Watertown's new industrial park named after local businessman

WATERTOWN, S.D. – The Watertown Development Company has named its new industrial park in honor of a local entrepreneur.

The park will be named 'Calvin Industrial Park,' after John Calvin, a notable Watertown businessman, and philanthropist. Calvin is known for bringing his company, Angus Industries, to Watertown more than 40 years ago, and for being the second Watertown businessman to oversee the state of South Dakota’s economic development efforts.

He first came to South Dakota to hunt pheasants, but after many more visits to the state, the late Gov. George S. Mickelson convinced him to expand his manufacturing business to Watertown. He put only part of the company in Watertown to start.

In 1992, Calvin moved all of the operations to Watertown and many other employees from the plant in Minnesota. The company grew quickly; from $2.7 million to $20 million in annual sales, and in 1996, sold it to the employees and watched it continue to grow while he formed a new venture, J. Scott Industries of Watertown, investing in other new businesses.

In a press release, Calvin said of his success and naming of the park, "Watertown was a good move. It has a remarkable workforce with a good work ethic and attitude. I am deeply appreciative for the recognition.”

The WDC acquired the industrial park land in the fall of 2018. The organization is focusing on recruiting new businesses, retaining existing businesses and expansion. The WDC is already working with a company looking to locate to the new park.

“We are working on recruiting a company from out of state who is ready to locate on the north end of the park and employ up to 50 people," said Chris Schilken, Executive Director of the WDC. "Construction is expected to start this fall.”

There will be a park dedication ceremony at 2 p.m. May 28 at the southwest corner of the park. A reception will follow at 4 p.m. at Joy Ranch. Gov. Kristi Noem is expected to be in attendance at the dedication ceremony.

The public is invited to attend.