Johann Thomas, generally known as Thomas, or Tom, served in the U.S. Navy from December 15, 1864 until August, 1865 on the "Grampus", the "Siren", the "Great Western" and the "Louisville" on the Ohio River during the Civil War.
"Thomas Engelhorn #104419, Ordinary Seaman was discharged from the USS Great Western and from the Naval Service, by order of the Bureau of Equipment and Receiving 25 Aug 1865. Enlisted at Cincinnati, Ohio 15 Dec. 1864 for two years as Ordinary Seaman. Served on USS Siren. Born Germany. Age 24."
Thomas Engelhorn came to Allamakee county, Iowa with his parents in 1853 when he was 13 years old. In 1870 he and his wife and their three month old daughter, Anna, were living with his parents in Lansing Township. On March 31, 1873 he bought his own farm and in 1877 he was among those preempting land by right of military service during the Civil War.
He left Iowa for Churchs Ferry, North Dakota in 1883 to homestead there, taking his eldest son, Thomas Jr. with him. The homestead was located in Irvine Township northwest of Churchs Ferry in what is now Benson county. In the Allamakee Journal of Wednesday April 8, 1883; "Thomas Engelhorn and son and Louis Reiser of Lansing township left for Northern Dakota Monday, April 6, 1883, taking two car loads of machinery and livestock." Another article reported that Charles and Thomas Bakewell, Thomas Engelhorn and Louis Reiser, all of Lansing township, left for Dakota. "They took several loads of machinery and stock."
Katherine's obituary records that Thomas went to North Dakota in 1883 and in 1886 she and the rest of the children joined him there. Tom's pension application says he moved to Dakota in 1884 and a North Dakota History dates the move in 1888, when the rest of his family moved.
The first train to arrive in the county came in 1883 on the Manitoba, Minneapolis and St. Paul Railroad, later the Great Northern. The following year 1,725 people arrived so Tom was apparently ahead of the crowd to this new land. The rest of the family followed in 1888.
In 1897, Tom was treasurer of Irvine School District No. 1, Benson County.
Thomas farmed until 1910 and then built a home in Churchs Ferry where he and Katherine lived in retirement with two of their children who had never married.
Thomas planted a huge grove of trees on the homestead and for many years around the Fourth of July an "Old Settlers Picnic" was held there with people coming from miles around. The Engelhorn family loved music and one of the first purchases at the estate was a piano. Every member of the family played an instrument and they had a small orchestra at one time.
Son Mathias recalled years later that as children, he and his brothers used to collect buffalo bones near the homestead and sell then for a few cents a pound to button manufacturers. As early as 1887 buffalo bones were being marketed at $6 a ton.
Johann Thomas was not a large man; five foot six inches tall and weighing 160 pounds. He had brown eyes, black hair and a dark complexion. Death was due to bladder cancer according to records in the family Bible.
Tom married Katherine SCHMIDT, daughter of George SCHMIDT and Sibela WÖRNER, on 18 Nov 1869 in Waukon, Iowa. Katherine was born 14 Feb 1849 in Zanesville, Ohio. She died 7 Dec 1917 in Churchs Ferry, North Dakota and was buried in Churchs Ferry.
Katherine Schmidt moved to Iowa from Zanesville, Ohio when she was a small girl. Her obituary in a North Dakota paper stated that "living in those days on a homestead with a large family meant much sacrifice and many hardships, which only the most sturdy were able to endure. The fact that Mrs. Engelhorn was one of the few women who passed through this struggle speaks truly of her nobleness of purpose and sturdiness of character. She was one of few words but of many kind deeds."
Katherine Schmidt was the oldest of three daughters of George SCHMIDT and his first wife, Sibela WOERNER. Sibela died in childbirth in 1857 and George then married Elizabetha ENGELHORN in the Thomas Line in 1858.
They had ten children:
Tom Jr. was a bachelor who lived in Churchs Ferry all his life. In 1920 he was living with his bachelor brother William F. Engelhorn. Tom tended to be serious and straight-laced. There were no weeds in his farm fields; he walked the field and pulled them out by hand. He was always dressed "just so" and frequently wore white gloves.
In 1913 Thomas was on the board of the Churchs Ferry and Zion Congregation Cemetery Association (Antioch Cemetery).
Tom died 18 Feb 1944; his body was found in his hotel room by a chamber maid after he did not come down at his usual hour in the morning.
Will was a bachelor and farmed the original homestead until his death in 1926, with the exception of two or three years when he was in the harness business in Churchs Ferry.
He appears to have been enumerated in two places in the 1920 census and may have been living in Churchs Ferry with his brother Thomas Engelhardt while at the same time operating the original farm where Frank Hillerman and his family lived and worked for him.
Will and Charley Engelhorn were favorite uncles among their many nieces and nephews. Uncle Will had a new Buick touring car with a self-starter. He was always willing to give the kids a ride, even if he was already busy. Jo Hillerman wrote that Will would take her for a ride down the road a couple of miles and then bring her back, no matter how busy he might have been.
Will was a member of the B.P.O.E. and M.W.A. lodges and was highly respected, a good citizen and a gentleman whom you were proud to call your friend. He died at the sanatorium at San Haven, North Dakota, of a complication of diabetes and tuberculosis.
The Thomas Engelhorn Estate Farm near Churchs Ferry, North Dakota
Elizabeth was known to all as Lizzie or "Aunt Lizzie". Elizabeth never had the opportunity to go to school much beyond the fourth or fifth grade. However she was intelligent, spoke good English and wrote lovely letters with good spelling. Her handwriting was neat and legible.
She married young and spent her life having children, cooking, sewing and trying to survive on little money. Her husband was a kind man but a poor provider who did not spend money wisely.
Elizabeth was a member of the Methodist Church, Eastern Star and Rural Homemaker's Clubs. She was an excellent cook and wonderful housekeeper. She was always dressed in the morning, neat and tidy with a crisp apron. Aunt Lizzie was not musical like her brothers and sisters but did entertain her family with the mouth organ or harmonica.
Elizabeth was very kind, especially helpful with the neighbors with their new babies. She had many friends.
They did not have a car until their youngest, Viette, was in high school. Frank bought a four-door Model T Ford then and the children thought it was "really swell." Viette remembers, when she was a child, before the car, her mother hitching up the single horse and buggy to go places.
Entertainment in the Hillerman home was with neighborhood card parties and dances. The open sleigh on moonlit nights was always fun and all the neighbors took turns. They had an Atwater-Kent battery-operated radio, but had to limit their use of it because the battery lasted for only about two weeks and it cost 50 cents to have it recharged.
Life was not easy but they had a happy family and loved each other and family get-togethers were "loads of fun."
Lizzie married Frank HILLERMAN, son of William Carson HILLERMAN and Mary BRAWNER, on 10 Jan 1894 in Churchs Ferry, North Dakota. Frank was born 3 Mar 1865 in Chatham, Illinois. He died 8 Feb 1932 in Churchs Ferry, North Dakota and was buried in Churchs Ferry.
Frank came to North Dakota in May of 1888 and homesteaded about two miles west of Maza in Irvine township. The family lived on this homestead until 1908 when it was sold and the family moved to Churchs Ferry. Frank then worked for the Great Northern Railroad for about ten years.
In about 1918-1920 they moved to the Engelhorn estate farm where he worked for his brother-in-law, Will F. Engelhorn. Frank retired in 1928 and they moved back to Churchs Ferry where they lived out their retirement years.
Frank and Roy Cowan, who were at the Hillerman farm on 8 February 1932, had hitched a team to a sleigh and were about to drive to Churchs Ferry. Roy went to the house for blankets and when he returned he found Frank dead. The doctor attributed his death to heart failure. Frank was a man noted for his kindly spirit, honest and just in all his dealings, who never spoke ill of anyone and was everyone's friend.
They had nine children:
Jeanette was an elementary school teacher, having graduated from the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks. In 1932 they were resident in St. Cloud, Minnesota. Jeanette was a member of the Order of Eastern Star, PEO Sisterhood, White Shrine and Bethlehem Lutheran Church.
Jeanette married Joseph Selmer AGA on 10 Jun 1925 on the Hillerman farm near Churchs Ferry, North Dakota. Joseph was born 30 Oct 1892 in Sisston, South Dakota. He died 13 Jan 1969 in St. Cloud, Minnesota and was buried 16 Jan 1969 in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Joseph Aga and Jeanette lived for three years in Langdon, North Dakota and then moved to St. Cloud, Minnesota in 1928 where Joseph worked as a salesman for the H. J. Heinz Company for 30 years. He was a member of Bethlehem Lutheran Church; American Legion Post 76; North Star Lodge 31, AF&AM, St Cloud Chapter 10; Nazarene Commandery; Kim Shrine Temple, Grand Forks, North Dakota; St. Cloud Shrine Club; Granite Chapter OES; and Palestine Shrine 3. He was a veteran of World War I.
Jo graduated from Churchs Ferry high School in 1932. She attended Minnesota State College in St. Cloud and then attended the University of Wyoming in Laramie where she was awarded a BSc degree in Education and continued there with graduate studies. She started her teaching career in a one-room rural school near Churchs Ferry, teaching all but one grade.
She moved to Wyoming in 1946, where she taught third grade at Roosevelt School in Rock Springs and later, third and fourth grade at Yellowstone School. She was also the teaching principal at Lowell School where she taught third grade and was principal and sixth grade teacher at the old Washington School. She was an exemplary teacher who taught with a gentle love and humor. She was also a Remedial Reading teacher at the Roosevelt and SS. Cyril and Methodist Catholic Schools. Viette was the Principal at the new Roosevelt School for four years and served in school administration for 15 years prior to her retirement. She has taught adult education classes and was named Teacher of the Month by the local Kiwanis Club.
Miss Hillerman was a member of the National Education Association, Wyoming Education Association, Delta Kappa Gamma (International Society of Women Educators) and life member of the Parent-Teachers Association, International Reading Association, National Elementary Principals and State Elementary Principals. She enjoyed golf and was a member of the Rolling Hills Country Club. Her philosophy on education was "There is no better profession than working with children." Additional interests included duplicate bridge and watching football.
She was also a member of the First United Methodist Church, AARP, and Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County Auxiliary.
She decided to take an early retirement in 1977 so she would have time to visit all 50 States and "just take it easy for awhile."
Mathias Engelhorn did not complete high school but did attend a business college in Grand Forks, North Dakota. He was a cashier in the First National Bank in Churchs Ferry for many years. Later he worked as bookkeeper for Ramsey Motors in Devils Lake for 12 years until his retirement. He was on the school board in Churchs Ferry, holding the office of treasurer for many years. He was Worshipful Master of the Masonic Order and Past Patron of the Order of Eastern Star in Churchs Ferry and a member of the Episcopal Church. Matt was a kind, good man to all, a good father and friend according to those who knew him.
Mathias married Myrtle Mary MITCHELL "Mary", daughter of Leeland MITCHELL and Catherine HUGHES, on 10 Jun 1914 in Lansford, North Dakota. Mary was born 26 Mar 1887 in Minto, North Dakota. She died 17 Jun 1983 in Carrington, North Dakota and was buried 20 Jun 1983 in Churchs Ferry North Dakota.
Myrtle received her early education in the Minto, North Dakota, schools. She was a member of the Church of the Advent in Devils Lake and was their organist for many years. She was a past member of the Order of Eastern Star.
They had four children:
Harriet Lucille was employed for many years by a private investigation firm in St. Paul.
Lucy married Vern S. BRUCE "Bud", son of Eslie BRUCE and Erma, on 28 Apr 1951 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Bud was born 6 Mar 1919 in Stillwater, Minnesota. He died 28 May 2004 in St. Paul, Minnesota.
"Bud" Bruce was chief purchasing Agent for the state of Minnesota.
Charles farmed for many years and had a part interest in a hardware store in Churchs Ferry until it closed. He then operated the City Meat Market until about 1936 when he moved to California. Charles owned his own painting business at the time of his death. While working in the hardware store in Churchs Ferry he earned the nickname "Stove Pipes."
Charles married Nellie Sara WALKER, daughter of Daniel WALKER and Elizabeth LEHAN, on 27 Oct 1914 in Alexandria, Minnesota. Nellie was born 6 Apr 1889 in Alexandria. She died 2 Oct 1980 in Bell Gardens, California and was buried 6 Oct 1980 in Inglewood Park, California.
They had one child:
Adolph, known as "Pete the barber," was a barber in Churchs Ferry until 1942 when ill health forced him to retire. Pete was the most musically talented of the Engelhorn family and had an orchestra of his own. At times sons Bert and Pepper played with him.
In those days very few children were given middle names so they took a middle initial of their choosing. Adolph chose P and became known as "Pete".
Pete married Martha EVERSON "Matie" on 24 Mar 1902 in Minnewaukan, North Dakota. Matie was born 4 Dec 1882 in Buxton, North Dakota. She died 27 Apr 1958 at Devils Lake, North Dakota and was buried in Churchs Ferry, North Dakota.
They had two children:
Bert, as he was known, was educated in the Churchs Ferry public schools. He lived his entire life there, serving as church organist and musician in the community. He was a natural-born piano player. He only had to hear a song once and he could play it. He had only one music lesson in his life, just so he "could see what it was like." He donated a lot of his time and music for different activities, playing for "all the school dances, plays and benefits", according to his cousin Joyce Hillerman. He was a familiar figure to many people in the area as a pianist who traveled by "thumb." He played in small musical combinations and as an individual.
An acquaintance said Bert "was a very small and gentle man," short and slight, he walked with a stoop.
Bert's death occurred sometime after he had been reported missing following the April 30 1967 blizzard. He was last seen at the Highway Host Cafe near the junction of U.S. 2 and North Dakota 19 on the west edge of Devils Lake. His body was found by searchers from Churchs Ferry May 10 in a ditch on the southwest edge of the lake.
Emmett "Pepper" was educated in the Churchs Ferry schools and lived and worked in Churchs Ferry his entire life. He played the drums in various dance bands in the area with his brother Bert and father, Pete. Pepper was a small, wiry fellow, a little odd, but very cheerful.
He was a member of the Churchs Ferry Men's Club and the Lake Region Senior Citizens Association. For several years much of the Antioch Cemetery work was done by Pepper.
Hulda moved with her parents to North Dakota in about 1886. After her marriage she and Bill moved to Bennett, Iowa. She was well known in Bennett and vicinity and made many friends there. Her untimely death followed a short illness.
Hulda married William Frederick BARTHELD, son of Fredrick BARTHELD and Philipina ZIMMERMAN, on 10 Sep 1902 in Minnewaukan, North Dakota. William was born 2 Oct 1873 at Village Creek, Iowa. He died 14 Feb 1912 in Clinton, Iowa and was buried 25 Feb 1912 in Oak Hill Cemetery, Allamakee County, Iowa.
William Frederick was a brakeman for the Rock Island Railroad, running between Bennett and Clinton, Iowa. He was fully determined not to separate them and to do the best he could by them. He was returning to Bennett with his three motherless little ones after accompanying the remains of his wife to Waukon for burial there. As his train was pulling into Comanche, just west of Clinton, Iowa, he, in some unaccountable manner, fell under the last car just as it neared the depot and the rear wheels passed over him, crushing one leg below the knee and the other at the thigh. He was conscious when picked up, gave some instructions to his fellow trainmen, but died shortly afterward.
After the deaths of their parents the children were raised by their aunt Charlotte Bartheld.
They had three children:
Lyle grew up in Haileyville, Oklahoma, attended McAlester High School, graduated from the University of Oklahoma, and attended the University of Missouri. At the time of his death he was a retired from the oil business, having been president of Jet Oil Company based in Wichita, Kansas, but had lived in Tulsa, Midland, Texas, and in Oklahoma City for 30 years. He moved to McAlester in 1992.
He was a 32nd degree Mason and member of the Indian Shrine, and was also a charter member of the Oklahoma City Petroleum Club.
Bus married Mary Lou GARVER on 13 Aug 1932 in Seminole, Oklahoma. Mary was born 5 Mar 1911. She died 31 Oct 1989 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Buff Hillerman served in the U.S. Navy during World War I. At the time he joined the navy Buff was 5' 5 1/4" tall, weighed 154 pounds and had a ruddy complexion, dark brown hair and blue eyes. It is believed by his sister, Viette, that he lied about his age in order to join the Navy. He served aboard the USS Troy, the largest freighter afloat at that time, converted to a transport ship. He was enrolled at Minneapolis on January 5, 1918 and was honorably discharged September 30, 1921.
Buff Hillerman was a farmer all his life. He was working on the Albin H. Englehorn farm, living with his cousin Albin and Albin's parents, Louis and Ida in 1920. He rented three different farms before renting the "Tom Engelhorn Estate" farm in 1930, a few miles from Churchs Ferry. He ran a dairy operation for many years. At harvest time they often fed as many as 18 people. If the weather was good the harvest might last two or three weeks, sometimes longer.
The Hillermans continued the Engelhorn tradition of having picnics, mostly for local organizations and friends. Buff purchased the farm in 1940 and sold it in 1966 to Don Albertson. They then moved to Churchs Ferry and built a new home on the site of the Orvis House Hotel.
Buff Hillerman served on the board of the Farmer's Co-op Elevator, was a member of the Men's Club in Churchs Ferry and the Devils Lake Elks Club.
Buff married Mayme GALLINGER, daughter of Luman GALLINGER and Sarah MCGINNES, on 29 Dec 1925 in Churchs Ferry, North Dakota. Mayme was born 8 Nov 1903 in Maza, North Dakota. She died 5 Jul 1974 in Churchs Ferry, North Dakota and was buried 9 Jul 1974 in Churchs Ferry.
Known as Mae, Mayme was born on a farm south of Cando near Maza, North Dakota. Her mother died when she was 12 years old and she was sent to live with her sister who, with her husband, had a grocery store and telephone exchange in St. John, North Dakota. She was educated in St. John and later taught school there and was employed at Peterson Drug Store in Churchs Ferry prior to her marriage to Buff.
Mae was a charter member of the Irvine Homemakers in Benson County, the United Methodist Church and the Women's Society of Christian Service of the church.
They had three children:
Joyce attended the Irvine Consolidated School from 1932 to 1942 and Churchs Ferry High School, graduating in 1945. After her marriage to Harold they lived in Leeds from 1962 to 1971 and Joyce worked at a number of jobs - the Palace Cafe, 1956 - 1969, cooking at the school, cleaning houses and bars, baby sitting, and at the Home Cafe "all day and half the night" - all to help support her children.
Joyce married (1) Cecil OWENS, son of Irwin OWENS and Frances FOX, on 22 May 1947 in Churchs Ferry, North Dakota. The marriage ended in divorce. Cecil was born 1 May 1925 in Rolette, North Dakota. He died 6 Aug 1992 in Leeds, North Dakota.
Joyce also married (2) Harold WALLER, son of Robert WALLER and Emma HEFTA, on 25 Sep 1971 in Brinsmade, North Dakota. Harold was born 3 Mar 1926 in Brinsmade. He died 6 Sep 2006 in Devils Lake, North Dakota and was buried 10 Sep 2006 in Brinsmade.
Ramona was born on the Engelhorn Estate Farm in Ramsey County, south of Maza, North Dakota. At the time the farm was rented by her father.
Ramona was 13 years old when the United States was drawn into WW II, so she became her dad's "hired man" by learning to drive the tractor and helping with the field work.
In 1950 Ramona and Robert moved onto the Sletten farm. She taught Sunday School, was a member of Irvine Homemakers and served on the school board. The Slettens are long-time members of the Ramsey County Farm Bureau and Zion Lutheran Church of Churchs Ferry. Since 1982, Ramona has worked at Kelly's Apparel, a ladies' ready-to-wear store in Devils Lake.
In 1987 they moved off the farm, bought a mobile home and lived in Leeds, North Dakota, until January, 1993, when they had a home built in Devils Lake.
Ramona married Robert SLETTEN, son of Henry SLETTEN and Hilda WELO, on 12 Jan 1946 in Churchs Ferry, North Dakota. Robert was born 23 Aug 1925 in Churchs Ferry.
Robert "Tub" was born on the Sletten family farm and grew up there, three miles east of Churchs Ferry. His grandfather, Hans A. Welo, was among the first settlers to stake a tree claim in Coulee Township, in 1882.
Robert was secretary of the Farmer's Co-op Elevator in Churchs Ferry.
Bill was born on the farm at Churchs Ferry. After graduating from Churchs Ferry High School he spent four years in the US Navy. While residing in Ohio he completed trade school and worked for several years as an auto body repairman. Bill later went into the trucking business and relocated his family to his wife's hometown in Pike county, Kentucky. He was an over-the-road driver for Coal Transport. Bill enjoys gardening and old movies.
William married Phyllis Ann BLACKBURN on 3 Dec 1965 in New Springfield, Ohio. Phyllis was born 1 Aug 1944 in Pikeville, Kentucky.
Helene attended school at Churchs Ferry. Before her marriage to Walter she worked as a telephone operator. In the Churchs Ferry Sun of December 5, 1919: "The bride whose sweet graces are greatly admired made for herself an enviable reputation while chief of the local telephone exchange, which position she held for the past two or three years."
Helene and Walter operated a wheat farm near Churchs Ferry from 1920 to 1945. After her family had grown Helene returned to work as a school cook.
She was a member of the Methodist Ladies aid and was past Worthy Matron of the Order of Eastern Star, receiving her 50-year pin in 1970.
Helene married Walter JACOBSON, son of John G. JACOBSON and Anna ERICKSON, on 29 Nov 1919 in Churchs Ferry, North Dakota. Walter was born 9 May 1894 in Churchs Ferry. He died 1 Jun 1967 in Churchs Ferry and was buried 5 Jun 1967 in Churchs Ferry.
Walter was one of five children of a prominent Churchs Ferry banking, lumbering and farming family. He attended the University of North Dakota for two years and then returned home to help his father on the farm. "The groom is a stalwart and progressive young farmer with plenty of the business like qualities to make a success of the farming business." After the "Dirty 30's" (the Dust Bowl years) he gave up farming and moved to Churchs Ferry and worked at a lumber company until 1959 when he retired.
It was common among the residents of the Churchs Ferry area to bestow nicknames on their friends and Walter was not immune from this practice, being named "Stink Lake" for some unknown reason.
They had five children:
Alice graduated valedictorian from Churchs Ferry High School in 1938 and worked for the Churchs Ferry newspaper as a linotype operator and typesetter during her last two years of school plus another year. She then attended Good Samaritan Hospital School of Nursing at Rugby, North Dakota, graduating in 1942. She worked as Surgical Supervisor until October, 1942 when she and Clayton were married.
During World War II she worked at American Legion Hospital in Norman, Oklahoma; Alta Bates Hospital in Alameda, California; taught cadet nurses at Rugby and worked there as surgical supervisor. The Sands moved to Kenmare, North Dakota in 1947 where Alice was employed at the Kenmare Clinic from 1949-1987 except for one year in 1959 when they lived in Jamestown. Alice entered the pilot program for nurse practitioners at the University of North Dakota in 1972 and graduated in 1973. She continued at the Kenmare Clinic until she retired in October, 1987.
Alice was past president of American Legion Auxiliary and a 50+ year member. She was active in Women of Lutheran Church, Senior Citizens and a member of three bridge clubs.
Alice married Clayton SAND, son of Magne SAND and Susie SATERLIE, on 10 Oct 1942 in Norman, Oklahoma. Clayton was born 12 Apr 1921 in Rugby, North Dakota. He died 4 Jan 1989 in Kenmare, North Dakota and was buried 6 Jan 1989 in Kenmare.
Clayton graduated from Rugby, North Dakota, High School and attended Minot State University for two quarters and then farmed with his father and worked at Massey Harris Implement Company. He enlisted for service in the U.S. Navy in March, 1942, was inducted into service at Minneapolis in April and was sent to San Diego for boot camp. He was stationed at Alameda, California and Norman, Oklahoma. He was at the Naval Air Station at Seattle for six months and served nearly two years on the island of Attu, Alaska. He attained the rank of Machinist Mate 1/C and was discharged in October, 1945.
Following naval service he returned to Rugby to work at Massey Harris again. The family moved to Kenmare in 1947 where Clayton joined his brother in an automobile dealership and Massey Harris franchise. He moved to Jamestown to become associated there with Massey Harris and with a Chrysler dealership. Two weeks after moving he suffered a head injury when he was struck by a piece of flying metal. The residual brain damage caused him to be disabled for 40 years until his death in 1989.
Clayton was active in Lions Club, Association of Commerce, Lutheran Church, City council and the American Legion, holding elective offices in all.
Merle was raised in the home of his parents in Churchs Ferry and graduated from school there. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in October, 1943 and attended submarine school in New London, Connecticut. His service took him on the USS Bushnell to Hawaii, back to Norfolk, Virginia on the USS Sakajawea, then to New London on the USS Bergel and back to Hawaii. He served in the Pacific war zone aboard the USS Besuga and was at Midway, Saipan and Australia. His units sank 14 Japanese merchant marine ships. He returned to San Diego in January, 1945 and was discharged the same month at Minneapolis. Merle attained the rank of Motor Machinist 3/C.
Merle worked for a number of years at the Turnbridge Elevator and later drove a delivery truck for Eddie's bread and did electrical work. He then joined the U.S. Postal Service in Rugby where he served as a letter carrier and clerk for 22 years.
Merle was a member of the First Lutheran Church in Rugby, the Rugby Eagles Aerie #3834 and the Clarence Larson American Legion Post 23 on Rugby.
Merle married Olga SOLSTEN, daughter of Martin SOLSTEN and Marit VIKEN, on 31 Mar 1947 in Wolf Point, Montana. Olga was born 11 Aug 1926 in Griggs County, North Dakota.
Howard grew up in Churchs Ferry where he obtained his elementary and high school education. He then attended Minot State Teachers College from 1941-1942. He was in the U.S. Navy from January 1943 to January 1946 serving aboard the destroyer escort ship USS Snowden escorting U.S. troop ships to Europe. The Snowden was with five other destroyer class ships in submarine killer groups and sank five German submarines.
After the war he resumed his education at the University of North Dakota where he earned his BS and MS degrees in chemistry. He earned his PhD in physical chemistry at Penn State University in 1953. Since 1955 he has been a research chemist at the Dupont Company in Wilmington, Delaware.
He had a distinguished career at Dupont and was the holder of 50 United States patents. Howard was awarded the first Dupont Fellow Distinguished Scientist award in 1992 (an expert in fine particle synthesis and coating), the Lavoisier Medal (an authority on titanium dioxide technologies) for a career of technical excellence in 1992 and the American Chemical Society's award for "Creative Inventor of the Year" in 1994. University honors include the Sioux Award for Distinguished Service and Outstanding Achievement (May, 1994), from the University of North Dakota, and Alumni Fellow, the most prestigious award given by the Penn State Alumni Association, in 1995.
Howard's hobbies included golf and gardening. He was a member of Grace Methodist Church.
Howard married Lois Ann HALVORSON, daughter of Harry HALVORSON and Elsie GJERTSON, on 14 Jun 1948 in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Lois was born 1 Dec 1928 in Superior, Wisconsin.
Blanche graduated from Churchs Ferry High School in 1942 and from Minot State Teachers College in 1945, majoring in elementary education. She taught third grade at Towner, North Dakota from 1945 to 1948 and then did substitute and home-bound teaching in the Fargo, North Dakota schools. Blanche is a member of the Methodist Church.
Blanche married William J. DISHER "Bill", son of William Ernest DISHER and Angeline AGARAND, on 23 Jun 1948 in Cando, North Dakota. Bill was born 4 Jan 1916 in Hansboro, North Dakota.
Bill graduated from Hansboro, North Dakota High School in 1933. He served in the U.S. Army as a staff sergeant in the 5th Armored Division, Company C from 1942-1947. He was stationed in California, Pennsylvania, New York and England. Bill was in France and Belgium ten days after D-Day, was wounded in action in Belgium in 1945 and awarded the Purple Heart medal.
After his military service he attended American University in Washington, DC, for Veteran's Service Officer Training. He was a National Service Officer for the Disabled American Veterans for 33 years, retiring in 1980.
Robert enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1951 and was assigned to the U.S. Air Force. He received his basic training at Lackland AFB in Texas. He was sent to Syracuse University in New York for one year where he studied Russian and then spent six months in Japan as an intercept operator. He was then posted to Korea where he was an intercept operator of Russian aircraft for about eight months. The Korean conflict ended in 1953 and Robert was discharged in 1954.
Following the war he attended the University of North Dakota. graduating in 1957 with degrees in History and Mathematics. He taught mathematics in North Dakota, Minnesota and California until 1962 when he went to work for Univac as a systems analyst and in sales. Robert retired in 1986.
Robert married Beverly L. WILEY on 11 Feb 1956 in Dickinson, North Dakota. Beverly was born 4 Sep 1932 in Rugby, North Dakota.
Eda and William Oliver were married on the Hillerman farm near Churchs Ferry. They lived in Leeds from 1927 - 1931 and then moved to Rugby where she lived the rest of her life. Eda worked for a time as a telephone operator. She was a member of the First Presbyterian Church and the ladies aid.
Eda married William N. OLIVER, son of Frederick OLIVER and Katie HOLCOMB, on 2 Jun 1927 in Churchs Ferry, North Dakota. William was born 13 Apr 1903 in London, England. He died 30 Apr 1972 in Rugby, North Dakota and was buried 3 May 1972 in Rugby.
William came to Brandon, Manitoba, Canada with his parents at the age of four. He obtained his education in Manitoba and came to the United States in 1924 and began work as a telegrapher for the Great Northern Railroad. He worked at Cando, Churchs Ferry, Leeds and for 42 years in Rugby. He was the depot agent in Rugby from 1961 until his retirement in 1970. He had worked for the Great Northern and Burlington Railroads in Canada and the US for 53 years. He had been an Elder of the Presbyterian Church in Rugby and a member of the Veterans Association of Burlington Northern.
They had one child:
Donna was born in Leeds but at an early age moved with her family to Rugby where she grew up and attended school, graduating from Rugby High School in 1946. She attended the Good Samaritan Hospital School of Nursing in Rugby, graduating in 1949. She obtained additional training at the Minnesota State Hospital, St. Peter, Minnesota, and at Children's Hospital in St. Paul. She practiced nursing at Good Samaritan Hospital in Rugby. After her marriage she lived in Colorado Springs for six months and then moved to Sparta, Wisconsin until her husband joined the U.S. Army. She returned to Rugby and worked as a registered nurse at Good Samaritan Hospital until retiring in 1985.
Donna was a member of Bethany Lutheran Church and its Ladies Aid, the American Legion Auxiliary and the Nurses Alumni at Good Samaritan Hospital.
Donna married Douglas MEIER, son of Edward MEIER and Clara EBELL, on 10 Jun 1951 in Rugby, North Dakota. Douglas was born in 1929.
Douglas grew up in Churchs Ferry, North Dakota, and graduated from Churchs Ferry High School in 1947. His father was the depot agent for the Great Northern Railroad in Churchs Ferry.
Grace was born in Benson County, rural Maza. She graduated from Churchs Ferry High School in 1926 and from Interstate Business College in Fargo.
She was an active worker in her Methodist church, a member of Eastern Star for 50 years, and local garden and alumni clubs.
She and Roy farmed south of Maza in Ramsey county, later moved to a farm east and north of Churchs Ferry. After Roy's death she lived for a time in Churchs Ferry before she moved to Devils Lake in 1996.
Grace married Roy COWAN, son of David COWAN and Katherine KIRKPATRICK, on 6 Jun 1932 in Cando, North Dakota. Roy was born 7 May 1906 in Irvine Twp, Benson County, North Dakota. He died 25 Sep 1984 in Grand Forks, North Dakota and was buried 29 Sep 1984 in Churchs Ferry, North Dakota.
Roy attended Irvine School and farmed in Chain Lakes Township, Ramsey County, North Dakota. In 1947 the family moved to a farmstead northeast of Churchs Ferry.
Roy was a member of the Methodist Church and a former member of the Masonic Lodge at Churchs Ferry. He was a longtime member of the Chain Lakes Township Board and the Devils Lake Elks Lodge.
They had three children:
Carol attended Minot University and taught school for two years. She is an active member of Calvary Lutheran Church and does volunteer work for the local hospital.
Carol married Nels B. GILBERG, son of Albert GILBERG and Sigrid AASVEN, on 29 Aug 1953 in Ramsey County, North Dakota. Nels was born 9 Jan 1932 in Ramsey County, North Dakota.
Roger joined the U.S. Army after high school and served for three years.
Roger married Suzie KEIM on 29 Aug 1953.
Gordon is a graduate of North Dakota State University and farms near Churchs Ferry, North Dakota.
Gordon married Yvonne TOFSRUD, daughter of Gilbert TOFSRUD and Agnes VAULE, on 10 Jun 1983 in Devils Lake, North Dakota. Yvonne was born 4 May 1938 in Brinsmade, North Dakota. She died 22 Aug 2004 in Grand Forks, North Dakota and was buried 28 Aug 2004 in Devils Lake, North Dakota.
Yvonne attended grade school at Brinsmade, North Dakota and graduated from Leeds High School in 1957. She worked at various jobs in the local area. Yvonne was a member of the Zion Lutheran Church W.E.L.C.A., Churches Ferry Birthday Club and Garden Club of Churchs Ferry. She also attended the First United Methodist Church of Devils Lake.
Ruth taught at Washington Elementary School in Devils Lake, North Dakota. She was a long time resident of West Sacramento, California and a kindergarten teacher for over 30 years. She was a founding member of the West Sacramento Community Lutheran Church. She was a bridge and poker card player.
Ruth married Oswald H. KVENNES "Ossie", son of Aaron KVENNES and Clara HOUGH, on 30 Jun 1937 in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Oswald was born 10 Apr 1910 in Middle River, Minnesota. He died 6 Jan 1968 in West Sacramento, California and was buried 10 Jan 1968 in West Sacramento.
Ossie had the International Harvester dealership in Devils Lake until it was sold and he joined the U.S. Navy. After his naval service he returned to Devils Lake were he worked for the Veterans Administration for a time. After moving to California he worked for the Oscar Kerndt Company and the U. S. Postal Service.
They had one child:
Sally Jo graduated from Sacramento State University with a degree in Social Science. She is a kindergarten teacher and a member of the Lutheran Church.
Sally married Martin HUTCHINGS, son of Eldon HUTCHINGS and Veva, on 14 Jun 1975 in West Sacramento, California. Martin was born 24 Aug 1950 in Enid, Oklahoma.
Martin graduated from Sacramento State University with a degree in Criminal Justice and is a police officer in Sacramento County.
Noel attended secondary and primary schools in Churchs Ferry, graduating from high school in 1935. He then attended the University of Southern California from 1937-1946 where he studied statistics and mathematics, and was a member of the track team. He obtained his BSc degree in education with a minor in music. Noel worked for the California Test Bureau from 1937 to 1941.
When the war broke out he enlisted in the Army Air Corps. He served in the Philippines and New Guinea as a gunner on B-24 heavy bombers and on A-26 light bombers / reconnaissance aircraft. Noel was awarded the American Service Ribbon, Asiatic-Pacific Theater Service Ribbon, Philippine Liberation Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal, and an Air Medal with three Clusters. He was discharged from the Air Force on 15 December, 1945 and continued service in the Air Force Reserves until 1952, retiring as a master Sergeant.
Following the war he worked again for the California Test Bureau from 1946-1947. From 1947-1981 he was employed by Montana-Dakota Utilities of Bismarck, North Dakota as property tax agent and head of the tax auditing department.
He retired about 1981 and moved to Knoxville, Tennessee. Noel enjoyed jazz and baseball.
Noel married Alice Frances LYNCH, daughter of William F. LYNCH and Helen SWEENEY, on 18 Jun 1950 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Alice was born 8 Aug 1921 in Worcester, Massachusetts.
They had three children:
Bill attended the University of North Dakota and North Texas State University with course studies in music 1969-1972. He was a touring musician from 1972-1974. He returned to North Texas State in 1974-1977 for studies in instrument repair. Bill has worked in musical instrument repair since then for the largest music retailer in the United States, doing service work for some of the top orchestral and jazz musicians in the country. He specializes in the repair of brass instruments.
Bill is not married. He enjoys live classical and jazz concerts, sporting events and weight training, and has a passion for high end stereophonic sound equipment. He has an excellent library of recorded music to go with his sound system.
Lucy graduated from St. Mary's Central High School in Bismarck, North Dakota in 1973. She went to the University of North Dakota where she studied journalism and graduated "cum laude" in 1976. Lucy and her husband both work at Science Applications International Corp. Lucy is a technical writer and editor and Dennis is Senior Subcontracts Administrator and Procurement Specialist. Prior to joining Science Applications in 1990 Lucy held various writing, administrative and clerical positions as a civilian employee of the Department of the Army during Dennis' 13 1/2 year Army career. They moved 11 times during this period - with postings in Virginia, California, Germany, Texas, Arizona and Washington, DC, before settling in Tennessee.
Lucy enjoys reading, travel, and outdoor activities - cycling, tennis, swimming and gardening. She also enjoys old movies and live concert music, mostly jazz and classical.
Lucy married Dennis Allen NORDGAARD "Denny", son of Obert Marvin NORDGAARD and Helen Marjorie VERDUIN, on 28 May 1976 in Bismarck, North Dakota. Denny was born 22 Jan 1954 in Valley City, North Dakota.
Denny graduated from Litchfield High School, Litchfield, North Dakota in 1972 and the University of North Dakota in 1976 with B.S. degrees in Education and History. He was on a full R.O.T.C. scholarship and was commissioned into the Army in 1976. In high school he lettered in track, cross country running, baseball and basketball. He was active in band, choir and drama club.
During his army career Dennis was Company Commander, 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, Texas; Senior Logistics Officer at the 200th Theater Army Materiel Management Center, Zweibruecken, Germany; and aide-de-camp to the Commander, Defense Logistics Agency. He received numerous medals and recognition for superior service, including two Army Commendation Medals, one Meritorious Service Medal and one overseas ribbon. He is airborne qualified and a distinguished graduate of several Army Logistics Management Center courses.
Dennis enjoys reading, woodworking and carpentry, travel and music. He is a student of history, especially the Civil War period.
Bob graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of North Dakota in 1979 with a B.Sc. degree in geography. Honors included Dean's List and National Dean's List. In high school he was active in sports and lettered in tennis three years and played one year of college tennis.
Bob is Branch Manager and Limited Practice Officer for Seattle Escrow of Seattle Mortgage Company, Seattle, Washington.
Robert married Tracy Lee CASKEY, daughter of Archibald Neil CASKEY and Marci Jane MARIFERN, on 20 May 1989 in Woodinville, Washington. Tracy was born 26 Mar 1958 in Seattle, Washington.
Homer attended Churchs Ferry schools, graduating from high school in 1938. He then attended Mayville State College, North Dakota, followed by a BSc degree in physical education from the University of North Dakota in 1948 and a MS degree in education in 1952. He taught at Bowbells High School for two years, and served in the Army Air Corps as a fighter pilot during World War II for three years. Homer held the rank of Lt. Colonel in the Air Force Reserve after 22 years of service. During the war he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross with Oak Leaf Cluster and the Air Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters. He was awarded four Battle Stars for European Theatre of Operations.
In 1952 they moved to Madison, South Dakota where he taught and was principal at Madison High School. He later was an instructor and coach in three sports at Dakota State College at Madison.
Homer worked for the East River Cooperative Inc. at Madison as a resource development specialist and worked in the field of natural and human resource development where he received the Good Turn Award. Homer was a past president of the South Dakota Water Development association, served two terms as president of the Upper Missouri Water Users Association and was a director from South Dakota on the National Water Resources Association Board. He was chairman of the South Dakota Council of Environmental Education and chairman of the board of the Interlakes Community Action Agency while in Madison.
In 1974 he was appointed manager of the Garrison Diversion Conservancy District and moved to Carrington, North Dakota. He was secretary-treasurer for the district's board for several years.
He was a member of the Episcopal Church where he was lay reader for ten years and treasurer for four. He was past president of the Madison, South Dakota Rotary Club, a past master of the Madison Masonic Lodge, member of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars. He was also a commodore in North Dakota's Mythical Navy.
Homer married Lavina Pearl LANGTON, daughter of Cecil LANGTON and Pearl BUCKLY, on 29 Jan 1949 in Devils Lake, North Dakota. Lavina was born 9 Jul 1930 in Doyon, North Dakota. She died 13 Oct 1988 in Carrington, North Dakota.
Lavina attended Hope School and Devils Lake Central High School, graduating in 1947 and then attended Devils Lake Junior College for one year. While in high school she worked as a sales clerk. Lavina's interests included painting in watercolors, bridge and stitchery, especially crewel embroidery and crochet work. She was also an avid reader.
They had five children:
Jeff was in the Air Force and served in Thailand, met a girl in Thailand and brought her to the U.S.
Jeffrey married Thongyoy SUPHO in, Thialand. The marriage ended in divorce.
Janet attended Washington Elementary School in Madison and graduated from Madison Central High School in 1971. She attended Dakota State College for one year.
Janet has been office manager for five years for a gastroenterologist in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. She enjoys doing embroidery work, fishing in the summer and furniture refinishing in the winter.
Janet married James W. BAUMAN, son of Richard BAUMAN and Ione ROBAR, on 29 May 1971 in Madison, South Dakota. James was born 31 Dec 1947 in Madison, South Dakota.
James attended Madison Central High School, graduating in 1966, and one year at Dakota State College. James is an expert carpenter and enjoyed golfing until developing carpal tunnel syndrome.
Ellen graduated from Carrington, North Dakota High School. She works for the U.S. Postal service as a letter carrier in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. She loves animals and owns three terriers and an Australian shepherd, which she enters in dog shows. She enjoys crafts, art, fishing and the outdoors.
Ellen married Barry BJORDAHL on 6 Oct 1995 in Dell Rapids, South Dakota. Barry was born in Dell Rapids.
Barry is a die cut technician in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
David and his wife Jackie and their son own and operate Jackie's Corner Cafe in Carrington, North Dakota.
David married Jackie CARR, daughter of James CARR, on 30 Jun 1990 in Carrington, North Dakota. Jackie was born 24 Jan 1963 in Carrington.
Lee served in the U.S. Air Corps during World War II as a radio technician-operator and turret gunner on a B-24 Bomber with the 15th Air Force, flying out of Africa and Italy. On his 21st mission his plane was shot down by enemy aircraft and he was held prisoner in Germany. He was on the infamous "Black March" - when the Germans forced the evacuation of the prison camp near the Baltic Sea and walked the prisoners 600 miles in 82 days during the worst winter in recent European history. A survivor, he was awarded the Air Medal, Purple Heart, European Medal with four battle stars, American Service Medal, P.O.W. Medal, Presidential Citation with cluster, World War II Victory Medal, Good Conduct Service Medal, Caterpillar Club (members whose lives were saved by parachute).
Following the war Lee continued his education, graduating from the University of North Dakota with B.Sc. and M.A. degrees in Geography. He continued with graduate studies at U.C.L.A., the University of Iowa, and San Diego State University. He taught briefly at S.D.S.U. He has done extensive field work in all of the western states compiling geographic data in both physical and cultural areas.
Lee retired as a professor of Earth Science...Physical Geography and Meteorology. He served as Department Chair and was granted Emeritus rank at Grossmont College, El Cajon, California, and named to National Educator of the Year in 1972. He worked for forty years in education having taught in Cass Lake, Minnesota High School before he and his family moved to California. While in Cass Lake he and Ruth acted as caretakers of the Episcopal Mission Summer Camp on Cass Lake.
Lee was Vice-Commander of the American Ex-Prisoners of War, San Diego Chapter, and Vice President of the 780th Bomb Squadron Association. He was a fan of jazz music and had an extensive collection of jazz recordings.
Lee married Ruth E. MAW, daughter of Frederick J. MAW and Eleander V. RIGGIN, on 9 Jul 1948 in North Hollywood, California. Ruth was born 29 Aug 1926 in North Hollywood, California. She died 9 Nov 2002 in San Diego, California.
Ruth attended the elementary schools of North Hollywood and graduated from North Hollywood High School in 1944. Prior to her marriage she was employed by Warner Brothers Theater in Hollywood, California, and by Ozalid Corporation in Los Angeles.
They had six children:
Heidi and Tom have lived in Connecticut where Tom earned his Ph.D. Heidi worked for Travellers Insurance. They later moved to Pennsylvania to Dickinson College and Washington and Jefferson College before moving to Missouri. Heidi is now a homemaker in Kirksville, Missouri where Tom is Professor of History at Truman State University.
Heidi married Thomas ZOUMARAS, son of Thomas ZOUMARAS and Donna VANDONDER, on 26 Sep 1970 in San Diego, California. Thomas was born 22 Aug 1950 in Chicago, Illinois.
Sheldon graduated from the University of California at San Diego in 1972 in biochemistry. He was employed as a research scientist at UC South Dakota and then worked for Biorad Corp. until establishing his own business, NOVEX, a biological products research firm in San Diego. Sheldon was president and C.E.O. Sheldon is an avid surfer. In 2000 he sold the business and has retired to the surfing beaches. In 2012 he was appointed Alumni Regent to the University of California Board of Regents.
Sheldon married Susan LINDSLEY, daughter of Billy LINDSLEY and Isabel METZER, on 2 Oct 1971 in San Diego, California. Susan was born 13 Aug 1950 in Highland, Illinois.
Brian is a graduate of San Diego State University with a degree in outdoor recreation. He is employed by Chalet Village in Brian Head, Utah.
Bradford is a graduate of San Diego State University with a degree in Environmental Geography and also a graduate of Grossmont College with a degree in Fire Science. He works for the US Forest Service, Cleveland District, Cleveland National Forest, California. In 2000 he was promoted to the position of captain. Bradford enjoys hunting, fishing, and camping in his spare time.
Thomas attended Grossmont College and San Diego State University. He enjoys astronomy as a hobby. He is an officer with the US border patrol, stationed in San Diego.
Thomas married Lisa WHITE on 19 Jun 1995 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Kathleen graduated from Churchs Ferry High School. She moved to Los Angeles in 1934 and attended a community college there. During the 1930s and 1940s she worked at the Barbara Ann Bakery and the Helm's Bakery in Los Angeles. She later worked for Rockwell Dairy in Downey, California and the Langendorf Bakery. Kathleen was a member of the Methodist Church.
Kathleen married Robert Lyle PORTER on 18 Dec 1942 in Los Angeles, California. Robert was born 17 Apr 1913 in Odessa, Washington. He died 11 Mar 1971 in Bellflower, California.
Lyle was in the U.S. Army during World War II in the 137th Infantry, 35 Division, from March 1942 to October 1945. He was awarded the Purple Heart Medal. After the war he was a truck driver and mechanic for Shepard Machinery Company.
They had one child:
Carol has a B.A. degree in accounting from California State University at Haywood, in 1975 and an M.S.A. degree in taxation from Golden Gate University in 1983. She was a CPA at Price Waterhouse Company until she "retired" in 1986. Carol is a member of Fallbrook Presbyterian Church.
Carol married Robert Dean LEONARD on 27 Aug 1971 in Downy, California. Robert was born 27 Apr 1948 in Tucson, Arizona.
Bob has a B.A. degree in Health Science from California State University at Long Beach. He is a salesman of veterinary equipment and supplies.
Hazel married (1) Austin MORTON.
They had one child:
Hazel also married (2) Al LAFEVERS.
Floyd was known as Bud. Floyd was a member of the American College of Surgeons, a 32nd degree Mason, member of Shrine and Lions Club. He had a successful medical practice in McAlester, Oklahoma until suffering a stroke in 1973.
Floyd married Nedra ACKERS, daughter of Claude ACKERS and Ruby Bell ZABONSKY, on 3 Oct 1930 in Kankakee, Illinois. Nedra was born 26 May 1908 in Morocco, Illinois. She died 30 Mar 1990 in McAlester, Oklahoma.
They had two children:
Robert attended New Mexico Military Academy, the University of Oklahoma where he earned a BSc degree, followed by the University of Missouri at Kansas City where he obtained his DDS degree. He served two years in the US Army and was discharged with the rank of Captain. Robert has been practicing dentistry in McAlester for 37 years.
He is Past President of the Oklahoma Dental association, a Fellow of the American College of Dentists and the International College of Dentists and second vice-president of the American Dental Association. He is a 33rd degree Mason, past president of the McAlester Chamber of Commerce, member of the board of Bank NA, McAlester, Shrine and Royal Order of Jesters among others.
Robert married Patricia MCCANN, daughter of Loyd MCCANN and Virginia MATHEWS, on 10 Jun 1956 in McAlester, Oklahoma. Patricia was born 4 Aug 1933 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Barbara married Lee Keith SMITH "LK" on 7 Jun 1955 in McAlester, Oklahoma. Lee was born 20 Jan 1934 in Grove, Oklahoma.
L.K. practices law in the firm of Boone, Smith, Davis, Hurst & Dickman in Tulsa, Oklahoma.