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Manuscripts - ND Oral History Collection - 10157 - Kidder County

Kidder County

Region 7
1 Gust Jenner, Tuttle
2 Fred A. and Adalina D. Mehloff, Tuttle
3 Clara Danielson, Tuttle
4 Mr. and Mrs. Al Langedahl, Tuttle
5 Mrs. Caroling S. Haugen, Robinson
6 Gilbert and Pearl Wick, Robinson
7 Henry Hinger, Pettibone
8 Mrs. Mary Schmidt, Pettibone
9 Fay Hoffer, Tappen
10 Jacob Kemmet, Tappen
11 Lee Markham, Dawson
12 E. A. “Swede” Lewis, Dawson
13 Clifton G. Foye, Steele
14 William L. Smith, Steele
15 Jennie E. Smith, Steele
16 Mr. and Mrs. John De Krey, Pettibone (Housed on side #2 of Tape #43 in Burleigh County)
17 Mr. and Mrs. John Arusell, Robinson
18 No Interview
19 Mrs. Arie M. Smith, Steele
20 Mrs. Loretta Thompson, Bismarck

Portions of the following interviews pertain to Kidder County:
Ella B. Erickson, #22, Burleigh County
Mr. and Mrs. Christ Wetzel, #38, Burleigh County

Tape #1 Mr. Gust Jenner (Tuttle) (Sheridan County)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; Coming to North Dakota in 1900 from South Dakota; His parents’ homestead southwest of Goodrich; Account of a Russian family that lived near them
216 – Building a rural school; An illness he had as a young man and how he was cured
268 – Sod houses; Breaking up sod with oxen and horses
330 – Threshing with an Avery rig and running the engine
387 – Nationalities in the Goodrich area; Account of an inland store and land agent near Goodrich; Relations between ranchers and homesteaders
495 – Work he did for farmers as a youth
577 – Farming during the 30’s; Raising sheep
604 – His marriage and children; Acquiring his own farm; Plowing with a Rumely oil pull tractor
716 – Good and poor crop years 1900-1930’s; Grain prices; Loss of some of his farmland in the 30’s and the repurchase of it later
915 – Recollections of Lemke and Langer speaking in Tuttle
973 – Buying stock in A. C. Townley’s oil well at Robinson
015 – Meeting his wife; Her family
033 – Social life; Playing his fiddle for dances
169 – Gust plays some selections on his harmonica
200 – Baseball games and bicycle races; Horse races
270 – Thoughts on farm organization
289 – Sources of fuel – manure, coal, and corn; Shearing sheep; Getting electricity; The wind charger on his farm
395 – Finding hay in the 30’s; Feeding thistles to cattle
455 – End of interview
Comment:  Mr. Jenner offers information about social life and working on farms as a youth to supplement family income.  His selection on the harmonica is very entertaining.  The account of farming in the 30’s is valuable.

Tape #2 Mr. and Mrs. Fred Mehlhoff (Tuttle) (Sheridan County)
000 – Introduction
020 – His family history; Coming to ND from Mitchell, South Dakota; His parents’ emigration from South Russia in 1900
069 – Her family history and their emigration from South Russia; Nationalities in the Goodrich area
100 – Attending a rural school and learning to speak English
140 – His parents’ homestead; The typical size of a homestead family; Threshing grain by having horses trample the grain
217 – Neighborliness and cooperation of people; Early methods of seeding grain, plowing, and harrowing  
273 – Moving by horse and wagon from South Dakota to Goodrich – a two week trip
343 – Description of an early horse power baler; Threshing; Sources of fuel – manure and coal
440 – First crops on new breaking on homestead farms; The Washburn flour mill; Small towns that are now gone – Stark and the Langedahl post offices
534 – Good crop year of 1915; Early ranches in Kidder County; Open range
597 – Gardening and preserving food; Making sauerkraut and pickles
711 – Butchering hogs and cattle; Curing meat and making sausage
840 – Getting his own farm near Tuttle in 1924; Putting up ice for area towns to make extra money
940 – Cutting ice with an ice plow and a team of horses
202 – Baseball games in Tuttle
242 – Organization of the NPL in the area; Townley’s oil well near Robinson; Discovery of gasoline in Robinson’s town well; Publicity of this leading to drilling an oil well near town
439 – His opinion of League Politicians – admiration for Lemke and Langer; The State Mill and Elevator; The Farmers Union; General comments on politics; Usher Burdick and the Farmers Holiday Association
715 – End of interview
Comment:  Mr. Mehlhoff’s detailed account of cutting and delivering ice and his knowledge of Townley’s oil well operation are the outstanding portions of this interview

Tape #3 Mrs. Clara Danielson (Tuttle)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; Her grandparents move from Iowa to a North Dakota homestead in 1884 by covered wagon
186 – Prairie fires; An early brand of breakfast cereal; Shopping trips to Steele
265 – Her father’s first years in ND and her parents’ marriage; Family history; The Jacobson family
369 – The Jackman ranch; Other ranches in the area; Account of a murder
580 – Family history; Her father’s ranch; Building the railroad into Tuttle; Herding cattle on open range
069 – Neighborliness and cooperation of early settlers
122 – Her husband’s background; Their marriage and farm; Story of the rapid death of four of their horses from eating grasshopper poison
310 – The flu epidemic of 1918
365 – Moving to Tuttle in 1930 to run a gas station
394 – The 30’s – Dust storms and grasshoppers; Morale
501 – Early businessmen in Tuttle; Nationalities in the area; Account of a sheep rancher
703 – Tuttle’s decline; Bank failures and a banker’s suicide
860 – Ladies Aid socials
885 – End of interview
Comment:  This is a very enjoyable interview and it is generally informative throughout.

Tape #4 Mr. and Mrs. AL Langedahl (Tuttle)
000 – Introduction
020 – His family history; Hauling coal from Wilton; His father’s years as postmaster at Langedahl Post Office; Other rural post offices in the area
113 – Nationalities in the area; Family history; Hauling mail on skis from Steele; A Lutheran pastor who travelled on skis
178 – His parents’ homestead and the construction of their house; Death of a mailman in a blizzard; Midwives
258 – His father’s service as a county commissioner and in the North Dakota legislature; Support for the NPL in Kidder County
290 – Plowing thistle covered fields in the 30’s
313 – His family history; Mrs. Langedahl reads a history she had written on the family
424 – Tuttle’s baseball team and players; Arena’s team; Colonel Tuttle; Playing ball against Bismarck, the State Penitentiary, and other towns
721 – End of interview
Comment:  Mr. Langedahl’s knowledge of rural post offices in the area and his account of early baseball teams are the best portions of this interview.

Tape #5 Mrs. Caroline S. Haugen (Robinson)
000 – Introduction
020 – Immigration to South Dakota from Norway in 1900 and moving to the Robinson area in 1905
107 – Her husband’s immigration from Norway; Their marriage and homestead near Robinson; Moving by immigrant car to Bowdon, North Dakota from South Dakota; Getting started on their farm
426 – Nationalities in the area; Series of stories and memories of life on the homestead; Driving a mule team; A prairie fire; Burning manure in the cook stove
726 – End of interview
Comment:  Mrs. Haugen tells many stories about homestead life, but it is difficult to follow her narrative.

Tape #6 Gilbert and Pearl Wick (Robinson) (Stutsman County)
000 – Introduction
020 – Bad blizzards
040 – His family history; Moving from Minnesota to North Dakota in 1906; His parents’ homestead near Robinson; Other early settlers
114 – Her family history; Playing girls’ basketball and attending school; Social life; Dances
268 – Nationalities in the area; Relations between ranchers and homesteaders; Walking and skiing nine miles to get mail
311 – Selling eggs and cream; The creamery in Dawson
339 – Religious services in rural schools; Area churches
410 – Her teaching experiences in rural schools
464 – The flour mill at Temvik; Buying supplies for the whole winter
525 – Preserving meat; Buying pickled herring in pails; Ordering from catalogs; Travelling peddlers
659 – Hunting wild game and the prevalence of wildlife in the early 1900’s
690 – Hauling grain prior to the existence of Robinson; Construction of the railroad through Robinson and traffic on the line
825 – Digging wells on homesteads; The difficulty of finding good water in Robinson
901 – Townley’s oil well at Robinson
926 – SIDE TWO – Finding gasoline in the Robinson town well; Story of his father who got 80 gallons of gasoline out of the well; Townley’s promotion of the well; The Robinson Development Company
073 – Farm support for the NPL in Kidder County; His political persuasions
143 – Farm mortgage sales in the 1920’s
170 – Moving to Robinson in 1914; Working in a Jamestown meat market during the 30’s; Meat prices in the 30’s; The railroad cooperative grocery and meat store
254 – Her work teaching school beginning in 1922 at rural schools in Kidder County; Difficulty of a married woman finding work in the 30’s; Why she liked rural schools
476 – Neighborliness of people in the early 1900’s
509 – Hard times in Jamestown in the 30’s; WPA projects; Low farm prices for grain and livestock; Transients on the railroad; Getting surplus commodities
681 – IWW workers; The “hobo jungle” in Jamestown; Feeding hobos
782 – Thoughts on modern prosperity and how people would survive another depression
844 – Getting electricity in Robinson
860 – End of interview
Comment:  This is an excellent interview throughout.

Tape #7 Mr. Henry Hinger (Pettibone)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; His parents’ homestead north of Pettibone and their emigration from South Russia
108 – Difficulty of finding a good well on the homestead; Nationalities in the area; Sod houses
207 – Sources of fuel; Prairie trails; Rural post offices
240 – Prairie fires
305 – Family history; Growing up on the prairies; Social life; Children’s chores; Farming with horses and oxen
355 – Ranchers in the area and troubles with homesteaders
417 – Qualities needed in a successful homesteader; His father’s work on an NP railroad section crew out of Jamestown
458 – Threshing with horsepower and steam; Good and poor crop years; Varieties of wheat
527 – Selling butter and cream to a rural store north of Pettibone owned by Henry Dell
620 – Attending a rural school and taking over his father’s farm
638 – Social life and dances; His first car, a Reo; Improving roads and making grades with horse drawn graders
727 – Pettibone’s growth; Need for diversified farming in the 20’s; The flour mill at Bowden; Preserving food; Making yeast
922 – End of interview
Comment:  This is a generally informative interview

Tape #8 Mrs. Mary Schmidt (Pettibone)
Tape A
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; Emigration from South Russia to Wishek, North Dakota in 1903; Passage on the ship
103 – Her parents’ homestead near Streeter; Their house; Burning cow manure; Stories of life on the homestead
174 – Nationalities in the Streeter area; Neighborliness of people
214 – Her marriage and her husband’s background; Their farm near Lake Williams; Nationalities in the area
304 – Her children delivered by a midwife; Work she did while she was pregnant; Field work she did on the farm; Selling butter and cream in Lake Williams; Milking 14 cows
562 – Root cellars; Dirt floors in homes; Sod houses; Making sauerkraut with apples; Preserving food; Making pickles; Gardening
861 – Sewing clothes; Early sewing machines; Using flour sacks for cloth
931 – End of Tape A
000 – Introduction
020 – Making a living during the 30’s; Finding feed for livestock; Morale; Items they got as surplus commodities; Grasshoppers; Her husband’s purchase of another farm
170 – Work she does in retirement; Thoughts on modern society and religion
265 – Family life when her children were young; Her children today; Social life in the early 1900’s; Cooperation of neighbors
352 – Lighting in homes prior to electricity; Washing clothes; Making soap
435 – The flu epidemic of 1918 and her illness with it while she was pregnant and home alone with two little children
546 – Wildlife in the early 1900’s; Coyotes
560 – End of interview
Comment:  This is the life story of an unassuming but remarkable woman who raised eight children, grew a big garden, sewed clothes for her family, milked many cows twice a day for most of her life, and did much of the field work on the farm.  In short, it is the story of a woman on the homestead.

Tape #9 Mrs. Fay Hoffer (Tappen)
000 – Introduction
020 – Her family history; Her parents’ homestead south of Tappen; Her father’s move to Tappen to run the hotel in 1911
081 – Nationalities in the area; Businesses in early Tappen; The Troy farm
190 – The bank in Tappen and its failure in 1929
244 – Teaching in rural schools in the 20’s and 30’s
286 – Morale and neighborliness during the 30’s; Activities in Tappen during the 30’s; Saturday night shopping
380 – Effect of affluence upon neighborliness; Her mother’s works as a neighborhood nurse
468 – Electrical service in Tappen; WPA activity
559 – End of interview
Comment:  Mrs. Hoffer was ill, so the interview is very brief.  It does contain some general information on the topics listed above.

Tape #10 Mr. Jacob Kemmet (Tappen)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; Emigration from Russia to North Dakota; The trip over; Their farm in Russia, the crops and livestock raised there; Reasons they came to ND
220 – Coming to Tappen from Kendall, South Dakota; Their homestead south of Tappen; Kepler’s store in Dawson; Purchase of another farm in 1911
284 – Building a combination house and barn out of clay blocks
340 – Nationalities in the area; Burning manure in stoves; A homemade furnace
591 – Drilling water wells by horse power; The extent of his father’s farm; A farmer who plowed with oxen; Early farming methods and machinery
719 – Threshing rigs
776 – Gardening; Making sauerkraut; Preserving food
840 – Milking cows and selling bream to the creamery in Dawson
905 – Shopping in Streeter and Dawson
932 – SIDE TWO
932 – Attending rural school
946 – The good crop in 1915; Early automobiles; Poor roads
982 – Grasshoppers in 1918 and trying to poison them with arsenic; The flu epidemic of 1918; The doctor in Dawson
022 – A big rancher south of Tappen and his dislike of homesteaders
051 – His start in farming, marriage, and loss of his farm in 1936; Crops in the 30’s
097 – General comments on politics; Land prices in 30’s; Sources of income on his farm
130 – Early tractors; Beginning irrigation on his farm
184 – Getting electricity on the farm; Wind charger systems; AN early 6 volt system; Getting a rural telephone system; Getting a rural telephone line
257 – Farm programs
286 – Thoughts on life in ND; Social life in the early 1900’s; Religion and churches in the area
417 – End of interview
Comment:  Mr. Kemmet has a remarkable memory and is an expansive talker.  His memories of the village life in South Russia are valuable.

Tape #11 Lee Markham (Stutsman County)
000 – Introduction
020 – His parents’ move from South Dakota to southern Stutsman County; Family history
122 – Brown bonanza farm south of Jamestown; The Alexander farm; A big ranch near Alfred
183 – Steam plowing rigs; Early settlers in the Alfred area and their nationality; Fist fights at ball games in Jud
270 – His brothers and sisters; The railroad through Jud, Alfred, and Millarton; Extent of settlement in Millarton area
350 – Milking cows and selling cream; Prices for flax and wheat in the early 1900’s; Good crop years
429 – Conditions leading to the rise of the NPL; His support for the NPL; Getting his own farm near Dawson; His wife’s family
554 – Organization of the NPL in Dawson and hard feelings between farmers and businessmen; A. C. Townley; Langer’s reorganization of the League; L. C. Pettibone’s political influence in Kidder County and his friendship with Alex McKenzie; How the McKenzie machine worked; Arguments used against the NPL
989 – Townley’s oil well near Robinson; Townley’s personality and friendship with Bert Morrison of Robinson.  The attempt to start consumer stores by the NPL; Relations between Lemke, Burdick, Langer, and Townley
197 – Usher Burdick
272 – His opinion of North Dakota’s best political leader; The election of 1934 for governor; Moody’s disqualification; Stories about Bill Langer
513 – Merger of the Democrats and NPL
641 – Comments on current North Dakota Politicians and coal development
770 – End of interview
Comment:  This is an excellent interview throughout

Tape #12
Mr. E. A. “Swede” Lewis (Dawson)
000 – Introduction
020 – General conversation
035 – Family history; Coming to Dawson from Minnesota in 1904 and starting the Dawson Creamery; Changing the family name from Larson to Lewis
090 – Operation of the creamery; Cream routes they travelled; Rural post offices where they picked up cream; Getting the farmers started milking cows
231 – Building the hotel in Tappen; Travelling the cream route; Keeping the cream sweet in the summer; Shipping the butter out on the railroad
515 – Wildlife in the early 1900’s; Hunting ducks and coyotes; Hunting dogs
596 – Early ranchers; The Troy farm
651 – Nationalities in the area, predominantly German; Prevalence of diversified farming in the early 1900’s
870 – Why small creameries failed
920 – Businessmen in early Dawson
943 – His education in Dawson schools; Working on the Northern Pacific Railroad; Service in France in World War I
094 – Returning from the war and starting farming; Working for the Highway Department; WPA progress; Making a living in the 30’s
152 – Morale in the 30’s; Loss of population
190 – Social life; Recreation at Lake Isabel; Businesses in early Dawson and its decline; Dawson’s trade area prior to automobile use; Blind pigs
294 – Coxey’s army; A murder in early Dawson; Bootlegging in the area and making home brew
415 – Getting electricity and telephone
456 – Neighborliness of people; Family life
508 – Hobos and transients on the railroad
548 – Organization of farm cooperatives in Dawson; His opinion of large-scale farming
632 – End of interview
Comment:  Mr. Lewis is an expansive talker.  The interview is informative throughout but is particularly valuable for the account of the Dawson creamery.

Tape #13 Clifton G. Foye (Steele)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; His marriage and wife’s death during the flu epidemic of 1918
162 – Businesses in early Steele; Nationalities in the area; A Scottish settlement
250 – Indian travels through the area
281 – His father’s general store in Steele and problems collecting bills; Ordering goods for the store
460 – His parents’ first impressions of ND; Family history; Their store in Cleveland, ND
570 – His schooling; Playing basketball for Jamestown College in 1909; Coaching basketball
732 – His marriage in 1914; Her death in the flu epidemic of 1918; His illness; His second marriage
892 – His tourist camp near Steele
923 – Account of a robbery of his gas station; His insurance agency and confectionary store
080 – Morale during the 30’s; Early businessmen in Steele
159 – His friendship with John Moses and activity in the Democratic party; Langer’s good works
264 – The NPL and the Democrats
332 – End of interview

Tape #14 William L. Smith (Steele)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; His father’s adventures in the Black Hills
101 – The brickyard in Steele
145 – W.F. Steele, his land and business interests
228 – His father’s railroad contracting business; Building railroad grades with horses and scrapers; Horse drawn muckers; Making cuts through hills
515 – His father’s big horse barn in Steele; Sending the horses to Minnesota lumber camps in the winter; Horse ranchers in the area
650 – His work on the contracting crew; Living in tents and the cooking outdoors in camp
714 – Finding men to work on the crew
845 – Railroad lines his contracting crew built; Cooking for the crew; Feeding the horses
055 – Importance of the railroad to the small towns; Happiness of people, formerly and presently
077 – His schooling; Purchase of the Steele Hotel
123 – Nationalities in the Steele area; Perseverance of some homesteaders
184 – The 30’s in Steele; Decline of population
213 – His mother’s love for the prairie; Neighborliness
310 – Social life in the construction camp; Italian laborers hired by contract as a group; Finlanders on the crew
433 – End of interview
Comment:  The information on this tape regarding construction of railroad grades is very outstanding.

Tape #15 Jennie E. Smith (Steele)
000 – Introduction
020 – Her father’s railroad construction business and her childhood spent travelling with the crew; Her duties in the business; How the construction camp was laid out; Behavior of the laborers
138 – Her mother’s liking for the construction business and travel life; Destruction of one camp in a prairie fire
176 – Cooking for the crew; Getting supplies and food; Daily life in the camp; Care of the horses; The blacksmith who travelled with the crew
346 – Her liking for life in the construction camp
396 – Her father’s purchase of the hotel in Steele and his addition to it; Their farm near Steele; Her father’s restaurant and butcher shop in Steele; Negroes in early Steele
499 – Childhood in Steele; A girls’ club they formed; Social life; Churches; Dances and orchestras; Fraternal organizations
725 – Her schooling in Steele and at a Fargo business college; The serving as postmaster in Steele from 1922-1934
840 – Immigration into the Steele area; The lack of controversy over Women’s Suffrage
914 – Changes in attitudes toward alcohol at parties; Visiting the neighbors; Changes in the pace of life
972 – The 30’s in Steele; Running the hotel in Steele; Number of “travelling men” in the early 1900’s; The hotel dining room
078 – The Chautauqua in Steele; Road shows and other entertainment
169 – End of interview
Comment:  Miss Smith offers some valuable recollections of life in the railroad construction camp that her father operated.  This is a useful compliment to the interview with her brother, William Smith

Tape #16 Mr. and Mrs. John De Krey, Jr. (Pettibone)
(On Side 2, Tape #43, Burleigh County)
000 – Introduction
020 – His thoughts on Watergate
040 – His family history; Moving to North Dakota from Iowa in year of 1904; Expansion of the farm in ND
117 – Early settlers in the area; An early horse rancher
182 – Nationalities in the area; Religious services in the school; Dutch families
254 – His first impressions of ND; Their combination house and barn; Early settlers in the area; Locating the homestead land
332 – Difficulty finding good water; Building a house and barn; Prairie fires; Bad blizzards
454 – His mother’s dislike of ND and homesickness for Iowa; First crops planted on new breaking; Milking cows; The prosperity of his father after a few years of farming; Putting up hay on open land; Wildlife in the early 1900’s
601 – His father’s skill at laying bricks and rocks and carpentry; Buying supplies in Tappen before Pettibone was built in 1910
656 – Constructing the rural telephone line in 1907 or 1908
677 – Social life and entertainment; Family life; His father’s ideas about religion
827 – Milking 40 cows and selling cream in Dawson; Cost of meals in Dawson; The value of a dollar in 1910
929 – Attending school
946 – End of Tape A
000 – Introduction
020 – Their marriage and starting their farm in ND and buying the land; Good and poor crop years from 1917 to 1945 and the variations in grain prices
165 – Raising a family in the 30’s; Raising sheep; WPA work
185 – Generating electricity with wind chargers and Delco plants; Use of five wind chargers to generate for Pettibone
238 – Spread of weeds after prairie was broken; His father’s big farming operation; Cost of a good work horse; Picking rocks
359 – Building the railroad into Pettibone in 1910; Businesses in early Pettibone
418 – The early Farmers Union and Nonpartisan League; Townley’s oil well near Robinson producing refined gasoline; His theory of how the gasoline got into the well; Her dislike of Townley and the NPL
520 – Organizing the Farm Bureau in the early 1940’s; His opinion of farm programs
651 – Raising corn in the early 1900’s; Breaking sod with a steam rig
721 – End of interview
Comment:  The most informative portion of the interview deal with family history, early farming methods, and settlement of the area.

Tape #17 Mr. and Mrs. John Arusell (Robinson) (Adams County)
000 – Introduction
020 – His coming to the US and to ND; Working for farmers
101 – Nationalities in the Reeder area
134 – Her family history and their homestead near Reeder
162 – The flu epidemic in 1918; Prairie fires
195 – Crops near Reeder from 1908 – 1920; Digging coal
260 – Building materials used in homestead houses – sod, lumber, stone
304 – NPL activity in Adams County; Townley’s oil well near Robinson; Recollection of A. C. Townley; Other early oil drilling operations in Kidder County
673 – Making a living during the 30’s; Working on WPA
725 – End of interview
Comment:  Some general information regarding the above topics is available in this brief interview.

Tape #18 Era Bell Thompson (Driscoll) and Helen J. Downing (Steele) (Burleigh County)
000 – Introduction
020 – Ms. Thompson’s family history; Her first impressions of ND
084 – Her father’s work for Governor Frazier
129 – Her mother and their family life; Thompson’s move to city of Bismarck
157 – Helen’s family history and their homestead near Steele
316 – Prairie fires
324 – Neighborliness of homesteaders; Absence of racial prejudice in the Steele area; Ordering from catalogs; Self-sufficiency on Helen’s parents’ homestead
391 – Hard times on Ms. Thompson’s parents’ farm
420 – Mrs. Thompson’s father’s friendship with Frazier; Other blacks in Bismarck and Mandan
475 – Ms. Thompson’s attendance of Bismarck schools and being a subject of curiosity because she was black
574 – Anecdote about Bill Langer taking Ms. Thompson to dinner in the Senate dining room and a meeting they had in Chicago
631 – Ms. Thompson’s start in journalism and her education
802 – Attending UND and racial prejudice in Grand Forks; Views of society toward black people in the early years of her career
933 – SIDE TWO
933 – Problems of being a black woman; Attitudes toward interracial marriages
000 – Books she has written; General remarks about racial prejudice and the black movement
305 – Comments upon Brazil’s racial mixture, and racial prejudice
441 – People Ms. Thompson admires in the literary field; The treatment of Africa in literature and common myths about Africa
516 – Ms. Thompson’s view of the future of racial relations; Comments on racial slurs
648 – End of interview
Comment:  Era Bell Thompson and Helen Downing are observant women with remarkable insight.  Their accounts of growing up as black women in North Dakota are invaluable.

Tape #19 Mrs. Arie M. Smith (Steele)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; Their homestead near Steele
092 – Getting elected Kidder County Register of Deeds in the 1930’s; Other jobs she has held; Her health; Her children and her friends
194 – Account of a stone building constructed by WPA in the 1930’s
216 – Her parents’ homestead near Steele; Comments about local history in general
270 – Account of a bad blizzard in the 30’s; Self-sufficiency on the homestead
312 – Social life and entertainment; Her teaching experience; Nationalities in the Steele area and their churches
418 – First impressions of the Steele area; Early settlers; Comments on welfare
460 – Changes in peoples’ attitudes; Irresponsibility of young people today
520 – Her children and grandchildren; Decline of the work ethic and the work she did as a child
737 – Reading material in her parents’ home
811 – Her education; Getting a teaching certificate
932 – The benefits of education; Teaching in rural schools
077 – Serving as postmaster in Crystal Springs in 1926; Business in the town
170 – Her interest in politics; Her dislike of Bill Langer after selling a house to him, for which he didn’t pay
284 – Getting elected Register of Deeds in Kidder County in 1930; Beating the incumbent and holding the office until 1966
349 – Public opinion in the 1930’s toward women in public office; Hard times in the 1930’s; Bank failures and the loss of her savings in the Tappen bank; Morale; Effect of the depression upon one’s character
476 – Steele’s early medical doctors; Changes in the cost of medical care; Midwives; The flu epidemic of 1918
724 – End of interview
Comment:  Mrs. Smith has a good memory and is an expansive speaker, but she does tend to ramble occasionally.

Tape #20 Mrs. Loretta Thompson (Bismarck) (Dawson)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history
099 – Nationalities in the Dawson area; Her Austrian ancestry; Her grandparents
142 – Prairie fires; Wolves and coyotes
195 – Origin of the Catholic Church in Dawson; Catholic services in her grandfather’s home
228 – Attending rural school and Dawson High School; Family history; Neighborliness of people
312 – An injury in her family and her grandfather’s surgical ability; The flu epidemic of 1918 and its effect on her family; Midwives; Delivering babies herself beginning at age 17
432 – Her father’s involvement in politics and friendship with Langer; Jim Hill’s hunting trips near Dawson; Prevalence of wild game
518 – Picking and selling buffalo bones; Live buffalo that did bother her grandfather’s cattle
590 – Preserving food and raising a garden
660 – The Americanization of her grandparents; Her father’s work as a German-English translator in law courts and government offices
724 – Her marriage
740 – Early businessmen in Dawson; Social life and entertainment
819 – Her husband and their ranch near Dawson; Early ranches in the area and ranch work she has done
857 – Raising livestock during the 30’s; Dust storm; Morale of people in the area; Grasshoppers; The bank failure in Dawson and loss of their savings
963 – Dawson’s decline; Area small towns and post offices that are now gone
984 – Improvement of area roads; Early automobiles
022 – Ed Johnson, and early veterinarian in Dawson
058 – Lighting in the home; Delco plants
081 – Changes in peoples’ attitudes over the years; Winter sports; Dances
123 – End of interview
Comment:  Mrs. Thompson is articulate and has a good memory.  The tape is informative throughout, although the portion dealing with buffalo on the prairies as late as the 1880’s should be verified.

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