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Manuscripts - ND Oral History Collection - 10157 - Bottineau County

Bottineau County

Region Seventeen
1 Mr. and Mrs. Elmer McLean, Minot 0076A & B
2 Mr. Elmer Jesme, Landa 0077A & B
3 Mr. Rex L. Stair, Bottineau 0078A & B
4 Mr. Harold Refling, Bottineau 0079A
5 Mrs. Marie Chaussee, Bottineau 0079B
6 Mr. and Mrs. Walter Erdman, Bottineau 0080A & B
7 Ernest and Lena Kohlmeier, Bottineau 0081A & B
8 Mr. Carl Frykman, Bottineau 0082A & B
9 Mr. and Mrs. Oluf Festvog, Landa 0083A & B
10 R. P. Taralseth, Landa 0084A & B
11 Edward E. Jensen, Westhope 0085A
12 Eva Maude Findlay, Westhope 0085B
13 Leonard and Bette Lodoen, Westhope 0086A & B
14 Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Vollmer, Willow City 0087A & B
15 Charles Wright, Antler 0088A
16 Earl Schell, Antler 0088B
17 Frank Armer, Bottineau 0090A & B
18 Marguerite Craig, Bottineau 0091A & B
19 Oliver Deschamp (Copy of family recording), Westhope 92A & B, 93A & B

Portions of the following interviews pertain to Bottineau County:
Christine Finlayson #46 Burleigh County 0176A & B
Thomas Bock #5 Ransom County 0766A

Tape #3 Mr. Rex L. Stair (Bottineau)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; Parents’ move from Virginia to Bottineau in 1899; Brick plant near Bottineau; Father’s homestead
134 – Nationalities in the area
160 – Attending school in Newburg; Early businesses in Newburg; Travelling dentists working in hotel lobbies
256 – Businesses in early Russell
292 – Fred Sund and the development of the Sund Manufacturing Company at Newburg
375 – Social life and entertainment; Neighborliness; “The Blind Pigs”; Bootlegging and makers of home brew
473 – Father’s involvement with the NPL and Townley; L. L. Stair’s service as a speaker of the House in the 1919 session; The League program and state enterprises
560 – Personalities of A. C. Townley and Bill Langer; Father’s service in the legislature; Support for the NPL and IVA in Bottineau County; Fights between supporters of the two
721 – Father’s appointment as warden of the state penitentiary in 1920; Recollections of daily life at the penitentiary from 1920-23
904 – A prisoners strike and how his father dealt with it
940 – SIDE TWO – Escape attempts; Training the tracking dogs
985 – Work the prisoners did; Baseball team
028 – How he got along with the prisoners; Opinion of the parole requirements
063 – Why his father resigned as warden in 1923; Social responsibilities of the warden; Father’s friendship with Governor Frazier
120 – Informality of Frazier and his family
145 – Returning to the farm in 1923; Operation of his father’s large farm; Why his father was a NPL supporter
199 – His work in the Newburg elevator; Morale during 30’s; The foreclosures and bank failures; How the 30’s affected the people’s attitudes toward spending money
363 – Farmers Holiday Association in Bottineau County – its lack of activity; Running the elevator in the 30’s
396 – Opinion of farmer’s cooperatives
445 – Cigar factory in Bottineau
482 – Brother’s farming and political interests
500 – Switch from horse to tractor power
564 – Changes in peoples’ attitude and living conditions
658 – End of interview
Comment:  The portion on the penitentiary is one of the best parts of an outstanding interview

Tape #7 Ernest and Lena Kohlmeier (Bottineau)
000 – Introduction
020 – Father’s German background as a gamekeeper for the royal family; Prince Herman’s advice to his father regarding America
113 – Parents’ immigration to the United States; Their mother’s character; Contacts with the old country; Learning to speak English; Attending rural school
210 – Parents’ homestead south of Dunseith; Anecdote about an Indian killed by an early White settler; Relations between Whites and Indians
321 – Their sod house
363 – Land their father chose through homesteading and taking a pre-emption and tree claim; Trips to Dunseith for the supplies; Hauling grain to Willow City; Getting established on the farm 
490 – Hunting and the prevalence of wild game
508 – Early farm machinery; First crop on the homestead
670 – Horsepower threshing rig; Cooking for the threshing crews
765 – Gardening and preserving vegetables; “Frying down” pork; Smoking meat; Knitting
938 – SIDE TWO – Making butter and cheese
990 – Prairie fires; Ranches in the Willow City area; The open prairie
046 – The MD’s in Willow City; Midwives and home remedies; Cooperation of people
131 – The “good old days” and hard times; Living conditions
172 – Dunseith militia; Farming with one horse and two oxen
196 – Social life and entertainment; Card parties; Nationalities in the area
270 – Popularity of the NPL among farmers
302 – Flu epidemic of 1918
330 – Lutheran services in homes by the travelling minister; The strict observance of Sunday; Social activities on Sunday; Baseball games
423 – Businesses in early Fonda and Overly; Overly’s orchestra
500 – Taking over his father’s farm
528 – Poor crop years – 1910; Changes in land use and soil conservation; His first tractors
583 – Farming during the 30’s; Killing grasshoppers with kerosene
682 – Getting rural telephone service out of Overly; The early automobiles
743 – Changes in people’s attitudes over the years
790 – IWW workers on threshing crews; Langer’s popularity in the area
860 – Thoughts on North Dakota as a place to live
874 – End of interview
Comment:  The Kohlmeiers have exceptional memories and are interested in early area history. 

Tape #10 R. P. Taralseth (Landa)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; Father and two brothers come from Norway; Father blacksmiths near Grand Forks; Norwegian early settlers along Souris; Uncles die of TB in early 1900’s; Early nationalities
106 – Early post offices and small towns or stores in area; More on nationalities; Migration pattern into area; Scourge of TB in Taralseth family; Parents’ early impression of North Dakota; Family’s experiences moving from Niagara, North Dakota to Landa area in early spring
215 – Mother’s homesickness for Norway in early years; Story of fellow fishing on land in boat during Souris Flood; Father has advantage coming to area with money; Father’s wind driven feed mill; Father also has neighborhood blacksmith shop; More on TB
310 – 1918 flu epidemic; Cousin dies of flu next to R.P.; R.P. constructs an operating table in kitchen for operation on his sister; Towns that have disappeared in area
444 – Recollections of NPL organizing days; Father was IVA; The emotional level of politics in early NPL days; Early social life; Township meetings in country hall; Concerns of the township government
556 – Tough years in 30’s; Families are able to buy back farms they had lost; R.P. takes out loan on one quarter to pay taxes on others; High morale in 30’s; WPA in area
722 – Baseball in area; Size of farms over the years and R.P.’s opinion of current large farms; R.P. takes over farm after father dies in early 20’s; Horse breeds and characteristics; R.P. had big threshing operation and his memories of it; The feelings about horses
919 – Evaluation of steam engines; Recollections of the threshing operation
SIDE TWO – Heat quotient in different grain straw; IWW and the threshing crew labor; Hard water in steam engines; The travelling with cook cars and sleeping tent; Safety features on steam engines; average cook car meals
122 – Small talk about Enderlin people; Hay during 30’s; TB the reason R.P. never married; R.P.’s feelings about the state of North Dakota; His opinion of coal development
217 – Electricity in area; Difficulties in getting signers for REA; Telephone recollections; Rubbering on the phone; The speculation as a threshing contractor
310 – Credit policy by local businessmen; ;More on threshing and its bookwork; A story about one particular farmer who kept the threshing crews time; Drought stricken area farmers from one area work on threshing crews in crop areas
435 – Bootlegging booze, prohibition, socializing across the border, home brewers, fishing and hunting on the Souris; Jim Hill’s entourage comes to hunt on the Souris
522 – Contentment now and then; Socializing then and now; Small talk about an earlier interview and local eating places
647 – End of interview
Comment:  Iinterview on the area, threshing operations, the flu epidemic and the plague of tuberculosis on one family in that time.

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