This collection contains short interviews done with residents of local counties in West Central Minnesota for KMRS radio station. The pieces were aired from 1975-1979 as the segment "Reminiscing in West Central Minnesota: a Saturday KMRS News Feature."
The digitization of these oral histories was made possible in part by the people of Minnesota through a grant funded by an appropriation to the Minnesota Historical Society from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Any views, findings, opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the State of Minnesota, the Minnesota Historical Society, or the Minnesota Historic Resources Advisory Committee.
Rev. Elias Christianson was 81 years old and was from Starbuck, Minnesota. He was born in China in 1898 to missionary parents. His father was from Norway. He spent most of his life working in churches in North Dakota. After his retirement, he became a chaplain at the nursing home in Starbuck, Minnesota.
In this interview, Elias discusses missionaries in China and growing up in China. He discusses going to seminary and becoming a reverend. He discusses preaching in Norwegian and the churches that he preached at in North Dakota. He discusses the effects of the Depression on the church and the people in his congregation. He discusses what he has been doing since his retirement, including being a chaplain at the nursing home in Starbuck. Finally, he talks about his hobbies, including diary writing and writing a memoir.
Lillian Cook was 95 years old and lived in Alberta, Minnesota. Her parents homesteaded in Stevens County, where she was born. Her mother was Norwegian and her father was English.
In this interview, Lillian discusses her ethnic background, threshing experiences, prices, and her farm wife experiences including baking bread, milking, canning, and gardening.
Mrs. J. A. Dalziel
Mrs. J.A. Dalziel was born in Illinois and was 83 years old. Her father brought her family to Minnesota because of the cheaper land prices in 1907. She taught in rural school for five years.
In this interview, she describes travelling by train and her experiences teaching in rural schools.
Phyllis Dosdall was from Hancock and was part of the Framnas Township 4-H as a chld.
In this interview, she discusses many of her 4-H activities in connection with the Stevens County Fair. She also discusses her experiences as an adult leader for 4-H.
Earl Eames was 83 years old and was born in Morris. He became a businessman when he bought the Eames Distributing Company.
In this interview, Earl talks a little about his life as a child and where he moved. He also talk about World War I and his position in the war. He discusses his business (the Eames Distributing Company).
Lewis Elder was 73 years old and was born in Iowa. He came to Minnesota in 1955. He held jobs in Nebraska, South Dakota, and California before coming to Minnesota. He worked in tire repair and later bred Angus cattle in Pope County.
In this interview, Lewis Elder discusses his father's service in the Civil War, having just received his discharge papers. He also talks about breeding and showing cattle.
Herman Engebretson was 87 years old and was born near Lowry.
In this interview, he discusses his education, business, college, his experiences overseas during World War I and his participation in the army band. He also mentions banking problems during the 1920s and 1930s.
Olga Erdman was 81 years old. She was born in Illinois in 1896 and her family moved to Hancock when she was 7 years old. She was married in 1915 and her husband worked in elevators in Hancock, Johnson, and in North Dakota.
In this interview, she quoted some prices of groceries back then, such as coffee and sugar prices.
Francis Erwin was born in 1893 in Illinois and presently lived in Morris.
In this interview, she discusses farm chores, picking corn by hand, and milking cows. She did a lot of fishing and had her own boat and motor. She talks about gardening and exhibiting at the fair. She played the piano in bands until she was 80 years old.
Sylvester Eul was 81 years old and a life-time resident of Morris.
In this interview, Sylvester discusses trucking and delivery work in Morris, mentioning the various goods he delivered, for which companies, and to which communities. He talks about transport by horse-drawn carts, and the first truck his father bought. His wife Edna comments on her role as bill collector for her husband's business.
Alice Feldick was 69 years old and resided in Graceville. She spent most of her life in the Wheaton area.
In this interview, she discusses farm life, threshing, and the Depression.
Louie Fishbach was 72 years old and grew up on a farm. His parents were from France. He attended business college, studying accounting, and then worked in a general store and creamery. After World War II, he farmed for a time, but was hailed out.
In this interview, he discusses his history and the jobs he worked, particularly talking about what general stores sold at the time. He talks about his work on a highway to get goods to Alaska during World War II. He discusses his relationship with the UMN Morris students and his job at the Met Lounge.
Albert Forbord and Mrs. Albert Forbord
Albert Forbord is 90 years old and was born on a farm in Pope County. Mrs. Forbord is 83 years old. They were married in 1916. He farmed and did road construction work.
In this interview, they reflect on the good old days, dust storms, deer hunting, and milking cows by hand. They talk about the price of crops when they were young. In addition to farming, they hauled cattle. Albert talks about hauling the cattle and a story about some broncos. He talks about his work doing road construction.
Lewis Fults was 74 years old and was born in Iowa. His family came to Minnesota because of cheaper land.
In this interview, he compares the land in Donnelly to that in Iowa. He discusses business college, school experiences, the depression, and his involvement with the school board, Farm Bureau, and his duties as an assessor.
Herman Gades farmed in the Holloway area since 1923. His father came from Germany when he was 15 years old. Herman was 82 years old and still engaged in farming at the time of the interview.
In this interview, he talks about the blizzards they survived and the changes from horses to big tractors and combines.
Leona Galbreath was 75 years old and lived at Elbow Lake at the time of the interview. She also lived in North Dakota for a time.
In this interview, Leona discusses school, including going to both English and German school. She also talks about farm life, gardening, and house work. She talks about working in hotels. She finally discusses zone therapy.
Rosie Garberick was 81 years old and he came to Morris in 1911 from Sheldon, Iowa.
In this interview, he talks about the different jobs he had. He worked for the railroad as a cook on the B&B Gang. He also tells of his dealings with the National Guard and his time in Europe during World War I. Then he tells of his adventures as a postal worker and transferring to Browns Valley and retiring in 1966.
Sydney Gausman and Millie Michaelson
Sydney Gausman and Millie Michaelson were both members of the first graduating class from Alberta High School in 1917. They walked to school before the consolidation of the school and then they were picked up by a buggy bus, a two-seated buggy pulled by two horses.
In this interview, they discuss various different aspects of the school, such as recess, hot lunch, the classes and education, transportation to school, and their graduation.
Fred Gerber was born in Illinois and moved to Minnesota when he was an infant. He was 84 years old and lived in the Donnelly area at the time of the interview. He farmed for the first few years of the depression and was appointed postmaster in Donnelly, a position he held for 27 years. He was also active in the Senior Citizens Group.
In this interview, he talks about methods of threshing using steam threshers and some of the difficulties they presented in transportation. He talks about his job as postmaster and about the postal service in Donnelly. He relates how the Donnelly Threshing Bee got started and how it works. He then discussed some of the senior citizens groups he was part of, including a small band and the senior citizens' play.
Jessie Getchell was born in Ontario, Canada and was 85 years old. She was only one-year old when her family moved to Brainerd, Minnesota so her father could work in the saw mills. She met her husband in South Dakota and were married in 1910. She and her husband later homesteaded in Canada from 1912-1915. They then moved to Stevens County and Douglas County.
In this interview, Jessie Getchell discusses her family history. She talks about an unfortunate trip to Canada to visit her husband with her young son where she ended up having to work as a housekeeper for a while to support herself as she could not find her husband. She then discussed homesteading and the little sod house they lived in in Canada. She talks about the struggles they had during their time homesteading in Canada.
Julius Gilbertson was 84 years old and born in Grant County in 1892.
In this interview, Julius talks about his parents' reason for settling in Grant County, the Donnelly Threshing Bee, and his own custom threshing work.
August Grammentz was born in a sod house in Brown County, Minnesota. He was 81 years old and lived in Morris.
In this interview, he relates various farm experiences and the problem of moving to a new farm by rail.
Nick Grossman was 83 years old and lived in Chokio at the time of the interview. He was born in Iowa and his family moved to this area because the land was cheaper.
In this interview, Nick discusses his school days, farming experiences, threshing parties, butchering, and blizzards.
Cora Grove was 90 years old. Her father operated a lumberyard in Morris. She reflects on early Morris and UMN Morris campus, the corn and alfalfa show and the Stevens County Fairgrounds. She served as City Treasurer from 1925 to 1964.
Paula Gunvalson was 82 years old and lived in Starbuck. She went to college in Moorhead and studied art.
In this interview, she discusses her experiences doing advertising work in Starbuck and creation of the Starbuck trademark. She also discusses New Prairie, Minnesota where she and her husband had a store. She talks about the railroad there and a train crash that occurred once. She speculates why the town didn't survive.