This collection contains oral histories pertaining to life and events in Stevens County, Minnesota. The oral histories range greatly in topic and time period.
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.
In this interview, Lorraine Aanerud reminisces about the early days of television. Ms. Aanerud was born in Stevens County in 1935. Her family purchased their first television set in 1955.
Oscar Aanerud was 76 years old. His grandfather homesteaded in 1877. Oscar's son farmed the same land at the time of the interview. Oscar reflects upon growing up on the farm and the introduction of electricity, tractors, etc. to the area. He mentions fluctuating grain prices and the drought years of 1933-1934. He is a fiddler.
Mr. Allen was born on May 27, 1925 in Graceville, Minnesota. He went into the Navy when was 18, and was discharged on his 21st birthday. He spent a year in the Veterans Hospital after a plane accident. After his recovery, he farmed for 13 years, during which time he became an alcoholic. At age 33 he recovered from alcoholism and farmed for 7 more years. In 1968 he took his first job as a counselor after training at Willmar State Hospital. He has worked in Big Stone, Traverse, and Stevens Counties, and had worked in Stevens County for 3 years as an alcohol and drug counselor.
In this interview, Mr. Allen discusses alcoholism in Stevens County and some of its historical perspectives.
In this interview, Marlys Alm reminisces about the golden era of radio. Mrs. Alm was born in Morris, MN in 1915. . She remembers getting her first radio while she was still very young, somewhere in the mid 1920's.
In this interview, Benny Amborn reminisces about the golden era of radio. Mr. Amborn was born in 1910. The first time Benny listened to radio was in 1924.
In this interview, Harry Amborn reminisces about the golden era of radio. Mr. Amborn was born in Georgetown, MN in August of 1921.
Elmer F. Anderson
In this interview, Elmer F. Anderson reminisces about the early days of television. Mr. Anderson was born in 1907.
G. A. Anderson
G.A. "Oddie" Anderson lived in Morris and was 84 years old. He grew up on a farm and was an implement dealer and in the hardware business for some time.
In this interview, Oddie discusses farming in the 30s and 40s and his two terms in the state legislature. He talks about enlisting in World War I. He discusses his businesses, including his work selling John Deere tractors. He was also active in the Kiwanis, V.F.W., OPA Board, church, G.T.A. Board and selective service board. He also discusses going to Russia, and going to the inauguration of Lyndon Johnson and Hubert Humphrey.
Gust A. Anderson
Mr. Anderson discusses his use of the Morris Senior Citizens Center and what aspects of the center he enjoys.
Rosalie Anderson and Kathryn Sunquist
Mrs. Anderson and Mrs. Sunquist are sisters and grew up in rural Stevens County. They attended the District 8 rural school near Morris in the 1920s-1930s.
In this interview, Mrs. Anderson and Mrs. Sunquist discuss their years attending the District 8 school, concentrating on academics and social activities. They discuss the differences between rural schools and the schools in towns.
Willard Anderson was one of the key founders of the Federated Telephone Cooperative of Chokio, Minnesota.
In this interview, Mr. Anderson discusses the development of the Federation, why a centralized telephone cooperative started in this area, and the problems the founders encountered with the Bell system and the Rural Electrification Administration (REA).
Gerald Babb was a newspaperman for more than 40 years.
In this interview, he discusses his experience in the newspaper business, particularly in Hancock, Minnesota. He notes changes in many facets of the industry with which he was related such as printing and advertising.
Bergetta Bahr and Donald Bahr
In this interview, Bergetta Bahr reminisces about the early days of television. Mrs. Bahr was was born in 1931. She purchased her first television around 1955 or 1956.
Les Bahr lived in Portland, Oregon at the time of the interview, but was born in Morris. He was 67 years old. His father was from central Iowa and his mother immigrated from Germany when she was 10 years old. His parents farmed northwest of Morris when he was a child. Les was a farmer in Stevens County before he moved to Portland, where he worked in a lumber mill.
In this interview, Les Bahr recalls the ins and outs of horse racing in the area and transporting horses. He talks about breaking horses and buying horses. He also discusses his father homesteading the land and farm life. He talks about his work in the lumber mill.
Gene Behl was 69 years old and was born in South Dakota. He moved to Morris in 1912. He was a former employee of the Minnesota Highway Department (1925-1969).
In this interview, Gene Behl talks about the development of Minnesota highways and highway equipment.
Ben Bengston was born in North Dakota and later moved to Minnesota. He was 90 years old and lived in Morris at the time of the interview. He worked as a farmer with his father, and then joined the U.S. Navy before World War I. He did line work for Ottertail Power Company, then worked as a farmer again, and worked for the state on the State Board of Electricity. After retiring, he did some carpentry work.
In this interview, he discusses growing up in a sod house. He discusses farming and threshing techniques. He talks about going to a rural school near Canby, Minnesota. He discusses his time in U.S. Navy in Nicaragua. He mentions his time working for Ottertail Power Company, and includes a time when he was almost injured in an accident.
In this interview, Arlene Benson reminisces about the golden era of radio. Mrs. Benson was born September 22, 1922. She first remembers listening to radio in 1937.
In this interview, Doris Benson reminisces about the early days of television. Mrs. Benson was born in Morris, MN. in 1932. She purchased her first television with her husband in 1953.
In this interview, Dwain Benson reminisces about the early days of television. Mr. Benson owned one of the first stores to carry televisions in Stevens County.
In this interview, Carol (Lamb) Berg talks about life as a student at the West Central School of Agricultural, where she graduated from in 1945. Mrs. Berg worked as a WCSA faculty stenographer from 1946 through 1947. Carol and her husband Charles met while both were attending WCSA. The couple were married in 1948, and raised seven children on a farm near Chokio.
n this interview, Charles Berg talks about life as a student at the West Central School of Agricultural, where he graduated from in 1945, and attended the WCSA Advanced Class in 1946. Charles and his wife Carol met while both were attending WCSA. The couple married in 1948 and raised seven children on a farm near Chokio. Charles served in the Minnesota senate for 26 years.
In this interview, Veronica Berger reminisces about the early days of television. Mrs. Berger was born in Stevens County on August 27,1916. Veronica bought her first television set from Kruze Electric in downtown Morris.
In this interview, Ms. Bergherr discusses the Morris Senior Citizens Center. She was the recently elected Treasurer of the organization and discusses her perspectives as an officer. She also discusses federal programs and financing the Center.
In this interview, Nettie Boettcher reminisces about the early days of television. Mrs. Boettcher was born in 1915. She purchased her first television with her husband around 1954.
Henry Boma was 86 years old and was originally born in Holland, but immigrated to the United States with his parents at 6 months old in 1891. The family settled on the East Coast. He was 8 or 9 years old when his family moved to Minnesota by train. They first moved to Nobles County, then they moved to Edgerton, Minnesota. He got married in 1916 and moved to his own farm. He lived in Hancock for 57 years.
In this interview, Henry discusses his father's occupations, including how he got involved in forestry work. Henry talks about his horses and farming. He briefly discusses other employment he had, including being the cop in Hancock. He talks about the differences between his son's farming and equipment and the equipment he had when he farmed.