In 1932, Val Rausch moved his wife and ten children from Melrose, MN to Ortonville, MN. At this time the granite business was beginning to boom around Ortonville with many new quarries being discovered. He became part owner of a mahogany quarry and monument retail store, Columbia Granite Works, in downtown Ortonville. Who could have guessed that this would begin the family legacy of creating custom family memorials for over 85 years.
The Rausch Brothers
Over the next several decades you could find five of Val’s sons working full-time in both the quarry and retail store. In 1948, Norbert, Sev, and Herman Rausch built a new saw plant and formed Rausch Brothers Granite Company, Inc (Rausch Bros.). From this saw plant they sold slabs they cut from large blocks quarried directly from their mahogany quarry.
The fourth son, Eugene, would join the company after returning from the Korean War. Shortly thereafter, they renamed their retail store from Columbia Granite Works to Rausch Brothers Granite Company, Inc. The youngest brother, Paul, would join his brothers at Rausch Bros. in 1975 shortly before tragedy would strike the Rausch family.
Photo: left to right
Sev Rausch, Unknown, Herman Rausch, Eugene Rausch
In 1977, at the age of 48, Eugene was diagnosed with brain cancer. For many years now Eugene was the office manager and leader of Rausch Brothers. He managed the finances and was in charge of the day-to-day as well as the future plans of company.
After a few short months, Eugene passed away leaving behind nine children with his beloved wife Harriet and a company lacking a leader to move it forward.
The Next Generation
With the sudden death of their younger brother and the older brothers in or near retirement, the 3rd generation of Rausch brothers began. Mike Rausch, 20 years old at the time, moved back from college to resume his father’s responsibilities full-time as office manager. Several years later his younger brother Val Rausch, named after his grandfather, would work at Rausch Brothers for over a decade as the plant foreman.
Photo: left to right
Eugene’s wife Harriet Rausch (Front left), Val Rausch (back row fourth from left), cousin Chuck Rausch (back row second from right), Val’s wife Paula Rausch (front right), Mike Rausch (back row right)
Many changes and challenges would take place over the next 40 years with Mike and Paul Rausch providing the stability for the company. In 1986, the sales office was moved and a new plant was built one mile west from Minnesota into South Dakota. The mahogany quarry which Rausch Brothers had operated for over 58 years was sold in 1990. Mike then created a separate division for granite countertops called Rausch Granite Interiors in 1997.
Val would leave Rausch Brothers in 2000, but another brother would begin working when Tony Rausch would return from Nebraska to join Rausch Brothers in 2003.
Today, we are called Rausch Granite Monuments. Our team at Rausch Granite Monuments is filled with many dedicated employees and customers who have given us their life’s work. It is into this loyal atmosphere that the 4th generation begins its involvement in the family business. Mike’s son, David Rausch, would move back from Minneapolis in 2015 to begin to learn the family business.
It is our relationship with our employees, our customers, and our family that have enabled us to succeed over the last 86 years. A lot of things have changed over that time, but some things never change. Hard work. Dedication. Honesty. Compassion. Generosity. Family. While focused on the future and what that may bring, we cannot forget who we are and how we can help those around us.