According to Salem mayor Chuck Bennett, only one-half of 1% of the businesses began in Salem are still in operation 100 years later. The Dalke Construction Company is one of those rare statistics.
The Dalke family lived in Oklahoma, Kansas, homesteaded in Montana, and eventually found their way to Dallas, Oregon c1910. Peter's son Thomas Dalke, worked in the grocery business and also formed a construction business in 1919. In October 1920, Tom married Marie Ediger, daughter of Mennonite emigres from Kansas, John S. & Maria Nickel Ediger, and soon moved his new family to Salem, finally settling in the Eola area of West Salem. The majority of the extended Dalke family still live in West Salem today.
Tom's second son, Herbert "Herb" Dalke, served in the military as a Navy Seabee (as did his brothers), and moved to Long Beach, California, after the war. There he met Dorothy Doane, marrying her in 1948. Their five children are Kathryn (Boles), Kenneth, Lawrence, Thomas and David. Herb would eventually return to Salem and assume the leadership role for the Dalke Construction Company, choosing in 1958 to transition their work from residential to industrial and commercial projects to provide more time with his young family.
I'm sorry we can't "post" the laughter we shared during their studio visit in this summary, but the friendly banter between Uncle Marvin and Larry was priceless. To hear more of the Dalke family story (and share a few giggles), please check out the podcasts of their episodes: Part 1 and Part 2.