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Manuscripts - ND Oral History Collection - 10157 - Wells County

Wells County

Region 12
1 J. D. Weckerly, Hurdsfield
2 Eunice K. Long, Hurdsfield
3 Mrs. Mary Czech, Chasely
4 Hazel James, Bowdon
5 Mrs. Leonas Myers, Bowdon
6 Gertrude Stratemeyer, Heaton
7 LeRoy and Mary Flaugher, Heaton
8 Isaac and Dora Loeppke, Carrington
9 Donald and Gladys Heron, Cathay
10 E. H. and Bessie Riedesel, Cathay
11 Mr. and Mrs. L. V. Kunkel, Fessenden
12 Wallace Baltrusch, Fessenden
13 Fred A. and Mrs. Alma Mietz, Fessenden
14 Alfred Lynne, Heimdal
15 L. W. Bower and Hans Bollingberg, Bremen
16 Perry Anderson, Harvey
17 Kernel H. and Helen E. Helgerud, Harvey
18 L. B. “Barney” Honer, Harvey
19 E. S. Killie, Fessenden
20 Mrs. Emma Orth, Fessenden
21 Allie Clark and Helen Covell, Fessenden
22 Sophia L. Thompson, Fessenden
23 Carol Anderson (Photo Collection), Fessenden
24 Selma Lindborg, Fessenden
25 Emma Rott, Fessenden
26 Mary Reed, Fessenden
27 John Faul, Harvey

Portions of the following interviews apply to Wells County:
Mrs. Elmer Davis, #31, Cass County
Ben Walsh, #4, Stutsman County

Tape #1 J. D. Weckerly (Hurdsfield)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; His grandfather’s homestead near Chasely; His parent’s homestead
334 – Nationalities in the Hurdsfield area; The Mennonite Church
405 – The Hurd brothers; Bonanza farms; The Cooper brothers farm; The Sykes farm; Renting land from the Hurd Brothers
817 – Community activities in the early 1900’s; His father’s farm; Prairie fires
SIDE TWO
943 – Early settlers in the area
010 – Midwives; Cattle rustlers and horse thieves
107 – Popularity of the NPL; IVA support in towns after the consumer; Stores started; The Consumer Store in Hurdsfield and its collapse
186 – Foreclosure sales; Social life; Chautauquas; Bostonia, ND, and other extinct towns and post offices
350 – Importance of the railroad; Reasons some towns died and others grew
434 – His opinion of coal development and large scale farming; Effect of technological change upon farming methods and expenses
842 – Neighborliness of people
892 – End of interview
Comment:  Mr. Weckerly has a good knowledge of local history.  This is a very informative tape throughout.

Tape #2 Eunice K. Long (Hurdsfield)(Kidder County)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; Her parent’s move from Indiana to North Dakota homestead near Tappen; Their liking for ND
158 – Nationalities in the Tappen area; Early settlers; Making and selling butter
257 – The Tappen area midwife; Her schooling; Account of a bad blizzard
348 – Getting established on the homestead; Wildlife on the prairie; Gardening and preserving food
457 – Threshing; Neighborliness of early settlers; Sewing clothes
539 – The Troy farm at Tappen; Contrasts between the Tappen and Hurdsfield area; Germans from Russia influx to the Tappen vicinity
672 – Her husband and his family background; her children
738 – Their support for the NPL
876 – The 1918 flu epidemic and her illness with it
SIDE TWO
944 – Dr. Clay in Bowdon; Their rented farm near Bowdon and their steam plowing rig; Threshing crews
075 – Nationalities in the Bowdon area; Anti-German sentiment during WWI; Leaving the farm during the 1930’s; Dust storms and grasshoppers; Morale
170 – Thoughts on life in ND; Importance of religious faith and music; Her present life
249 – End of interview
Comment:  The first portion of the interview contains the most detailed historical information.

Tape #3 Mrs. Mary Czech (Chasely)
000 – Introduction
020 – Reading of a written account of family and area history; This is quite detailed narrative of early history
470 – Reading of a family history; Coming from Indiana to ND; Immigrant trains
699 – Comments about the television image of homestead life
SIDE TWO
742 – Early medical care; Midwives
778 – Marriage in 1915 to a German immigrant
814 – The sod house her parents lived in for over 30 years; Her husband, his German background, and reasons he came to the USA; Nationalities in the area; Social life
942 – Happiness of people; Getting telephone service on the farm; 65 people on one party line
992 – Early Chasely, its businesses, and decline; The Wells County seat fight
142 – Morale during the 1930’s; WPA and CCC projects; Her opinion of FDR and the New Deal; Their sources of income during the 1920’s
286 – Comments on large scale farming, coal developments, and the quality of life in ND
429 – End of interview
Comment:  Mrs. Czech is articulate, thoughtful, and knowledgeable about local history.  This is an excellent interview throughout.

Tape #4 Hazel James (Bowdon)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; Coming from Iowa to a Heaton area homestead; Came in 1899 and returned to Iowa in a covered wagon in 1900 for a visit; Their homestead
128 – Family life and social life; The Congregational Church in Heaton; Early Christmas celebrations
235 – Children’s chores on the farm; Hunting coyotes for bounty
280 – Attending rural school; Heaton business; Working and giving her salary to her parents; Caring for her mother
378 – Cooking for a threshing crew in a cook car; Owners of the threshing rig
546 – Early Heaton businessmen; Cooking for threshers; Root cellars
716 – SIDE TWO – Getting established on the homestead
775 – Her husband’s background; Comments about large scale farming; Neighborliness of people; Influence of radio and TV on family life
857 – Thoughts on life in North Dakota; her father’s support for the NPL
909 – End of interview
Comment:  Mrs. James offers some first-hand information about cooking for threshing crews.

Tape #5 Mrs. Leona Myers and Elvin L. Myers (Bowdon)
000 – Introduction
020 – Her family history; Coming from Iowa to ND in 1900 in an immigrant train; Their farm near Fessenden
134 – Nationalities in the area; Hard times on the farm during the first years
174 – Early Sykeston; The Sykes bonanza farm and land office; Richard Sykes
243 – Early area churches; Christmas celebrations; Prairie fires and plowing fire breaks
324 – Social life and recreation; Attending school in Sykeston
465 – Operating the telephone switchboard in Sykeston; Beginning in 1910; Henry Dell’s country store south of Heaton; The New Home post office
599 – Her husband’s background and family
647 – Her parent’s farm; The land company; Her brothers and sisters; The MD in Cathay
SIDE TWO
716 – Marriage in 1912; Improving township roads
771 – Hard times on the farm after WWI; Decline in the number of farmers since homestead days
846 – Farming during the 1930’s; Morale; WPA work; Sources of income on the farm; Feeding thistles to cattle; Gardening and canning vegetables; Raising and selling turkeys and geese; Dust storms
050 – The Farmers Club activities in the community; Her husband’s service in the legislature as a Leaguer; IVA and NPL split between town and country; Townley’s oil well near Robinson
172 – Their admiration for Bill Langer; Her husband’s service in the legislature (1935-1944) and on local boards
306 – The Farmers Holiday Association in Wells County; Langer’s wheat embargo
384 – The early telephone line out of Sykeston
432 – End of interview
Comment:  There is little detailed historical information in this interview.  Portions on Richard Sykes and the Sykeston telephone company are valuable.

Tape #6 Gertrude Stratemeyer (Heaton)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; Coming to ND in 1903 from Iowa; Her parents’ farm near Heaton; Her mother’s liking for the country
132 – Nationalities in the area; First impressions of ND; Attending rural school
214 – Getting established on the homestead; Buying supplies in Bowdon
269 – Teaching in rural schools; Boarding with families
320 – Early Heaton businesses; Heaton’s sound bank during the 1930’s; The Congregational Church
408 – Social life and recreation; Christmas celebrations
449 – Heaton’s decline
483 – Her husband’s background; The 1918 flu epidemic; Early area MD’s and medical care; Her children
558 – Her husband’s oil business in Heaton; His dray line
622 – Lodges in early Heaton and their activities; Neighborliness of people
678 – Support and opposition for the NPL; Businessmen’s dislike for the Farmers Union
713 – Effect of the depression upon Heaton; Collecting debts during the 1930’s; Her husband’s oil business; Bulk fuel deliveries
862 – Morale during the 1930’s; Boarding teachers; Poverty during the 1930’s
938 – SIDE TWO – Grasshopper plagues; Social activities during the 30’s
974 – The early telephone line in Heaton; Getting electricity in Heaton
023 – Keeping livestock in town
042 – Transients on the railroad; Early train service in Heaton
090 – Ordering from catalogs; Traveling peddlers; Getting flour ground from wheat; Early washing machines
175 – Family life; Reading material in the home; Social and religious activities in the church
236 – Their first automobile
256 – FDR’s popularity and New Deal programs; Women’s suffrage; Blind pigs in Heaton
356 – End of interview

Tape #7 LeRoy and Mary Flaugher (Heaton)(Grant County)
000 – Introduction
020 – His family history; Moving from Iowa to ND in 1898; First impressions of ND
085 – Richard Sykes; His parent’s farm; English immigrants in the community
167 – Her family in Grant County; Separation of the family after her parent’s death
207 – His parent’s brief farming attempts in Nebraska and Iowa; Their farm buildings in ND; English settlers in the Heaton area; Sykes bonanza farm; Other early settlers
334 – Poor crop years in the early 1900’s; Their first tractor in 1915; Problems finding good water on the farm; Sources of fuel to burn; Flax straw
479 – Horse rustling and an experience he had with a rustler
454 – How they got acquainted and married
564 – Getting established on the farm and expanding acreage; His opinion of large scale farming
632 – Popularity of the NPL and Farmers Union
684 – Early MD’s in the area; Social life; Neighborliness of people; The “good old days”; Blind pigs in Heaton
798 – Early Christmas celebrations; Relations between ranchers and homesteaders in Nebraska
SIDE TWO
939 – Prairie fires; Coyotes and wolves
046 – Traveling on the prairie; Putting a light in the window; Hard times during the 1930’s; Their morale
046 – Reasons some small towns died and others grew; Trading in Heaton; The bank in Heaton; Reasons Heaton declined
091 – Home remedies for illness; Onion syrup; Sod houses; Gypsies
148 – Indian and white relations in Grant County
187 – Their marriage
195 – Thoughts on life in ND
235 – Government farm programs; Feeding cattle during in the 1930’s; The threshing business he and his brother operated; IWW workers
308 – His uncle’s stage line from Bowdon to Fessenden
353 – July 4th celebrations in Bowdon; Boxing matches
378 – End of interview
Comment:  Mr. Flaugher was 20 years old when his family moved to the Heaton area in 1898, so he has a good memory of the early settlement and of early settlers.

Tape #8 Isaac and Dora Leoppke (Carrington)(Kidder County)
000 – Introduction
020 – Her family history; The Harding family
160 – A bad prairie fire; Her parent’s farm; Her mother’s death in 1907 of tuberculosis; Getting thoroughbred horses from the government; Family history
300 – Farm work she did as a girl; New Home, ND; Her father’s re-marriage
406 – Her father’s farming operation; Reading material in their home
450 – Her grandfather’s personality; Attending rural school; Social life; Nationalities in the area
510 – Their marriage in 1914; Teaching rural school; Their children; Working in area post offices
606 – His family history
718 – SIDE TWO – Anecdotes about his family and their first home in ND; A homemade stove; Making and burning mischt    
860 – Threshing with a horsepower machine; Working on threshing crews 
925 – His father’s service as minister of the Seventh Day Adventist Church; Anecdotes about attending rural school; Account of a religious conflict in the area
079 – A home made over built into a hill
093 – Origin of the Seventh Day Adventist Church; His father’s church work
186 – Early farm machinery
235 – Making fire breaks; Sod and mud brick houses
314 – Her ancestor’s religious faith; His carpentry business in Heaton
416 – End of interview
Comment:  Mr. Leoppke’s recollections of his father’s work for the Seventh Day Adventist Church include some unique historical information.

Tape #9 Donald and Gladys Heron (Cathay)
000 – Introduction
020 – His family history; Going back to 1884 in Sykeston
107 – Her family history
151 – Nationalities of early area settlers; Area stores and post offices that are now gone
207 – County seat fight; Prairie fires; Gathering and selling buffalo bones; Digging water wells
314 – His schooling; Sykeston businessmen
372 – Social life; Fraternal lodges in Cathay and churches
489 – Their marriage; Good crop years during the 1910’s; Threshing; Transients on the Railroad; The IWW; NPL activities
SIDE TWO
710 – Bank failures during the 1920’s and 1930’s; Langer’s popularity during the 1930’s
852 – Consolidating schools; Neighborliness of people; Their opinion of large scale farming and present land prices
926 – Farming during the 1930’s; Early combines; Poisoning grasshoppers
017 – Anecdotes about early settlers
067 – End of interview
Comment:  Mr. and Mrs. Heron’s family were some of the earliest settlers in the county.  Family history, therefore, may be the most informative portion of this interview.

Tape #10 E. H. and Bessie Riedesel (Cathay)
000 – Introduction
020 – His family history; Coming to ND from Iowa to ND in 1903; His years as a rural mail carrier
101 – His parent’s liking for ND; Their farm near Cathay; Herding cattle
185 – Traveling from Iowa to Cathay; General description of early Cathay
231 – First crops on the farm; Services as a rural mail carrier; The Cathay school
348 – Nationalities in the area
379 – Social life; Dance bands
433 – Train service in early Cathay; Raising cattle
488 – Early farm machinery; County seat fight between Sykeston; Fessenden and Harvey
533 – Threshing; Good and poor crop years; Drought and depression during the 1930’s; Feeding thistles to livestock; His admiration for Franklin Roosevelt and New Deal programs; WPA work
SIDE TWO
930 – Morale during the 30’s; Social life and fraternal lodges; Cathay’s decline
977 – IWW men on threshing crews; The good work they did if treated right; His threshing outfit
170 – Changes in people’s attitudes; Changes in seed varieties and grain yields
230 – Popularity of the NPL in the area; Their admiration for Franklin Roosevelt and his programs
295 – Their dislike for large scale farming; Comments about coal development
450 – Self-sufficiency on the farm
519 – Comments on trust in government and modern society in general
598 – Cooking in a cook car; Changes in farm work
665 – Getting electricity and telephone on the farm
866 – End of interview

Tape #11 Mr. and Mrs. L. V. Kunkel (Fessenden)(Kidder & Ward Counties)
000 – Introduction
020 – His family history; His parent’s farm near Dawson; Sources of fuel and water
092 – Nationalities in the Dawson area and early settlers and ranches; The Dawson trail; The influx of settlers around Dawson; Neighborliness of people; Horse rustlers he knew; His brother, “Six Shooter Slim”
262 – His father’s move to a Fessenden farm in 1898; His mother’s death; Attending school in Fessenden and fighting with the city kids
367 – Her family history; Her father’s work for a coal company and the mine he opened near Burlington; First impressions of ND
542 – Laborers her father (Mr. Scott) got to work in the coal mine; MD’s that served the family
592 – Her father’s trade of the coal mine for land in Wells County
635 – Good and poor crop years; Sources of income on early farms; Richard Sykes; Nationalities around Sykeston; His father’s death in a railroad accident in 1906
832 – His brother’s coal mine near Garrison
864 – Coyotes and wolves; The terrible winter of 1896
895 – Popularity of the NPL among farmers
933 – SIDE TWO – Friction between farmers and townspeople; His brother’s service in the legislature as a Leaguer and subsequent dissatisfaction with the League
000 – Local sentiment regarding WWI; The 1918 flu epidemic
032 – Neighborliness and cooperation of early settlers; Fraternal lodges in Fessenden; Chautauqua in Fessenden; Baseball games
194 – Blind pigs in Fessenden; “Pig Alley”; Bootleggers
260 – Lack of controversy over women’s suffrage
301 – The Fessenden Light and Power Company plant; Saturday night shopping and visiting; Early Fessenden banks and businesses; Bank failures
572 – Comments on large scale farming
673 – His opinion of Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal; Changes in human values
780 – His dray line; Hauling ice to ice houses; The Cannon Hotel
870 – End of interview
Comment:  Mr. Kunkel is well informed about local history.  This is an excellent interview throughout.

Tape #12 Mr. Wallace Baltrusch (Fessenden)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; Emigration from Germany to Russia to South Dakota
064 – His father’s move to a Wells County homestead in 1897; Family history; Leaving ND for Oregon, then going to settle in Canada, then to Missouri, to North Dakota, back to Canada, then to a series of other locations before finally settling for good in Wells County in 1916
440 – Prairie fires; Accounts of their early travels by covered wagon
593 – His schooling; Learning to repair watches and starting his own repair business; Raising turkeys for sale
713 – SIDE TWO – General conversation about his old documents; Reasons his parents moved so often; Stories about the Canadian homestead
917 – Farming during the 1930’s; Morale during hard times
008 – Comments about A. C. Townley and the NPL; The Farmers Holiday Association activities in Wells County; Bill Langer; The League Consumer Store in Fessenden and the problems it had
210 – Growth of the Farmers Union in the area; General comments about present farm organizations; His opinion of large scale farming and on coal development
305 – The Wells County program to stop prairie fires
354 – End of interview
Comment:  Mr. Baltrusch’s account of his parent’s move from farm to farm in the US and Canada in search of the land of milk and honey is fascinating.

Tape #13 Fred A. and Mrs. Alma Mietz (Fessenden)
000 – Introduction
020 – Horsepower threshing rigs; Adobe houses; His family history; Their homestead near Manfred
110 – Area midwives; Hard work his mother did after his father died; Nationalities in the Manfred area
166 – Inland towns; His recollections of early politics
190 – Hunting wildlife in the early 1900’s; Destruction of wildlife habitat
247 – His opposition to large farming operations and support for a graduated land tax
272 – Attitudes of German settlers in the area toward WWI; Cooperation of neighbors; Germans from Russia in the area
324 – Finding good water on the homestead; Sources of fuel
379 – Horse dealers; Popular breeds of work horses
406 – Children’s chores on the farm; Fishing on the James River; Dried fish; Norwegian celebrations in Manfred
517 – Changes in the pace of life; Eating rabbits
590 – Attending Baptists Church in Fessenden; Other churches in the area; Intermarriage of different nationalities
663 – Early Manfred businesses; Ice houses; Fires; Banks in Manfred; The Biesicker family
873 – Exodus of people from the area; Hard times during the 1930’s
SIDE TWO
960 – Raising livestock in the city; Their morale during the 1930’s
004 – Popularity of fraternal organizations; Relations between farmers and city people
070 – His service during WWI
075 – Early railroad service; Transients on the railroad
142 – His work in a Fessenden store; Giving credit to customers
183 – WPA work; Surplus commodities
305 – The Fessenden Light and Power Company; Running the general store; Making clothes out of flour sacks; Making harnesses
543 – Home remedies for illness; The 1918 flu epidemic; Early MD’s in the area; Home cures for sick chickens
726 – Making yeast; Transients; Gypsies and Syrian peddlers; Account of a gypsy who hypnotized an old woman and then stole her money
816 – End of interview
Comment:  This is an excellent interview throughout.

Tape #14 Mr. Alfred Lynne (Heimdal)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; His parent’s immigration to ND from Norway; The family homestead near Heimdal; Nationalities in the area; Coming of the railroad in 1908
098 – Family history; Death of his parents; Reasons his father left Norway; Early settlers in the area; Types of homes the early settlers built
201 – Expanding their farm acreage; Early farm machinery; The bad winter of 1907; Sources of fuel and water
300 – Prairie fires; Nationalities in the Harvey area; Flour mill at Harvey
394 – His brother’s threshing rig
417 – Midwives in the area; Hard work that women did on the homesteads; Attending rural school and church; Towns of Clara and Viking
589 – Crop yields during the 1890’s
618 – Attending rural school
684 – His marriage in 1912; His wife’s background; His farming operation
786 – Period when farm population began to decline
800 – Popularity of the NPL in the area; Helping organize for the NPL; Emotional politics
SIDE TWO
927 – League rallies; Social life; Playing for dances; Mail order liquor; Home brew; Neighborliness of people
024 – Horse rustling; Hamburg businesses
082 – His children; The 1918 flu epidemic and their illness with it
128 – Banks in Hamburg and Heimdal; Bank failures
153 – The Depression; Hard times during the 1920’s and 1930’s
214 – Horsepower feed mills
251 – The Farmers Holiday Association
277 – Getting electricity on the farm; An early farmer’s telephone line
340 – Heating homes with hard coal heaters; Lamps
359 – Comments on the increasing size of farms and specialized agriculture
408 – Jewish peddlers traveling to farms; Gypsies
456 – Thoughts on life in North Dakota
498 – Threshing; IWW laborers
536 – End of interview
Comment:  The interview contains general historical information about farm life in the 1890’s and early 1900’s

Tape #15 Mr. L. W. Bower and Hans Bollingberg (Bremen)
000 – Introduction
020 – Bower’s family history; His parent’s homestead; His father’s death and mother’s remarriage
051 – Bollingberg’s family history; Immigration from Norway; Their homestead and tree claim
150 – Nationalities in the Bremen area; Eating gophers during hard times on the homestead; Early settlers in the area
238 – Wolves and coyotes; Hunting; Making a home on the homestead; Getting flour from a New Rockford mill
320 – Social life; Dances; Early medical doctors making house calls
382 – Find good water on the homestead; Burning cow manure
462 – July 4th celebrations
519 – Types of homestead houses; Comments about early settlers and nationalities; IWW laborers; Threshing costs
728 – Comments on the high cost of farm land and large scale farming
825 – Threshing; Steam plowing rigs
920 – SIDE TWO – Baseball games and local teams; Fights
075 – Organization of the NPL; Ole Olson; A. C. Townley’s enterprises
150 – Mother’s newspaper work
165 – Early Bremen businesses; Construction of the railroad; Train service in the early 1900’s
386 – Prohibition and local enforcement of it; Home brew; Bremen’s decline
505 – Effect of the Depression on the Bremen area; The John Deere Company’s credit policy
573 – Bremen’s trade area and its decline; Elevator in Bremen
681 – Hard times during the 1930’s; Destroying cattle
849 – End of interview
Comment:  Both men have excellent memories and speak easily.  The interview is generally informative throughout.  Early baseball teams in the area covered quite thoroughly.

Tape #16 Perry Anderson (Harvey)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; Account of people caught in a bad blizzard for 2 days
091 – His father’s homestead between Harvey and Fessenden; Homestead buildings
181 – Prairie fires; Finding good water on the homestead; Sources of fuel
282 – Early Manfred businesses; Wellsburg; Bankers; Schools in Manfred
386 – The 1918 flu epidemic and early MD’s
425 – Good and poor crop years
456 – Organization of the NPL and its popularity in the area
580 – An early rural telephone line
665 – Hunting and fishing; Manfred’s baseball team; Fraternal organizations in Manfred
SIDE TWO
714 – Social life and recreation; Changes in the pace of life
770 – Marriage; His children; Making a living during the 1930’s; Self-sufficiency on the farm; Feeding cattle during the 1930’s; Working on WPA projects
848 – Farmers Holiday Association activities
898 – Comments on large scale farming
940 – Early gas tractors; Threshing; Transient workers on threshing crews; IWW workers
100 – Getting electricity on the farm; Delco plants
206 – Thoughts on life in ND; Beneficial side effects of the depression
238 – Farm organizations
293 – End of interview
Comment:  This is a generally informative interview regarding agriculture in the early 1900’s.

Tape #17 Kernel H. and Helen E. Helgerud (Harvey)
000 – Introduction
020 – His family history; His parent’s homestead near Harvey
121 – Nationalities in the area and the types of houses they built
196 – Getting established on the homestead; Midwives and early medical care
271 – Finding good water on the homestead; Prairie fires; Attending rural school and business college; Railroad employment in Harvey
380 – A company threshing rig he operated; Wages for the crew
576 – Raising horses and Chester white hogs
614 – Organization of the NPL and its popularity; A. C. Townley’s oil well; Anecdote about Langer; Hurdsfield bank robbery
731 – Starting his oil station in Harvey in 1923
901 – Harvey’s early fire department and water system
SIDE TWO
935 – Harvey’s original business district, and early businesses
998 – Importance of the railroad to Harvey
122 – Laws regarding oil companies; Early firefighting methods; His service on local boards
193 – Effect of the Depression on Harvey; His credit policy; Bank failures; Collecting taxes; WPA work
349 – Development of city government; The Harvey Mill and Light Plant
445 – Blind pigs in Harvey; Bootlegging
533 – Her family history; Churches in Harvey
598 – Neighborliness of people; Fraternal organizations
705 – Comments on large scale farming and on life in North Dakota
878 – End of interview

Tape #18 Mr. L. B. “Barney” Honer (Harvey)
TAPE A
000 – Introduction
020 – General remarks about area historic sites
054 – Family history; Reasons his parents left Wisconsin for ND in 1906; His father’s carpentry business; Other early building contractors; Various styles for carious early buildings; Early insulation
360 – Features that made early houses “classy”
610 – Early woodworking tools; Work he did as a youth
SIDE TWO
711 – Construction work he did; Early plumbing and heating systems
762 – Characteristics of various nationalities regarding their buildings; Story about pony Gulch
826 – Heating homes; Cook stoves; Types of early furnaces
898 – Pantries in homes and their use; “Pass through” cupboards
927 – Types of wood available in early lumberyards; Radfords standard house plans; Cost of constructing houses and other buildings
044 – Development of sheet rocking
102 – Cost of building a house; “Batching” while working on construction sites
466 – Neighborliness of people and their manners; Family life
512 – Early lighting; Early electrical generators
628 – Giving credit to farmers; Skoot’s store; Buying butter from farmers
717 – End of Tape A
TAPE B
000 – Introduction
020 – Preserving butter; Selling it to rendering companies; Merchants foreclosing on farms to collect bills
126 – Rise of the NPL and farmers grievances; Emotional politics
231 – The Farmers Holiday Association in Wells County
245 – Cutting ice and storing it; Uses of the ice
424 – The influence of the railroad on Harvey’s economy
500 – Selling drinking water in early Harvey; Basket socials
644 – Comments on “the good old days”; Social life and entertainment; Chautauquas and circuses
SIDE TWO
709 – Circuses; Putting up circus tents; Local baseball teams; Anecdotes about Halloween pranks
958 – Harvey’s flour mill; Blind pigs in town
038 – The old cement block plant near Harvey; Early banks
191 – Harvey’s pop bottling works
235 – Development of large scale farming
354 – Thoughts on life in ND; Story about a trip to the Peace Gardens
418 – End of interview
Comment:  Mr. Honer is a rapid-fire speaker with a superb memory.  The interview is excellent throughout and is particularly useful regarding the early carpentry contracting business.

Tape #19 Mr. E.S. Killie (Fessenden)(Traill County)
000 – Introduction
020 – General conversation; The Bisicker home, banks, and land holdings; Bisicker’s personality; Wealthy people in early Fessenden
243 – His family history; His parent’s homestead near Clifford
344 – Early Clifford businesses; Family history
414 – Attending college and teaching in various schools; Teaching during the Depression; Financing schools
SIDE TWO
704 – Comments on a teacher’s responsibility in the community; Welfare programs during the 1930’s
770 – Loss of farms during the 1930’s
801 – Popularity of the NPL in rural area; Speaking ability of Townley and Langer; Getting war surplus items for the school through Langer; Langer’s stint as attorney for three local bank robbers
963 – Comments on large scale farming
012 – The Wells County Historical Society
154 – Changes in the way people live and the values they have; Neighborliness
250 – Disciplining students; Colorful local characters; Richard Sykes; The Hurd brothers
410 – End of interview
Comment:  Mr. Killie is an authority on local history.  His personal recollections of teaching during the 1930’s are probably the most valuable portion of this interview.

Tape #20 Mrs. Emma Orth (Fessenden)(McHenry County)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; Moving from Missouri to ND
080 – Her first impressions of ND; Their homestead sod house south of Towner; Moving to a farm near Granville
137 – Prairie fires; Digging a well; Midwives; Traveling by immigrant car to ND
268 – Use of oxen on the plow; Selling eggs and cream
350 – Coyotes along the Mouse River; Raising and selling turkeys
387 – Early Granville stores; Social life; Dances; Their rural church
480 – Farming during the 1930’s; Grasshoppers and dust storms; Attending church; Sam Coda, and early settler
549 – Root cellar; Buying flour
567 – Her children; The 1918 flu epidemic
628 – Threshing time
578 – Thoughts on life in ND
695 – End of interview

Tape #21 Allie Clark (Fessenden)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; Moving to ND from Wisconsin in 1907; Their farm near Fessenden; Welsh people in the area
121 – L. L. Biesicker
156 – Her first impressions of ND; Selling eggs and butter at the Emerick store
230 – Hard times during the 1930’s; WPA work
279 – The Biesicker family
310 – The Eastern Star and Masonic Lodges
337 – Neighborliness of people; Large scale farming
356 – End of interview

Tape #22 Sophia L. Thompson (Fessenden)
358 – Family history; The Hurd brothers; First impressions of North Dakota
445 – Her mother’s work as a midwife; Early settlers in the area; Traveling in a covered wagon
560 – Social life and entertainment; Dances; Attending rural school
610 – Her husband’s background; Their farm; The Depression; Preserving food
719 – The 1918 flu epidemic
756 – Threshing; Early Christmas celebrations
833 – Comments on large scale farming
850 – Wildlife and flowers on the prairie
907 – End of interview

Tape #24 Selma Lindborg (Fessenden)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; Moving to North Dakota from Minnesota; First impressions of ND; Nationalities; in the Hurdsfield area
090 – Types of homestead buildings; Early settlers around their homestead; Attending rural school
119 – Early ranches; Her parent’s homestead
128 – Her marriage and her husband’s background
156 – End of interview

Tape #25 Mrs. Emma Rott (Fessenden)
158 – Family history; Emigrating from South Russia to ND via South Dakota
198 – Her parent’s homestead near Anamoose; Early settlers in that area; Attending a rural German Lutheran Church
251 – Hauling grain to Kief; The sod house; Area midwives; Skogmo
362 – The 1918 flu epidemic
427 – Her husband’s work as section foreman on the railroad
632 – Neighborliness of people; Keeping in touch with relatives in Russia
695 – Comments on life in ND
705 – End of interview

Tape #26 Mrs. Mary Reed (Fessenden)(Golden Valley County)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; Her parent’s homestead near Beach; Negative first impressions of ND
090 – Early settlers in the Beach area; Family history
155 – A. C. Townley
170 – Raising a garden; Hard times on the homestead; Rattlesnakes; Log buildings
314 – A rural school her father built; Local coal mines farmers dug
345 – Her husband’s background; Their Montana homestead
388 – The 1918 flu epidemic and her family’s illness; Her Husband’s severe case of flu; Tragic stories
486 – Her husband’s work on the railroad in various North Dakota towns; Hobos on the trains
652 – Their Montana homestead; Thoughts on life in North Dakota
700 – End of interview
Comment:  Mrs. Reed offers some graphic first-hand accounts of the 1918 flu epidemic.

Tape #27 Mr. John Faul (Harvey)
000 – Introduction
020 – Family history; His parent’s emigration from Russia to South Dakota; Moving to ND in 1895 and getting a homestead
096 – Early farming methods; Horses and mules on farm machinery; The sod house on the homestead
166 – Hunting and eating wild game; Preserving meat; Burning manure in the cook stove; Digging out coal near coal mine lake
260 – Attending rural school; Their church
301 – Buying supplies in Sykeston; Wild game in the early 1900’s; Coyotes; Wolves
417 – Gypsies traveling in the area; Peddlers; Homemade clothes
464 – Marriage; His wife’s background; The farm he rented; Good and poor crop years; Threshing
SIDE TWO
698 – Threshing stories; Early gas tractors
783 – Social life; Family life
807 – Cost of horses in the early 1900’s
816 – Making a living on the farm during the 1930’s; Working on WPA; Feeding thistles to livestock
914 – Service in the Army during WWI; His first car
947 – Getting telephone on the farm; Radio programs
011 – Early farm gasoline delivery; His blacksmith work; Hauling grain by horse and wagon
066 – Home brew during prohibition; Bootlegging
116 – Early Harvey businesses; Banks Fire Fighting equipment; Early movies
205 – Changes in people and in family life
252 – End of interview
Comment:  Mr. Faul’s recollections of early threshing machinery and methods are valuable.

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