Title: Masseth-Schneider Family
Collection Number: MSS 11095
Quantity: 1.25 feet
Abstract: Collection consists of correspondence, news clippings, baptism certificate (copy), anniversary material, funerary biographies, obituaries, cards, first grade reading books, and family photographs.
Provenance: The collection was donated by Lila Simon, the daughter of Hattie (Masseth) and Tony Schneider, on November 29, 2008. The collection was transferred to the Archives from the Museums Division on March 18, 2011. The collection was processed, and this finding aid was created by Emily E. Schultz in July 2011.
Property Rights: The State Historical Society of North Dakota owns the property rights to this collection.
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.
Transfer: This material was transferred to the State Archives from the Museums
Division of the SHSND on March 18, 2011.
Michael Masseth was born September 10, 1869 and Genevieve Fettig was born August 15, 1874; both were Germans from Russia, born in Strasburg. They married in 1894 and had two children while living in Russia. A son, Michael, was a Cossack in the Russian Army. The family came to America in March 1898 and applied for citizenship on April 7 in Bangor, SD. They lived in Bowdle for four years and had three more children. They then homesteaded near Napoleon, ND, and built a three-roomed sod house. There they had six more children. The Masseths eventually built a three story wood frame house; the original homestead is still in the family.
Hedwiga (Hattie) J. Masseth was born to Michael and Genevieve Masseth on October 22, 1909 in Napoleon, ND. She was one of seven sisters and four brothers. Hattie and her siblings attended a one room country school house about one mile east of the Masseth family farm.
Anton (Tony) Schneider was born on March 10, 1904 in Strasburg, Russia, to Anton Sr. and Magdalina (Burckhard) Schneider. Tony came to the U.S. as an infant, and the Schneider family lived on a farm south of Napoleon, ND. They often visited the Masseth farm, so Hattie and Tony saw each other frequently. In 1917, the family moved to Bismarck.
Michael and Genevive moved to Bismarck in 1926 when Hattie was 17. Hattie and Tony started dating and became engaged in 1928. Dancing was an inexpensive form of entertainment during the depression, and they won prizes for the best in the polka dance. Tony still lived with his parents and 5 brothers and sisters. He approached his boss, Mr. Will, of the Oscar H. Will Co. and asked for a loan to buy land and build a house. Hattie worked at Capital Laundry.
Hattie and Tony were married on June 24, 1929, at St. Mary’s Church in Bismarck. Tony was a “landscaper” by trade, working for Oscar H. Will Company for 25 years until 1942. He then worked for Montana Dakota Utilites until 1946 when he worked for Provident Life Insurance Company until he retired in 1970. He continued working part-time landscaping until 1987.
Hattie and Tony had four children. Lila was the first, in 1931. Three more brothers were born in 1936, 1949, and 1951. Lila Jane married Gordon A. Simon on February 3, 1951 in St. Mary’s Church in Bismarck. Gordon was a native of Mandan and had just returned from a year’s service in the Navy when they met. Tony died August 6, 1991 and Hattie died August 28, 2003.
1 Correspondence, news clippings, baptism certificate (copy), anniversary material, funerary biographies, obituaries, cards, 1906-2003
2 Two first grade reading books, 1930-1931
3 Photograph album, Hattie Masseth, 1920s
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