SHSND Home > Archives > Archives Holdings > Manuscripts > Oral Histories > 10157
To schedule an appointment, please contact us at 701.328.2091 or

OCLC WorldCat Logo

SHSND Photobook - Digitized images from State Archives

Digital Horizons

2019-2021 Blue Book Cover

Federal Depository Library Program

Chronicling America

Manuscripts - ND Oral History Collection - 10157 - Ransom County

Ransom County

Region 5
1 Mrs. Mary Dick, Englevale
2 Mr. Henri Fugl, Verona
3 Mr. Ordner Trom, Lisbon
4 Mrs. Clara Otterson, McLeod & Lisbon
5 Mr. Thomas Bock (Bottineau and Rolette Counties), Lisbon (Old Soldiers Home)
6 Mr. and Mrs. Minard Halverson, Lisbon
7 Mr. W.R. “Ralph” Humphrey, Lisbon
8 Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Sanderson, Lisbon
9 Mrs. Betsy Martinson & Hilmer Anderson, Ft. Ransom
10 Mr. and Mrs. Snorri Thorfinnson, Ft. Ransom
11 Mrs. Josie Henrickson, Ft. Ransom
12 Mr. Loubert Rufsvold, Ft. Ransom
13 Mr. and Mrs. Willie Olson, Ft. Ransom
14 Mrs. Einer (Hilda) Peterson, Ft. Ransom
15 Mr. Melvin Brandvold, Ft. Ransom
16 Mr. Rex Lindemann, Enderlin
17 Mrs. Rae Mattes (Morton and Ransom Counties), Enderlin
18 Mr. Fred Johnson, Enderlin
19 Mr. and Mrs. Hans Bjugstad, Sr., Sheldon
20 Miss Elizabeth Greene, Sheldon
21 Henry Arves, Kathryn
22 Roland McGill, Verona

Portions of the following interviews apply to Ransom County:
Agnes Geelan, #7, Cass County
Eva Plunkett, #6, Stutsman County
Dr. Max Moore, #3, Barnes County

Tape #1 Mrs. Mary Dick (Englevale)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; Their farm near Englevale
048 – Description of early Englevale, Family history; Coming to North Dakota from Nebraska; Early settlers in the area
174 – The Dick Family’s movement to North Dakota; Early Englevale businesses
227 – Rural telephone service in the early 1900’s; Fires in Englevale; The stockyards in Englevale
328 – Peddlers in the early 1900’s
361 – Their first home in North Dakota; Family history; Immigration to Nebraska from German
439 – Their farm near Englevale; First crops planted
462 – Early medical care and area doctors; Her children
540 – Prairie fires; Making a living during the 1930’s; Their first radio and electrical plant
669 – Preserving vegetables; Selling cream
705 – SIDE TWO
705 – Her children’s education; Sewing clothes; Railroad passenger service; Children’s chores
786 – Family life; Entertainment
812 – The 1930’s; Destruction of cattle under the AAA farm program; Cooking and baking
920 – Churches in the area
935 – Morale during the 1930’s; Dust storms
952 – End of interview
Comment:  The majority of the interview deals with family history and domestic matters.

Tape #2 Mr. Henri Fugl (Verona)
000 – Introduction
020 – Immigration to North Dakota from Denmark; Family history; Finding land to farm near Lisbon; His experience during the San Francisco earthquake in 1906; Travel from Iowa to North Dakota in an immigrant car
251 – Farming in Iowa and in North Dakota; Anecdotes about farming
313 – His brother’s farm and marriage; His farm near Englevale; Renting land; Attending a circus in Fargo and a fair in Montana; The Danish settlement in northeastern Montana
458 – Buying his farm near Englevale; His trip to Denmark; Marriage and return to North Dakota; His wife’s death in 1918; His work for a firm in Minneapolis constructing windmills
687 – Businesses and churches in early Englevale; A bank robbery in Englevale
808 – Nationalities in the area
845 – His farm; His second marriage; Planting trees
930 – SIDE TWO
937 – Obtaining electricity; General conversation about Denmark
968 – Poor crop years; The flu epidemic of 1918; Crop prices during World War I
034 –His support for the Democratic Party; His organizing efforts for the NPL; Townley; Merger of NPL and Democrats in 1956
192 – His admiration for Franklin Roosevelt
212 – His first gasoline tractor; Selling land in Canada for a real estate company during the 1920’s
465 – His second marriage; his farm and the loss of the farm during the 1930’s; Getting a farm loan; His children
611 – Morale during the 1930’s; Joining the Farmers Union
710 – The average size farm in 1910 and 1974
781 – Neighborliness of people in the early 1900’s
859 – End of interview

Tape #3 Ordner Trom (Lisbon)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; Parents’ immigration from Norway; His father’s blacksmith work
075 – Nationalities in the Kindred area; Family history; Keeping milk cows in the town of Kindred; Frequency of children working to support the family; Courtship in the early 1900’s
160 – His work in a Kindred drugstore; Working on a threshing rig during World War I
200 – His father’s blacksmith shop; Kindred’s trade area
257 – His decision to become a pharmacist
288 – The flu epidemic of 1918
305 – Working in various towns prior to finishing college; Driving buggy for a doctor during the flu epidemic
425 – Cooperation of people, formerly and presently; Social life; Baseball teams; Skating and fishing
538 – Businessmen in early Kindred; Obtaining electricity; Gas lights in the drugstore; Fires in Kindred
601 – Social life; Churches
656 – His marriage
675 – The 1930’s in Lisbon; Running the drugstore during the depression; Giving credit during the 1930’s
780 – Teachers as part of the Lisbon community
806 – Morale during the depression; Dust storms
880 – Lodges and clubs in Lisbon and Kindred; Nationalities in Lisbon; Sports rivalry between Lisbon and Enderlin; Kindred and Davenport
958 – SIDE TWO
015 – Changes in pharmacy practices and prescriptions
130 – Comments on the demand for medication and drugs
154 – Items carried in drugstores in the 1920’s and 1930’s – ice cream, candy, household items; His pharmacy education at the Agricultural College in Fargo; Herbal medicines; Store hours in the early 1900’s
280 – Lisbon’s vitality today; The “Golden Rule Day” in Lisbon
319 – Loss of population during the 1930’s; Return of prosperity in local businesses in the 1940’s; Lisbon’s trade area
400 – Individual “characters” of area towns
419 – Political party allegiances in the area; Growth of support for the Democrats; The popularity of Langer
480 – His service on the Lisbon City Council; The city liquor store (now closed); School mill levies and Lisbon schools today; High school athletics
631 – His children
657- Social life in Kindred compared to that in Lisbon
692 – The Kindred flour mill; Hunters in the kindred area in the early 1900’s Horsepower threshing machines; Working on a threshing crew
831 – End of interview
Comment:  This is a valuable interview particularly for the account of early pharmacy practices.

Tape #4 Mrs. Clara Otterson (Lisbon)(Emmons County)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; Her parents’ immigration from Norway; Their farm near McLeod
091 – Flour mills in Fort Ransom; Nationalities in the Fort Ransom and McLeod areas
160 – Business in McLeod; Her father’s farm; Attending school in farm houses; Early settlers in the McLeod area
235 – The character of her parents; Family history; Their farm near McLeod
343 – Her marriage; Working for farmers prior to marriage; The Plath farms; Her husband’s restaurant in Hazelton
582 – Farming near Hazelton for 26 years; Loss of the farm; Running the Hazelton restaurant; Her sons
712 – SIDE TWO
732 – Farming with oxen
748 – Her children; The flu epidemic of 1918 and deaths in the area
782 – Renting a farm near McLeod during the 1930’s; Picking wild berries; Her mother’s cooking; Spinning wool and knitting clothes
948 – Wolves and coyotes in the McLeod area; Harsh winters
080 – Home made lamps using grease and rags; Shopping in Sheldon
118 – Family history; Her children
229 – Neighborliness of people, formerly and presently; Religious faith and church meetings in the early 1900’s
327 – Her relationship to Math Dahl; Her religious faith
378 – End of interview
Comment:  This is an enjoyable and informative interview throughout

Tape #5 Thomas Bock (Lisbon)(Bottineau and Rolette Counties)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; His parents’ homestead near Bisbee
084 – Attending a rural school
122 – His parents’ nationality; Dunkard religion; Dunkard colony near Cando
190 – His father’s movements from North Dakota to Kansas to Indiana to Michigan and back to North Dakota
251 – His work for Standard Oil and service in World War I
390 – Working in Devils Lake after the war; His marriage
421 – The 1930’s in the Bottineau area; Grasshoppers; Working as a bulk dealer for Standard Oil; Giving credit; CCC projects
535 – White relations with Indians in Devils Lake and at the Turtle Mountains
573 – Support for the NPL in Bottineau County
607 – Delivering bulk oil in 1919 with a truck
745 – His wife; Moral during the 1930’s
798 – Neighborliness of people, formerly and presently
838 – International workers of the world and their activities in Bottineau County
936 – End of interview
Comment:  Mr. Bock is a man of few words and the interview contains little detailed information.

Tape #6 Mr. and Mrs. Minard Halverson (Lisbon)
000 – Introduction
020 – Comments on present buildings in Lisbon
041 – The NPL activities in Lisbon
059 – His family history; First impressions of Lisbon
131 – Her family history; Her grandfather’s tailor shop
185 – General description of early Lisbon; The flour mill; Pollution in the Sheyenne River today; Excursion boat on the river
309 – Nationalities in the Lisbon area; Plays in early Lisbon
359 – Lisbon’s trade area; Working on WPA projects
422 – Social life and entertainment
502 – Slaughtering cattle during the 1930’s and canning meat for the government; His hardware store in Lisbon during the 1930’s
750 – Running the hardware store during World War II; WPA road building projects
910 – Franklin Roosevelt’s popularity
942 – End of Tape A
000 – Introduction
010 – Running a hardware store in Jamestown
057 – His opinion of Franklin Roosevelt
081 – The NPL organization in Ransom County; His opposition to the NPL; His service as county treasurer; Support for the Republican and Democratic parties today
196 – Catholic sisters and school
304 – Excursion boats on the Sheyenne River in the early 1900’s; Changes in the river; The water powered flour mill
408 – Prosperous years in Lisbon; Hard times during the 1930’s
511 – Early electrical and telephone service in Lisbon
612 – Shows in the opera house in Lisbon; The first movie theater
690 – IWW people in early Lisbon
712 – End of interview
Comment:  This is an excellent interview for information on early Lisbon, the 1930’s and social life.

Tape #7 W. R. Humphrey (Lisbon)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; Homestead life in general
136 – Nationalities of early settlers in the area; Hunting deer in the early 1900’s
217 – Attending rural schools
252 – Area midwives; Hauling grain to Sheldon, North Dakota
387 – Dishonest grain dealers in the early 1900’s; Development of cooperative elevators; Start of the NPL in the county
531 – Organizing the Farmers Union; Charges made against the NPL and Farmers Union; The Farm Holiday Association
714 – End of Tape A
000 – Introduction
008 – IWW; Threshing crews
042 – Cooperative elevators and oil companies in area towns; Opposition to coops; The NFO; Political activities of the Farmers Union
153 – His start in farming and marriage; hard times and morale during the 1930’s
268 – Neighborliness of people, formerly and presently; His opinion of large scale farming
328 – Cleanliness of the Sheyenne River in the early 1900’s
354 – His opinion of farm programs and county agents
432 – Raising a family during the 1930’s; His children
490 – Social life and family life
542 – Churches; Sunday schools and religious faith in the early 1900’s
610 – Women’s suffrage and the Temperance Union
639 – Obtaining electricity from REA
736 – Various loan programs during the 1930’s
771 – The flu epidemic of 1918
818 – Harsh winters; Traveling with horses in deep snow
929 – End of interview
Comment:  Mr. Humphrey is an articulate and thoughtful man.  All of his recollections are valuable.  Comments on farm organizations and politics are particularly useful.

Tape #8 Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Sanderson (Lisbon)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; His mother and father
097 – Hard times on the homestead and his father’s carpenter work; His father’s move to a homestead in Canada; The sociality of people in a new land
201 – Qualities that made good water; Lack of trees; Tree claims; Turning out horses in the winter
342 – The average size farm in 1905 and 1974
385 – His father’s homestead in Canada; His homestead in Montana
422 – Service in World War I; Their marriage; Teaching school in North Dakota
494 – His opinion of treatment of veterans
550 – Their first farm after marriage; Good and poor crop years during the 1920’s; Making a living during the 1930’s; Poisoning grasshoppers
883 – Conflicts between NPL and IVA supporters
960 – End of interview
Comment:  Mr. Sanderson’s recollections of homesteading and the 1930’s are enjoyable and quite detailed.

Tape #9 Mrs. Betsy Martinson and Hilmar Anderson (Fort Ransom)
000 – Introduction
020 – Her family history; Her parents’ and grandparents’ immigration from Norway
083 – Nationalities that settled in the area; Early Kidville, North Dakota; A town near Fort Ransom
139 – Cleanliness of the Sheyenne River in the early 1900’s
173 – Their education at Fort Ransom School; The average size farm in 1900; Entertainment and social life
225 – Area churches
238 – Her marriage; Her schooling
272 – His farm; Their brothers and sisters; His opinion of large farms; Loss of population
3131 – Her children and children she raised; Blacksmiths
371 – Making a living during the 1930’s
419 – Land use in the early 1900’s
437 – His marriage
460 – Hauling supplies from Englevale to Fort Ransom; The excursion boat at Fort Ransom on the Sheyenne; The flour mill in Fort Ransom
570 – NPL and IVA politics
606 – The Standing Rock Lutheran Church; Other area churches
711 – End of interview
Comment:  The interview contains little detailed historical information.

Tape #10 Mr. and Mrs. Snorri Thorfinnson (Fort Ransom)
000 – Introduction
020 – His works as Sargent County Agent during the early 1930’s; Establishing new land valuations for tax purposes
102 – Family history; His parents’ immigration from Iceland; Icelandic settlements in Pembina County
142 – His education; Teaching agriculture in various schools; Obtaining work as county agent in Sargent County in the 1930’s; Setting up the AAA wheat program; Grain and cattle prices during the 1930’s Morale during the 1930’s; Loss of farm ownership by farmers; Destroying cattle
435 – Comments on livestock prices today
495 – Buying hay and feed during the 1930’s
623 – Jobs he held during the 1930’s; Appearance of  the area in the 1930’s
714 – End of Tape A
000 – Introduction
020 – Effects of the 1930’s in various parts of the state; Transients; Loss of population; Morale; Severe dust storms; Deaths due to dust in lungs
120 – Clubs and social life and cooperation during the 1930’s; Computing wheat acreages and allotments
227 – The harsh winter of 1936
248 – Factors causing severe wind erosion
276 – Effect of the depression upon peoples’ attitudes; Distrust of banks
299 – Homemakers Clubs as morale booster during the 1930’s; 4-H Clubs raising cattle
388 – Honesty of people who borrow money; The development of large farms; The future of large farming
714 – SIDE TWO
774 – Fluctuations in land values
795 – Dishonest grain dealers and the growth of the NPL
900 – Popular attitudes toward United States entry in World War I
932 – Recollections of Townley and Langer; Bootlegging headquarters in Minot; Examples of how Langer could get things done for people as a Senator
159 – Usher Burdick anecdotes and his involvement in Farm Holiday Association; Langer’s debt moratorium; Barnyard loans
345 – Characteristics of Lynn Frazier and Bill Lemke; Charges made against Langer
430 – End of Tape B
000 – Introduction
008 – Langer’s character
034 – IVA supporters and the activities in the area; Split between townspeople and farmers over the NPL and farm coops; Organization of the Farmers Union and Farm Bureau
191 – John Baer, cartoonist for the Leader; Comments on Fred Aandahl, Brunsdale, Nye, Davis, Andrews
231 – Charles Talbott and the organization of Farmers Union and GTA; Opposition to co-ops in eastern North Dakota; Social and educational activities of the Farmers Union; Glenn Talbott
554 – Development of the Little Country Theater at NDSU and the Ransom County Fair
712 – End of interview
Comment:  Mr. Thorfinnson is very knowledgeable about all of the above topics.  He has an exceptional memory and is thoughtful and articulate.

Tape #11 Mrs. Josie Henrickson (Fort Ransom)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; Travel to the homestead from Minnesota in covered wagon; Their log and dugout house on the homestead
099 – Early settlers in the area; Her parents’ homestead
127 – Early Fort Ransom businesses and flour mill; Livestock on the homestead
173 – Her schooling in rural school; Knitting and making clothes
236 – Area midwives and early medical care; Her mother’s death during childbirth
259 – Her husband’s family; Meeting her husband; The first doctor in Fort Ransom; The flu epidemic of 1918; Her children
402 – Early farming methods; Hauling grain to Englevale; Harsh winters
461 – Making a living during the 1930’s; Selling cream to a rural creamery near Fort Ransom; Early Kidville
546 – Early schoolteachers and businesses in Fort Ransom churches
714 – End of interview
Comment:  This is a brief but generally informative interview with the daughter of Norwegian immigrants.

Tape #12 Mr. Leubert Rufsvold (Fort Ransom)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; His parents’ homestead; Early settlement of the area
127 – Lutheran churches in Fort Ransom
150 – NPL and IVA politics in the area
188 – Nationalities in the area; Loss of population in the early 1900’s
223 – Farm income during the 1920’s; Farming during the 1930’s; Dust storms; WPA projects
311 – End of interview
Comment:  With the exception of family history, there is little information on this tape.

Tape #13 Mr. and Mrs. Willie Olson (Fort Ransom)
000 – Introduction
020 – His family history; Travel by covered wagon from Minnesota to the homestead; Crossing the Sheyenne River
118 – His mother and their homestead house; First crops planted
168 – His schooling; Catching fish and smoking them to preserve the meat; Preserving vegetables
238 – Hauling grain to Valley City; A two day trip; The Fort Ransom flour mill; Farming with oxen; Early farming methods; Threshing
314 – Harsh winters; Social life and churches
468 – His farm and the house he built; Expanding his farm; Doctors in the area in the early 1900’s
555 – Making a living on the farm during the 1930’s; Obtaining electricity and telephone
660 – Sewing clothes
702 – Picking wild berries; Preserving meat; Travelling to Valley City along the Sheyenne River
796 – The flu epidemic of 1918; Family history; Sources of fuel; Varieties of trees along the river
937 – End of interview
Comment:  The Olsons did not expand upon the above topics.  This interview is of marginal value.

Tape #14 Mrs. Hilda Peterson (Fort Ransom)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history
071 – Nationalities of early settlers; Family history; Children’s chores on the farm; Milking cows and selling cream and butter
172 – Sources of fuel for heating – wood, coal, and manure; Use of trees along the Sheyenne River
215 – Family and social life
285 – Description of her parents’ house; Family history; Musical ability of her family; Norwegian fairy tales; Homemade clothes; Gardening and food prepared; Root and storm cellars
459 – Livestock on the farm; Norwegian Lutheran churches in the area; Sunday school
622 – Her husband’s family history
712 – SIDE TWO
745 – Teaching school; Her education; Her illness due to overwork; Her marriage
845 – Story of her grandmother; A midwife and her superstitions
881 – The farm she and her husband had; Their child
936 – Making a living during the 1930’s
973 – Raising chickens; Attending grade school and memorizing poems; Literature read
085 – Neighborliness of people, formerly and presently
106 – The flu epidemic of 1918; Poverty of some early settlers
153 – First use of cars in the area; Her husband’s personality
269 – Changes in the pace of life and in young people’s social life
310 – Use of the Sheyenne River in the early 1900’s – swimming, fishing, and boating
380 – Comments on “the good old days”; Debates at the schoolhouse
430 – End of interview
Comment:  This is an enjoyable interview.  Mrs. Peterson is thoughtful and has an excellent memory.  The interview is generally informative throughout.

Tape #15 Mr. Melvin Brandvold (Fort Ransom)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; Nationalities of area settlers
070 – Travels by Indians through the area; Towns where his parents shopped and sold grain
097 – His schooling at a rural school; Family history and his parents’ farm; His farm
159 – Farming during the 1920’s and 1930’s; Dust storms; His opinion of farm programs and soil conservation; Poisoning grasshoppers
324 – Crops planted in the area
337 – NPL and IVA politics; Bill Langer; Merger of the Democratic and NPL parties
427 – Finding good water
500 – Cleanliness of the Sheyenne River; Harsh winters
548 – The average size farm – 1910 – 1920 and today
620 – Obtaining electricity; Wind chargers; Diversified farming
672 – Stem plowing rigs; Soil types in the area; Soil erosion
746 – Neighborliness of people, formerly and presently; The Farmers Union co-ops
809 – Improved grain varieties; Soil conservation programs
933 – End of interview

Tape #16 Mr. Rex Lindemann (Enderlin)
000 – Introduction
020 –The Lindemann family history; Nationalities of early settlers
157 – Early Sheldon businessmen; Anecdotes about the first doctors in Sheldon
281 – Beginnings of Enderlin and its early businesses; Family history and his father’s farm
354 – His education at Valley City College and high school
380 – Working in a law office; Selling Overland, Stephens, Cutting and Oldsmobile automobiles and tractors; Opening the confectionary store in Enderlin; Selling radios and televisions
710 – Importance of the Soo Line to Enderlin
781 – The Silver Zephyr bar and dance hall
925 – Early farming methods
937 – End of interview
Comment:  This is a brief but excellent interview.  Mr. Lindemann’s recollections of selling automobiles and of early Sheldon and Enderlin are outstanding.

Tape #17 Mrs. Rae Matthes (Enderlin)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; Her father’s work as a pastor in Sims; Nationalities in the Sims area
082 – General description of Sims – the brickyard, buildings, and businesses; Churches where her father conducted services in Morton County
145 – Moving to Enderlin in 1906; Early Enderlin – streets, school, businesses, and churches
218 – Conducting Lutheran Church services in Norwegian; Nationalities in the Enderlin area; Churches her father served and the salary or gifts he received; People who came to their parsonage for handouts or for comfort
392 – The school in Sims
443 – Businesses in early Enderlin; Doctors; The flour mill
556 – Her high school and college education; Teaching school
594 – Her husband; Teaching schools in various towns
662 – Sheldon businessmen; Nationalities in Sheldon
711 – SIDE TWO
738 – Teaching in Sheldon; Behavior of students formerly and presently; Changes in emphasis on various aspects of education
913 – Making a living during the 1930’s on a farm; Getting electricity
966 – Neighborliness of people formerly and presently; Importance of the railroad to Enderlin
023 – Sports rivalry between Lisbon and Enderlin; The doctor in Enderlin
107 – End of interview
Comment:  The tape contains some useful information about her father’s work as a pastor and about early Sims.

Tape #18 Mr. Fred Johnson (Enderlin)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; Immigration from Denmark to Iowa; Reason for move to North Dakota; General comments on wages for farm work and running steam engines
191 – His wife’s family history; Recollections of Denmark; Working for farmers; Family history; Trips he has made to Denmark
484 – His farm near Lucca; Family history; Farming during the 1930’s; A good hired man he had
605 – Rural telephone service; Buying land to expand his farm
752 – His membership in the Equity Association; Shipping livestock to St. Paul
874 – Merits of Denmark farms compared to North Dakota farms
929 – End of interview
Comment:  Mr. Johnson has a very good memory, but he rambled a great deal during the interview making it difficult to develop any specific topics.

Tape #19 Mr. and Mrs. Hans Bjugstad, Sr. (Sheldon)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; Immigration from Norway; His parents’ homestead
098 – Beginnings of Sheldon; The homestead near the Sheyenne River; Early area settlers and post offices
164 – Growth of Sheldon and Anselm; Hauling grain to Kindred; The Sheldon flour mill and town businessmen
286 – His education and work for farmers as a youth; Irrigating land near McLeod
339 – Land use in the early 1900’s
350 – The Bonesack Ranch
440 – Sheldon’s height of prosperity and decline; Businesses in Anselm
496 – Farming during the 1930’s and raising cattle; Working for the Amenia-Sharon Land Company
769 – Farming on his own beginning in 1909; Good and poor crop years; Firing a steam engine
934 – End of Tape A
000 – Introduction
005 – Farming land on the Fort Berthold Reservation
031 – Her family history; Her father’s work on the Powers’ farm near Walcott
058 – Nationalities in the area; Her family history; Churches in Sheldon; Purchasing his farm and paying off the loan
236 – Early telephone system in the area
265 – Support for the NPL in the area; Langer’s speaking ability
325 – Grasshoppers during the 1930’s and attempts to poison them; WPA projects
319 – The “bottomless hole” or water well near Sheldon
414 – Social life and recreation
430 – Reasons why his father came to the United States; Neighborliness of people formerly and presently
461 – Loss of population during the 1930’s; WPA projects
501 – His family history and their children; His thoughts about farm organizations
538 – Steam plowing rigs and threshing rigs
566 – End of interview
Comment:  Although Mr. Bjugstad is a man of few words, he offers some specific information on farming in the early 1900’s and on the growth of area towns.

Tape #20 – Miss Elizabeth Greene (Sheldon)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; Movement to North Dakota from Indiana; Her parents’ farm near Sheldon
079 – Nationalities in the area including one black settler; Indians traveling through the area
138 – Her parents’ homestead and farm; Early Sheldon businesses
201 – Her uncle’s service in the first North Dakota legislature; Sheldon’s trade area in the late 1800’s
248 – Attending a rural school near Sheldon and the University of Minnesota
282 – The effect of Enderlin’s beginnings on Sheldon’s business; Train service in Sheldon
313 – Working in the Sheldon bank from 1909-1945; Hard times during the 1930’s; Keeping the bank open; Consolidation of two banks in 1925; Morale during the 1930’s
453 – Closure of the bank in 1945
475 – Area towns that are now gone; Medical doctors in the area in the 1900’s
584 – The flour mill in Sheldon; Social life; Area churches
770 – Leading businessmen in early Sheldon
896 – Neighborliness of people and family life formerly and presently
939 – End of interview
Comment:  Miss Greene is a knowledgeable and articulate woman.  Her recollections of the banking business in Sheldon is particularly outstanding.

Tape #21 Mr. Henry Arves (Kathryn)(Barnes County)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; Change of the family name from Johnson to Arves; His parents’ immigration from Norway; Nationalities in the area
177 – Country stores and post offices in the area; Construction of the railroad through Kathryn; Businesses in early Kathryn
345 – Difficulty of finding good water
393 – Prairie fires
426 – Family history; Attending a rural school
509 – His parents’ homestead; Land use in the early 1900’s; Breaking sod with oxen and steam rigs; Early farm machinery
712 – SIDE TWO
742 – Threshing; Good and poor crop years since 1900; Cutting grain with a header
846 – Family history; His wife’s family history
932 – Farming during the 1930’s; The Svea Consolidated Rural School; WPA projects in the area
009 – Coyotes in the area prior to the 1920’s; Traveling at night with horses; His father’s work in Norway
097 – Social life and entertainment; Area churches and early pastors; Comments on “the good old days”
386 – Improvement of grain varieties and farming methods
424 – End of interview
Comment:  Mr. Arves has an excellent memory.  This is an enjoyable interview that includes useful information about early farming methods and the settlement of the Kathryn area.

Tape #22 Mr. Roland McGill (Verona)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; His father’s immigration from Ireland and the homestead near Verona; His military training during World War I
156 – Nationalities that settled in the area; Anecdote about a Norwegian homesteader
236 – The first house on his parents’ homestead; His present house
259 – Finding a good water source on the homestead
300 – His education; His brother’s service and injury in World War I; His military training and his efforts to train other troops
593 – Poor crop years in the early 1900’s; Farming with oxen; Early farm machinery; Threshing
708 – SIDE TWO
724 – Family history; His brother’s farm
775 – Farming and raising cattle during the 1930’s
807 – The NPL; His attempt to run for the legislature; General comments on politics; Recollections of Langer’s and Lemke’s speeches
937 – Social life and recreation; Barn dances; Baseball games
060 – End of interview

612 East Boulevard Ave.
Bismarck, North Dakota 58505
Get Directions

State Museum and Store: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. M-F; Sat. & Sun. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
We are closed New Year's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.
State Archives: 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. M-F, except state holidays; 2nd Sat. of each month, 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Appointments are recommended. To schedule an appointment, please contact us at 701.328.2091 or
State Historical Society offices: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. M-F, except state holidays.

Contact Us:
phone: 701.328.2666

Social Media:
See all social media accounts