How did the U of M’s Dinkytown neighborhood get its name? There are different theories, and two involve the Grodnik brothers. Louis built a commercial structure on the corner of 4th and 14th Ave SE, and had his name put over the door. The building still stands; old U students may remember it as Gray’s Drug.

Jacob ran the jewelry store in the Mitchell building, an 1880 building that still stands. Hela - well, he’s the one says he named Dinkytown, claiming he said the neighborhood “getting to be a real 'Dinky Town.’" Well . . . maybe, Hela, but it’s more likely the term came from his last name, written over his brother’s building. Grod: town. Nik: a suffix meaning “Little.” Dinkytown!

That’s my theory, anyway. Hela ended up working at Jacob’s jewelry store. Perhaps he saw “Grodnik’s Credit” on the matchbook, and groused a little: that’s what he deserved for naming Dinkytown. Credit. But his brothers just rolled their eyes.