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 - Bottineau County

Bottineau County

Region Seventeen
1 Mr. and Mrs. Elmer McLean, Minot 0076A & B
2 Mr. Elmer Jesme, Landa 0077A & B
3 Mr. Rex L. Stair, Bottineau 0078A & B
4 Mr. Harold Refling, Bottineau 0079A
5 Mrs. Marie Chaussee, Bottineau 0079B
6 Mr. and Mrs. Walter Erdman, Bottineau 0080A & B
7 Ernest and Lena Kohlmeier, Bottineau 0081A & B
8 Mr. Carl Frykman, Bottineau 0082A & B
9 Mr. and Mrs. Oluf Festvog, Landa 0083A & B
10 R. P. Taralseth, Landa 0084A & B
11 Edward E. Jensen, Westhope 0085A
12 Eva Maude Findlay, Westhope 0085B
13 Leonard and Bette Lodoen, Westhope 0086A & B
14 Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Vollmer, Willow City 0087A & B
15 Charles Wright, Antler 0088A
16 Earl Schell, Antler 0088B
17 Frank Armer, Bottineau 0090A & B
18 Marguerite Craig, Bottineau 0091A & B
19 Oliver Deschamp (Copy of family recording), Westhope 92A & B, 93A & B

Portions of the following interviews pertain to Bottineau County:
Christine Finlayson #46 Burleigh County 0176A & B
Thomas Bock #5 Ransom County 0766A

Tape #3 Mr. Rex L. Stair (Bottineau)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; Parents’ move from Virginia to Bottineau in 1899; Brick plant near Bottineau; Father’s homestead
134 – Nationalities in the area
160 – Attending school in Newburg; Early businesses in Newburg; Travelling dentists working in hotel lobbies
256 – Businesses in early Russell
292 – Fred Sund and the development of the Sund Manufacturing Company at Newburg
375 – Social life and entertainment; Neighborliness; “The Blind Pigs”; Bootlegging and makers of home brew
473 – Father’s involvement with the NPL and Townley; L. L. Stair’s service as a speaker of the House in the 1919 session; The League program and state enterprises
560 – Personalities of A. C. Townley and Bill Langer; Father’s service in the legislature; Support for the NPL and IVA in Bottineau County; Fights between supporters of the two
721 – Father’s appointment as warden of the state penitentiary in 1920; Recollections of daily life at the penitentiary from 1920-23
904 – A prisoners strike and how his father dealt with it
940 – SIDE TWO – Escape attempts; Training the tracking dogs
985 – Work the prisoners did; Baseball team
028 – How he got along with the prisoners; Opinion of the parole requirements
063 – Why his father resigned as warden in 1923; Social responsibilities of the warden; Father’s friendship with Governor Frazier
120 – Informality of Frazier and his family
145 – Returning to the farm in 1923; Operation of his father’s large farm; Why his father was a NPL supporter
199 – His work in the Newburg elevator; Morale during 30’s; The foreclosures and bank failures; How the 30’s affected the people’s attitudes toward spending money
363 – Farmers Holiday Association in Bottineau County – its lack of activity; Running the elevator in the 30’s
396 – Opinion of farmer’s cooperatives
445 – Cigar factory in Bottineau
482 – Brother’s farming and political interests
500 – Switch from horse to tractor power
564 – Changes in peoples’ attitude and living conditions
658 – End of interview
Comment:  The portion on the penitentiary is one of the best parts of an outstanding interview

Tape #7 Ernest and Lena Kohlmeier (Bottineau)
000 – Introduction
020 – Father’s German background as a gamekeeper for the royal family; Prince Herman’s advice to his father regarding America
113 – Parents’ immigration to the United States; Their mother’s character; Contacts with the old country; Learning to speak English; Attending rural school
210 – Parents’ homestead south of Dunseith; Anecdote about an Indian killed by an early White settler; Relations between Whites and Indians
321 – Their sod house
363 – Land their father chose through homesteading and taking a pre-emption and tree claim; Trips to Dunseith for the supplies; Hauling grain to Willow City; Getting established on the farm 
490 – Hunting and the prevalence of wild game
508 – Early farm machinery; First crop on the homestead
670 – Horsepower threshing rig; Cooking for the threshing crews
765 – Gardening and preserving vegetables; “Frying down” pork; Smoking meat; Knitting
938 – SIDE TWO – Making butter and cheese
990 – Prairie fires; Ranches in the Willow City area; The open prairie
046 – The MD’s in Willow City; Midwives and home remedies; Cooperation of people
131 – The “good old days” and hard times; Living conditions
172 – Dunseith militia; Farming with one horse and two oxen
196 – Social life and entertainment; Card parties; Nationalities in the area
270 – Popularity of the NPL among farmers
302 – Flu epidemic of 1918
330 – Lutheran services in homes by the travelling minister; The strict observance of Sunday; Social activities on Sunday; Baseball games
423 – Businesses in early Fonda and Overly; Overly’s orchestra
500 – Taking over his father’s farm
528 – Poor crop years – 1910; Changes in land use and soil conservation; His first tractors
583 – Farming during the 30’s; Killing grasshoppers with kerosene
682 – Getting rural telephone service out of Overly; The early automobiles
743 – Changes in people’s attitudes over the years
790 – IWW workers on threshing crews; Langer’s popularity in the area
860 – Thoughts on North Dakota as a place to live
874 – End of interview
Comment:  The Kohlmeiers have exceptional memories and are interested in early area history. 

Tape #10 R. P. Taralseth (Landa)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; Father and two brothers come from Norway; Father blacksmiths near Grand Forks; Norwegian early settlers along Souris; Uncles die of TB in early 1900’s; Early nationalities
106 – Early post offices and small towns or stores in area; More on nationalities; Migration pattern into area; Scourge of TB in Taralseth family; Parents’ early impression of North Dakota; Family’s experiences moving from Niagara, North Dakota to Landa area in early spring
215 – Mother’s homesickness for Norway in early years; Story of fellow fishing on land in boat during Souris Flood; Father has advantage coming to area with money; Father’s wind driven feed mill; Father also has neighborhood blacksmith shop; More on TB
310 – 1918 flu epidemic; Cousin dies of flu next to R.P.; R.P. constructs an operating table in kitchen for operation on his sister; Towns that have disappeared in area
444 – Recollections of NPL organizing days; Father was IVA; The emotional level of politics in early NPL days; Early social life; Township meetings in country hall; Concerns of the township government
556 – Tough years in 30’s; Families are able to buy back farms they had lost; R.P. takes out loan on one quarter to pay taxes on others; High morale in 30’s; WPA in area
722 – Baseball in area; Size of farms over the years and R.P.’s opinion of current large farms; R.P. takes over farm after father dies in early 20’s; Horse breeds and characteristics; R.P. had big threshing operation and his memories of it; The feelings about horses
919 – Evaluation of steam engines; Recollections of the threshing operation
SIDE TWO – Heat quotient in different grain straw; IWW and the threshing crew labor; Hard water in steam engines; The travelling with cook cars and sleeping tent; Safety features on steam engines; average cook car meals
122 – Small talk about Enderlin people; Hay during 30’s; TB the reason R.P. never married; R.P.’s feelings about the state of North Dakota; His opinion of coal development
217 – Electricity in area; Difficulties in getting signers for REA; Telephone recollections; Rubbering on the phone; The speculation as a threshing contractor
310 – Credit policy by local businessmen; ;More on threshing and its bookwork; A story about one particular farmer who kept the threshing crews time; Drought stricken area farmers from one area work on threshing crews in crop areas
435 – Bootlegging booze, prohibition, socializing across the border, home brewers, fishing and hunting on the Souris; Jim Hill’s entourage comes to hunt on the Souris
522 – Contentment now and then; Socializing then and now; Small talk about an earlier interview and local eating places
647 – End of interview
Comment:  Iinterview on the area, threshing operations, the flu epidemic and the plague of tuberculosis on one family in that time.

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