Jameses honored in Elysian

By: 
Lisa Ingebrand, LRnews@frontiernet.net

Longtime business owners and volunteers Wayne and Teri James have been named Elysian’s 2022 Fourth of July Grand Marshals. (Lisa Ingebrand photo)

Longtime Elysian residents, volunteers, and business owners Wayne and Teri James have been named Elysian’s 2022 Fourth of July grand marshals.

Wayne was born and raised in Elysian, and Teri has called Elysian home since she was four years old.

“We grew up almost next door to each other and were best friends,” Teri shared. “We didn’t start dating until my senior year of high school.”

Both Teri and Wayne attended Waterville-Elysian High School and worked at Teri’s dad Ralph Nusbaum’s gas station until they graduated from high school.

“I started doing the book work for my dad when I was 12 years old,” Teri shared with a laugh.

Wayne and his brother, Steve, purchased a skid loader in 1975 to do barn cleaning for farmers and other odd jobs. “We still have that skid loader,” Wayne stated with a grin. “We sold it after a few years. Then, after some searching, we found it and bought it back from an area farmer as a keepsake.”

Wayne graduated high school in 1976 and worked for an area farm tiler.

Teri graduated in 1977 and attended college until she landed a job at the Elysian Bank.

After they married in 1978, they focused on owning and operating their own business, a venture that started with Wayne leasing a single backhoe and backfilling tile ditches for area farmers. Teri worked for the Elysian Bank and Lake Country Sales until 1985, when she started working for their own company full-time.

The James family worked hard to build their company, and in 1980, Wayne’s brother, Steve, started helping at night and on the weekends. Steve joined them in business in 1985 and the business officially became known as James Bros. Construction.

As the business grew, so did the family, with Wayne and Teri welcoming four children: Shannon, Lisa, Justin, and Jacob. Today, they have 13 grandchildren, with one more due late this year.

“It’s truly a family business,” Teri stated. “I can still picture Kelsey—our first granddaughter—when she was little, sitting here in the office with Wayne’s dad, Don, enjoying toast and jam together… Don, who did road construction, did everything he could to help us.”

Wayne laughs thinking back to the days his kids and their cousins would spend their summer days playing “skid-loader wars” in the woods and tending to the family’s cattle.

“They had chores to do. They learned to...

To see more on this story pick up the June 30, 2022 print edition of the LifeEnterprise paper. 

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