Henry Mathias Young lived from 1870 to 1944. He was born in Chaska, Minn., the son of Henry Young and Magdelena Iltis.
Nicknamed “Brigham,” he was married in 1893 to Bertha Schaler. He owned a confectionary store and was an insurance agent for the Chaska area before moving to Perham, where he founded Young’s Jobbing House in 1896.
The couple’s five children were Mabel, Clarice, Norman, Harold and Kenneth Young.
Albert G. Rotta came from Germany and worked ten years for Standard Oil in North Dakota before moving to Perham in 1928. It was Ernst Mueller (Rotta’s uncle, a pioneer of Perham) who influenced Rotta to go into business for himself. Rotta bought Young’s Jobbing House, at that time a small operation housed in a 22×44 foot building.
The Great Depression, during which all three of Perham’s banks failed, hit just as Rotta was getting started. He managed to survive and built Young’s Jobbing House into a large and highly profitable operation over the years. He also purchased Wadena Fountain and Supply, Thief River Jobbing and Bemidji Candy Company. He sold the Bemidji business to Lyle Caughey, son of a well-known Perham policeman, Otis Caughey.
Rotta was a busy man, but he took time to be on the school board, fair board and other city projects. He was a generous (and often anonymous) contributor to worthy causes and was noted for his good and fair treatment of his employees. He died in 1961.
His son, Albert A. Rotta, continued in the business until his death. His widow, Rita, and a son, David, continued Young’s Jobbing House until it closed.
From information in the “1994 East Otter Tail History Book, Volume II.” Photo and bio of Henry Young from the Robertson Register of Historical Photographs. Lina Belar is the founder and retired director of the Friends of the History Museum of East Otter Tail County.