SHSND Home > Archives > Archives Holdings > Manuscripts > Oral Histories > 10157
To schedule an appointment, please contact us at 701.328.2091 or

OCLC WorldCat Logo

SHSND Photobook - Digitized images from State Archives

Digital Horizons

2019-2021 Blue Book Cover

Federal Depository Library Program

Chronicling America

Manuscripts - ND Oral History Collection - 10157 - Barnes County

Barnes County

Region 8
1 Judge Hamilton Englert, Valley City 0019A & B
2 Elsie E. Otto, Valley City 0020A & B
3 Dr. Max M. Moore, Valley City 0021A & B
4 Mr. and Mrs. Ted Strinden, Litchville 0022A & B
5 William Rieth, Litchville 0023A & B
6 Clarence Nelson, Litchville 0024A & B
7 C. B. “Cecil” Johnson, Kathryn 0025A & B
8 George and Esther Overn, Kathryn 0026A & B
9 Ferdinand C. Steidl, Fingal 0027A & B
10 Ed C. Levin, Pillsbury 0028A & B
11 Edwin L. Hegland, Sibley 0029A & B
12 Carl Rogne, Dazey 0030A & B
13 Melvin and Gladys Quick, Dazey 0031A & B
14 Victor Marsh, Leal 0032A & B
15 Grace Ven Huizen, Wimbledon 0033A & B
16 Elmer P. Seidlinger, Wimbledon 0034A & B
17 Lulu Larson, Valley City (Dazey) 0035A & B
18 Adolf Soroos, Valley City 0036A & B
19 Mr. and Mrs. Lyle Hill, Valley City 0037A & B
20 Mrs. Jenny Keeling, Valley City 0038A & B
21 Karolina Meidinger, Valley City 0039A & B
22 Jean M. Hill, Valley City 0040A & B
23 Herman Stern, Valley City 0041A & B

Portions of the following interviews apply to Barnes County: 
Henry Arves #21 Ransom County 0778A & B
A. M. Paulson #5 Burleigh County 0137B
Mr. and Mrs. M. G. Pederson #7 Steele County 0923A & B

Tape #1 Judge Hamilton Englert (Valley City)
000 – Introduction
020 – Reasons for moving to North Dakota.  Family History
120 – Description of Valley City in early days, Use of the river, A local park, Chautauqua Park, Williams Jennings Bryan, Billy Sunday speaks with the Chautauqua, Clubs, Military balls, Role of a lawyer in early days, A murder case
247 – Age of oratory in courtroom, “Character Lawyers”, Cases of bootleggers, An electric car, Lights in automobiles, The prohibition days
352 – Prohibition, The consumption of alcohol by women, Cases of bootlegging, Bootleggers, Consumption of alcohol, The organization of districts
452 – Supreme Court’s authority to appoint a change of judge, Judge Butz sues a carnival, His opinion of Francis Murphy, Attorneys at Fargo, Reasons for a judge being assigned to another district
564 – Father serves as first judicial judge, Retirement plans and salaries for judges, J.F.T. O’Conner-Frazier election
678 – Reasons for success of NPL, Leaguers join the Democratic and Republican Parties
Side two
727 – William Langer appoints Tom Sathery to Supreme Court, Sathery defeats Tom Burke in Supreme Court election, Strength of the Democratic Party in early days, Langer’s “controversial figure” with the public, Works as court reporter, Credibility of appointments by Langer and Frazier, Dispute between A. C. Townley and William Langer involving Mexican land deals
824 – Change of pace in life from 20’s to present, Reasons for the changes in pace of life, Chautauqua Circuit performs in area, Opera house, “Sensationalistic” crime cases, Theatrics in the courtroom, The old courthouse, Incident of vigilante activity
943 – Langer’s moratorium affects number of court cases, Land value, IWW laborers’ camp outside of town, World War II opinion, Pete Nyes, Standbo, and Lindbergh election
049 – Public attitude to criminality, punishment, and prison, The removal of country’s backlog of legal cases, Handling of the victimless cases
158 – Family history, Night curfews, Reasons for change in pace of life, Opinion of television

Tape #2 Elsie E. Otto (Valley City)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history, Her childhood, Father’s political life, Legal housing and enforcement
114 – Family history, First sheriff, Courthouse, Family history, Post office, Businesses, Compares past and present grocery stores, Dentists, Lawyers, Doctors, Poor House instead of Welfare Office, Bank, “Blind Pig”, Opera house, Other businesses, Social life, Location and financing of Poor House, Nationalities, Her education, Predominant church, Prominent businessmen
217 – Raising livestock within city, Livery barn, Early organizations, Family history, Education, Her education, Frank White’s family lives in the area, Telephone company and line
336 – Telephone company salaries, Telephone line, Bottling soft drink factory, Railroad depot, Hiline bridge, Rail traffic, General store, Boarding house
446 – Academy of Music, Opera house, Touring companies, Park, Baseball, Ladies and fraternal organizations, Visiting, Marketing hours
561 – Her personal history, Her husband, Valley City Grocery Company, Typhoid fever epidemics, Becomes married, Mechanics of Valley City Grocery Company
663 – Grocery stores, Enterprising businessmen
Side Two
715 – Other businessmen, “Blind Pig”, Hobos, Peddlers, Medicine shows, 1918 Influenza Epidemic, Doctors, Flour mill, Original Occident mill, Creamery, Hatchery, Ski jump
819 – State of city affairs during the depression, Friendliness, The city’s political affiliations, Family politics, Opinion of William Langer, General political comments about George M. Young, Electricity, Rules of etiquette
928 – Railroad, Town receives its name, Indians camp in area, Gypsies, Women’s Suffrage, WCTU, Movie theaters
052 – Newspapers, First telephone company, A horseless carriage
110 – End of interview
Comment:  A Poor House instead of a Welfare Office, telephone company, Hiline bridge, Valley City Grocery Company, Occident Flour Mill, and early movie theaters are topics of historical value in this interview

Tape #3 Dr. Max M. Moore (Valley City)(Ransom County)
000 – Introduction
020 – Doctors begin a newspaper, His education, Opening his position at Valley City
123 – Family history, A cabin that his grandfather Moore built, Family history, Land office opens at Fargo, Grandfather is first sheriff of Ransom County, Builds first General store at Lisbon
224 – First hardware store at Lisbon, Family history, Livery stable
340 – Establishment of Lisbon, Reasons for people moving into area, Other settlements, Nationalities, Family history
459 – Lisbon’s business reputation, Flour mill, Nationalities, Railroad depot, “Town Characters”, Lisbon’s days of roguery, Family history
579 – Game and fish near Sheyenne River, Excursion boats, Size of the Sheyenne, Petrified Springs
690 – Fishing, Marketing area, Wooden and cement sidewalks, Dirt and graveled roads, Autos
834 – Moves to Valley City, Success of his practice, Nationalities, Social life, Autos
Side Two
933 – Circuses, Opera House, Repertory companies, Minstrel presentations, Music for dances 
133 – Lawrence Welk studies with member of Moore family, Orchestra fees for dances, The 30’s in Valley City, Chautauqua Park, Fred Omdahl speaks at park
246 – His participation in civic affairs, Discouragement, People leave, GNDA, Financial status in 30’s
374 – Population declines, Effect of food and water upon dentistry, His dental practice today, Dentures
505 – A trip to Norway, Military service
604 – End of interview
Comment:  Dentistry is the main topic of Max’s conversation.  Hunting game and fishing in the Sheyenne River area and theatrical entertainment are other noteworthy topics

Tape #4 Mr. and Mrs. Ted Strinden (Litchville)
000 – Introduction
020 – His family history, Moves to Litchville, Doctors, Businesses, Family history, Her family history, Living in a log cabin
138 – Moving into ND, Living in a dugout, Food, Nationalities, Flour mills, Businesses at Kathryn, Other towns and post offices, Businesses at Hastings, Newspapers
252 – Other businesses at Kathryn, Businesses at Litchville, Nationalities, Newspaper, Railroad, Other towns, Implement store, Price of machinery, Plows
379 – Machinery that he sold, Fuel for tractors, Farm credit, Dry years, Implement dealers
478 – Business districts contribute to success of towns, Other towns, People leave, Discouragement in 30’s, Operating businesses in 30’s, Credit, Becomes married, Teaches rural school, Fuel burned in schoolhouses
587 – Her educations, Eastedge School, Size of families, Number of schools, School furnishings, Heat in schools, Horse barns
698 – Republican and NPL party strength, His personal history, Worry, Dust storms and grasshoppers in 30’s
792 – Earning a city living in 30’s, WPA, Social life, Friendliness, Marketing towns
Side Two
920 – Other towns, Mail, Churches, Ditch settlement, Itinerant minister, Winter sports, Baseball, Picnics, Fishing
000 – Electricity, Telephone, Blacksmith, Water resources, A local spring, Prairie fires, Selling buffalo bones, Fires at Litchville
101 – Lumberyards, Supplying merchandise for his store, Lack rail harms town, Railroad, Travelling, Change from small farm to large farm, Family togetherness, Farmers Union, Other cooperatives, Creamery
200 – End of interview
Comments:  Foremost historical data expressed in this conversation includes kinds of machinery, rural schools, and a Dutch settlement located in the area

Tape #5 William Rieth, John H. Fewell (Litchville)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history, Nationalities, Dutch settlement, Farming with oxen
125 – Sod house, Water supply, Education, Works with threshing crews, Steam engines
242 – Using horsepower, Closest town, Railroad, Other towns, Post offices
296 – John’s family history, Reason for moving to ND, 1910-11 in ND, Vacant farms, People leave, Bill buys farm, John’s education
400 – Litchville’s size, Blacksmiths, Businesses, Discouragement in 30’s, Dust storms, Grasshoppers and poison
528 – People leave, Farmers Union, Other cooperatives, Churches
626 – Political strength of NPL, Farm Bureau, Opinion of A. C. Townley and William Langer, Bill’s trucking job, Trucks
736 – Advantage of hauling by truck, Roads, Trails, WPA
863 – WPA
Side Two
880 – Visiting, Facts about increased size of farms, Loss of farm population, Rural schools, Church social events, Comments about the Graduated Land Tax from 1884 – 1954 in ND
135 – Baseball, Social life, Musicians, Reasons for “good old days”, Neighborliness, Electricity, Telephone
260 – Newspaper, 1918 Influenza Epidemic, Doctors, Shopping towns, Dances
364 – Business district, Schools, Politics, Fuel
473 – Farm programs, Seed varieties
581 – First crop seeded, Soil preparation, Fertilizers, Seeding sweet clover
Comment:  Facts about the increased size of farms is the outstanding historical topic covered here

Tape #6 Clarence Nelson (Litchville)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history, Reasons for North Dakota homesteaders homesteading to other areas, Family history
179 – Nationalities, Family history, Price of land, Family history
297 – Memories of Litchville as a child, Wife’s family history, His family history
401 – Artesian well, Ice skating, Slough site, Opera House, Childhood games, Basketball
515 – Hauling grain during the winter, Description of prairie, Raising flax, Size of farms, Raising livestock within city, Inland stores and post offices
620 – Churches, Price of dairy products and produce, Trails, Anecdote about talking with Indians
Side Two
718 – A wagon train, Businessmen, Opera House, His education, School
811 – General merchandise store, Grocery store, Farm credit, 30’s in Litchville, Discouragement
912 – Abandoned farms, Mail routes, First mail carrier, Days of roguery, Drugstore burns, Chicago Blackie – a gambler, Canada bootlegging
039 – Public morale, Barn dances, WCTU, Political party popularity, Friendliness
154 – Attitudes of individual independence, Churches, Religion, Learning varied languages
295 – IWW, Hobos, Railroad crews bake break
431 – End of interview
Comment:  Topics of historical utilization discussed in this interview other than general topics covered in other interviews from this area include local trails, abandoned farms, mail routes, and farm credit

Tape #7 C. B. “Cecil” Johnson (Kathryn)
000 – Introduction
020 – Moves to ND, His education, Family history, Reason for moving to ND, Military service, His various jobs, Nationalities, Myths, Flour mill
133 – Power plant, Price of power, Flour mill, Newspaper, Early businesses, Size of families, Newspaper, Other businesses, Fires at Kathryn, Hotel, Livery barn, Garages
245 – Blacksmiths, Other towns, Mail route, Inland post offices
368 – Trips to Valley City, Sewing, Feuds
509 – Entertainment, Klausen Springs, Dance pavilion
608 – “Blind pigs”, “Moonshining”
Side Two
711 – “Moonshining”, Other towns, Autos
818 – Good and bad crop years, Farm improvements, Shorthorn cattle, Size of farms
914 – Party strength of NPL, Political emotionally, William Langer – moratorium, Senator, Farmers Holiday Association, Political parties
018 – Family history, Farming with oxen, Preparation of soil, Cultivation corn
168 – 1918 Influenza Epidemic, Doctor Telephone
290 – Generating plant, Elevators, Fishing and wildlife, Pollution of Sheyenne River, Deer
Comment:  The discussions about the power plant, newspapers, fires at Kathryn, and the mail route are topics of historical value in this interview

Tape #8 George and Esther Overn (Kathryn)
000 – Introduction
020 – His family history, Her family history, Nationalities, Her family history, Substitutes for coffee
180 – Blacksmith, Forefather of the town, Businesses, The main road, Inland stores and post offices
304 – Father’s business, Schools, Winter sports
400 – Weather, Ski tournaments, Snowstorms, His education
503 – Use of corn, Threshing crews, Cultivating corn, School curriculum
612 – Her education, Kathryn’s business success, Schools – Faculty, curriculum, Youth social events, Baseball
Side Two
711 – Her education, Teaching rural school, Student age groups, Heating the school, Description of stove, She teaches at Kathryn, The present school
811 – Works at post office, Depression in 30’s, Banks close, WPA, Discouragement, Effect of the depression, People leave, Banks fail, Bank Holiday
911 – More about banks, Deserted farms, Size of farms, Reasons for people not returning to farms, Neighborliness, Generating plant
020 – Flour mill, Diesel engines, Movies, Clothing apparel, Commonality of reading, State Mill, Flour mill fails
140 – Description of flour mill, Farmers Union, Creamery, Catalogue ordering
286 – Winters, Population, Celebrations
389 – Churches
421 – End of interview
Comment:  Teaching at a rural school is a historical topic commented upon by Esther

Tape #9 Ferdinand C. Steidl (Fingal)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history, Other homesteaders, Farming with oxen
168 – A stone house, Other homesteaders, Other towns, Mail, Nationalities
271 – Other towns, School, Picking up buffalo bones, First store
373 – Blacksmith, Postmaster, Other businesses, Closest town, Travelling with oxen, His education, Furniture, Flour mill
470 – Father builds modes of transportation, Opinion of ND, Trees, Anecdote about returning horses to owner, Prairie fires
563 – Gopher hunting, Prairie grass, Buffalo, Wild fowl
680 – Eating gophers and sparrows during 30’s
Side Two
728 – Homesteader requirements, Gardening, Threshing, Machinery, Midwives, Doctors
834 – Township supervisors, Gardening, Storing vegetables, Father’s early farm success, His education
943 – Buys thresh machine, His farms, Moves to Minnesota, The 30’s, WPA
050 – Grasshoppers, Neighborliness, Sociability, Threshing rig, Tractors
175 – Stacking hay, Combine, Autos, Plowing
424 – End of interview
Comment:  Discussion of farms and farm machinery are covered with more detail than most other topics included in this interview

Tape #10 Ed Levin (Pillsbury)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history, Reasons for moving to US, Begins farming
126 – Working with horses, Mechanization, Moving rigs to ND, Rents land
250 – Employment in 30’s, Dust storms, Crops in 30’s
350 – Farms with neighbor, Various jobs, Tractor farming
455 – Working with horses
553 – Working with horses, Breeding, Kinds of horses, Shoeing horses, Buys land, Trend of change from small farms to large farms
635 – Abandoned farms, His farming methods – seed, fertilizer, cleaning seed, Rents land from Federal Land Bank, Acreage yield, Grain insurance
765 – Nationalities, Friendliness, Social life
871 – Baseball, Picnics, Social events at school
Side Two
914 – Republican and Democratic party strength, Political emotionality, News media, Franklin D. Roosevelt’s popularity, Discouragement in 30’s, People leave, WPA
030 – WPA, Electricity
135 – Early businesses, Doctor, People leave, Churches, Saloons, Railroad
235 – Boxcar shortage, Train service, Fares, Stockyards, Shipping cattle, Farmers Union
335 – Compares Farmers Union and Farm Bureau, Shoeing horses
441 – End of interview

Tape #11 Edwin L. Hagglund (Sibley)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history, Reasons for people leaving in ’07, Settlement of area, Church, Nationalities
120 – Nationalities, Incorporation of the town, Family history, Reason for winter blizzards, Inland post offices and towns
220 – Post offices and towns, Nearest town in 1880, Condition of homesteading land, Family history, Price of land
330 – His education, Severe winters, Personal history, People leave in ‘07
447 – Towns, Elevators, Revere, Sutton
543 – Banks fail, Ease of travelling between towns
646 – Building roads and bridges, Rural understanding of bank closings
777 – Bank payments on the dollar, Bank interest, Begins an implement business, His participation in sports
877 – His employment in implement business
Side Two
913- His education, Works at Moorhead, Freights the country, Banks close, Poor financial years
017 – Years of the depression, Trend of change from small farms to large farms, Mechanization, Farming with oxen and horses, Breeding horses
113 – Treatment of horses, Working with a gang plow, Description of a drag cart, Other machinery, Farm Holiday Association activity and support
233 – Other homesteaders, Attitude of people to the Farm Holiday Association, a particularly good banker at Sharon, Opinion of NPL and Democrats
347 – Opinion of William Langer, His controversial character and public support, Reasons for voting Gerald P. Nye out of office, Political emotionality, Opinion of political power today, IWW
451 – Problems with IWW, Recreation, “Moonshining”
635 – Prohibition, Alcohol consumption today
739 – Alcohol and smoking morale, Fishing at Sheyenne River and Lake Ashtabula
830 – End of interview
Comment:  Topics of historical information discussed in this interview include reasons for people leaving area in 1907, bank operations, building roads and bridges, Farm Holiday Association, political leaders during these years, IWW, recreation, prohibition, and local fishing success

Tape #12 Carl Rogne (Dazey)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history, Trips to the United States
275 – Trip to United States, Various jobs, Farming with mules and sulky plow, Family history, Nationalities, Businesses at Dazey
391 – Churches, Family History, Sod houses, Farming with mules
491 – Farming with mules, Farming with oxen, Plowing with tractors
600 – Farming with horses, Breeding horses, Travelling with stallion
701 – Travelling with stallion, Breeds of horses, Preparing horses for farming
800 – Caring for horses, Breeding horses, Personality of horses
900 – Personality of horses
Side Two
948 – Carl begins farming, Military service, Works with farmer, Becomes married, Price of cattle and crops in ’18 and ’19, Rents farm, Good and bad crop years
039 – A hailstorm, Good crop years, Prices of crops, Crops during the depression, Better years
138 – Prices of crops begin to fall, Move to Dazey, Making a living during 30’s, Discouragement, Rents on shares, Hay for livestock
247 – Stacking straw and Russian thistles, WPA
344 – WPA roads and dams, Comments about Darrow, a Chicago lawyer
440 – Works with livery, Railroad service, Anecdote about driving horses in the wintertime, Doctor, Veterinarians
530 – Driving the doctor in a snowstorm, Lundland Land Company at Cooperstown
630 – Driving the doctor in a snowstorm, More about the doctor, Midwives
760 – Funeral provisions, Influenza Epidemic of 1918
864 – End of interview
Comment:  Carl’s conversation about the care, breeds, and preparing horses for farming differentiates his interview from others

Tape #13 Melvin and Gladys Quick (Dazey)
000 – Introduction
020 – His family history, Nationalities, His family history
104 – Her family history, His family history, Reasons for coming to ND, His family history, Kinds of houses that were constructed
200 – More about houses, Obtaining lumber, Closest point on railroad, Schools, Businesses at Dazey, Other towns, Railroad enters area, Other businesses, Midwives, Doctor, Farming with oxen, mules, and horses
300 – Water sources, Bald Hill Creek flows in area, Reasons for homesteading in area, A few hardships of prairie life, Trees, Fuel, Her family history
400 – Her family history, His education, Farming with horses, Using coal for fuel, Farming with tractors, Other machinery, Disks, Threshing machines and crews, Cook car
500 – Firing a threshing machine, Good crop years, Wheat varieties, Condition of land, Fires at Dazey
621 – 1918 Influenza Epidemic, Neighborliness
723 – Recreation, Basketball, Church activities, Churches, Religious animosity
845 – School functions, Rural schools, Recreation at Spiritwood Lake
Side Two
925 – Orchestra musicians, Dances, House parties, Playing cards, House warmings, Movies, Theaters, Reputation of movies, Roller skating, Recreational Hall, Radio programs
025 – More about radio, Radio’s effect on homes, Radio stations, Depression in 20’s and 30’s, Dust storms, Farmers leave area, Ways of combating the depression, Providing hay for livestock during the depression
130 – Combining thistles and sweet clover for feed, Conditions in middle 30’s, Crop Yieldage, Morale, Becomes married, Worry, Neighborliness, Providing food in 30’s, Gardening, Root cellars, Selling produce and dairy products, Cream prices
230 – Franklin D. Roosevelt’s popularity, WPA roads and dams, IVA and NPL popularity, IVA and NPL animosity, A local abandoned house, Other houses
324 – Electricity, Telephone, Schools, Newspaper
417 – Langer and Lemke political rallies, Political emotionality, Farmer’s Holiday Association, Factors contributing to increased size of farms, Prohibition, Past and present alcohol consumption
522 – Bootleggers, Magazines
590 – End of interview
Comment:  Interview focuses on kinds of houses that were constructed, machinery, and radio

Tape #14 Victor Marsh (Leal)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history, Other settlers, Houses, Homestead location, Nationalities, Family history, Leal is built, Railroad built in area
130 – Doctor, Stores, Selling houses in town, Surface water, Closest town, Oxbridge colony moves into area, Father’s acreage of land, A local land company, More family history
258 – His childhood rearing, Gypsies, Anecdotes about caring for livery, Kinds of dray wagons, Livery drives doctor, Shipping a safe from Minneapolis
351 – Education, Family history
466 – Family history – Dray line, house, Victor’s experiences during threshing season, Becomes ill with chicken pox
551 – Businessmen, His education, Bank closes at Fargo, Courses of study at AC, More about the livery
675 – Threshing for neighbors, Losing land in 30’s
Side Two
714 – William Langer assists father in securing a loan, Politics, Opinion of William Langer, Langer’s affiliation with local road patrollers, More opinions about Langer
806 – Political inclinations and emotionality, Farmers Alliance serves in area, Farmers Holiday Association activity, Famers Union, Opinion of Charles and Glenn Talbott as speakers and other actions, Mechanics and success of cooperatives
915 – Farmers Union air to farmers, Elevators, Political difference between Farm Bureau and Farmers Union, Repaying Federal Land Loans in 30’s, Buys land
015 – Buys tractor and combine, Rents out land, Poor years in 20’s and 30’s, Bank fails, War bonds, People leave
116 – Size of farms, Keeping livestock in 30’s, Raising Clydesdales, Hay for livestock in 30’s
228 – Farm programs aid farmers, Farm loans, A Scott disk
332 – Influenza Epidemic of 1918, Social life, Baseball, Friendliness
425 – End of interview
Comment:  Victor’s father owned a livery and he covers that in detail

Tape #15 Grace Ven Huizen (Wimbledon)
000 – Introduction
020 – Dutch organize a church, Family history, Reasons for coming to ND, Success and failures with different varieties of grain, Feeding foxtail to horses, First opinion of ND, More family settlers
141 – Other homesteaders, Nationalities, Building barns, A rural school, Loss of farms, Her children
252 – Depression in 30’s, Making a living, Buying a tractor, Political parties, Hears A. C. Townley speak, Husband’s first farm
351 – A consolidated school, Closest town, Sutton businesses, Wimbledon banks, House parties, Card parties, Dances, Round barn, Price of land, Description of round barn
487 – Windmill, Raising livestock, Buy tractor, Condition of roads, Road work, Religious animosity, Gardening
587 – Canning meat, Gardening and crops in the 30’s, Dust storms, Providing hay for livestock, Feeding thistles, Grasshoppers,
706 – Location of Spiritwood Lake
Side Two
714 – Recreation at Spiritwood, Sociability, Reasons for “good old days”, Opinion of present-day life, Theater, Babysitters, Home entertainment, Dutch code of ethics, Family History
835 – More family history, Reading material, Caapers Farmer, Radio programs, Entertainment
933 – Church clubs, Electricity, Writes for newspaper, Electricity, Growing beards and moustaches, Bathing facilities
046 – Services of Dutch Reform Church, Students stay in homes, Teachers
088 – End of interview
Comment:  Topical historical data set forth in this interview is the settlement of Dutch at Wimbledon, description of a round barn, and recreation at Spiritwood Lake

Tape #16 Elmer Seidlinger (Wimbledon)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history, Harness shop, Beer parlor, Military service, More family history, Reasons for moving to ND, Nationalities, Newspaper
124 – Making harnesses, Machines that he used, Buying supplies
229 – Assembling harnesses, Atmosphere of the harness shop, Repairing harnesses, Kinds of harnesses, Other harness shops, Business begins to decline
330 – Use of tractors, Harness races, Other events, Race tracks, Recreation at Spiritwood Lake
452 – Fish at Spiritwood Lake, Other recreation, Friendliness, Playing cards, Town and rural animosity
559 – Dances, Theater, Vaudeville
669 – Movies, Baseball, Players
Side Two
716 – Baseball, Baseball popularity, Stimuli affecting ways of life, Attends mechanical school, Builds radio, Broadcasting stations that he received, First speakers, First phonograph records, Building other radios
831 – More about assembling radios, Introduction to television, Electricity, Models of radios, Description of generating plant, Otter Tail enters area, REA
940 – Telephone, Prohibition, Bootlegging, Morale of consumption of alcohol
018 – Political parties and emotionality
046 – End of interview
Comment:  Elmer assembled harnesses and built radios and therefore, it is informative from an electrical and mechanical viewpoint

Tape #17 Miss Lulu Larson (Valley City)
000 - Introduction
020 – Family history, Reason for moving to ND, Family history, Elevator, Hotel, Other stores, Trees, Her education, Schools, School term, Teachers, Population at Dazey, Raising livestock in town, Telephone
121 – Businessmen, Baseball, Fishing, Baseball rivalry, Players, Description of Spiritwood Lake, Dance Hall, Lodges, Musicians, Quality of dances, Churches, Minister
225 – A routine Sunday, Sermons, Pastors, Preaching English sermons, Language problems in school, Nationalities, Norwegian customs, Railroad service, Stores, Grocery store stock, Other stores, Other towns
321 – Neighbors, Loneliness, Family history, Farm population, Storing meat, Icebox, Storing ice, Lumberyard, Apple barrels, Prairie fires, Winter blizzards
422 – Doctor at Dazey, Druggist, Midwives, Moves to Minneapolis, Gives instruction in piano, Town and country animosity, Catholics, A local farmer sells honey, Homesickness
520 – 1918 Influenza Epidemic, Care of patients, Doctors, Earning an income in 30’s, Banks fail, Banks at Dazey, Family’s finances, Father’s businesses, Reasons for bank closings
623 – Father’s bank fails, Price of piano lessons, People leave during 30’s, Dust storms, Grasshoppers, Operation of elevator
Side Two
713 – Flour mill, Building Soo Line Railroad, Depot agent, Buffalo bones, Caravans of Indians, Gypsies, Peddlers, Medicine shows
815 – First car, Baseball, Players, Games, Political rallies, Political inclinations in city and country, Neighborliness, Opinion of country’s present state of affairs, Opinion of ND
920 – End of interview
Comment:  Miss Larson gives us a look at life in Valley City during the early days.  One topic that she discusses is the religious view of a routine Sunday

Tape #18 Adolf Soroos (Valley City)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history, Reasons for immigrating to ND, Definition of family name, More family history, Contracting buildings, His education
125 – The college’s beginning educational pattern, Buildings on campus, Paving of streets, Flooding of Sheyenne River, Size of city in 1920, Keeping livestock in town
231 – Water source, Municipal plant, Convert AC to DC, Baseball
343 – Ball park, Game fees, Hotels
438 – Prominent families, Circuses, Chautauqua Park, Boat service, Plays, Hack service, Streetcar
562 – Teaches at Cooperstown, Salaries, Appointed Registrar at college, College educational fees
680 – Raising educational fees, Financial status of students
Side Two
719 – Finances for college maintenance, Students work with National Youth Association, Other work for students, School becomes a teacher’s college, Enrollment, Military training programs
837 – Instructors of military programs, Enrollment increases, Teacher shortage, Presidents of the college, Outstanding presidents, Adolf’s responsibilities at school
946 – Inspirational and “character” instructors, Appreciation of education, Social life, Student rebellion
061 – Quality of teachers, Stipulations of contracts, Opinion of ND
162 – County fairs
261 – End of interview
Comment:  Adolf was employed as registrar at the college.  The content of his interview is for the most part concerned with the college beginning with its original educational pattern up to the present day.

Tape #19 Mr. and Mrs. Lyle Hill (Valley City)
000 – Introduction
020 – Her family history, A consolidated school at Pillsbury, Businesses at Pillsbury, Businessmen, Other businesses, First child born at Pillsbury
122 – Doctors, Midwives, School busing, Influenza Epidemic of 1918, Nationalities, Church, Catholics
232 – His family history, Reasons for moving to ND, Social life, Baseball, Dances, Basketball
360 – Building roads, First car, Horse traders, Peddlers, An average Sunday, Picnics, Baseball, A Negro team
484 – Chautauqua, They become acquainted with each other, He is employed by dray line
609 – Becomes married, She teaches school and is employed by bank, Grocery prices, Mechanics of dray business, Dray prices, People from Pillsbury leave in 30’s
Side Two
714 – Banks, People leave Pillsbury in 30’s, Prohibition, “Moonshining”, Dust storms, Kerosene lamps, Grasshoppers, Tumbleweed, Discomfort of the 30’s, Better years, WPA
815 – CCC, Railroad passenger and mail service, Silk trains, Trains stopping at Pillsbury, German sympathy to World War I
911 – Rationing following World War II, Better crops, Prices of land, REA, Telephone, Pillsbury school closes
015 – Holiday celebrations, Community band, Chautauqua in area, Circus
104 – End of interview
Comment:  The mechanics of a dray business and status of conditions following World War II are two of the more outstanding topics in this interview.

Tape #20 Mrs. Jenny Keeling (Valley City)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history, Travelling to US, Working with bonanza farms, More family history, Reason for moving to ND, Loneliness by homesteaders, Family history, Bonanza farms
124 – Operation of a bonanza farm, Her education, Businesses at Buxton, Community leaders, Interest in education, Theater, Newspaper, Movies, Churches
224 – A co-worker with Jim Hill, Dancing, A routine Sunday, Minister, Other churches, Changing to English Lutheran services, Her first school, Teacher contract requirements
328 – Schools that she taught, Becomes married, Moves to Oregon, Finances for her education, More about Jenny and her husband’s education
414 – Husband accepts position at San Haven, She begins teaching again, Housing children at San Haven, Salaries, Funds for operating the school, Doctors
515 – Uncomfortable political pressures, Begin Variety store at Dunseith, Move to Hamlet
638 – Admiration of Indians from Turtle Mountain Reservation during 30’s
Side Two
697 – Move to Minnesota, Colorado, North and South Dakota, and Wisconsin following her husband’s education and his teaching career, Rationing after World War II, Spirit of feeling following World War II
799 – Husband’s position at Valley City State Teachers College, Faculty members, Change in student attitude, Discipline, Quality of teachers, Change in emphasis on Liberal Arts, City support of college, Boom of enrollment
904 – Value of small schools
946 – End of interview
Comment:  The volume of content in this interview is concerned with different facets of the educational system at Valley City State Teachers College including faculty, quality, student attitude, and discipline

Tape #21 Mrs. Karolina Meidinger (Valley City)
000 – Introduction
020 – Trip to US, Reasons for buying land in SD, Price of land
132 – Farming with oxen and horses, Raising cattle and sheep, Family history, Working with a plow, Reason for leaving Soviet Union
238 – Location of home in Soviet Union, Travelling with ship, Homesickness, A wooden house, A severe winter
337 – Beggar visits their home, Good and poor crops, Closest town, Nationalities
445 – Midwives, More family history, Disputes between ranchers and homesteaders, Fences, Seeding and harvesting grain
550 – Harvesting grain, 1918 Influenza Epidemic, Size and operation of farm, Karolina’s education
652 – Learning to speak English, She and husband buy house, Move to ND, Home medicinal remedies, Doctors, Other remedies
660 – Storing butchered meat, Canning
770 – Gardening, Root cellars, Storing potatoes, Churches, Minister, Religion of immigrants from Soviet Union
873 – Dances, Meets husband
Side Two
913 – Meeting husband, Becomes married, Separating milk, Selling dairy products, Problems with wolves
017 – Fencing cattle, Prairie fires, Husband farms, Government destroys livestock, Opinion of ND, Buy farm, Location of farm
144 – Her family and their children
283 – Learning to speak English, Opinion of ND
340 – End of interview
Comment:  Historical farming information discussed in this interview is the seeding and harvesting of grain

Tape #22 Jean M. Hill (Valley City)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history, Reason for moving to US, More family history, Reason for homesteading in ND
120 – Scandal of divorce, William J. Bryan’s daughter stays with grandmother, Begins a meat market and brickyard
228 – Nationalities, Other families, Family history, Reputation of city, Leading businessmen, A lumber bill
329 – Other early families, Building Episcopal Church, Businessmen, Anecdote about aiding a man in a ditch, A stonecutter, Irish families, A local priest, Other nationalities, Scandinavians, immigrate to ND, Anecdote about a German learning North Dakota farming methods
439 – Learning to ride horses, Size of city, Volume of trading in business district, Meets husband, Her husband’s family, Social life, Opera House, Lodges, A flying bridge
535 – Concerts, Dances, Religious view of dancing, Friendliness, Elegance of social life, Family history
601 – Political inclinations, Other old timers
Side Two
610 – Family history, Community role of teachers and college, Acquaintance with Minnie J. Nielson, Doctors, Midwives, Caretakers
725 – Election between Neil McDonald and Minnie J. Nielson, Minnie’s political views, Opinion of NPL and support of William Langer and Lemke
800 – Langer’s controversial political figure and grant of favors, Attitude of women in politics, League of Women Voters, Teaching women to vote, Women’s Suffrage, ERA, Temperance movement
915 – WCTU, Effect of prohibition, Economics during the depression, Relationship between wealthy and poor, WPA
015 – Deterioration of buildings, Hobos, Chautauqua tents, attendance and schedule
115 – More about Chautauqua – booking agent, continuity, entertainment
208 – Minority groups, Religious minorities, Desire for wealth
313 – End of interview
Comment:  Jean comments on the elegance of social life in Valley City, political figures of the day, minority groups, and Chautauqua

Tape #23 Herman Stern (Valley City)
000 – Introduction
020 – Moves to US and Casselton, Nationalities, Learning to speak English, Store hours at Casselton, Other towns
154 – Opinion of Casselton, Valley City in 1911, Immigrants to ND, Description of Jewish homesteaders, Brick foundry, Milling company, Livery stables, Creameries
266 – Suppliers of merchandise, Quality of clothes, Workers at Dalrymple farm, Other lines of clothing, Other stores, Credit to farmers, Meeting suppliers, Quality of fabrics, Growth of Valley City    
 368 – Agriculture affects business, Grain prices drop and banks fail, Clothing dyes, Effect of depression upon business and teachers, Roosevelt’s New Deal affects economy
470 – Public cooperation during depression, Climate of people, Reasons for “good old days”, Brings immigrants from Germany during Hitler’s regime
597 – Returns to Germany, Depression lifts in Valley City, The drought in the 30’s, GNDA builds economy in ND
689 – Civic organizations, Social life, culture, and Chautauqua in city
Side Two
725 – Boy Scouts introduced to America, His wife, Atmosphere of relaxation and desire for wealth during teens and 20’s, Herman’s philosophy of life, Discouragement during 30’s, People lose money in banks, Acquaintance and opinion of William Langer’s character, Langer’s controversial political figure, Opinion of Gerald Frazier and Lemke, Popularity of NPL, Controversy between rural and city townspeople
 819 – Political emotionality, Description of Usher Burdick, Government abuse of farmers, World War I sentiment, Jewish population, Federal and state farm programs, AC develops higher grades of seed
885 – End of interview
Comment:  Herman owned a clothing store and comments about the business management of a store, quality of fabrics and clothing, economics, immigrating people during Hitler’s regime, politics, and federal and state farm programs.


612 East Boulevard Ave.
Bismarck, North Dakota 58505
Get Directions

State Museum and Store: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. M-F; Sat. & Sun. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
We are closed New Year's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.
State Archives: 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. M-F, except state holidays; 2nd Sat. of each month, 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Appointments are recommended. To schedule an appointment, please contact us at 701.328.2091 or
State Historical Society offices: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. M-F, except state holidays.

Contact Us:
phone: 701.328.2666

Social Media:
See all social media accounts