action-a revolutionary development at the time. Another invention was a knot-sawing machine that handled the work of four to six men using axes.
DeZurik's Eccentric Plug valves are installed in paper mills all over the world. They have a reputation for dead-tight, shut -off service.
During World War II, the company's production was devoted mainly to defense projects like tank brackets for tank tracks, tank periscopes and globe valves for shipboard use.
Today the DeZurik Corporation contains 500 employees worldwide and earns a revenue of $120 million annually.
Where Rivers Merge. Stories for the History of Sartell, MN William Towner Morgan Page 29-30