Our History

Image of Olivia Minnesota circa 1940. Kraft Walser Law Office first started in Olivia by Leo J. Lauerman.
Olivia, MN circa 1940.

The Kraft Walser Law Office traces its roots back to Leo J. Lauerman, an attorney who was well known in Minnesota during his career. Leo Lauerman came to Olivia in 1916 establishing his law practice.

Prior to his arrival in Olivia, Leo was secretary to Charles Lindbergh's father in the House of Representatives. Leo also served as a county attorney and State Senator.

Over the years many lawyers were associated with Leo until his death in 1965. Gordon Keith was Leo's first partner.  Harold Pfeiffer joined our firm in the early 1930's.

DePaul Willette joined our firm in December, 1961 with James Zeug joining in 1962. We were known as Lauerman, Willette and Zeug until Leo's death. In 1966, John Kraft moved to Olivia and joined our firm. Jim Zeug was appointed District Court Judge in 1970 and we became known as Willette and Kraft.

Donald H. Walser joined our firm in 1972. Paul A. Nelson came in 1975, Steven E. Hettig joined in 1979, Daniel B. Honsey joined in 1994, Christopher A. Kleiman joined in 2002, Sene Zupke came aboard in 2008, Gina Fox joined in 2016 and Ben King arrived in 2017 .

Image of downtown Hutchinson, Minnesota pictured circa 1960.
Downtown Hutchinson, MN circa 1960.

De Paul Willette was appointed District Court Judge and served in that capacity from 1977 to 1982. He then rejoined our firm, which was then known as Willette, Kraft, Walser, Nelson & Hettig. Mr. Willete then left the firm in 1992 to become the Executive Secretary of the Minnesota Board of Judicial Standards.

Paul Nelson was appointed as a Judge in 1997 becoming the presiding District Court Judge in Montevideo.

The Kraft Walser Law Office has seen many attorneys arrive and depart over the years. We recognized the need to consolidate and simplify our name and settled on being known as the Kraft Walser Law Office.

Over 100 years after our beginning with Leo Lauerman , the attorneys of Kraft Walser Law Office continue the fine tradition of providing legal solutions for greater Minnesota.