Gilbert B. Ellestad was born in 1860 in a log house on a piece of land in Fillmore County. Gilbert became an avid reader of any technical matter to be found in literature and was interested in making things for use in the home. He was always interested in new devices or equipment which would be helpful to the farmer. Many of the homes had sewing machines but no one to fix them. Gilbert, with his mechanical skills and ability, had become familiar with mechanisms of clocks and sewing machines and decided that he could provide a service to farm folk and provide some income by becoming a repairman. At age twenty, he acquired, by mail order, some spare parts and accessories for clocks and sewing machines, packed them in a satchel along with tools and a few personal items and started out on foot to neighbors all over southern Minnesota and Northern Iowa. He got the idea to start selling merchandise as he was offering his repair services. After considering various items, he decided that it would be spectacles since they were not readily available to farm folk and they did not add much weight to the luggage he carried. He continued to make such trips for about two years and saved enough money to purchase a horse and buggy for his travels. He did repair work and also sold spectacles, jewelry, and thermometers in a territory which included southern Minnesota, most of Iowa and parts of Wisconsin and Nebraska. He then went to Chicago for training as a watchmaker and jeweler. He stayed there for about two years before returning back to Minnesota. He came to Lanesboro in 1890 to establish a jewelry business in a rented space in the clothing department of a general store. In 1897, he purchased a one-story building on Main Street. He improved it by adding a so-called steel form with a superstructure and providing plate glass windows on both sides of a central entrance. He was in the jewelry business for over 30 years. His building was known as the G. B. Ellestad building! This is where we are today.