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Manuscripts - ND Oral History Collection - 10157 - Traill County

Traill County

Region 14
1 Theodore Olstad and O. M. “Mike” Smith, Galesburg
2 Governor C. Norman Brunsdale, Mayville
3 Mrs. Inga Grinager, Mayville
4 Mrs. Elma Eielson Osking, Hatton
5 Peter O. Paulson, Portland
6 Francis “Frank” Cooper, Mayville
7 J. Wilmann and Vivian C. Grinager, Mayville
8 Mrs. Ethel Fosberg, Mayville
9 John Seltvedt, Mayville
10 Theolai Nyhus, Mayville
11 Mr. and Mrs. Howard Stansburg, Mayville
12 Mr. and Mrs. Otto Foss, Mayville
13 George Bjelverud, Mayville
14 Andrew Vekkend, Mayville
15 Mrs. B. Marie Severs, Mayville
16 Kate S. Olson, Mayville
17 Mrs. Ida Gullickson, Portland
18 Hjelmer Fjeld, Mayville
19 Wallace Haugom, Portland
20 Alfred A. Berg, Hatton
21 Mrs. Alfred Domier (Donated family recollections in manuscript form – not interviewed), Portland
22 Wilmar Vinje Photo Collection, Mayville

Portions of the following interviews pertain to Traill County:
Louis Thorstad, #2, Cass County
Agnes Geelan, #7, Cass County
George Alberts, #10, Cass County

Tape #1 Theodore Olstad and O. M. “Mike” Smith (Galesburg)
000 – Introduction
020 – Ted’s father homesteaded in 1881; Mother came in June and married in the fall; Story of woman homesteader; Mike’s mother filed and worked out until she married; Father hurt by wild horse and doctor amputated leg on kitchen table; He’d been a sailor in Swedish army; Changed name from Mortinson to Smith
152 – Size of farms in Norway; All Scandinavians that settled in area; Railroad land; Father had peg leg at first; Lived on 2 sacks of potatoes and sack of flour
285 – Finding rocks that marked the land; Interest of 10% quarterly
376 – Going to Fargo for farming supplies; Claim shack 6 x 8; Father’s first house was a hole in the ground with a wagon box tipped upside down over the top
462 – Midwives; 14 children in family and 8 grew up – others died of a disease called summer complaint; Names of midwives
545 – Log cabins; Town of Clifford; Early businessmen
679 – Bad winter of 1897; Acquiring more land; Large farms of the time; Wells
865 – Prairie fires burned for miles
886 – Droves of prairie chickens; Trapped prairie chickens; River used to be so clear they’d drink the water; Peddlers; Saved a finger with carbolic salve; Drank Watkins liniment; Home remedies
994 – No weeds in early years; Early methods of farming
052 – Corn in 1900; Story of hired man planting corn; Checking corn
123 – House parties where guests stayed all night; Violin players; More family gatherings of just visiting; Ladies walked to neighbors and knitted as they walked; They could read and knit at the same tie
248 – Budget of early church; Beginning of the depression started in the 20’s; No paying crop until 1937; Flour mill at Grand Forks; Bought a ton of flour for a year; People all had gardens; Canning meat and vegetables; Sold dressed turkeys to company in Chicago
415 – Area was NPL; He knew all the leaders; Trip to Washington, D.C.; Langer’s moratorium; Stopping farm sales
648 – Hay for the cattle in the 30’s; Fed Russian thistles; WPA gravel road work and built a dam that washed out in the spring
769 – End of interview
Comment:  AN interesting interview of two men discussing farm life in early years.  They tell of hardships endured such as poor living conditions, no corps, and poor prices.

Tape #2 Governor C. N. Brunsdale (Mayville)
000 – Introduction
020 – Brunsdale farming operation during the 20’s; Early farming machinery; How the landholdings were accumulated; Farming with a caterpillar tractor in 1924
158 – Farming practices in the 20’s; Summer fallowing practices
216 – Accomplishments he is proud of as governor – leasing state land for oil development; Running the Bank of North Dakota in a business-like manner; Controversy over the water level in Garrison Reservoir
334 – Father’s move to North Dakota and his horse selling business; General family history; How his father got started farming; Grandin bonanza farm
485 – Grandin and Dalrymple farms
625 – His years in the North Dakota Senate during the 30’s; Being chose to run for governor
790 – Comments of coal development and strip mining
SIDE TWO – Introduction
003 – His first interest in politics; Running for the legislature in 1926 and serving until defeat in 1934 by a League candidate; Getting elected again in 1940 and serving in the legislature until 1950; Getting endorsed to run for the governor in 1950; Getting endorsed to run for the governor in 1950 while he was vacationing in Arizona
120 – Formation of the ROC; Reasons for election of John Moses as Governor
208 – His interim appointment to the United States Senate after Langer’s death; Antagonism between Milton Rue and Mr. John Davis
285 – NPL industrial program and how the Republicans made it to work
350 – Moves in the legislature to sell the Bank of North Dakota and the Mill and Elevator
414 – Organization of the ROC and the men who started it; Why it was organized; The election of John Moses as Governor with Republican support
551 – Relations with Bill Langer; Arkansas highway bonds that Langer bought and sold; Frank Vogel and the Bank of North Dakota; Questionable financial dealing of the bank
791 – Leasing state land for oil development
895 – ROC relations with Usher Burdick and Bill Lemke
974 – End of interview
Comment:  The information about politics tends to be fairly general although Governor Brunsdale does provide some detailed accounts at points.

Tape #3 Mrs. Inga Grinager (Mayville)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family came from Norway at the time of the Chicago fire; She taught school in Iowa for $26 a month so came to ND; Was a bookkeeper in a store for A.F. Anderson; Married in 1895; Her opinion of ND; Early settlers around Mayville; Wagon train from Northwood, Iowa to Northwood, ND
179 – Business places in Mayville; Description of early grocery stores; Opera house; Phonographs; Worlds’ Fair in Chicago in 1932; Reason for a Norwegian to go to the Congregational Church
472 – Implement store that her husband owned and operated
567 – Social organizations for women; First president of the Daughters of Norway; Yule Fest
650 – Blind pigs
700 – Politics; Political march when she was a child; WCTU
858 – Train service in early years
940 – Cottage on Lake Melissa at Detroit Lakes, Minnesota; Went on the Mayflower to Detroit Lakes
990 – Electricity at Mayville
025 – Card parties at the homes; Card games; Other beautiful homes in town
068 – Early doctor; Childbirth and midwives; Veterinarian
100 – Reading material; Independent voters
155 – Trip to Norway for six months
207 – End of interview
Comment:  Inga was 101 years old at the time she was interviewed.  She still has a good memory and is very witty.

Tape #4 Mrs. Elma Eielson Osking (Hatton)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; Father owned store then went into the banking business and became president; He came in 1883 from Wisconsin
180 – Husband’s certified potato seed company; Canning and freezing factory
250 – Lived in the same house since 1918; Man that built the house next door; Discussion of the home they live in; Gas lights in the beginning; Water tank in the attic; Old furniture from her parents
391 – First girl graduate from the school; All her brothers attended the University
421 – Expert pianist; She played for all important doings in town; Played for silent movies; Early piano teachers; Singing groups; City band
619 – Her brother Ben, an airplane pilot; Describes his personality; Debates; First to fly mail plane in Alaska
722 – Father’s disapproval of brother’s flying; The city hall
765 – Abundance of visitors touring their home; Cost of maintenance
817 – Names of men that formed the Hatton Airplane Club; Crash of Ben’s airplane in November and the funeral after finding the bodies in March
857 – Homecoming for Ben after the first successful flights; Funeral train made up in Seattle with family and dignitaries that came to Hatton; Friends of Ben
974 – Early stores of Hatton; Father’s retirement; Going to carious places for dedications in memory of Ben
052 – Mother came from Minnesota to work in homes and married a store clerk; Father’s success; Mother died and she took over the family; The children; Names of the doctors; Mother died of TB
167 – Flu epidemic; So many boys in service died
211 – They took an ocean cruise in the 30’s from New York to South America; Father was a banker and the bank did not close during the 30’s
302 – Most of the population was Scandinavian and a few Germans; Agriculture center
340 – Norwegian customs; Recipes
357 – Memorial gate at cemetery given by school children of ND; King Olaf of Norway put wreath on Ben’s grave
430 – End of interview
Comment:  Mrs. Osking is an accomplished pianist.  She tells the life of her brother Ben’s success as a pilot, his death, and the honor he brought to his family and community.

Tape #5 Peter O. Paulson (Portland)
000 – Introduction
020 – Father homesteaded in Minnesota then came to ND in 1879; Purchased land and later added more to it; Others that homesteaded came in 1871 and took up all the land; Norwegian settlement; Discussion of his grandfather
221 – Types of homes built along the river bottoms by early settlers
230 – Her family history; Squatters
288 – Bonanza farms
400 – More family history; Other families that came at the same time; Farms that have stayed in the family over the years
520 – Bruflat Academy made an impact on the community; Elementary school built for $200; Trap door was found under it after it was moved
618 – Bought Cadillac in 1914; Car sold by Sears Roebuck; Other settlements and post offices of the area
725 – Steam threshers; IWW
797 – Education for the family; Teaching in a consolidated school; Basketball coach
905 – Depression; They never had a complete crop failure in their area; NPL; Political speakers; Farmers Union
053 – Mayville Normal
078 – CCC builds dam on Goose River; Traill County Poor Farm; Farmer’s Holiday Association; Roosevelt’s programs
135 – Ski slide near Mayville; Raised horses for their farm work; Changes in people and times; Opinion of ND; The state is a breadbasket; Three new schools built in 1931, in Steele County
370 – Water was a problem because the well curbing was in bad shape; He and brother dug a well 66 feet deep by hand
441 – End of interview
Comment:  An interesting interview of a farm couple.  They tell some history of the Bruflat Academy.

Tape #6 Francis “Frank” Cooper (Mayville)
000 – Introduction
020 – Mother came in 1878 from Iowa and later married; Mother’s father built and sold wagons and worked in partnership with John Deere; Father and children all came to homestead; His father came to Crookston as a carpenter and bridge builder; He built the culverts and bridges for the railroad; Lived in log house and held church services in it for two years; Parents hotel at Belmont; Story of the giant at Belmont
309 – Collecting history from the pioneers that were around Belmont; Oxcarts that went through Belmont; The books they made up and sold
364 – The boat he built and ran on the river; Some of the other boats on the river
409 – Fishing and trapping; The large fish he caught when he was 6 years old; Parents later gave up hotel and went to farming when he was six years old
464 – Bears and wolves living along the river; Many ducks and geese
535 – Backsetting the land; Planting wheat with the neighbors help; Sold wheat to Fargo-Moorhead; The town of Caledonia
613 – Trips with his propeller boat; Floods on the Red River; Ferries
660 – His father’s farm in the beginnings; Bonanza farms; Blizzards; Sixteen people died in a blizzard; Log shop built on a coulee
726 – Threshing by horse power; Fire that burned two separators; Two poems he wrote:  To the Pioneer Mother and Father, and another not named
958 – Custom threshing; Neighbors; Large picnics; Dance pavilion; Kids played baseball; Fishing and hunting; Two barrel muzzle loader
018 – Married; Farmed and lost a section of land; Land for $40 an acre; Road grading for the county; Built shop in Portland; F. Cooper Mfg. Co. was a success
190 – WPA road work and working for farmers; He helped organize the NPL; A. C. Townley; letters about his book; Fights over the NPL; Bill Langer; Work with the NPL; Depression was harder in western ND than eastern
359 – Electricity in 1910; Farm light plants; Floods in the area; Surface wells; Artesian wells; Flu epidemic
425 – Opinion of ND
438 – End of interview
Comment:  Frank compiled and published a book years ago on pioneers of the area.  He was 92 years old at the time of the interview and interesting to listen to.

Tape #7 J. Wilmann and Vivian C. Grinager (Mayville)
000 – Introduction
020 – Uncle came from Norway in 1885 to Mayville then brought his father later and began a store; He later moved to Fergus Falls and started a woolen mill leaving father in the store; An artist in Norway
111 – Early Mayville; School; Nationalities; Intermarriage; Reception to ND; Business in Mayville; The college
254 – Their general store; Buying butter; Fabric samples; Merchandise; Traveling salesmen; :Money on the books; Competition; Fur coats and stoles
506 – Relationship between businessmen and farmers
568 – Social events; Harmonica band of 80 members; Literary Clubs; Fraternities; Dancing; Market area
697 – Bachelor’s grove for picnics and dances; Relationship between the college and community; Areas where students came from
768 – Baseball teams; Players
937 – She came as a teacher in 1929; Norwegian services at most of the local churches; Congregational Church; Standards of the local teachers; Skiing
035 – History of his parents; Father was sick so he quit at the University and took over the store; Lost money for a trip to Europe when the bank went broke
103 – The depression; NPL; Politics; Langer; Discussion of Governor Brunsdale; Early politicians
244 – Ladies social life; City municipal power plant and telephone company; No lights in school rooms in early years; Telephone with central office; Story of finding lost son through the central operator
370 – Large scale farming; Vacant farms
444 – Coal development; Draw backs if industry; Excellent reading about ND; Some more important points about our state
740 – Renovating old homes; Col. W.H. Robinson
892 – End of interview
Comment:  An interesting interview of a former teacher and general store owner and operator.  Her reading she wrote of ND is worth listening to.

Tape #8 Mrs. Ethel Fosberg (Mayville)
000 – Introduction
002 – She was born in 1903 in Minnesota; Parents born in Norway; Family history; Nationalities around the Reynolds area; Family moved often; Grandfather built log cabin on his homestead; Neighbors; Country store and post office and manager; Nearest elevator was Reynolds
175 – The dirty Red River; School 1 ¼ miles away
220 – Early Christmases at home and school; Living on grandfather’s farm; Mother looked after grandparents
305 – Flu epidemic missed them; Many died in the area; Grandmother’s death
357 – Married in 1923; Husband’s family; Renting a farm; Dividing land; Gave up farm and went to work; Children
460 – Making ends meet in the 30’s; Raised a garden and had 2 or 3 cows, also chickens; Exchanged wheat for flour; Cost of $5 to get a job on WPA
526 – Changes in people today; Baseball; Picnics by Ladies Aide; Feeding 6 carpenters
630 – First country church destroyed by tornado in 1902 along with 2 others; Man hurt in tornado died after surgery on kitchen table
728 – Injuries from the tornado; Pictures
748 – Threshing machines in area; Feeding the threshers; Boy kicked by horse; Hiring men to thresh
891 – Trips to Grand Forks on the train; Picking wild strawberries; Fishing in the river; Salting fish down; Varieties of fish
970 – Examinations for 7th and 8th grades; Church school in the summer
996 – Butchering and preserving the meat; Canning the oven better tasting than hot water bath; Blood pudding and sausage; Head cheese; Lutefisk
150 – Traveling salesmen; Home remedies; Kerosene for sore throat; Onion and mustard plasters
183 – Wells; Artesian water
210 – Glasses for near sighted daughter
240 – No screens on windows in summer so contended with flies in the house; Storing potatoes and vegetables in cellar
274 – Electricity on the farm; Washing clothes on the washboard
298 – Moving from Minnesota; Staying in hotel at Crookston; People were more content in early years
350 – ND an ideal state for living conditions; Working mothers and baby sitters
403 – End of interview
Comment:  Mrs. Fosberg offers some first-hand information about canning meat in the oven.

Tape #9 John Seltvedt (Mayville)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family came to ND in 1894 from Norway; Settled near Harvey; Born in sod house; Father homesteaded in Canada then sold; Mother preferred ND to Canada; Hard water on homestead dug with horse power well machine; Burned cow chips and coal, hauled from near Velva
154 – Father farmed with horses and never had a tractor; Shipped in broncos; Backsetting the land; Comparison of Manfred and Harvey; Hard times
206 – Family area midwives; Country school
251 – Furnishings in sod house; Years they cut Russian thistles for hay; Horse farming; Discussion of horses; Prices of teams; Pulling the car with horses; Care of horses
388 – Threshing; Handling grain; IWWs
470 – Langer spoke on a farm from a manure pile (Democratic platform); A. C. Townley; Organizing the League
534 – Flu epidemic while he was in service; He was in hospital with it; Combat in France; Some of his experience; Guard duty
726 – Returned home after the war; Worked on farms then married in 1927; Rented first then bought in 1932; Comparing land to land near Harvey; Present land prices
760 – Hired man on farms; Living conditions; Room, board, and wages
797 – Wife’s family history; Picnics; Wife taught school; Bought farm south of Mayville; Poor years; Cattle buyers; Bank loan; Poor crops and prices
944 – Large scale farms will make more unemployment; Impossible for small farmers to make it; Good old days; Neighbors butchering together; Diversified farming
024 – Fertilizer; Plowing alfalfa; Farm Holiday Association stopped sale on his farm and revised the loan so he could redeem his farm; Good opinion of Langer
125 – Coal development; Opinion of ND Farmers Union; Empty farm buildings
223 – Standards of living; Health problems
269 – Delco plants; Telephone; The automobile and tractors brought changes in farm life; Planting corn for silage; Varieties of crops; Cost of planting pinto beans
426 – End of interview
Comment:  A generally informative interview.  He discusses horses, their behavior, prices, and care.  Also ho tells of his experience in WWI.

Tape #10 Theolai Nyhus (Mayville)
000 – Introduction
020 – Parents homesteaded along the Goose River near Hatton in 1874 from Norway; All Norwegians in area; Neighbors; Midwives; Father built sod house on homestead and later a large wood house; Parents like ND
109 – Use of Goose River for skating and some fishing; Building the Little Fork Church
150 – Country school and Lutheran College in Iowa; Wife’s family history; Bought father’s homestead
195 – Fire at Hatton in 1923 that burned business places; The dam built by the Cs on the Goose River
229 – Father owned steam threshing rig; Many lost farms in the depression; Did not join NPL; Opinion of Governor Brunsdale; Governor Sorlie; Against large scale farming
342 – Opinion of living in ND; Contentment in early years
3737 – End of interview
Comment:  A generally informative interview regarding agriculture.

Tape #11 Mr. and Mrs. Howard Stansbury (Mayville)
000 – Introduction
020 – Father came in 1882 from Indiana to homestead south of Finley; Mother’s family; Water on the homestead; Building on to the house as the family grew; Came to ND as a carpenter also brakeman on the railroad; Neighbors
142 – Nearest school was 2 ½ miles away; Went to University after 8th grade; Early post offices and stores; Riding on the train; Shoveling grain in train cars; Bonanza farms
200 – Crops in early years; NPL; Drafted in WWI; Truckloads of coffins left with bodies of flu victim; Farmed with father until he went on his own; Married in 1920; Depression started in the 20’s; Their children; Discouragement; Raised garden, cattle, and hogs; Had a man driving his team on WPA
400 – Bought some hay during the 30’s; Not in favor of large scale farming but with our expanding times it’s a must; People were more contended when they didn’t farm as big
459 – Picture shows; School functions; Enjoyed horse farming; Naming horses; People lost their farms and left in the 30’s
564 – Bill Langer was for the farmer; Always voted but was not a politician; Federal farm programs; Impossibility of living on a half section today
650 – Opinion of ND; Improvement in seed varieties; Burned wood from the river; Threshing season brought lots of excitement
777 – Story of prairie fire that came while father was away; His father’s 25 horse power thresh machine; Cook car; Hired thresh crew from Minnesota year after year
946 – End of interview
Comment:  A generally informative interview regarding farm life and a portion on the flu while he was in WWI

Tape #12 Mr. and Mrs. Otto Foss (Mayville)
000 – Introduction
020 – Came with family in 1909 from Minnesota; Rented a farm for 4 years then moved to Mayville; Worked for furniture store and undertaker; Later started his own shop till horse farming went out; carpenter for over 50 years and quit when he was 86
103 – Horse drawn hearse when he worked for the undertaker; Black horses; coffins sold for $40 at that time
171 – Harness making and repair in his shop; Did all the sewing by hand; It took about 4 days to make a set of new harnesses; Cost of $30; Care of harness so it would last; He bought leather by the pound
290 – Starting carpentering after selling the harness making shop; House plans; Prices of building homes then; Electric saws; Barn styles; Building round barns; Hardwood floors in the houses; Building chimneys; Insulating the homes; First insulation was made of flax straw; Preference of one story home; Blue prints; Building codes; Wiring for electricity; Plumbing and heating; They all had coal furnaces in them
715 – Built by contracts; Rich people built large houses; Heating the large homes; No basements at first until later then the furnaces came in; The 3 nicest homes in Mayville; The area where he did all his building; Built school houses; Septic tanks and indoor plumbing
813 – Farming; Raising too much wheat could create problems
857 – Social life consisted of church activities; Changes in people over the years
920 – Lumberyards in Mayville; Plywood; Asphalt shingles are a better shingle; Tarpaper under shingles and siding; Business during the 30’s was slow; Dust storms
001 – WPA work in park and roads also repairing school houses
020 – Woodwork in the homes; Decorative corners were ordered custom made; Popular color for homes was white made by mixing white powder and linseed oil; Hired painters to do the painting
141 – Likes ND much better than Minnesota; Did lots of work for Governor Brunsdale
197 – End of interview
Comment:  The interview is excellent throughout and is particularly useful regarding the early carpentry contracting business.

Tape #13 George Bjelverud (Mayville)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family came from Norway and came to ND in 1889 and got tree claim and bought quarter of land near Galesburg; Oldest brother farmed and father was a carpenter; Norwegian area with 3 Canadians and later some Swedes
125 – Country school; Parochial school at Portland; Bruflat Academy; Worked on farms, livery barns, and dray; School custodian for 25 years
221 – Tough dry years were hard for him with a family in town; Dances; Baseball; Teams they played; The town of Clifford
299 – Father liked ND right away; Mother’s death; Flu epidemic
330 – Livery barn business; Chickens and cows in town; Businesses in Galesburg; Men who operated the stores; No electricity in town in early years
462 – Bonanza farm; Thresh crews; Threshed into November; Firing threshers with straw; Hiring extra men for the crew that returned year after year
636 – Telephone in 1903; Rubberneckers
668 – Farming with oxen; Ha and Gee; Names of oxen
752 – Prairie chickens and other wild game
810 – People were more content in early years; Tree planting and tearing out trees; Grasshoppers in the 30’s
903 – End of interview
Comment:  A generally informative interview with a good discussion on driving oxen.

Tape #14 Andrew Vekkend (Mayville)
000 – Introduction
020 – Parents came from Norway; Born in one room claim shack; Father assisted the birth; Father worked for other farmers; He worked hauling flax straw into mill in town; Went threshing in the fall; Owned a team of horses and hauled dray for people
226 – Rented land at first then bought in 1932; Poor grain and cattle prices; Eventually paid for the farm; He is well fixed now
305 – Worked in livery barn in 1910 and 1911; Worked on railroad in Mayville
355 – He wasn’t much for politics; Thought well of Langer; He was a man for the poop people
408 – Electricity on the farm was a good thing
450 – Played cards in the pool hall evenings; Radio; Bought his first Ford car in 1918; The Model T Ford; Patching tires on the road
565 – Nephew worked on WPA for $1.50 a day; Did not join Farmer’s Union of Farm Bureau
615 – The fight over the county seat; Gov. Brunsdale was a good hearted man; Brickyard at Hillsboro; Mayville Creamery; Remembers when a whole block of business places burned in Mayville
724 – Thoughts of ND; Reads the Fargo Forum
815 – General conversation
862 – The Drunkards didn’t stay around too long; Describes their dress and church
932 – End of interview
Comment:  A general informative interview throughout.

Tape #15 Mrs. B. Marie Severs (Mayville)
000 – Introduction
020 – Grandfather killed in snowslide in Norway; Story of brothers with dynamite; Parents settled near Galesburg in a Norwegian area
149 – Two miles to a country school; Big snow winter
233 – Her education; Married and lived in Galesburg; Family lived with her and went to school in town
260 – Met her husband while they both worked in a store; Husband attends watch making school in St. Paul; Began jewelry and millinery shop at Portland and lived there many years later buying the shop at Mayville; Son wanted to farm
360 – Her millinery shop and buying her hats from St. Paul; Description of the hats; The move to Mayville; Hiring man for shop in Portland; Easter hats; Story of selling hats at 12:00 midnight before Easter; Changes in hat styles over the years; Store hours
580 – Basketball; Husband was a mason; She belonged to a lodge
653 – Intermarriage amongst church denominations; Church scandal
684 – Cash basis at their store; Only lost in the price of one hat
715 – Made hats from paper when she was a girl; Husband had managed millinery department in large store in Minnesota; Their arrangement in their store; Story of woman losing $10
766 – Businesses in Portland
804 – Buying styles of hats for sale; Women’s suffrage
880 – Her father’s farm; Her brothers
915 – Mayville was a good supporter of college activities; The Brunsdale family; Story of the Brunsdale mother’s apple tree
958 – Thoughts of ND; The first radio at the masonic hall; Mayville’s baseball team
010 – Their living quarters; The business places
051 – End of interview
Comment:  An interesting interview of Betsey’s millinery shops at Portland and Mayville.  Her husband was a jeweler.

Tape #16 Kate S. Olson (Mayville)
000 – Introduction
020 – She was born in ND in 1883; Her father homesteaded; Lived in sod house; Father’s youngest brother died in Civil Way; Father died and mother remarried; Stepfather’s health was poor so children worked out and supported the home; Early neighbors
111 – Scandinavians believed the women had to take care of the cattle; Pioneer women had a hard life; She remembers a prairie fire when her apron burned off; Other prairie fires
156 – Nearest town of Hope; Dakota Territory at that time; Mother-in-law’s story of hardship
200 – Her parents came from Iowa in a prairie schooner; Remembers when the train first came to Sharon; Never knew anything but hardship after her father died; Doctors at Hope and Cooperstown; midwife that delivered all babies in the area
270 – Husband’s family history; Burned wood and twisted hay and cow chips for fuel
329 – Prairie chickens, ducks, and geese; Cooking prairie chickens for threshers; Eating the giblets; Dressed and cooked a crane and wild geese for thresh crews
385 – Mother and mother-in-law delivered 9 of her babies and a doctor delivered the last 2; Deaths of some of her children; Worked hard after marriage too; Husband owned his farm; Always raised large garden
451 – Determination kept her going; People take too much for granted now days
468 – Furniture in sod homes; Trundle beds were popular; Some homes didn’t have floors
533 – Christmas presents; Blizzards; Worst one in 1896 at Thanksgiving time
570 – NPL; Flu epidemic took many people; Her son spent 28 years in service; She had 5 children in armed forces during WWII; Oldest son is an Air Force veteran of 32 years
651 – Hardships of the 30’s; Nothing to feed the livestock; Grasshoppers
717 – After all the hardship they cleared the farm in the 40’s; Husband died in 1924 when oldest child was 18 and youngest 1 year and 9 months (10 children); She had enough of marriage and wouldn’t consider another
740 – Advice she got after husband’s death; Sewed all the clothes for the children; She’d bought sewing machine before her marriage; She knitted for the Red Cross during the war; Other Red Cross donations
789 – Washing machine first year of marriage; Boiled clothes; Learned to can in 1900 while working out; After marriage she canned everything she could lay her hands on
880 – Raised her garden and meat and fruit so didn’t have to buy so much; WPA; Man’s lunch of cold boiled potato wrapped in a handkerchief; Son shared his lunches
947 – End of interview
Comment:  An exceptionally interesting interview.  Kate certainly lived a life of hardship.  She lost her father when very young and her husband died leaving her with 10 children.  She worked hard, Canned, sewed, and made the most with what she had.  A very remarkable woman.

Tape #17 Mrs. Ida Gullickson (Portland)
000 – Introduction
020 – Parents came from Norway and married in Minnesota; Settled near Portland in 1882 moving to homestead in 1885 where they spent the remainder of their lives; Lived in log house at first
121 – Graduated from Bruflat Academy; Taught school; Midwives; Her mother was neighborhood midwife
169 – Heated log cabin with the cook stove; They burned wood; Makeshift furniture and some from sales; Neighborliness; Names of the neighbors
240 – Farmed with horses; Story of replacement of a horse that had dies; Churned and sold butter, raised chickens, gardens, and everything possible; Mother walked 7 miles to town for groceries
270 – Father built basement of rock; Children’s chores; Mother made cheese; Making primost of the whey; Early Christmas presents; Oldest sister’s disease; Special Christmas for older sister by the neighbors
373 – Mother’s responsibilities with cows and midwife; Also fieldwork; Mother netted fish in the river; Salting the fish; Prairie chickens dancing
425 – Foxes and coons that got their chickens; Good well and water
445 – Visiting neighbors was the social life
482 – Beginning of the church; The first church burned; Christian education for the children; Bruflat Academy, a three year school; Early ministers; Teachers
675 – Learning to speak English
722 – Subjects given at Bruflat; Housing for the students; Schools she taught; Teaching salaries
861 – Married in 1925; Husband’s family
945 – Flu epidemic, so many friends and neighbors died
968 – Threshing from place to place; Cooking for threshers; Husband worked for county as road maintainer then farmed
010 – Farming in the 30’s; Russian thistles for hay
041 – Opinion of ND; View of large scale farming; Diversified farming on small farms; Open kettle canning; Storing vegetables in the basement
090 – The Brunsdale family; More about Bruflat Academy
120 – End of interview
Comment:  An informative interview containing some church history and information about Bruflat Academy.

Tape #18 Helmer Fjeld (Mayville)  
000 – Introduction
020 – Born in 1886 in ND near Mayville in a log house; Mother died and father remarried; 17 children in both families
060 – How he learned to be a blacksmith; Living in northwest corner of the state near Zahl; His blacksmith trade; Ranchers had to move off when land was offered to settlers for homesteading; Original Zahl ranch raised horses and sold many broncos; He knew Zahl and worked for him
191 – No money to make in the 30’s
235 – End of interview

Tape #19 Wallace Haugom (Portland)
000 – Introduction
020 – Father came to Wisconsin in mid 70’s from Norway; Pioneers had a hope and a prayer, no money and were willing to work; Free land attracted them to ND; First scouts came while Red River had flooded but later took another look and settled along the river so they’d have water and fuel until the land was gone
139 – Mother’s family history; Families that came later sent money for other family members to come
205 – Nationalities of Traill County
232 – Father was 42 years when he married; 3 children
300 – Schools; Bruflat Academy; It closed in 1918 due to other high schools opening up in the state
400 – Blind pigs; Carloads of beer shipped in during prohibition; Home brew
478 – Teaching school at Maddock; Father’s hardware store was strictly farm hardware; His hardware store; Harness repair; Making items from flat sheets of copper and tin; Making stove pipes and fittings for conductor pipes; Large soldering irons; Behren’s Sheet Metal at Winona
713 – End of interview
Comment:  The last part of the interview is the most valuable.  It tells of the early hardware stores and the items they made of sheet metal.

Tape #20 Alfred O. Berg (Hatton)
000 – Introduction
020 – Father came in 1877 at 19 years of age walking behind a covered wagon from Iowa with a pioneer; He had relatives here; He worked out until old enough to file on preemption, tree claim, and homestead; Mother came from Norway; Lived in a log cabin at first
160 – Midwife; Neighbors; Taking grain to Fargo
200 – Horse powered thresh machine; Father started with oxen; Use of river water; Oak logs in the log cabin
265 – Winters in 70’s were mild but very harsh in the 80’s
323 – Attended rural school; Country church; Cemeteries
395 – Thresh machine partnership; Seeded with seeder in early years; Reaper then binder; Started field work when he was 12 years old with a sulky plow
477 – Changes the railroad brought; The next move was roads and bridges to cross the river
500 – Farmers working on roads to pay taxes; Milking cows; Creamery; Selling eggs
572 – Picnics and visiting was source of entertainment; Country baseball teams
620 – The minister of the church
650 – NPL; Organizing the League
713 – Flu epidemic; People helped each other; His first car in 1917, a Dodge touring car
800 – Bad years in the 30’s; Foreclosings; WPA; CCC built dam on Goose River
928 – Rural electrification
949 – Rural telephone; Discussion of his car; Fixing tires; Hauling ice from the river; Skating on the river; Skiing on river slopes
050 – Car Ben Eielson; Flour mill at Hatton; Remembers when the mail route started; Norwegian weekly paper; Farm magazines
110 – Christmas trees; Taking over the home place; Burned thresh machine while threshing; His collection of thresh machines; First grain elevators; Hiring thresh crews from Wisconsin and Minnesota year after year; IWWs; Gypsies
251 – Peddlers and their wares; Home remedies
285 – Horse farming; Pride in their teams; Early Hatton
380 – Butchering and processing the meat; Canned meat
430 – Implement dealers
445 – Opinion of ND; His ambulance ride
470 – End of interview
Comment:  A generally informative interview regarding agriculture.

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