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Manuscripts - ND Oral History Collection - 10157 - McLean County

McLean County

Region 12
1 Harriett MacDonald, Washburn 570A & B
2 L. J. Totdahl, Bismarck 571A & B
3 Philipp Wall (Unreleased), Bismarck 572A & B
4 Dr. John W. Robinson, Garrison 573A & B, 574A & B
5 Mrs. Carolyn Madl, Bismarck 575A & B
6 Gladys F. Schulz, Washburn 576A & B
7 Fred R. Jefferis, Washburn 577A & B
8 Oscar Anderson, Washburn 578A & B
9 Oscar L. Nordquist, Washburn 579A
10 Henry Lorentzen, Washburn 579B
11 Axel W. Nelson, Underwood 580A & B
12 Guy E. and Rose Sellon, Turtle Lake 581A & B
13 Thomas and Florence Boe, Turtle Lake 582A & B
14 Amos Mathews, Turtle Lake 583A & B
15 O. F. “Otto” Schumacher – John Schoner, Turtle Lake 584A
16 Jessie M. Clark, Turtle Lake 584B
17 Charley and Persis Hanson, Turtle Lake 585A & B
18 George Aas, Garrison 586A & B
19 Ria Miller, Garrison 587A
20 Harry Pochant, Riverdale 587B
21 Matt Sawicki, Wilton 588A & B
22 Anna Duma Hruby, Wilton 589A
23 Frank Ragowski, Wilton 589B
24 Mrs. Anstacia Krush, Wilton 590A & B
25 Mr. and Mrs. Nick Soloquk, Wilton 591A & B
Mrs. Mabel Howling Wolf and Mathilda White, White Shield 1098A & B
Dan Hopkins, White Shield 1099A

Portions of the following interviews apply to McLean County:
Clara Hedahl, #24, Burleigh County 156A & B
Rudolph N. Haugen, #11, Ward County 1024A & B

Tape #1
Miss Harriet MacDonald (Washburn)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; Moves to North Dakota; Post office; The homestead location; Closest town; Works at New Orleans; Siblings; Filing preemption or tree claim
130 – Sells grain; I.P. Baker riverboats at Washburn; Railroad; Coleharbor is moved; Elected sheriff; Other settlers; Stage route; Nationalities; Post office; Some important settlers; First wave of settlers; Neighbors
246 – Rural school; Nationalities; German-Russians; Live in a log house; Brother stays on farm; Experiences with the prisoners while father was sheriff
346 – Continued experiences such as rehabilitation
446 – Anecdotes about prisoners such as escapes; A hanging; The rowdiness on holidays; Term as sheriff; Origin of murderers and reasons for murder; Prisoners present gifts to family
569 – Live above jail; Feeding prisoners; Melting snow for the water; Family cares for prisoners during father’s absence; Arson’s fire; Leslie Burgum minister in area; A hobo story
675 – Crime rate; Anecdotes about murders; Sheriff’s term ends; Returns to farm; Postmistress; Post office; Mail route; Frequency of delivery; Newspapers; Catalog ordering
785 – Area served by post office; Other post offices; Attends a rural school; Teachers from East; Distance to Bismarck; Trips away from home; Boards teachers; Description of log house; Board a stranger from Indiana; Buffalo bone collectors light fires
935 – Prairie fires; Diamond Willows and coal burned for fuel; Mines; Price; Making a living during early years; Keeps charge account; Sells eggs; Grocery prices; Sells cream; Cooling cream; Learns to milk cows; Preparing cheese
102 – SIDE TWO – Preparing cheese; Friendliness among the many nationalities; A story about sheltering her father in a blizzard; Father is assisted while walking from Coleharbor; Leaces North Dakota; Crops, prices, churches, and the kind of entertainment in 1910-19; The Russians and the Swedish; Family friends; Theater; Riverboat show
216 – Captain Marsh visits family; Riverboat landing; Captain Marsh’s character; Boats that Captain Marsh pilots; A boat hand injured by paddle wheel; Freight handled by the boat and stage; Passenger traffic by boat; Pilots boat that moved dead and injured soldiers from Little Big Horn; Captain Marsh’s grave; Indian major presents father with Indian gifts
312 – Farms with horses; Farming with oxen and mule; Rents land; School land; Average size farm in 1910; Lease the school land; Threshing crews; Season begins in September; Cook car; General feeling with threshing season; Dances; Music; Square dance caller
413 – Winter recreation; Telephone; Building a rural line; The power plant; Electricity; Wind chargers and standby plants; King John Sadland promotes settlement of county; Washburn Hotel; Sheriff’s salary
516 – Rural school; Compares knowledge of city and rural students; Horse barn; Getting to school; Describes the stage; She receives compensation as postmistress; Present marking of old post office; Community awareness, personality of the people, and lack of communication among individuals today
620 – Family togetherness; Reasons for “good old days”; Winter games at home; Sewing; Importance of gardening; Cellar; Sharing chores; Newspapers; Gathering and canning fruit
730 – Importance of catalogs; Orders a doll
773 – End of interview
Comment:  Harriet discusses experiences with the prisoners while her husband as sheriff, Captain Marsh’s boats, King John Sadland, Coleharbor, and a general description of her family’s life.

Tape #2 L. J. Totdahl (Bismarck)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; Leave Norway; Live at Washburn; Sod house; Relinquishment; Family history; Homesickness; Trips to town
134 – Adjusting to elements of North Dakota; Job opportunities; Nationalities; Towns; County seat; Collect wood, fish, and pick berries along Missouri River; Ash fence posts; Trading towns; Burning lignite coal; Use cow chips for fuel
243 – Distance to mine; Warmth and furnishings with the house; Musical instruments; Norwegian newspaper; Rubbering on the telephone; Describes the telephone
361 – Neighbors; Language barrier; Anecdotes exemplifying this barrier; Attitude of the settlers and ability to adjust; School term
480 – Board teacher; Getting to school; His education; Mercer High School; Encouragement of education; Minister; Attends normal school; Teaches school; Methods of teaching; Number of students; Resolving the language barrier in school; Key to teaching; Location of school
620 – Organization of schools; Compulsory education; School term; Ridicule of education; High school graduates; Names of the teachers; Board teachers; Suitors of the teachers
743 – Congregation is founded; Ladies Aid; School programs; The dances; Buy car; Going to town on Saturdays; Lack of electricity stunts social life; Lamps; Radio; Visiting on the Sundays; Itinerant minister
857 – Keeping the pastor at nights; Bachelor minster; Location of church; Bible school; German and Norwegian services; He teaches parochial school; Nationalities; Adjusting to a German school; Merging of churches
997 – Community loyalty; Food differences among nationalities; Buying lutefisk; Cans beef; Preserves pork in brine
102 – SIDE TWO – Raise garden; Cellar; Cans fruit; Remodels and moves to church; Clothing; Boards while attending high school; Animosity among rural and city students; Participation in social events; Attends college; Lives at home during summer; Feeding thistles in 30’s; Sell farm; Buy a farm
225 – Sources of farm income; Success of 1914-15 crops; Buy an automobile; Drawbacks of farming methods; Grasshoppers; Hail; Rust; Father works away from home; Owners of the threshing rigs lose money; A Townley rally; Father’s interest in politics; Employment of reading; The community antagonism among political parties
360 – Present existence of NPL; Nationalities supporting NPL; The interest rates attract members to NPL; Expense of the farm machinery; Extent of most farm incomes; Enmity among the nationalities during World War I
486 – Gets married; Superintendent at Mercer school; Wife teaches school; Social opinion about married women teaching; Moves to Steele and Crosby; Salary; School superintendent; Wife teaches rural school; Moves to Williston; Works with social services; Retires; Children; Paying teachers in the depression; Their social status in 30’s; The grocery credit; Banks close; Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
600 – Democratic party gains members during depression; He seeks legislative office; Sincerity of purpose, choices, and the opportunities in education today
716 – Affluence changes human behavior; Morality; Social status of women today; Malfunctions of society; Liquor
882 – End of interview
Comment:  An excellent interview.  Topics that excel others are language barriers, importance of education, and politics during the 30’s.

Tape #4 Dr. John W. Robinson (Garrison)
Tape A
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history (came in 1883); Fort Stevenson and Fort Berthold; His father’s butcher shop in St. Louis, Missouri
097 – Reason for moving from ST. Louis to North Dakota; Naming of town of Coal Harbor (Coleharbor); Problems of finding good water
146 – Their homestead; Raising horses; Wintering horses; Farming on the homestead; Hauling wheat to Velva
240 – Schooling; Teacher’s salaries; Businesses in Coal Harbor; His father’s store in Coal Harbor; Naming of Cole Harbor
331 – Hauling freight to Coal Harbor; Steam boats on the Missouri; Brief description of early University of North Dakota; Woodyards on the Missouri and the men who ran them
500 – Recollections of E. A. Hughes of Bismarck; Steam powered tractors
571 – Crews on the steam boats; Steam boating in general; Gasoline powered freight boats on the Missouri
679 – Recollections of Grant Marsh
702 – End of Coal Harbor in 1905; Coming of the Soo Line Railroad; Naming and origin of Garrison
813 – Hauling freight from Velva and grain to Velva
869 – Early threshing rigs; Cooking for threshers; Feeding cattle at straw stacks
945 – SIDE TWO
002 – Expansion of his father’s farm
023 – Early cattle ranchers; Prairie fires; Driving cattle to Bismarck for sale and riding a cattle train to the World’s Fair in Chicago in 1893
214 – Early settlers in the area of present Riverdale and Garrison
251 – Hanging a horse thief in 1884 near Coal Harbor; Local vigilantes in the late 1800’s; Early county sheriffs; Stories about horse thieves
445 – Raising cattle and horses on the open range; Selling horses; Driving broncos from Montana to North Dakota
550 – Prices of horses in the early 1900’s
605 – Early gas tractors
640 – Funding of early schools; The Coal Harbor school
796 – Origin of the Congregational Church in Garrison
884 – End of Tape A
000 – Introduction
020 – His education; The University of North Dakota in the late 1890’s; Professors and classmates; Teamster’s dress during cold weather
114 – His decision to become a veterinarian and his education
125 – Anecdote about railroad travel during the flood of 1902
241 – Veterinary school in Chicago; Beginning veterinary practice at Coal Harbor
307 – Glanders disease in horses in North Dakota; Inspecting horses for the disease and destroying diseased horses; Problems of travelling to farms and ranches in the early 1900’s; Problems of convincing farmers and ranchers to destroy diseased horses; The area he served as a veterinarian
425 – The growth of his practice by 1905; Purchase of his first car in 1907 to make his rounds; Obtaining gasoline and service for the car in small towns
517 – Veterinarian work in German-Russian communities – the language barrier
541 – Description of early Mannhaven and Krem, North Dakota
618 – General discussion of early automobile travel
687 – His marriage in 1909 and automobile trip to Yellowstone Park in 1910
783 – Moving his drugstore from Coal Harbor to Garrison in 1905; Movement of other businesses to Garrison in 1905; Early Garrison’s business and community leaders; The homestead boom near Garrison and homesteader’s hardships
937 – SIDE TWO
948 – His drugstore in Garrison in the early 1900’s
966 – Giving credit to people during the 1930’s; Working on a government livestock inspection program during the 1930’s; Bank failures in Garrison and the 1930’s in general
075 – His fondness for horses and his veterinarian work with horses and mules
101 – Social life and entertainment in Coal Harbor and Garrison; The first electrical system in Garrison; Dances; The Chautauqua shows near Underwood and in Garrison; Circuses and rodeos; The Indian fair at Elbow Woods; Picnics
265 – Early telephone service in Garrison
278 – The NPL and the Independent Voters Association in the Garrison area; NPL speeches in the area; The Farm Holiday Association
400 – His experiences with Bill Langer and Lynn Frazier
444 – The first churches in Garrison; Religious services in Coal Harbor
492 – Observations about changes in clothing and attitudes over the years
544 – Observations on North Dakota and on strip mining
589 – End of interview
000 – Introduction
020 – Move to ND; Family history; Father came from England; Father was in butcher business, no refrigeration; Delivered meat in a wagon and cut it as people bought various cuts; The Homestead location
134 – Digging the well; Horse business; Herd of horses; Raising horses without a barn for shelter; Imported stallion to produce better farm horses; Wheat selling for 38 cents a bushel; Breaking land to seed wheat; Farming with oxen and walking plow; Harvested with reaper; Sowed the first grain by hand; Describes machinery used to farm
243 – Schools in Cole Harbor and teachers; Salary, board and room; First and only store in town financed by dad and uncle; Freight hauled by team and wagon or sleigh during winter and steamboat in summer
343 – Steamboats and difficulties they had being stuck on sandbars; Firing them with cord wood, couldn’t use coal; Heated homes with coal and used kerosene lamps; Cutting wood to sell; Steamboats carried passengers; Loading the steamboats
490 – Load of wheat sunk; Ed Hughes built the Prince Hotel; More about steamboats and the crews that ran them
646 – Year steamboats stopped and gas boats began; Shooting geese on sand bars; Old town of Coal Harbor died in 1905; How Garrison got its name and the beginning of the town; The railroad coming in
820 – Nearest town was Bismarck until other towns began; Began hauling wheat to Velva; Settling for wheat; Threshing in early years
SIDE TWO (Reset)
004 – Cooking for threshers on coal stoves in hot weather; Method of measuring grain; Stacking straw in large piles; Feeding cattle straw to stretch hay; Also using straw piles for cattle for shelter; Hard winter and heavy loss of cattle
067 – Land his father bought from people that left their claims of lost them; Running cattle on large ranches that reached as far as Minot
155 – Coulees never had brush in early years because of prairie fires; Herding or chasing cattle 60 miles to sell them, stopping at various points to corral them for the night; Cattle shopped by railroad to Chicago or St. Paul; Riding caboose along with cattle to Chicago and attending World’s Fair; Handmade pair of cowboy boots for $5.00; Ferris Wheel at the fair
265 – He attended the Chicago World’s Fair and others after that
278 – Neighbors on the homestead; Anecdotes about neighbors; Horse thieves; Convicting a thief and hanging him
397 – Early school teacher; Locking barn so horses wouldn’t be stolen; Dogs stolen
439 – First Sheriff – 1883; Stealing cattle and taking them into Canada; Paying for return of stolen horse bought for wife; Open country for grazing horses
531 – Rounding up horses that strayed in winter grazing; Selling broncos; No trouble with mares foaling until horses were domesticated; Took veterinarian course; Chasing horses across the river; Bought two large groups of horses for the business; Problems with mares foaling; Using iodine on young horse navels
630 – Cost of broncos was $50 to $75 each; Domesticated horses sold for $150 to $250 each; Early settlers bought them for farming; First tractor used in 1910
709 – Early schools; Money for operating them; Taxes on land was $7 a quarter; Bought own books; Reciting poems learned in grade school; Winter term and summer term of school
827 – Blacksmith and his family; Teachers and how they traveled to and from school
870 – Churches; Congregational Church now called First Church of Christ; Made a loan to pay off mortgage on church after they built it; Church dinners help finance the church
002 – Introduction; Continuation of interview
145 – Attending high school in Bismarck; Attended University of ND; Took Veterinarian Medicine so he could take care of horses on the farm; Later received degree from a college in Chicago which was a three year school; Life of campus; Clothing worn; Many had buffalo coats; How they dressed for warmth
145 – Water over railroad track by McKenzie slough; Train had to back up to Jamestown; Had to cross in a boat; Crossing river near Washburn with horses; It was so deep the horses had to swim; Pulled the buggy across with ropes
243 – Graduated from Chicago Veterinarian College in March 1903; He was the only registered veterinarian between Williston, Carrington, Minot, and Bismarck; Very busy schedule but poor pay as trips were far – sometimes 20 miles; Cattle weren’t worth much and people didn’t have the money; Did government work which helped financially; Cleaned up an incurable disease in horses; Ganders disease; The state paid to destroy many of them
383 – Livestock sanitary board created by law in 1907; When a diseased horses was condemned they had to kill it; Allowed $50 for each horse that had to be killed by state; A diseased horse infected other horses and humans; It was fatal to humans
428 – In 1907 he started drug store in Cole Harbor and gave full time to his practice; He also bought his first automobile which was a Cadillac in 1907; It used four dry celled batteries and was very dependable; Parts had to be obtained from Minneapolis; Gasoline was no problem to buy in small towns; He carried a five gallon can of gasoline along; It ran 30 miles to the gallon so lasted for awhile
542 – Towns of Mannhaven and Krem
619 – Trip to Yellowstone in 1910; He knew all about his car to make necessary repairs needed on the road; He devised a winch to get himself out of mud holes, etc.; They had to go through water holes on foot first to decide if the car would make it; He tells about his various cars and the trails they drove on
783 – Moved his drugstore into Garrison in 1905; It is used today as a gift shop; First home built in Garrison; Prominent people of Garrison; Beginning of the carious business places; Tells of homesteaders poor living conditions and hardships; Medical doctor said he could describe his biggest problem with them in three words – worry, anxiety, and fear
939 – Tells of medical doctor’s calls to homestead families; Long days in the Drugstore as doctors needed medicine at all hours of the night
970 – Many people were unable to pay him for his services; Government inspection work among cattle for Bangs disease also TB testing helped financially; Price of cattle; All banks of Garrison except one failed, it was the one he was in; It is now Garrison State Bank
030 – Garrison’s population now and in the 30’s; WPA work building small dam with team and scraper
053 – Morale during the 30’s
078 – His love for horses; Precautions taken in treating horses; Mules brought in from Missouri
101 – Social life consisted mostly of dances and cards also visiting from house to house having singing parties; Chautauqua
200 – Rodeos – riding wild bronco, etc.; Indian Fairs at Elbowoods; They came and camped ahead of time and butchered and hung the meat out to dry so they’d have eats during their fairs
232 – They had picnics nearly every Sunday going great distances
260 – Phone service operated through central office
278 – NPL created ill feelings between merchants and farmers; Politician that sold donut cookers; Politicians set up tents for their rallies; Problems created by the Politicians; Independent Voter’s Association; Selling liberty bonds
400 – Experience with Governor Langer; Tells of some important documents
454 – Churches in old Coal Harbor; Some held services in farm homes; Ministers walked to get to their services
495 – Changes in people during his 96 years of lifetime; Many changes in clothing; People aren’t as willing to help each other anymore; People did lots of borrowing from each other
550 – His preference to living in ND; He dislikes coal mining because of the way it leaves the land
Comment:  An excellent interview.  Dr. Robinson has a vivid memory of steamboats, mechanisms of early cars, and a variety of topics of interest.  He tells of history of the Garrison area.  

Tape #5 Mrs. Carolyn Madl (Bismarck)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; Born on reservation at Elbowoods; Her father, Glenn Mattoon came to ND in 1880 on a steamboat from St. Louis, Missouri; He was first school teacher in Cole Harbor; He homesteaded by the river; Town of Well near Falkirk
094 – Names of some early settlers; Her father was an Indian agent at Elbow Woods
123 – Father worked on Ft. Berthold Reservation in 1900 and later transferred to Montana and back to Elbow Woods
153 – She attended school in Montana; Describes Mr. and Mrs. Charles Hall; Indian relationship with her father
223 – Riding on steamboats; Different captains of the steamboats
243 – Parents both school teachers before marriage and college graduates
255 – Tells of Indian burials; Indian kids she associated with as a child; Indians and their living conditions, their homes, and customs
325 – Their home on the Indian Reservation; They had water system; Residents of Elbowoods; Her father’s work among the Indians
474 – Indian war dances; Indians reaction to deaths in their families; The various Indian breeds in Montana
500 – Her father resigns after being transferred to Idaho because of unruly Indians
530 – Indian marriages; Indian delivering special package on horseback
630 – Life among the Indians; Stages coming every day; They carried mail and freight
713 – Her parents moved to Forsythe, Montana after resigning the Indian agency in Idaho; He worked in the bank
748 – Indian life at Ft. Berthold; They received rations of food every week; Various incidents that happened in Mannhaven
860 – Nationality of early settlers around Underwood; Some of the ranches in the area
919 – Burning coal and wood for fuel; Quality of the coal; Irrigation system her father had operated by a steamer that burned coal; The families love for the farm; She loved outdoor life
039 – Flu epidemic of 1918; Her husband was in service in France at that time; Life among early homesteaders
087 – Social life consisted of dances and especially barn dances
110 – Cost of horses; Politics of father; Father had no time for NPL; Various promoters of NPL; Rural telephone systems; Proposed town on her father’s land
253 – Chautauqua discussion
312 – Married in 1920; Lived across the river from her dad; Due to schooling for children they sold out and moved to Washington but the climate didn’t agree with their health so moved back; Milked cows in the 30’s for a living; Plenty of hay because they lived near the river; Sold cream at Stanton
Comment:  This interview discusses her father, Glenn Mattoon while he was an Indian agent.  It has lots of information about the Indians.  It consists mostly of her father’s life.

Tape #6 Gladys F. Schulz (Washburn)
000 – introduction
020 – Parents came to ND the year it became a state; Father was a doctor; They settled in Washburn in 1896; They didn’t like it here at first; It was said, “it’s a good place for men and cattle but hell for women and horses.”
080 – Missionary Hall, Congregational minister; Good relations with the Indians; Provided services for white people also; He and his wife took Indian children to school at Bismarck
157 – Dr. Forbes, her father’s territory had no bounds it included McLean and Oliver Counties; Operated on kitchen table; Owned a drugstore; Dr. mad calls with a team
227 – Scandinavians settled around Washburn until last years
239 – Paid doctor fees with chickens and butter exchanged at stores for money; Her father performed many surgeries
280 – Their home was the gathering place for the younger generation; Dances at people’s homes; Farmers hosted dances and served suppers; Chautauquas that lasted 5 days to a week; Dances held at the town hall
357 – Organizations such as lodges existed for the men; Women’s groups came later
372 – Methodist church the oldest church; A country Lutheran Church also held services; People were strict about inter-marriage among religions; The Germans from Russia were strong Baptists but some changed to be Methodists
437 – Growing up in a town near the river had lots of advantages; Thrill to see Steamboats come in
456 – Big celebrations during July 4th; They had parades, races, and picnics; Horse races in town
493 – Trip by Steamboat to Mannhaven with her mother; Captain Marsh was in charge; Workers on the steamboat
567 – Large rock in the river that had carvings on it; Only seen when the river is low
613 – Comparison of the river then and now; Bowery located near it where programs were held; The band; Interesting characters
675 – Only 3 democrats in McLean County; Her father was one
690 – Discussion of the Patterson and Grand Pacific hotels
738 – Railroad used for travel, freight, and mail; Ferry operated until the dam was built
803 – Father operated an office where he took office calls; Washburn has grown in size over the years
840 – Attended school in town, no high school; Her mother took the children to Valley City so they could attend high school; Teaching at LaMoure
942 – Community of LaMoure was very prosperous; Attended Presbyterian Church where prominent people went; Contracts of the teachers; Very active in church
982 – Husband’s background was of German from Russia origin being born in SD; He ran the store for 60 years
019 – King John’s coal mine called the Black Diamond Mine; Coal sold locally
056 – Business places in Washburn; Roof beam of old general store took special freight cars to bring it here; Lumber was specially ordered
080 – Fishing in the river; Many people sold fish; Large sturgeon caught
095 – Necessary to own cow; Ate wild meat
118 – Teachers vaccinated for smallpox; Flu epidemic of 1918; Every nurse and doctor available worked
175 – NPL; Political gathering at Brush Lake
220 – Her father never owned a car but bought a motor boat
250 – Depression
287 – The family
321 – WPA and CCC’s; Commodities for low income families
360 – Economy picked up soon as farmers got a good crop
395 – Baseball; Teams they played
428 – Telephone; Electricity went off at a certain time at night; Cut ice from river; Used water from river for home use
538 – Saloons and blind pigs; WCTU; Owners of the flour mill
653 – End of interview
Comment:  Mrs. Schulz has a vivid memory of Washburn.  She lived there since the early 1900’s.  Her husband operated a store for 60 years and her father was the doctor.  This is an informative interview.

Tape #7 Fred Jefferis (Washburn)
000 – Introduction
020 – Early settlers names from the county; Born in California, lived in Ohio, married in 1916 and took a trip to Benedict, ND in 1917; Like the country; Bought small newspaper; Tough sledding the first couple years
165 – His newspaper’s view of NPL – unfavorable; Ran competition with the other Butte newspaper; Moved to Washburn and bought half of the paper, later owned it
258 – King John, a farmer, politician, and promoter; Responsible for location of the town; Owner of coal mine and power plant
329 – Politics; Power plant furnishing electricity for other towns; Succeeding power companies
385 – Coal mine; Satterlund’s view of the NPL; His criticism
452 – Leaders that opposed the league; Langer’s change in views of the league; Newspaper business in Washburn
617 – Early settlers were Swedes and Norwegians; Germans cam later; When the railroad come through other towns sprang up; Then the Russians settled near Butte, Max, Benedict, Ruso, and Kief
709 – Description of early Washburn; Boats were used to move grain and lumber; Business in the 30’s
950 – Old buildings of the town; Joe Taylor, prominent man of the time; Lewis & Clark historical site located where they had their camp overlooking the river
120 – Killing of the Wolf family at Turtle Lake in 1920
180 – Some early settlers
255 – Ice harvest in 1900; Shipped to all towns within reasonable distance; Uses of ice
391 – Woodland Lodge 1896; K.P. Lodge 1899; First Boy Scout Troup at Washburn in 1915, second organized in the state; History of the Boy Scouts
549 – Early newspapers and publishers of the area
780 – End of interview
Comment:  This interview deals largely with the newspaper business.  He has a vivid memory of news events, politicians, and early history.

Tape #8 Oscar Anderson (Washburn)
000 – Introduction
020 – Born in ND in 1891; Parents came in 1800’s from Sweden; Father was a carpenter; Neighbors
090 – Work on the boats; Names of the early boats; Started out as watchman in 1910; Worked on ferry; Promoted to engineer
170 – Steamboats; Loading and unloading; Stopping points of the boats; Discussion of captains of the boats; Crossing the river with its changes; Problems grounding the boats
327 – Amounts of grain and lumber hauled on the boats and barges; Hauled coal in the fall from the railroad; Summer meant work on the landings; Future use of the river
435 – Discussion of the motors of the boats, and the fuels used; His responsibilities as engineer; Living conditions for the workers
575 – The river now, and changes over the years
590 – Work at San Francisco in in 1916 and going to sea
647 – Built the ferry in 1950 and 51 at the cost of $23,000; Poor business so discontinued in 1962; Material and engine used for the ferry; Problems confronted with the landings and no traffic for business; Stanton ferry; Cable ferries
854 – Sailing on the ocean during the first and second world wars; Bombs and torpedoes; Names of boats he sailed on and descriptions of them; His work as engineer
932 – His interest in engines since a child; Boats and engines he worked on over the years
960 – Fishing at sea, varieties caught; Varieties of fish in Missouri in early 1900’s
001 – Talk of the river; Views of coal gasification; Coal development and strip mining
039 – Sailing on the ocean; Favorite ports; Dangers of some foreign ports; Cargo hauled; Storms at sea; Bermuda Triangle
129 – Jobs on the freighters; Shore time; Repair work on the ships
204 – Crew assignments of the early steamers; Crews; The cooks; Food aboard; Gambling
260 – Discussion of the Patterson, Sioux, and other hotels
282 – Homemade brew; Bootleggers on the river; Crossing on the ice in winter
345 – Length of time for trips by ship from San Francisco to Australia; South sea islands
409 – Flu epidemic on ship; His experience with the flu; Depression
476 – Shortages of food during the first and second world wars; Convoys of ships during the wars
534 – Coming back to the prairies after so many years on the ocean
594 – End of interview
Comment:  This interview gives a considerable amount of information about the early boats on the Missouri.  He built a ferry and ran it for 10 years.  34 years of his life was spent on the ocean.

Tape #9 Oscar L. Nordquist (Washburn)
000 – Introduction
020 – Born in ND in 1886; Family came in 1884 from Sweden; Built sod house on preemption and later another on the homestead; Neighbors; Describes building of a sod house; Mined own coal; Hauled water a quarter of a mile; Furniture in the home; Living conditions
135 – Farming; Hauled grain to Bismarck and Velva, later on the steamboats hauled it; Post offices; Stage line
185 – Threshing machines; Horse power; Steam engines; Hiring help for threshing; Cooking for threshers; Pay for man and team; Help slept in haymows and straw piles
237 – Food in early years; Midwives; School
293 – Ranchers farther north; Hay; Prairie fires; Bad years on the farm; Took over the farm in 1913
378 – Entertainment consisted of visiting neighbors and fellowship at church; Dances, baseball, and house parties
487 – Life in the 20’s; Farm home burned in 1931; Moved to town; Farmed from town; Politics
550 – Flu epidemic took many friends; Stopped all public gatherings
610 – Rough years of the 30’s; Shipping train loads of cattle for $20 each; Worked with Dr. Robinson; Feed for the cattle; Rust in ‘35
710 – WPA; Work with surplus commodities
825 – Business places of the early 30’s; John Satterlund; Power plant; Farm Bureau
927 – End of interview
Comment:  This interview deals mostly with farming, shipping cattle for the government and distributing surplus commodities.  It is informative throughout.

Tape #10 Henry Lorentzen (Washburn)
000 – Introduction
020 – Discussion of paintings; His people are sea faring people; Grandfather lost at sea in a storm
148 – Grandfather on mother’s side homesteaded in 1883 three miles northwest of Washburn; It was the third homestead in McLean County; His father and mother established homestead in the area; Father a painter and carpenter; Friend of Capt. Marsh
169 – Washburn best landing of any river town; Describes Capt. Marsh and tells anecdotes about him
200 – Father’s background; Father’s choice of land; Treasures burned in house fire in 1964; Washburn only seven or eight cabins when his people came
280 – Parents good friends of John Satterlund; Description of Satterlund; Story of how Washburn began; Black Diamond mine; Power plant built in 1917
360 – Nationalities of early settlers; Early Irish families; Building railroad into Bismarck and the bridge; Stone left from building the piers and what they were used for
420 – Discussion of some of his paintings; Recollections of the steamboats and their captains; Capt. Marsh friend of Mark Twain
450 – Schoolteachers; Art and music; Attended school in Washburn, distance of 4 miles across coulees that filled with snow; Caught rides with teams that hauled coal to town every day; Father died while children were small; More about teachers and their names
590 – Coal teams from Satterlund’s mines and other mines and their owners; Describes mine owners
639 – Steamboats and converting the engines to gas
670 – Social life in early 1900’s; Select groups; Talented musicians at house parties and dances; Kids had sleigh riding parties; Describes various sleds; Flashlights; Limited skating on Missouri but skated on creeks; Expert skaters; Describes the skates with wooden frames and clamp on skates; Gathered at homes for lunch after skating and sledding
875 – 4th of July celebration; Indians speaking through interpreters
930 – End of interview
Comment:  An interview dealing with art and water vessels.  Some valuable history of early Washburn.

Tape #11 Axel W. Nelson (Underwood)
000 – Introduction
020 – Came from Kansas City, Missouri in 1889 when he was 2 years old; Father came from Sweden; Homesteaded near Cole Harbor and Underwood; Furniture in homestead shack
154 – Getting established on the homestead; School; Store; Neighbors
220 – Farming with oxen; Threshing; Hauling grain to Velva
285 – Wages in old country; Satisfied with life here; Ranches; Half way house; Wells
356 – Hauled coal from the river where it washed away; Crops first years; Rocks; Gophers; Garden; Churned butter for trade
450 – Christmas; Schooling; Stayed home and worked with father after schooling and later bought and managed the farm; Years were fair until the 30’s; Never marries; Various neighbors; Ten acres of breaking was considered good for a season
607 – Changes that took place when the railroad came through; Discusses the railroad
718 – Exempt from draft during first World War; Flu epidemic and deaths caused from it
751 – Comparison of early Cole Harbor and Underwood; Farming in the 30’s; Sold out in ’46 and boom town of Big Bend built on his place; Experiences in the dust years; Worst year was 1936; Grasshoppers
835 – Looking back over the years and comparing people; more traveling now; No more working together as necessary in earlier years; Coal development
935 – His views of large farming operations
960 – NPL; Discusses people’s views of NPL and IVA
037 – Farmers with families worked for WPA
081 – Large fire that burned as far as Devil’s Lake; Burned fire break to save their lives; Winters with so much snow; 1936 had severe cold weather that never warmed up warmer than -28 for three weeks
198 – Quality of hay from virgin prairie; Abundance of wild game
255 – Recollections of the steamboats
295 – German family starting flour mills at Underwood
328 – End of interview
Comment:  This interview deals mostly with farming.  It contains rather general historical information about the area.

Tape #12 Guy E. & Rose Sellon (Turtle Lake)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family came in 1902 to live; Homestead 20 miles north of Washburn; Built house of rough lumber and covered it with sod; Well one half mile from home; Her folks came in 1907; German Romanian background; Came from Romania and stopped over at martin; They stayed with relatives a while then walked behind 4 wagons, furniture, chickens, cows, 2 oxen and 2 horses, all the way to Turtle Lake from Martin
150 – Walking behind the plow barefooted as children; The wool skirts the mother made; Washing clothes outside; Children selling gopher tails as their only spending money
200 – Both families had to change occupations; Hard adjustment in learning how to farm; Food that the families ate included what they raised besides buying flour, sugar, and coffee with exchange from selling wheat; Cooling meat on the windmill overnight
282 – Nationalities of the families; Both families lived close together; Breaking the land; Equipment used; Harnessed 36 horses each morning for farming; Children worked in the fields; Neighbors worked together for threshing
387 – Prairie fires; Sellons lived on wild game
425 – Post office; Early stores; Early towns; First mail route in 1916; Cleaning wheat with fanning mill and hauling it to town with wagons
559 – Going got so rough in 1918 his folks decided to give it up but his mother got sick and when she recovered things got better; Raising vegetables and potatoes; Lived on potatoes and cornmeal mush
617 – No crops for 2 years and no feed for cattle; Her father lost his farm; Mother very sick and not expected to live but mended
672 – Hardships in teens, drought, tornadoes, and hail; First tractor in 1925
718 – Country church served the people for miles; Families associated with neighbors in outdoor games and house parties; Sing fests; Checker champs; Handmade Christmas presents and Valentines
834 – Change in country life when REA came in; Prairie homes kept lights in windows so people could find their way; Father lost in blizzard but was found in time
875 – NPL was strong in area; Meetings in school houses; Political rallies and ball games; League speakers on 4th of July so combines with picnics; Both fathers thought a lot of Langer; He helped people if they’d write him; Town people stayed IVA; They weren’t involved in Farm Holiday Association; Short lived
017 – End of interview
Comment:  This interview gives details from both families’ experiences at homesteading.  It is interesting and informative.

Tape #13 Thomas and Florence Boe (Turtle Lake)
000 – Introduction
020 – He, his mother, and 2 small brothers came with a group from Minnesota in 1902; The boys were 4, 6, and 8; She died in 1905 and the neighbors took the boys to raise; When they started school they couldn’t speak English; Florence’s people came from Norway in 1885; Homesteaded in 1903 southeast of Turtle Lake; German married Norwegian; Her grandfather died of injuries sustained in Civil War
192 – Early store and post office near Crooked Lake; Turtle Lake began in 1905; Remembers when the first train came in
235 – She reads a reading her parents beginnings at homesteading; Discussions of the living conditions of the sod houses and its furnishings; Burned wood but mostly coal
305 – Used slough water for household and stock; His mother cooked for various hotels and was seamstress in between; Only lived on homestead in summer
352 – Her parents had drilled well after her mother had typhoid fever; Windmill; Prairie fire that burned hay and un-harvested crops; She and neighbor boy found evidence that an ex-convict had started it when he burned his old clothes
415 – Anecdote of a neighbor and his team of oxen; Homestead life was hard on women especially when she was left alone while her husband worked out
455 – Eating native game for food and burning cow chips; Hauling wood from the river
488 – The Boe family moved in 1902 to homestead; They attended the Lutheran Church; All Norwegian speaking services
535 – Comparison of early Mercer and Turtle Lake
571 – Farming with horses; Early recollections of financial status
630 – Schools; Early reading material; Slicing potatoes and baking them on the back of the stove and popping corn evenings
700 – Dances and home parties
717 – Baseball in summer
727 – Teachers; State exams; High school; Skiing from big hills; Toboggans
788 – Midwives; He had to be midwife for oldest son; Early doctor; Flu epidemic; Closed schools; Did chores for sick neighbors
840 – Married in 1923; Farming in the 20’s and 30’s; People were poor but took time to visit each other; Their children; Farming and livestock; Rust in 1935; Bought land and paid for it; Didn’t lose any in the rough years; Sold off cattle when feed was scarce; Many people left in rough years; Perseverance paid off
976 – He was foreman of WPA project until he got pneumonia; Served on county committee of ASC for 20 years; Machinery used by WPA; Surplus commodities had to be applied for at Washburn; Because of his position he was able to recommend for the commodities
090 – Budgeting the cream check; Essentials in groceries amounted to staples only; Worms in flour from mill at Washburn; Everlasting years; Flour sacks used to sew everything
172 – Both banks at Turtle Lake closed; She had been lucky and drew her money out in time
231 – NPL was good for the people to stand up for their rights; Townspeople did not share the farmer’s view; Langer; Farm Holiday Assoc. did lots of good but were radical; Farm loans
380 – Threshing; Transient help
430 – End of interview
Comment:  A very interesting interview of homesteading life of both of their families.  His mother came with three small boys and died leaving her boys to neighbors.  With hard work and luck they did very well.

Tape #14 Amos Mathews (Turtle Lake)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family came from White, SD in 1902 with two covered wagons and about 150 head of cattle; Hauled chicken coup with 50 chickens and horses pulling the wagons; Trip took 6 weeks; Homesteaded east side of Crooked Lake; Heard Teddy Roosevelt speak; Father elected to Legislature in 1906; Father raised sheep, pigs and mother raised chickens, turkeys, and geese; Homesteading and buying land; Crooked Lake was dry in the 30’s; Nationalities of the neighbors; Suckers and perch in the lake
154 – Prairie fires stopped at Crooked Lake; They came from the west and luckily they lived on the east; Storm that drove cattle into the lake and they froze to death; Ranchers
195 – Mother taught school; Family of 6 children; Crops in early years; Drought in 1910; Breaking land with bulls
240 – Finished grade school then passed teacher’s examination and taught 9 years; First school in Russian area in 1909; Story of Russian general selling out to the Japs; Children came to school in winter with no shoes, feet wrapped in rags; Taught in German area and learned the language; Salary
335 – Worked on WPA writer’s project for 18 months; He talked to old timers about their histories; Relates stories of the early times; Sent stories to Bismarck
414 – Bough farm; Got married; Bad years – baby died, well went dry, barn blew down, house burned, the divorce; Worked on dairy farms in Minnesota awhile
434 – Attended school at Wahpeton a year then joined National Guard; Returned to Turtle Lake area and worked on newspaper; Retired in ’57; Worked for Conrad Pub. Co.
558 – Member of NPL; Langer and Towner; Baseball teams in every township; Church of Christ; Baseball pictures
720 – Used water from Crooked Lake for the house; Ate lots of fish from the lake; Story of coyote and sheep buck; Other stories about the buck
764 – Burned cow chips and flax straw; Good days until the hard times of the 30’s; Mixed grasshopper poison
820 – REA and telephones; Closest elevator was Velva; Store near Crooked Lake built by S.T. Wiprud; Carrying mail by team and wagon in 1914 to 1916; Pay was $102 a month but after expenses nothing left; Finished term for Turtle Lake policeman then went to Montana
944 – View of living in ND; Experience with Indians at the County Fair
983 – End of interview
Comment:  This interview is very interesting as he tells about his homesteading experiences and nine years of teaching school.  He also worked on newspapers and has an interesting way of expressing himself.

Tape #15 O. F. “Otto” Schumacher (Turtle Lake)
John Schoner
000 – Introduction
020 – Came in 1905 from Underwood where he was born in 1904; His folks came from Dakota Territory in the 80’s; Tells story of uprising of Sitting Bull; Father had been in grain buying business there; Settlement of Wanamaker; Railroad
103 – Nationalities of people living around Turtle Lake; Many of the first businessmen; First doctor; Comparison of early town and now; Town water
213 – People in town had milk cows, chickens, and hogs; Selling mild for 7 cents a half gallon; Ice cutting at Brush Lake, used for household needs
312 – Doctor’s office; Flu epidemic; More of early business places and their owners
411 – Discussion of Bill Langer; Langer’s moratorium and its effect of the business people
572 – Depression years; WPA built sidewalks, roads and dams
715 – Thresh crews from various states; Story of men hired to shock grain and writing a check with a .22 bullet
929 – End of interview
Comment:  Two men talk on this interview.  The main subject is the early business places and their owners.

Tape #16 Jessie M. Clark (Turtle Lake)
000 – Introduction
020 – Parents came in 1886 from Iowa; Settled northwest of Turtle Lake and ranched near Ruso; Large scale farming later on; School in a room in her home in 1896; Neighbors; Sulky plow
120 – Mail; Coal from Underwood; Winter’s supply in the fall
168 – Frame homes; Church in school house; Card parties and dancing in the homes
268 – Prairie fires didn’t burn the sod houses; No fires after the prairies were worked for farming; Poor teachers in rural areas; High school; Father died in threshing accident in 1918; Many people died of the flu, some sick for only several hours
372 – State exams; Business course at Mankato; Good superintendent; Methods of teaching school; Attended normal at Valley City and taught in rural ND and SD schools; Salaries; Board and room
585 – Image in the community; Discipline; Attendance; Records
665 – Mixed grades in the classroom; Honor student; Recess; Christmas programs; Picnics last day of school
860 – Lignite coal and its problems
933 – End of interview 
Comment:  This is a very interesting interview about the life of a country school teacher. 

Tape #17 Charley & Persis Hanson (Turtle Lake)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family came in 1883 and went back to Iowa but returned in 1884; Lived in Iowa 7 years; When they first arrived from Sweden they farmed in Iowa; Father and mother were squatters at first then filed on 3 quarters; Dug hole in ground 3 feet deep then used cottonwood lumber for frame and covered it with sod for a house; Story of fire in sod house that burned mother, she recovered; Well that had to be dipped into with a pail
190 – Tools and machinery brought along to farm; Started driving team and later loaded everything on the train
235 – Grandmother was a midwife; Brought instruments from Sweden; Grandfather died from accident with a load of hay and wild team
269 – Bad winters; Snow covered sod houses; Burned river wood and coal; Hill by Underwood where coal stuck out so they worked together and scraped the dirt off; Story of coal mine cave in
350 – Farming 400 acres in Iowa; Some relatives stayed there; Buffalo bones and arrowheads; Community of Ingersoll; Story of storm that turned school house around
432 – Post office; Stage route; Born in 1892; Neighbors; School built in 1885; Cemetery built nearby; Nationalities; Church services at the school
547 – Father built log house, siding over logs; Nine children
577 – Her family settled in Cass County in 1880; Met through college at Fargo; Relatives
644 – Brother died while going to college; Finished grade school at Underwood
684 – Ranches; Horse thief; Hangings at Horseshoe Valley; Story of horse rustlers; Story of lost letter; Lynchings; Story of mare and her sense of snow storms
934 – Women’s role in pioneering; Early means of travel was by foot
955 – Playing games and visiting neighbors source of entertainment; Neighbors pitching together whenever help was needed
002 – Mother’s garden and barrels of sauerkraut; Cellar for storing vegetables; Fear of prairie fires; No fences and no roads; Herding cattle; Lots of work for the kids
058 – Cutting hay; Hay slough; Later planted alfalfa in 1887; Seeding and binding rye and winter wheat; Set out a variety of fruit trees and flowers in 1885
150 – Father owned part share of threshing machine; Later methods of threshing
195 – Married in 1915; Bought quarter of land and began farming; Good flax crop; Plenty of feed in 30’s; Family
391 – Preference for ND
408 – End of interview
Comment:  An interesting interview that deals with farm life with its good years and bad years.  His Swedish accent adds a special touch. Mrs. Hanson also comments.

Tape #18 George Aas (Garrison)
000 – Introduction
020 – Born in 1885 in Dakota Territory; Father filed in 1878 on homestead in Sheyenne Valley south of Valley City; Didn’t need marriage license just agreement to be man and wife; Lots of people from northern Norway settled in the area; Mother died of pneumonia when he was 1 ½ years old, leaving 4 children; Father built log house on bank of the Sheyenne River
144 – Indians passed by their home because they lived near the road; No trouble with them; Fish in the river; Farmed with oxen; Flour mill at Valley City
241 – Buffalo bones sold for $3 a wagon box; A few live ones left and lots of deer
281 – School on dad’s homestead; Anecdote of a well; Burned wood; Built log barn and 2 log houses
325 – Debates and school programs; Dances and parties in dad’s large log house; Post office at Kathryn
401 – Left Sheyenne Valley to file near Benedict; Anecdote of buckwheat pancakes; He and brother filed together; Socialists; Russians good neighbors; Served on school board and township board
600 – NPL; Leaders and why it was a good organization
720 – Building railroad when they arrived; Midwives; His family; Farming with oxen; Four oxen to walking plow; Harness for oxen; Problems with oxen; Worked in Minnesota in winter; Animals scarce for trapping
819 – Cow chips for coal; Land prices; Threshing near Valley City and near Benedict; Problems of company owned machine; Good crops and prices until the 30’s
020 – Woman socialist organizer at Cole Harbor; Worst years of the 30’s was 1936 and 1937; Plenty of hay for cattle; Grasshoppers; People dried out to the west of them and moved out
119 – First tractor in 1928 and threshing machine; Learning to run the tractor; Hauled coal south of Velva; Hauled flour from Minot; They used 1300 lbs. a year
225 – Boss on WPA; Discussion of Farm Holiday Association sales
315 – Proud of ND; Advice to the younger generation
Comment:  An interesting and humorous interview telling of farm life.  For being 90 years old he has a vivid memory and from his viewpoints it’s easy to understand why he was a leader in the community.  His accent adds a special touch.

Tape #19 Ria Miller (Garrison)
000 – Introduction
020 – Mother and she came in 1905 from SD; Brothers and sisters came before and all homesteaded in the same area; She liked the area right away; Flood in SD; Nationalities of settlers in area
127 – Post office at Emmet; Garrison didn’t exist at first; Reading of an article she wrote; She was a teacher
213 – Celebration at Expansion; Ride on Capt. Marsh’s boat; Description of Capt. Marsh; Anecdote of a stagecoach
360 – Spend summer in 1909 in Alberta, Canada but returned in the fall; Beginnings of Garrison; Early business places and their owners; Description of merchandise in some stores
467 – Mother took up homestead when 65; Sons did the work; Dry years from 1907 to 1917; Had to buy seed for 10 years; Husband lost eye in 1925 and later lost sight in other eye; Daughter died of ruptured appendix; Son’s accident with horse; Six children
624 – Conditions were better in the 20’s; Social life consisted of visiting; Methodist church; Rev. Peterson, homesteader; Sod houses; Horse ranches; Oxen farmers; Husband joined NPL; Well acquainted with Townley; Not in favor of Farm Holiday Association
Comment:  Ria gives a good description of Capt. Marsh and her life on the homestead.  Information about Garrison is of historical value.

Tape #20 Harry Pochant (Riverdale)
000 – Introduction
020 – Came with a family as an orphan from Indiana in 1911 at 13 years of age; Liked area from the start; His people came from Belgium; Early years in military orphan’s home; Too young to homestead so worked out; Anecdote of man that made good in 5 years
145 – Fired steam engine; Sent wages to Indiana for sister to attend high school; Various farmers he worked for
203 – Went to Canada to help harvest; Summer fallow; Anecdote of himself as the first flu patient in Garrison and the death of a young boy; Bumper flax crop in 1924; Burning half section off for farming in 1925; Experiences at farming; Terrific flax crop in 1927
441 – Grasshoppers so thick and cleaned off everything; Paying off bad checks
610 – Lost wife in 1937; Family of 5 children; Grasshopper siege; People turned their horses loose and left; Neighbors lost everything in flood; Barely escaped with the clothes on their backs
820 – Hired farmhand; Repairs combine; Anecdote of hiring a girl
Comment:  This interview is all about his years spent farming and summer fallowing land.  He tells of the years of good crops, poor crops, and the scourge of grasshoppers.

Tape #21 Matt Sawicki (Wilton)
000 – Introduction
020 – Immigrated from Ukraine when he began there and instead of being drafted he came here in 1913; Worked in coal mine at Wilton; Problems getting out of old country; It took six weeks to come across the ocean
167 – Married in 1915 and left the mine work to go farming; Rented first then bought farm; A farm, a foreclosure deal; So lonesome so planted trees and moved a house on; House burned and lost everything; Sickness; Ten years of no crops of jobs; Hard times
290 – Social life consisted of theater in town and visiting neighbors
354 – No feed for cattle; Federal Land Bank; Farmer’s Holiday Association; Worked in coal mine during winter
460 – Tells why they settled near Wilton; His father walked from Winnipeg, Canada to Wilton when he arrived; Experiences in the mine
570 – Advantages of farm life; WPA; Working with horses; Interest for borrowing money; Threshing with a neighbor; Anecdote of neighbor’s experience of borrowing money
670 – His work in the mines; Did his own blasting and loaded coal; Worked ten hours a day for $1.25 a day 
743 – Bought Model T car in 1914; Left the mine and moved to Toledo, Ohio; Experiences working in a garage; Made good money
888 – Wife got homesick so he moved back to Wilton to work in the coal mine; Problems with neighbor kids; Bought near town
950 – Discussing the mine manager; Tells of his work in the mine; Chance to go to school
002 – Discussed the Labor Union; Fights; moved to the farm after a strike; Old mine went to strip mining and new mine was undependable for a living; Comparison of land prices then and now
075 – Enjoyed good health; Wasn’t afraid of work
089 – Politics; Experience with a Priest; Wilton had no saloons; Ordered drinks from Minneapolis; When they couldn’t order they made their own moonshine
150 – If he had life to live over he’d do some things differently
160 – End of interview
Comment:  Matt discusses working in the coal mines and hardships of farming. He had many setbacks but came through with flying colors.

Tape #22 Anna Duma Hruby (Wilton)
000 – Introduction
020 – Immigrated with parents from Austria at age 15; She homesteaded by herself and her husband came three years later in 1989; Left Austria because of poverty; Trip across the ocean; First impression of new land; She worked at various jobs washing dishes and clothes in hotels; Wage $14 a month
139 – Doctors for various illnesses
159 – Husband quit work at mine and they went on a homestead; They built a barn and house of rocks; Used water from the creek as water was hard to find; Neighbors; Ukrainian people had close association with each other
208 – Raised huge garden and helped in the fields at threshing time; Preserving food for winter; Root cellar for vegetables; No meat to eat other than chicken; Cooked dough dishes; Had flour ground from wheat, a year’s supply at a time; Flour mill at Washburn
293 – Didn’t make many trips to town because of no transportation; Burned chips and coal for cooking and heating; Gathered chips ahead of time to have a supply; Learning to speak English; Church
335 – Children; Midwives
354 – Entertainment; Dances; Weddings that lasted three days of eating and drinking; Discussion of the weddings
414 – Supplemented farm income with work in the mines and railroad
437 – She walked from Bismarck to Wilton looking for work; Worked at hotel at Wilton until she married
465 – Business places in Wilton
498 – Their marriage; Went to Bismarck to get married
510 – Making a living on the homestead; Both worked hauling rocks, plowing, and seeding – long days; Prairie fires; Plowing firebreaks; Peddlers; Bad blizzards lasting three days; Carrying water to livestock during storms
630 – Depression years; Used candles and kerosene lamps; Fences and roads
725 – Changing of living conditions; Walking to school in winter; Boarding teachers; Children had to learn to speak English
Comment:  A discussion of her personal life of living through hard times on the homestead. 

Tape #23 Frank Ragowski (Wilton)
000 – Introduction
024 – Born on farm where he lives in a sod house; Building of house made of mud and straw taking three years to build; He is Polish; Came from Austria with a group of others; Lived at Bismarck first in 1895 and then all picked homesteads near Wilton before the town existed; Trip to Bismarck took two days in a wagon
085 – Prairie fire in fall that burned thresh machine; Discussion of early threshing; Farmers living on nearly every quarter; House parties; Trips to town
153 – Hard winters with so much snow; 1936 the worst winter, snow so deep and hard they dynamited it to move it; No rain at all in the summer of ’36; Started in mine in 1919 and worked until the strike in 1923; Fights over the strike; His work in the mine driving mules and methods of loading coal; Accident with the mules
318 – Rowdy miners; Pool halls; Town had many more business places then than now; Good wages for coal cutters; Relations between bosses and miners; Living in a beanery; Small towns near Wilton that are out of existence today
430 – Moved to farm in 1928 and no decent crops until 1939; Milked cows and raised pigs to live; Sold pigs for 26 a pound; Spraying grasshoppers; Dust storms and Russian thistles
500 – Attended grade school one and one half miles from farm and later walked five miles into Wilton
530 – Bought separator in 1940 for threshing; Started farming with tractor in 1940; Pulled ten bottom plows with large gas tractors; Good years from 1940 to 1950 when he retired and moved to Bismarck then ten years later moved back to the farm with his son
620 – End of interview
Comment:  A discussion of work in a coal mine and early methods of farming.  It tells of the tough years and later of prosperity.

Tape #24 Mrs. Anstacia Krush (Wilton)
000 – Introduction
020 – Immigrated in 1898 from Austria; Her mother died that same year; She was 10 years old when she came here; The voyage; Land by New Salem reserved for soldiers; Family of eight lived in Bismarck and got work; She worked in bakery for $3 a month, hired for a year; Worked babysitting and went to school
120 – Moved on homestead; Three of them helped their father on the farm; Closest town was Mercer; Names of other early settlers; Built sod house on homestead; Ukrainian way of celebrating Christmas; Church in homes; Priest came from Bismarck once a month with team
198 – Wedding celebrations lasting 3 days; Prairie fires; Grass was so long it made big flames that could be seen for miles; Burned cow chips; Processing cow manure for winter fire
262 – Bad winters; Blizzards lasting 3 days; Flour mill at Washburn; Raised large garden and stored in root cellar; Hatching chickens for meat; Well 14 feet deep
323 – Married in 1906; Husband also immigrated from Ukraine; Lived on 80 acre homestead; Later moved to Wilton and she baked bread to sell; Husband worked in mine driving mules
389 – Flu epidemic in 1918; Some died and others were too sick to bury them; Afraid to visit for fear of catching flu; No vaccination for it
420 – Various business places of early Wilton; Names of some of the businessmen; Description of early grocery stores telling how some foods were sold; The mine strike; Husband worked during strike because of his large family; Created lots of bad feelings
498 – Birth of children assisted by midwives; Charge was whatever you could afford; Friendliness of old timers
530 – Built church in 1912 in Wilton; Names of some of the carpenters; The difference between their religion and the Catholics
680 – Son owns land that used to be old mines
719 – Depression years lived on the homestead; Lived from what they could make from milk from the cows; Government sent in bales for feeding cattle; Quality was so poor cattle wouldn’t eat them unless molasses was added; Fed Russian thistles; Dust so bad it was hard on the cattle; It blew into houses even; Grasshoppers were so thick you couldn’t see the sun
809 – Threshing with steam; Women helped each other cook for threshers; Kerosene lamps for lighting; Improvements in roads; WPA
862 – Changes in people over the years; Everyone is for themselves
880 – End of interview
Comment:  This interview tells of hardships encountered while living on the homestead first as a daughter then wife and mother.  She has a good memory and a love for her new land.

Tape #25 Mr. & Mrs. Nick Sologuk (Wilton)
000 - Introduction
020 – Immigrated by himself in 1911 from Austria when he was 19 years old; Left his family there and never was able to go back; Stopped at Winnipeg, Canada; When he started work in the mines at Wilton, he was afraid and didn’t like the dark, dirty work; Worked for 20 cents an hour; Handicapped because he couldn’t speak or understand English
162 – Early day homesteads in 1896; Built sod houses; Germans from Russia and Ukrainians could understand each other some; Lived on flour and what they could make from milk from cows; Herded cattle for $3 for all summer; Went barefoot to save shoes
202 – Mud houses, made from mud and rocks with shingles on the roof; Left homestead on Reservation and took land north of Wilton; Built mud houses there too; Father died when Anna was young so her mother had to get along with what she could raise on the farm; She proved land by herself; Didn’t attended much school as they were so far away; Neighbors; Ukrainians and German-Russians got along well as they were hard workers and had lots in common
301 – Handling cattle – needed hired help if they had very many; Processing manure for burning in the winter; Later used coal and wood
324 – Preserving meat and vegetables; They salted side port for summer, froze meat in winter; Kept vegetables, cream, and milk in root cellar
371 – Sewed clothes by hand, no sewing machines
375 – Holidays and weddings were celebrated 3 days; They were married in 1917
394 – Variety of nationalities working in the mine; Lots of bachelors, some lived in shacks; Board in a home was $6 a month which included having their clothes washed
448 – Transportation to work in the mines by horses and cars and later trains; Describes his work in the mine; The mine ran night and day; The number two mine had nicer working conditions after a while; At first they had to work in water and wear raincoats because water leaked so bad; Later on they were equipped with showers so they could clean up and put on clean clothes before they left for home
642 – Mules were used in the mines; Barns were available to house them; Accidents in the mines – lives lost; Describes the rooms in the mines; Describes the system of handling the empty and full cars
915 – Coal left between each room to be safe so it wouldn’t cave in; Describes the pillars
952 – More details of mine work; There was lots to learn because there was right way and wrong way of mining; Other lives depended on how safe one worked; Getting the cars off the track; Dynamite; The quality of coal you produced was important; They didn’t want much fine stuff or too large lumps of coal
028 – Kept track of cars they loaded by tagging them; Miners convention of 1922; Discussion of the carious miners and their lives
052 – Pay of the miners; They had to buy their own tools; The union helped establish their wages; It also cut down hours to 8 hours a day instead of 10-12; Strike in 1928; End of union
128 – When mine shut down they moved out to the farm and farmed during the 30’s
170 – Many farmers worked in the mines over winter to help finance farming operations
220 – Holidays; Days off from the mine
280 – Costs of building homes years ago and now
318 – Early Wilton; While the mine operated there were more business places; Doctor charged miners $1 per month and when they were sick he took care of them; Large stores that sold everything; Three hotels that are all closed now; Single miners had accommodation there including meals and their lunches
408 – Bread couldn’t be bought in stores as everyone baked their own
425 – Move to the farm in 1929; Built house, granary, windmill, etc. from money they saved from the mine; Rust, bugs, and worms that got the grain; Shipped 27 cattle for $250; Adding molasses to poor feed so cattle would eat it
609 – Feeding cattle Russian thistles; Hauling hay from across the river
672 – Many people lost their land an moved away; Land sold for $8 an acre, now sells for $350 an acre
776 – North Dakota is a good place to live and has their preference to California and the trip they took to Scotland; They describe living conditions in Scotland
895 – End of interview
Comment:  This interview gives lots of information on the mines at Wilton.  Both give their comments with their Ukrainian accent, making it interesting and informative in historical content.

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