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Manuscripts - ND Oral History Collection - 10157 - Oliver County

Oliver County

Region 11
1 Christ Barneman, Hannover
2 Herman Rabe, Hannover
3 Helen Berg, Center
4 William Bittner, Center
5 Lena Benjamin, Center
6 William Wolfe, Center
7 Ruby and Ralph Bigelow, Center
8 Alvin and Olive Anderson, Center
9 Mr. and Mrs. Tom Price, Price
10 Ralph Hickle, Center
11 Stephen and Gladys Dunn, Center
12 Mrs. Anna Albers, Bismarck
13 Mrs. Nellie Smith, Mandan
14 Mr. Henry Henke, Bismarck
15 Arthur Daub, Ft. Clark
16 Otto Lueneberg, Center
17 Otto Skager, Ft. Clark
18 Howard Smith, Hensler
19 Walter M. Bailey, Bismarck
20 Mrs. Martin Holter, Mandan

Tape #1 Christ Barneman (Hannover)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; Farming with oxen; Family history; Prairie fires; Sod house location on homestead; Nationalities; Siblings
128 – Buying coal from mines; Using house for granary; Water; Mail; Post Office; Buying farm; Power plant; Location from mine
242 – Coal powder; Hauls coal; Creamery; Butcher pork; Siblings; Goes home; Becomes married; Wife’s family history
344 – Store; Blacksmith; Charging; Location from town; His education; Schools; Lutheran Church; Minister; Midwives; Doctor; Raises cattle, corn, and horses
452 – Farming with oxen; Threshing machine; Early crops; Homesteaders; Desert homes; Raising horses; Ranchers
568 – 1918 influenza epidemic; Remedies; Making a living in the 30’s; Buys pigs
637 – Population leaves area in 30’s; Feeding thistles; Bank at Center; Fort Clark businesses; Sells grain; Grasshoppers
751 – Making a living in 30’s; Cattle prices; Raising horses; Hauls coal; Hired men; Hauling coal with horses; Locating the coal; Second vein; Compares second layer of coal; Number of miners
916 – Brothers own mine; Collecting credit; WPA roads; Land owners in area
048 – Keeping hay in 30’s; Hauls grain to Fort Clark
094 – End of interview
Comment:  Christ’s comment about mining is more informative than other topics that he discusses.

Tape #2 Herman Rabe (Hannover)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; Homestead; Mail; Moving to Hannover; Sod houses; Begins farming; Farming with oxen; Water; Rural school; Nationalities; Teachers; School term; Fuel; Haul buffalo bones; Siblings; Midwife; Success of crops in early years; Broadcasting seed; Threshing machine
127  Sociability; Neighbors work together; Inland stores; post offices; Marketing grain; Indians pass through; making a living in late 1800’s; Cellar; Log house granary; Gypsies; Breaking sod; First crops; Weeds; Prairie fires; Firebreak; Mining coal; Nationalities; Homesickness
232 – Quality of coal; Coal development and gasification plants; Religion; Gets married; Severe winter; Wolves and coyotes; Creamery; Center’s built; Flour mill; Hannover businesses; Blacksmith; Trips to town; Children
331 – Doctor; His homestead; Buys land; Grasshoppers; People leave; Cuts thistles; making a living in 30’s; Looses land; Machinery in 30’s; Threshing machine; Crew; Cook car; Stack bundles; Binder; Storing grain over winter; Enjoyment of threshing season; General satisfaction of people
446 – Baseball; Dancing; Musicians; Teams; Baseball fields; Fishing; 1918 influenza epidemic; Home remedies; Catalog ordering; Buying supplies
553 – Dances; Joins NPL; Langer rally; Wind charger; Family history
667 – Firing steam engines
691 – End of interview
Comment:  Herman describes his life in ND and his livelihood

Tape #3 Helen Berg (Center)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; Traveling by boat; Reach New Salem; Winter coal; Buying supplies; Making a living on homestead; Geese; Fox; House; Price of sugar
145 – Family history; Tree claim; Sod buildings; Creamery; Preparing eggs for sale; Buying supplies; Price of groceries; Sewing; Teaching salaries; location of homestead; Impression of ND; The family livelihood
279 – Log house; Family history; Cutting hay; Reason of emigrating to US; Hunting; Dances; Musicians in family; Lives with grandparents
426 – Education; Neighbors; Nationalities; Sharpening scythes; Antelope; A sod house floor
564 – A dirt floor; Neighbors; Cutting hay; Buys land; Settling area; Family history; Church; Minister; Mail
701 – Walk to church; Post office; A gift of violin strings; Blacksmith; Store Coal
809 – Sell farm; Success of first year; Prairie fire; Firebreak; Anecdotes about Indians helping a relative build a fence; Asking for food; Scraping inside of an antelope; An “Indian Scare”; Encampment of Indians; Indian graves
081 – Amity among Indian and whites
107 – Locating water; Teaches school; Her education; Adhesive tape, flashlights, automobile lights, pliers, wrenches, elastic deflated tires and tire gauges available in 20’s; Describes first automobile; AN account driving an automobile; Buy Model T
227 – General mechanics of automobile; Models of automobiles; Work on an early farm; Care of automobiles in winter; House lights; Social life; Siblings; Entertainment at home
343 – A barn building party; Cost of constructing a barn; Sells farm, sells barn; Sociability; Story about a Sunday dance; Social remembrance; Changes in parent and teacher cooperation; Discipline; School board; Marriage and teachers
490 – Writes teacher’s examination; School that she taught; Dislikes teaching city school; Receives her Standard; Becomes married; A shivaree; Move to another county and Billings, Montana; Return to ND
616 – A lightning fire; Chickens faint from summer heat; Lightning strikes cow; Grasshopper scourge; Receiving payment for plowing grain under soil; A corn crop that failed; Hay
804 – Discouragement; Changes in cooking; Cans corn; Government destroys cattle; Government pays for cattle
905 – Government purchases cattle and gives them to others
925 – End of interview
Comment:  Helen’s interview is an asset to ND history.  Topics that area discussed with her are different.  She discusses Indians. Indian graves, scourge of grasshoppers, care of crops and general hardships of the 30’s.

Tape #4 William Bittner (Center)
000 – Introduction
020 – Moves to Ft. Clark; Reason for moving to ND; Blacksmith; Wife’s operation; Threshers; First farming machinery; Establishes credit at banks
174 – Buys cow; Buys gang plow; Rents land; Success of 1929-40; Buys horses; Driving a tractor and binder; Buys machinery; Borrows money for machinery
325 – Manages farms; Receives land; Wife’s illness; Area opened for homesteading; Other settlers; Neighborliness; Dances; Children
424 – People leave in 30’s; Opinion of ND; Parents die; Trend to large farms; Story about buying a farm
595 – Necessity of land per farm; Nationalities; River flows past Fort Clark; River changes course
712 – Riverboats; Load wheat; Sees Captain Marsh and I.P. Baker; Snag boat; Landing used by Captain Marsh
830 – Extent of railroad; Influenza epidemic; Family history; Joins NPL; Validity of Townley’s oil well; Obtaining signatures of NPL; NPL’s main selling theme
006 – Meets William Langer’s shrewdness and “dirty deals”; Burdick’s rally about a shoe factory
129 – Making a living during the 30’s; Rents land; Dust storms; Cutting thistles; Cattle eat molasses and straw; Government’s price of cattle; Destroy cattle; Ships hogs in 30’s; Discouragement; people leave; Bands, dances, carnivals and Old Settler’s Picnics
246 – “Blind Pigs”; Anecdote about confiscation of home brew; Collect bottle of beer; “Moonshine” bootleggers; Quality of home brew; Bootlegging; Salary of threshing
348 – Threshers away from home; Operates separator; Crew; Buys combine; Cutting and building with cottonwood; His best steam engine; Stoking with straw; Engineer’s duties; Enjoying threshing season
468 – Reasons of “good old days”; Family life; Automobiles and dealers; Better farming changes way of life; Battery operated automobiles; Wind charger; Anecdote concerning having his batteries burned
577 – Homemade wind chargers; Utilities
615 – Railroad affects Center; Indians pass through area; A chief buried in area; Powwows and mud circles; Enmity among Indians and whites
729 – End of interview
Comment:  A historical interview.  Topics containing points of interest are the farm machinery, course of Missouri River, Burdick, a shoe factory, and prohibition.

Tape #5 Lena Benjamin (Center)
000 – Introduction
020 – Move to ND; Reason for moving to ND; Family history; Location of homestead; House; Move to homestead; Gets married; Rent farm out; Lena returns to farm; Husband dies; Herds cattle; Prosperity of early farming days; Family history
126 – Nationalities; Other settlers; Dig coal; A well; Impression of ND; Church in town; Diphtheria; Post Office; Creamery; Cheese factory
235 – Education; Walks to school; School term; German teacher; School in homes; Other settlers; Post Office; Freighting supplies to inland towns; Market grain; Coal gasification; Mines; Gets married; A short family history of her husband; Other settlers
336 – Cheese factory, creamery, and court house; Markets grain; Siblings; Raises garden; Homemade butter; Chickens; Milk cows; Cellar; Midwives; Doctor; Homestead land
435 – Rents farm; Becomes ill; Mail route; Move into town; Buy farm; Homestead land; Making a living in 30’s; Dust storms; Grasshoppers; Children
578 – Works at New Salem, Clifford, and St. Paul, Minnesota; Husband dies
726 – Visiting; Playing cards; Sociability; Dance musicians; Threshing machine; Cook car; Meals; Threshing machines; Enjoys threshing season; Cuts bundles; Feeding bundles to machine; Sulky plow; Works with oxen; Horse with bull team; Harrow; Oxen, horse, and bull team
886 – Prairie fire; Preparing rabbits for meal; Stoves; Corn husk mattresses; Dance band; Fourth of July celebration; Indian camp; Friendliness among Indians and whites
End of interview
Comment:  A topic of historical value, other than general recollections about early ND and Indians.

Tape #6 William Wolf (Center)
000 – Introduction
020 – Self sufficiency of the pioneers and present residents; Advancement of machinery; Neighborliness; Family history
120 – Opinion of ND marriage; Children; Religious observance; Itinerate ministers; Missionaries; Church; Observance of religion; Lutheran; Nationalities; Mission Festivals
223 – Parochial school; Plumbing; Kerosene lamps; light reflectors; Telephone; Family history; Reason for emigrating to ND; Homesteading laws; Ocean voyage; Impression of ND; Sod house; Bringing oxen, cows, and furniture; First crops and machinery; Dedication of pioneers
365 – Love of neighbor; Family life; Buffalo bones; Buffalo herds; Destruction of buffalo; An Indian scare; Story of runaway horses during preparation to leave for Mandan; Role of Sitting Bull on Indian scare
495 – Sitting Bull is shot; Burial; Bones are stolen; Opinion of Sitting Bull; Caravan route of Indians; Friendliness; Grain wagons; Indian women prepare bread; Family history; Father’s character
619 – Mother’s character; Indians hunt and travel; Canoes; Religion
728 – Lewis and Clark stay at Fort Mandan; Fort Clark; Amity among Indians and whites; Smallpox epidemic; Ft. Clark destroyed by fire; Course of Missouri River along Ft. Clark; Courthouse build in Center; Lewis and Clark cross river
836 – River changes course; Site of where Lewis and Clark spent winter; Friendliness with Mandan Village; Story of Jonah and Whale; Humorous stories by his father
936 – Continued stories
102 – End of interview
Comment:  Most informative comments are about an Indian scare, Sitting Bull, Indian Caravan route, and course of Missouri River.

Tape #7 Ruby and Ralph Bigelow (Center)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; Reason for moving to ND; Father’s various jobs; works on family history
146 – Experiences with Indians while surveying land; Battle of Little Big Horn; Buffalo hunts; Opinion of ND; Surveyor’s meals; Mail route; Buffalo trails; Files homestead; Post office; Moves to Bismarck
250 – Family history; Location of homestead; Nationalities; Marketing produce and grain; Railroad constructed; Homestead house; Log cabins; School; Raises garden fruit; Siblings; Rural school; Teachers; Her education; Hired men; Rent land
375 – Settlement in area; Lease railroad and school land; Schools she attended; Residence while she attended a Bismarck school; Social life and social classes in Bismarck; L. L. Twitchell’s statement, “go home and slop hogs”
481 – Controversial character of W. Langer; Emotionality in politics; Restoration of Old Governor’s Mansion; Circus; Her education; Compares Bismarck and Mandan’s educational systems
591 – Works in home; Prohibition; Washes beer bottles; Graduates from high school; Stays home; Teaches school; Gets married; Creamery; Mail route; Surplus commodities
705 – Abuse of welfare; QPA project; People leave in 30’s; WPA roads; Barberry plants
845 – Barberry plants; WPA dam and school; CCC; Teaches school; Reasons for enjoying teaching; Salary
958 – Better years follow 30’s; Price of beef and milk cows; Russian thistles; Fire bush; Threshing rig; Hired crew; Commonality and visiting; Social life; Church activities; Religious denominations
066 – Coal gasification and strip mining; School in Center; Housing; Construction of Garrison Dam
193- Concern for “boom and bust” situations; Trailer courts; Strip mine at Washburn; Bismarck-Mandan residents work at Center
281 – End of interview
Comment:  Discussion of effect the construction of the Garrison Dam had to the area.  Mail route, buffalo hunts. Their life in the homestead days.

Tape #8
Alvin and Olive Anderson (Center)
000 – Introduction
020 – His family history; Impression of North Dakota; Homestead; Live in California; Trades land in Minnesota; Family history; Number of homesteads; Wagon trails; Fences
122 – Work with threshing crew; Opinion of North Dakota; The commonality of traveling; Their marriage; Move to state of California and return to North Dakota; Nationalities; Intermarriage between nationalities
234 – 1918 influenza epidemic; Stays on parents’ farm; The price of butterfat and wheat in 1921; Rents land; Sells cattle in 30’s; Raises potatoes, beans, sells butter, poultry and cattle, and rents out land to survive the depression; Buys hay; Pasturing cattle
336 – Purchase hay from Minnesota; Cream checks assist farm income; Raise poultry and sell butter in 30’s; The deserted homes in 30’s and 40’s; Elected to Agricultural Conservation Office; Number of operating farms; Exodus of people leave in 1910-11; Stimuli forcing desertion of farms following World War II; Opinion of large farms
441 – Social efficiency of large farms; necessity of large farms; Rental prices in cities; Morale in 30’s; PTA; The lack of enthusiasm in 30’s
559 – PTA; Rationing in World War II; Children; Sociability; Golden Age Club; Reasons for “good old days”; Emphasis on money
687 – Supply of water; Gardening in 1936; Sell garden produce; Cellar; Precautions against frost; Plant trees; Canning; Juneberries; Entertainment in 20’s and 30’s
798 – Importance of church and school; Story about praying at grandparents’ grave; Religious denominations; Buy land; Minister; Importance of the dollar
892 – Change in family life; Strength to combat another plight of depression; Present farming expenses; Extent of the country’s debts today; Cynicism about governments today; Government control of Richard Nixon and Ford
105 – Reasons for organizing NPL; Ethics of NPL; Soviet Union upsets grain market; Meat price controls; NPL Socialism; Rural electrification; NPL rallies; Langer speaks on the radio; Farmers Holiday Association; Government affiliations in North Dakota; State Mill and Elevator and Bank of North Dakota
245 – Personal political feelings in 20’s and 30’s; Organize the REA; Wind charger; Buy radio; Solar and wind energy; The coal gasification and restoration of land; Effect of the mining and gasification
382 – Value of the dollar to children today; Farm programs; Borrows money; AAA; Extension agent; Present farm organizations; Farmers Union promotes continued family ownership of farms; Corporation farming
551 – Telephone; Electricity; Build house; Effect of railroad; Truck service; Supplies from Ft. Clark; Market grain; Change from horses to gas tractors; Enjoys horses; Calling horses home
744 – Opinion of North Dakota; Integrity of pioneers; The Indians travel through area; Buy automobile
848 – Threshing machine; Last year of threshing; Buys combine; Enjoyment of threshing; First threshing “run”; The pranks from threshing season; Cook car; First sight of hand fed threshing machine; Crew
015 – Meat for threshing crews; Hired men; Inventions his time has witnessed; Quality of radio programs; Canadian Broadcasting radio system; Commercialism
181 – Appreciation of utilities and automobile
203 – End of interview

Tape #9
Mr. and Mrs. Tom Price
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; Impression of North Dakota; The family history; Buys relinquishment; Raise sheep; Homestead location; Course of Missouri River; Settling the area; Nationalities; Boats; Far West
132 – Dockage of boats; Load grain on boats; Elevators; Goes to England; Begins farming; Builds house; Crop and the prices in 1910; A hunter, trade, and trapper; The fur trade; Siblings; Midwife; Doctor
234 – Anecdote about women trying to lynch a man; Midwives; Home remedies; Indians chew Ivy poison creating immunity; Price is built; Caravan of Indians; Aid Indians with food
343 – Rout of Indians; Log buildings; Indians eat dogs; Wood yards; Story about a shooting between two brothers; The town of Deapolis; Price businesses; Hotel at Sanger; A blacksmith; Story about a man being pursued by bicycles
461 – Taverns; Purchase whiskey in Mandan; Prohibition; The alcohol moved by river; Anecdote about stealing whiskey; Automobiles used to load whiskey; Load wheat at Mannhaven and Sanger; Boats sink in river; Floods; Schoolhouse
563 – Deer; Grouse; Raccoon; Wolves; Other wildlife; Color of Missouri; Fishing; Smoke fish; Equipment; Success of fishing
690 – People leave in 30’s; An old fisherman; Some interesting “characters” (people); Churches
819 – Friendliness; Reasons for neighborliness; Ranches; Land owners north of Mandan; Early settlers; Ranchers eat at Tom’s home
947 – Friendliness; Reasons for neighborliness; Ranches; Her family history; Impression of North Dakota; Homestead’s location; Yucca post office
050 – Baseball and dancing; Ice skates; Musician
102 – Ball teams; Harmon; Walker ranch; A short family history about Walker; Cut ice off river; Story about a fisherman becoming caught on ice; Wildlife supplies table; Ship rabbits; Coyotes; Fox
221 – Coyotes attack dogs; Sells beaver pelts; Preparing pelts for shipment; Advantages of the dam; Coal gasification; Reclamation of land; Changing the contour of land; Irrigation; River bottoms flood; Ability to survive another depression
338 – Dust storms; G. G. Aandahl rally at Center
386 – End of interview
Comment:  Discussion of foremost information would be dockage of boats, fur trade, Indian route, river traffic of bootleggers, ranches north of Mandan, changing contour of land, and irrigation.

Tape #10 Ralph Hickle (Center)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; Settler raises race horses; Reason for moving to Center; Schoolhouse; Teaches school; Homestead place; Sanger; I. P. Baker’s elevator; Sanger courthouse and post office
167 – Begins farming; Family history; Teaches at Sims; Ralph’s impression of North Dakota; Nationalities; George Sanger; Post office; Railroad reaches Sanger; Courthouse is moved; A store
293 – I. P. Baker’s elevator; Steamboats; homesteading the area; Proving up and leaving country; Land is sold; Lending agencies receive land; Land speculators; Farms and teaches school; Sells butter and eggs; Flour mill at Mandan; The Sanger businesses; Implement dealer; Bank
427 – Other businesses; Druggist; Midwife; Siblings; Some home remedies; Wards and Watkins salve; Closest mill; Trips to Jamestown and Valley City for supplies; Wildlife
572 – Serves with legislature; League organizes; IVA; Builds a frame house; Live in log cabin; Construction of cabin; Fuel; Haul coal
718 – Mine; Quality of coal; Water; Steam engines take on the water supply
845 – Water; Wells; Rural school; Furthers education; Works on homestead; Gets married; Bus farm; Life-style in 1910; Visiting; 1935-36 and 1888 winters; Opinion of the latest spring season; Strength of wind
982 – Shelter belts; Sheltering livestock during winter; Lose cattle; 1918 influenza epidemic; Banks fail; Anecdote about a banker borrowing funds to pay for automobile; Lose land; Enmity with banks; Sacrifice bank at Sanger to save another bank
116 – Dust storms; Grasshoppers; Poison; Morale in 30’s; The farmers work with WPA; Salary; Build road; Surplus commodities; REA; Wind chargers; Delco plant; The glass batteries; Telephone switchboard
245 – Newspapers; Magazines; Radio; Description of radio
345 – Favorite programs; School financing; Meeting teachers; salaries; Opposition to World War I
463 – Effect of industrial development; Housing for power plant worker; Dunn, Mercer, and Oliver Counties prepare for the influx of population
592 – School enrollment; School taxes; Demand for electricity; Land reclamation
670 – End of interview

Tape #11
Stephen and Gladys Dunn (Center)
000 – Introduction
020 – His family history; Reason for moving to North Dakota; An anecdote about being in chicken house; Immigrant car; Buys relinquishment; Homestead location; Buys and sells land; Nationalities; Origin of settlers along Missouri River; Russian-Germans; Reason for immigrating to North Dakota

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