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Manuscripts - ND Oral History Collection - 10157 - Mountrail County

Mountrail County

Region 9
1 Christ Larson, Coulee
2 Ernest Halverson, Stanley
3 Anna Dannewitz, White Earth
4 Fred Crowder, Stanley
5 Florence Mae Good, Stanley
6 Art Edinger, Stanley
7 R. Z. Stolnecker, Stanley
8 John Vaage, Stanley
9 Dr. M. G. Flath, Stanley
10 Joe Cvancora, Stanley
11 Oscar and Ida Craft, Stanley
12 Jake and Clara Jacobs, Stanley
13 F. B. “Franklin” Taylor, Stanley
14 Cora Doty and Anna Smith, Stanley
15 Cecilie Nelson, Parshall
16 Louis Kok, Plaza
17 Frank Traynor, New Town
18 Mr. and Mrs. Clark Van Horn, Parshall
19 Mrs. Lena Evenson, Devils Lake (Plaza)
19A Mrs. Annie Jacobson, Stanley
20 George Lee, White Earth
21 H. A. “Herman” Jahnke, Sanish
22 Edna Iverson Davey, Stanley
23 P. Herb Johnson & Ina M. Johnson, Stanley
24 Charlie Juma, Sr., Stanley
25 LeRoy “Bud” Perry, New Town

Tape #1 Mr. Christ Larson (Coulee)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; First impressions of the area; His parents’ homestead; Nationalities in the area; Building materials used to construct homestead houses; General description of Baden, North Dakota, and its businesses
124 – Early ranches in the area; Family history
171 – Oxen farmers in the area; Sources of income on the homestead; Local coal mines
232 – Beginnings of Coulee, North Dakota, and of Larson, Kenaston, Niobe, Hartland, and others; Early businessmen in Coulee
288 – Churches in the area and affiliations of the various numbers of nationalities; Social life; Comments on “the good old days”
427 – Comments on the increase in large scale farming; The decline of diversified farming; Gardening; Preserving food
500 – Social life; Dances; Baseball games; Wildlife in the area in the early 1900’s
605 – Prevalence of bachelor homesteaders
642 – “Blind pigs” and bootleggers
690 – Popularity of the NPL in the area; Socialists and Communists; “Mother Bloor”; IWW workers on threshing crews
830 – Farm cooperatives
870 – Attending rural school
931 – SIDE TWO – Keeping hired men
958 – Getting his own farm; Working for the highway department in the 40’s
992 – Decline of area small towns in the 30’s; Working on WPA; Loans available; Surplus commodities; Farming in the 30’s
155 – Threshing and the crew it required; IWW works; Eating in the cook car
380 – Lighting in early homes; The first rural telephone system in the area; Wind chargers
432 – The influenza epidemic of 1918; Midwives
503 – End of interview
Comment:  A generally informative interview throughout.  Portions dealing with Bade, North Dakota, and the 30’s are probably the most valuable.

Tape #2 Ernest Halvorson (Stanley)
000 – Introduction
020 – Conversation about area old folks
041 – Family history and their farm near Palermo; Moving from of Minnesota to North Dakota; First impressions of the state of North Dakota
140 – Description of virgin prairie; Prairie fires
167 – Nationalities in Mountrail County; A Mennonite colony
235 – Small towns and rural post offices that are now gone
273 – Farmers who used oxen; Stone and block buildings; Palermo’s block plant; Businesses in early Palermo; Choosing the seat of Mountrail County
420 – Homes they lived in when they first came to North Dakota
470 – Prevalence of bachelor homesteader; His mother’s opinion of North Dakota; His brothers and sisters
537 – Beginning of Palermo’s decline; The county fair in Palermo
562 – Popularity of the NPL in the area; Recollections of Mr. A. C. Townley, his speaking ability. And oil well scheme; The emotionalism of politics
714 – SIDE TWO
760 – The image of farmers in the early 1900’s; His opinion of large scale farming
789 – Increased toleration among various religions and nationalities
866 – His education and marriage
895 – Good and poor crop years, 1915-40
921 – Morale during the 30’s; Hard times; Emigration from North Dakota; Neighborliness
019 – Family life prior to radio
048 – Federal programs that have aided North Dakota farmers; Loan programs and soil conservation; Farmer resentment of some of the programs; Conservation practices
193 – Effect of Garrison Dam on Mountrail County
267 – Social life; Stanley’s first movie theater; Saturday nights
430 – End of interview
Comment:  Mr. Halvorson is an observant and articulate man.  His recollections of North Dakota date from 1912.  A large portion of this Stanley interview is not a historical narrative so much as it is a record of his impressions and opinion of events.

Tape #3 Ms. Anna Dannewitz (White Earth)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history and their homestead near White Earth; The sod house; Making cheese
061 – Nationalities in the area; Her parents’ homestead; Her first impression of North Dakota
109 – Farming with oxen; Shopping in Ross where her father sold the grain; Early farming methods; Jobs she held as a child
171 – Early White Earth businesses; Church services; Attending a rural school and getting lost in the winter on her way from home to school
224 – Working at the restaurant in early White Earth; White Earth’s trade area; Digging coal locally
310 – Children’s chores on the homestead; Her father delivering the babies; Her mother’s dislike of the prairie
377 – Milking cows; Making and selling butter
419 – Working in the restaurant; Prevalence of traveling salesmen in the early 1900’s
460 – Economic situation on her parents’ farm
481 – Her husband’s background; Their marriage in 1908 and their homestead
565 – Early medical care; Difficulty of travel in the winter
580 – Self-sufficiency on the farm; Gardening; Curing meat and preserving food; Making sauerkraut; Saving seeds for the cucumbers, turnips
879 – The influenza epidemic of 1918; Common children’s diseases; Whooping Cough
931 – SIDE TWO – Home remedies for illness; Ordering from catalogs; Dried fruit; Canning; Sewing
013 – Economic conditions during her married life; Crop failures
035 – Fishing in the Whiter Earth River; Trapping; Hunting and the eating of rabbits; Prevalence of wildlife
104 – Farming during the 30’s; Feeding thistles to livestock; Bank failures; Morale; Dust storms and grasshoppers
197 – Social life and entertainment
246 – Support for the NPL; Thoughts about North Dakota; Family life; Neighborliness
279 – Washing clothes prior to electricity; Making soap
348 – End of interview
Comment:  Mrs. Dannewitz has lived through some hard times and tells a moving personal story.  The section on preserving food is one of the better portions of a generally informative interview.

Tape #4 Mr. Fred Crowder (Stanley)
000 – Introduction
020 – His work as a water douser; How underground water veins flow; How he got started as a douser
208 – Why only some people can douse effectively; Using a pliers to find water; Drilling wells; Anecdotes about drilling wells and dousing for skeptics
330 – Difficulty homesteaders had finding good water
367 – Increased alkali in soil in the area and the apparent raising of the water table; Loss of cattle in the January, 1975, bad blizzard; General conversation; Vandalism
774 – Increased alkali in recent years
898 – Dousing; Anecdotes about finding water
933 – SIDE TWO
994 – Family history; His parents’ homestead near Ross
029 – Nationalities in the area and relations among them; The Syrian settlement near Ross
159 – Increase in the acreage of farms; Comments on “the good old days”; Neighborliness and social life
254 – Shipping cream out of Lundsvalley – businesses in that town; Prevalence of home brew
286 – Support for the NPL among farmers; Lack of controversy over politics; The Farm Holiday Association; Emigration during the 30’s; Morale; Grasshoppers
372 – His opinion of coal development and reclamation
401 – End of interview
Comment:  Mr. Crowser’s experience as a douser and water well driller make his remarks on those subjects valuable

Tape #5 Florence Mae Good (Stanley)
000 – Introduction
020 – Her education; Family history; Her father’s editorship of the Stanley Sun
150 – Her marriage and her husband’s background; Her mother’s emigration from Canada and work as a teacher
185 – Her father’s health and his newspaper business
218 – Nationalities in Stanley; Celebrations in Stanley
247 – Her husband’s death; Her children
272 – Relations between Indians and homesteaders
301 – Social life and entertainment; Stanley’s rapid growth; Family history  
378 – Early churches in Stanley; Neighborliness; Celebrations; Work the Indian people did
555 – Early ranchers; Friendliness of people; Rodeos
629 – End of interview

Tape #6 Mr. Art Edinger (Stanley)(Wells County)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; His parents’ emigration from Romania and settlement in Wells County; Nationalities in the Bremen area
130 – Prevalence of homesteaders who farmed with oxen; Prevalence of German language in the Bremen area; Social life; The Bremen Township Band
238 – Moving to Plaza and opening his barber shop; Plaza’s decline; Rivalry between in area towns; Various nationalities in the Plaza area
348 – Banks in Plaza; Bank failures
440 – Emotional politics in the 20’s and 30’s; Popularity of the NPL; His opinion of Langer, Lemke, and Usher Burdick; Comments about the Mountrail County Farm Holiday Association; Why the movement died out in the county
716 – End of Tape A
000 – Introduction
020 – Relations between farm and city boys in school; The farmers’ resentment of Treadwell Twitchell’s “slop the hogs” remark; Twitchell’s brilliance; Animosity of western North Dakota toward Fargo
110 – Popular attitudes toward corruption in politics; Political speeches as entertainment
145 – Communist Party strength in the Belden area
179 – The Equity Association; Dishonest line elevators; Co-op elevators; Growth of the Farmers Union; His opinion of the Farm Bureau (confused with the NFO?)
262 – Barbering in the 30’s in Plaza; Morale; Emigration in the 30’s; Giving credit and collecting bills; How the farmers managed to keep operating; Buying hay; Social life in the 30’s
497 – Barbering in Plaza; The hours he operated; Prices that he charged over the years; Changes in the business; Changes in personal appearance and hair styles
601 – Local opinion regarding Garrison Dam
651 – Comments about coal development
704 – Neighborliness of people, past and present; Increase in the acreage of farms; Impact of the automobile upon small towns; Thoughts about North Dakota
801 – Plaza’s “boom town” atmosphere in the 20’s; Bootlegging; Home brew
864 – End of interview
Comment:  This is an enjoyable and informative interview.

Tape #7 Mr. R. Z. Stolnecker (Stanley)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; His parents’ homestead near Stanley; The neighborliness of early settlers
120 – Nationalities in the Stanley area; Family history
165 – His education
215 – His mother; Beginning farming
250 – Businessmen in early Stanley
335 – Small towns that are now gone – Manitou, Epworth, Amanda, Lundsvalley, Tagus, Wabek, Brookbank, Bill Gibb’s horse ranch, Ellefson, Palda
467 – Communist Party strength among the Finns in the Belden area; “Mother Bloor”
528 – The Syrian settlement near Ross
560 – Relations between Whites and Indians
590 – Swift’s Packing Plant in Stanley; Processing turkeys and chickens; Buying cream
620 – Newspapers in early Stanley; Grain elevators in which he worked; First use of combines in the area
758 – Good and poor crop years from 1924-41
841 – Increased alkali in soil of the area
872 – Morale during the 30’s
956 – End of Tape A
000 – Introduction
020 – Early doctors in Stanley; The influenza epidemic of 1918; Home remedies for illness; Common illnesses – whooping cough, chicken pox, and other
122 – Social life and recreation; Saturday night shopping; The baseball games; Fishing
226 – Planting trees and farm groves; Prairie fires
276 – Threshing; IWW workers on the threshing crews
312 – Popularity of the NPL among farmers; Townley’s speaking ability
360 – The Farm Holiday Association
399 – Early automobiles
450 – End of interview
Comment:  Mr. Stolnecker’s recollections date from about 1915.  Although there is not a great deal of detailed information in this interview, it is enjoyable and generally valuable.

Tape #8 Mr. John Vaage (Stanley) (Ward County)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; Emigration from Minnesota; His parents’ homestead near Kenmare; His mother’s dislike for the state; Sale of the homestead and their migration to Iowa; His return to North Dakota with an uncle at age nine
120 – Working for farmers as a youth; Threshing; Various jobs he has held
158 – His marriage and getting his own farm in 1926; Working on the Lake Darling game refuge
235 – His opinion of various makes of steam engines and threshing machines; Why he liked threshing; Getting licensed as a steam engineer
393 – Advantages of threshing machines over combines; Cleaning devices on early combines; IWW workers on threshing crews; Soldiers working on harvesting crews during World War II
722 – End of Tape A
000 – Introduction
020 – Mexican labor on the farm; Anecdotes about hired men
106 – First use of combines; His liking for horses; His first tractors
152 – Farming and raising livestock during the 30’s; Working on WPA projects; Finding feed for cattle and the cost of buying hay
277 – Farmers’ support of the NPL; His admiration for William Langer; Morale during the 30’s; Grasshoppers and army worms; Soil erosion
422 – Neighborliness of people; Social life
513 – Early medical care; His mother’s death
536 – Getting music for the dances
554 – Increasing acreage of farms; His support for a graduated land tax
648 – His sons; Thoughts on North Dakota
716 – End of interview
Comment:  Portions regarding farming, particularly threshing, are enjoyable and colorful.

Tape #9 Dr. M. G. Flath (Stanley)
000 – Introduction
020 – Why he came to Stanley to start practice in 1910; Changes in medical practice; Making house calls; Prevalence of midwives in the early 1900’s; The skill of some midwives and some of the ignorance of others
120 – Various nationalities in the Stanley area and dealing with the people who couldn’t speak English; The excellent physical condition of women in the early days
166 – Common diseases in the early days; The influenza epidemic of 1918 and the strain it put on him
245 – His uncle’s medical practice in Churchs Ferry and later in Stanley; First telephone service in Stanley; Reason why he never married
300 – Making calls to farms by team and buggy or sleigh
362 – Cattle ranches south of Stanley in the early 1900’s; Staying overnight in farm houses; Hospitality of early settlers; Severe blizzard of 1902
466 – Clannishness of various nationalities; Finnish Communists near Belden; Intermarriage of nationalities
557 – The territory he covered as an MD; Home remedies; Discuss amputations
725 – End of Tape A
000 – Introduction
020 – Common fractures in the early 1900’s; The number of babies he has delivered (3200); Opening the hospital in Stanley; MD’s who served small towns in Mountrail County
065 – Early automobiles he used
119 – Veterinarians; Prevalence of frost bite; Home brew and the “blind pigs”; Social life; Chautauqua
185 – Prestige of MD’s; Importance of good bedside manner
240 – His philosophy of life and death and his religious faith
318 – His opinion of the quality of life in North Dakota and the characteristics of Mountrail County
338 – The effect of the depression upon his practice; His yearly income during various years; Doing medical work without the pay; Morale during the depression; Poverty he saw during the 30’s
441 – His opinion of New Deal programs; Popularity of the NPL among farmers and of the IVA among businessmen; “Mother Bloor”
520 – How he kept up with new developments in medicine; Tonsillectomies; Surgery he has performed
651 – Early funerals
706 – Changes in the pace of life
740 – Delivering babies
751 – Early ranchers in the area; The Gibb ranch; George Wilson
857 – End of interview
Comment:  This is an excellent interview

Tape #10 Joe Cvancara (Stanley)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; Coming from Nebraska to North Dakota in 1906; Their homestead near Manitou; The Bohemian settlement south of Ross; Farming with oxen; Their combination house and the barn; Sod houses
147 – His children; The Americanization of his parents; Drilling water wells with a horse power rig
200 – Raising a garden and preserving vegetables
219 – Prairie fires; Planting flax on new breaking
260 – Threshing; Owners of the threshing rigs in the area
285 – Attending rural school
305 – Expansion of his father’s farm; Nationalities in the area and the relations between them
332 – Getting started on his own farm and making a living during the 30’s; Finding feed for livestock
459 – His first tractor and the return of better crops in 1938; WPA projects
504 – Popularity of the NPL and of Langer
522 – Neighborliness of people and social life; The Ross Farmers Band
595 – Gypsies traveling through the area
630 – Midwives; His wife’s background
689 – County seat fights in Mountrail County; Farming with horses
768 – Baseball team in Ross; Early businesses in Manitou
840 – Relations between Indians and homesteaders; Wildlife in the early 1900’s; The influenza epidemic of 1918; “Blind pigs” in area small towns; Hobos on the trains
990 – Flour mills in area towns
058 – End of interview
Comment:  The interview is generally informative throughout although little detail is offered.

Tape #11 Oscar and Ida Craft (Stanley)
000 – Introduction
024 – Family history; How he came to North Dakota from Norway
086 – Getting his own farm in 1919; Good and poor crops; Clearing rocks off his land; Farming with horses
180 – Hard times farming during the 30’s; Morale; Army worms; Getting enough food to eat; Their daughter’s death in 1934; Emigration from the area in the 30’s; Dust storms; The grasshoppers; First good crop again in1940
435 – WPA projects; Gardening in the 30’s; Getting the surplus commodities; Their children
631 – Her family background and parents’ homestead; Nationalities in area
748 – Social life and entertainment
880 – The Sundt church and early pastors
940 – SIDE TWO – Popularity of the NPL
965 – Prevalence of rocks on area farmland
006 – Joining the NPL and the educational value the League had to farmers; Dishonest elevator operators; His opinion of Bill Langer and Lynn J. Frazier; IVA supporters in Stanley
110 – Organization of the Farmers Union; The Farmers Holiday Association
215 – Farm work she did and her love for horses
242 – Digging their own coal in hillsides; Snowstorms
320 – His parents’ opinion of farmers’ political movements, labor unions and radicals, and free thinkers
361 – His thoughts on coal development, Garrison Diversion, and large scale farming
510 – End of interview
Comment:  A generally informative interview.  The most valuable portions deal with the 30’s and his comments about the NPL.

Tape #12 Jake and Clara Jacobs (Stanley)(Williams County)
000 – Introduction
025 – His family history; moving from Minnesota to North Dakota; Nationalities in the area around Van Hook; Getting land near Van Hook in 1913 when a portion of the Berthold Indian Reservation was opened to settlement
130 – His parents’ farm in the Missouri River Valley near Van Hook; Attending rural school
163 – Her family history and parents’ homestead northwest of the city of Williston; The Gladys, North Dakota post office; The isolation of the community and its German Catholic culture prior to the arrival of the Great Northern Railroad in Grenora in 1916
300 – Social life and entertainment in her parents’ community, St. Boniface; Card games and dances; Social life in the Van Hook area; Basket socials; The importance of the church in social life
354 – Relations between Whites and Indians in the early 1900’s; Indian leaders he knew – Drags Wolf; Sources of income for the reservation Indians
440 – Their marriage in 1933
451 – Economic conditions on his parents’ farm; Self-sufficiency on early farms; Herding cattle; Gardening; Hunting and eating wild game; Prevalence of coyotes
596 – Her father’s trips to Williston for supplies; The ferry across Cow Creek; Getting mail in Bonetraill
653 – Butchering beef in the fall; Preserving meat
674 – A prairie fire near her home in 1910; Gathering and selling buffalo bones; Burning dried manure in the cook stove; The locating of a lignite deposit and digging their own coal
744 – Preserving vegetables; Making sausage and head cheese
815 – Fishing in the Van Hook area; Hunting ducks and geese and upland geese in the early 1900’s
871 – Difficulty of finding good water on her parents’ homestead
935 – SIDE TWO – Prairie fires; Digging their own coal near the town of Van Hook
970 – His mother’s work as a midwife; Home remedies for illnesses; Use of sulphur and molasses; A childhood prank her brother played
046 – Wildlife along the Missouri River; Coyotes; Farming with oxen
084 – Working for area farmers; Getting his own farm; His education; Threshing and common ownership of threshing machines; Cooking for threshing crews
190 – IWW workers on threshing crews; Threshing in general
250 – Getting his own farm; Good and poor crop years in the 20’s; Her education and teaching experience at Van Hook
345 – Hard times on the farm in the 30’s; Raising livestock; The grasshoppers and army worms; Population exodus; Morale; WPA projects in the area
461 – Popularity of the NPL among area farmers
505 – Social life and entertainment; Early movies; Baseball games
590 – The Garrison Dam; Evacuation of Van Hook
632 – Thoughts on coal development and on the “good old days” and cooperation of neighbors; Saturday nights in town
753 – End of interview
Comment:  The interview is generally informative throughout, particularly on the subjects connected with farming.  Mrs. Jacobs offers some insights into the settlement and development of the Grenora, North Dakota area.

Tape #13 F. B. “Franklin” Taylor (Stanley)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; His father’s employment at the First National Bank in Stanley
076 – Early Stanley; Bringing Mennonite settlers to the area; The businesses in early Lostwood and the bank there
150 – Nationalities in Mountrail County and their relations with each other
216 – Banks in early Stanley; His father’s management of the First National Bank and its closing
320 – Early ranchers in the Stanley area; Relations between the ranchers and homesteaders
360 – Mountrail County banks in the early 1900’s; The easy credit policies
394 – His schooling; George Wilson, “Father” of Stanley; The other early businessmen in Stanley; Early medical doctors
485 – Fraternal organizations in early Stanley – The Masons, Woodmen, and Royal Neighbors; Comments on changing attitudes toward religion and social life; Masonic activities; The relations between Catholics and Protestants
717 – SIDE TWO – Recreation at Clear Lake; Childhood entertainment; Saturday night shopping and socializing; The Chautauqua at Stanley; Circuses and minstrel shows
838 – Train service in early Stanley
887 – Emotional politics during the NPL “heyday” and the division between IVA and NPL supporters; Organization of the Farmers Union
969 – The influenza epidemic of 1918 and Doctor M.G. Flath’s efforts in the community
050 – Early telephone service in Stanley, the electrical generating plant, and water system
080 – Working in Stanley in the 30’s; Dust storms; Morale; WPA work; Getting surplus commodities
179 – Neighborliness of people, formerly and presently; The family life; Changes in the pace of life
310 – His father’s involvement in Republican politics; Comments on his old photographs
359 – Keeping livestock in Stanley; The town herd of milk cows; Gardening; Problems finding farm labor during World War I
437 – End of interview
Comment:  Mr. Taylor has a good memory and is articulate.  The interview is valuable and is informative throughout. 

Tape #14 Cora Doty and Anna Smith (Stanley)
000 – Introduction
020 – Cora’s background and reasons for coming to Stanley from the state of Illinois in 1907; Her parents; Her first impressions of North Dakota; Harsh winters
081 – Cora’s farm southeast of Stanley; Businesses in the early days of Epworth
122 – Nationalities in the area southeast of Stanley; Beginning of Belden, North Dakota, and its early businessmen and the creamery
204 – Anna’s family history and her parents’ move to the Stanley area in 1902; Her liking for North Dakota; Their house on the homestead and its furnishings
294 – The sawmill near Sanish
311 – Getting established on the homestead; Stack threshing in the spring; Sod houses in the area; Farming with oxen
386 – Traveling in an immigrant car; Cora’s family history
411 – Gardening and preserving vegetables and meat; The flour mill in Plaza
520 – Selling eggs and butter in Epworth and Belden; Making the sheets and pillow cases from flour sacks; Buying or the ordering of dry goods from catalogs; Peddlers
716 – SIDE TWO
738 – A 1910 prairie fire that burned out Cora’s farm
769 – Coyotes in the early 1900’s and wildlife in general
791 – Cora’s children; Exodus of farm population; The blacksmith in Epworth; Other businesses there; The Epworth newspaper
845 – Social life and entertainment; Putting up ice
892 – The Epworth doctor and the influenza epidemic of 1918; Doctor Flath
936 – The 30’s on the farm; Feeding cattle thistles
023 – “Mother Bloor” and the Communists around Belden; Getting women’s suffrage
122 – Popularity of the NPL among farmers
250 – Contrast of farming methods, past and present
308 – Thoughts on North Dakota and the “good old days” and the hard times
433 – End of interview
Comment:  This is an enjoyable interview with two pleasant farm wives.  It contains valuable descriptions of homemaking and the role of farm women in the early 1900’s.

Tape #15 Cecilie Nelson (Parshall)(Walsh County)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; Her parents’ emigration from Norway; Their homestead house in Walsh County; Farming with oxen
141 – Attending rural school when she wasn’t needed at home to work
162 – Her husband’s death in 1940; Paying off the debt on the farm; Her marriage in 1911 and their farm northwest of Parshall
230 – Interruption from visitors
250 – Her children
268 – Getting started on the farm near Parshall; Her husband’s love of early tractors; His threshing outfit; Her husband’s farm methods; Sources of income on the farm and how her husband used her money
415 – Selling eggs and butter in Parshall and Plaza; Raising and dressing and selling turkeys
481 – Farming after her husband’s death; Hard times
566 – Gardening and preserving food; Making lefse
612 – Delivering children and problems she had giving birth to one child; Her mother-in-law’s illness and death; How the men mistreated women; Why she didn’t leave her husband, despite his misdeeds
841 – Thoughts on large scale farming; More on her husband’s perfidy
926 – End of interview
Comment:  Mrs. Nelson has had a difficult life and, in her own words, and unhappy marriage.  Mrs. Nelson is very frank and explicit about her own life and the role of women on farms in the early 1900’s.

Tape #16 Mr. Louis Kok (Plaza)(McHenry County)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; Emigration from Holland to North Dakota in 1907; Working for farmers near Drake; Taking a Montana homestead in 1910, then returning to North Dakota and the renting of a farm near Guthrie, North Dakota, in the county of McHenry
148 – Moving to the Plaza area to buy a relinquishment in 1913
200 – Returning to Holland in 1916 and getting married upon coming back to North Dakota; Problems of crossing the Atlantic during World War I
272 – Developing his farm; Good and poor crop years, 1913-19; Paying off farm loans; Variations in farm land prices over the years
364 – Crops during the 20’s and 30’s; Expanding his farm acreage
440 – Farming during the 30’s; WPA work
483 – Nationalities in the area; Businesses in early Plaza and its trade area
567 – Prairie fires; Construction buildings and digging a well on his farm; Clearing rocks off his land; Breaking sod with steam rigs
828 – His first tractor; Farming and feeding cattle during the 30’s
935 – End of Tape A
000 – Introduction
020 – Relations with Indian people; Picking chokecherries and wild plums on the reservation
080 – Social life and entertainment; Neighborliness of people
148 – A. C. Townley’s oil well scheme and attempts to get him to invest in it
224 – Popularity of the NPL in the area; His dislike for William Langer because Langer told farmers not to pay seed loans back
316 – The Farm Holiday Association in the Mountrail County and the attempt to stop wheat sales
356 – Morale during the 30’s
380 – Self-sufficiency on early farms; Gardening and butchering; His opinion of large scale farming and of North Dakota
534 – Getting electricity on the farm and the difference it made in their life; His children and the hard work his wife did
665 – Plaza’s newspapers; Reading material in their home; Family life; Ordering from catalog
724 – End of interview
Comment:  Portions dealing with his immigration from Holland and early farm life are good.

Tape #17 Frank Traynor (New Town)(Rolette County)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; His parents’ move to North Dakota in 1884 and their homestead in Rolette County; His father’s emigration from Ireland; His father’s sheep ranch and the death of the sheep in a March blizzard; Economic conditions on the homestead; Keeping the homestead in the family
206 – Filing on a homestead on the former Ft. Berthold Reservation in 1913; Leaving the farm to open an implement business; The struggle to keep the business going
268 – The battle to pick the site for New Town and develop the city; Milton Young’s assistance in getting federal funding for the water and sewer system; Selling lots in New Town; Getting the school built
727 – End of Tape A
000 – Introduction
020 – Getting funds to build the New Town school with Milton Young’s help
086 – Controversy over building the Garrison Dam; Organized support for a dam at Sanish; Meeting with the Bureau of Reclamation; Men who were influential in getting plans started for the dam
258 – Great numbers of waterfowl in the early 1900’s
268 – Support for and opposition to the Garrison Reservoir and the diversion projects; Developing recreation areas on Lake Sakakawea
337 – Relations between whites and Indians
424 – Opening of a portion of the Ft. Berthold Reservation to the homesteading; New towns that started – Van Hook and Sanish; His homestead and the type of people who came to take land on the former reservation
503 – Early businessmen in Van Hook
552 – His politics and opinion of political parties; The NPL and A. C. Townley; Dishonest in the operation of the state mill and Bank of North Dakota; Townley’s oil well; His low opinion of Langer; Anecdotes about Langer
767 – His opinion of Lynn Frazier and Bill Lemke; Langer’s moratorium on farm foreclosures; His respect for Usher Burdick
931 – SIDE TWO
939 – The Farmers Holiday Association in Mountrail County; His service on the County Welfare Board in the 30’s; WPA projects in the area and his efforts to get money for the projects; Building the community hall in Van Hook
151 – Neighborliness of people in the 30’s; Story of helping get a man work on WPA
214 – His opinion of large scale farming, coal development, taxes, inflation, and labor union
293 – Thoughts about North Dakota as a place to live
313 – End of interview
Comment:  Mr. Traynor offers a wealth of information about the beginnings of Garrison Dam, the creation of New Town, and WPA projects in the Van Hook area.

Tape #18 Mr. and Mrs. Clark Van Horn (Rural Parshall) (Renville and Benson Counties)
000 – Introductions
020 – Family history; His father’s ramblings in Minnesota and North Dakota and his large farm and horse ranch in Benson County and the loss of the farm in the 20’s
119 – His reasons for coming to Mountrail County to the farm; His father’s farming operation and threshing crew; The cook car and bunk car
356 – Her family history and parents’ homestead in Renville County
394 – IWW workers on threshing crews; Threshing and fuel burned in steam engines
470 – Prices for food, clothes, and tools in the early 1900’s
540 – Her grandparents’ immigration from Norway to Minnesota and move to North Dakota
586 – Their marriage in 1943 while he was in the Navy
638 – Hard times on the farm in the 30’s; Her teaching job in a rural school during the depression
715 – SIDE TWO
742 – Morale during the 30’s; A suicide
756 – Steam plowing rigs
772 – His service in the state Senate in the 60’s; His father’s support for the NPL; Merger of the NPL and Democrat and the battle that took place
930 – The telephone companies in the Norma area in the early 1900’s; Her father’s 1915 Studebaker car
992 – Old Leaguers who refused to join the Democrats
022 – Entertainment at the Mouse River park pavilion and political rallies held there
062 – Working in the Renville County AAA Office in 1933
151 – Gerald Nye’s speaking ability; General changes in politics
200 – The Devils Lake Chautauqua
246 – Changes that bother them – large scale farming; Neighborliness of people
432 – End of interview
Comment:  Mr. and Mrs. Van Horn’s recollections date from the early 1920’s.  This is a generally informative interview dealing mainly with farming and politics.

Tape #19 Mrs. Lena Evenson (Devils Lake)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history and her parents’ homestead near Plaza; Her first impressions of North Dakota; Their sod house and their home furnishings
112 – Early settlers in the area; Their rural school; The women homesteaders
185 – Her husband’s family; His threshing rig; Cooking for the crew in the cook car
336 – Early ranches in the area; Relations with Indians
367 – Her marriage; The Shell Post Office; The Leland, North Dakota, store and post office
425 – Beginnings of Plaza and its early businessmen; Early MD’s in Plaza and the influenza epidemic of 1918; Midwives and her mother’s experience delivering babies
531 – Social life and entertainment; Basket socials; The prairie fires
630 – Good and poor crops, 1912-17; Farming during the 30’s
712 – SIDE TWO – Exodus of people from the area during the 30’s; Dust storms and grasshoppers; Selling off cattle; Bank failures
800 – Politics; Local blacksmiths
852 – Her family choral group; Lighting their home prior to the electricity
887 – Neighborliness of people
944 – End of interview
Comment:  Daughter of one of the first homesteaders in the Plaza area, Mrs. Evenson’s recollections are entertaining and informative.

Tape #24 Mr. Charlie Juma, Sr. (Stanley)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; His parents’ immigration to Mountrail County from Syria via Kansas and Nebraska where they peddled goods to farmers
070 – His parents’ homestead; Other Syrian settlers; Borrowing money to keep the farm operating
185 – His father’s farm in Syria; Family history; Bringing his sister to ND
280 – Syrian settlers in the area and the reasons that many left; Early farming practices; Hard work and hard times on the homestead
383 – Syrian settlement in Williams County; Changes in the cost of farm machinery
487 – The Syrian community near Ross; Construction of the Ross mosque in 1929; Exodus of Syrian settlers during the 1930’s; Sources of income on the farm
596 – Nationalities in the area; Sources of water on the homestead
668 – Syrian settlers who remained in the area
715 – SIDE TWO – Names of Syrian settlers
745 – His parent’s homestead house; Sources of fuel; Relations between various nationalities; Intermarriage; Learning to speak English
906 – Towns in Syria that the immigrants came from; Christian-Muslim relations in Syria; Neighbor’s cooperation during threshing
956 – The 1918 flu epidemic; Midwives; Neighborliness of people; Harsh winters and hard times on the farm; Account of a man lost in a blizzard
100 – The Syrian photographer in Ross; Children’s chores on the farm; Early farm machinery
159 – Acquisition of large farms by some during the depression; Farming during the 1930’s; His opinion of large scale farming
379 – His opinion of coal development; Thoughts about the quality of life in ND
436 – End of interview
Comment:  This is undoubtedly one of the best interviews concerning Syrian immigrants in North Dakota.

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