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SHSND Home > Archives > Archives Holdings > Archives & Manuscripts > Family/Local History > 10661
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Manuscripts by Subject - Family / Local History - #10661

Title: Bern Family Papers

Dates:  1895-1985

Collection Number: 10661

Quantity: 6 feet

Abstract: Correspondence of C. E. and Olive and their three children Enid, Efford, and Ivan, Enid's manuscripts, photographs, printed materials and ephemera. Many of the photographs were used for “Memoirs of a Prairie School Teacher,” by Enid Bern in North Dakota History, Summer 1975 and “The Enchanted Years on the Prairies,” Fall 1973. The other images are Bern family photos of farming and activities in Hettinger County. The family homesteaded near Bentley, ND in Hettinger County.

Provenance: The State Historical Society of North Dakota acquired the C. E. and Olive Bern Papers from Ivan Bern in February 1995. Additional photographs, a manuscript, and funeral materials for Ivan Bern was added to the collection by family friend Dawn Maddox in October 2016. Photograph collection 00248, small manuscript collection 20301 and genealogy collection 90170 were added to the collection in October 2016.

Property Rights: The State Historical Society of North Dakota owns the property rights to this collection.

Copyrights: Copyrights to this collection remain with the donor, publisher, author, or author's heirs. Researchers should consult the 1976 Copyright Act, Public Law 94-553, Title 17, U.S. Code or an archivist at this repository if clarification of copyright requirements is needed.

Access: This collection is open under the rules and regulations of the State Historical Society of North Dakota.

Citation: Researchers are requested to cite the collection title, collection number, and the State Historical Society of North Dakota in all footnote and bibliographic references.


C. E. Bern was born in Sweden to Mr. and Mrs. Nels Bern on August 27, 1866. He came to the U.S. in 1888 settling in Wahoo, NE, St. Paul, MN, and River Falls, WI. He married Olive Isaacson on November 6, at Hudson WI. They lived about four years in Waverly, IA and moved back to River Falls. In 1906 C. E. homesteaded in Hettinger County, ND near Bentley and was joined by his family a year later. They had three children: Enid, Efford, and Ivan.
Olive Isaacson Bern was born December 10, 1875 to Mr. and Mrs. Olaf Isaacson in El Paso, WI.
Olive Bern died May 8, 1951 and C. E. Bern died July 2, 1953.

Enid Bern was born November 11, 1898 at Waverly, IA. The family moved to River Falls, WI when she was three years old. Five years later the family moved with a group of friends to homestead in the Mott area. Hettinger County had just been established and there was no school for the first year. Enid graduated from Mott High School in 1919 and earned a standard teaching certificate from Ellendale State Teachers College in 1925. She received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of North Dakota in 1932.

Enid taught in rural schools and server as school principal in Aneta, Sykeston, and Elgin, ND. Enid returned to the family farm in 1950 to help her parents and taught four more years in Hettinger County. She and her brother lived on the farm south of Burt until 1978 when they moved to Mott. She wrote a history of Hettinger County and a number of articles and book reviews for North Dakota History.


Box 1:
1 Correspondence, 1885-1924   
2 Correspondence, 1925-1934                   
3 Correspondence, 1935-1944                   
4 Correspondence, 1945-1951
5 Correspondence, 1964-1980                   
6 Correspondence, n.d.                               
7 Correspondence with Brit-Lis, 1957-1970                          
8 Correspondence with George Lovgren, 1969-1983
9 Correspondence with Anna Norman Lofgren, 1970-1980
10 Correspondence with Ann Rathke, 1977-1983
11 Original transcribed Erickson letters (before editing), 1909-1910                          
12 "An Exercise in Recollected Memories" (books I and II), 1982-1983                     
13 "An Exercise in Recollected Memories" (book III), ca. 1982-1983                          
14 "An Exercise in Recollected Memories" (books I and II), ca. 1982-1983                              
15 "An Exercise in Recollected Memories" (books I and II), ca. 1982-1983                              
16 "Our Hettinger County Heritage" manuscript, 1973
17 Book reviews and articles for Plains Talk by Enid Bern, n.d.
18 Diary, 1950-1951        
19 Miscellaneous stores and reminiscences, 1911 and n.d.
20 Meteorites, ca. 1970s
21 Pageant, 1957
22 Family, n.d.
23 North Dakota Education Association/North Dakota Teachers' Fund for Retirement, 1936-1966
24 Commencement programs, 1915-1937
25 Programs, 1913-1937
26 "Forest Leaves," Forest River High School newsletter, 1939
27 Sykes high School newsletter, 1942
28 Miscellaneous education pamphlets, ca. 1916-1917
29 English Lutheran Church, Mott (N.D.) constitution, n.d.
30 Church membership lists, 1914
31 North Dakota Agricultural College Boys and Girls Institute, n.d.
32 University of North Dakota scrapbook with photographs, ca. 1920

Box 2 :   Ephemera: broadside for Lutefisk supper at Verendrye Hotel; advertisement for Bentley Livery and Dray Line, Bentley (N.D.); Watrous Equity Exchange calendar, 1927
Box 3:    Photographs: 00001-00040
Box 4:    Photographs: 00041-00084
Box 5:    Photographs
Box 6:    Photographs
Box 7:    Photographs
Box 8:    Photographs


10661-00001       First Jury trial held in Hettinger County (ND) December 16, 1907
10661-00002       Charles E. and Olive Bern at edge of dam on homestead in Hettinger County
10661-00003       Home-built dam on the Bern homestead in Hettinger County
10661-00004       Charles E. and Enid Bern
10661-00005       Water runs over the dam on the Bern farm after summer freshet August 1919
10661-00006       17 ton culvert carried off by flash flood August 1966
10661-00007       Creek wash out where four neighbors drowned on Bern farm August 1966
10661-00008       Efford and Ivan Bern at dam on homestead
10661-00009       Homer Batty on snow drift in front of the First National Bank, Mott (ND) March 15, 1920
10661-00010       Anna Nelson and Carl Tulberg on a snow drift in front of the old Boston Store, Mott (ND) 1920
10661-00011       Anna Nelson and Jewell Roberts between drifts on the sidewalk on Main St., Mott (ND) after the storm March 15-16, 1920          
10661-00012       Anna Nelson, Jewell Roberts, Mr. Sampson, and Mr. Vasey next to giant drift on the west side of Main St., Mott (ND) 1920
10661-00013       Enid Bern age 2, ca. 1901-19002
10661-00014       Enid’s first doll
10661-00015       Our Christmas gifts after the 1910 fire
10661-00016       School luggage
10661-00017       Pages in the Primer
10661-00018       Primer used in 1908
10661-00019       Santa Claus soap wrappers saved to buy the parents these 1847 Rogers silverware pieces for Christmas in 1910
10661-00020       Ivarie School in rural Grant County (ND) 1917
10661-00021       School at Burt (ND)
10661-00022       Sykeston High School built in 1913
10661-00023       Glenmore consolidated rural high school, LaMoure County 1920s
10661-00024       Children at the May pole, Grand Rapids (ND)
10661-00025       School boys Gascoyne 1925
10661-00026       Boy and girl on swing in schoolyard
10661-00027       Boys playing softball at Glenmore School, LaMoure County (ND)
10661-00028       Gordon on a ladder
10661-00029       David Blackstead on bicycle
10661-00030       Durard Bohn at school desk 1920
10661-00032       Eighth grade graduation exercises 1912
10661-00033       Kite
10661-00034       Senior class at Elgin High School 1949
Efford Bern                        
10661-00035       Eikamp steam outfit threshing at C. E. Bern farm 1922
10661-00036 – 00037 John Gilbert outfit threshing for Charles E. Bern ca. 1923-1925
10661-00038       Charles E. Bern combining 1933
10661-00039       Combining on Charles E. Bern farm 1933                               
10661-00040       Push binder 10-20 International tractor  1937     
10661-00041       Harvest 1942     
10661-00042       Charles E. Bern, 80 years old operating the push binder 1946      
10661-00044       Newborn calf in snow                   
10661-00045       Charles E. Bern, father of Enid Bern ca. 1895                       
10661-00046 – 00049 Jackrabbit Hunt near Bert and Bentley (ND) 1921
10661-00050       Enid Bern, 1925                
10661-00051       Enid Bern, 1945                
10661-00052       Enid Bern, 1942                
10661-00053       Group photo of teacher and students 1914         
10661-00054       Enid Bern                            
10661-00055       Uncle Will's Magazine for children from The Rotary, Lisbon (ND)
10661-00056       Picnic after the prairie fire
10661-00057       Enid Bern home, River Falls (WI)
10661-00058       Corta Heirs, school teacher with horse
10661-00059       Charles E. Bern, Efford Bern, Enid Bern, Ivan Bern, Olive Bern before moving to North Dakota                    
10661-00060       Ivan Bern on the horse “Tony”                  
10661-00061       Efford Enid and Ivan Bern shortly after the fire in 1910
10661-00062       Ivan Bern and orphan colt he raised                       
10661-00063       Charles E. and Efford Bern sharpening cutting blade for hay mower
10661-00064       Charles E. and Olive Bern
10661-00065       Efford and Ivan Bern on homestead
10661-00066       Olive Issacson Bern ca. 1897
10661-00067       Public School, River Falls (MN)
10661-00068       Country school
10661-00069       Ivan Bern on horseback                               
10661-00070       Bismarck Mandan ferryboat Marion 1921
10661-00071       Enid Bern, ca. 1922
10661-00072       Enid Bern graduation portrait, 1932
10661-00073 – 00074 Enid Bern, ca. 1940
10661-00075 – 00076 Dawn Maddox, State Historical Society of North Dakota Architectural Historian, and Ivan Bern, August 1976
10661-00077       Enid Bern, 1976
10661-00078       Enid Bern, 1980
10661-00079       Enid Bern, 1974
10661-00080       Enid Bern, 1973
10661-00081       Enid Bern, ca. 1985
10661-00082 – 00083 Ivan Bern, Ann Rathke and Dawn Maddox at Petrified Wood Park and Museum, Lemmon (S.D.), 1977
10661-00084       Copy page from Elgin High School yearbook dedicated to Enid

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