Grant County's Jim Standish never left home

Jim Standish, Grant County Coordinator

If someone asks Jim what it’s like to move back home, it’s an easy answer: he never left.

Maybe there was enough adventure with his army stint after high school. Or maybe it was finding the perfect job in his Elbow Lake backyard.

At any rate, meet Jim Standish, Grant County Coordinator.

“When the county created this new position, there were no real guidelines,” he says. It was a challenge and opportunity that he couldn’t pass up, at least for the last 46 years. Talk about a perfect match. “As long as it’s challenging and satisfying, I’m happy,” he notes.

In his position, Jim developed programs for solid waste and shoreline management, and acts as the housing authority for the county, but his most cherished accomplishment has been being part of the team passionate about saving history.

In this case, the complete renovation and restoration of the Grant County Courthouse, the majestic historical brownstone structure topping Elbow Lake’s main street.

You can look it up in the National Register of Historic Places. What was incredible, Jim notes, is the painstaking work it took to save the 100-year-old decorative elements.

So if you stop by to marvel at this historical treasure, drop in Jim’s office and ask him about Living Wide Open. He notes the friendly rural setting “where people look out for each other” and how it doesn’t take long to get to bigger cities. “It’s the best of both worlds here.”

For him, it’s also gardening or golfing at the nearby Tipsinah Mounds 18-hole course, an attraction that surprises many first-time visitors.  “It’s a diamond in the rough,” he smiles.

For a golfer, that’s nicely said.

Steve Henning