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Manuscripts - ND Oral History Collection - 10157 - Mercer County

Mercer County

Region 11
1 George Radke, Golden Valley
2 George Leoffelbein, Zap
3 Sam Krause, Zap
4 L. F. Temme, Beulah
5 August and Tillie Miller, Beulah
6 Joe Stewart, Beulah
7 Hubert Stoelting, Hazen
8 William Bollensky, Hazen
9 Emery and Victor Stephens, Hazen
10 George Sailer, Hazer
11 Dr. C.R. Chapman, Hazen
12 William Knoop, Hazen
13 Max Borner, Stanton
14 Joe Gustafson, Stanton
15 Theodore Serr, Bismarck
16 Richard Isaac, Bismarck
17 Frank Maichel, Hazen
18 Mr. and Mrs. Ed Gallwas, Hazen
19 Mr. and Mrs. Herb Knoop, Hazen
20 Matt Bitterman, Zap
21 John Murschel, Hazen
22 Harold Buri, Hazen
23 John Miller, Golden Valley

Portions of the following interviews apply to Mercer County
Dr. R. S. and Bertha Enge, #7, Burleigh County
John Oshanyk, #32, Burleigh County

Tape #1 George Radke (Golden Valley)
000 - Introduction
020 – Family history; Emigrate from Russian; Homestead; A German settlement; Closest town; Buildings; Neighbors; The nationalities; Ministers
122 – Experiences with Indians; Steamboat landings; Boats and barges; Towns; Businesses; Garrison; Settling the area; Intentions of homesteaders; Population; Description of the land
230 – Farming with oxen and horses; Walking plow; Horses used with plows; Travelling with oxen; Construction of a rock house
347 – Fires; Firebreak; Source of fires; A fire from Wishek to Beulah; I.P. Baker; Baker elevator; Boars of grain from Mannhaven; Loading at Washburn; Hauling lumber; The wood yards; Timber; Saw mills; Cottonwood
447 – Fuel; Uncovering coal; Commercial mining; Strip mining; Works in mine; Coal company; Father’s farm; Tractors; Custom plowing
560 – Making a living in teens; Trips to town; Effect of the railroad; Railroad towns; River towns; Brother works with I.P. Baker; Lumberyard; I.P. Baker’s business property and labor; Loading lumber; Unloading cement
681 – Social activity; Compares past from present neighborliness, happiness; Thresh machine; Crews; Midwife; Siblings work together; George farms; Employment he engaged with
806 – Bank failures affect stockholders; Value of paper money; Banks close; Loss of deposits and investments; Reasons the banks failed; Effect of closings; Discouragement in 30’s; Areas of NPL and IVA popularity; Enmity between NPA land IVA; Holiday Association; Foreclosures
965 – Farm Holiday’s “holding” actions; Dancing; Baseball; The river towns disappear; People in river towns; Selling and shipping grain; Floods; Loading grain onto steamboats; Volume of grain that was handled
097 – Depth of river
109 – SIDE TWO – Sandbars; Moving boats from sandbars; Landings; Unloading lumber; Flour mill; Krem; Flour Mill; Stores at Krem; Grinding wheat; Using bran and midlings for fuel; Amount of wheat they ground; Worms in flour; Gardening; Sauerkraut; Pork; Other meat
234 – Keeping meat in well; Building a well; Water; Canning the beef; Cellar; Storing vegetables; Garden pests; Cheeses; Serving; Uses for flour sacks
340 – Flour mill and light plant; Roller mill; Mill burns; The electricity; Telephone; Central; Railroad in area; Telephone cooperative; Coal development
408 – End of interview
Comment:  Highlighting George’s interview are points about I.P. Baker and hauling cargo by boat.
Tape #2 George Leoffelbein (Zap)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; Reason for leaving Russia; South Russia; Houses; Military service; Church; School; Revolution
137 – Sells land; Crossing the ocean; Ships; Passengers; He anchors ship; Customs
239 – Possessions from Russia; Siblings; Boy dies; Nationalities at Krem; Homestead land; Krem; Tornado; Stores; Surveying for railroad; Move businesses; Location of the town of Krem; Opinion of North Dakota land and soil
346 – Homestead location; Steamboat towns; Hauling wheat to Garrison; Railroad at Stanton; Light plant; Roads; The elevators on river; Grain on steamboats; I.P. Baker’s elevators; Loading out of Bismarck; Deapolis; Channels on Missouri River; Sandbars
447 – Wood yards; Shipping lumber; Towns north of Bismarck on river; Neighbors; Church; Houses
547 – Construction, durability, and rocks of house; Compares the rocks in Russia and North Dakota; Rock houses in Russia and Krem; Durability and car of walls in house; The mud and brick
647 – Mud brick houses; Kinds of rocks used; Warmth of rock and brick shelters; Roof; Floor; Warmth; Building crops and other buildings; Construction of sod house
826 – First crop; Farming with oxen; Price of horses; Breeding horses; Horse ranchers; Breeding with Percherons
974 – Consideration of horses; Personality; Steam tractors; Custom work; Price of custom work; Crew; Water; Fuel; Wet and dry coal
125 – SIDE TWO – Mines; Use of coal; Malke leases mine; Owner of mine; Years mine was operated; Kind of mine; Vein; Construction and operation of mine; Shipping coal; Flour mill; Owners; Tornado destroys mill; Hazen mill; The operation of mill; County seat
234 – Krem’s reputation; Creamery; Brother homesteads; Learning English; Animosity between nationalities; Families in the area; School term; His education; Stays home; The crop rotation; Planting seed, plowing and weeds; Weeds
338 – Thistle for hay; Gets married; Buys farm; Grasshoppers; Drought; Gopher Green Stem; Morale; People leave; Loses farm; Better years; 1938 crop; Farm programs; The county agents; Farm programs
437 – WPA; Salary; Road work; Mail route; Building road and raising well at Halliday; People with WPA; Gravelling; Unloading gravel with planks
560 – Mines; Shipping out coal; Mines; Strip mines; Miners; Housing for miners; Personalities of miners; Present coal development; Reclaiming land
680 – Removing topsoil from mine; Reclaiming land; Quality of soil; NPL popularity; Langer’s personality and oratorical ability; opinion of Lemke and Frazier; Farmers Holiday Association
780 – Foreclosures; Buys farm; Pasture; Hay; School; The high school; School bus; Making a living in 30’s; Meeting land payments; Seed and feed for horses
888 – Government loan; Move north of Zap; Years of improvement; Utilities; Underground mines; Lucky Strike Mine; The strip mining; Quality of coal; Hauling coal from Zap; An active coal mine; Oil; Indians; Celebrations at Krem
137 – Reasons for sociability changes; Police and salary
235 – End of interview
Comment:  George’s interview opens a door of information about I.P. Baker, construction of houses, and coal development.

Tape #3 Sam Krause (Zap)
000 – Introduction
020 – Ancestors emigrate from Russia; Memories of South Russia; Moving to North Dakota; Brickyard at Hebron; Homestead; Machinery; Tepee
159 – Sod house; Water; Additions to house; Roof; Rock house; Crops; Loses homestead; Buys land; Sod house; Crops; A wheat failure; Moves to Mercer County; Machinery and the horses used in harvesting; Hauls straw; Goes home
274 – Works on farms at Zap; Buys farm; House; Hauls coal; He meets wife; Builds bridge at Bentley; Compares Hettinger and Mercer Counties; Grasshoppers; Price of land; Sells coal; Raises cattle; Buys land; Quality of soil; Price of land
387 – Children; Source of income; Price of yard goods; Closest town; REA; Kasmer; Nationalities; Size of farms; Value of dollar in Germany and United States; Inflation; Mine; Price of coal; Depth of coal; Strip mining
531 – Mine crew; Sleeping quarters; Marketing area for coal; Loading coal; Shoveling coal at Zap; Shipping coal; The railroad; Indian workers; Railroad and homestead land; Size of township; Price of land; Coal burned per family; Enters into shares; Profits from selling coal; Price of land; Drilling coal
667 – People mine their own coal; Mines; Shipping; The Lucky Strike Mine; Other mines; Buying alcoholic beverages; Nationalities; Cattle rustling; Effect of strip mining
792 – Land under veins of coal; Determining quality of coal; Coal dries out; Price in 1920-30; Price per ton
910 – Credit in 30’s; Using powder for blasting; Mishaps; The neighborliness; Vandalism; Mining season; Hired workers; Salary
079 – Stops farming; Milks cows
096 – End of interview
Comment:  Sam’s conversation about Zap mines enlightens the history of coal in western North Dakota.

Tape #4 L. F. Temme (Beulah)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; Gets Malaria; Moves to Illinois; Education; Employment examinations; Dakota Business College; Moves to Beulah; Theater
140 – Fire; 1917 winter; Railroad towns; Clears estate; Sells insurance; Military service; 1975 power plant; Military service
249 – Influenza epidemic; Deaths; Military service; Visits the state of Illinois; Returns to Beulah; Works in bank; Buys lot; Office building; Sells lot; Real Estate Insurance business; Banks close in 20’s; German State Banks; L.F. has office in bank; Employees in bank
407 – Goes to Illinois; Reorganizing bank; Elected vice-president; Lumberyard; Bank is swindled; Assessment; John Moses saves bank at Hazen; Loses money in mines; Lucky Strike Coal Mine
512 – Light plant; Joint Tenancy Law; John Moses; L. L. Twitchell; Joint Tenancy Law
639 – Mines close; Underground mines; Knife River; Businessmen; 1918 fire; Businesses; Dentist; Hotel; Vacant building
747 – Sells insurance during 30’s; Paying premiums in 30’s; The price of land in 30’s; People leave; Number of farms decline; Stenographer
919 – Meeting budget in 30’s; Serves with school board; L.F.’s political life; Revenue from mines; Property in 30’s lost to taxes; Coal development; Reclaiming land; Effect upon towns
048 – Gasification plant; Importance of coal
096 – End of interview
Comment:  Beulah banks, Joint Tenancy Law, and coal are foremost topics.

Tape #5 August and Tillie Miller (Beulah)
000 – Introduction
020 – Reason for leaving Russia; Family history; Russia; Family history; Homestead location; Opinion of North Dakota
130 – Homestead land; Nationalities; Intentions of settlers; A sod house; Water; Stealing flour; Old Settlers Picnic; Strength of pioneers; Man dies digging a well of gas
234 – Commonality of water problem; Constructing sod house; The other houses; Smearing sod; Smoothing a floor; Location of sod house; Coal; Quality; Dry and wet coal; Mines; Mining injuries; Owner of mine; Location of mine
357 – Smith underground mine; Shaft; Quality; Cost; Loading coal today at Zap; Miners at Smith Mine; Safety inspection; Roof Hits water; pumping water out of mine; Coal starter; Siblings 
460 – Midwife; Becomes married; Her family history; Nationalities; Enmity between German-Russians and Irish; Story about a physical argument; Enforcing law while deputy sheriff
607 – Social life; Curfew; Dance; Musician; Sociability in the 30’s; Neighborliness; Discipline; Family life; Baseball; Teams; Krem team; Game between Krem and Beulah
753 – Garden; Sewing; Children die; Makes soap; Meat; Cellar; Purchasing supplies; Mill; Tractors; Model-T; Farming with horses; FHA
890 – Farming with oxen; Threshing machine; Collective threshing machine owners; Other rigs; Fuel; Filling steamer with water; Threshers’ hours; Cook car; Sells threshing machine; Custom work; “Threshing Day”
095 – Crop rotation
113 – SIDE TWO – School; Bus; Distance to schools; Dam is constructed; School moved; School revenue; Buys land; Compares his standard of living with reasons for larger farms today; Making a living in 30’s; Price of gasoline; Price of macaroni; Self-sufficiency; Lack of nourishment among children in 30’s; Communism and Socialism in the United States
235 – Popularity of NPL; Percentage of farm NPL; NPL originates in Russia; Langer’s oratorical ability, philosophy, and public opinion, moratorium, and distinction of social classes; The election race between R. Young and W. Guy; A. Link’s appeal of oratory; Foreclosures; Effectiveness of Farmers Union
340 – Shipping coal by rail; Mines; Union strikes; Mining jobs; Coal development; Changing topsoil; Flooding land; The school buildings; Trailer court; Leasing land; The employment opportunities
463 – Roguery in mining towns in 30’s; Farm programs; Replenishing soil; Anecdote exampling confidence in county agents; Opposition to Garrison Dam
587 – End of interview
Comment:  The Millers are pleasant conversationalists.  They discuss water development, mining, and education.

Tape #6 Joe Stewart (Beulah)
000 – Introduction
020 – Baseball; Move to Beulah; Highways; Roads; Hired to play baseball; Environment of mining; Bismarck ball club; Mr. Satchel Page; Frank Stewart injures arm in game; Baseball clubs travel together; Rules of race in baseball; Mr. McCarney plays ball and gets his beginning in automobile dealership
152 – Hiring players; Character of ball players; Financing clubs; Game commentary; Play against Dickinson; E. J. Anderson; George Heidt; Attractiveness of Beulah; Joe’s education; Moves to Beulah; Opinion of area; Working conditions
264 – Salaries, retirement pay, and job opportunities; The mining becomes crucial; A work week and salaries; Room and board costs; Positions on team; Baseball circuit; Baseball salary; Game admission; Plays pitching position
383 – Job expectations of baseball; Northern League; Salaries; Players and winnings improve; Ability of players; Haley; Hoffer; Race of players; Success of Bismarck teams
480 – Farmer transports team; Gate receipts; Page’s ability
580 –Satchel Paige’s pitching techniques; Colored teams; Length of Joe’s career; Famousness of baseball; Subsidies
678 – Baseball betting; Game fights; Game crowds; The dressing rooms; Bathing at Watford City
780 – Small town uniforms; Comical anecdotes from a small town game
893 – Plays in Canada; Water; An old building; Toilets; Game applause; Baseball hero worship; Caliber of baseball; The practice sessions; Quality of small town players
103 – SIDE TWO – Past and present enjoyment of games by players; Baseball equipment; Traveling to games; Bootleggers; The alcohol at games; Umpire; Attendance to games on Sundays; Story about official settling dispute; Hazen team; The employing of players from other towns
205 – Mandan Trainers; E. Anderson; Prison team from Bismarck
226 – United Mine Workers; Labor movement; Labor in 30’s; The underground employees; Age of miners; Housing; Company and independent miners; Mines in operation; Underground mines
298 – Ownership of Zap and Knife River mines; uses of coal; Volume of mining increases; Original Knife River vein; The blueprints of a mine
404 – Mining cars; Miner rooms; Moving coal from mine; Price of coal; Tonnage of cars; Loading cars; Salary of entry work; “Shooting” for coal; Size of vein; Roofs collapse; Fires; Present signs of remaining mine
502 – Danger of mining; Protective equipment; Recording areas of miners; Distributing cars; Responsibilities of the motorman; Mining with mules; Care of mules; The winter shelter; Responsibilities of a trip man; Working with locomotives; Number of cars worked and coal tonnage
658 – Loading machine replaces workers; Spur line; Inside of a mine; “Skinners”; Keeping entries the same size; The removing of gas from mine; Generators
756 – Determining the salaries; Job classifications; Hours, the meals, and salary; Mule barn; Depth underground; Quality and price of coal; Preparing coal for sale; Treating it with wax; Screening; Sizes of coal; Crushed coal; Coal for power plants
946 – Cutting coal; Positioning “shots”; Tonnage of coal from a “cut”; Miner shacks; Independent miners
046 – Social rank of miners; Lockers; Laundry; Mining clothing; Salary; Allegiance to Germany; Language barrier in mines; Hiring workers; Families labor in same mine
209 – End of interview
Comment:  First part of Joe’s interview is about his baseball career; The last part is an excellent description of mining.

Tape #7 Herbert Stoelting (Hazen)
000 – Introduction
020 – Moves to North Dakota; River towns; Elevators; Railroad land; Expansion businesses; Lumberyard; Sells horses; Family history
158 – I.P. Baker; Boats; Loading lumber; Expansion Bay; The county auditor; Traffic to river towns; Marketing towns; Meeting captains of boats
313 – Snag boat; Appearance of river below dam from dam to the city of Bismarck; Sandbar; Floods; Location of the town of Expansion; Land below Expansion; I. Baker sells a lumberyard; River towns deteriorate; Expansion bank is moved; Sells lumberyard; Buys ranch; County commissioner; Superintendent of schools; Buys ranch; Learning ranching; Roundup; Saddle horses
410 – Location of ranch; Crosby Creek; Buys and ships cattle; 1917-18 winter cattle loss; Lung disease; Leaves home; Works in Montana; Education; Moves to Hazen; Education
534 – Teaches school; Meets wife; Marriage; Farms with his father; Rents farm; Loses farm; Children; Trucking
635 – Mines coal; Trucking; Works mine; Accountant; WPA; The recreation administrator; Teachers school
740 – Manages Farmers Union; Buys interest in tavern; Buys a Mobile franchise; Elected county auditor; Sells an oil business
841 – Owners at Expansion; Bank; Family history; Boat traffic halts on river; Mail route; Stanton; Nationalities; The ranchers; Ranchers’ livelihoods; Ranchers
122 – SIDE TWO – German-Russians; Yankees sell out; People leave; Grasshoppers; Area of Yankees’ homes; Yieldage of oats; Timber; Diamond Willow; Cut fence posts; Fuel; Mine; Comparison of size of river towns
251 – Businesses at Expansion, Rea, Deapolis, and Mannhaven; A “Blind Pig”; Yellow Dog Club; Steamboat crews; Selling grain from Expansion; Grain accidentally dumped into the river; Indians; German school; Isaac family
356 – Roundup; Ranchers; Farmers; Wintering cattle; Hay; The shortage of hay in 1917; Influenza epidemic; Land and the buildings they owned; Hired man; Publishes Hazen Star; Hiring teachers; Illiteracy; Encouragement of education; Opposition to German-Russians in World War II
489 – Mining unions; Conditions in Beulah mine; Hubert is suspended from employment; Mine organized union; The mining strikes; Lucky Strike closes; American Coal Company
590 – A strike; Hiring miners; Mining shack; Enjoying mining; Coal prices; Salary; Hours; Cleanliness of mine; The laying of track for coal; Inserting “shots”; The cutting machine; “Shooting” coal; Removing coal
699 – Cave-ins; Removing pillars; Size of mine; Lights; The political affiliations in county; John Moses; The Farmers Holiday Association
820 – Meets L.B. Hanna and Lynn Frazier; Townley farm; The coal gasification and strip mining; Roads; Taxes; Auditor holds county improvement debts
931 – Coal development’s effect on social life; Stemming tide of crime and divorce; County is zoned; Prostitution; Effects of coal development
056 – Soil reclamation; Opinion of North Dakota
153 – Sells printing office; Flower ranch; Vacations; Retires; Past and present desire for finances
249 – End of interview
Comment:  North Dakota is enriched with information about Missouri River towns and mining

Tape #8 William Bollensky (Hazen)
000 – Introduction
020 – Emigrates to United States; Memoirs of Russia; Homestead; Buys cattle; Railroad land; Parents emigrate to United States; Buys sheep and land; Livelihood in Russia; Some memoirs of Russia
256 – Gets married; Children; Wife; Her family history; The homestead shelters; Children; Bollensky family emigrates to United States; Events of brother’s life in Russia
424 – Homesteading purchases; Water; Cattle; Coal; Location of homestead; Nationalities; Beulah is built
567 – Post office; Neighbors; Other towns; Roads; Cousin; Farming with steers
683 – Breaking sod; Planting seed; Machinery; Raking seed; A drag
792 – Flax; 1915 crop
841 – SIDE TWO – Midwife; Neighborliness; Opinion of United States; His first machinery and land; Government moves people from Russia; Brother in Siberia; NPL
959 – Church; Prairie fires
979 – End of interview
Comment:  Bill speaks with a distinctly noticeable German brogue.  Major portion of interview is the family history and memoirs of Russia.

Tape #9 Emery and Victor Stephens (Hazen)
000 – Introduction
020 – Reasons for moving to North Dakota; Family history; A sod house; Corn crib; Ranch house; Uncle’s homestead; The homesteaders; Comical anecdotes about uncle’s wife
163 – Location of uncle’s homestead; Buildings; Indians buy offensive meat; Bridge; Father’s homestead; Tree claim; Fires; Nationalities; Church; Minister; Ethnic groups
278 – Krem; German-Russians; Comical anecdote about homesteaders; Homesteaders’ houses; Water
386 – Post office; Creamery; Selling butter; Testing cream; The cooling of butter; Creamery is moved; Nesbit Creamery; The town of Stanton; Train; Stanton celebration
513 – Stanton celebration; Stanton grows; Roads; Fuel; Mine; Prairie fire
637 – School is built; Church; Comical homesteading anecdotes; First school; Post office and school in Cambridge
762 – School term; Hazen school; Getting to school; Lunches; Water; Riding horse to school; Sells sheep
897 – Stanton stockyards; Prices of land; Threshing; Diversified farming; Oxen; Antelope; Homemade wagon; Sorghum; The garden
099 – SIDE TWO – Storing eggs; Catalog ordering; Marketing; Packing eggs in oats and water; Their education; Siblings; Farms home place; Rents and buys farm; Moves to town; Victor farms and employed by creamery; Purchases creamery
199 – Brothers become married; Social life; Sociability; Neighborliness; Butchering pork; Picnic
309 – Death by blizzard; Christmas; Buying feed at Garrison; The catalog ordering; Toys; Winter sports; NPL; Frazier, A. Townley, and Langer
440 – J. Moses becomes county attorney; Pork; Holiday Association; Farmers Union; Farm Bureau; Butter prices in 30’s; Banks fail
540 – Buying clothes; Collecting notes; Farmers move; The German-Russians buy land; People move West; Mine production in the 30’s; WPA; Influenza Epidemic; Hospital
714 – Hazen school; Doctor; Influenza Epidemic; First automobile; Orders auto; Price of automobile; Anecdote about an automobile rolling away; Ford; Auto dealer; Models of cars; Tires; Horn
851 – Snow removal; Shipping milk; Truck stalls hauling milk; The roads
884 – End of interview
Comment:  The Stephens brothers narrate a number of comical anecdotes about homesteaders.  This is a general interview about homesteaders’ homes, livelihoods, prices, schools, the successful and depressing days, and politics.

Tape #10 George Sailer (Hazen)
000 – Introduction
020 – Immigrates to the United Stated; Memoirs of Russia; Siblings; A crippling accident
165 – Test of strength between George’s brother and storekeeper; Machinery; Buys land; Immigration Office; Works with a farmer; Buys homestead; Illness in military service
265 – Father visits George in hospital; Illness; The homestead buildings; Well; Homestead location
366 – Boat to Mannhaven; Relatives; Her family history; Reason for moving to North Dakota; German-Lutheran church; Krem; Congregation; Children
474 – German sermons; Her siblings; Church introduces English; His education; Gives salary to parents; Prices; Works at farm jobs; Harvesting with header
594 –Buys header; Working a header; Sells grain; Oxen; The threshing with horses; Forks; More about threshing
761 – Feeding straw and chaff; Quality of bread; Threshing with horses
846 – SIDE TWO – Crop rotation; Rocks; Building dam; Anecdote about moving stones; Crop rotation in field; Seeding the corn; Kinds of plows; Horses run away with plow; Wood for fuel; Roller mill; Mill’s fuel
952 – Richter mine; Employed by mine; Fueling with straw for steam; Hauling hay; Education; Rents land; George gets horses; Buys land
051 – Sells land; Moves to town; Works with WPA; Repairs shoes; Endurance of nationalities during 30’s; Varieties of wheat
150 – Starts farming; Marriage; Hail in 20’s; Joins NPL; B. Langer; Other NPL leaders; Holiday Association; The neighborliness
252 – Size of farms; Works in mine; Rents land; Digging their own coal; Richter mine; Quality of coal; Mining salary; Milks cows
356 – Midwives; Driving horses in blizzard; Anecdotes about driving horses in storms
460 – Coal development; Coal on Sailer’s land; Depth of coal; Feeding Russian thistles
586 – Garden; Root cellar; Sells potatoes; Garden vegetables; Makes yeast; Adjusting to white bread
689 – End of interview
Comment:  This interview is rather short, but George discusses many of his remembrances from his life in North Dakota.

Tape #11 Dr. C. R. Chapman (Hazen)
000 – Introduction
020 – Salary; Board and room; Homesteads; Homesteads along the Canadian line; Education; Des Lacs Lake flood; Typhoid fever; 1905-06 winter; Emergency food from Canada; The fences; Sailboat delivers food; Works in store; Group of Canadians smuggle food
122 – Canadians sell wheat in North Dakota; Education; Works for tuition; Food prices; Shortage of dentists; He practices dentistry; Hazen is plotted; A prize fight; He practices dentistry
230 – Children; Homesteads at Portal; Lives alone; His mother’s professions; Mother dies; Shack at Portal; Bed in shack; A neighbor
343 – Buys rifle; First crop; Wild game; Indians camp on creek at Portal; Indians’ food; Buried moose head; An Indian friend; Past and present happiness
443 – Man kills parakeet; Proving up claims; Boarding house; Portal’s size; Wife dies; Fishes on East Coast
432 – Walking Cow; Running Wolf; Two Lance; Battle of Little Big Horn; Opinion of reservation; The environmentalist Indian; Anecdote about a boy leaving rifle for the Holy Spirit
635 – Walking Cow; Indians moved to reservation; Location of the homestead; Running water; Drought at Portal; Exodus of people; Bootlegging; Nationalities
746 – Immigrants to Portal and Canada; Family history; Anecdote about grandfather dropping hot iron; Civil War; Travels to the East
853 – Negro murders white man
973 – Roughcorn mine; Creeks; Hardware store; Prices of coal; Becomes lost in a blizzard
101 – SIDE TWO – Water and oil at Portal; Drinking water; The roundhouse; Sewage; Fire protection; Store burns; The present day at Portal; Detention house; Chinese and the Japanese; Anecdote about striking a Chinese; The snowball fights; mines; Wild game; Gophers disturb grain; The gopher bounty
201 – Prizes for killing gophers; Coyotes; Rabbits; He shoots antelope; Neighbors; Shoots Mallard duck; Moose; Deer; Sloughs
308 – Gun Club; Duck limit; Hunting Mallard ducks; Pelicans; Mother; Wife; Hazen fires
408 – Anecdote about man taken to State Hospital; Shooting tame geese; Banks; Doctor; Bank embezzled; Bonds
512 – Banks close; Worthless notes; Dishonest C.D.’s; People lose money; Faith in banks; Anecdotes about people that stowed money at home; Priest
627 – “Blind Pig”; Story about confiscating liquor; Hazen’s progress; Coal development; Reclamation of game, water, and soil; Pheasants
735 – Wild fowl; Deer; Prairie chickens; Retires; Vacations; Grouse; Effects of Garrison Dam
854 – Influenza Epidemic; Hunts geese; Symptoms of influenza; Light plant
959 – Anti-German sentiment; Sociability; Social life; Moose Lodge; Ordering beer
053 – Masonic Lodge; Lutheran church; Langer’s popularity; The foreclosures; Langer’s character; Social Security
201 – End of interview
Comment:  C.R.’s interview is another gateway to North Dakota’s history reviewing homesteading days, severe winters, game, Custer, mines, and other of old yesterdays.

Tape #12 William Knoop (Hazen)
000 – Introduction
020 – Reasons for moving to United States; Homestead; Log house; Family history; Sod house; Root cellars; Neighbors; The Indians
131 – Trades horses with Sitting Bull; Post office; Buying the supplies; Water; Game and fish; Sheep; Chickens; Buys guns; Preparing fish; Education; School; Returns to the country of Germany; Location of homestead; Steamboats
256 – River towns; Loneliness; Driving oxen; Settlers; Different nationalities; Wood for steamboats; Saw mill; Stanton; A newspaper; Railroad; Businesses in family; He becomes married
374 – Location of homestead; Condition of soil; Preemption; The tree claim; Blizzards; Prairie fires; Firebreaks; Floods; Oxen; Begins plowing; Siblings
478 – Farms with father; Grain markets; Halfway house; Hannover; Store on farm; Hauls mail; Salary; Mail route; Carrying the mail by foot
580 – Mail route; Changing horses; Round trip; Overnight stop; Breaks down; Hired carriers; Route near Knife River; Find coal; Ancestors’ opinion of North Dakota; Family history
698 – County seat; Children; Homestead buildings; The settlers’ homesteading objectives; Dugout shelters; Father dies; He stays at home; Education
810 – Making a living; Sell butter; School term; Brother; The first crops; Breaking sod with horses; Firebreaks; Fences; Seeding by hand; Seeding machinery; Operating a threshing machine
995 – Steam engine; Cook car; Custom threshing; The homestead’s location; Nationalities; Buys land; Price of land in the 30’s and 40’s
104 – End of interview
Comment:  His mail route is the topic that is most interesting in this interview.

Tape #13 Max Borner (Stanton)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; Homesteads between Stanton and Bismarck; Buys machinery; Corn; Buys land; Blacksmiths; Family history; Butcher; Accident with cleaver; Uncle works as butcher
130 – Moves to United States; Gets married; Uncle killed digging well; Father’s location of homestead; Knife River flows into Missouri River; Post office; Country store; Robbery; Steamboat landing; Ice blocks channel; New channel; The steamboats that unloaded at landing; Implement dealer; An island; A lawsuit about renting land; Hotel
245 – Repeals lawsuit; Pastures cattle on disputed land; Land is sold; Irrigation; River towns; Boats; Elevator; The town of Deapolis; River towns; Baker’s elevator; Businesses at Deapolis; I.P. Baker; Max drives a boat; Wood for steamboats; Wood yard; Parents
352 – First impression of North Dakota; Hunting; Homesteader; Nationalities; Meat market; Indians; Buying hay; Indians murder individual; Russell’s store; Seeding by hand; Hay; Grass; Prairie fire; Sheep rancher; Fences
469 – Threshing machine; Severe winter; Anecdote about finding livestock in winter; Watering cattle; Siblings; The school attendance, term, and location; Moves to Beulah; An Indian uprising; Goes to Oregon
611 – Water on homestead; Anecdote about amity between Indians and Whites; Sod house; Coal mine; Early homesteader; Owner of coal mine; Mine; Fuel; Works at home; Deer; Hunting geese
812 – Store; Post office; Buys land; Tree claim; Preemption; Elk; Buffalo hides; County seat; Courthouse
029 – Courthouse; Steam plowing; Gasoline engines; The custom threshing
111 – Introduction
137 – Cook car; Anecdote about pressure in a threshing pump; The threshing rig; Breaking land; Bunkhouse; Pulling binders with tractor; Hail storm; Buys pool hall
260 – Improves farm; Gets married; Sons; Price of land; Making a living in 30’s; Goes to Oregon; Price of wheat; Steals gas; making a living in 30’s; Price of grain in 30’s; The taxes
397 – Rents land; Ships cattle in 30’s; Becomes ill
415 – End of interview
Comment:  Max’s conversation includes a steamboat landing, farm machinery, and an overall picture of homesteading days in the state of North Dakota.

Tape #14 Joe Gustafson (Stanton)
000 – Moves to North Dakota; Family history; “Swede flat”; The smelting plants; Deapolis; Impression of North Dakota; Closest towns; Education; Location of homestead; Deapolis moves; Elevator; Shipping grain by boat; Captain Marsh; Loading grain onto railroad
145 – Nationalities; Range; Depth of river; Age of Stanton; Indians; Mandan Indians; Gypsies; Raises horses; Wife; Buys homesteaders’ land
251 – Haul wool with oxen; Marketing grain; Baptist church; The cemetery; Works with great uncle; Typical work day; Dust storms; Irrigation; Worst and best years of crops; People move in 30’s; Best years for trading land; Price of land; Superintendent of Schools stays at their home; Buys land
392 – Gets married; Children; Making a living in the 30’s; Feeding cattle; Hay; Alfalfa; Grasshoppers; Discouragement; The credit; Game; Farm livestock; Businesses at Ft. Clark
506 – Point of unloading lumber; Center is built; Freight from Ft. Clark; Livery barn; Ft. Clark buys grain; Lumberyard; Banks fail in 20’s; Stockholders pay banks; News media; Popularity of NPL; Opinion of Langer and Townley’s honesty; Langer buys tractors
629 – Political emotionality; Area of IVA; Langer’s ability as orator; Government criticism
723 – Coal gasification; Price of land; Works with Basin Electric; Employments opportunities; Crime increase of coal gasification
851 – Introduction
874 – Coal mine; Weight of coal they moved from mine; Commercial mines; Hauling coal; Salary; Underground mine; Using the dynamite; Large mines; Reclamation of land; Breaking sod; Aeration of soil; Steam plowing 
978 – Custom plowing; Crop progression; Good and bad crop years; County agent; Varieties of grain; Wild horses; Shipping of cattle; Dependability of railroad mail service; Passenger train; Fare
089 – Plans for another town at Ft. Clark; Neighborliness; The gossip; Social life; Box socials; Consumption of alcohol; Robbery; Blacksmith; Welding
193 – Buys tractor; Gangplow; Neighbors butcher; Homemade soup; Purchased supplies; Flour mill; Prohibition; Sports; The Stanton’s town rivals
295 – County seat; Courthouse burns; Boats land at Stanton; The sports; “Character” people; Fishing; “Old Muddy” in early days; Electric plants
440 – Trend to larger farms; Farms disappear; Necessity of large farms; People work with construction; Perseverance of people; Influenza Epidemic; Doctors
563 – Garrison Dam; Flooding; Surface; water; Works with the circus; Works with rodeo; Bull riding
693 – SIDE TWO – Cowboys today; Guy Fox; The Chases; Brahma bulls; Rodeo wages; Rodeos in the state; Mr. Harold Schafer
802 – End of interview
Comment:  The Missouri River, water resources, coal mines, Deapolis, and Garrison Dam are topics discussed in this conversation.  Joe also adds information about farming methods, sports, social communication, and rodeos to enlighten our history of North Dakota.

Tape #15 Theodore Serr (Bismarck)
000 – Introduction
020 – Moves to North Dakota; Family history; Location of homestead; Jobs he held; Education; Move to Mannhaven; Works with druggist; Mannhaven; Businesses; “Blind Pig”; Hotel; Other businesses
153 – Works in bank; Nationalities; Interest rates at banks; A dirt bank; Elevator; Lumberyard; Railroad; Hauling grain by boat
258 – Closest railroad town; Loading and hauling grain by boat; Depth of water; Sandbars; Elevator and lumberyard move; Coal shed; Sells bank; Works as cashier; Bank fails
364 – Foreclosures; Interest rates; Principal discounts; Mr. I.P. Baker’s banks; Stores at Mannhaven
474 – Dances; Telephone; Elevators; Bank survives the 30’s; The farmers join NPL; I. Baker sells bank; Political affiliations
595 – Owners of the bank
615 – End of interview
Comment:  Theodore’s memory failed him often, and therefore, the interview is short.  The banks at Mannhaven, I.P. Baker, and the boats hauling grain to Washburn are the historical topics.

Tape #16 Richard Isaac (Bismarck)
000 – Introduction
023 – Family history; Other homesteaders; Crossing river between Bismarck and Mandan; Land is surveyed; Railroad gets land
129 – Rents farm; Flour mill; Mannhaven businesses; The doctor; Railroad reaches Hazen; Moves to Mannhaven; The government sells land near Pick City; Price of land; Prairie dogs; Price of land
230 – Topography of land; Leaning about Mercer County; Children; Homestead house; Stone house
345 – Fuel; Distance from homestead to river; Coal; Nationalities; Norwegian church; German language; Germans live in villages; Family’s home and school in Russia
478 – Reason for emigrating from Russia; English language in schools; Education; Teacher; Location of school; The post office at store; School term; Teachers
577 – Other settlers; Settling the area; Mannhaven homesteaders; Location of homestead from Krem; Railroad at Krem and at Stanton; Krem businesses; Closest town; The town of Krem disappears; Bank; Buys house
686 – Buys store; Sells eggs; Creamery; Loss of farms; Churches at Krem; School; Mannhaven receives name; The Grant Marsh bridge; Boat landings; Frequency of boats
904 – Location of a church; Handmade items and pictures
091 – End of interview
Comment:  Richard’s interview entails surveying.  Fort Berthold area, Mannhaven, Krem, and Grant Marsh bridge.

Tape #17 Frank Maichel (Hazen)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; Location of homestead; Nationalities; He breaks land; Stone houses; Logs; Settlers; A church; Ranches; Buying horses; Pasturing; Thieves; The horse ranches
119 – Raises horses; Resettlement loan; Breaks horses; Price of horses; School; Language in schools; School term; The boys remain home from school; Threshing rigs; Horse power rig; Grinding fee; Drill wells; Water; Coal; Change from horses to tractors
231 – Construction and durability of tractors; Play cards; The dances; Autos change neighborliness; Harvest a neighbor’s crop; 1918 influenza epidemic; Funerals; Doctor; The prohibition days; “Blind Pigs”
335 – Ranch near Stanton; Hauls grain; Hensler and Sanger businesses; I. Baker’s boats; Load boats at Deapolis; The elevators; Crop yieldage and prices in teens and 20’s; The grocery prices
468 – Prairie fires; Move to Hazen; Firebreak; Severe winters; Improve roads; WPA; Highways; Fences; making a living in 30’s; People leave; hay ; Raise corn; Price of straw
592 – Cut thistles; Grasshoppers eat pitchfork handles and the bridles; Moisture in ’36; People file bankruptcy; The discouragement; Loss of farms; Banks fail; The banks merge together; Livestock mortgages
692 – Hobos; Holiday Association; Foreclosures; Opinion of B. Langer as a political representative; Townley as orator; Telephone
735 – End of interview
Comment:  Frank discusses resettlement loans and river towns

Tape #18 Mr. and Mrs. Ed Gallwas (Hazen)
000 – Introduction
020 – Reason for emigrating from Russia to North Dakota; Buys a relinquishment; Russia’s people, land, and revolution; The nationalities; German Catholics
140 – Her family history; More of his family history; Communists steal horses; Prosperity of German-Russian farmers; Her family history; Homestead houses; Fuel
256 – Learns English; Raises sheep; Church; Otter Creek businesses; Closest town; Flour mill; Trips to town; Storing flour; Works in elevator
363 – Prairie fires; Social life; Plays for dances; Observance of Sundays; Church sermons; Work on Sundays; Elevator hours; Home brew; “Blind Pigs”; Bootleggers
463 – Night watchman; Police; Minister; Threshing rigs; The thresher’s meals; Kind of horses raised for rigs
577 – Severity of winters; Tractors before 30’s; The tractors that were powered by steam; 1918 influenza epidemic; The doctor
727 – Telephone; Switchboard; Midwife; Grading roads
840 – SIDE TWO – Crop in ’36; WPA roads, salary, and machinery; Learns foreign languages; Gets married; Children; Raising cattle in 30’s; Feed; School land; Grass; Grasshoppers; Dust storms; Deserted farms in 30’s; Farms, the planting seasons, and machinery in Russia
964 – Politics in area; Works with elevator; Moves into town; Flour mill; Elevator business in 40’s; The war shortages; Electricity; Attitudes about religion; Build church; The neighborliness; Storing vegetables; Canning; The poultry on farm
080 – Creamery; Opinion of North Dakota
Comment:  Ed’s discussion entails the early days in Russia.  The topic that probably causes Ed’s interview to be different from others is his answer about observance of Sundays and the church sermons.

Tape #19 Mr. and Mrs. Herb Knoop (Hazen)
000 – Introduction
020 – Lives in Germany and Denmark; Friendliness among Danes and Germans; Effect of World War I in Denmark; Works in office
121 – Sister emigrates to Canada; World War I forces Germans in Canada out of country; Danes receive food from North Dakota; Anecdotes from her trip to United States; Quality of bread during World War I
256 – Stays on East Coast; Stays in Stanton; Description of the beds; Lutheran church in Stanton; Minister; Freezing meat
397 – First impression of North Dakota; Butchering pork; Soups; Gets married; Meets husband; Hotel in Stanton; Their first house
521 – Expansion businesses; Farms; Steamboat from Bismarck; Krem; Shopping town; Krem; Stores owners at Expansion; The other towns; Becoming acquainted with Indians and Negroes; Galloping Goose
689 – Banks fail in Hazen and Stanton; Seed loans; Operates dad’s homestead; Education; Crops, prices, and cattle prices in 20’s; German money; Hitler’s reign begins
848 – Reasons for bank closings; Making a living in 30’s; Feed for cattle; Raise corn; Grasshoppers; Garden ; Discouragement; Raises pheasants; Feeds thistles
079 – Better crops and prices
102 – End of interview
Comment:  Most of this interview is about life in Denmark during World War I.  The river towns in Mercer County are included.

Tape #20 Matt Bitterman (Zap)
000 – Introduction
020 – Location of homestead; Nationalities; Homestead houses; Hauls lumber; Railroad at Zap; Hauls grain; Buy supplies; Flour mill; Files homestead
128 – Breaks sod; Crops in 1911; Buys horses; Cutting flax with ripper; Gas and self-propelled thresh machines; The steam plowing rig; Duration of threshing season; Keeping shocks in sacks; Water for thresh machines in winter; Care of the engine in winter; Plowing rig; Hired men; The fuel for plowing rig
238 – Coal mine; Quality of coal; Underground mines; Owners of Lucky Strike Mine; A spur; Employment at mines; Ship to coal; Increase strip mine; Works in mine; Boarding the miners; Hotels; Banks; Businesses
354 – Blacksmiths; Zap’s reputation; “Blind Pig”; Newspaper; Movie theater; Dances; Music; Doctor; 1918 influenza epidemic; Whereabouts of family; Hatchery; Midwife
526 – Siblings; Midwife; Caroline assists during epidemic; The doctor; Druggist; Decline of business; Mine strikes; Miners leave; Bank; Underground mine closes; The miners’ salaries; Matt drives truck
659 – Becomes married; Jobs in 30’s; Active mines during 30’s; Residents move West; Rancher; Salaries; Pasturing the cattle; Fences on reservation; Drug addiction; Indians consume meat market garbage
774 – Cattle and horse ranches; Price of horses; Thieves; They feed thistles to livestock; Sells out cattle; WPA; The churches; Works in mine; Constitution of a charge; The setting off of shots; Smoke hazard; Mules pull cars; A car’s weight; Rooms; A shift’s hours; Salary
107 – End of interview
Comment:  A machine called a ripper used during harvesting is discussed.  It was not worked widely.  Matt contributes information about coal mines.

Tape #21 John Murschel (Hazen)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; Threshing in Russia; Ship; Homesickness; Rents land; Price of land
128 – Location of homestead; Rate of settlement; Immigrant car; Opinion of North Dakota; Sod house; Lumber house; Amity among nationalities; Minister; Church; Schools; John’s education; Teacher
255 – Closest town; Krem businesses; Marketing grain; Elevator on reservation; Railroad; Other towns; Loading grain into boats; Boats; Dance hall on reservation; Rea
360 -  Other towns; First crop; Amount of sod broken; Breaking sod with steam rigs; Steam rig; Threshing machine; Horse power rig; Neighborliness
469 – Minister; Neighborliness; Churches; Friendliness among Indians and Whites; Other settlers
602 – His family hours; Dances; Scale of salaries; Works in Zap mine; Salary; Mines; Lucky Strike Mine closes; The employment at mine; Tonnage of coal loaded out
718 – Reasons for mines closing; Advantage of removing coal from strip mine; Size of mines; Fuel on homestead; Opening of mines; Ventures of the owner of Lucky Strike; Cars in the underground mine; Works in Lucky Strike; Strip mine opens
820 – Lucky Strike Mine closed; Coal mining hours; Setting off the shots; Air shafts; Lighting fuses; Accidents; The entries, rooms, slopes, skinners, loading and removing the cars, loading coal into boxcars, and dust
997 – Salary shoveling coal in boxcar; Work week; Miners without work; Miners leave area; Salary reduced
112 – SIDE TWO – Size of a mine room; Shape of roof and entry; “Propping” a room; Closing a room; First strip mine; The paying of overtime; Power in mines
216 – Loading cars; “Dinkies”; Gas shovel; Use of steam; A “shot”; A “dinky”; Loading coal cars; Story about a man wanting increased salary and losing job in 30’s
356 – Production of mines during 30’s; John works in strip mine; Steam shovel; Bucket; Employment in mine in 30’s; The boarding house; John’s board; Buys shack; Opinion of today’s  stripmining; Mining strike; Salaries, employment, and equipment at Hazen mine
490 – End of interview
Comment:  John’s comments about the salaries, hours, equipment, and general operation of the mines in his area are an asset to North Dakota history.

Tape #22 Harold Buri (Hazen)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; Businesses at Balfour; Nationalities; The Catholics; Friendliness between nationalities
125 – Centers of social life; Activities at opera house; Chautauqua; Lodges, insurance, and meetings; Churches; Owner of opera house; Hogs Back Ridge; Rancher; Springs; Park; Dillard (town); Hogs Back Ridge
267 – Flour mill; His education; First state basketball tournament; Teaches school; Learns to speak German
367 – School term; Attendance; Salary; Board; Walks to school; Hauls grain; A horse grind mill; Manure sled; The manure and straw for fuel; Summer kitchen
484 – Corn cobs for fuel; Breaking manure and straw for fuel; Coal; Moves to Hazen; Church; Dairy farm; Creamery; He teaches at Krem; Works as bookkeeper; Automobile garage; G. Tocheim
607 – Buys garage; Sells cars in 30’s; Price of houses; Sand storms; Buys car; Garage proceeds; Oldest business
715 – Fires; Firefighting facilities; A tree drive
844 – SIDE TWO – John Moses is elected; Movement of the Democratic Party begins; Langer’s popularity; Prohibition; The bootleggers; “Blind Pigs”; Anecdote about confiscating liquor; “Blind Pig”
930 – Banks fail; Sells cars and machinery on credit; Farmers Holiday Association; Collecting credit; Story about the collection of mortgaged pigs; Morale in 30’s; The crop failures; Seed loans; Self-sufficiency of farms; The government agencies aid farms; Agent
043 – Shelter belts; Works with Soil Conservation; Strip farmland; Fertility of soil north and south of Knife River; Subsoil; Clay; Roosevelt’s New Deal; Farmers Union; Cooperatives
142 – Sells automobile business; Buys service station; Title business; Elected county judge; Works at Rick Village; Indians travel in area; Indians receive individual payments; Repossess autos from Indians; Car dealer
247 – Present payments to Indians; Chairman of Hazen Chamber of Commerce; QPA well; Underground mines; Roller mill at Krem; Krem businesses; Church; Cemetery
361 – Mannhaven buildings; Expansion; Courthouse
491 – Change in mode of living; Coal gasification; Financing farms today; Stimuli affecting price and value of lands
637 – Recreational land; Price of land
683 – End of interview
Comment:  Harold’s interview is thoroughly informative conversation.  High points are Hogs Back Ridge, burning a combination of manure and straw for fuel, Credit in 30’s, fertility of soil north and south of Knife River, and dealings with Indians.

Tape #23 John Miller (Golden Valley)
000 – Introduction
020 – Emigrates to North Dakota; Reason for leaving Russia; Works with farmer; Impression of North Dakota; Nationalities in Russia; Attends school; Seed flax by hand
164 – Traveling on ship; Russians leave because of draft; The relation of government to people; Location of homestead
265 – Buys homestead; Settling the area; Ranches; Army purchases horses; A large rancher
396 – Homesteading house; Timber on river; Log houses; Sells wheat at Hebron; Wilfax elevator; Other elevators; Closest elevator; Inland stores and post offices
562 – Father’s machinery; Shocking grain; Threshing rigs; The horses pull rig; 14hp rig; Feeding the rig; Seeding by hand
695 – Rent land; Buys homestead; Crops and prices from years 1908-18
853 – SIDE TWO – Raises and butchers sheep; Steam plowing rig; Absorbing shocks from rocks; Influenza epidemic; Doctor; Home remedies; Railroad reaches area
954 – Midwife; Gets married; Prairie fires; Amity among Indians and Whites; Reading in evenings; Dances; Baseball; The Fourth of July celebrations; “Blind pigs”; Price of the alcohol; Prosecution of “moonshiners”
110 – Bootlegging; Opinion of Langer and Lemke; Chautauqua; Making a living in the 30’s; Loss of people; Halliday banks; Lose money in banks; Interest rates; Rings of the telephone; Changes in character of people
315 – End of interview
Comment:  Points of discussion in John’s conversation that are important are the inland stores and post office, Halliday banks, and the telephone exchange.

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