A lifetime of coal,33 years later
By Kate Johnson
Reinholt has been working for Coteau Properites Freedom Mine for 33 years and recently decided to wash his hands one last time of coal. Although still unsure why he’s retiring, he said he felt like it was the time to partake in those family activities he once missed.
His passion didn’t start in coal, it started with his father and a steel family. After graduating from Stanton High School Reinholt quickly entered into the family trade, which was iron work. His father was a long-time construction ironworker himself, and that is something he and his brothers easily fell into. It was ironwork that Reinholt fell in love doing.
“They just made you part of it. You learned how to do what they did because you were just with them and they took care of you, and later on you took care of them,” said Reinholt of his ironworking days.
College took him away to Denver, Colo., where he became a diesel mechanic. From there he was drafted into the Army. Once released from the Army, Reinholt headed home to North Dakota and straight back to structural steel construction.
Over those decades, Reinholt took part in the construction of Leland Olds Station in 1975, Minnkota in 1972, Antelope Valley Station in 1979-80, and then again in 1983, construction at Dakota Gasification in 1982 and ‘83.
Throughout that time Reinholt worked his way up the ranks to become a supervisor, being a boss to those who he learned the trade from. At one time even his own father worked for him. Reinholt said it wasn’t something anyone minded, because of the bond they shared and the fact they considered each other family.