03/18/2018 (2611)


I don’t have much new today. I was busy so I didn’t get a blog posted this past Friday or yesterday either. It is Sunday today, so this will be tomorrows blog a day early.

I will go with what I have plus the Archive posting from January 16, 2010.


Face book posting
I was asked to post.

Hopefully someone can be of some assistance enabling Shawna to find her mother.
face book


Blog (686) posted on January 16, 2010

Posted on January 17, 2010

Clyde Chase correction:

Reply from Bill Hosmer (48): Tucson, AZ & Lake Metigoshe, ND

Gents, It is MY error in this case and I am sorry for any ill will or embarrassment I may have caused.
Indeed, Clyde and my uncle Fred Hosmer used to work together on paint projects in the Dunseith area. I’ll be more careful in the future. Gary, you can sure put this out in your offering, to clear the issue, and I sincerely apologize for my error. Bill Hosmer

Bill, These errors happen. I’m sure the family understands. I know you did not have Clyde on your mind when you replied. Because his name is the most familiar Chase family name to you, his name is the one you absentmindedly listed. I am so famous for doing that very thing. I catch most of those errors before posting, but a few get out and that’s OK, even though I kick myself in the butt for doing it. You and everyone else do a remarkable job of remembering so much from the past. This stuff all happen 70 years ago or there about. These errors grab folks attention and generate comradery. That’s the big plus side to all of this. Gary

Clyde Chase:

Reply from Gary Metcalfe (57): Forsyth, MO

Hello, I know it was an unintentional error, but Clyde Chase did not kill anyone. As no one responded yesterday, I will offer some information about Clyde. Clyde had 13 children and he was the number one painter in the Dunseith area all his life. He lived north of San Haven in Chaseville.

Gary Metcalfe

Clyde Chase:

Reply Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND.


I’m pretty sure the man convicted of the murder was Fred Chase, not
Clyde Chase. I hope the family isn’t upset with the mistake. Clyde was
a painter of houses and buildings. Fred went to the penitentiary for the


Clyde Chase:

Reply From Cloette Hosmer (64): Santa Fe

I had intermittent internet contact for a couple of weeks during “reentry” back into the USA from China and due to my great old age, it has taken me awhile to catch up. Thanks for your responses, Gary and Dick, to my comments about Dad’s ’54 Red Jeep.

Can anyone tell me if Clyde Chase was the house painter? As a young kid, I remember him as a kind man (with one lame arm?) who painted some inside walls of our house when I was a small kid. He generously showed me how to dip the big brush in the bucket just so, and would even let me paint a little. Thanks, Colette

Reply from Marshall Awalt (51): Newport, NC

Gary, Thanks for 685. Had 28 degrees this a.m., got up to 60 this afternoon and expect 1-2 inches of rain tomorrow.


Message posted on our Dunseith Alumni Website:http://garystokes.net/default.aspx

From Carol Boucher Lorenz: North Myrtle Beach, SC

From: Carol Boucher Lorenz
Gary, I want to thank you for this great blog. Although I didn’t attend school in Dunseith, we lived only 5 miles away in Russell township. So many of the names are familiar because my parents talked about them. We are related to Gottbreht’s, Mona Johnson and Roland Mongeon.
I was especially happy to see a picture of Pearl Pigeon. She was my 4-H leader in the 50’s. She was a wonderful woman and taught me so many life skills. To this day, I remember her every time I sew or cook. What a special person who died too young.
Does anyone have pictures of Russell school? I’d love to see some.
My sister,Peggy, and I also worked at the San during the mid 60’s as did our mother when she was young.
Carol Boucher Lorenz

Carol, When I received your message last night, I forwarded a copy to Sharron Gottbreht Shen. I have pasted her reply below. Where did you go to school? With your phone number I see you are living in North Myrtle Beach, SC. Gary

Sharron’s reply: Everett, WA.

Yes Gary, thanks for sharing this message from Carol Jean, youngest daughter of Hector and Celia Poitier Boucher. At first, I would forward items to Peggy, and she would pass them on to Carmen and Carol. Carol and her husband spend their winters at shore of N Corolina. Bad case of beach envy here. Uncle Hector left each of those girls a chapter of his life and times growing up in Russell Twp. Hint, hint, Carol! Sharron

Another great Donald Egbert Story:

From Larry Hackman (66):


Glad to see that you are doing well. Them little fellows running around in the buff reminded me that we use to have that happen in Dunseith once in awhile, also. But, old man winter usually solved that problem purity fast. Actually a nice cold winter does cause people to do a lot of things that they would not ordinairly do, and quit a lot of things they ordinairly do. Well, you know the story. I’m sure you froze your donkey off a few times. +75degrees -cold, Does that even go together in the same sentence? What would Mr. Grossman say?

Have a nice day, Gary.


Larry, I’m sure that someone will share this story with Donald and it will for sure make his day. He has good recall of the past with great detail. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful story. Gary

Donald Egbert Story and More

Donald Egbert was quite a young man.I really didn’t do him justice with the story about the kinds of automobiles he once owned and that he was a outstanding basketball and football player in his younger days.He did play varsity when still in grade school. He also played baseball with the older fellows when he was about a 5th grader.

Don was also a young fellow that loved the ladies.He made more then one girls father nervous and caused some to drive the streets and roads in and around Dunseith looking for their daughters.One fellow told me that in the halls of Dunseith High, Don was also a terror.A gal meeting him in the hallway didn’t know whether to carry her books up high or down low?I,ll let someone else who knows more then I was told, finish this paragraph?

Don was never afraid to attempt anything.If he needed or wanted a job and if hefound out a contractor or business man, who needed a certain type worker.Thats what Don would become.I remember a contractor needed painters.Don told him that he was a painter, and was told to show up the next morning to go to work.Don went and walked around the construction site, finding out what kind of equipment he would need to have of his own, to perform the work.Then he went to the hardware store and bought all the necessary brushes and equipment that was required to do the job.He was hired and worked all summer as a journeyman painter.

I remember Don coming by the house one evening in the late 50’s.He asked me to go for a walk with him to the south part of town.Apparently there was a new girl in town and he wanted to check her out.We got down to her house and I think over half the boys in town were there.They were everywhere you looked.The girl was out visiting with a few of the boys and most all the rest were on standby and in a purelyobservation type posture.Then as if on cue into the yard pulled this vehicle, and out jumped this fellow.It was the girls father.He yelled, ” What hell are you?A bunch of dogs in heat?Get the hell out of here”.It didn’t take us long, we and the other boys scattered, and the girl disappeared into the house.Everyone was gone.

Being a young fellow and only an observer on this occasion, I just took mental notes.How was I to know, that about 30 years later, that I would be able to put to good use, the information I had gathered from that incident?

I had moved my family back to Harvey, ND and had bought a house.I came home after a long hot day at work.As I pulled into the driveway, I couldn’t help but notice that my house, and the entire property was crawling with boys.They appeared to be circling.I swear, some even appeared to be marking their territory, and others sniffing and remarking the same spot.My daughter was standing on the step visiting with a few of the boys.I immediately had a flash back to that time in Dunseith.I got out of my pickup and growled. ” What the hell are you?A bunch of dogs in heat?Get the hell out of here”.To my surprise and satisfaction it worked.Them boys all disappeared in less then a heart beat.My children occasionally remember and bring this experience up in conversation, and remind me howembarrased they were.But, as I leave the room, I smile to myself, thinking back and remembering , how well this worked for Mr. Fassett.I bet he was chuckling to himself too, and a little surprised, at how well it worked.It sure worked for me! When the same situation presented itself to me.A lesson learned!By the way, I’m sending a copy of this to my kids, and if their replies aren’t to bad, I’ll foreward them onto Gary.

I remember another time when Don came upon two girls fighting.The loser was left sitting on the ground crying.Don walked over to her and picked her up.As she wrapped her arms around Don’s neck, she looked up into his eyes and stated to him. ” your just like superman”.Don walked a little taller that day.However, it was rumored a few years down the road that the same girl called him a banana-nose.I don’t know what Don did or was attempting to do to cause this responce.Actually I do, but I’ll let someone else tell that story.It seemed that it took Don, and everyone else a long time, before everyone forgot this moniker. (thanks Kenny).

Don was also a outstanding baseball player.Don’s nick-name at the time was Lee May.I don’t recall why the other team members gave him the name.It may be that Don hadn’t quite grown into his ears yet and resembled the fabled baseball players look.Have you noticed that boys at a certian age have ears that stick straight out from their heads.They kind of look like a semi coming at you with both doors open?Girls, I suppose have the same problem, but are able to hide them with their hair.

Don played the position of either second base or shortstop.Which in itself says he was good baseball player.I think John Morgan and George Gottbreht were assistant coachs for the summer baseball team, andClarence Michaels, who was the cop, was the coach for the team.Some of the other players on the team were John Leonard (right hand) and Julian Kalk (left hand)- pitchers, and Jim Evans -catcher, and Lyle Lamoureux -first base, and Dave Shelver-third base.I don’t recall who the other players were and I may have some of their positions wrong, but I do remember that there were two or three more cousins of John Leonard’s that played on the team.I think there family ran the restaurant that was located along Main, where Wayne’s Grocery store is now located.Because, after baseball practice, The Leonards and I would wander up there and the people running the restaurant would give us each a chocolate ice cream sundae.I remember that summer (1957?) as being really hot.Them ice cream sundaes tasted real good.In the afternoons we would all make our way down to the creek, straight west of the new high school.The school wasn’t built yet, so this statement is for the benefit of the younger crowd.For the older crowd, the swimming hole was straight north of the slaughter house, intersection of highway#5 and Willow Creek.There was a small crook in the creek with a tree on the east bank with a slopeing trunk you could walk up and a large branch that hung out over the creek that we dived off.The area was shaded and was a great place to swim and hang out during the hot sunny afternoons.How did a young fellow like me get involved with the baseball team.Well, John Leonard would come walking by the house every morning on his way to baseball practice and invite me along.We lived in the large two story house (Richard House) just west of the Methodist or Stone Church.The ball field was located in the large flat area west of the creek, straight west of the Catholic Church, as was the football field and the track field at that time.What did I do there with all them kids?Apparently they needed someone to run down the foul balls and return them to the playing field and apparently I thought it was worth doing for a chocolate ice cream sundae.Of course the ice cream was better back in them days as everything was.

Don, “We never called him Don, we always called him Egbert” was a good softball player also.We played for John Awalt’s(65er)Standard Service Station in the late 60s.Don played second base or shortstop and I was a outfielder.Snowflake (Gene) Poitra was our pitcher.

The most fun game was a game we played up at Deloraine, Manitoba.Unknown to us was that they played fast pitch up there and we always played slow pitch.So, it was decided that when they pitched to us at bat, that they would throw fast pitches and when we pitched to them, we would slow pitch.It was a great experience, was fun, and we also won.I think their team consisted of mostly Goodons and Mcleods, so some of players did know each other.

The worst game was a game we played a tMylo, ND.They had erected a snow fence in the outfield and ruled that every ball hit over the fence was a automatic home run.There was no opening in the fence and it seemed, that every pitch them farmers hit, went over the fence.Being a outfielder and having to retrieve the ball meant I had to run all the way around the end and back the same way.After about 5 trips like that I was getting a little tired of that fence and it looked like I was going to be chasing homerun balls all night.During these bouts around the fence I was trying to figure out a shortcut, and I began checking and looking for a spot I could work with.So, when the next fly ball went sailing over my head, I started running toward the fence, went into a horizontal position, and drop kicked the supporting fence post.Ya, I didn’t think I could do it neither.Well wouldn’t you know it?Them farmers were some damn good homerun hitters, but not very good fence erectors.That fence started falling, and it was like watching dominoes, it kept on falling until it was mostly all down, and was no longer a barrier.They complained about the fence, and they also still won the game.They killed us!We got even though!We went to their bar after the game and drank up most of their beer.

The greatest game was a game we played in Rolla against the Dunseith Teachers.They had beat us every game up until this tournament in Rolla.That game, we could do know wrong and we beat them.What a great feeling.In fact John, didn’t we win the championship?

Damn, this story kind of reminds me of the comment on my term paper that had to be in before they would let us graduate high school, “A conglomeration of material leading to nowhere”, byMr. Grossman.

Laugh and the world laughs with you.


Frozen Fingers Festival:

Posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe: Bottineau & Minot, ND.

Hi Everyone,

It’s Frozen Fingers Festival time again.  There will not be a dance on Friday night this year; there will be a jam session instead. The jam session is open to anyone who would care to participate.

As you can see, there is a dance on Saturday night.

Highway 43 is performing on Saturday. They are Dick/Brenda Johnson and Ron

Tina Pladson Bullinger, David Mettler, and Don Boardman are “Just Us”. They perform on Sunday.

Don Lee is a friend of mine from Minot.

I plan to be at the festival from 1:00 until closing both days–most likely I’ll be selling tickets.  If you see me, please stop and say “hi”; tell me who you are if I don’t know you. 

See you at Frozen Fingers!!


Dunseith News posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe: Bottineau & Minot, ND.

03/12/2018 (2609)

Dunseith Lutheran Confirmation Photo color correct
From Kaye Lystad-Kirk (Bottineau):  Fargo, ND

Hi Gary,

I took it upon myself to color correct your confirmation photo. I hope you don’t mind.
(I like playing around with Photoshop.)


Thank you so much Kaye. Very nice. I have replaced in my files too.

Mid to Late 1940’s Dunseith Lutheran Confirmation Picture Identification:
From Murl Watkins Hill (50): Dunseith, ND.

Back: Deloris Hiatt, Marlene Molgard Sanders, Bernice Olson Johnson, Shirley Olson Warcup, Iona Habberstad Nelson, Dorane Habberstad Worral, Murl Watkins Hill
Front: Marlene Tooke Fugere, Halan Oppeboen, Paul Lovaas, Gordon Peterson, Minnie Mary McKay
Sitting: Rev. Lovaas
Dunseith Confirmation (Jan 14-2010)


From Vickie Metcalfe (’70):  Bottineau, ND

Gary and Dunseith Friends,

I recall Mr. Klundt, a memorable American & World history teacher at Dunseith High.

Later, as an undergraduate in college, I read of the Cherokee, the Choctaw and the “The Trail of Tears”.

I’ve  been  intrigued  in  recent months  reading more about the Irish famine of the 1800’s

The Irish call it  ” the Great Hunger.”

I find  interesting,  it was the  empathetic Choctaw nation who collected and shared the little they had  to  aid  the Irish during  the Great Hunger.

A link if you are interested:

Thank you  Gary,
Later, Vickie l. Metcalfe


St. John Woodchucks – Class B boys Basketball Tournament
Posting from LeaRae Parrill Espe (’67):  Bottineau, ND

Congratulations to the  St John Woodchucks. They are headed to their first State Class B Boys Basketball Tournament ever.  In a nail biter which was broadcast on a Devils Lake radio station KZZY, they outlasted the Langdon-Edmore-Munich Cardinals by only 2 points. Fourth quarter leads of up to 14 points were whittled to two points. The announcer said they had appeared in a State Class C tournament in 1949,  69 years ago.  The state tournament will be in Bismarck on March 15-16-17. Rolette County will be cheering for the Woodchucks.


Blog (685) posted on January 14, 2010

Reply from Bill Hosmer (48): Tucson, AZ & Lake Metigoshe, ND
Gary, In the last issue, Jackie commented on the mattress matter. Clyde Chase murdered a Gehres woman. Her brother, George was a couple of years older than me and spent time in Dunseith school and would have been in the class of ’46 or ’47. He and I went to Boy Scout Camp at Lake Metogoshe in the early ’40s. He was a good friend and taught me alot about rabbit hunting in the hills during winter months. Later he served in the Air Force in the Strategic Missile force and eventually retired. His widow visited Lake Met. and we gave her a tour of the hills and the Peace Garden a few years after his death. One of his other sisters, Gladys, married John Tennancour and lived in the Rolette area.
I did not know of the mattress tie, but it sure could have been. The Gehres family lived north of the San, and I used to see George, also known as ” Junior” walking back or forth from the drug store where he purchased those paper back books about Cowboys on the top shelf of the magazine rack in the northeast corner of the store. His dad, George operated the green house at the San, and later moved to Rolette where he operated a cream station on main street near where my wife and I were born. Didn’t mean to carry on, but you have created a pleasantly felt infection of memories of the past that are generated by questions and comments from all our friends of the Dunseith community. Thank you, Bill Hosmer
Reply from Brenda Hoffman (68): Greenville, SC

Gary, can you believe how vital your blog has become to us Dunseith people. I bet most people don’t understand how big 1,500 hits is. And I wouldn’t have either before posting my own website. You go guy!

And please keep sending those pictures of those little cuties. Absolutely darling.
Pigeon family:
Reply from Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND.

Gary and Friends,

Allen Richard’s posting of the Pigeon family pictures brings to mind
the summer of ’68 when I worked at the ‘Dunseith Sand and Gravel’ gravel
pit west of town. There were three truck drivers hired on to do the more
local hauling. Corbin Sime, Junior Cote, and Romulus ‘Bae’ Pigeon.
Corbin and Junior had big Ford trucks and Bae had an older International
that had been Lawrence Berube’s. One of them had replaced the engine
with a 348 cubic inch Chevy engine. Bae drove the devil out of that old
truck! He would usually make three loads to Rolla while Corbin and
Junior made two! They all got paid by the hour I think so they weren’t
trying to set any records! I remember how he would come roaring back so
fast that when I would look I could see daylight under the rear tires as
they bounced down the rough road into the pit. I weighed trucks and
other stuff and got to know all the habits and ways of each of the guys
who worked there. Bae would get reloaded down in the pit and as he was
heading back up the grade to the scale I would watch him. If he held his
hand out the window with a screwdriver in it, it meant for me to
subtract 175 lbs from the gross weight because he was going to be on the
scale as I weighed his truck. He would jump out and pop open the hood
and set the carburetor while I was weighing the load. I used to have to
laugh when he came in to grab the scale ticket because he would say, in
his French brogue, ” I don’t know if it’s da carbur-A-ter or da g___d___
distri-BU-ter dis time!” He would roar off the scale and out of site for
another load. He was a good mechanic and wanted that old truck to
perform to the max and it did! Seeing the picture of Bae Pigeon brought
back the memories! Thanks Gary!


Memorabilia from Sharron Gottbreht Shen (59): Everett, WA.

Dear Gary,

In September when I met George and Ronnie at Fort Benton, MT, George conveyed an old ledger of my Gr Grandfather William Gottbreht. This was found in the basement of Alice Tennancour Berube and given to George by Jim and Cheri Evans. I have reviewed the time line that extends from April 1914 thru April 1927 and feel certain that your visitors will appreciate a glance from time to time. I tried to use my home scanner but the book is large and heavy so I shall be better prepared with my next posting. Bill Hosmer mentioned his potato picking lark with Chuck Johnson for the San Haven harvest; this sparked my recall of potato transactions of the State San with Wm. Gottbreht enterprises.

April 7, 500 lbs feed ordered. Cost $5.62
April 21, 2 bushels potato “now” and another 18 bushels next trip – Ales Fassett made the delivery. $8.00
April 25, 500 lbs feed; 20 bushels potato. Cost $13.95
May 11, another 32 B potato.

Fred, John, George and Teddy were all useful hands about the place, but John seems to have been manager and factor for his father regarding aspects of planting and harvest. The men he employed would go to Wm Sr. for wages. These wages would include some cash, but also flour and animal feed/fodder. Some men listed were Delany; Ray Wickshem; Ole Olson; F Delorem; Louis Allery; Burchem and Joe Delorem. Wm Gottbreht’s pen is quite legible, but I need to verify some of his spelling of surnames. Please excuse. Burchem was paid $37.42 for picking potatoes Oct 5 and 8. John Gottbreht was paid 1/2 the value of the potato harvest from 250 acres owned by Marion Edwards: $125.00, 26 Oct 1914. Edwards, a banker in Rolla and Rolette held vast acreage in Rolette County. The other half of John’s harvest was paid against the note held by Edward’s bank: $202.00. I would suggest the land that John rented or leased were in Sec 9 and Sec 21 of Hillside Twp.

The May delivery was the final potato order; the Gottbreht supply was no doubt exhausted. There were very few requests for livestock feed after June 1; natural grazing for milk cows and horses? Probably. The next potato order was for 125 B [5 loads] $71.85 Nov 18, 1914. It may have been less expensive in early years to contract for the big demand of the State Sanitarium.

I have 3 items marked in this ledger regarding D. Dion, Floyd’s father, by way of thank you. It is always great to meet with Floyd when home and I sure appreciate that date.

For Larry: Frances Barnhart, age 20, was the public school teacher Hillside Twp 1930. She roomed at the home of Jos. Wm. and Alphonsine Poitra who lived a short distance from the school. Eleanor Metcalfe was 6/7 that school year. Agness [sic] Leonard, age 20, lived at home, she had not worked the previous day. That’s a laugh, I cannot imagine a gal of 20 without ten tasks a day. Interesting challenge Larry, and I’ll give it further study. I can scan the census records, but poor quality? Wish I had some pictures ready for Gary M and bloggers, tomorrow maybe; I want to post a great one of Darrell Getzlaff who celebrates his 80th year 29 Jan 2010.

Lord have mercy on all those suffering in Haiti. Sharron

Confirmation Picture:
Reply from Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND.

Gary and Friends,

I can name some of the people in the confirmation picture.

Back Row: L-R Deloris Hiatt–?–Bernice Olson Johnson (Mom)–Shirley
Olson Warcup–Iona Habberstad ?–Atherton girl?–Murl Watkins Hill

Front: I only recognize the girl on the far right. She is Minnie
Mary McKay

Thanks Gary!


Thank you Dick. You did well. I’m wondering what year this photo was taken?
Folks, If you know any of these 6 unidentified people, please let us know. This is another great photo for our achieves. Thanks, Gary
Back: Deloris Hiatt, ?????, Bernice Olson Johnson, Shirley Olson Warcup,
Lona Habberstad, Atherton girl?, Murl Watkins Hill
Front: Girl?, Boy?, Boy?, Boy?, Minnie Mary McKay
Sitting: Rev. Lovaas
Dunseith Confirmation (Jan 14-2010)
Dunseith HS Class of 63:
Photo posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe: Bottineau & Minot, ND.

Did I copy this from one of your news letters?

I’m assuming that’s how I came to have this picture.





Neola, I don’t ever remember seeing this picture before, so I’m not sure where you got this from either. Anyway, it’s a great picture of our DHS class of 63 folks. Again, Thanks for being there for us with all this memorabilia that you have stored in your achieves. The stuff you provide is so valuable. Gary


Dunseith High School Class of 1963


03/10/2018 (2608)

Reply from Neola Kofoid Garbe:  Bottineau & Minot, ND

Hi, Gary.

Another interesting newsletter.  Thanks!  I’m sorry to report that at this time, I am retired from almost everything, even making caramels.  I’m hoping this will change SOON! LOL  However, life and God are still good. :)

I officially retired from teaching school in May 1999.  The last almost 19 years have passed quickly and enjoyably, even if I haven’t always felt/don’t always feel the greatest.  I have a very positive attitude/turn everything over to God/am not complaining about anything.  I know God is in charge of my life, and I’m just along for the ride.  In spite of many problems along the way, it has been/still is a great life!  I’m grateful for all of it–the great (I’ve experienced MANY REALLY greats!) and the not so great!  “This too shall pass.”

Thanks again for your great newsletters!



Bottineau cancels classes, others enter soft lockdowns following threat
Link posted by Vickie Metcalfe (’70):  Bottineau, ND



Blog (682) posted on January 14, 2010

Posted on January 14, 2010

Message Posted on the Dunseith Alumni Website:

From Jackie Peterson-Hansen, Daughter of Jack (deceased) & Nettie Hiatt Peterson

From: jackie Peterson-Hansen

Thank you Gary. You’re blog is so informative and entertaining that I had to read all of them. I’m not a Dunseith alumnus, but I have family ties to Dunseith and was a Mountaineer 4-Her under the fine leadership of your mom and Orvin.
When I’m curious about something that shows up in you communications, I talk about it with Mom (Nettie). I think it was Dick Johnson who asked about a mattress factory. Mom told me that there was a mattress making project in a building on the north end of Dunseith during the 30’s.( Dick probably doesn’t remember that far back  ) The first nonstraw mattresses they had in their home came from there as her parents both participated in the project. She also said that the person who headed up the project was murdered by a Chase. There was some communication on this site about that event also, but Mom read the story in an old detective magazine too.

Jackie, How wonderful to hear from you. You are most certainly Dunseith Alumni having lived up in Dick Johnson’s neck of the woods. I know your address was Saint John, but you guys were Dunseith folks. Your dad was on the very top of my dad’s list of friends. They’d call each other at least once, and often many times more, each day. With your mother being a Hiatt (sister to Leola Lagerquist) your folks were very active in all of the Ackworth community events in my growing up days. You were very young in my days, so I don’t remember you quite as well as the older kids of my error back there. Your dad was tops in the Lagerquist boys eyes too and Evon’s as well. In their eyes he was the greatest uncle on the face of this earth, of which he was. They’d often mention all the good things Jack had done for & with them and their family. These are conversations I remember hearing from Rodney and Lyle at the good ole Ackworth School. Ackworth was your mothers school too. She and all of her siblings and Hiatt cousins accounted for more than half the enrolment of 45 plus kids that attended Ackworth in her day.

Many of your Peterson and Hiatt relatives are on our distribution. I know they will be delighted to see your posting. Where are you living now? We’d love to hear some of your mothers memories too. I see your mothers name frequently mentioned in the Dunseith News that is posted in the local papers. Gary

DeAnn Gottbreht Fund Raiser:http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/deanngottbreht

Posted by Paula Fassett (71): North Branch, MN


I mentioned earlier a fund-raiser for DeAnn Gottbreht that is to be held in Portal, ND, on January 21st. For those of us who would like to contribute but cannot attend, you can mail donations to the organizer of the event:

Jake Douts

P.O. Box 425

Powers Lake, ND 58773

Please make your check out to TRIVENT FINANCIAL. They will make each dollar amount that is donated……


Paula Fassett

Nordland Church:

Reply from Cheryl Larson Dakin (71): BEDFORD, TX

Hi Gary

Were you confirmed at the Nordland Church up near Lake Metigoshe? If so, that’s the cemetary where Martin and Nikolina Larson, (my Greats) and Mensvil and Alma Larson (my Grands) along with lots of other relatives are buried. My Dad helped to build that church. If we’re talking about the same place, it’s one of my very favorite places in the world. Just down the road across from the Christian Center is my Dad and Uncle Dick’s homeplace, the farm my Great Grandfather homesteaded and my Grandfather took over. A little farther down the road on the same side as the Christian Center is the Roland Township School that belongs to the Larson Brothers also. Dad talks about having to go to school early to start the fire in the schoolhouse before the teacher and children would get there. I would love to hear stories that anyone would care to share….


Cheryl Larson Dakin

Cheryl, That’s the same church. I have contacted Kenny Pederson and Jerry Larson who were confirmed with me, to get a copy of their picture. They are both currently searching for their copy and will scan and send me a copy when they find it. It was thru the Metigoshe churches that I learned to know a huge percentage of the Bottineau County Turtle Mountain folks in my growing up days. Gary

Confirmation Picture:

From Harlyn Oppeboen (51): Colorado Springs, CO

I enjoyed hearing about someone in my confirmation class. I have already scanned the picture and have attached it. I dont remember all of the people however.

Harley Oppeboen

Harley, This is great! I’ll bet we’ll get these folks all identified too. I know you must be one of the three standing behind Rev. Lovaas.

Folks, Please reply with identities of these folks. I will repost with names. Gary

Rev. Lovaas
Dunseith Confirmation (Jan 14-2010)
Alex/Dianne Voeller Pedie Family photo:
From Neola Kofoid Garbe: Minot & Bottineau, ND

As you know, Dianne taught in Dunseith, and, I think, Belcourt. She/I are classmates.


Dunseith Alumni Website http://garystokes.net/default.aspx

Folks, I thought I’d share this with you. This is the activity we have had on our Website this month. The past several months we have been averaging about 900 visits per month. With the pace this month we are on our way to 1,500 visits. As you can see, folks are viewing multiple pages with each visit. I try to post the daily blogs on this Website at the same time I sent them out via email. Gary

Activity per day for January, 2010
Date Visits Views Views per visit
1/1/2010 32 105 3.28
1/2/2010 38 84 2.21
1/3/2010 62 538 8.68
1/4/2010 63 294 4.67
1/5/2010 54 326 6.04
1/6/2010 34 176 5.18
1/7/2010 70 217 3.10
1/8/2010 55 248 4.51
1/9/2010 61 292 4.79
1/10/2010 45 85 1.89
1/11/2010 42 382 9.10
1/12/2010 38 186 4.89
1/13/2010 37 86 2.52
Total 631 3019


Folks, Since posting Isa’s Picture (Bernadette’s 3 year old great niece) several days ago, several of you commented wish comments wishing to see more pictures. Her she is with her 5 year old brother, JM. I took this picture several hours ago and they are still in the same place exactly as you see them in this picture. Normally it’s JM and his brother JO that are waiting for me in the mornings to get on the computers. This morning it was Isa and JM. With the noise of their computer games and their excitement with them, they get a bit noisy for me, so I take them and the Laptops outside on the porch. They have a good strong internet signal out there as well. These kids are so involved and into their games, that they did not even realize I was taking this picture. Their mother will come looking for them in an hour so for their dinner meal. Gary

9:00 AM Thursday Jan. 14, 2010 – Cebu Philippines

JM (5 years old) & Isa (3 years old)

03/07/2018 (2607)

Message from Dick and Vi Hobbs Ziegler (’54):  McMinnville, OR

Due to Vi’s Alzheimer’s, and other health issues, we are moving into an assisted living facility.

This old computer is barely working anymore, and we’re not getting a new one right now, so we won’t be getting any email’s anymore.  She has enjoyed all the email’s  you’ve sent here over the years, but doesn’t really remember any of those people any more.  Thank you for all the information she’s received from you.  Take care, and God Bless.

Dick and Vi Ziegler  (Hobbs)


Happy birthday to Rodney Armentrout.
From Bob Lykins (60’s DHS teacher): Hutto, TX

We were close friends when I was a teacher at Dunseith HS.

I agree with the points that Vickie made about the UND women’s hockey program.  I was surprised to learn it was dropped since this is a growing sport. Especially in Minnesota and Massachusetts as well as other states.  If it was dropped because it was losing money then for shame.  The objective for sports in schools (irregardless of what many may think) is not to put butts in the seats and break even at the ticket booth.  Sports, like any class the STUDENT/athletes take, is for educating them and providing them with a background that will benefit them in the future.


Happy birthday to Rodney Armentrout.
From Greg LaCroix (6 Fargo, ND

Hi Rodney.

I sure wish I could come to Dunseith to help you celebrate your BIRTHDAY!!  Wishing you a WONDERFUL BIRTHDAY WITH YOUR DEAR friends and LOVE ONES!!  I have so many great memories of you and your dear family!  Have a wonderful time!

Your friend Greg LaCroix


An update on area basketball for those out of the area who may not have followed Rolette County Basketball.
Posted by LeaRae Parrill Espe (’67):  Bottineau, ND

Last week the Dunseith Dragons defeated the St. John Woodchucks in the championship game of the District tournament by 2 points. St. John came into the game with an undefeated record and had been rated #1 in the state wide poll. Dunseith was rated #10.   Both teams are coached by former Dragon standout players. Eric Morin coaches the Dragons and Steve Poitra coaches the Woodchucks. Four teams from each District go to the Regional tournament in Devils Lake. New Rockford and Four Winds are two of the top teams from the other district in that Region.

The Regional tournament in Devils Lake was to open Monday, March 5. However, because of a statewide blizzard the games have been delayed one day.  Games are scheduled for March 6, 8, and 9. These games will be broadcast and can be listened to over the internet.  They will probably be on a live feed also.  I am not sure of the stations, but possibly WDAY or WDAZ. Hopefully, someone with more knowledge than I will clarify this.

In addition Bottineau , coached by Kevin St. Claire who was a key player on the Dragon team that played in the State B in 1990, is headed to the Regionals in Minot. The Bottineau Braves have had a pretty good season. They lost to St. John by around 20 points on Feb 16 in St. John. One of the Bottineau players, last name of Burcham, attended Dunseith school in his younger grades. There are so many home town connections on these teams.

Only one team from each Region gets to go to the State Tournament in Bismarck on March 15.16.and 17.

Another player with a Dunseith connection is Austin Dubois. He is the grandson of Loren Dubois.

If my facts are off,  please feel free to make corrections.


Blog (681) posted on January 13, 2010

Reply from Murl Watkins Hill (50): Dunseith, ND.
Gary, Thank you so much for the continuing work you do for all of us. I was pleasantly surprised to see Harlyn Oppenboen’s name come up. He was
in my Confirmation class at Dunseith Lutheran when Rev. Lovaas was there. I will look forward to seeing him this summer and will bring the picture of the
for those interested on seeing it. So looking forward to this summer, especially after last weeks cold. Happy New Year to all!
Murl Watkins Hill, class of 1950.
Murl, I think a word got cut off with the sending of your message? I think the picture you may have is your confirmation picture? If you can have it scanned, I’d love to have a copy for posting? If you have it with you sometime when you are in Bottineau, stop by the Spectrum Store and have Karen Larson Scan and send me a copy. Her fees are very small for doing this. It’s a wonderful service that she offers to the community with her business. Karen is on our distribution and has my email address.
With our move over here to the PI, my confirmation picture has gotten misplaced. I was confirmed in Nordland Lutheran church in 1962. I’ve got feelers out to get a copy and when I do, I’ll share it with all of you. Gary
From Vickie Metcalfe (70): Bottineau, ND.
Gary, Please thank Neola for always being keen on Dunseith information. When my cousin Kathy Metcalfe died a few years ago, Laurie Lafromboise, Willie’s daughter came to her funeral, and paid respects to Kathy. This past October she was there again to pay respects to Janice. That’s what people of the Dunseith community continue to do.

There are some people that just warm my heart and Willies chlldren fit the mold. I think that may be a attributed to their parents, Willie and Delores. I visited ” Willie the Younger” and his wife at Wal Mart over Christmas. They were so delighted to now have added a baby to their little family. Thanks again. Vickie
Vickie’s reply when asked if I could post the above message.
Neola retired?… No I think not, she continues to be active in so many ways and to contribute where ever she is. Vickie
Reply to Gary Metcalfe (57):
From Denise Lajimodiere: Morehead, MN.
Hi,I’m curious what was meant by “practice your Ben Lajimodiere defense.” I didn’t know my grandfather very well as we grew up in Oregon and he died before I moved back to the Turtle Mountains. It sounds like an interesting story.
Denise Lajimodiere

Reply to Bear movie:
From Aggie Cassavant (69): Fort Mill, SC
To Gary Metcalf,
In reference to “The Bear” I don’t know that I came to any conclusion about the whole incident, because I couldn’t get past the fearful human like sounds (like a small kid when their in distress) that the little bear was making, and then the sequence of circumstances that happened to help him escape, like the tree branch breaking,then floating down the river. As well as it ended up,and as fascinating as it was to watch, I can’t bring myself to watch it again,however I tell everyone I see to watch it. I was a bit stunned to see the cowardly cougar retreat when he saw and heard the mother bear. I never expierenced so many emotions at once, in such a short amount of time. But I agree with you about parents teaching their kids to scream at the top of their lungs,with all the predators that are allowed to roam throughout this country today. WoW! What an analogy…. Aggie
Pictures from Allen Richard (65): Midland, MI
Top left – Bae and Pearl Pigeon.
Middle left and bottom pictures — my mother, Emeline–She wasn’t crazy about that hat!
Top right — two pictures of Grandma Pigeon at Pigeon store.
Mary Ann Gottbreht Brennan’s daughters:
Posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe: Bottineau & Minot, ND.
Hi Gary,
Being Mary Ann Brennan was mentioned in your newsletter, I thought I’d send this picture of her daughters again.

03/05/2018 (2606)

Posted by Debbie Armentrout Metcalfe (’77):   Mesa, AZ
Armentrout, Rodney 2606


Reply from Larry Liere (55)  Devils Lake, ND/Mesa, AZ

Vickie Metcalfe: As a former Hockey & Figure Skating parent I agree with everything you have said here.  UND missed the boat when they eliminated the women’s hockey program and the way they eliminated it was disgraceful.  Students in school at UND to play hockey were turned out in the cold without any or very little warning.  Our girls graduated from UND and our son was a senior at UND when he died of cancer.  UND needs to do a better job with their customer relations in many ways: STUDENTS ARE THEIR CUSTOMERS!   By the way if Margaret is your Sister we have met.



Willie Hiatt & Oscar Sjule, Courant
Posting from Neola Kofoid Garbe:  Bottineau & Minot, ND


Blog (680) posted on January 12, 2010

Willie Lafromboise Obituary posted by both
Vickie Metcalfe: Bottineau, ND
Neola Kofoid Garbe: Bottineau & Minot, ND
From Vickie
Gary, For Your Information,
I believe Willie was a a long time caretaker at the Dunseith
cemeteries and possibly did janitorial work at the Dunseith School.
His wife, Delores was related to the Gillis family of Dunseith and
Bottineau. Willie had two daughters and a son who all attended
Dunseith School. His son, Willie currently is a janitor and
caretaker at the Dunseith cemetery.
His sister Mrs. Sampson worked for years at San Haven. Another
sister, Mrs. Counts lives here in Bottineau.Minot Daily
Willie Lafromboise, age 90 of Dunseith, died Sunday at a Rugby hospital. Funeral services will be held on Monday at 10:00 A.M. in the St. Michael the Archangel Church in Dunseith. Burial will be in the Riverside Cemetery also of Dunseith. A wake will be held on Sunday beginning at 4:00 P.M. with a prayer service at 8:00 P.M. in the church. 
(Nero Funeral Home, Bottineau)

Spud picking reply:
From Bill Hosmer (48): Tucson, AZ & Lake Metigoshe, ND.
Gary, Harlyn’s question about picking spuds reminded me of the days many of the school kids could get out of class to help harvest them at San Haven. There was a large field and for two or three years I was with a large number of other guys making 5 cents a bushel. There was a farm operation at the San in those early days of the thirties and forties. Any way to get out of school was a treat. The only thing I regretted was that I never remembered to bring a shaker of salt, because those spuds right out of the ground were a little bit of heaven. I know that Chuck Johnson and I used to work as a team on those long rows. Thanks Harlyn and Happy New Year to you, Gary. Your history making journals of contacting have given us a heritage of meaning, and a future with optimism that is unique and valuable. Thanks for what you do and how you do it. Bill Hosmer ’48.
Reply from Gary Metcalfe (57): Forsyth, MO
Gary Stokes….I wrote this a few days ago, but I do not think it got sent, if so do not repeat it, but if not then go ahead. Gary
Gary M, This message never came thru the first time. I checked my spam, deleted and all my other files and did not see it. Gary
To Dick Johnson
Back in the days after the 50’s there was an area east of Renton, Washington up Sunset Highway about 10 miles or so. There was a tavern, Coalville or Coalfield, something like that. George House and Vy lived directly behind the tavern, we called him the mayor.
Wesley Johnson was a guy who welcomed anyone from Dakota to his home. Like….stay right there, I’ll come down and get you. So that’s where Norman spent his later years. You never knew who you would see from Dakota. Betty and Bernice came a little later when I was there.
Leroy Birkland and Buster Graybill lived together and I bunked with them for awhile wherever Leroy went he had his guitar. Now I realize how some of the people were related. I guess I don’t have to tell you Randy Hiatt that Leroy was not just a guitar player, he was a picker.
Aggie..What was your conclusion, mine was that Mother Bear knew the first utterance she made would trigger the cat’s mind to retreat at full haste. So practice your screaming and for those who are too reserved or maybe have a bad cold, practice your Ben Lajimodere defence. I always thought people should teach their kids to swim and ski and now I am adding screaming to that list!
Gary Metcalfe
Hill Side school picture:
Reply from Larry Liere (55): Devils Lake, ND.
Thanks for the information you sent about your Mother and her memory of Hill Side School.
I sure could be wrong about the date of this picture. As I remember my mother was the teacher there sometime between 1940 and 1946. I do not know if she taught at Hill Side in the 1930″s. Her maiden name was Agnes Leonard so if your Mom remembers a Agnes Leonard or an Agnes Liere she very well could be correct about the picture. The other thing that could have happened is my Mom could have found the picture and kept it while she was teaching at the school. I do remember that my Mom knew the girls in the picture so that makes me think she was their teacher. The girls in the picture look like they could be in the 3rd. or 4th. grade. If Gary could put this back out on the blog maybe some other people could also add information about who these girls are. I am sending a copy of this to my cousin Carmen (Leonard) Richard because she has a good memory about dates and may be able to help date the picture. I think it is fun to see how well and how fast the blog is able to solve a mystery like this.
? LaRoque, ?????, Agnes Belgarde & Eleanor Metcalfe

02/28/2018 (2605)

Happy 102nd  Birthday Lillian Thompson Bergstrom (DHS ’36): Superior, WN
From Vickie Hiatt LaFontaine (’73):   Grafton, ND

Happy birthday Lillian.


Dunseith Bicycle Classes
Question/posting from Ginger LaRocque Poitra (’65):  Belcourt, ND


I was wondering if anyone remembers who lived in the city of Dunseith, taking classes to ride a bicycle?  I  remember,  had to learn all the hand signals what side of the road to ride and whatever else is involved in riding a bike. That was pretty neat! I was a bike rider!  I rode bike everyday all day!  After the work I had to do at home. I would at times  have to go shopping for mom for an item or two. Which was a learning experience money wise as well. I  remember this one time she sent me to the Red Owl to get some ground beef. She gave me $2 , so I  put the money in my jean pocket the pockets were slanted. I got on my bike and off I went to the store over the railroad tracks across the Kalks yard on to the store. I  got to the store,  NO MONEY! I cannot explain how I  felt to have lost mom’s hard earned money. So off home I went to tell mom I lost her money, after telling her she pulls out 2 more dollars handed them to me, I took that money held it in my hand and held on to the handle bar. The next day I think it was Barbara Kalk who said that they found $2 in their yard yesterday.

I sure had strong legs back in the day.



Hockey/Olympics/Lamoureux Sisters
Reply Ellen Graff Myrick (58): Grand Forks, ND

Hi Gary,

Jocelyn and Monique are from Grand Forks.  They pronounce their last name ‘Lamb e row”
I asked them once if they had relatives in Dunseith and they said they didn’t. Apparently they

both work at Altru hospital here in Grand Forks.

Ellen S. Myrick


Hockey/Olympics/Lamoureux Sisters
Reply from Vickie Metcalfe (’70): Bottineau, ND

Gary, Larry Liere,  and Dunseith Friends,

I was told  the Lamoureux sisters grew up in Grand Forks. ND.

I understand, the Lamoureux sisters chose to  attend learn and play  hockey on the women’s Hockey team at UND.

UND women’s Hockey team was strong and known in national championships, which put eager anticipation in other young women to continue pursuing hockey.

ND mens’ hockey continues to be  a national treasure.

The UND Women’ s hockey team  was an up and coming   “player” in the world of women’s hockey.

Unfortunately, the UND women’s hockey program  was eliminated last year.

I was and I continue to be very disgusted with the decision by UND  (wise ? leaders)  to eliminate  the women’s hockey program.

(That comment is  just an opinion, for what it’s worth)

I graduated from UND earning a  Bachelor of Science  degree in education  followed  later by earning  a  Masters of Science  degree in Counseling,

At this time, I know several young ladies attending Bottineau School who play hockey for  the Bottineau Green Line  Girls Hockey Team.

The girls are physically fit, understand the importance of  cooperating  and work  together.

Kids involved in hockey have unyielding support of their parents

Hockey parents work hard (with sacrifice give up their own  time and material things/stuff’ ) supporting  their  kid.

These ‘kids’ are connected to famiiy, teammates and community.

I think the women’s Olympic hockey team  was built by the similar experiences.

And, I am proud of the USA team and I am also privileged to know young ladies who will also be future leaders in what ever they choose.

Children who know their identity, are connected  to family and community,  will use their power in positive ways.

Please support ‘kids’ with Many Thanks.

Vickie L. Metcalfe
February 23, 2018


Condolences to the Betty Delorme Peltier family
Posting and Obit from Vickie Metcalfe (’70):  Bottineau, ND

Gary and Dunseith School Friends,

I wish to extend  belated sympathy to the family  and extended family of Betty (Delorme) Peltier.

Betty’s  father Janes,  was  brother to our family’s  friend and neighbor Genevive Morin.

I  recall her husband,  Tom Belgarde and his son’s, hauling hay and straw  bales for dad in the evenings after their work.

I believe many of the her children attended Dunseith Public School .

With respect .

Vickie L. Metcalfe


Betty Peltier
Peltier, Betty 2405
April 17, 1933 – February 16, 2018

Betty M. Peltier, age 84 of Dunseith, died Friday February 16, 2018 at Sanford Hospital in Fargo, North Dakota. Funeral services will be held on Monday, February 26, 2018 at 10:00 A.M. in the St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Dunseith, North Dakota. Burial will be in the spring in the St. Mary’s Cemetery. A wake service will be held on Sunday February 25, 2018 beginning at 5:00 P.M. with a prayer service at 7:00 P.M. in the Church.

Betty M. Peltier, a daughter of James and Mildred (Allery) Delorme, was born on April 17, 1933 at Belcourt. She was reared and educated in the rural Dunseith area. Betty attended a little Country School in the Rural Dunseith Area. On September 20, 1949 Betty married Louis (Tom) Belgarde at St. Mary’s Church in Dunseith. Together they raised 8 children and they also helped raise a very special nephew Robbie Delorme. They made their home together in the Dunseith Area they started and owned a gas station, she also had many jobs growing up, from working at San Haven, after a long illness Tom passed away in 1985 and Betty remained at home in the rural Dunseith she then worked at the Turtle Mountain Corporation where she retired in 1989. Betty married Joseph Peltier from Langdon, North Dakota on June 30, 1989 together they traveled and spent a lot of time seeing the Country. They served as foster parents for 10 years.  Betty loved traveling and telling her family about the many things of the world that she encountered and had the opportunity to experience. Joseph passed away on March 17, 2009. Betty loved to spend time with her children and grand-children and go out and socialize and visit with her many friends at the Bingo and Casino. .

She was a member of St. Michael’s Catholic Church

She is survived by sons, Dennis (Gail) Belgarde of Fargo, Tom (Paula) Belgarde of Belcourt, Sylvester (Ginger) Belgarde of Dunseith, and daughters, Janice (Larry) Morin, of Fargo, Debbie (Elvis) Gladue, of Dunseith and Betty Jean Belgarde of Dunseith; foster daughters, Robin St. Claire Lopez, Raelynn St. Claire, Jolene DeCoteau and Shyleen Crissler and a very special nephew, Robbie (Debbie) Delorme Fargo, 28 grandchildren; 70 great-grandchildren; and numerous great-great grandchildren and her sister: Verna Poitra of Dunseith, North Dakota.

Betty was preceded in death by her parents; Joseph; her husband Tom; daughter Linda Bjugstad, her son Kenneth Belgarde her granddaughter Amy Gladue and her great granddaughter Jolinda Vivier; brothers, Clifford, Leonard, Larry Delorme and her sisters; Doris Gunville and Leona Poitra.

Arrangements were with Nero Funeral Home in Bottineau.  Friends may sign the online register book at www.nerfouneralhome.net.


Blog (679) posted on January 11, 2010

Posted on January 11, 2010

Question from Harlyn Oppeboen (51): Colorado Springs, CO

Gary as a kid growing up in Dunseith, I remember picking potatoes for someone. I don’t remember who it was or where the potato fields were. Do you remember or possibly some of your reader? I do remember there were several kids involved. I would guess it was in 1945 when I was about 13.

Harlyn Oppeboen

Reply to a personal message about the Traffic in the PI

From Brenda Hoffman (68): Greenville, SC

Whoa! Didn’t realize that you lived in such a large city or that traffic was that congested during rush hour. I wouldn’t want to go too many places with traffic like that! I did my rough traffic time during the last ten or so years that I lived and worked in Minneapolis. When Terry and I first moved there in 1974, we could drive to any place in twenty minutes. By the time I moved to St. Cloud 26 years later, some roads we just didn’t drive on and others were parking lots much of the day. Back roads were the fastest.

Here in Greenville, SC getting to the main shopping center is relatively easy, but there is a four mile area called Woodruff Road filled with trendy strip malls and restaurants where most people shop. Whoever designed that area should have bodily harm done to them. At Christmas, it’s best not even to attempt Woodruff Road – stop lights at most intersections and traffic backed up onto the interstates. Fortunately I don’t like shopping that much so I only am on Woodruff a couple of times a month – and only during working hours.

I wish you could attend the upcoming Dunseith reunion. Since you have initiated this blog, you have become Mr. Dunseith!!!!!! I don’t think you know how important your blogs are to those of us who have Dunseith connections. Your blog is like a daily cup of coffee at Dale’s Cafe ‘”shooting the breeze.” It’s a warm, loving connection that ties all of us to so many people. Because of you, I’ve connected with Lola, Dick, Charlene, you and others – heart attachments that would hot have happened otherwise. Your “work” is extremely valuable. Thank you.


Brenda, I thanked you with a personal reply for these nice comments, but I want to do so again with the blog. I try to keep things focused on topics of interest to the Dunseith Alumni. That includes topics/pictures of the Alumni folks both past and present and any history and stories that folks would like to share. We can not loose that focus. I will slip a forward in here and there, but I try to keep them to a minimum. Yes, I too have connected & reconnected with so many great folks doing this. Those connections are invaluable. The older we get the more invaluable these connections become. Gary

From Gwen Struck Dumas (68): Havre, MT

Hi Gary,
I thought in one of the blogs I saw Kelly Woods as attending the May reunion, but don’t see him on this list. If he is indeed attending I would like to add my son Michael (Mike, as he prefers) Stevenson to the list. He and Kelly have started communicating due to this blog and haven’t seen each other in nearly 25 years. They played together constantly when I still lived in Dunseith and he always came with Charlene to visit in Bottineau. They were just the cutest little buddy’s!! And could I tell some funny stories about the two of them. Anyway thank you for all you do and Blessings to the two of you in the new year.

Kelly Woods (89) Reply: Massena, NY


As much as I would love to come, I cannot attend this year.

Leave restrictions at work will only allow me to attend my nephew’s graduation in Olalla Washington this June.

Mike and I had some pretty good times as children in Dunseith. I remember playing in the store that his grandparents used to own, and all the times I would visit my own grandmother in Bottineau and take off and see Mike at his mother’s house. A lot of memories your blog has refreshed.

Thank you for all your hard work.

Kelly Woods

Class of 1989

Kelly, This must be your brother Jeff’s son who is graduating. He lives in Olalla. Olalla is about 20 miles south of Bremerton. Having lived there for 37 years, I know that area well.

Gwen, I will add your son Mike to the reunion list. Gary

Country school reunion date correction posted yesterday

Reply from Linda Gardner: Vienna, VA

HI Gary – I had a wonderfully long conversation this afternoon with Orvin Hagen. Not only did he yodel for me but he sang in Norwegian as well. Maybe we can get him to yodel at the Country School Reunion. BTW, the date of the reunion is July 10.

Linda, I really goofed with yesterday’s posting. The Country School Reunion date is July 10th as stated in your registration form. I quickly misread June 1st as being the reunion date when in fact that is when you’d like to have all the applications returned by. I have attached your sign up form again with this message.

I’m glad to hear that you had a nice visit with Orvin. Orvin told me he has had recent requests to yodel in some of the many community affairs he is associated with. I’m sure, if requested, he will Yodel for you guys at the reunion. Yodeling is a natural talent of his of which he is very good at. Orvin was one of the few neighbors who could converse with Mrs. Ole Rispa too, who pretty spoke only Norwegian. There is only one Orvin Hagan on the face of this earth, the one we love and remember so well. He is a guy with many perfected natural talents. He’ll be 89 years old this coming July and still going strong. In 2007 he still had his fast walk. Gary

Reposting of the G.R. Gleason Co. post card June 29, 1928

From Alan Poitra (76): Bloomington, MN

Hi Gary, I thought the readers would enjoy this tidbit of history in the automobile business back in the day. I know I have seen this ad before but was not sure if it was on the blog… very interesting compared to todays prices and I wonder if this would still be honored…:)


Yes, it was on this blog that you saw this. I first got this from Sharron Gottbreht Shen posted with message 387 on 3/2/09. At the time I was thinking she actually had the post card with the Bottineau post markings. Then on 3/18/09 I received this same post card from Bill Hosmer (48) of which I reposted with message 403. When received it from Bill I knew it had to be posted on the NET.

This is so interesting, I received this same card several days ago from a good friend of mine who lives in AZ that sends out 6 forwards each day. This was one of his forwards to his list of 50 or so folks. This guy has never heard of Bottineau and I don’t think realizes I came from ND either. So this card is making it’s rounds. I remember lots of talk about the C.R. Gleason dealership in Bottineau, but they had been bought out by Theels from the time I can remember back too. You are like me, you see these things knowing you’ve seen them before but have forgotten where.

It’s been nearly a year since this was last posted, so I thinks it’s due for another posting.

It’s great hearing from you.


1928 Car Repair Mailer

Automotive repair in 1928……… and on a penny postcard…….



As what’s been usual practice the last while, I’ve been taking the two laptop computers along with Bernadette’s nephew’s 3 kids, ages 3, 5 & 6, outside on the porch when they show up in the mornings to play on the computers. They just get too noisy for me.

It was so cute a few minutes ago. Isa, short for Isabella, the 3 year old girl, came in the office telling me low bat. She knows I have the charger and will connect it up to her computer of which I did. She then turned it back on getting back into the internet and into her game. Those 3 kids are giving computer lessons, not only to the other kids, but the adults as well. Her brothers have momentarily taken a computer break and are playing with the other kids. Gary



02/23/2018 (2604)

Happy 102nd  Birthday Lillian Thompson Bergstrom (DHS ’36): Superior, WN

Lillian is the oldest living to have ever graduated from Dunseith High School. She graduated with the class of 1936.

Lillian’s mother was a Stokes. She and my dad were first cousins. She was a sister to Ella (Eldon) Pladson and Easter (Edmar) Tangen.

Last report I had, Lillian was still of very sound mind. She had a little loss of hearing is all.

Lillian, you are looking great! We wish you the best. Happy birthday.

Face book posting
Thompson, Lillian 2604



Blog (678) posted on January 10, 2010

Posted on January 10, 2010


I had a really nice chat with Gary Metcalfe when he called me yesterday. In the course of our conversation he said to me “you are a cousin to Jean Pladson Aren’t you” and of course I proudly said “Yes”. He said “I leaned to know her and a lot of the folks that attended church at Metigoshe when we went to church there”. This morning, evening in ND, I decided to call Jean of which I did. As always we had a good visit. Gary & Sue, she remembers you guys well. She remembers Leah, your daughter too. Jean is also first cousins to the Morinville siblings. She was telling me about visiting and spending time with Bev when she was in the hospital for the last time. She also saw Deb when Deb visited Bev in the Hospital in Minot. As most of you know Deb had a stroke a year or so ago that has left her paralyzed on one side and affected her speech. Jean said she for sure knows people and had an emotional bonding with her. Jean is still living on the farm in the hills. She lives a half mile south of Highway 43 on the county line.


Reply from Mona Dionne Johnson (48): Lake Metigoshe, ND.

My son, Ross, no longer lives in ND. He did live in Kenmare many years,
working in the Bank there, but in 2002 moved to Lake Havasu City and
started up a bank with three others. I just returned from visiting them
for a few weeks over the holidays.
Mona (Dionne) Johnson ’48

Reply from Diane Larson Sjol (70): Minot, ND.


Allen, I really enjoyed the pictures of the Pigeon family and Gary is
right, you are the spittin’ image of your uncle Ydola…and I always
thought you took after us Richards…:)

I had to smile at Bernadette getting her nails done….I could handle
that. Good to see a photo…sure had fun on the cruise.. We are
sitting her in Minot with about 36 inches of snow and so happy that it
is going to be 20 above today. It has been very frigid weather…20
below…for the past several days…and that is too cold for me.
Still we bundle up and go out and about. Reminds me of the time in
fourth grade at the old white school house in Dunseith when one of the
kids dared me to put my tongue on the metal bar outside…he said it
would stick and I didn’t believe him..so, of course I did it with
several kids watching. Lo and behold, my tongue was stuck and I was
saying ” Go and get the teather…go and get the teather…while my
tongue stayed on the metal bar…she poured some water on it and it
came loose…can you spell dumb?

Hope everyone has a good weekend.

Orvin Hagen Memories:

From Vickie Metcalfe (70): Bottineau, ND.

Gary and friends,
The name Orvin, brings warm smiles on many faces of recognition!
Just this week Wes and Ovida Scheinder and I were discussing
the difference between lefse and tortilla’s. Wes was reminded of his
brother Warren’s childhood friend Orvin Hagen. One afternoon, Orvin
walked south cross country from the Hagen farm four miles to visit
Warren. That evening, Orvin was invited to stay the night. , Mrs.
Schnieder went to off to bed and the house became quiet, the boys
had the “hankering” for a treat. Orvin knew just the thing. As
Orvin and Warren proceeded to mix up some dough, the wood stove was
fired up. They didn’t eat the first piece, Mrs. Schnieder was
aroused to a house full of smoke and a floury mixture burning on top
the kitchen stove. And the Schneider family was formally introduced
to lefse by Orvin.

Some years ago, Floyd and Dorothy Lamb celebrated their
wedding anniversary at the International Peace Garden. Orvin and I
were somehow talked into, by the very convincing Martha and Dean to
re-enact a wedding. Those two were always very convincing
cousins……I was shy , Orvin was not…….Dean insisted I was to
act the groom’s part because I looked like a Lamb. Giving in, I
slicked my pulled hair back under the collar of a white dress shirt
and tie, someone drew a mustache under my nose. Wearing trousers, I
stood alone in front of the lodge. People were puzzled,still, very
quiet. Me, I was quit sober wondering “what am I doing, Oh yeah, I
‘m doing this for Floyd and Dorothy.” …….I didn’t have to act
nervous …I was trembling. I stood there with shaky knees
pretending to be Floyd awaiting his lovely Dorothy. Suddenly,Uncle
Floyd’s booming laughter filled the lodge as Orvin decked out in a
wig and dress came simpering down the aisle carrying a bridal bouquet
of rhubarb leaves. Soon, the whole lodge was filled with laughter.
Thanks to Orvin the day was filled with joy.
Vickie Metcalfe


Orvin will be at the “Turtle Mountain Country School” Reunion this coming June 1st. This reunion is being organized by Linda Gardner and will be held at the Twin Oaks at Lake Metigoshe. I posted the registration form yesterday. For those of you interested and need the form, please reply to this message and I will forward a copy to you.

Orvin was very well know throughout whole area and beyond. He was the head gardner at the Peace Garden for years. He was also our 4-H leader, a job of which he held for over 20 years. Since retiring, Orvin has lived in Kindred ND. Kindrid is a small town near Fargo. Orvin continues to be very active in community affairs. Orvin continues to be young at heart and he is the same ole Orvin we have always known.


Wes and Ovida Schneider:

From Vickie Metcalfe (70): Bottineau, ND.

Hello Gary and friends.
“Are you all wintering well?”
My across the street to the north neighbors are Wes and Ovida
Schneider. Buie watches for them out the window and loves to visit
them in their warm cozy kitchen. Wes gives him just one treat,
gently strokes and scratches him behind his ears. Ovida puts out a
dish of fresh water. Buie is so happy and relieved of winter “cabin

Wes tells stories, some of his siblings. One story is of his
older brother Sal’s friend Jim Metcalfe, coming to stay overnight,
in the morning Wesley and his younger brother Warren, woke to hear
the older boys….young men in the process of breaking a horse.
The battle between young men and the horse was underway. Wes and
Warren peered out the upstairs window watching when Jim
…….finally managed to stay on the horse and galloped away for
a long time. Riding back later into the yard the horse was more

Wes also boxed with the Metcalfe boys, he was a little older
than Emil. He said Emil was quite strong and held back. on his
punches. He thinks he may have boxed with Clifford. I asked him if
he boxed Leona? (My dad Cliff said Leona was quite good….as he
finally managed to win a match with her when he was….17. ) Wes
said he hadn’t ever boxed Leona, so maybe she only sported with her

Wes told me there were also boxing gloves at Dunseith school
which students could us and box at times.
Wes also recalled times when his parents drove up into the
hills to pick up some of the Metcalfe family to attend church at
the Dunseith Stone Church. After church,they would then, all eat
Sunday dinner at his parents, Pete Schneider (the elder) home 5
miles west of Dunseith. Rose Metcalfe’s beautiful voice would
entertain them all with hymns and favored songs. ( I need to ask Wes,
if any of his own musically gifted sisters accompanied grandma on the
piano or drums? In the later afternoon, one of the Schneider’s
would drive the Metcalfe family home

His father Peter (the elder) drove school bus, farmed with
horses, and milked cows. Cream cans were hauled twice a week into
the Dunseith depot train station and shipped to Minnesota.
And, he remembers the local Dunseith rural mail carriers Glen
Williams and Adrian Egbert.

Yes, I am very fond of my neighbors, Wes and Ovida. I don’t
get dog treats or scratches behind my ears….Ovidia puts out a
“little lunch and tea”……..And then, they treat me with a nice
visit. All the while, my wee white dog contentedly, sleepily
drowses with Wes’ strokes as we listen to wonderful history.
Keep cozy and winter well. As ever. Vickie

Freida Schneider Ferguson’s Obit reposted with picture:

From Neola Kofoid Garbe: neola@min.midco.net Bottineau & Minot, ND.

Freida Ferguson

(Died January 6, 2010)

Sign Guest BookSend Private Condolences
Send Flowers

Freida Ferguson, age 97 of Bottineau, died Wednesday at a Bottineau nursing home. Funeral will be held on Monday at 10:00 am at theGraceLutheranBrethrenChurch in Bottineau. Visitation will be Sunday from 1:00 pm until 9:00 pm at the Nero Funeral Home in Bottineau. Burial will be at theRiversideCemetery in Dunseith.

Freida Ferguson, a daughter of Peter and Elizabeth (Koch) Schneider, was born on June 27, 1912 at LaCrosse, KA. On July 31, 1955, she married Wallace Ferguson at Carrington. Wally passed away on July 15, 1990.

She is survived by her sister, Dorothy Gonsales ofSan Francisco,CA; brother, Wesley Schneider of Bottineau and nieces and nephews.

02/21/2018 (2603)

Big OOps! Correction
From Vickie Metcafle (’70):  Bottineau, ND

Hi Gary and friends,

            Mom took the black and white photos with her Brownie box camera. In those  times,  photos were sent  thorough US mail to be developed

            In  haste, I neglected to identify all my Uncles. I left out an uncle, Lucky.  Deep sorrow moved into our home ……. January ’59.

            Mom sent the photos to be developed  sometime after G’ma  passed away.

Thanks Gary,


Vickie L. Metcalfe


Replies from Posting
From Kaye K. Lystad Kirk (Bottineau):  Fargo, ND

Hi Gary,

Thank you for this information you have sent me.

Also, I wanted to let you know that since you’ve published your blog with my requests, I’ve gotten (and accepted) FB Friend Requests from two Torgerson/Tooke descendants: Donna Robinson & Deb Striker Kubela. I also got an email from Larry Tooke who gave me his sister Sharon’s phone number here in Fargo. Apparently, she has done quite a bit of family history research.

So I should be good to go!

Again, your blog is just outstanding with the people it reaches and the amount of help it provides people! You’ve done an excellent job with it! Bravo!

Take care, Gary, and thank you!


Gary’s Reply
You are so Welcome Keye. You postings are very interesting to many of our readers. Thanks


Reply to the reply of Cebu, Philippine Fiesta pictures posted last Friday.
From Sharon Zorn Gerdes (’62):  Windsor, CO

It’s a completely different style of living.  I hope groceries are less expensive there if you feed that many.  The ladies I used to work with were excellent cooks and we all loved   the dishes they brought to work for pot luck days.  Do you ever just go fishing or take time for yourself ? Really enjoyed reading the above. I could get accustomed to all the help for sure. Thanks for sharing

Gary’s Reply
Sharon, Groceries are about the same price as back in the states, however we eat most of our evening meals out. Restaurant food is much less expensive here than in the USA. Eating out is a chance for Bernadette to get out too on a daily bases when she is able. Tata goes with us most of the time too, to take care of Bernadette.

I play pool on Tuesday’s and bowl on Wednesday’s. With the Mall being only 2/3 of a mile from our house, I am there a lot too, sometimes 3 times per day. 3 or 4 times per week I do a two mile walk in the mall also.


Blog (677) posted on January 10, 2010

Posted on January 10, 2010

DeAnn Gottbreht

Posted by Paula Fassett (71): North Branch, MN

Hi Gary:

I have DeAnn’s approval to send you this…………I would like to let everyone know of a fund raiser that will be held this month for DeAnn Gottbreht. DeAnn is the daughter of Brenda (Hill) Mueller (70) and Ernie Gottbreht (65). A few months ago, DeAnn was diagnosed with breast cancer. She has been undergoing chemo and will also undergo surgery sometime in the near future. DeAnn is also expecting her first baby in the next few months, but Mom and Baby are both doing well. If you’d like to check her Caringbridge journal and/or leave her a message, you can find her at:http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/deanngottbreht

DeAnn lives in Portal, ND, where she works as a Customs and Border Protection Officer. On January 21, friends and co-workers there are sponsoring a fund raiser for DeAnn to help with medical expenses. They are sponsoring a soup and sandwich benefit at the Portal School from 11:00 AM until 6:00 PM. All donations will be matched by Thrivent Lutheran. I’ve asked DeAnn about donations from those of us who cannot attend but would like to help out and would also like the donation amount included in the total for the matched amount. DeAnn is going to check with the organizers and will post that info on her Caringbridge site.

Please keep DeAnn – and her very supportive family – in your prayers!

Paula Fassett-Pfuhl

Reply from Roger & Connie Zorn Landsverk: Bottineau, ND

hi just read 01-5-10 Dunseith news alumini.

I didn’t know Alma Halvorson (Mrs, Cliff Halvorson) was a teacher. I took care of Cliff as a Home Health nurse in his home alot before as he died.

I saw Ruth Pederson yesterday @ Good Samaritan center.She was Roger’s teacher. She’s a nice lady. I know Diane Pedie too. She lives in Bismarck & is a retired teacher. That’s a nice pic. of Debby & Bud. Take care Roger & Connie

Connie, is this the Ruth Pederson that was married to Pete and lived in the hills? As I remember they lived in the Long Lake area. Ruth and my mother were very close friends. They were very active members of the Metigoshe Lutheran church Ladies Aid. Gary

Hill Side School:

Reply from Gary Metcalfe (57): Forsyth, MO

Reply to Floyd Dion…Thanks for the come back Floyd. You letter kind of closes a chapter on Hillside Township for me. When we started talking about this area, thanks to Vance Bailey and Gary Stokes, I did not realize what a vital area it was in the old days.In all my years, it was isolated without roads and had been vacated, so now I have a clear picture of where Wilmer Dion lived. When my dad’s old dog got into Wilmer’s chicken coop, it must have been the way Wilmer handled that infraction, as Dad always had great respect for Wilmer. Just one more of his thousand stories.

That great teacher, Laura Olson, was raised about 4 miles east of your old place and you must have some war time stories with six uncles in WW1, looks like Army at that.

I can still smell that glue Alphie used on the boot repair. I don’t think he was aware of the fact that he was so entertaining and that French accent did a lot for Ernie Richard too!

Thanks Gary Stokes and all who contribute. Gary Metcalfe

Spencer Teal:

From Bonnie Awalt Houle (56): Becker, MN

Dear Gary, I am writing to tell you and your family to count their blessings, they could be living in Minnesota where the snow squeaks when you walk, and your car grumbles when you try to start it.

Spencer Teal has been mentioned and I’d like to relate some of my memories about him.

The Teals were close neighbors to us. Spencer considered our home his home away from home. Everyday at noon he would stop at our home for lunch. (No hot lunch program at Dunseith back then.) Lunch was not the only meal he had with us as Spencer kept close tabs on the days that my Mother baked. When Mother baked caramel rolls you could count on Spencer stopping by. Spencer was a good friend of my sister Eleanor and when ever Eleanor and her friends were spending an evening at our home Spencer was included. When the little kids (me) got in the way of the teenagers Spencer would make a deal with us. If we would go to our bedrooms and stay out of the way he would promise to make each of us a drawing of our choice. The next morning we would find our drawings waiting for us. These were not quick crude drawings, they looked almost like photo’s and we loved them. Sometimes they were on paper and often they were done on the large chalk board. They were pictures of “Pokey” Spencer’s cat, and his dog “Judee” and our horse “Star”. Spencer helped us make snowmen that looked just like people. Once the picture of our snowmen was printed in the Dunseith Journal. He treated us like the little brothers and sisters he never had. Spencer was a very talented man.

Bonnie Awalt Houle (56)

Previously posted with message 653

From Dick Johnson (66): Dunseith, ND

Gary and Friends,

One guy from the class of ’46 at DHS was Spencer Teal. He was the son
of Bill and Irene Teal. Bill was the depot agent at Dunseith for many
years. Spencer was traveling with a dance troupe from Paris, France and
was enroute to Japan when the passenger jet he was on crashed on Mt.
Fuji in Japan in 1966. There were no survivors. A young woman from
Leeds, ND was also on that plane. I think she was traveling as part of a
beauty pageant or similar function. I still have the Life Magazine that
tells the entire story of the crash. Spencer was in the same graduating
class as my folks and was a friend of theirs.
Thanks Gary!


Note: The plane crash aritlce Spencer was killed in is posted with message 654.

Dunseith Alumni Website link – http://garystokes.net/default.aspx

Johnson Families:

From Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND


I think Mona will write to you with info on Shirley Johnson
Haagenson. Shirley was a sister to Chuck, Mona’s husband and also a
sister to Warren and Walter Johnson. Their dad was employed at the San.
They too, are a separate ‘Johnson’ and not related to either side of my
family. I think she graduated from DHS in ’51 but would have to look it
up for sure. She and ‘Hogie’ spend their winters in Yuma, AZ and spend a
lot of time with my uncle and aunt, Cliff and Joy Johnson, going to
music jams and visiting. Cliff always has news on what he and Joy and
the Haagensons have been up to.


Dick, I did not realize that Shirley Johnson Haagenson was a sister to Mona’s husband Chuck and that Johnson family. Putting the class lists together I discovered that Norman/Shirley Johnson Haagenson & Cliff/Joy Nordquist Johnson were very good friends but not related. Norman/Shirley & Cliff/Joy did not have email when I was putting the lists together.

Cliff is a brother to your dad Don. He and Joy live Elmo, MT. Did Cliff attend Dunseith? I don’t have him listed in any of the class lists. He was an educator with a college degree, so he must have attended high school somewhere. Joy (Nordquist) graduated from DHS in 1955.

Norman & Shirley Johnson Haagenson live in Vancouver, WA. They both graduated from DHS in 1951. Gary

Reply from Erling Landsverk (44): Portage, WI

Hi Gary and All!

I knew that there were quite a few children in the Greig family. Most of them had married and moved away. The members that I mentioned were the only ones that were living at home when I knew them.

They seemed to be ignored by some, so we invited the children over to play and visit. We knew they were extremely poor but they were proud and never complained. I remember going to their home once looking for some livestock that had strayed. I was suprised to see that they had dirt floors in their log home. Mrs Greig was very cheery and I liked her immediately. Martin, the oldest boy was a game warden, and I guess Raymond worke where ever he could find it. The three girls and Jimmy were bright students, and never caused any problems at school. I remember Jimmy wearing a felt hat, the style popular with men in the 20’s and 30’s. Must have been a hand me down, He was not very big but he wanted to hunt with me, and he always brought his dog Limpy, a rat terrier with, you guessed it, a limp. He couldn’t have been much older than 9 but he was apretty good shot with a rather disreputable looking slide action 22 caliber rifle. I guess he struck me as someone who would make his own way without help. The reason I asked is that i really would like to talk to one of the family members for old times sake. I am sorry that Jimmy is gone. He was a good kid.

Thanks for listening to an old sentimental fool .


Erling, Violet Greig Coats lives in AZ. I found an address for a Violet Coats in Mesa, but no phone number. She is 87 years old. There are Greig’s listed in Rugby and Bismarck. I’m pretty sure they are all members of this same family. Gary

Norman Johnson:

Reply from Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND

Gary and Friends,

In answer (maybe) to Gary Metcalfe’s question about Norman
Johnson—-he was a brother to Bennie, Johnnie, and Hank, and all the
sisters. I don’t personally remember him when I was young, but we did
stop by in Washington state to see him once. He was staying with his
daughter, Betty Johnson Belcourt who was married to Alfred Belcourt.
Norman had a son named Wesley, who married Mavis Espe. He also had a
daughter named Bernice, who was married to Billy Metcalfe.I think it was
in the 70s or so that Grandma got the word that he had passed away out
west. I didn’t know he was in the well drilling business around here but
he sure could have been. If this isn’t the Norman Johnson you are asking
about—I’m going to give up! Too many people with the same name! Thanks


Norman Johnson:

Reply from Gary Metcalfe (57): moniesue@yahoo.com Forsyth, MO


Sue wrote – Gary thought this was such a neat video that he wanted to share it with you.

The Norman Johnson I am thinking of I am pretty sure was married to one of Nick Lunde’s daughters. He was referred to as “Dry Hole Johnson” and had a colorful past. He was a water well driller.

As if you don’t have enough to think about, Norman “Snooky” Haagenson’s wife, Shirley was Chuck and Walter Johnson’s sister. I am sure you knew of them. Chuck was the Laundry man at San Haven for years.

I thought the BEAR video was educational at the least. Thanks for all your hard work. Gary Metcalfe


02/29/2018 (2602)

Reply to Cebu, Philippine Fiesta pictures posted last Friday.
From Sharon Zorn Gerdes (’62):  Windsor, CO

That’s so interesting Gary.   Sounds beautiful but a tremendous amount of work.  Seems like you entertain very often and so lavishly.  That’s wonderful

Gary’s Reply
Thanks Sharon for the nice reply and comments. It’s not nearly as lavish as it appears. It’s the culture here. We have good help, so there is very little work on my part. I just tell them what and how I want things done and it happens. I let our help decide the Lunch Menu of which they prepared. They know my likes and dislikes and plan accordingly.

Tata has been with us for 15 years, so she knows us very well. Even as close as we are to her, she always maintains the employer/employee relationship and respect. In Bernadette’s life I am the closest and most important person to her. Tata, I will have to say is number two. Especially now with her sickness. Her primary Job is taking care of Bernadette, however she helps with the other house hold chores too. She handles Bernadette so well and Bernadette listens to her too, of which she often times doesn’t for me.

We have three inside helpers. Mirasol is on duty from 8 AM to 5 PM and Marites is on duty from 5 PM to 9:30 PM. Tata is on duty when needed for Bernadette. She lives 20 feet from our house. She checks on Bernadette many times per day too and is with her often. My duty is from 9:30 PM to 8 AM daily. Bernadette can’t be left alone. We also have a helper that maintains the outside premises. His day off is Sunday. The others work 7 days per week. They get time off if needed. We are pretty liberal.
Stokes 2602


Message and Pictures
Posted by Vickie Metcalfe (’70):  Bottineau, ND

Gary and Dunseith Friends,

I’ve always enjoyed taking  a listen to country music.
And, I was dumbstruck hearing lyrics of “Broken Wings”!

My Dad’s Metcalfe family always enjoyed the best of times when shared together.
As a child among them, I felt their love in the laughter and  their love in  the music.

(“They’ve all gone to wherever they may go. They  belong to the by and by.”  {Christopher A. Stapleton }


Vickie Leona  Metcalfe

Christmas Day  1958 at Jean’s Seattle home
Archie, Cliff, & Emil
Jean, G’ma Rose & Leona
Metcalfe, Vickie 2602-1

The coastal Deer was hunted by Uncle Emil  in the Cascades
Fall 1958 in the little barn.
Cliff, Archie, Emil
Janice, Kathy, & Elaine
Metcalfe, Vickie 2602-2


Want Took family info – Need help Identifying Art Torgerson Picture:
From Kaye K. Lystad Kirk (Bottineau): Fargo, ND

Hi Gary,

I have two requests for you and your blog readers this week. I know it’s asking a lot, but I’m really hoping I can get some help.

#1) Could I ask you to share the this photo with your readers, as I really would like help identifying the two boys seated with my great uncle, Art Torgerson

Art is seated in the middle of this photo. I believe the other two boys would be younger cousins of his, descended from the Aasness, Bjornseth, OR Torgerson lines. Does anyone happen to recognize them?
Torgerson, Art 2602-1
The above photo was just shared with me this week by a distant relative & was a BIG surprise as it is a picture of a favorite person in our family of which we have VERY FEW photos: my great uncle, Arthur Torgerson (1904-1978). All of the Torgerson family photos were destroyed when the house burned to the ground in 1957. The Torgersons (Andrew & Clara (Bjornseth)) lived in Homen Township. Arthur was a lineman for the Turtle Mountain Farmer’s Telephone Company for 40 years.

(If it helps, I figure that this photo was maybe taken around 1916, making Art around 12 years old or so. And these other boys were maybe 3-5 years old or so. So they would’ve been born around 1911-1913. And of course I could be off by a few years either way.)
#2) Secondly, Gary, do you have any Tookes that subscribe to your blog that I could get in touch with? Specifically, ones that are descended from Anna Marie Torgerson/Torgeson (1896-1996) married to Walter Tooke (1883-1941).

Anna Marie was a first cousin to my maternal grandmother, Thelma (Torgerson) Emerson and I’m trying to complete some family history on that side.

Anna Marie’s parents were Aslak “Oscar” Torgerson (1855-1911) and Ingeborg “Inga” Rude (1879-1956). Oscar perished in a blizzard in Willow Lake Township. Oscar & Inga had seven children at the time of his death, ranging from a one-year old to a 15-year old. After his death, Inga married James Saulsbury from the Wahpeton area and relocated there. I’m not certain if the older children relocated or if they stayed behind with family & friends.

Sometime after Oscar’s death, the children started going by the last name of ‘Torgeson’ instead of ‘Torgerson.’ Some of the younger ones that relocated to Wahpeton took on their stepdad’s last name of Saulsbury, including Oscar and Allen.

For your reader’s interest, this a copy of the somewhat meager newspaper account of Oscar’s death.
Torgerson, Oscar 2602
In addition, I’m also wondering if the two unidentified boys in my photograph that I’m wondering about above might be any of Anna Marie’s brothers, since these boys would be first cousins to my great uncle, Art (the one in the middle of the photo):

1) Oscar J. (1906-1939), who I believe died in Wilkin County, Minn.,
2) Arthur S. (1908-1989), who died in Minot,
3) William Theodore (1910-1988), who died in Richland County, ND; OR
4) Allen (1912-?) (I’m not sure if Inga is Oscar’s son or if he is James Saulsbury’s son, as I don’t know when Inga & James married.)

I hope you (or someone out there) can help me. Thanks, Gary.
Kind Regards,
Kaye K. Lystad Kirk


Blog (676) posted on January 9, 2010



Posted on January 9, 2010

John (Jack) Johnson Family:

From Albert Johnson (70): Rolla, ND.


Shirley Johnson Haagenson is the youngest of the John (Jack) Johnson family of Dunseith. Her brothers were Walt, Joe aka Warren, Roger, Chuck (married to Mona), Bob & Bud. Her father was the manager of the laundry at San Haven and his son Chuck later became the laundry manager at San Haven. Jack Johnson was a direct emigrant from Sweden and was not related to any other Johnsons in the area. I think the only remaining descendants remaining in this area are me and my sister Linda Juntunen of Rolla. Gary please sign me up for the upcoming reunion also.

Albert Johnson (70)

Follow up reply from Albert:

Hello Gary,

After giving it more thought, I remembered that Mona and Chuck Johnson still have two sons in the Bottineau area that are also grandsons of Jack Johnson of Dunseith. Brian is a manager at one of the banks in Bottineau and I think his brother Ross is still in the Bottineau area.

Albert Johnson

Luella Halvorson Dion (47):

Reply from Floyd Dion (45):Dunseith, ND.

Hi Gary

You mentioned that Ruth Peterson, Lloyd Larshus, Rena Roland, Dorothy Clark, were first cousins. My wife Luella is also a first cousin of all of them, as Luella’s mother was a sister to Ruths mother and also a sister to Lloyd, Rena & Dorothy’s mother. Luella is not related to Art Rude.



Lloyd Larshus, Rena Roland and Dorothy Clark are siblings. All the years I have known them I did not realize they were cousins to Luella and her bothers Clifford, Albert, Lester & Harvey. I have known Ruth Peterson since my childhood days too and did not realize she was a cousin to all of them either. Their mothers were all Larson sisters, daughters of Nels and Jorgina or Regina Larson. The Bottineau book lists Mrs. Nels Larson as Jorgina and the Dunseith Book as Regina. The Nels Larson family is not listed in either of the Bottineau or Dunseith books.

Lloyd and Orlene Flaata Larshus often celebrated their wedding anniversary with my folks. Lloyd/Orlene & my folks were married on June 18th, but in different years. Lloyd and Orlene were married in 1950 and my folks were married in 1941. Whenever we are in the Dunseith/Bottineau area, Dorothy Clark always invites us to her house for coffee, lunch and some good conversation. Reuben, her husband, was a brother to Dave Clark the third. I worked for and lived with Dave & Vivian Clark, following high school, for about a year and a half, before going west. They were great folks and treated me as one of their own. We have remained good friends over the years.


John Andreoff Family:

Reply from LeaRae Parrill Espe (67): Bottineau, ND.

Thank you to Ron Peltier for posting the obituary of John Andreoff.

A couple of days ago I saw Carlyle Nelson at the Bowling Alley coffee shop in Bottineau. He handed me a copy of the Turtle Mt Times (dated 1/4/10) which had an article on his daughter Melissa Nelson. Melissa is a nationally renowned author, ecologist, & educator who teaches at University of San Francisco and specializes in cross cultural studies. Her mother is Theresa Davis Nelson formerly of Dunseith and her dad is an old family friend of ours. Carlyle is the son of Abe Nelson and had five sisters Evelyn, Loretta, Romona, EdnaMae, and Lavonne. He grew up on a farm on the Willow Lake Road. His two oldest sisters Loretta and Evelyn roomed in town with mom and my aunt Marie Parrill who were also Nelsons but no relation. Carlyle’s daughter was visiting her dad in ND and spoke at the Turtle Mt Community College fairly recently.

Anyway, after I read the article in the Times on Melissa, I was saddened to read John Andreoff’s obituary. He was married to Janie Martin. Just a couple of months ago I wrote about Gerald Martin and had Neola post his obituary. These two were brother- in -laws and I knew John was very sick at the time of Gerald’s funeral as neither he nor Janie made it out to Williston for the services. As I mentioned before, Gerald and Janie’s mother, Josephine (Lazotte) Martin, babysat me and our families were good friends. Josephine grew up on a farm near Belcourt and I never pass by on Hwy 5 without thinking of her. I was with her when she visited her parents who lived in a big white house on the north side of the road and at that time there was a convent south of there. Now I think there the new Ojibway School is down there somewhere. The convent had other uses later and I am not sure what it is used for now. Lazotte’s donated their land to build the convent (at least that was my understanding). The manufacturing plant sits right below the hill on the South side. The convent was pretty much out of site from the highway.

I was showing the obit to mom the other night and she related the story of when John and Janie got married and they swung by the farm to inform the folks of the event. Mom taught Gerald and Janie (Mary Jane) at the Butte School.

Cliff Johnson, Dick’s Uncle:

Reply from Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND

Gary and Friends,

In answer to Gary’s question about my uncle Cliff Johnson. He went
to his early grades in Towner, ND and middle grades in Dunseith. Because
of the road conditions here in the hills he went back to Towner to
finish high school. There he stayed with his aunt and uncle and
graduated in 1951. He worked for the soil conservation service as a cat
operator and then had the Standard Oil bulk service in Rolette. He went
to work building the Minot Air base and then went back to college and
became a superintendent of schools. He was in several locations in ND
and MT and retired while at Hamilton, MT. They spend their summers at
Flathead Lake, MT and winters in AZ and Mexico. They come ‘home’ to ND
just about every summer and spend a few days with us and other relatives
and friends. Thanks Gary!


Freida Schneider Ferrguson Obituary:

Posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe: Bottineau & Minot, ND.

Freida Ferrguson
(Died January 6, 2010) 

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Freida Ferguson, age 97 of Bottineau, died Wednesday at a Bottineau nursing home. Funeral will be held on Monday at 10:00 am at the Grace Lutheran Brethren Church in Bottineau. Visitation will be Sunday from 1:00 pm until 9:00 pm at the Nero Funeral Home in Bottineau. Burial will be at the Riverside Cemetery in Dunseith.

Freida Ferguson, a daughter of Peter and Elizabeth (Koch) Schneider, was born on June 27, 1912 at LaCrosse, KA. On July 31, 1955, she married Wallace Ferguson at Carrington. Wally passed away on July 15, 1990.

She is survived by her sister, Dorothy Gonsales of San Francisco, CA; brother, Wesley Schneider of Bottineau and nieces and nephews.

Reply to Gary Metcalfe’s (57) Bear Vidio:

From Bill Grimme (65): Birmingham, AL.


The movie clip, “The Bear”, is from a feature length film of the same name. It is really a good movie. The whole film follows these two bears in an interesting story line.


Turtle Mountain Country School Reunion:

From Linda Gardner:Vienna, VA.

Hi Gary – Thank you for the great job you are doing keeping us connected and up to date on everyone!!! I look forward to reading your e-mail blog every morning.

I have scheduled the Turtle Mountain Country School Reunion for July 10, 2010, and was hoping you would post the attached announcement in your blog. For anyone interested I can also provide hotel information at the Twin Oaks.

Also, could you give me the contact information for the local papers so I can have it posted there as well?

Again, thanks for all you do!

Follow up reply from Linda to Gary:

I wish you could attend also – I plan to pick up Orvin Hagen to so he can be with us as well as a host of others! I’ve already heard back from Janet LeNoue (Parrill) and Karen Prouty (Wenstad) – I think several of Lawrence’s family will be there also.

Thanks for all your help!


It’s great that you are picking up Orvin Hagen and that he can attend. Orvin will for sure liven things up. You’ll have to ask him to Yodel a couple of tunes. He gave me a sample of his yodeling when I last talked to him over the phone. He’s good. Orvin was born July 14, 1921, so he’s got a few years behind him. Orvin has not lost his spunk. He’s the same Orvin we have always known.

I pasted your announcement below and I have also attached a copy for folks to open and print out the registration form. Gary

Turtle Mountain Country School Reunion

July 10, 2010

Plans are underway to hold a Turtle Mountain Country School Reunion on July 10, 2010, at the Twin Oaks Resort & Convention Center at Lake Metigoshe.Anyone who attended a country school in the Turtle Mountains or is interested in celebrating an educational life style of the past is welcome to attend.The cost is $42.00 per person.Reservations and advance payment are required.Please fill out the form below and mail to:

Linda Gardner

3059 Sugar Lane

Vienna, VA22181

Posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe: Bottineau & Minot, ND.

Folks, I am sure many of you know Dale Simon. Dale is married to Karen Hagen (70), Daughter of Clarence & Mary Ann

ND Snow Pictures from Bismarck:

From Sharron Gottbreht Shen (59): Everett, WA.

Harvey Orndorf is a much loved Casavant descendant and cousin of ours and former resident of Deering, ND. I thought you might post a few snapshots from his friends in Bismarck. Harvey’s grandparents were Art Perrin and Ozina Casavant. Ozina was a sister to Lucien Casavant the grandfather of Aggie, Aime, etc, etc. Pics reminds me of my winter in Grand Forks ’64/’65. Evie was also there visiting at Uncle Ernies. Big snow in NY about ’97 where I saw a few bumper stickers which read “I SURRENDER GOD”.

Thank you dear friends for your thoughts and best wishes as you lift up sweet DeAnn Gottbreht.




From by Neola Kofoid Garbe: Bottineau & Minot, ND.

Hi Gary,

Seeing Dianne Pedie’s name sent me checking for pictures of her. She is my classmate. This picture was taken at our 50-year class reunion (held at Norway House) in July 2007. These two couples had been married 50 years at that time.

Richard/Dick Grimm is originally from the St. John area. His wife, Ardell Willard Grimm, is from Willow City.


P.S. I have Alex/Dianne’s family picture from many years ago, in Bottineau. I’ll try to remember to send it to you–another Wondrasek picture.


02/16/2018 (2601)


I don’t have much today so I posted pictures of Bernadette’s annual fiesta that was held this past Sunday. Bernadette wasn’t at all well this past Sunday either. She is better now.

Today is the Chinese New Year too. It’s federal holiday here in the Philippines. There are lots of Chinese/Filipino folks here. Their ancestors, from several generations back, came from China. The Chinese/Filipino’s are the true business folks of the Philippines.

Fiesta (Catholic) at the Stokes house every February

This is Bernadette’s Fiesta that she has every February. This was the ninth day (Sunday) of prayers that was followed with a heavy lunch.
With this being the ninth day, the prayers were followed with a catholic Church Laymen/priest devotion

Food was served in the house and eaten on the tables outside. Pretty much just the locals here. About 60 folks.
Bernadette was not at all well. Our help managed to get her up and outside for the Devotion. She got her communion and went back in the house to lie on her bed.
Stokes 2601-1 Stokes 2601-2 Stokes 2601-3

Bernadette wasn’t well, but she was able to participate
Stokes 2601-4


Blog (675) posted on January 7, 2010


Posted on January 8, 2010

James Andreoff’s Obituary:

Posted By Ron Peltier (70): Dunseith, ND

Gary: The Andreoff family lived north of San Haven back in the early 60’s and the whole family packed up and moved to the Minneapolis area about this time. My father (Joseph J. Peltier) was close friends with Mike, who was a younger brother, and real close with John. Mike died from a brown recluse spider bite about 10 years ago. I haven’t seen John since my father died which was on October 5th, 2002. I remember John on his Harley Davidson bike pulling up to my dad’s house unannounced in the summer and my dad and him would take off on his Harley Davidson. It was real funny to see two elderly men going down the road on a motorbike, my dad in back. John will be greatly missed.

Ron Peltier

James Andreoff

January 28, 1937 – Saturday, December 5, 2009

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James “John” Andreoff, age 72, of Rockford, Minnesota journeyed to the Spirit World on Saturday, December 5, 2009.

He was born on January 28, 1937 in Dunseith, North Dakota the son of Evan & Josephine DeCoteau Andreoff. John was a member of The Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa.

He formerly attended Minneapolis Business College for accounting. John owned and operated his own trucking business and also drove truck for Cam Martin.

He loved riding Harley Davidson Motor Cycles. John belonged to H.O.G. and to The Minnesota Motorcycle Riders’ Association.

Survived by loving wife: Mary Jane Andreoff; children: Pam Barta, Janice (Randy) Wilson, Johnny Andreoff and Connie (Bruce) Wolf; ten grandchildren; eleven great grandchildren; sisters: Martha Falde and Josephine Griffis; a host of other relatives and friends.

Preceded in death by his parents, four brothers and two sisters.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, December 11th at 10:30 A.M. at St. Henry’s Catholic Church in Monticello. Father Timothy Rudolphi will be the Celebrant.

A visitation will be held at the Peterson Chapel St. Michael-Albertville Funeral Home on Thursday, December 10th from 4-8 P.M. Further visitation will be held at the Church on Friday morning, December 11th one hour prior to Mass.

Honorary Casket Bearers: All of John’s Family and Friends.

Casket Bearers will be Jakup Wilson, Tony Wolf, Chuck Barta, Jesse Barta, Scott Tierney and Rudy McBrayer

Freida Schneider Ferguson passed away:

Posted by Vickie Metcalfe (70): Bottineau, ND

Gary, FYI

Freida Ferguson was an older sister of Wes Schneider. She is also
the aunt of Betty Jane (Schneider) Lamb.

Minot Daily Obituaries
POSTED: January 7, 2010

FREIDA FERGUSON, 97, Bottineau, died Wednesday in a Bottineau nursing
home. (Nero Funeral Home, Bottineau)

Teal Family:

Reply from Bob Hosmer (56): Lynnwood, WA

Hi Gary,

I enjoy these conversations coming through your expertise and coordination. Bonnie mentioned Spencer Teal. I didn’t know what close friends he had. Though I spent a lot of time with Bill Teal at the Depot as a kid, I never got to know Spencer that well. I used to watch him skate on the old rink across the street from our house and I was amazed at his style and ability–especially his ability to skate backward. I watched closely and may have asked him how to do it. Anyway, I started skating backward in his style and loved it. It was the way I chose to skate most of the time–switching forward and backward with ease, until the motion actually tore the runner off the bottom of my skate boot a winter or two later.

Bob Hosmer

Ruth Larshus Peterson:

Reply from Vickie Metcalfe (70): Bottineau, ND

And a good North Dakota cold crisp day to Gary, Connie Zorn Landsverk and all,

Ruth Peterson, was married to Pete Peterson of the Long lake area. I believe she was related to Mr. Rude and his mother Hannah through the Larshus side of the family. Her husband was Pete. Her sister-in-law, Grace Peterson, who was married to Oscar also taught in Dunseith.

Oscar and Pete’s sister, Bertha ({Peterson) Kittleson was a long time cook at Bottineau Central school. She is a thoughtful hard working, lady with a great memory and sense of humor. A truly wonderful person! Always up for a good visit, We’ve had many good chats about when Bertha in her teens, first taught country school, it was Wetherall. She boarded with the Howery family just south of the school ( the farm later owned by Hilda and Leroy Strong). Bertha told me of teaching there two terms. Among, student names, she mentioned were the Howery children, Eurich girls, Lorraine,Jack , and Bertha, Metcalfe and a Gillis girl. Her father brought her over to Willow Lake township and left her to her employment. Bertha got so very homesick. She told me and recalled one weekend dreading the time away from family, so, choosing not to stay where she boarded, she walked and walked the many miles through the hills and trees west to her parents farm in Bottineau County. She arrived late on a Friday night . her father was kind enough to bring her back onSunday night. Bertha also was one good cook. I haven’t had good school sauerkraut since she left!

Her sister-in -law, Ruth Peterson also has many memorable stories of country schools and people. Last summer, I visited Bertha and Ruth at the 3:00 p.m coffee time which is open to anyone. Also there, were the Dion’s, Floyd and Louella. Ruth’s daughter shared with us the Norweigian” sound/vocabulary to make when one takes a taste of something so good …….like…….Juneberry pie and your really anticipating….. the juicy…. sweet… berry taste……..and get an unwelcome surprise she said it was was !!!!!!!!!!!. Ah hah! Now I have my first Norweigian word in my vocabulary list. …..And to think, I used to just say Yuck! Ish! Ackkkk! Bug or worm!

Later Vickie

Vickie, Racking my brain, I remember Ruth Peterson being a school teacher. I never knew her in that capacity though. I think she must have been hired in Dunseith after I graduated. I knew Pete and Ruth thru the church. As I remember Ruth and Pete were married later in life. You are right with Ruth being related to Art Rude. They are first cousins. Some of Art & Ruth’s other cousins are Lloyd Larshus, Rena (Ernie) Roland and Dorothy (Reuben) Clark. I remember Oscar and Grace Peterson too.

From Aggie Casavant (69): Fort Mill, SC

Hi Gary,

With more years behind me,than ahead of me, I thought for sure I would leave this life saying,nothing has ever left me speechless…

I just finished watching the video of “The Bear” by Jean Jacques Annaud… I’m speechless…. Aggie

Linda Lagasse Passed Away:

Reply from Linda Johnson Juntunen (72): Perth, ND

Hello Gary,

Thank you and Neola for your questions and concerns. Paul Juntunen is our nephew, he is married to Linda Lagasse’s daughter, Wendy. It is not so much Linda that is from here but her husband Joe is from the Rolla area.

Linda J. Juntunen


Microlap Technologies, Inc.

Ph 701.477.3193.ext 18




Gary Stokes


Marlene Henderson sent this to me; she probably sent it to you, too. I know you have Juntnen’s in your list, but I don’t know how closely they are related to Mrs. Lagasse.


Linda L. Lagasse


E-mailVisit Guest Book

GARNER – Linda L. Lagasse, 66, of Garner passed away Thursday (Dec. 31, 2009) at St. Marys Hospital in Rochester, Minn., after a brief but courageous fight with leukemia.
Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m., Tuesday at St. Boniface Catholic Church in Garner with the Father Brian Dellaert officiating. Burial will be in Madison Township Cemetery in Forest City.
Visitation will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday at Cataldo Funeral Chapel in Garner with a rosary at 4 p.m. and a scriptural wake service at 7 p.m. 
Linda L. Lagasse, the daughter of Peter and Eunice (Wilson) Etzen was born Sept. 21, 1943, in Forest City. She graduated from Forest City High School in 1961. On April 11, 1964, she was united in marriage to Joe Lagasse in Minneapolis, Minn. They lived in several states before making their home in Garner in 1976. Linda was employed as a secretary, waitressed and managed food establishments throughout the years in the area. She retired in 2006 from Perkins Restaurant in Mason City. Linda was a devoted wife, loving mother and grandmother. She enjoyed spending her time reading, doing crossword puzzles, baking, spending time with her family, friends and foremost being with her grandchildren.
She was a member of St. Boniface Catholic Church, Red Hat Society and the Blind Association in Mason City.
Linda is survived by her loving husband, Joe, of Garner; son, Robin Lagasse of Minneapolis, Minn., and his daughter, Summer; daughter, Wendy (Paul) Juntunen, of Rolla, N.D., and their three children, Jadyn, Haley and Kylie; daughter, Dawn (Brian) Henley of Marshalltown, and their two sons, Creighton and Matt; and two nephews, Brad and Bryan Saathoff.
She was preceded in death by her parents; sister, Sandra Saathoff; and brother, Scott Etzen.
Cataldo Funeral Home, 641-923-2841.

Pigeon Family photo:

Reply from Allen Richard (65): Midland, MI

Others who attended Hillside school. The Pigeon family – early 1950’s Back row -Ydola, Theodore (Ted), Ubald (Jack), Romulus (Bae) front — Louise, (Horsman) Pigeon, Hortence (Pigeon) Robert and Emeline (Richard) Pigeon.

The other pictures are of Pigeon Store and the view they got of the farm from the pasture about a half mile westl.

Allen Richard

Pigeon Family:
Back: Ydola, Theodore (Ted), Ubald (Jack) and Romulus (Bae)
Front: Louise Horsman; Grandma Hortence (Robert); Emeline Richard.

Posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe: Bottineau & Minot, ND.

02/13/2018 (2600)

Hackman Relative located her cousins
Message from Lori Domina:  Kansas

Hello Gary and family in North Dakota

I stumbled upon the site and am so happy I found it. First, I’m not sure if we are related, as I am  related  to the Hackman family. Marian (Kraft) Hackman was my aunt, she was my mom’s sister-my mother’s name is Regina (Kraft) Bertsch from Rugby, ND. I had read a school reunion blog on this site awhile back and recognized a name and picture of Henry Hackman (he is my cousin), and I remember his graduation  picture sitting in my mom’s china cabinet.

It would be a delight if family contacted me.

Lori (Vetsch) Domina



Reply from Bob Lykins (DHS business teacher):  Hutto, TX


Always great to get photos of you and your family and friends and to learn of your activities.  It must be a pleasant burden to be surrounded by so many lovely ladies.  Thanks for all you do to keep us all informed about the folks from Dunseith.

Bob Lykins

Yes a great pleasure indeed. Makes me feel young too.


Lloyd Await Remembered – From: Alan Wondrasek
Posted by Vickie Metcalfe (’70):  Bottineau, ND

For Lloyd Awalt American Legion BB was a big part of his life. His wife, brought in his VFW Jacket and his American Legion BB Jacket. The Veterans Honor Lloyd for all his years as a veteran, VFW member and American Legion Member and Baseball. Lloyd loved BB and Loved the American Legion. His uniforms are with the American Legion BB Hall of Fame.

(Yes, we saved a spot in the middle for Mr. Baseball – Harley – when he is gone.

Awalt 2600


Doris Ione Halvorson Kittleson Obituary
Posted  by Neola Kofoid Garbe:  Bottineau & Minot, ND
Halverson Kittleson, Doris 2600

Posted by Vickie Metcalfe (’70):  Bottineau, ND


This  painted a thousand words. “CEBU” 


……back in ND at the foot of the a TURTLES

We’ve  been day dressing _ layer, upon layer & yet another layer.

Cautiously crossing slick streets__ waddling like plump mummified penguins .

Followed by  another shivering 1 dog night,  turning up heat_ again,  again & again. 


The best of  today?  

___________________Blue skies, sunshine, no snow and no wind!

Until later, spend  your trophy money wisely

Vickie Metcalfe

I’m in Bowling for the Camaraderie.
Yes, I know you guys in ND have been have a cold spell.
You are welcome to visit us anytime here in Cebu. Today’s it’s raining and about 82F.  a bit cooler than Normal.


Blog (674) posted on January 6, 2010

Birthday Card shower for Dorothy Pritchard:
Dorothy Pritichard will be 97 years young on January 25th. Dorothy has been a resident at Saint Andrews long term for several years now. She’s a little slow moving around, but her mind is sharp as ever. The hospital prints off all of these daily messages for her to read, however the copy they get from me today for Dorothy will not have this posting of her. This card shower will be a surprise for her.
Dorothy and Robert Pritchard and family were our Neighbors to the south up in the hills. Their children John (62), Dale (63), and Carol (67) graduated from Dunseith. Robert was a brother to Corbin and Winifred Eurich.
If at all possible, please send Dorothy a card. Your cards will for sure brighten her days.
Dorothy Pritchard
Room 109
316 Ohmer St
Bottineau, ND 58318
Questions from Erling Landsverk (44): Portage, WI
Hi Gary and All:
I have been meaning to tell you that the picture of me on my book was taken on a pile of freshly peeled logs in front of our home, and there was two pictures taken of me, the one on the book and the other one is of me sitting on tom Hagens lap and tom was laughing on the photo, which he did quite often. He and my Dad were close friends, and worked together quite a bit. The question I have is this; Our very near neighbor to the northeast was Norin and Mabel Erickson and their daughter sylvia. They moved away, and somehow we lost track of them. I believe Mabel was a Windom, Hans Windom’s daughter. The other question I have is about the Greig Family. They lived northwest from us, possibly a little over a half mile. I attended school with Violet, Bernice, Sally and Jimmy, I knew their older brothers Raymond and Martin, I believe their fathers name was Bill. I know they moved to the west coast, and perhaps they simply vanished into the seattle or tacoma area, but I can’t help wondering what happened to them. I know they had a tough time of it there in the hills, but the children were certainly bright and well mannered. I know that Raymond served in the military in WWII, but has since passed away. So I guess if anyone has a clue especially about the younger ones, that would be Bernice, Sally, and Jim. Jimmy is about in his late seventies, and I think they left and completed their education out on the west coast. That of course is a guess. I want to wish everyone on your blog a HAPPY NEW YEAR, and Thank you Gary for doing such a splendid job of maintaining this collection of old friends.
Erling, there is a short write-up about the Bill Greig family in the 1984 Bottineau Centennial book on page 559. Jimmy is deceased and Sally and Bernice were living in Idaho. There married names are not listed. There were 16 children in that family. Hopefully someone has more info about this family. Gary
Cora Westby Obituary:
From Vickie Metcalfe (70): Bottineau, ND
Note: Vickie, Seeing Cora had been a teacher in Dunseith, Neola sent us Cora’s obit too. We were seeking more info about her before posting. Thank you so much for this added info about Cora. Your timing was perfect. Gary
Mrs Cora Westby taught with and along side Mrs.A. Halvorson, Mrs.
Ruth Peterson, Mrs. Esther Maute, Mrs. Mary Ann Hagen, Mrs. Diane
Pedie, Mrs. Mary Ann Brennan, Mrs.A. Halls, Mrs. Marie and Millie
Parrill, Mrs. F. Williams, Miss Anna Nelson and many others under
the leadership of Mr. Art Rude in the “new Pods” at Dunseith
Elementary in the late 60’s early 70’s.
I believe she taught my younger brothers. Vickie

Cora Westby

Sept. 1, 1917-Jan. 2, 2010POSTED: January 5, 2010

Cora Arvilla Westby, 92, Rugby, North Dakota, died Saturday, Jan. 2,
2010, at Heart of America Medical Center in Rugby.

She was born on Sept. 1, 1917, at Overly, North Dakota, the daughter
of Thorvald and Ronnaug “Rosie” (Moe) Johnson. She attended grade
school and graduated from Overly High School in 1935. She earned a
teaching certificate from Minot State Teachers College in 1937. She
taught school in South Valley and Wolf Creek Consolidated Schools in
Rolette County and the Dunseith Public School.

She was a member of Willow Creek Lutheran Church in Overly, where she
taught Sunday school and vacation Bible school for many years. Later
she became a member of Valle Lutheran Church in Rolette. She was a
4-H leader for many years.

She married Leo Edward Westby on Nov. 21, 1941, in Rolette. They
lived on a farm in Wolf Creek Township until moving to Rolette in
1980. They spent twenty winters in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas.

Mr. Westby died on Nov. 13, 1998.

In 1998 she moved to the Haaland Manor in Rugby. She was a member of
the Valle Lutheran Church , W.E.L.C.A. Dorcus Circle, Birthday Club,
and the North Dakota Retired Teachers Association. She enjoyed
crafts, reading, playing cards, and doing puzzles.

She is survived by: her son, Randy Isak and his wife, Deb Westby,
Minot, and a daughter-in-law, Linda Westby, Valley City. Surviving
grandchildren are Coralee Demers, Andrea Rall, Krista Oehlke, Jill
Westby, Clarissa Westby-Bullen and Ryan Leo Westby; and 9

She was preceded in death by her parents; one brother, Leonard
Johnson, in 1989; her husband; and a son, Harley Dale, in 2003.

Visitation and family service: Visitation today, Jan. 5, from 3 to 9
p.m. at the Niewoehner Funeral Home, Rugby, with a family service at
7 p.m. at the funeral home.

Funeral: Will be at Valle Lutheran Church in Rolette on Wednesday,
Jan. 6, at 11 a.m. The Rev. John K. Hesford will officiate.

Casket bearers will be her grandsons, Ryan Westby, Mark Demers,
Alexander, Joel, Jonah, and Joshua Rall. Margaret Wittmayer will be
the pianist.

There will be reviewal at the church one hour prior to the service.

Burial will be in the spring in the Rolette Cemetery in Rolette.

Memorials: Memorials are welcome to the Willow Creek Lutheran Church
Centennial Fund. (Niewoehner Funeral Home, Rugby)

My brother Darrel (Bud) & Debby Stokes:
Folks, This is a picture of Bud & Debbie on our Alaskan Cruise this past summer. We recieved their Christmas card several days ago with this nice picture of both of them. Gary
Debby & Darrel Stokes

02/08/2018 (2599)

Replies to Gary’s Bob Leonard Question?
Reply from Bob Leonard (’51): Dunseith, ND


I’m the Bob Leonard from Dunseith.  The cat must have been shot by either Bob Leonard from St. John, the County Commissioner or his son who has the same name, think he uses Jr. with his name.  We are not related.


 Reply from Mel Kuhn (’70):St. John, ND

It’s the Bob Leonard from St. John.

Reply From Vickie Metcalfe (’70):  Bottineau, ND

Gary and Dunseith friends,

The photo Mel sent in  is Bob Leonard from St. John…. Upsilon lake  area.

Bob  serves  as a Rolette County Commissioner.

Bob and my dad worked  together for several years  plastering and taping.

Dad enjoyed working with Bob, and  he became a  trusted friend.

Plastering is hard physical work, but  Bob and Dad  always enjoyed   laughter.


Vickie  Metcalfe


Bowling awards yesterday.
I opt for the money vise the trophy.
Stokes 2598-2

Stokes 2598-1


Blog (673) posted on January 5, 2010


Elaine Stokes Memories:
Reply from Marlys Hiatt (71): Dunseith, ND
Gary,How wonderful to see a picture of your mother as a young woman. I often
think of those young couples all together in that little area of the
Turtle Mountains. I remember my mother, Irene Hiatt, talking about moving
to the hills when she and dad got married. She said Bob and Elaine Stokes
had been married for 5 years at that time and she couldn’t imagine being
married for that long. We would laugh because both my folks and yours had
been married for well past 25 years and heading for 50. I know both
couples eventually made it past 50. Did your folks make it to 60 years?

As I think of your mom I just want to let you, Allen, and Darrel know I
always thought the world of her and admired her in so many ways. I always
could tell people who knew me from before I could remember. I believe
there was a time when I was very young I was called Marlie. I do not ever
remember being called Marlie by anyone except two ladies – Elaine Stokes
and my mother’s sister Dorothy Berg. I always felt this was a special
connection to them from a time before I could remember.


From Susan Malaterre Johnson (69): Alvarado, TX
Hey Gary, FYI. The Cowboy Stadium is awesome. I’m so happy to be there. I really can’t share with any of our friends but as I last told you about our bomb threat, I have been aware of so many safeguards. We have snipers inside and out. Tonight I had a fight with 2 sup. adult men. I had to keep them in line for some time with out police and it wasen’t untill much later when I realized that the weapons were most likey on us! Thanks to growing up with 5 brothers they are now calling me Ref. WOW! I’m still with the Red Cross. Thank God for no storms but we have had so many fires. I’m still in shock since my husband died. I don’t know if I told you but I was holding him as he died. I almost went “crazy” and I lived in our house for 9 months before I realized that I did not have to stay there. I sill own it and I have trucks parked on the property. It is rented out as we have a family trust. Unfortunatly, I am the trustee. I’m back to being sane, or so I say. I would still consider Dunseith home but, my husband is buried down here so wherever he isit’s home. I look forward to our daily updates and thank you so much for doing what you are even though I’m sure it is a chore but done with love. Susan Johnson
The other Maurice Johnson:
Reply from Gary Metcalfe (57): Forsyth, MO
Reply to the Johnson Puzzle
I will write a bit about Maurice Johnson as I feel very few people ever knew him. Maurice was in the Merchant Marines during WWII, which was very hazardous duty. They would dock in Seattle and we lived not too far from the docks, so my dad and a couple of his brothers would manage to bump into Maurice once in awhile. They enjoyed talking over old times and I think tried to get him back to the ship on time. Maurice was Glen Johnson’s brother.
There were not too many people around who had more fun than Maurice’s parents, Johnny and Stella Johnson. Stella was a Smith and they had a restaurant in Dunseith at one time.
Gary, didn’t Old Dry Hole Norman Johnson, the well driller, have a brother Maurice? I always wondered how that Maurice fit in.
Thanks to all. Gary Metcalfe
Gary, Thank you so much for this info on the other Maurice Johnson. Your are right, I don’t think many folks knew him.
I can’t recall Norman Johnson. Which Johnson family does he fit into?
Which Johnson family does Shirley Johnson Haagenson fit into? She is married to Norman Haagenson.

02/05/2018 (2598)

Posting from Mel Kuhn (’70): St. John, ND


Bob Leonard got this 120 lb. Kitty behind his house at Lake Upsilon.


Gary’s question
Mel, is this Bob Leonard from Dunseith or another Bob Leonard?


Arla Hall (Recently Deceased Teacher) Pictures
From Neola Kofoid Garbe Bottineau & Minot, ND

 Hi, Gary.

I’m sending a picture of Mrs. Hall–if you want to share with your readers.


Arla Hall Correction
From Vickie Metcalfe (70):  Bottineau, ND

Hello Gary,

Correction I should have wrote, Mom called her  Miss Wilson.

I  never knew  Arla Hall  until I moved  to Bottineau. I  met her through the “Nelson” sisters, Millie, Marie & Jeannie,  and Bette Nerpel. They were a group who enjoyed  a good game of cards, enjoyed a visit, laughter….and coffee!

One day after school  few short years ago I was, at the local Jerry’s Grocery shopping after school . I saw Millie (Nelson) Parrill ,her sister Jeanne, Arla Hall and Bette Nerpel.  The ladies had picked up a frozen  pizza, and were gathering  all kinds of extra ingredients including cheese to top it off.

They were going to Bette’s house on Main street to bake the pizza and play cards. I stopped by to leave some homemade sauer kraut for Bette. She was having trouble with the stove, and  asked me to help.  I told her I am not a wiz at appliances but will try, and managed to figure out the problem.

Those  ladies invited  me to share their pizza and play cards.  I said,  ‘I can’t  shuffle or deal  and  I’d probably eat the whole yummy pizza creation, and for me  school tomorrow.”

That  wonderful group of ladies always had alot of fun  together  and  interesting snippets of history while visiting.

Until later, Vickie


Reply to Yesterday’s posting
From Larry Hackman (’66):  Bismarck, ND

Bob Leonard & kitty 2018 caught in the Turtle Mountains
Do people still let their kids play outside in the Turtle Mountains of North Dakota?



Larry Ellingson Replies

 From Marlys Hiatt (’71):  Dunseith, ND

Good Morning Gary,

If my memory is correct I believe Larry Ellingson lived with my mom and dad (Norman and Irene Hiatt) for a while.  I do not know anything about who he was living with before that.  I believe there was some connection to Freddie Hiatt and I believe he stayed with us at the request of Freddie.  I don’t think he stayed with us too long.

I may have this all wrong and maybe I am not even thinking of the right person.  Being older, Jim Hiatt and the Slyter boys probably know more.  I’d love to hear more details about the situation.

Marlys Hiatt


From David Slyter (’70):  Sabin, MN.

Dear Gary and Marlys:

Larry Ellingson was the son of Albert and Violet Ellingson.   I know we use to visit them when we lived out West in Renton Washington.   Violet  was an Aunt to my mom Margaret S. Hiatt.    I do remember Larry but only he was around his home in Renton Washington.

My memory fades me about his visit to the North Dakota homes of Freddie and Norman Hiatt.   Nor do I know of any relationship with a gal from the Dunseith/Belcourt area.    So sorry I can’t help in that area.    Maybe Richard or Robert would know something.

I just called Richard and he remembers the time that Larry came to visit the Hiatt’s.   He is having a bit of a problem remember the girls name that Larry dated back then.   Hopefully he will remember something and we will let you know if the young ladies name pops up.

Hope for a good outcome

Dave Slyter   😊  (70)


From Dick Johnson (’68):Dunseith, ND


I do remember Larry.  I could be wrong but I thought he stayed with Freddie and Margaret and may have been related to the Slyter side of the crew?  I suppose he could have also been a relative of Margaret’s side,  not sure.  I don’t think he was related to the Hiatt side of the family.  I certainly remember him.  He wasn’t here long but I do remember him.



 Reply from Kaye Lystad Kirk:  Fargo, ND

I have a photograph of Alvin Berg because he was married to my great aunt Lillian Torgerson in 1941. I am attaching a photograph of them. I think the photograph that Dick Johnson sent you is definitely Alvin Berg, unless he and Martin look uncannily alike.

Kaye K. Lystad Kirk

Alvin or Martin Berg
Berg, Alvine 2598-1Berg, Alvine 2598-2

Berg, Martin 2598

Neola Garbe Kofoid’s reply – Picture above: 

 Hi, Gary.

I’m quite sure the “Berg son” you included in your newsletter is Alvin.  As you can see by the picture I’m including, Martin always really resembled his father (in looks). :)



Bjornseth-Aasness Family Reunion
Reply from Kaye Lystad Kirk: Fargo, ND

FYI: There will be a Bjornseth-Aasness Family Reunion at the Christian Center this coming July 28-29, 2018! For more info please join our Facebook page! https://www.facebook.com/groups/BjornsethAasnessReunion/


Blog (672) posted on January 4, 2010


Posted on January 4, 2009

Donald Egbert:

Reply from Claudette McLeod (80): Dunseith, ND


Great story about Donald Egbert, You have a great way of bringing out good things about everyone you share stories about. However I must include that I visit with Donald every time I see him, he was a great friend to my deceased father (Leonard McLeod) and Donald has stories that he shares all the time. He has the mind of an elephant he remembers everything, as well as everyone! He truly is a great person.

Claudette McLeod

Turtle Mountain Outreach

Office (701)244-0199

Posted on the Dunseith Alumni Website: http://garystokes.net/default.aspx

From: Jennifer Bergan
Phone: E-mail: Message:

Hi I was wondering what kind of info you have for the Bergan family in Dunseith?


Folks, I have added Jennifer to our distribution. Jennifer is a granddaughter of Clayton Bergan. Her parents are Kenneth (Deceased) and Julie Aasness Bergan. Julie’s mother is Audrey Hanson Aitchinson. Audrey is my first cousin.

Jennifer, It is a pleasure adding you to our distribution list. I know you have been doing some genealogy on the Bergan family. Please share any thing that you have. Gary

Pigeon Family photo:

From Allen Richard (65): Midland, MI

I scanned a few pictures my folks had. Some of the “Frenchies” might find them interesting  I won’t put them all in one letter.

Top: The Pigeon family. This was in the early 1950’s. Front Louise Horsman; Grandma Hortence (Robert); my mother Emeline.

Back: Ydola, Theodore (Ted), Ubald (Jack) and Romulus (Bae)

Below: Pictures of “Pigeon Store” and the farm taken from the pasture. These pictures would be from the late 1940’s

Happy New Year everyone!


Allen, These are great! Thanks for sharing. With my first glimpse of this at this picture, I thought that was you in the upper left. You are a mirror image of your uncle Ydola. Gary

Pigeon Family:
Back: Ydola, Theodore (Ted), Ubald (Jack) and Romulus (Bae)
Front: Louise Horsman; Grandma Hortence (Robert); Emeline Richard.

Arla Berg’s Husband, Tony Marteliano’s Obituary:

Marvin Olson update:

From Neola Kofoid Garbe: Bottineau & Minot, ND.

Hi Gary,

I’m reading your newsletter. I decided I’d make a few notes as I’m reading.

Marvin Olson now lives (at least for now) at Good Sam. His sister-in-law, Terry’s wife, works there. She was the former Carol Pugh, daughter of Al Pugh who owned a grocery store in Bottineau for many years.

As the records you enclosed state, Arla Berg Marteliano has passed away. Tony passed away a couple of years ago, too. I’m including Tony’s obituary. Use it if you want, but it’s not necessary. 

Anthony “Tony” D. Marteliano, 90 of Port Charlotte, FL passed away on Monday, February 4, 2008. Anthony was born on April 21, 1917 in New York City, New York the son of Charles and Sadie (Salvaggio) Marteliano. After he served in the US Navy he worked for 26 years as a boiler mechanic at the utility company. After he retired he moved to Port Charlotte in 1979 from Downer Grove, IL and was a member of the Elks Lodge 2153, the American Legion Post 110, the Italian American Club, the Sons of Italy and the Illinois Club.
Anthony was predeceased by his wife Arla. He is survived by his Sisters Mary and Santa Marteliano who live in New York, and many friends.
Services for Anthony Marteliano will be held on Thursday, February 7, 2008 at 11:30 AM with a visitation prior to the service from 10:30 to 11:30 AM at the Kays-Ponger Funeral Home, Port Charlotte Chapel. Burial will follow at the Royal Palm Cemetery.

Neola’s comment: Tony/Arla lived in Chicago for many years. I’m assuming they moved to Florida when they retired. From entries made in Tony’s guestbook, Tony/Arla also lived in New York City/Downers Grove, Illinois.

I’m also sending Tony’s obituary as an attachment–genealogists who receive your newsletters MIGHT be interested in Tony’s obituary.


Bernadette having a Manicure/Pedicure.

We were invited out to a birthday party late yesterday afternoon. Strapped for time having her nails done, Bernadette solicited the assistance of Gaga & Tata, our helpers, to remove the old polish. The gal sitting on the stool is a local manicurist that comes to the house. Her fees, including the polish, are 50 cents per Limb. Gary

Arthur Foss Obituary:

From Neola Kofoid Garbe: neolag@min.midco.net Bottineau & Minot, ND.

This is old; I wanted to send it before I throw the paper. I might have sent it before.


Arthur Foss

(February 7, 1921 – October 9, 2009)

Arthur Foss, 88 a life long resident of ruralRolette,NDdied at his home on Friday, October 9, 2009.

Funeral Services for Art will be held on Wednesday, October 14, 2009 at 11:00 a.m. atValleLutheranChurch, Rolette. Rev. John Hesford will officiate and burial will be in theWillowCreekCemetery, rural Overly, ND.

Visitation will be held at Valle Lutheran Church on Tuesday from 5:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. with a Prayer Service at 7:30 p.m. Visitation on Wednesday will be at the church one hour prior to the funeral service.

Serving as Casket Bearers for Art will be his grandsons, Jarrett Foss, Nick Foss and Joshua Foss and nephews, Gary Foss, Rodney Foss and David Armstrong. Music will be provided by Robert Gilje, soloist and Lavonne Ivey, organist.

Arthur Foss was born on February 7, 1921 inKohlmeierTownship,Rolette County,North Dakotathe son of Christ and Guri (Haugen) Foss. He was reared and educated inKohlmeierTownshipand attendedClevelandSchool, rural Overly.

Art was united in marriage to Lenore Gable on May 31, 1946. They made rural Rolette their home, where they lived, farmed and ranched and raised their family through the years. Art was a baptized and confirmed member ofWillowCreekLutheranChurchin Overly and later a member ofValleLutheranChurch, Rolette.

Although Art never officially retired from farming, when he had more free time he enjoyed fishing, playing cards, Minnesota Twins baseball and bingo. In fact he was able to enjoy many of these pastimes all at one time. Art never missed a chance to visit with friends and family over a cup of coffee at the house or in town. He always enjoyed a good conversation about most any topic, as he kept up with what was happening in local, regional and national news.

Art’s legacy to everyone that knew him was his love and devotion as a husband, father, grandfather and his kindness and honesty as a neighbor and friend. He was always so supportive and took an active interest in everything that his children and grandchildren were involved in; sports, music, their work and their hobbies. May he now rest in God’s everlasting peace.

Art is survived by his loving wife of 63 years, Lenore; Five Sons: Bruce and Cheryl~Paul and Holly all of Rolette~Duane and Carol of Rolla~Glen and Denise and Danny and Wanda also all of Rolette. Grandchildren: Jarrett Foss, Melodie (Matt) Slocomb, Joshua Foss, Nick (Sarah) Foss; Step Grandchildren: Brock (Angie) Kavlie and Jeremy McKeown; Great Grandchildren: Adam Gustafson and Rhiannon Foss; Step Great Grandchildren: Lexi, Brooklyn and Zoe Kavlie; Sister: Mabel Armstrong of Rolette; Sisters-In-Law: Edna Foss ofRugby~Jeannine Westby of Cando~Coleen Sivertson of Bottineau. Numerous nieces, nephews and their families also survive.

Art was preceded in death by his parents; infant daughter, Brenda; sister, Marie Clark and brothers, Olaus, Oliver, Melvin, Grant and Alfred Foss.

01/31/2018 (2597)

Posting from Greg LaCroix (’66) Fargo, ND

Love the pictures of my Auntie ROSEMARY LACROIX & CARMEN RICHARD!  Love them both very much!


Arla Hall Memory
Posting from Vickie Metcalfe (’70):  Bottineau, ND

Gary  and Friends of Dunseith,

My mother attended  Carpenter school the term Arla Hall taught there.

She told me she thought Arla stayed with the Gregory family where she

boarded her horse   and rode to school every day.

Mom also said a couple “naughty” older boys cut off  Miss Hall’s

horse’s beautiful tail. The horse looked quite wretched.

Mom told me  at the time Miss Hall  was very distraught.

My dad  also spoke of  Arla’s family; the Samski and Wilson families  who lived in the Dunseith area all  those many years ago.


Vickie Metcalfe


Arla Hall 2597
June 11, 1919 – January 28, 2018


Arla Hall, age 98 of Bottineau, died Sunday at a Bottineau nursing home.  Her funeral will be held on Friday, at 10:00 am at the United Parish in Bottineau.  Visitation will be Thursday from 2:00 pm until 9:00 pm at the Nero Funeral Home in Bottineau.  Burial will be at the Riverside Cemetery at Dunseith.

Arla Hall was born on June 11, 1919 at the St. Andrew’s Hospital in Bottineau to  Alfred and Mamie (Samski) Wilson.  She was raised on a farm south of Dunseith near the original homestead of her grandparents Oliver and Mary Wilson.  She attended grade school at Currie and high school at Bottineau.  She received her college degree from Minot State University.  She began teaching in 1939 in rural school in Bottineau and Rolette counties until she began teaching at the Bottineau Public Elementary School in 1948.  She retired in 1980 and that same year, she was awarded the Distinguished Service Award.

Arla married Wilbur Hall on August 12, 1944 at Bottineau.  They purchased 40 acres on the West edge of Bottineau where they raised and showed horses.  From an early age, she was a horse enthusiast, becoming a highly proficient rider and participated in competitive events at various horse shows throughout North Dakota and winning hundreds of trophies and ribbons.  Her favorite horse, Kesshire Golden Duchess, was high point Palomino of North Dakota during her show career.

After her retirement, she spent  much of her time doing volunteer work in a number of organizations.

She is survived by nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents and husband.

Arrangements were with Nero Funeral Home in Bottineau.  Friends may sign the online register book at www.nerofuneralhome.net.


Blog (671) posted on January 3, 2010

Posted on January 3, 2010

Spam messages:

Folks, I had some messages that went to spam that I did not catch. I’ll be honest, I had not checked my spam for a few months. I’m hoping I didn’t miss any of your messages that went to spam. My spam messages are automatically deleted in one month, so I could have very well missed some. If I have not personally replied to a message or if it has not been posted, I have not seen it. Thanks to Kenny Nerpel for realizing his message was probably going to my spam, he was successful in getting his message to me using another email address. That’s when I checked my spam. Kenny knows my policy and knew I had not seen his message. Gary

This message went to my spam on 12/14/09

From Nancy Hosmer Baldwin (62): Lake Metigoshe, ND

Hi Gary,
You can add my name, Nancy (Hosmer) Baldwin and my fiance, Keith Kontzie to the May get-together in Dunseith. By the way, my home was one of four listed for the “Home Sweet Home” Holiday Tour yesterday and it is surprising how many who came to tour are on your site or at least know about it. What a terrific connection you give to all of us — like one big happy family.. Thank you and Merry Christmas!

This message went to my spam on 12/26/09

From Lynn Halvorson Otto (75): Seoul, Korea

Hi Gary, I just want to wish everyone on the blog and beyond a very Merry Christmas! Unlike most in the states, we are experiencing a warm Christmas like you! We are lucky enough to spend it on the beaches in Guam!

I also so enjoyed seeing the pictures of my uncle Art Halvorson and Aunt Laura. I’ve never seen a picture of Art when he was so young. They were a handsome couple. I would like a copy of that if anyone could get one and send to my parents, Lester and Dorothy Halvorson. Gary, thank you for these past two years of walks down memory lane. God bless you and your dear wife and family.

Lynn Halvorson Otto

Lynn’s reply after I sent her JPEG copies of those pictures – Gary

Hi Gary, thanks for this. I can also copy to a disk and take them somewhere. My husband just left for the states today to start a new job so my computer expert is no longer here. Ha! We’ll be staying until end of May when school is done and then we move to New Jersey.
Asia has been good to us but time to go back.
Happy New Year! Lynn Otto

Lillian Thompson Bergstrom:

Reply from Keith Pladson (66) Stafford, VA

Thanks for the nice words about my Aunt Lillian Bergstrom. She is a wonderful person and a pleasure to visit with. I had hoped I would have the opportunity to visit with her again this past summer, but things didn’t work out as planned. I did, however have a couple of long telephone conversations with my cousin Ron (one of Lillian’s sons) and he too said that she still has a very sharp mind. One minor correction; I believe she was 8 years older than Mom (Ella), so that would mean she was born in 1915 and thus a bit older than you said.

I also thought the photo was of Lester Johnson’s brother. Maybe Brian and Carrie Johnson would know.

Keith, Many folks in the earlier years, with the difficulties of going to school, were somewhat older when graduating from High School. With this being the beginning of 2010, Lillian would probably be 94 years old. Ralph Bjornseth has identified Maurice Johnson as Lester’s brother

Reply from Ralph & Luella Boardman (49) Bjornseth: Bottineau, ND


Information from Ralph is that the picture of Maurice Johnson is this is the son of James & Annie Johnson–brother to Lester Johnson.

I talked to Ina (Lester’s sister) about Amanda Berg and as far as she knows she is living in a nursing home in the Valley City area. Ina and Sylvia had visited her after she moved to Valley City to be near one of her daughters. The last Ina had heard of her was that she was in a nursing home in that area but not in one in Valley City. Ole Olson was married to Annie Bjornseth and they were the parents of Johnny Olson.

Alida Johnson was no relation of Ralph’s parents. The only thing Ralph knows about her is that she is listed in the Salem Church records as being in the beginning organization of the first Ladies Aid members of Salem Church. She was possibly from the Hans Johnson or John Johnson families since both of those families had land north of the old Salem Church site up closer to Boundary Lake. I hope this answers some of your questions. Ralph has been really interested in reading all the letters coming in lately. Happy New Year!


Man Luella, I learn something new everyday. All the years that I lived up in that country and have known most all the Bjornseth’s and the Johnny Olson family most of my life, I did not know that Ralph and all the Bjornseth’s were cousins to Johnny Olson. I did not realize Johnny’s mother was a Bjornseth. I’ll bet I’m not alone not knowing that too. Johnny was Married to Adeline Pladson, sister to Eldon & Archie. Their children were Gary, Marvin and Terry. Terry graduated from Dunseith HS in 1964. Gary is deceased, Marvin I believe is living on the home place and Terry is living in Bottineau.

I sent Dick Johnson an advance copy of your message. I have pasted his reply below.

Now we need to figure out which Johnson family Alida belongs too.

Dick Johnson’s reply to Luella’s message above:


We don’t have an ‘Alida Johnson’ on either side of our Johnson families. As far as I’ve heard, my grandfather Hans Johnson, came from Norway to Overly and then to Willow Lake Twp. and then to where we live now in Holmes Twp. so it may have to be that there was another Hans Johnson—there are two Maurice Johnson’s so who knows! With the name Johnson or Olson, they may have duplicated quite a few names unintentionally. Cindy and Curt Richard were trying to get in touch with me on the phone and had no luck so she went on the computer and found 268 ‘Richard Johnson’s in ND! There are several within just a few miles of here.


Reply from my cousin and also a cousin to the Morinville Siblings:

Audrey Hanson Aitchison: Bottineau, ND.


A very Happy New Year to everyone. It is cold here in Bottineau tonight– -20 below. The sun was nice and bright today. Lester Johnson no longer works for Ron Bergman. His brother, Ralph Bergman has been working for him for 6 years. He does a great job. He came over and fixed my dryer a month ago and did a great job. Thanks.

This message went to my spam on 12/26/09

Message/Pictures from Kenny Nerpel (65): Rugby, ND.


My mother, Eleanor Metcalfe, is now 85 years old and has been in the Haaland home here in Rugby for about a year and a half. When we visit with her I always try to bring the latest letters from your Email list for her to read. She really enjoys them and I wanted to thank you again for your efforts in putting this together.

One of the recent postings had a picture of Hillside School that was provided by Larry Leire. I’m wondering if this picture could be older than Larry suspects, because after looking at the picture for awhile Mom identified the girl on the right as herself and next to her, Agnes Belgarde. She thinks the girl on the far left is a LaRoque. Mom attended school there for two years but that would have been around 1930-31. Others that attended school there at this time would have been Clayton Bergan and Mom’s half uncles Clifford and Emil Metcalfe. The teacher at that time was Laura Olson. The land for the school site was donated by the Louis Bergan family.

She later attended Weatheralt School and the picture of her with the horse and cart is with Georgia Merrick, adopted child of Henry Dietrich, on their way to Weatheralt. She thinks she might have been 12 years old when the picture was taken. The other horse and buggy picture is of my sister Kathy and me on our way to Lockhart School taken in 1952.


? LaRoque, ?????, Agnes Belgarde & Eleanor Metcalfe

Eleanor Metcalfe at Hillside School

Eleanor Metcalfe and Georgia Merrick

Eleanor Metcalfe Nerpel

Kenny and Kathy Nerpel Going to Lockhart School – 1952

Question from Keith Pladson (66) Stafford, VA


Is there a way we can find the email address of recipients of your blog?

Also, do you know if there is a web site for the Rolette County records?


To prevent hackers from getting my distribution lists for sending potential spam, I send all these daily messages out with blind copies. In doing that, no one can find out who the recipients are. In the near future I will send out an updated Dunseith Alumni email list.

Folks, Do any of you know of a Website for Rolette county records? Gary

Arla Berg Picture:

From Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND.

Gary and Friends,

This is the other daughter of Albert and Clara Berg. Her name is
Arla—probably named after her aunt Arla Millang–my guess. She was
married to a guy named Tony Fazio (Marteliano) and lived out east and later in
Florida. I don’t know if she is still living but she was in contact with
my aunt Shirley Olson Warcup in the past few years. Maybe her niece
Carol Berg Hamel would know this too! Thanks Gary!


Arla Berg Marteliano

1917 – 2000

Arla MARTELIANO Birth Date: 27 Apr 1917 Death Date: 29 May 2000 State or Territory Where Number Was Issued: North Dakota Death Residence Localities ZIP Code: 33948 Localities: Port Charlotte, Charlotte, Florida

Dunseith Alumni Reunion:

Request from Aggie Casavant (69): Fort Mill, SC

Hey Gary,

Happy New Year! Just a note to let you know that you can add my brother Aime to the reunion list.


Aggie, Now that Aime and Renee too, have signed up, we’ll have to work on the rest of your siblings. It would be really nice if all 16 of you could make this Dunseith Alumni Reunion in May. I guarantee that would make newspaper headlines. I’m sure the Minot daily would run with that story too. Let’s make it happen. I think you and Joe are the only siblings out of state? The rest of your Siblings, I believe, are spread throughout the state of ND. So getting you guys all together at this reunion is not of the impossible. Joe lives in MN and he made our 2007 class of 65 reunion. Gary

01/25/2018 (2596)

Trying to locate Larry Dale Ellingson’s Son in the Dunseith/Belcourt areas
Posting from Ginger LaRocque Poitra (’65):Belcourt, ND

Gary’s Comments:
Hopefully some of you will remember Larry Ellingson. He was born in 1942. He lived in the Dunseith area in the late 50’s / 60’s. Jim McCoy mentioned that he lived with the Hiatt’s. Not sure which Hiatt family, possibly the Freddie Hiatt family? That’s a guess. You Slyter boys and your sisters I think can probably answer that question. Larry fathered a son in the Dunseith/Belcourt area. His sister is trying to locate him. Please see posting below.

This is the picture and information Larry’s daughter sent to swap and shop or whatever it says. She was most likely the one who wanted to speak to Jimmy McCoy.
Just thought I’d send this to you, maybe you’ll remember Larry.
Ellington 2596

Auggie Johnson Jr. Question
Question from Ginger LaRocque Poitra (’65):  Belcourt, ND


The reason for the Auggie Johnson still living was because of the news, the mudslide the man by the name of Auggie Johnson saved a 2 year old from the mudslide the child lost all but his father. This Auggie is being considered a hero.

Auggie Johnson’s son is  also Auggie. Wondering if it is the Auggie we knows son.



Pictures from Sharon Zorn Gerdes (’62):  Windsor, CO

Thanks for these nice pictures Sharon.  I always remember you as the pretty blond. You haven’t changed.
You have a very nice looking family too.
I sneaked the top picture in on you.

Zorn, Sharon 2596-1
Zorn, Sharon 2596-2 Zorn, Sharon 2596-3 Zorn, Sharon 2596-4



Benefit for Robert Knutson
Posting from Vickie Metcalfe (’70):  Bottineau, ND

Gary and Friends,

            I neglected to state Bob Knutson is also the brother to my sister in-law, Sally.

As Godparents, Bob and I shared our nephews and niece in important events.

            Also, I noticed  in reading this a.m. when I wrote the  posting I capitalized the F in Food.

What can I say?

 In my clan, good Food  shared with  the company of  great Friends is important in supporting people.

Thanks again


Gary and Dunseith Friends,

            On Saturday, February 3, 2017 beginning at 3:00 p.m there will be a benefit for Robert Knutson to help defray  medical expenses.

Bob is the son of Mary (Eurich) Knutson, uncle to one niece and  two nephews, and great uncle to 2  little nieces and 1 nephew.

             There will be Food, a silent Auction and a tournament.   This event will be held at  the Dockside, Lake Metigoshe.

Many Thanks,

Vickie Metcalfe


Indigenous Olympic Hockey player
Posted by Vickie Metcalfe (’70) Bottineau, ND

Gary and Dunseith friends,

I ‘m  x-ing  fingers, hoping  the  Canadian  Women’s Hockey Team does well in S.Korea..

Several nephews in my family are passionate about hockey. Maybe from their great grand dad Cliff?

My dad  recalling his childhood shared; he, his siblings and neighbor kids in winters oft played shinny on Rabbit City Lake.

One winter they wore rawhide shoes which were too large for children.

The kids  would shape those rawhide shoes, freeze them, stuff therm with paper and they were perfect for  sliding on  ice.

When  his mom, Grandma and her younger children  moved  into Dunseith from the shores of Rabbit City Lake.

Dad  spent time  skating  on the old Dunseith Rink. There he  met Guff Faine.

With admiration Dad talked of the “Faine” brothers who were wonderful on ice, especially Guff.

While living in in Montana for number of years I met  Penny.

She was my  neighbor across the hall in my apt building  and  on the

teaching staff .

Her  family  lived at Devils Lake where she grew up.

She’d taught at St.Ann’s Ojibwa school where she lived with the “Sisters”. She also had connections with Dunseith.

Whenever driving through  big wintery  snowsdrifts on our way to school;  She’d say, ‘”Step on it , Give er onion”.

Confused I asked her, “Where did you get that saying?” She told me she got the saying from her maternal granddad.

One  Saturday in  May, when my niece was born  too early, Penny took me to St. Matthew Catholic Church.

Silently, we sat in the quiet peaceful sanctuary where she lite candles for my niece.

It is a wonderfully small world, isn’t it?

Her granddad? He was  Guff’s brother.

Until later,

Vickie L. Metcalfe


Blog (670) posted on January 2, 2010

Reply from Marlene Leilleby Palmquist Larsen (53): Ephrata, WA

Thanks again for your interesting Blog. We have been away for Christmas and enjoyed catching up on Dunseith news upon return to Yuma. Even though my family moved when I was in 7th grade, I cannot believe all the familiar families that I remember from my life in Dunseith. It was a good time and reading all this daily news I feel like I am still part of this
wonderful community.
I epically enjoyed the letter sent on the 14th of Dec. —
Bonnie Awalt was our neighbor and a fun friend from the past. Spencer Teal I remember as a sweet older boy whose
parents ran the depot — was sad to hear how his life ended.
Donald Egbert, was actually my mothers 1/2 brother – as her dad was Adrian Egbert. After he and my grandmother divorced and he married Dorothy — My parents moved to Washington State and we did not have much communication with them — My mother came to appreciate Dorothy’s good care of her father as my grandmother Ethel lived with us of and on, and needed
a lot of care in her last years also. I always loved my Grandpa & Grandmother Egbert as I was their lst grandchild and spent a lot of time with them as a little girl. So have always been a little sorry that we never got to know Donald too. It sounds like
he was trying to make up to Donald for all the things he couldn’t give his lst family. It’s too bad it turned out that the old
alcohol ruined the good intent.
Gary thanks for including us in your news blog. Also the trip- to Alaska sounded wonderful for all.
Marlene Lilleby Palmquist Larsen
Marlene, Donald Egbert was in our class of 65. I remember Donald well. When I entered Dunseith High School, coming from the country and the hills, Donald was an Icon to me. He was a popular Jock. He was a handsome young varsity Basket ball player. I remember Donald as being bright too. Like Larry Hackman mentioned, Donald was exposed to some of the evil elements, very early in life, with some of his much older team members. Folks, This is what I remember and please correct me if I’m wrong. At some point in HS, Donald, along with some others got expelled from school for an alcohol related incident. There were conditions that had to be met for them to be readmitted back into school. After getting expelled, I don’t think Donald ever went back. At that point in Donald’s Life, I think his addiction to Alcohol started taking a toll on his life. That was more than 45 years ago. Donald is well known, today, in the Dunseith community. I’m not sure how many folks know of Donald’s good past. He was a great guy and still is today once getting past the alcohol. We made a special effort to include Donald in our class reunion in 2007. Raphael Poitra made arrangements with Donald to take him to the reunion. We were all glad to see Donald. He went around and greeted everyone shaking their hands. Not long after that, someone looked out on Highway #3 and noticed Donald headed down the road back towards town walking. Raphael was alerted, went out, picked him up and gave him a lift back to town. The picture I have of Donald was provide by Bill Grimme. Bill said when he took that picture, Donald made a special effort to hold up his whisky bottle. I tried cropping it out of the picture, but wasn’t able to entirely get the whole bottle cropped out. Donald has always been a well known guy. I just wanted to bring out some of the good side of Donald. To this day, Donald has great recall of the past with great detail. Gary
Donald Egbert (65)
Reply from Diane Wenstad (69): Portage La Prairie, MB Canada
Yes Melvin is the 3rd oldest brother and Arliss is the youngest of the thirteen. They both live in Michigan ND, beyween Grand Forks and Devils Lake on highway #2.
Wade Waagen’s Obituary:
Posted by Vickie Metcalfe (70): Bottineau, ND
Note: Wade is the grandson of Larry and Connie Burcham (62) Sime
Wade Waagen
June 25, 1986-Dec. 30, 2009POSTED: January 1, 2010The funeral service for Wade Waagen, 23, of Dickinson, N.D., will be
at 11 a.m. MST Saturday, Jan. 2, 2010, at St. John Evangelical
Lutheran Church in Dickinson, with Pastor Steve Tangen officiating.
Wade will be buried in the Little Prairie Cemetery in the Turtle
Mountains at a later date.

Visitation will be from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. MST Saturday at St. John
Evangelical Lutheran Church, Dickinson.

Wade passed away Dec. 30, 2009, at Triumph Healthcare, Mandan, N.D.

Wade S. Waagen was born June 25, 1986, to parents Steve Waagen of
Bottineau, N.D., and Carolyn Sime of Dickinson. Wade attended Perkett
Elementary School in Minot, N.D., from 1st through 6th grade. Upon
moving to Dickinson, he attended Hagen Junior High and Dickinson High
School, graduating in 2007. He enjoyed family, bowling, riding horse
and going for walks. Wade’s travels included Medora, the
International Peace Garden, the Bismarck Zoo and Bottineau.

Wade is survived by: his mother, Carolyn Sime, Dickinson; father,
Steve Waagen, Bottineau; sister, Nancy Waagen (finance, Cayce Stute);
nephew, Adam; grandparents, Larry and Connie Sime, Dunseith, N.D.;
grandfather, Gordon Waagen, Willow City, N.D.; grandmother, Joan
Waagen, Bottineau; and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins. Wade also
had extended family at ABLE INC., 23rd St. Dickinson, where he
resided for 11 years.

Remembrances and condolences may be shared with the family at

(Stevenson Funeral Home, Dickinson)

Wesley Schnieder Story:
From Vickie Metcalfe (70): Bottineau, ND
Gary and Friends,
Happy New Year 2010.
Prior to Christmas Eve day, my next door neighbor to the east,Marlys Richard, and Ovidia Schnieder’s daughter Barb delivered to my doorstep homemade Christmas goodies. On Christmas Day, I packed gift packages and the goodies into my car and drove into the hills to share Christmas dinner at Archie and Sally (Knutson) Metcalfe’s.
Today, a sunny, clear, cold, New Years Day, Lochbuie and I bundled up warmly and went across the street to thank Wes and Ovidia Schnieder for their generosity.
Wes was looking out the west window and fretting about “Mr. Squirrel”, chattering and sitting on top the tall bird house poaching on bird food. Another squirrel jumping from tree limb to tree limb was adding to the demise of the wild birds.
Wes, one of Buie’s favorite people, attention was diverted and he got out the dog treats. Ovidia while she brewed me a cup of green tea in her microwave, took me into her family-parlor room with a plate and directed me to fill it up. Ovidia’s daughters and granddaughters had filled the round oak table with a vast array of goodies. Fudge, krumkaka, fattimann, candied pecans, sandbakkels, breads, and others…..Oh my!
We went back into the kitchen, Buie was welcoming Wes’ gentle strokes. We sat up to the table me with my cuppa tea and Wes and Ovidia with their coffee cups and enjoyed a warm New years visit, Jim Reeves smooth voice on the LP played.
Stories! Yes! Wes regaled me with stories. Then a tale! I have to say it is a tale, because while Wes gave me permission to share Ovidia and I were concerned about the statute of limitations.
Wes, Warren, and the Mysterious Packages!
One day, young Wes who was about eight years of age and his younger brother Warren set out to get the mail.
They each rode a bike. Wes was riding his backwards,as he often did. They were enjoying their ride and visiting as young boys do when the mail box came in sight about a mile off down the long road from the Schnieder farm.
There’s something different about the mail box….
Their mail box was on a stand with about three other mail boxes…the Boguslowskis, possibly brother Hanks, and another neighbors.
What? Ah ha! What a sight! “What is it?” Let me see.” Excitedly. Someone had sent packages to each of the mailboxes.
Curious. “Lets’ open just one.” “Lets open our parents.”
Ummm. “Candy. Unresistable. And it was delicious!” ……Chocolate!!!!! “If we open the other packages…. no one will ever know” .
Yes, more……more chocolate candy! What a treat! The two young Schnieder’s ate the neighbors packages of chocolate candy as well as their parents.
The boys did not read the contents on packages. They stuffed those papers into their pockets and riding back home cleverly put them in the burning barrel.
Before the next morning their mother found out their secret. The boys had made many, many trips to the out house.
And mother had found out that, many others had also received packages of samples sent by a company on their new promotion.
A promotion to help occasional irregularity.
The two boys learned the lesson of not opening anothers mail. Wes and Warren found out the wonder of Chocolate……Exlax……
Berg Pictures & Message:
From Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND.
Gary and Friends,There are a couple more pictures of some of the Berg family. I think
it’s Alvin, and the gal is definitely Amanda Berg. Her name is on the
picture but the guy could possibly be Alvin’s brother, Martin Berg.
Neola may be able to find out for sure from Carol Berg Hamel, Martin’s
daughter. I really would like to put the names on the pictures so I know
for sure. My grandmother had these pictures and would have known who is
who, but I didn’t take the time to ask her—big mistake. Several years
later I did sit down with my Grandma Johnson and go through her pictures
and put the correct information on the pictures. I only wish I would
have done this with my other grandmother but that mistake led me to not
let it happen again. History can be lost permanently if the individuals
who know don’t pass on this information to the next generation. I was at
more than one auction where the families sold the old family pictures
because no one knew who any of the people in the pictures were. Sad, to
say the least. There are many in the next generations who will miss out
on some of the most important parts of their genealogy for this very
reason. As we are going through our busy daily schedules, it doesn’t
seem that important to mess with old pictures, but as we get older these
things become important, as this blog demonstrates. Thanks to all those
who have sent pictures and of course, thanks Gary!Dick

Neola, Can you ask Carol about Amanda too? I’m thinking she may still be living. Gary
Amanda Berg Alvin or Martin Berg
Reply from Carmen Leonard Richard: Rolette, ND
Gee, pictures don’t lie, I must be getting old !! The gal with me is Rosemary LaCroix, her husband was Leonard LaCroix brother to Henry and Ernest. We are headed to Fargo to attend the funeral tomorrow for Helen. She was such a special person, and loved by us all.
L to R: Rosemary LaCroix & Carmen Richard
LeaRae Parrill Espe (67) Named “Bottineau’s Outstanding Young Educator” 25 years ago.
Posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe: Bottineau & Minot, ND.
Posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe:

01/22/2018 (2595)

Benefit for Robert Knutson
Posting from Vickie Metcalfe (’70):  Bottineau, ND

Gary and Dunseith Friends,

            On Saturday, February 3, 2017 beginning at 3:00 p.m there will be a benefit for Robert Knutson to help defray  medical expenses.

Bob is the son of Mary (Eurich) Knutson, uncle to one niece and  two nephews, and great uncle to 2  little nieces and 1 nephew.

             There will be Food, a silent Auction and a tournament.   This event will be held at  the Dockside, Lake Metigoshe.

Many Thanks,

Vickie Metcalfe


Larry Dale Ellington – Info requested
Posting from Jim McKoy (’62)  Dunseith, ND

Regarding information about Larry Dale Elington’s time in Dunseith.

I knew Larry Elington very well.

I received an email from his daughter who wanted to know anything about Larry when he lived in Dunseith ND.

If she wants to talk to me, my telephone number is 701-244-5748.

Gary’s Comment
Jim, Can you fill us in a little more about Larry and the Ellington Family? I don’t have him in my records at all. What years was he in Dunseith?


Blog (669) posted on January 1, 2010

Posted on January 1, 2010

Happy New year everyone. For most of you it’s an hour or so yet until the new year. We have been into the new year for 13 hours now here in the PI. Gary

Helen Metcafle Barden (62) passed away:

From Geri Metcalfe Munro (59): Fargo, ND.

Gary–I will send on to you Lanny’s notice to our siblings of Helen Metcalfe Barden’s passing to new life. Can you please post this to the blog–and MANY THANKS to you, Gary, for all you do for all of us.
Love and peace,

Geri Metcalfe Munro

Subject: It is over!!!
Date: Tue, 29 Dec 2009 23:06:39 -0600

You may be aware already through Geri or Margaret that Helen has finished her struggle!!! She slipped from us about 7:30 PM tonight surrounded by a ring of praying friends and relatives…

Her passing was painless and peaceful after a day of smiles and beams for people stopping in to say goodbye.. Geri, parish nurse Barb Hanson and associate pastor Becky Lee all got big smiles and warm eyes in a wordless greeting.. Dear friends Joyce Snyder and Cheryl Ableman came a bit later and the smile had faded a little but the prayer ring brought peace..

The quickness with which it came was a surprise but I feel it was exactly the way she wanted to go… No long lingering but a swift and dignified exit for her trip “home”!!!

I am a little numb but happy she is to be where she really wanted to be and God told her He would take her.. Rejoice with her in her triumph!!!

Love and warm memories, Lanny

Helen Barden

Helen M. Barden, 65, of Fargo, ND, died Tuesday, December 29, 2009, at MeritCare Palliative Care, Fargo, under the care of Hospice of the Red River Valley.

Helen Marie Metcalfe was born April 27, 1944, in Seattle, Washington, daughter of James and Ella Marie (Evans) Metcalfe. She attended country school and graduated from Dunseith High School in 1962.

Helen attended the North Dakota School of Forestry and Junior College at Bottineau for two years. She graduated from Minot State University with a Bachelors Degree.

She married Lance Barden in Bottineau in 1968.

Helen taught at Anamoose, North Dakota and Holdingford, Minnesota.

She was active in Atonement Lutheran Church and Women’s AGLOW ever since she came to Fargo. She worked for 30 years as a legal secretary and also worked as a receptionist for Access RRV.

Helen is survived by her husband, Lance, Fargo, ND; two brothers, James (Yolanda) Metcalfe, Kingman, AZ; and Gary (Sue) Metcalfe, Hollister, MO; four sisters, Geri (Charles) Munro, Fargo, ND; Margaret Leonard, Rolette, ND; Patty (Jack) Woods, Dunseith, ND; and Lola (Jay) Vanorny, Dunseith, ND; numerous nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents; brothers-in-law, Duane Coleman and Charles Leonard.

Memorial Service: Saturday, January 2, 2010, at 1:00 PM at Atonement Lutheran Church, Fargo, ND.

Visitation: Friday, January 1, 2010, from 4-6 PM, at the church.

Prayer Service: Friday, January 1, 2010, at 6 PM, at the church.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Atonement Lutheran Church or Hospice of the Red River Valley.


To Helen’s family and the Metcalfe’s: It’s so sad hearing of Helen’s passing. I remember her as being such a kind hearted sweet loving person full of personality and life. Those are my memories of Helen riding our bus and in school my freshman year. She was 3 years ahead of me. Those memories were reinforced years later with the email messages Helen and I have exchanged the past couple of years. I know she was prepared for this knowing her time was near, but it’s still very hard for family members. My condolences are with you with her passing. Gary

From Blanche Wicks Schley (42): Grand Forks, ND.

Hi! I thought you’d be interested in this story from Science@NASAParty planners take note. For the first time in almost twenty years, there’s going to be a Blue Moon on New Year’s Eve. http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2009/29dec_bluemoon.htm?friend(or<a href=http://science.NASA.gov/headlines/y2009/29dec_bluemoon.htm?friendBlue Moon on New Year’s Eve </a>.)


Louis and Clara Bergan:

Reply from Floyd Dion (45): Dunseith, ND.

Hi Gary

Gary Metcalfe talked about Louis Bergan, We lived on the farm where JR. Walters lives now and Louis and Clara lived south of us and Jim Anthony lived east of us., so we were neighbors and the Metcalfe’s lived south of us too. In 1943 I went to Seattle and lived with my uncle Alphie Dion, Louis Bergan and Jim Anthony, It worked pretty good, Jim and Louis worked the graveyard shift at the shipyards and Alphie and I worked the day shift.

And Gary M sorry I missed you at Branson MO. at our Navy reunion when you drove my Navy pal from Springfield to Branson, he said you and him had a nice talk. I don’t remember the year, maybe 10 years ago.

Thanks for all your newsletter Gary S.


Floyd, It’s great to hear from you. How’s Luella doing now? I’m hopind she has gotten healed from all her injuries and is doing OK.

Reply from Diane Wenstad Weibe (69): Portage La Prairie, MB Canada

Hi Gary
I knew Pam would correct you and the picture; as who would like to own that picture. Yes you wanted to be my friend on Face Book and that is where that picture came from. I went to Manitoba, Canada in 1969, married and raised two childred;have been in Canada for 40 years.
Well while I am on the blog, thanks for news, work and information you send to all of us.
Would you add Melvin Wenstad and Arliss Spline to the May 22 reunion? Thanks and keep up the good work.

Carmen Leonard Richard

Selling Lanette Beachler Richard’s (82) book:

Picture posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe: Bottineau & Minot, ND.


As you can see, this is a picture of Carmen Richard selling her daughter-in-law’s book. It was taken at the Craft Sale in Bottineau on November 14, 2009.


Carmen, who is the lady with you in this picture? She looks so familiar. Gary

Carmen Richard in red.

Reply to Mary’s pictures:

From Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND.

Gary and Friends,

Thanks to Mary Eurich Knutson for the pictures of some of our
relatives. Amanda Berg is the daughter of Albert and Clara Berg and is
my mother’s first cousin. A few years ago I asked Mary if I could walk
over to the old place where Bergs lived, which is now on her property.
It was amazing to see the old houses that were still standing. The
original house was log and then they either moved in or built a frame
house but never tore down the old one. I hadn’t been to the old Berg
place since the mid 50s when we would go to visit with Clara and Albert.
It was still the same except the buildings were becoming victims of
nature. It may have been quite a few years ago and they might not even
still be standing—time flies! The picture of Amanda Berg and Maurice
Johnson is interesting. Maurice would have been Amanda’s first cousin
and the son of Johnnie and Stella Johnson. He would have been Glen
Johnson’s and Loretta Johnson’s brother and an uncle to Denise and
Darlene Quillinan (63). I had never seen a picture of him at any age and
as far as I can remember, have never seen him in person although we were
at Johnnie and Stella’s many times as I was growing up. I think he left
the area and lived out his life around Seattle or that area.I’ll send a
couple pictures of the Berg Family. The first is Probably the wedding
picture of Albert and Clara and the other is their family a few years
later. Thanks Gary!


Dick’s quick reply:


I don’t know if Amanda is still living. We never heard from them
after Mom died and now that Snookie is gone I don’t know who might know.
I have a couple more pictures of the Berg kids–Amanda and Alvin or
Martin–from when they were young adults, I can send later. The boy in
yesterdays picture might be the other Maurice Johnson, Lester’s brother
too. Maybe someone will know.


Folks, We need some help Identifing which Maurice Johnson is in yesterday’s posting. Comparing the family phote of the James Johnson family on page 194 of the Bottineau book, this looks like it could be Lester’s brother Maurice? If there was a way Lester could see this photo, I’ll bet he could give us a possitive identification. His sister Ina would know too. She just celebrated her 90th Birthday.

Ron Bergman, is Lester still working for you at your J.C. Penny store in Bottineau?

Dick, I just assumed that was Maurice Johnson, son of James & Annie and brother to Lester in the photo posted yesterday. I did not realize there was another Maurice Johnson. I am learning new history with all these postings. It’s great being able to put everyone’s piece of the puzzle/history together to get the whole picture. Until the past several days, I did realize the close knit community relationships of the Berg’s, Bergan’s, Bjornseth’s, Pritchard’s, Thompson’s, Pederson’s, Johnson’s etc. There were many more families of our ancestors that were in this circle of folks too. The Hiatt’s were one of the larger families of the community as were the Lindberg’s and Hagen’s. The Lagerquist’s were in that mix too.

This all brings to mind Lillian Thompson Bergstrom (36). Her parents were Ulysses & Alice Thompson. She is an aunt to the Pladson siblings. Lillian graduated in 1936, so she must have been born in about 1918. She must be about 91 or 92 years young now. Lillian lives with her daughter in Superior Wisconsin. She is a pretty sharp lady. She was rather surprised to get my phone call when I called her a year or so ago putting together her class list. She left the community before I was born, but she sure knew my family and the history of the community from her days. Her mother was a Stokes, so we are related. Near the end of our 1 1/2 hour conversation, she was telling me her daughter and family were very curious as to who she was talking to. I have pasted Lillian’s phone number below. I know Lillian would be delighted to hear from any of you. She may be able to fill in a few of the missing pieces to our puzzle too. Gary

Thompson Bergstrom Lillian 309 Homecroft Court Superior, Wisconsin 54880 (715) 394-2189

Albert & Clara Berg Albert/Clara Berg Family

Posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe:Bottineau & Minot, ND.

01/19/2018 (2594)


Main St. Bottineau: Marion (Lester deceased) Johnson, 87, Shoveling snow. Posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe:


Blog (668) posted on December 31, 2009

Posted on December 31, 2009

Karen Larson – Spectrum:

Folks, Karen Larson is the owner of the Spectrum Store, not Mary.

Karen, I apologize for this error. I knew better when I said that, but I had Mary on my mind with those pictures.

Andrew Bergan Family:

Reply from Barbara Trent (Bergan) Riehm:San Diego, CA.

Gary I am enjoying all this information. I would like to clear up a few things. My Grandfather (Mother’s father) was Andrew Bergan, Louis Bergan was her Older(and I believe the oldest of the children) brother and Clayton her Nephew. Bertha Bergan was my Mother’s only sister. She married Eric Bjornseth. Oscar Bergan was the youngest in the family of 6 boys and 2 girls. I think that my Sister (Colleen Trent Baier) I am now the only living “Grandchildren” of Andrew and Christina Bergan, however I may be wrong.
Sorry I haven’t been in touch with you and all your “followers” I’ll try do better. Right now I am in the Rocky Mountains of Montana at my son’s beautiful 2nd home on Salmon Lake. Lots of snow and cold. but coming from California a few days of this is OK. I go back to San Diego on the 5th of January.

Happy New Year
Barbara Trent Riehm

Folks, Barbara’s mother was Julia Bergan Trent. She lived in Bottineau.

Barbara, Thank you so much for this reply. Enjoy the Rocky Mountains. I’ll continue to include you with messages that contain Bergan family postings. Is Helmer Bergan, picture below, your mothers brother? Where does you sister Colleen live? Gary 

Reply from Roger and Connie Zorn Landsverk: Dunseith, ND







Folks, Mona & Larry Marchus, from Bottineau, purchased our home farm, the Stokes place, in 1996. When Dad turned 80, he said he was done mowing grass and sold the farm. Larry and Mona keep the place looking immaculate. They moved a huge double wide mobile home onto the place and live there in the summer. The Stokes place has a fantastic view to the east all the way to the Peace Garden. I think Dad counted 90 plus trees in that yard that he had to mow around. That included the barnyard too. Larry Marchus worked at the State Bank in Bottineau and Mona is a past mayor of Bottineau. I think Larry and Mona owned a furniture store in Bottineau at one time too. They are a great couple and always welcome us to our old place to look around and revisit. Gary

Reply from Neola Kofoid Garbe: Bottineau & Minot, ND.

When I read there were pictures in your newsletter, I stopped reading this email and checked out the pictures. I LOVE these old pictures–even if I don’t know who they are. Being I knew the first picture was of your mom, I recognized her. I don’t think I would have known her if you hadn’t identified her.

It’s Karen Larson who owns the Spectrum. She’s a really neat person; I enjoy her. As I’ve mentioned before, Karen’s sister, Ruth, is married to Ronald Gust, Wally’s godson.


Neola, I had never seen Mom with her hair combed quite like it is in that picture. To be honest, I probably would not have recognized her either. After knowing it’s her, I can for sure recognize her arms and her body as being her. Gary

Reply from Eileen Brudwick: Fargo, ND.


I wonder if Eva is the wife of David Eurich Sr. David Jr. married Winifred Pritchard.


Eileen, With this coming from Mary Eurich, this was a very good asumption. With your reply, I assumed this was probably Eva Eurich too until I got some other messages with positive identification. Gary

Eva Crawford Hiatt Identified:

From Evon Lagerquist (78) & Leola Hiatt Lagerquist:Dunseith, ND.

I know the Eva in the picture as my Grandma, Eva Hiatt. The owner of the Spectrum is Karen Larson……,not Mary.

Thanks, Gary!


Evon, Many of our readers knew your grandma Eva’s brother, Johnny Crawford and also their sister, Alma Crawford. Johnny was a next door neighbor to Leonard Lund in my day. They lived on the west side of Long Lake.

Reply from Gary Metcalfe (57): Forsyth, MO

Hello Everyone,

The Dunseith area history in the Prairie Past and Mountain Memories that the locals put together has 500 pages of history that would be lost without their great effort. When I read about Dave and Eva Eurick of the many places they lived, I was surprised to see they lived on the old Max Theel place 1 or 2 miles NW of the Day School. I wonder if Linda or Marie remember living there? That is the place I bought from John Bedard and sold to Gagnon’s.

Almost everyone I know agrees on education being all important. There were lots of rural kids on both sides of me that never went to high school. That brings me to Louis Bergan. I didn’t know much of Louis’s life in Bottineau County. It looks like he moved from Ackworth area along with one of Anton Olson’s daughters, Clara who was his wife. So Louis had a school named after him. I really don’t know what happened with Clara early on, but her sister Annie married Jim Anthony.

If I had to rent a room in town and work to get an education, then what about our parents back before the 30’s.
How did that generation compete with about a 5th or 6th grade education? In my Dad’s case it was Louis Bergan that set the standard, he would line up the wood stumps in his shop for the boys to set on and have meetings, how to treat a teacher and whatever. Louis was with us on a trip back from Seattle in the 40’s. I also remember visiting Louis when shanty town was a real suburb of Dunseith. Louis added about 20 feet on the front of our barn when he added on a hay mow. His brother Oscar was also a great carpenter around Metigoshe.

From Henry Dietrich my dad learned how to measure hay in a stack, lumber also. They probably didn’t always have a pencil so it was all done in their head.

So in 1939 when we moved to Seattle, Dad could sing, dance, scrap figure in his head and compete. What you know is important but who you know maybe more. Dad talked about several of the men he worked with around Seattle so much so that I felt like I knew them. For instance, Bob Buchanan, B.A. for hod carriers in Seattle. He knew the first name of every man in the local at first meeting.

Back in N.D. he continued his education and I thnk enjoyed it with the same agenda, he had people in Boissevain, Canada. He always said they know more about our politics than we do. George Albert was at the top of his list in the Dunseith area.

Sue and I got some education Christmas Eve in an all black Baptist Church in Vicksburg, Mississippi on our way back from New Orleans. A very humbling experience, we were the only white ones there and they were so welcoming to us. Wonderful music, kids sharing, teens and adults giving testimonies of thankfulness…very good memory of Christmas Eve 2009. Happy New Year to all…hope you have sweet memories to be made in 2010! Gary Metcalfe

Reply to pictures posted yesterday:

From Mary Eurich Knutson’s (62): Dunseith, ND.

Hi Gary & All

Marlys Hiatt had commented on the Thompson place and Norman having pastured that land. It didn’t seem quite like I remembered and I’ve done some digging. Bear in mind I could be wrong on some of this. There should be somebody out there who would know if this is right or not. There were four Thompson’s who homesteaded in Rolette County in Willow Lake township, all siblings. There was Olaf, Ida, Charles and Ulysses. They were all in that general area. Charles by Lagerquist Lake, I think that was Eva Hiatt’s place by 43: Ida by the Canadian Border; Ulysses must have been the place Marlys was referring to and I’m not sure where Olaf’s place would have been. When you hear family members talking it was always concerning things they had done at Boundary Lake, Rab Lake, Peterson Lake and occassionally Lagerquist Lake.

The one picture I sent with the row boat identifies the people in the boat as Helmer Bergan, Ida Pritchard and Baby (Robert) in Boundary Lake. (Now who’s Helmer Bergan)? The lady with the big coat is Eva Hiatt. The boys standing together together are: Tallest one, Corbin Pritchard, Alvin Berg, Clifford Bjjornseth and Roy Lindberg. I don’t know which is which and I don’t know the teacher’s name. The two kids on skis ? are Amanda Berg and Maurice Johnson. Taken on the lake south of Ole Olson school. Was Ole Olson Johnny Olsons dad? The two ladies sitting are Alida Johnson and Julia Bergan. I think you had mentioned Julia as Clayton’s aunt in a previous blog but who would Alida Johnson be? If you don’t know it might be a question for Ralph Bjornseth. The old car is just a picture. The people in it are Ma’s cousins but I just wondered what kind of a car it is. Model/year etc. I thought you’d enjoy the picture of your Mom. There are more pictures coming. This really get time consuming but it’s fun. Some of the pictures are really scorched. Been through a close call at some point.

It’s Karen Larson that sends pictures for me Not Mary. Take care. Mary K.

Mary, your description of things is exactly the way I remember from discussions I heard in my growing up days. What you have said about Ulysses Thompson, I think is absolutely correct. He was married to my Grandfather, Frank Stokes’ sister, Alice. Ulysses & Alice were the parents of Ella (Mrs. Eldon) Pladson, Esther (Mrs. Edmar) Tangen and Lillian. Lillian Thompson Bergstrom lives in Superior, Wisconsin. Mary, Ida was your Grandmother, married to William Pritchard.

Mary, I have reposted these pictures labeling those you have identified. I know we have readers out there that can answer some of your questions above.

I truly enjoyed seeing that picture of my mother. That must have been one that your mother had. Gary

Pictures posted by Mary Eurich Knutson (62): Dunseith, ND.

Elaine Stokes

Helmar Bergan, Ida Thompson Pritchard & Baby Robert Pritchard

Eve Crawford Hiatt

From the Bottineau Centennial book: Amanda Berg, Daughter of Albert & Clara Johnson Berg was born 2/17/22. She is married to Clarence Schultz and lives near Donnybrook.

Is Amanda still living today? I know Maurice Johnson is deceased.

Dick Johnson, you are related to the Berg’s. I’ll bet you can fill us in on Amanda.

Amanda Berg and Maurice Johnson

This would be Julia Bergan Trent, Barbara’s mother. I’m not sure who Alida Johnson is? I’m wondering if she is possibly related to Ralph Bjornseth’s mother, Cora Johnson Bjornseth? I’m hoping Barbara or Ralph can help us out here with who she is? Gary

Alida Johnson and Julia Bergan

Boys with their Teacher. Corbin Pritchard is the first boy and I’m pretty sure Clifford Bjornseth is the 3rd boy. We need some help identifying whose who with Alvin and Roy and also the teacher. Gary

Corbin Pritchard, Alvin Berg, Clifford Bjornseth & Roy Lindberg

Cousins of Winifred Pritchard Eurich

Newspaper posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe: Bottineau & Minot, ND.

Folks, I remember Duane Sorbin in this article.I think he is still living on the same place. Duane also has an H-International tractor propped up on a tall revolving poll too, that can easily be seen from Highway 5 just west of Bottineau.

Do any of you remember Ann Louise Willie, former Miss Indian America, mentioned in this article? Gary

01/17/2018 (2593)

First Cousin Jack and Rona Wifladt

Cousin Jack and Rona, form Edmonton, Alberta Canada, were her nearly the whole month of December. They returned home January 11th.

They left 90f degree weather here and returned to home to -37f with a wind chill of -48f. Jack said when they arrived all they were wearing was light outer garments. He said it was dam cold.

Dinner with the Cousin Jack Wifladt and his wife Rona from Edmonton, Alberta Canada
Stokes 2593-1 Stokes 2593-2                                             

Blog (667) posted on December 30, 2009

Posted on December 30, 2009

Reply from Lee Stickland (64): Dickinson, ND


Lars and Ruby ( Mom’s sister) Sivertson live in Bottineau now. Lars still helps on the farm.

Yes, I recall where Oscar and Sylvia live(d). Not sure if there is anyone on that place at this time.

I was at the home of Oscar and Sylbia once that I know of. It was so nice in their home. I vividly remember Oscar’s affirmative gesture of “Uha, Uha, Uha”.

I get up early as my neighbor has a loud alarm clock that fires off at 5:14 am, which is just OK.

8 degrees here this am, 26 degrees is “advertised”; a heat wave. Lee

Lee, You are so right with your remembrance of Oscar Bergan. Oscar was a very intelligent man of which I think generated those gestures. He and Sylvia were wonderful folks. They are the only folks that I know of that had a hand washing facility in their out door toilet with a pitcher of water, wash basin and a towel. There was never any dirt in their premises. Everything was always tidy and clean. Gary

Email address change:

Tom Hagen (51): Mesa, AZ & Williston, ND

Hi everyone : Our kids got us a new Dell laptop for Christmas so now
we can enjoy all those things with attachments you have been sending us
and we could not open, also we will not fill up the message center as
has happened so often. But we need your help as we need all your great
names in our address book in the new computer. So please send us a
message or forward so we can add you to our list. Our new e-mail
address is:
 so let us hear from you
soon!!!!!! We will still have this address too for awhile until we get
used to the laptop. Thanks!!!!

We love E-mail letters, Love Tom and Dot

Tom, I have all these daily messages and a whole lot of other mail saved in my gmail account and I’ve only used a fraction of the available storage. The good part is that it’s free too. Gary

Pritchard/Bergan/Stokes Pictures:

Provided by Mary Eurich Knutson (62): Dunseith, ND.


These are wonderful pictures. The first one of my mother, Elaine Stokes, I have never seen before. I’m assuming that is your Grandmother, Ida, and Robert Pritchard in the boat picture? Who is Eva?

With these pictures being taken in the hills, I’m guessing those not identified are some of your mother’s, Winifred Pritchard Eurich’s, family members? Hopefully some of our readers can identify these folks. Maybe Dorothy or Doris Pritchard can help us out with the identities of some of these folks? They both get copies of these daily messages. The Hospital prints these out everyday for Dorothy and Bill prints them out for his mother Doris. That’s dedication.

Thank you so much for sharing these pictures Mary.


PS – Folks, These pictures were sent by Karyn Larson, owner of the Spectrum store in Bottineau. Wesley Schneider is Karen’s step dad. For a small fee, Mary will scan and send any pictures that you’d like to share. Karen is on our distribution and she has my email address.





01/15/2018 (2592)

Condolences to the Terry Nadeau Family
From Vickie Metcalfe (’70):  Bottineau, ND

Gary  and Friends of Dunseith School,

I wish to express  sympathy to  Linda ( Laroque)… class of ’68. on the passing of her first born son.

I  remember Terry as a kind little third grade boy who was in my very first 3rd grade class at Dunseith Elementary.

My thoughts go out to others, the  many members of Terry’s extended family and friends.

May Terry rest in peace.

Sincerely, Vickie L. Metcalfe


Posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe: Bottineau & Minot, ND
Nadeau, Terry 2592

Terry Nadeau

Terry Nadeau, a son of Edward Nadeau and Linda (LaRocque) Poitra, was born on May 31, 1966 at Belcourt.  He grew up at Dunseith and graduated from Dunseith High School.  He then worked at San Haven before doing masonry work in the Dunseith area.  He later joined the MN Labor Union Local 563 and did construction work until retiring in 2011 due to his health.

He was a member of St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Dunseith.  He loved watching the Minnesota Vikings and spending time with his family.  Terry was kind hearted and was always willing to help others.  He always was high spirited no matter how sick he was.

He is survived by his parents, Curtis and Linda Poitra of Dunseith and June Day of Onamia, MN; sisters, Mistylynn (Shane) Trottier, Jamie (Kevin) Schroeder, Skyeann (Nathan) Nadeau, Gena (John) Gunville all of Dunseith, Jaime Day of Onamia, MN; brothers, T.J. (Jill) Poitra of Grand Forks, Eddie James Nadeau, Cory Nadeau and Cortney Nadeau all of Onamia, MN; Godchildren, Cody Houle, Maisie Poitra, Dawson Schroeder, Jayle Poitra and David Keplin; and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his father, Edward Nadeau; sister, Lori Nadeau; brothers, Mike Day and Bobby Nadeau; and grandparents, Jerome and Alice LaRocque, Patrick and Sarah Nadeau and Alfred Poitra.

Arrangements were with Nero Funeral Home in Bottineau.  Friends may sign the online register book at www.nerofuneralhome.net.


August 1955: Anniversary: Henry Halvorson’s 50th Anniversary Clipping
Posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe: Bottineau & Minot, ND
Halvorson 2592


Blog (666) posted on December 29, 2009

Posted on December 29, 2009

Correction from Del Enno (78): Fargo, ND.

Hi Gary, Just letting you know that the picture you have posted of Pam is not her. Pam and I have been friends since grade school and we still keep in touch, and that is not her. I have no idea who that is. I am thinking it is a relative of theirs.

Correction from Pam Wenstad Lane (78):Dunseith, ND.

Hey Gary,

Merry Late Christmas and Happy New Year! The picture you posted is of Diana Wenstad. She is the daughter of Lawerance and Liela Wenstad, my first cousin. She has been married and lives in Canada. I believe she is Connie’s age, about 59 yrs.old ? Terrible I don’t know my own sisters age.
She is sighed up for the reunion in May. I live in the hills with Debbie. Back to my roots, (although I would perfer town living right now!!! ha ha) Not used to being straided in the hills after a snow storm anymore.ha,ha. Pam Wenstad Lane-78

Pam and Del, I really screwed up with several of yesterday’s postings. I the back of my mind I was thinking that was Diane, but I had that Picture labeled with your name Pam. It’s corrected now. Yes, Diane and both of you guys are signed up for the reunion on May 22. Connie and Diane both graduated from DHS in 1969.

Diane, I am so sorry for this error. This is a beautiful picture of you. Gary.

Diane Wenstad Wiebe (69)

Correction from Lee Stickland (64): Dickinson, ND.


I hate to disagree but Lorna (Adams) is the daughter of Rehnold Adams, Mom’s BROTHER. Lorna’s Mom, Bertha, was a Brandt. Mother’s Mom was a Brandt, also. Kinda mixed up in those days, I guess ? Lee

Lee, another careless error on my part. I knew your mother was an Adam’s, so Lorna Adams Kofoid’s dad had to be a brother to your mother.

Speaking of your relatives, is Lars Sivertson still living on their farm located east of Lake Metigoshe? John & Pat Frykman live about 1/2 mile east of them. Oscar and Sylvia Lockhart Bergan used to live in that Neighborhood too. Lars was on my dad’s cream route for years. They always invited him in for a cup of coffee. Gary

The following pictures are from the Achieves:

Marlin was married to Doris Peterson from the DHS class of 53. Doris does not have email but her phone number is (701) 228-3395

Marlin Williams DHS class of 55
Born July 10, 1935 – Died April 6, 2003

Carrole Fauske Rude (66) with I think, Melissa & Brant.
LaVerne Rude on Bottom.

Hubert Allery DHS class of 52

01/12/2018 (2591)

Pictures from Dewy Morinville’s (’72) Face Book
Thanks Dewy

Easter Sunday early 1960s
L to R:  dewy, Beverly, Debbie, Toni Morinville
Morinville 2591


1971 Photo
Very interesting.  Mr. Espe, Bev Morinville behind Mr. Espe.
not sure who the other gal is. Maybe someone will know who she is.
If someone does please post it thanks 1971, I think

Shonda Azure-Campbell This is a awesome picture of my mom :)

Lyle Olson looks like Linda Johnson those two were inseparable

ll Krause Cathy Campbel i bet!


Dewy Morinville Can’t be cathy she was a year later


Dewy Morinville Can’t be linda she had long hair iam thinking it could b barbara counts


Rita Parisien Anderson Ann Maire Boppre


Dewy Morinville Could b


Dewy Morinville But I think ann maries hair was longer but could have been shorter the year before we graduated


Rita Parisien Anderson get out your old yearbooks…


Dewy Morinville Iam looking

Dewy Morinville It looks like barbara counts. She is the only one from the class pics with a hairdo like that


Rita Parisien Anderson Hey Barbara Larocque is this you with Bev and Mr. Espe?


Paula Fassett My vote goes to Barbara Counts….


Toni Morinville How about Linda Johnson


Dewy Morinville Nope she had long hair iam pretty sure its barbara

Jason Gregory nice pic.

Rita Parisien Anderson you are probably right Dewy! It does look like Barbara with the hair style
Morinville 2591-1

Posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe:  Bottineau & Minot, ND

Terry’s Obituary

Terry Nadeau, age 51 of Dunseith, died Wednesday at a Bismarck hospital.  His funeral will be held on Wednesday at 10:00 am at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Dunseith.  The wake will begin on Tuesday at 4:00 pm with a service at 7:00 pm at the church.


Blog (665) posted on December 28, 2009

Posted on December 28, 2009

Reply from Lee Stickland (64): Dickinson, ND

Gary and Bernadette,

Gary, a few days ago YOU mentioned that YOU were +/- 200 miles from the volcano. That is good.

When Mt St Helens erupted in the ’80s, I and a dentist from Dickinson were standing out by the then Holiday Inn in Bismarck. We could see the dust in the air and bit of accumulation on the vehicles. Nature is good, fierce, and alarming…I am sure there is much more but I am not a man “of letters”.

Gary, I expect that YOUR air supply is kept clean by the nearness to water?

A blizzard just went thru here the last few days and is headed east where it is much worse. When I was out for my walk this evening at -14 wind chill, I wore a sweater with nylon lining, a real leather coat, a double-layered beany, leather gloves with that good knitted liner and two (2) scarves; one for the neck and one for the face.

Gary YOU would recall those nice gloves.

I am certain many of YOUR fans of YOUR blogs do, too. Esp. up in the hills.

I will be in San Diego at Eric’s from Jan 11-14 2010. Probably 60’s there?



Lee, Like I mentioned to you in a personal reply, I remember the 1980 Mt. St. Helens eruption well, in Washington state. We lived about 150 miles north, in Bremerton. The easterly winds carried the ash from that eruption all the way to ND. We had some ash in Bremerton, but the bulk went east. Eastern Washington had quite an ash film.

Enjoy your time in San Diego. Gary

Reply to Dick Johnson (68):

From Allen Richard (65): Midland, MI

Yeah, Dad only had one Chevy car. It came to a sad end. Quite traumatizing to a two year old kid — ME! Dad sold it to Floyd in ’48–’49. One day Floyd went to town with it and when he returned he parked it in front of the house — which really DID have tarpaper “brick” siding. Moments after he parked it caught fire and burned to a crisp. Luckily Dad was nearby on the Farmhand loader. He ran the front of the loader into the car and shoved it back maybe 50 feet. Needless to say none of us were Chevy fans after that! Dad got a Plymouth. Later he had three Buicks and two Oldsmobiles.

Dad did have a Chevy grain truck later, but I was old enough to use profanities and obscenities then —- so I won’t discuss it here —–


Minot pictures and Dunseith News:

Posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe: Bottineau & Minot, ND.

Folks, These snow pictures of Neola’s were sent to her by Wally, her husband. Their Condo, in Minot, is the first one on the right with the peak of snow almost to the roof line. Neola spends a lot of time in Bottineau in an apartment that she rents. She was in Bottineau when the storm hit. I’ll bet she plans on staying in Bottineau for a day or two now. Gary

Pam Wenstad Lane (78):

Folks, I noticed this picture of Pam in my Dunseith pictures that has never been posted. I’m not sure where I got this picture from. It may have been from Facebook? This is a nice picture of Pam. Other than for Pam’s email address, I have no other contact info for her. Pam’s parents were Oscar and Alberta Wenstad.

Pam, I’m sure you told me where you are living, but I neglected to record it probably thinking I’d remember. Gary

Pam Wenstad Lane (78)

Bernadette Stokes’ siblings – Christmas 2008

Back: Bernadette, Berlinda (lives next door)
Front: Jose (Deceased) & Alot (Lives in Japan)

Family reunion in Bottineau – 2007

Folks, With Lee Strickland’s posting today, I thought I’d repost this picture. Alney Kofoid is married to Lorna Adam’s, Lee Strickland’s first cousin. Lorna’s mother and Irene, Mrs. Bob Stickland were sisters. Alney and Lorna live in Wyoming. Mrs. Lars Sivertson, who lives east of Lake Metigoshe, is also a sister to Irene and Lorna’s mother.

Jim Kofoid is Neola’s brother. He lives in Bottineau.

Nathan Stokes is my brother Darrel and Debby Stokes’ boy. He lives in Mineapolis.

01/10/2018 (2590)


My cousin Jack Wifladt and his wife Rona, from Edmonton, Alberta Canada are here visiting. They have been here a month now. They’ve spent most of their time staying with and visiting with Rona’s family on Bantayan Island located about 80 miles north of us. They are leaving going back home to Edmonton, tomorrow.

Jack’s mother Margaret and my Dad were Twins.

Stokes 2590-1

Stokes 2590-2


Blog (664) posted on December 27, 2009

Posted on December 27, 2009

From Cheryl Larson Dakin (71): BEDFORD, TX

A belated Merry Christmas to all and a very Happy Birthday to you Diane (Larson Sjol). I loved seeing the pictures, Gary. We had our first white Christmas in 150 years here in North Texas. It started blowing and snowing early on Christmas Eve and when we left for church I almost felt like I was home in North Dakota. Almost, but not quite. It was still 32 degrees here and I know it’s a far cry from the freezing temps all of you there are having. All the kids and grandchildren were here and we had such a wonderful day. I want to also send my heartfelt wishes to everyone to have a very Happy New Year.

Cheryl Larson Dakin ‘

Happy Birthday Daine Larson Sjol (70): Minot, ND.

Diane, I’ll bet you are glad all this snow came with the holiday break from the College (Forestry)? The commute to Bottineau would be kind of tough today.

Back in our day, one could start school when they were five, provided their birthday was before January 1st. Your birthday is right at the end of that window. Did you start school when your were five or did your parents opt to wait until you were six? Today that rule has been tightened up some. I think a child has to be six when they start first grade?? It’s obvious school came easy for you, so starting at age 5 probably would have been the logical choice for you.

I want to also wish you a happy birthday. Enjoy the snow. When the storm calms, the roads will be cleared enabling you guys to get out and enjoy the winter sports with all the new snow. When I was a kid we used to love to ski with a rope attached behind the tractor. I’ll bet the snowmobilers will have a ball with all this new snow. Gary

Snow Storm:

From Neola Kofoid Garbe: Bottineau & Minot, ND

Hi Everyone,

This email came from my husband (12:09 P.M. today–I’m reading my emails now.). I’m in Bottineau; we didn’t get nearly as much snow as Minot did. I didn’t go “out and about” yesterday because I’d need to shovel a short path between my steps/van, and I didn’t feel like doing it. That’s the same for today. My landlord hasn’t been here to clean the steps/driveway. I’m very content to stay inside my apartment, so I’m not concerned about the snow. When I look out the door, you can see dead grass “sticking up” out of the snow on the southwest corner of the lot. The wind most likely blew the snow away. I don’t know if the roads in Bottineau were completely blocked; I heard they were getting “heavy” about six o’clock last night.


From Wally

My deck has snow at least 6 feet high and rising.My biggest concern is that there is snow on top of my gas meter.If that cannot “breathe” it will shut down.To shovel this out will be a monster job.Last year I had a friend of Neola’s who came over and shoveled it out twice, but if he will do it this year or not is the question.Than I had to hire a bobcat to come in and move the snow away after it was shoveled out.I will have to do that again this time.Because of the lay of the land it is hard for the bobcat to get into back of the yard.Last year a guy had a bobcat with tracks on and he was able to get here for a 100 bucks.Oh well will have to see what happens.Some young fellows just found out that their Chevey 4×4 will not go thru everything.They did a lot of shoveling and finally got it into a driveway just west of me.It looks like the street has at least 2 + foot of snow all the way up the street.It will take some good equipment to get it open.Listening to the noon news, it is the same way all over Minot.

I have not heard just how much snow we have had, but it has to be a large amount and the wind is still blowing.Nothing in Minot is moving or the surrounding area.All roads are closed.


Stokes Farm Yard:



01/05/2018 (2589)

David Wurgler (DHS ’64)
December 22, 2017

Pierce County Tribune
David Eugene Wurgler
Oct. 31, 1946- Dec. 5, 2017

David Eugene Wurgler, the son of John and Irene (Loken) Wurgler was born on October 31, 1946 in the Good Samaritan Hospital in Rugby, North Dakota. He died suddenly on Tuesday, December 5, 2017 at the Heart of America Medical Center in Rugby.
David was born and raised in Rugby where he attended school up to the 4th grade. At that time his family moved to Dunseith, where David graduated with the Dunseith High School, Class of 1964. David worked for his father at the TEXCO Station while in high school, up until 1966 when his family moved back to Rugby. John purchased the Standard Station in Rugby where David would start his career. In 1976, David joined his father in partnership. On November 25, 1967 he was united in marriage to Charolette Horner at the Little Flower Catholic Church in Rugby. Following their marriage, the couple made their home in Rugby. David purchased the business from his father in 1984 to start Dave’s Standard. David and Charolette would eventually team up and work together. After 42 years in the business, they closed the station and retired in 2008. Over the years, the couple developed many friendships and memories from the business.

David was a lifetime member of the Rugby Volunteer Fire Department, Men’s City Pool League, Rugby Golf Club, and Rugby Car Club, all of which he greatly enjoyed. Although enjoying retirement, David worked part-time at Tesoro and drove for McGuire’s and Anderson Funeral Home. He still enjoyed doing light mechanical work and working in the yard. On the weekends you would find him cheering on his beloved Dallas Cowboys. Even putting the team logo on his golf cart, which he never heard the end of from his friends. David will be remembered for his humorous joke telling and making people laugh. He enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren and attending their activities.

Survivors include his wife of 50 years, Charolette; children, Lisa Harper, Teri (Kevin) Allickson all of Rugby; and Chris (Terran) of Bismarck; grandchildren, Justin (Leah) Harper, Tyler Harper, Laura Harper (Levi); Rachel (Art) and Hunter (Breanna) Allickson; McKenzie, Braxton, Tayiah and Bentley Wurgler; sisters, Joan (Stan) Salmonson of Dunseith, Peggy (Marty) Axtman of Kent, WA and Lynn (Mitch) Haugeberg of Watford City, sisters-in-law, Betty (Mike) Feteke and Rose Burtenshaw; brothers-in-law, Ron (Jolene) Horner, Curt (Linda) Horner and Ray (Melissa) Horner, numerous nieces and nephews, other relatives and a host of friends. He was preceded in death by his parents and in-laws, Pete and Marge Horner.

Funeral services were held on Monday, December 11th at the Little Flower Catholic Church in Rugby. Father Tom Graner, officiate. Cremation took place following the services.

Organist: Glenda Mack

Vocalist: Amy Casavant

Honorary Bearers: All his Grandchildren and the Active & Retired members of the Rugby Volunteer Fire Department

Casket Bearers: Scott Oksendahl, Curt Horner, Ray Horner, Justin Harper, Tyler Harper, Mick Kossan, Chuck Chaffee, Hal Gunderson & Loren Hallwachs


Blog (663) posted on December 26, 2009

Posted on December 26, 2009

Second anniversary:

Folks, Today marks the 2nd anniversary of the this daily blog. I have 717 published messages in the Dunseith Alumni folder. We didn’t start the numbering at first. With vacations etc, I missed a few days publishing too. You folks have done a marvelous job keeping this going. Now we will start year three with today’s blog. It’s amazing how well connected we have become. We currently have in excess of 600 on our daily distribution all around the globe. I know there are many forwards from those this is sent to everyday too. Pretty amazing for a small ND town. Gary

Holiday greetings:

From Esther Murray Fleming (65):Flint, MI

Just thought I would take a minute to wish everyone a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR. Not too much time to say anything now, as I have to get busy and get my dinner started. So, have a safe and a really great new year.

Love you all


Art & Laura Fassett Halvorson’s marriage date:

From Floyd Dion (45): Dunseith, ND.

Hi Gary

Sharron Gottbreht Shen said she had the marriage date of Art Halvorson and Laura Fassett, but could not find it, so I will save here the trouble looking for it it was January 8, 1935. It is in the family bible that we have.


Reply from Jan Bergan Evans (66): MONTICELLO, MN

Gary what a bunch of beautiful children. And it appears they must think you and Bernadette are Mr and Mrs Clause! It sure looks like you all have been busy. I’m sure you have a wonderful Christmas. It is around 30 degrees here and getting more snow. So we will have a very white Christmas

Jan, Reading the weather reports, they are advising no travel for the majority of the State of ND. It looks like you guys didn’t get hit quite as hard with the midstate storms. That may have changed by now though? Gary

Hill Side School:

Message/Picture form Larry Liere (55): Devils Lake, ND.

Hi Gary

Merry Christmas to everyone! Since I found this blog from my 2nd. grade picture being forwarded to me I am sending another picture to see if anyone knows who these girls are. I am guessing the picture of Hill Side School was taken about 1943 so the girls would be in their mid 70’s by now. I remember going with my mother to this school during the summer but I do not remember if it was only run during the summer because of bad winters or if this was just a summer make up session. I remember being at this school during a very bad storm the killed cows and I think one or two people. The burn marks on the Ellsworth School picture are from me putting the picture in to a lamp socket that was plugged in, until the picture would start to smoke. My Mom said I did this to 8 pictures with out getting a shock or starting a bad fire. I sometimes wonder how I ever lived to be 72 years old. We leave for Mesa, AZ next week so warm it up down there.

Larry Liere


01/03/2018 (2588)

Reply From Tom Hagen, Orvin’s Brother (’51):  Mesa, AZ

Hi Gary,

Thanks for posting that picture on your blog–I don’t think I know the lady who sent it to you but I contacted here and asked for the picture.  Sadly we have to tell you that we lost our son Tom (Mark) after a 2 year battle with cancer.  He and his wife had twin sons and then they adopted 7 more children plus several foster children.  He graduated from West Point in 1979 and had 21 years ;in the army also was a computer tech.     We really appreciate your  blog and including us..   My sister Joyce is in Bottineau at the Good Sam Home.    Thanks for all the kind things about Orvin, too–he was a remarkable guy and actually raised us younger kids and Don Nelson . Oliver and Norris lived with us for  few years. too.

We love e-mail letters, Tom & Dot
Gary Stokes Comment
Tom & Dot,
So sorry to hear of your Son’s passing. It’s so tough losing a child too. We, the parents are supposed to go first. Our condolences are with you.


Posted by Vickie Metcalfe (’7Bottineau, ND

Coldest place on the planet? Today, it might be in North Dakota …


(Jesse Trelstad/ Grand Forks Herald). North Dakotans buttoning up against this week’s cold had good reason: according to the National Weather Service, the temperature in Hettinger, N.D., swooped down to negative 45 degrees on Monday morning, Jan. 1—one of the coldest temperatures on the planet, if not the coldest


Bottineau Westland Gas Station Grand opening on Nov. 4-5, 1971
Reply from Dick Johnson (’68)”:  Dunseith, ND

Good Morning Gary,

I think the younger guy in the Grand Opening of the Westland station looks like it could be David Slyter.  I might be wrong but he sure resembles David.
Marlin Williams is a first cousin to Freddie Hiatt, David’s stepdad, so I just assumed it could be him?

David Slyter’s Reply (’70: Sabin, MN

Happy New Year Gary and all

I can see where you and Dick would think it was me,  as scaring as it is,   he is not me.  Ha     Even my wife looked at the picture a long time and said are you sure you didn’t work there.   That sure looks like you.   Ha

Was great to see a picture of Marlin and Mr. Westlie again.

Thanks for all you do.    Hope you find out who the mystery  person is.

Dave Slyter (70)


Reply From Kaye Lystad-kirk:  Fargo, ND

Hi Gary,

Does anyone possibly recognize this unidentified person in the photo as an Amsbaugh?

My Aunt Joan (mom’s twin) thought the person might be an Amsbaugh. Her husband, John Wall (originally from Carbury) is going to show it to an Amsbaugh who works at a car dealership here in Fargo this week or next to see if it could be one of his relatives.



Bottineau Westland Gas Station Grand opening on Nov. 4-5, 1971
Willie Lystad, Audrin Larson, ??, Sonny Larson, Marlin Williams and Donnie Nelson
Westland 2587


Blog (662) posted on December 25, 2009

Posted on December 25, 2009

Question from Sybil Johnson: Cheyenne, WY.

Gary, How close are you and Bernadette to that volcano? I’m curious. I just saw some pictures of it erupting and the dangers. Hope you aren’t close to it. HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE. Sybil Johnson

Sybil, I forgot to answer your question yesterday. Fortunately we are not affected by the Volcano. This volcano is about 200 miles north of us. With the latest news, it’s on the brink of eruption. Gary

Merry Christmas from Jean Nicholas Miller (66): GLENDALE, AZ

I wanted to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Here is sunny Arizona our weather will be sunny and temps in the high 50’s. Alot better than ND temps. We are looking forward to Christmas with our children and our first grandchild Joey who is 10 1/2 months. Happy Holidays.

Art & Emeline Pigeon Richard:

Reply from Dick Johnson (67): Dunseith, ND.

Gary and Friends,

To Allen Richard—Your folks were a very nice looking couple! It
would appear those Frenchmen really liked their ’41 Chevys, three in the
same picture! Maybe, with the heavy French accent, it was easier to say
‘Chevrolet’. Just kidding! As I was growing up (still in the process), I
remember your Dad always driving a Buick. He probably had other makes
too, but it seems to me he liked Buicks. Thanks for the pictures and
story. Merry Christmas to all. Thanks Gary!


From Diane Fugere (75): Minot, ND.


This video is a wonderful tribute to all soldiers and should be viewed by as many people as possible.


Diane Fugere

Diane, This is a wonderful Tribute to our soldiers this Christmas day. Thank you for sharing. Gary

Message/Pictures from Keith Pladson (66): Stafford, VA

I hope this comes through okay. I know for those still living in ND this may not seem so bad, but for us, this was quite a storm. Only one other time in the 39 years we’ve lived here, have we gotten more snow in one storm. The attached photo was taken from inside our breakfast nook and looks out over the back yard, the dock and the creek. You can see the railing for our deck on the left and it has several inches piled up on it. I took this and other photos while it was still snowing on Saturday. We got at least four more inches after I took the photos.

Again, I hope this comes through okay. This was taken at the same time the other photo was taken, and it shows the front of our house. I had shoveled some of the drive and while I was shoveling, it kept on snowing so you can see how much additional piled up while I was shoveling. Note the build up on the vehicles too. The weather has been in the high 30’s and low 40’s all this week so plowing has went well and the overall depth has melted down some. But, we will clearly have a “white” Christmas this year. Looks like parts of ND is in for it tonight, so they too may enjoy a white Christmas.

Merry Christmas to all!

Message/Pictures from Sharron Gottbreht Shen (59): Everett, WA.

Yes Bill, the Fassetts and the Boucher and the Gottbrehts have been friends and neighbors for as long as there has been a Rolette County. I have two pictures scanned that I promised to Susan Fassett so I shall post them this morning. I also have a graduation picture of Laura Fassett as well, taken about 1937. Somewhere I have the exact marriage date of Art Halvorson and Laura Fassett with their witnesses, Frank Higgins Jr and Arla Gottbreht circa 1940. My hunt through old notes failed; there must be some readers that have the facts. I know that my mother and Arla Gottbreht sent Christmas best wishes to these two close friends forever. I am sure Hanna Higgins Loeb will confirm the identity of her half brother Frank Higgins. Cleora Fassett, a close friend of Alma Boucher was the same age and Russell Twp neighbor Dale Gottbreht; his sister Arla was the same age as Kathleen Fassett Grimme! Sure glad you made this association for me Bill.

You might also enjoy pictures of Alice Fassett who married Albert Boucher. I long to have a picture of John Gottbreht’s first wife, Helen Fassett, also of Thorne. Do you know Bruce Fassett of California who maintains a Fassett History web page? I think Gary will paste that address for any interested.

Blessings on you and yours, Sharron

Follow up message from Sharon:

I hope you declared a holiday for yourself! Thanks always for all you do.

Corrections: I should never rely on my poor memory!

1. John Gottbreht was married to Myrtle E Fassett, daughter of Elihu Smith and his first wife; I think her last name was LEE.

2. Pearl Fassett was daughter of Ales and Anna Hughes

3. Alice Fassett was daughter of Ales Chester and Lenora Mason [Ales C was son of Wesley]

I tried to contact Bruce Fassett but mail returned.

Merry Christmas, Sharron

Art Halvorson, Laura Fassett, Hector Boucher

Back: Frank Higgins Jr and Arla Gottbreht circa
Front: Art & Laura Fassett Halvorson

Christmas at the Stokes house in the Philippines:

These are Bernadette’s Great Nieces, Nephews and our helpers 3 kids waiting to get

their Christmas packages.The packages these kids get from us are the only packages

they get at Christmas. They were all waiting outside when we got up on the 24th.

These kids all live in our compound.

Bernadette’s 3 year old Great Niece, Elizabeth, with her packages. She’s the little

computer girl that I mentioned several days ago.

Her Grandpa was Bernadette’s Brother that recently passed away.

Elizabeth’s little 6 year old brother, Joshua.

Joshua wearing his new clothes that he received in the packages above.

Princes, our little dog loves kids.

Elizabeth and Joshua’s mother, Mirasol. She is married to Bernadette’s nephew, Joseph.

Bernadette’s Neice, Novie, with her little boy and husband Louie. Novie’s mother, Berlinda, is Bernadette’s sister who lives next door.

Grace with her packages. Grace’s father is a brother to Bernadette’s sister’s husband.

They live next door. Grace is 7 years old. Grace’s father earns about $140/month with a

job he has had for years. Her brother also earns about $140/month with a job he recently

made permanent status with. They are a family of 7 with Grace being the youngest.

They manage to live on these two salaries. There are times that the going gets very tight,

but they make it.

These are our Helpers, Tata & Aldren (Husband & Wife). Tata’s sister, Gaga, also

works for us. Aldren is a brother to Bernadette’s sister’s husband who lives next door.

Aldren and Tata take good care of us 24/7. They have been with us since the year

before we moved here 7 years ago.

12/29/2017 (2587)

Orvin Hagen’s Father and Grandfather.
Picture/posting from  Kaye K. Lystad Kirk:  Fargo, ND

 Gary’s comments.

 I knew immediately who this picture was. I replied to Kaye and forwarded messages to both Tom Hagen, Orvin’s brother, and Donnie Nelson, Orvin’s (son) Nephew. This is a classic picture. Thank you so much Kaye for sharing.

 The majority of our readers knew Orvin very well. There was only one Orvin Hagen and there will never be another Orvin Hagen, ever, on the face of this earth. He was so well liked and loved by all. With all of his community activities, he burned the candle at both ends. He was our 4-H leader for well over 20 years too. He was the head Gardner at the Peace Garden for, my guess, 25 plus years. In his 90’s he was delivering meals on Wheels, in the blizzards, in Kindred, ND. He was so talented and perfected in so many areas. I.E. flowers, baking, gardening, crops, livestock, Arts and crafts and the list goes on.

Congratulations, Gary on the 10 year anniversary of your Dunseith Alumni blog! What an achievement!  And even though I’m not part part of the Dunseith Alumni, you were kind enough to let me join and even post. Thank you! I really do enjoy reading other peoples’ posts, as well.

When you mentioned something about photos we would like posted in your blog, I happened to think of the MANY old photos I inherited from my Grandma Thelma (Torgerson) Emerson. (Thank you, Grandma!). And I remembered one that I have that is not part of my family. So I thought I would do a good deed and send it the good old fashioned “snail mail” way to someone who is descended from OR related to one of the people in this photo.

On the back of the photo Grandma wrote “Ole Hagen, Sr. and Son, Tom.” It looks to me like it was maybe taken around 1900-1905…?

Here is some family background if it helps you figure out if you’re descended from these men:

  • Gro & Ole O. Hagen, Sr. (1857-1937) lived around Loon Lake and are buried at Vinje Cemetery.
  • Thomas (Tom) Hagen (1885-1934) married Agnes Melhus and are buried at Riverside Cemetery, Dunseith.

The first one to contact me will receive the photo. And if multiple people contact me, I’m hoping that the first person will work with the others to help make copies for the others… Otherwise, any other people requesting the photo can download the image from the blog to make copies for themselves…I really hope someone does claim the photo. It’s a shame when family photos go unwanted and unloved!

Kaye K. Lystad Kirk

Orvin Hagen’s Father and Grandfather.
1900-1905..? Ole Hagen Sr. and Son Tom
Hagen, Tom 2587

Hi Gary,

Now I know why the name Donnie Nelson was so familiar to me. He DID work for Dad at one point at the gas station. Here’s a photo of him with Dad and others at Dad’s Grand Opening of the Westland Gas Station on Nov. 4-5, 1971.

L-R: Dad, Audrin Larson, ?? (It could be a guy from the Westland headquarters), Sonny Larson, Marlin Williams and Donnie Nelson.


Bottineau Westland Gas Station Grand opening on Nov. 4-5, 1971
Willie Lystad, Audrin Larson, ??, Sonny Larson, Marlin Williams and Donnie Nelson
Westland 2587

Reply from Bill Hosmer (’48):  Tucson, AZ

Gary, Congratulations on another anniversary of the finest postings that have enlivened our appreciation for our community around and in Dunseith.  The names, faces and comments about our special place warms my heart.  As I have aged to an extent I did not anticipate, I find the posts more and more valuable.  For your and your family’s devotion to the citizens of our part of America, I give thanks and gratitude.  You have had a big hand in bringing us all together on the same frequency. Thank you, God Bless you and your family and Happy New Year.
Bill Hosmer

Reply from Dave Slyter (’70):  Sabin, MN

Happy Anniversary to the Dunseith Blog.    Gary you have done an outstanding job on creating and giving all of us the connections to all of Then and Now Dunseith residents.   Thank You for bring us all together.   😊

Dave Slyter
Class of 70


Country Cousin’s First Train Ride
Story from Vickie Metcalfe (’70):
 Bottineau, ND

Cousin Dean and I were almost 7 years old the first time we rode the rails.

Unbeknownst to the 2 Lamb kids or 2 Metcalfe girls, our parents, Uncle Floyd & Aunt  Dorothy, along with Uncle Willard & Aunt Betty Jane made a plan for us to visit Grand Forks.

Now I am certain organizing this grand adventure  for kids was not an easy endeavor.  T’was all done by old fashioned letter writing and US Mail.  Until 1963 the people of hills, used the old fashioned ringer telephones, of which long distance calls went through  the Central  Operator  located just south of  Kelvin Store.

Mom packed the little colorfully painted suitcases, Christmas gifted to us by Great Uncle Carl Wicks.  Dean and I had just completed 2nd grade and the two older girls just completed 4th grade. We were traveling by train the just 4 of us without  grown-ups!

Martha and Dean along with their parents stopped to pick up my sister and I.  Excited to be on our way the four of us boarded the East bound train at Rugby.  Gripping tightly to the suitcases the older girls found two long bench seats facing each other.

The big girls sat together facing the easterly direction.  Across the way, Dean and I slipped into the seat together.  A wee bit to our left across the isle from where we were seated was a water fountain, and  a door to a bathroom.

I was amazed seeing a strange small toilet sitting in a small caddy- corner.  I  stayed in there a long time, rather enjoying the flushing and looking down, flushing and looking down.  Wholly Buckets! When the toilet was  flushed ………. It (whatever?) went right onto the track to the ground moving below the track.

The four of us then ventured from car to car,  carefully opening the doors quickly hopping through, until we arrived at the dining car.  It was midmorning and people were still eating breakfast! Finally, we  retraced the way back into our seats to watch green earth moving ….bye out the window.

We watched small towns with water towers. And tiny cars moving on the highway.  Soon the train car was  filled with people from the many stops.

It didn’t seem long until the conductor shouted  out Grand Forks. The sisters said hurry and took off. Dean and I jumped up, gathered our suitcases , scurried  in haste along, lest we be left on behind on the train.  The conductor opened the outside door,  jumped down and placed a little bench step.

Meeting us, was our Uncle Willard with a big wide smile. We four  truly felt we were in the lap of a luxury  vacation, staying in their mobile home eating “city food in  the  big city of Grand Forks, with its strange city sounds.

Ah Ya…. know what I mean? They had soup out of cans,  sliced bread that came in a red plastic bag, and cereal was out of  a box.

Two days later our Uncle and Aunt deposited us at the train station. ALL ABOARD shouted the conductor! Each of us now had a confident feeling, “We were well seasoned travelers “making a return trip to Rugby to our parents  and  soon after the glorious hills awaited.

Happy New Year  All and many thanks Gary.

Vickie Metcalfe 12/16/17.


Blog (661) posted on December 24, 2009

Posted on December 24, 2009

Folks, It is currently noon on Christmas eve in the PI. The partying has begun. When we got up this morning folks were waiting for their packages. They were all so very happy with the things they got. The kids were happy with their toys and clothes and the adults likewise with their gifts. Bernadette’s brother-in-law who lives next door has the music playing and those that can afford, have purchased San Miguel beer that they are sharing with the others. The partying will continue until midnight when all the fireworks that everyone has purchased are shot off everywhere. Bernadette is preparing a big meal that she will be serving to those in our area following the fireworks. Tomorrow they will have the task of cleaning up all the debris from the fireworks. Because of the burn marks and debris generated from shooting off these fireworks, we do not allow them in our premises. Fireworks are very inexpensive here in the PI. Gary

Question from Sybil Johnson: Cheyenne, WY.

Gary, How close are you and Bernadette to that volcano? I’m curious. I just saw some pictures of it erupting and the dangers. Hope you aren’t close to it. HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE. Sybil Johnson

Reply from Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND.

Gary and Friends,

It’s rather interesting to hear about how my little BB gun story
brought Bill Grimme to dig out his old gun and spend time remembering.
To me, doing things like that can open a chapter of ‘deja vu’ sometimes.
I’m not alone with that I’m sure. Several years ago I was selling some
‘trade’ guns at a gun show in Minot, when a guy about my age walked up
to my table and asked what the price was on a little old Stevens boy’s
rifle. I quoted him a price and he picked it up and said he would take
it. I asked him if he had a son at home who he was buying it for? He
said he wanted one when he was a kid and never got one so now he was
buying it for himself so he could relive some of his childhood that he
missed out on. With that explanation, I offered it to him for less than
the marked price although he hadn’t tried to negotiate with me. Almost
everyone will try to deal a little so I had room for that, but he just
laid down the cash and said, “No, I have plenty of money now, we just
didn’t when I was a kid.” He walked away with a little bit more of his
life fulfilled I suppose. This is what Bill’s reply brought to
mind—–do it for old time’s sake! Thanks Gary!

Art & Emeline Pigeon Richard:
Pictures from Allen Richard (65): Midland, MI

These are two pix I have of Mom and Dad. One is at their wedding as they were leaving on their honeymoon June 17, 1946 — the Chevy next to them was a 1941–it upchucked before they got to wherever they were going, so they made it as far as Bemidji.

The other one of Mom (Jean Emeline Pigeon) was earlier, some time between 1941 and 1945. She is sitting in a chair she gave her dad after he had a toe amputated in ’41. He died in ’43. I have the chair in my basement.

I’ll see what other ones I can scan. Sadly we have no outdoor pix of the original house I lived in for my first 14 years. Mom destroyed all the pix of the “tarpaper shack” that had no electricity until ’52, one bedroom until ’55 no plumbing until ’57 —- and never had a phone —we got that 9 family party line in ’62 after we moved into the existing house. Carmen Richard or Ydola Pigeon could have some of it, but I haven’t asked yet.

Merry Christmas to everyone!


Art & Emeline Pigeon Richard

Emeline Pigeon Richard


12/27/2017 (2586)

10 Year Anniversary of our Dunseith Alumni Blog.


The first Dunseith Alumni blog was posted on December 21, 2007. We are now into year 11 doing this. It’s been a fun 10 years for me. I’ve learned to know so many of you that were only familiar names in the past and others too that I didn’t know at all. I think the same is true for others too. There have also been a lot of reunions made of past friendships too, Several as long as 70 years. Those were heartwarming. The reunions of past 30 to 50 year friendships have been numerous too and in many cases stronger now than ever before.

There has been a lot of history revealed and stories told that are all recorded in our 2,586 blog postings. Today’s blog is number 2,586. Each and every one of these blogs are posted in our Dunseith Alumni Web site.  http://dunseith.net/blog/?m=200712

There is a nice search feature too, located on the upper right side of the first page in our Website.


Examples of searchs . Dale Gottbreht, Gottbreht-2 Gottbreht-1 without quotes, will find every Dale and every Gottbreht name in all 2,586 postings. “Dale Gottbreht”, with quotes, will only find all the Dale Gottbreht’s exactly as listed between the quotes.


Blog (660) posted on December 22, 2009


Folk, Several of you have mentioned pictures that you are going to send me for posting. Please send me any pictures that you’d like posted. I have an FPO address, listed below, that you can send mail to using regular US postage. I will scan, post and return original pictures for any that are sent to me.
With today being our bowling day and with some folks that just arrived to put some window grills in, I am making this a bit shorter today. Gary
Gary Stokes
PSC 517 Box RS/CC
FPO AP 96517-1000
Replies from Bill Grimme (65): Birmingham, AL.
Couple of thoughts to share.
My mother was born in Thorne! I guess your mother and my mother were neighbors, for sure. They would have been close to the same age, also.
After reading your story about the Daisy Red Ryder bb gun, I went down to the basement to get mine (Daisy Red Ryder with the wooden stock, just like you described), loaded it up with about 200 or 300 bb’s and plinked away on Sunday afternoon, thinking about all my old range riding buddies who carried those things back in Dunseith over 50 years ago. I am very familiar with the “lever pinch” and I decided not to relive that! Nice way to reminisce!
Hartley & Boundary Lakes:
Folks, When I checked the Homen township map in the 1984 Bottineau Centennial book on page 188, I noticed that they have what I think is Boundary Lake labeled Hartley. I believe Harley is the lake to the east of Boundary? Checking the Willow Lake township map in the 1982 Dunseith centennial book on page 228, they have the tip of the lake in the NW corner of the map labeled Hartley. I believe that is correct. I remember the north end of Hartley Lake going slightly into Canada. As I remember the firebreak road went around the north end of Hartley Lake into Canada. Rab Lake is not as far east as I thought either. It’s only about 1/4 mile or so east of where the Willow lake road would end, through several fields, on the Canadian line.
Brenda Hoffman’s (68) Website: http://www.lifetapestrycreations.com/index.htm
Folks, Brenda and I have exchanged a number of personal messages the past several weeks or so. Several days ago she told me about her Website and sent me the link. I was impressed with her sight and what she has. Brenda is a beautiful writer and has written some very interesting BLOG’s. She has also published several books. Brenda must think, write and type with the speed of lightening. Everything she has in her Website, including the books, has been produced in the past 10 months or so. Please check out Brenda’s site, with her beautiful picture, by clicking on the Website above. Gary

12/22/2017 (2585)

Gary Stokes Posting

Early Christmas this morning at our house.

These are some, not all, of the kids that live next door. They live within 30’ feet of our house. They are Bernadette’s sister’s Husband’s siblings grandkids. He has 4 brothers, one sister and his mother that all live in four houses within 30’ of our house. Their kids never left home. They just moved their families in with their parents. Filipino Style. Their parents just added more rooms on top of their houses. Not sure where the next generation will live though. These kids don’t have beds. They sleep on the hard floors. They never need covers in this climate.

Our place is all fenced, so we have our boundaries. Unless invited, these kids don’t come into our area. Bernadette’s nieces and nephews kids, some of whom live on our side, are free to come and go into our place and our house.

We have about ½ acre totally enclosed with 7 buildings and  8’ high solid cement walls.

I didn’t have my camera focused right when taking these pictures. I took them too fast not allowing the camera to focus.
Stokes-1 Stokes-2


Posting from Ginger LaRocque Poitra (’65):


So many have lost someone who is very close to us. I know how hard it is. For me I lost my husband last year 2016 in March. It hasn’t gotten easier for me. I know our 3 children miss their dad, our grandchildren miss their Grandpa.

We miss him being here physically so very much but we know he IS here in our hearts,  in our thoughts, in our memories,  when we see something that reminds us of him, we are reminded daily of words he said, funny things he has done, how hard he’d laugh when he heard or saw something funny.

We are all going through this,  those of us who have lost husbands, wives,  parents,  sisters,  brothers,  friends,  sons,  daughters, grandchildren,  grandparents,  some their pets.

Guess What!!! They get to be right there with our Lord Jesus! They get to celebrate His birthday right by His side! Aren’t they all so very special!

Let us wish a Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday to our Lord Jesus.

God can you bless us, help us to do all you want us to do everyday.

We all want to see our loved one’s who have gone before us.

Please keep all our families well and everyday,  in whatever their endeavors are over the holidays  and daily. Thank you God. We love you.

Ginger ( LaRocque) Poitra  Class of ’65



Blog (659) posted on December 21, 2009

Posted on December 22, 2009

Thank You:

From Toni Morinville Gredesky (68): Farimount, ND


I just wanted to take a minute and thank everyone who attended the prayer service and funeral for my sister, Bev. It was truly wonderful to see so many family and friends and hear the incredible stories about Bev. She was a loving, generous person who opened her home to all. You could do no better than to have Bev as your sister and friend.

My parents died long before my daughters could get to know them. Megan was with me, and she was so moved to have so many people speak to her about Bev and my parents.

Thanks again to everyone.

Toni Morinville Gredesky

Reply to yesterday’s message:

From Pam Fassett Faust (65): Lilburn, GA

Gary – Isn’t it kinda scary? These kids can access information and can find stuff that we never in our wildest dreams even thought about. When we were “kids”, we played ball, chased each other around, ran the neighborhood, rode our bikes, spent time with friends, annoyed our parents and our friends parents (and were disciplined by them in many cases), and were just kids being kids. The internet is a wonderful thing, but I don’t think it’s best for the children. Kids need to be kids (or maybe that’s just an “old fashioned” way of thought). Since I have no children, maybe I’m just being too paranoid. But I wonder about “the way of the world”, so to speak. Thanks for all you do on this blog. We all appreciate you.


Reply from Mary Eurich Knutson (62): Dunseith, ND.

Hi Gary / Dale

Yes, Dale, I was disappointed that I missed you. Your mom said you walked in about a half hour after I walked out.

Question – If Andrew Bergan was Clayton’s grandfather what was his dad’s name? I had always thought Oscar and Clayton were cousins. Also regarding the cabin on the picture- I thought it could have been a root cellar. That is a garden hoe in Bergan’s hands and it must have been his building as he wouldn’t take the hoe to visit a neighbor.

zI pulled the Bottineau County Atlas to see if I could find anything of interest cause I knew there was a Bergan Lake somewhere out there. I’m sure those Lakes derive their names from the first homesteaders. I found it right north of Peterson Lake. I wonder if that Peterson Lake is where Sam Peterson’s place was only the spelling differs from the name Gary mentioned (Pederson). This is also the case with the Bergan vs Bergen lake. Brian and Carrie Johnson live a little to the NE of Peterson Lake on the north side of the road and it looks like Bergan Lake would be right behind their house. Paulette Efimenko lives right on the west side of Bergan lake. I’ll send more pictures as I run across them. Mary K

Mary, Clayton Bergan’s dad was Louis. Louis, Oscar, Bertha (Erick) Bjornseth & Julia Trent were siblings. In my day, Erick and Bertha lived west and a little north of where you live, several miles east of Salem church. Julia Trent lived in Bottineau. Julia was very well known in the Bottineau community. Julia’s daughter, Barbara Trent Riehm, lives in San Diego, CA. I have included a picture that Barbara sent to me of her with her husband Charles who has now passed on. I am including Barbara with today’s message as well. She may be able to shed some light on some on these things we are talking about. I will also forward her that message with those pictures you sent a while back too.

From your description, the Bergan lake would be the lake that is located just south of the former James Johnson buildings. Melvin Pederson told me the Bergan’s lived on the west end of that lake. My guess would be that is where the lake got it’s name. I have seen Bergan spelled Bergen too. I’m sure it’s all the same family.

I always thought the Pederson family name was spelled Peterson too, until I was putting together the Ackworth Cemetery list. Olaf Pederson (1861-1938), Sam’ dad is buried in Ackworth. I’m assuming he was the original Pioneer of that family. Melvin Pederson told me their family originally lived on the south side the Pederson/Peterson lake. Most maps list that lake with the spelling “Peterson”.

I’m thinking that is probably a spelling error that has been copied over and over.

I just looked at the original homestead listing of Willow lake Township and it lists Olaf Person as the owner of the 1/4 section adjacent to Pederson/Peterson lake. I know that Person is a misspelling. It should be Olaf Pederson. It also lists Louis Bergan as the owner of 1/4 section one mile north of the Ackworth cemetery, now owned by the Fauske’s. Gary

Charles and Barbara Trent Riehm

The following pictures/messages were previously posted with message 207 on August 30, 2008

Picture/Message from Evie Gottbreht Pilkington (65): Irvine, CA

Picture was sent to me today from my cousin’s wife Tangee Brunsell of Bottineau, guess there are free Wondrasek photos at the museum in Bottineau. Rachel Berube’s wedding 1965

Evie Pilkington



Picture/Message from Evie Gottbreht Pilkington (65): Irvine, CA

Hi Gary,

I wanted to share this picture of my Mom and Dad, thought my old friends would enjoy it. This was taken, summer of 1938, in Thorne, ND – my Mom was raised in Thorne. This was the summer before they married. I especially miss them the month of August. Dad died suddenly Aug 29, 1961, 45 years old and Mom died Aug 15, 2005, 88 years old. They produced 8 children, 35 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren and counting……

Thanks Gary


Alma and Dale Gottbreht 1938

Reply from Sandra Zeiler Vandal (62): Elk River, MN

Hi Gary,
I’m up at Nancy Hosmer’s place. She showed me the picture
taken so long ago. The kids names’ are from left to right are
Dawn,Teri, Kelly and Todd. Order of birth, Todd, Dawn, Teri and
Kelly. When Kelly was five, we had Heather. Who knew way back
when we would have twenty grandchildren and one great
grandchild. Mike remembers your Dad having to pull him out of
the ditch, once. I think he had to pull Dad out, too. Folks are
coming to Mn. with us for a few weeks. We will enjoy catching up
on the e-mails. Thanks a lot, Sandra

Pictrue L to R:
Back: Sandra & Mike
Front: Todd, Dawn, Teri & Kelly

12/20/2017 (2584)

Reply from Rod Hiatt (’69): Bottineau, ND


I remember ordering this rifle from a gentleman in Texas who did all the engraving and fancy work for us. I don’t remember who actually won the rifle, but I know at one time it was on display at the Bottineau Courthouse. It was a big money maker for our Rodeo club at the time. The only thing I don’t recall is who the hell is that young guy in the photo using my name?
Hiatt, Rod 2583-1


DHS Classes of ‘55/’56
Reply from Larry Liere (’55):  Devils Lake, ND


Did you ever get 100% on the red names or ?? ?

If you did get 100% I missed the posting somehow so could you please send another copy if you made one.


Gary Stokes’ comments

Larry, No we did not.
Folks, we need some help with this one. Thanks
the names are in order L to R on the Photo.
We’ve only got two left to identify in this photo and the first names of the Tennacore girls.
Folks, We can do this

DHS Classes of ‘55/’56
Back: Viola Hobbs, Barry Shelver, Larry Liere, Bob Hosmer, ??, Darlene Rohrer, Arline Lamoureux, Ann Lamoureux, ??
Front: ?? Tennacore, Bob Dailly, ?? Tennacore, Janice Leonard
Class of 55-56 2570


Blog (658) posted on December 20, 2009

Folks, When Bernadette’s brother passed away, his son, who was living with them on Mindanao, brought his family here. He has a daughter 3 years old and two boys ages 5 & 6. These kids are super bright. They have had limited access to using computers pretty much only being able to watch and observe others while they are on computers. We have two used Acer laptops that we purchased when were back in the states that we have set up for the local kids to use. When we turned these three kids loose on these laptops, they had them fired up and into the internet in a heartbeat including the little 3 year old girl. With her two brothers on the Laptops, Bernadette let her use her computer. She didn’t need any instructions to get into and navigate the internet. She was into her favorite kid site in no time. These 3 kids are teaching their first, second and third degree cousins, who have not shown quite as much interest up until now, in computers. These 3 kids are waiting for me to get up each morning so they can get in the office and on the computers. When they get too noisy, I transfer them, with the computers, to the porch outside. The 6 year old will be in first grade next year. All three of these kids have learned English pretty well and are pretty proficient in reading and writing all of which they have learned from the computers and watching TV. Gary
Pederson Correction:
From Evon Lagerquist (77): Dunseith, ND
Gary, Lowell Pederson is the brother of Melvin’s that lives in Spokane, and Arizona in the winter……..
Evon, Checking my notes from when I talked to Melvin Pederson, your are absolutely correct. I’ll bet your mother, Leola Hiatt Lagerquist, remembers the Pederson family pretty well. When I talked to Bev Handeland Hamnes, cousin to the Pederson siblings, she said Charles’ nick name was Sonny.
Reply from Keith Pladson (66): Stafford, VA
Three comments:First, we didn’t get the high number of 26″, but we did get about 18″ at our house. It ranged between 14 and 20 for the DC area. And yes, it is wet, heavy snow. We have a wide driveway and I did finish shoveling it out. But, now I ache all over even in places I’d forgotten I had. Biggest problem is that even when we get out of our development, we can’t get anywhere because they have yet to plow most side streets, etc. Is the weather in the PI very humid? I personally don’t care for that 40 below stuff anymore, but I also am not crazy for the summer weather we get our here where we get so many hot, humid, sticky days and where if we are lucky it might get down into the low seventies at night. (Many nights it stays in the low eighties – yuk!)

Secondly, we used to go swimming in Peterson Lake every summer when we lived on my Aunt Ester’s place (Note my spelling.). That lake was right on the county line and one mile west of our place. Is that lake named after the family you have been discussing? I always thought if was Peterson, but perhaps I was/am wrong and it’s Pederson Lake. If so, how did that naming come about? For that matter, how about Hartley Lake and Sand Lake? Were they named after early settlers in their respective areas? As an aside, Peterson/Pederson Lake is also the lake where my brother, Clarence, drowned in 1972.

Third, maybe you shouldn’t post the SSNs for people who are deceased. I know they are gone, but with all the problems with identity theft now, why give anyone a leg up? And as far as your readers are concerned, I really don’t think if makes a difference to us if that data block is missing. Just an observation for what it’s worth.

Keith, We have high humidity but not sultering. Our relative humidity is normally about 75%. The evenings are always very nice and comfortable. It gets dark between 5 & 6 o’clock year around. I like never ever having to put on a coat or wearing long sleeves to keep warm.
The good old Pederson Lake. I sure did my share of swimming in that lake too. Yes, that lake was named after the Sam Pederson family we have been discussing the past several days. Melvin Pederson told me they used to live on the south side of the lake, I think probably where we used to go swimming. I remember well when your brother Clarence drowned in Pederson lake. That was such a tragedy. If I remember correctly they found his body near the NW side of the lake? Our swimming beach was on the south side. The lake is pretty small, so he may have swam over to that area.
I am not sure how Boundary, Hartley, Rab & Sand lakes got their names. Boundary and Hartley both run into Canada. Rab I think runs almost to the line. Gary

Christmas Greetings:
Form the Almo Pladson (68) family: Ontario, CA
We’ve been hard at work perfecting our dance moves. Just click on the links below and turn up the volume!
Note: When the site comes up wait a few seconds for the video to start playing do not click on the down load.
Merry Christmas!
Almo, Christie, Wyatt and Hunter
Hip Hop Pladson elves:
Country Pladson elves:
Disco Pladson elves:
Almo, It’s been nearly 45 years since I have seen you, but after seeing you in these Video’s, I sure recognize you as belonging to the Pladson family. These are great video’s. You are all such great Dancers too! Gary
Request posted on the Dunseith Alumni WEB site:http://garystokes.net/default.aspx
From: Tracy Zeiler Fennern
Please add me to your email list. Thanks. Tracy
Tracy, I have added you to our distribution starting with today’s message. I believe your parents are Lyle (61) and Sharon Pearson (62) Zeiler. I’m assuming your were with the class of 82, give or take a year? I think in those years the kids from your area were going to Bottineau? I found an address for you living in Elizabeth, CO. Would that be a good address for you? Thank you so much for this request. Gary
Gottbreht Christmas memories:
From Sharren Gottbreht Shen (59): Everett, WA.
The treasured memories of Christmas past make wonderful reading; thank you Erling for your major contributions and thank you Dick Johnson for the mention of community Christmas concerts that I too recall. The snap of snow and cold would just add to the fun and warmth of family exchange be it gifts of good eats or an item dearly wished for. Grandma Evelyn Gottbreht made the season exceptional for her son Dale and daughter Arla every year. Preparations would start months before with a carefully tended flock of geese. Aunt Arla Gottbreht related this story to me.Dale was about 14 years old and he and the hired hand were left in charge of the home place [Ernie Gottbreht ranch today]. Chester Sager worked for George Sr in 1930; he was age 17, about the right age for gaining wisdom from experience. Evelyn had Elderberry wine newly bottled and set aside in her earthen cellar for the coming season of colds and flu. The wine was still somewhat green but would be excellent by Christmas. Dale suggested to Chester that they might past the afternoon with a sampling of his mom’s wine. After several nips, the boys became both soft and bold. Dale had a 4×10 shotgun and bragged that he could shoot the head off a goose. Grandmas geese had run of the yard and Dale proceeded to behead the entire flock of 10/12 geese. Grandma was beside herself and I am sure the influence of alcohol was weighed and condemned. The pluck and draw event must have stretched far into the night.

A Mrs. Altman had given Mary Louise Tennancour LaFrance, Evelyn’s mother, a Blue Ribbon Cook Book in 1912, according to the inscription on the back cover. Evelyn loved this book and her comments are written on many pages; she has written “Very good” beside the Roast Goose entry. The 1952/55 picture of Evelyn and goose was taken at Arla’s apartment in Grand Forks, ND.

Peace and happy children and grand children around your table! Thanks Gary, Sharron

Dale Gottbreht’s Mother:
Evelyn Gottbreht


12/16/2017 (2583)

Gary/Bernadette Stokes’ 39th Wedding Anniversary

Message from Ginger LaRocque Poitra (’65): Belcourt, ND

Hi Gary and Bernadette,

I would like to wish you both a belated happy anniversary.  For December 3rd. 39 years I believe.

God Bless you both


Gary’s Reply

Thanks Ginger. You are right. We celebrated our 39th Wedding Anniversary on December 3rd. Next year will be our 40th.

Bernadette’s condition has taken a turn for the worse too. For the past month or so she just isn’t snapping back like she normally does. We don’t dare let her walk alone, even in the house, for fear she will lose her balance and fall. Her speech is really affected now too. The dementia is starting to take it’s affects now also.

Rod Hiatt Shows of one-of-a-kind gun
Posting from Neola Kofoid Garbe:  Bottineau & Minot, ND
Hiatt, Rod 2583-1 Hiatt, Rod 2583-2


Reply to Larry Hackman’s (66) Army Basic Training Photo
From Vickie Metcalfe (’70):  Bottineau, ND

Gary & Larry H. and Dunseith friends,

I worked with Ken Torgerson at Central School here in Bottineau for a time a  few years back .

Kenn carried a  warm smile and  was  jovial and kind. to the children and staff.

In his quiet way, he was always a  patriotic  and  proud American Veteran!

May he rest in peace.

Vickie M.


Message to Dick Johnson and Gary Stokes
From Neola Kofoid Garbe:  Bottineau & Minot, ND

Hi Guys,

Because I’m moving to a different apartment, I’m looking through boxes and boxes of paper items: saving some/shredding some/throwing some.  I found this postcard. I have no idea why I have it.  As you can see, it was mailed to Miss Clara Johnson from G. A.  I thought Scott Wagar might be interested in using it for his “Nostalgia” photo in the Courant.  I’d appreciate any info you can tell me about this picture, which I’ll pass on to Scott. 

My memory isn’t worth a hoot these days, so I don’t remember if I’ve heard you, Dick, are related to MISS Clara Johnson.  Do either of you know who G. A. might have been?




Dick Johnson’s Reply

 Neola and Gary,

    Clara Johnson was my Grandma Myrtle Johnson Olson’s older sister and was married to Albert Berg, the parents of Alvin, Martin, Amanda, and Arla Berg.  This is sure an interesting part of family and Ackworth Community  history.  I’ll attach a couple pictures of the Bergs from long ago.

Ackworth-1 Ackworth-2

                                    Dick Johnson’s Photos of the Berg Family

Neola’s reply to Gary Stokes

 You are right about who Clara was; Martin Berg’s mother.  I know their farm was a little west of Sander Johnson’s grocery/milk store.  I stayed with Martin/Alice when they lived on the “James Johnson Place”;  sometimes we would go to Sander’s in the evening/get ice cream.  Martin used to scare me by saying Sander might take out his glass eye.  I wasn’t very old at this time–before Carol was born–so I wasn’t looking forward to this. LOL



Bakken Name associated with the Bottineau Area
Reply From Dale Pritchard (’63):  Leesville, LA


As far as you know, is the “Bakken” name ssociated with the Bottineau area?

Also, I came across the following obituary while doing some genealogy research.  I was looking for a Lois I. Roberts in Mississippi/Louisiana and Google gave me Lois Jean Roberts instead.  Lois was probably a 1961 graduate of Bottineau High School and was apparently married the first time to a Leland Henderson with a second marriage to Jesse Bert Roberts. I don’t know where either marriage took place, whether in the Bottineau area, the Seattle area, or somewhere else.  She apparently moved to Seattle when she was about 33 years old.  Does any know her, or know of her?


23 Feb 1943 – 18 May 2014

Lois Jean Robert died peacefully in her home in Marysville, Washington on December 25th, 2014.  She was born in Bottineau, North Dakota in 1943.  She moved to the Seattle area in 1976.  She was an amazing woman with an amazing laugh and love of life.  In lieu of flowers, please consider making a contribution to Providence Hospice of Snohomish County.  Lois is survived by her loving and devoted husband, Jesse Bert Roberts, her children Leland Henderson, Jerry Henderson, Lissa Knox and Pam Cope as well as her step children Dan Roberts and sherine Gardiner; her mother Carol Gessner, sister Lynn Gessner and many grandchildren and great grandchildren.  Bert would like to thank all the family and friends for the incredible support they provided over the last year.  Services will be held at the Quil Ceda Creek Ward, 5212 7th Ave. NE in Marysville on January 10th at 1pm.

Published in The Seattle Times on Jan 4, 2015

Thanks, Dale Pritchard


Blog (657) posted on December 19, 2009

Posted on December 19, 2009

Albert & Eller families:

Reply from Ivy Eller Rober’t (74): Everett, WA.

My Mom and Dad were Herman & Emma Eller. Dad was married to Laura Azure Eller first, she died after giving birth to a son named Thomas. He was pre-mature, 3 months early. He died when he was a week old. Laura had gotten a sever infection, complications from the birth. She died 3 weeks after Thomas did. They are buried at St. Anthony’s Church Cemetery, approximately 5 miles east of Dunseith, along with Rose, who died when she was nine. Laura & Dad had 9 children together, Gladys, Leonard, Herman Jr., Elizabeth, Leo, Margaret, Richard, Rose & Thomas. A couple of years after Laura’s death, Dad married my mother Emma Albert (Father: George Albert, Mother: Agnes Warren Albert). She was the only child. Mom & Dad had four girls, Julie Eller Dahl, Carol Eller Djarlais, Bonnie, & me (Ivy). Mom died in 1976 and a couple of years later, Dad married Georgaleen (I don’ recall her last name). Dad died in 1984 and “Georgie” died a few years later. They are buried in the ST. John Cemetery. Of the 13 children Dad had, there are only 7 of us still living. I am the youngest of the bunch. It’s funny, when most of then were alive, we haven’t ever been all in the same place at the same time.
Smiea is my Mom’s step-sister. Grandpa had went back to Syria to find a new wife a couple of years after Grandma had died in a car accident on the San Hill. It was actually right at the entrance where the gulf course is now. Grandpa’s ‘new wife’ was Fatima. Smiea is her daughter. Grandpa died in 1979. Him, Grandma, & Mom are all buried together at Riverside Cemetery. Fatima died about 3 years ago, according to Smiea and is buried some where in Canada near where she lives. I lost touch with Smiea & Grandma (Fatima) after Grandpa had died. To tell the truth, I had spoke to her almost a year ago for a few minutes, then again, less than a week ago. I haven’t really gotten caught up with her on her life yet. I plan on going to visit her next summer. She lives in Grand Forks, British Columbia. (I think) I do have her number & will call for directions.
I hope this answers some of the question about my family…….

I want to wish everyone a very MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR……….be safe everyone!

Alumni Reunion in May:

Reply/Requests from Cheryl Haagenson (71): Dunseith, ND.

First of all “Merry Christmas”I hope everyone has a safe and blessed Holiday. Let’s start looking for photos so that we can bring a boat load of them to the “Get together” in May.
Add Janet Haagenson Sedlacek and Bernd Sedlacek. Thanks Gary
Cheryl Haagenson

Cheryl, I have added Janet and Bernd to the master reunion list. I have posted the latest updated copy of those planning to attend the reunion at the bottom of this message. Gary


Beverly Lynn Azure
(February 23, 1956 – December 6, 2009) 

Sign Guest Book|


Mass Of The Christian Burial was held for Beverly Azure, age 56 of Dunseith, on Saturday at 10:00 A.M. in the St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Dunseith. Burial was in the St. Louis Cemetery also in Dunseith. The Celebrant for the Mass was the Reverend Father Jeff Eppler S.O.L.T. Special music was provided by Monica Nadeau. Honorary bearers were Floyd Dion, Arnold Morgan, Craig Richards, Duane Morinville, Ken Marmon and Jerry Gredesky. Casket Bearers were Darren Opstedal, Bill Krause, Dale Juntunen, Kent Cote, Lyle Olson and Paul Messner.

Beverly Azure, a daughter of Joe and Frances (Hanson) Morinville, was born in Bottineau on February 23, 1953. She was reared in Dunseith and graduated from Dunseith High School in 1972. On August 16, 1980 she was married to Clarence Azure at Dunseith. Following their marriage, they lived in various places such as, Manheim, Germany, Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Fort Knox, Kentucky. She was a homemaker until 1992 when they moved back to Dunseith. Bev worked at the TMC for several years. She most recently worked at the Log House in Dunseith.

Bev enjoyed beading, painting, and spending time with her family. She also enjoyed going to concerts and gardening. She taught Sunday school for several years and was an active member of the St. Michael’s The Archangel Parish in Dunseith.

Beverly passed away on Sunday, December 6, 2009 in a Minot hospital.

She is survived by her husband, Clarence of Dunseith; daughters, Shonda and her husband Matthew Campbell of Minot and Shannon Azure and her special friend Steve Catalano of Grand Forks; sons Cody Azure and his wife Diana, and Jason Azure both of Grand Forks; a grandson, Chris Scott of Minot; sisters, Debbie Marmon of Miles City MT and Toni Gredesky of Fairmount, ND; a brother, Duane Morinville of Dunseith.

Beverly was preceded in death by her grandparents and parents.

Replies from Gary Metcalfe (57): Forsyth, MO

Reply to Gary Stokes

Gary, it is coming back to me now, Sam Pederson was married to Jennie Handland’s sister, who must have died young and left four or five children. The ones I remember were Charles, Lowell and Paul. Charles with the curly hair was Jennie’s favorite.

To Margaret Seim Lawson

Now the story makes more sense. My dad said Eva was working on Edwin’s attitude, so she said “EDWAA, Be a good boy or you won’t be able to go see Uncle Pete.” Another one was that Pete told my dad that he exactly the same name as a very famous baseball player. He said, “My name is Pete Mosho and his name is Joe Dimosho.” For those who don’t understand French very well, the ball player was Joe DiMaggio!!

Thanks everyone. Sue and I will be gone for the next week or so. Hope all of you have a Merry Christmas and wonderful family memories of Christmas 2009. Gary Metcalfe

Story from Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND

Gary and Friends,

There is a cute movie that usually plays every Christmas Day. It’s
called ‘A Christmas Story’ and is about a kid named Ralphie who wants a
BB gun for Christmas. My BB gun story is not as good when it gets to the
ending. George and Lela Cota were working at the Peace Garden in the mid
50s and one time when we were visiting them at the caretaker’s
residence, George brought out an old BB gun that had been his son,
Gary’s, and gave it to me. I was about 6 at the time. He told Mom that
it wouldn’t shoot BBs any more but still made the noise. It was a Daisy
with a wooden stock and I was really proud of it. My grandparents lived
upstairs in our house in Dunseith and sometimes Grandma would keep an
eye on my cousins and me. One day this was the case and my cousin Doug
Warcup and I were out in the yard playing with my prize BB gun when he
asked if he could shoot it? He cocked it and aimed it and just before he
pulled the trigger, I noticed he had the lever down. This is a NO-NO
with those old guns. I said, “NO”—Bang! The lever slammed shut on his
fingers when the gun fired and put a small cut on his finger. He did
what any 5 year old would do, ran to Grandma screaming about his finger.
She did what any grandma would do, asking what happened? He said , “The
BB gun did it”. She did what most grandmas would do and assumed he had
been shot. I tried to explain but she called my grandpa up at the Garden
Tap (he was the owner) and told him I shot Doug with that damn gun. I
remember Grandpa came walking briskly down the alley and as I was trying
to explain what happened, he grabbed my BB gun and whacked it on the
ground a couple times until it flew in two pieces and then threw it in
the garbage barrel and headed back to work. That was the worst feeling I
had ever had up until that time. Everything went from bad to worse and
none of the people involved did anything they shouldn’t have done, given
the circumstances. Obviously it is burned into my memory because of the
way it all went wrong for me that day. I lost my prize possession over a
mistake. Ralphie gets his gun—I lose mine. His story is better! Thanks


Correction to yesterday’s message from Lee Stickland (64): Dickinson, ND


I do stand corrected. The lady on the far right of the picture re:Oscar and Sylvia is indeed Ellie Striker. Yes, the third from the right is my Grand mother. Sorry.

I have many memories of Lee and of Erman Striker, whom are barely visible on this picture. They must not have had the digital camera with this day. Lee

Wm. Striker & his children on his 81st Birthday, 1943

L to R: Georgia, Gladys Brill, Della Lockhart, Lee, Vernie, Erman, Mae Stickland,

Cora Lockhart & Ellen

12/11/2017 (2582)

Dave Wurgler Condolences
From Vickie Metcalfe (’70):  Bottineau, ND

Gary and Dunseith Friends,

I also am saddened to read of the passing of Dave Wurgler. For the past number of years I have taken my dogs to Rugby Veterinary. Once , I  stopped for fuel  at Tesoro  before leaving Rugby. There was a guy who recognized my  last name on the cheque blank. He introduced himself as Dave Wurgler. He was a pleasant person who’d visit a bit  about news read on  the Dunseith blog. inquire and  share and  reminiscence.

I extend sympathy to his family.



Dave Wurgler Condolences
From Marlys Hiatt (’71):  Dunseith, ND

I am so sorry to hear of David Wurgler’s passing.  I will be keeping his family in my thoughts and prayers.  Special condolences to Peggy and Joan.

Marlys Hiatt


Dave Wurgler Condolences
From Bob Lykins (60’s DHS Teacher):  Hutto, TX


Sorry to learn about David.  I remember him well as that tosseled hair kid who always seemed to have that pleasant, friendly smile.  Around me he was always very quiet.  As I recall he was a pretty decent athlete as well.  My heartfelt condolences to the family.

Bob Lykins


Dave Wurgler Condolences and Memories
From Ginger LaRocque Poitra (’65):  Belcourt, ND

After retiring he worked at Tesoro station there in Rugby for a time. We enjoyed visiting with him a bit on our stops. Always friendly.

Yes he did have a growth spurt, I think he never looked older, always the same.

I  missed not seeing him to visit with when he no longer worked at Tesoro. I did occasionally see him as we drove by his home, if he would be outside his home doing something in his garage.

Now I will miss him forever in my lifetime.

It is so sad.

My condolences to his wife and family. May God bless you and keep you so you will all be able to get through this very trying time.

Ginger Poitra Class of 1965


Dave Wurgler memories
Posted by Allen Richard (’65):  Midland, MI

So sorry to hear about Dave.  Mom, Dad, Stephanie and I used to stop at the corner every Saturday night on our way home— even before the Wurgler’s took it  over.  We were not BEST friends,  But we were always darned good friends, all the way back around 30 years ago when I last gassed up at his station.  Ant all the smack talk about MOPARS and Chevys.

RIP, Dave.  I am very sad.

Allen.  :-(

Dave Wurgler’s Granddaughter ‘Miss Teen Super Model USA 2011’
Posting from Ken Striker (Striker Historian): Dayton OH

David Wurgler…his granddaughter Rachael Allickson was Miss Teen Super Model USA 2011.  She was d/o Kevin and Teri Allickson of Rugby This from your blog 2 Aug 2011.  Kevin has ties back to Wm Elmer Striker.


Basic Training 1969;  B Company 2nd Battalion 2nd  Brigade, Ft. Lewis, Washington
Posting form Larry Hackman (’66):  Bismarck, ND


I saw Kenn Torgerson of Bottineau, name under the (death notices) in yesterday’s paper, it brought back memories of our time at Ft. Lewis, Washington.

It is sad that there have been so many family members and friends passing.  My condolences to all their families.

I have included a picture of Kenn and my basic training company.

Most of these fellows are from North Dakota.  I Had their names written on the back of the photo but not where they were from, so the towns shown with the names are from memory.  We look kind of rumpled and the shine is gone from our boots as they just had us low crawling through the saw dust pits (pits a couple  100 ft. square surrounded by power poles “seemed a lot longer and maybe were” and then filled with saw dust) and then ran us back to the barracks for this photo.  The drill sergeants usually had every trainee crawl through these saw dust pits until everyone was exhausted, while they stood on the edge  visiting or planning our day of running and doing push-ups (I wish I was in that good of shape now).  A Drill Sergeant would  occasionally stop visiting and run out into the pit and kick some trainees butt because he had it too high in the air, after all you wouldn’t want to get your donkey shot off..


Basic Training 1969;  B Company 2nd Battalion 2nd  Brigade, Ft. Lewis, Washington

Moto – B-2-2 When the going gets tough, the tough gets going.

Lt. to Rt. – top to bottom

top. Bear@ Jamestown, ND, Kunkel, Miller @ Mohall, Merrill, R. Torgerson, Cassidy, Hoff, McCabe @ Steel,ND, Washington @ Chicago, Carlson.

  1. Congalton, Blue Earth, La Rocque @ Dunseith,ND, Huber @ Westhope, ND, Rusin, Smith, Randish @ Mohall, ND, Mazich, Dunlap
  2. Prouty @ St John, ND, Bartschi, Adams, Kitzman @ Towner, ND, Sims, Davies, Padilla @ Puerto Rico, Campaigne, Castiglione, Maschoff
  3. Kreitinger, Weidner, Grzekowiak, Lykken, Hackman @ Dunseith, ND, Schulz, Dodge, Jones, Drill Sargeant Mandez – asshole.
  4. Sison @ Philippines, Klopfenstein @ Chicago, Jacobson, Curry, Kaufman, Barmoen, K. Torgerson @ Bottineau, ND.

Maybe a few of these fellows will be recognized and we will find out where they are now.




Blog (656) posted on December 18, 2009

Posted on December 18, 2009

Thank you From the Azure Family:

The Azure family would like to thank all of Bev’s friends and family for
being so supportive in our time of need. And also to those who sent kind
words, cards, and prayers not only while mom was in the hospital but also
at her wake and funeral. Also a special thank you to those who followed
Bev’s last wishes and to those who have brought figts and helped at the
luncheon and dinner. We are very thankful and appreciative for all your
kindness and friendship.

Sincerely with great thanks-
The Azure Family

From Dianne Rober’t Johnson (76): Rolla, ND.


Thank you for doing all the postings in E-mail, it’s nice to read about the old days & any current news. I for one, really enjoy your daily postings.

Wishing you (& to everyone) a “Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year”.

Dianne Johnson

Reply to LeaRae Parrill & Ivy Eller:

From Ele Dietrich Slyter (69): Dunseith, ND.

Wasn’t George Albert’s daughter, Emma, married to Herman Eller? And if I am not mistaken, Herman may have had another wife before Emma. I think, and Bonnie correct me if I am wrong, that Leonard Eller, who lives near Rolla, is Herman’s son.


Reply from Eileen Brudwick: Fargo, ND.

Thank you very much for the compliment, Gary!!  It’s nice to know some of you feel I’m so great!! 


Eileen, You are so welcome. Gary

Reply from Roger & Connie Zorn Landsverk: Bottineau, ND

Hi Gary,

How are things @ the Stokes’ .I was reading the Dunseith news & By reading it I gathered you guys had alot of fun in high school.We had alot of fun during our high school days. My sister Linda, myself & one of my friends like to date some of the Forestry guys. We partied alot. We drank alot of wine. It’s a miracle none of us got picked-up for DUI’S. We were good girls during the week but sometimes naughty on the week-ends.

I talked to Evon Lagerquist last-evening & she explained to where the Stokes lived in the hills on the Ackworth road. Please excuse my spelling. I’ve been up in that country in the summer time & it’s very pretty.

take care


Folks, Connie’s dad was Leo Zorn. She is a cousin the Sharon, Myron and Marlys.

Willow Lake Road.

Folks, I am posting this picture for reference to several email messages that are posted with today’s message.

This picture, of the willow lake road, was taken on top of the Ackworth Cemetery Hill looking south. The Cemetery is to right and our former yard, the Bob Stokes farm, is to the left from where this picture was taken. Bottineau County is one mile to the west (right) on the road at the bottom of the hill. Highway 43 is one mile south from the intersection. The trees that can be seen farthest south in this picture are adjacent to Highway 43. The original site of the Ackworth School was a half mile east (left) from the intersection. In 1981 the school was moved and is now located 1/8 east from the intersection behind the trees on the left. Gary

Note: Clarence Hagen owned 3 quarters of the section of land to the south and west of the interestion. The other quarter was the Pederson place. Elmer Lindberg’s farm and property, in Bottineau county, was adjacent to the west of this section. Elmer’s sister was Alice McKay.

Sam Pederson family reply:

From Luella (Boardman 49) & Ralph Bjornseth: Bottineau, ND.

Hi Gary!

You asked about Paul Pederson. He was married to Marlene Rude (Kenneth Rude’s Sister). They are divorced and Ralph thinks he is either in South Dakota or Montana. Sam Pederson’s children were Oscar (deceased), Eileen (don’t know if she is still living), Melvin, Paul and probably 2 other boys. Ralph hears from Melvin every year at Christmas time. He lives in Spokane. Mrs. Sam Pederson was a sister of Jennie Handland so any of the Handland girls could tell you the history of that family. Ralph remembers Sam as being a very big man. They evidently moved around a lot and had moved out to Washington. He came back here at one time and worked for Carris Vandel. Ralph thinks he was working for Carris when he died. I hope this answers a few of the questions.


Follow up reply from Luella:


We talked to Glen Rude this noon and he said Paul died about 10 years ago. He doesn’t remember where he was living at the time or where he is burried. Another boy in that family was Lowell and Ralph thinks he is still living. That is all for now.


Folks, The Sam Pederson Farm was located 3/4 mile west (right) and on the south side of the road from the interesection at the bottom of the hill in the picture above. The Jacob Bjornseth farm now owned by Ralph & Luella is located 1 3/4 miles west on the north side of the road from the interesection in the picture. That is where Ralph was born and raised.

Luella, This answers a whole bunch of question for me and I know others too. I had no idea that Mrs. Sam Pederson was a sister of Jennie Handland’s. I have her daughters Beverly, Muriel & Lorraine in my records, but they do not have email addresses. I found Melvin Pederson’s phone number in Spokane. I will call him in the morning, my time, before sending this message out. Thank you so much Luella and Ralph for this info. We’d love to hear more from the rest of you that knew the Pederson family too. This is one bit of history that will be captured and recorded that could have been lost. Thank you Gary Metcalfe for bringing this family to light. Gary

Pritchard Picture & the Thompson Place:

Repy from Marlys Hiatt (71): Dunseith, ND.

Hi Gary,

I really enjoyed the information on the blog today. I do have a couple of
questions and a little more information. Is the little boy in the picture
with the cabin identified as Robert Pritchard the same Robert Pritchard
that lived down the road from your family and across the lake from my
family? Dorthy Pritchard’s husband? If it is then it is pretty amazing to
me to see the person I thought of as an older man when he was just a
toddler. I guess we all start out that way.

Also about the Thompson place. Was that the land straight north of where
we grew up. If I am remembering right it was the land where my father,
Norman Hiatt, would put his stock cows for summer pasture. Every so often
we would all go up to take a head count to make sure all the cattle were
okay. There were times we had to walk through the pasture to find them
all. I remember being quit young and walking with grandma Margie when we
came upon some old buildings that had not been lived in for quite a while.
Grandma Margie told me that was the house where Ella (Thompson) Pladson
had lived when she was a little girl. Grandma then went on to tell me
about what hard working and good little girls Ella and her sister were.
If I remember the story right Ella’s mother was handicap and unable to
make bread so she would tell the little girls how to do it and they had to
stand on chairs in order to make the bread because they were so little.
My memory is a long way from being reliable so if I Have this wrong please
let me and all the other readers know. In my minds eye I can still see
how the buildings looked and remember how special my grandma thought those
little Thompson girls were. Would this then be where boundary lake is
located? I remember hearing my father talk about boundary lake but I do
recall knowing exactly where it was.

There is a story that occurred which I know to be true. It happened in
the spring and we were on that family outing to check the cattle in the
North pasture or as it was sometimes referred to as the Thompson place.
As Vickie and I were walking through the woods I got tired and sat down
for awhile and got more that a little rest. As some of you might have
already guessed – wood ticks.

Some questions came up about Paul Pederson. I believe this is the same
man that worked for my dad, Norman Hiatt. This was before I can remember
but I heard many stories about him all of which were good. I believe my
parents thought a lot of him. The last time I remember seeing him was at
my cousins wedding in Montana. I do remember going to see his baby girl
that was named Marla but I do not remember his wife’s name or the name of
his in-law’s. I do think they were from the Metigoshe area and I believe
that Marla still lives in Bottineau but I do not know her last name. I
don’t think that marriage lasted very long.

As Dick always says – any additions or corrections to this information is
always welcome. As I think about this I am aware of how foggy some of my
memories are.

Folks, Norman & Irene Hiatt, Marlys’ folks, lived 7/8 of a mile east (left) from the intersection in the picture above. The Thompson place that Marlys talks about in her message was located a mile or so north of their place. The Robert Pritchard farm was located 3/4 of a mile to the south of the intersection in the picture above. Evon Lagerquist is currently living on that place.

Marlys, you are absolutely right, that was the Thompson place located a mile or so north of your place. There are no roads other than for field roads to that area. Because there were no roads I was never back in that area. I left ND before the snowmobile days too or I would have probably explored that area in the winter on snowmobiles. Folks will have to correct me if I’m wrong, but I think, as you mentioned, that is where Ella Thompson Pladson and Esther Thompson Tangen were born and raised? Their mother was a sister to my grandfather Frank Stokes. Rab Lake is the lake in that area. Boundary lake is located a little farther west in Bottineau County. The willow lake road, going thru some fields, ends on the Canadian line. From that point, on the line, Rab lake is about one mile east, Hartley lake is located about 1 mile west and boundary lake about 2 miles west. Folks please correct me if I’m wrong.

That is the Robert Pritchard that you knew in those pictures that Mary Eurich Knutson posted yesterday.

Pritchard/Pladson relationship:

Reply from Keith Pladson (66): Stafford, VA

This is in response to Dale Pritchard’s and Mary Knutson’s recent comments and a comment from from Dale several months ago.

Dale, several months ago you mentioned to Gary Stokes, that you weren’t clear on the connections between my family (and Gary’s) and yours. I think Mary has helped to clear that up. If I remember correctly, Ida Thompson was my Mom’s Aunt on her Dad’s side. So that makes my Mom, Ella, a first cousin to your Dad, Robert (and of course Mary’s Mom, Winifred). The biggest difference was age. Since my Mom was born in March of 1923, she was 12 years younger than your Dad. I believe your Dad and my Mom’s oldest sister, Ester, were the same age. I’m not sure what the age difference was between Mary’s Mom and my Mom, but I think it was somewhat less. Interestingly, my Mom was quite close to your older sister Shirley. My siblings and I saw Shirley and her family several times while we were growing up. And Shirley continued to visit Mom often in Bottineau after my Dad, Eldon, died. That, of course, was all through my Grandfather’s family the Thompsons.

Gary Stokes’ connection to my family was through my Grandmother’s (Mom’s Mother’s) side — the Stokes’. My Mom’s Uncle, Frank Stokes, adopted Gary’s Dad, Robert.

Thank you Mary for bringing this up. Very interesting stuff.

Finally, a question to my classmate, Janet Bergan Evans. Does this mean that your ancestors lived in or near the Ackworth community?

Thanks Mary for bringing this up — very interesting.

Folks, The Eldon Pladson family, Keith’s family, moved to Keith’s mother’s sister place in about 1962, located several hundred feet to the right half way up the hill from the intersection in the above picture. Esther Tangen, sister to Keith’s mother Ella, owned that property. That property was formerly owned by Keith and my Great Grandfather, William Stokes.

Keith, you explained the relationships well. I will take a stab at answering what I know about the Bergan family. Do you remember Oscar Bergan. He and Sylvia lived several miles north and west of your place when your family lived on the Zieman place west of Salem church. Oscar was an uncle to Janet Bergan’s dad. Mrs. Erick Bjornseth, Bertha, was also a sister to Oscar and Janet’s grandfather. Erick and Bertha Bjornseth lived about 1/2 mile north of #43, 2 miles or so from the Rolette/Bottineau county line. They lived west of Sander Johnson’s. That’s all I know about the Bergan family. Janet or some of the others can maybe fill us in with the history of where the Bergan’s were raised. It must have been in that general area. Gary

Reply form Lee Stickland (65): Dickinson, ND


I see my grandmother, Mae Striker Stickland to the extreme right on this picture of Sylvia and Oscar. I recall being at Oscar and Sylvia about 50 years ago, when I was 13. So 50 minus 13 would make me 37 now ? Or have I lost my touch with numbers ?

Thanks so much for YOUR informational blog which I read in its entirety each day. Lee

Lee I have reposted that message. This is perfect timing with the Bergan family being mentioned in today’s blog. Gary

Previously posted:

Subject: (471) Dunseith Alumni..
Date: Thursday, May 28, 2009, 12:24 AM

Striker/Bergan pictures & Striker History provided by Ken Striker: Dayton OH

Wm. Striker & his children on his 81st Birthday, 1943

L to R: Georgia, Gladys Brill, Della Lockhart, Lee, Vernie, Erman, Mae Stickland, Cora Lockhart & Ellen

Gary’s comments

I think this picture was taken of Oscar & Sylvia on their golden anniversary in 1979? I’m kind of thinking they had their celebration at the Christian Center at Lake Metigoshe. This is exactly the way I remember them. They were a great couple. They had no children. Oscar was a brother to Clayton Bergan’s father. Sylvia Lockhart Bergan’s mother was a Striker. Oscar & Sylvia lived a few miles east of Lake Metigoshe and several miles north of #43. They lived close to Bernard Kavlie and Lars Sivertson. John & Pat Frykman are currently living in that area too. Gary

Oscar & Sylvia Bergan

12/07/2017 (2581)

David Wurgler, 71, Rugby, died Tuesday at a Rugby medical center.

(Anderson Funeral Home, Rugby)


I was so saddened and so shocked to hear of Dave’s passing. I will post more details and his obituary when they become available.

Dave was with the DHS Class of 1964, one year ahead of me. I remember him so well from our high school days. He was always very short for his age, but from what I understand had a growth spurt after HS. The last I saw Dave was in 1965. The past 10 years we have exchanged a number of email messages, but we were never able to connect seeing one another during this time.

Dave was well like and popular in our HS days. I know the same followed him through life too. He will be missed. We extend our condolences to all of his family.


Dave Wurgler: DHS Class of 1964
Wurgler, Dave 2581 Wurgler, Dave 2581-1


Past memories and the present

Posting from Ginger LaRocque Poitra (’65): Belcourt, ND

Hi everyone!,

I would guess everyone is readying themselves for Christmas. A special time , a busy time of the year. Getting ready for family get togethers with the people we care and love most.

I know that my son Todd and I have been very consumed in decorating. For the children. Grandchildren,  great-grandchildren.

The past years my inability to do things for myself has caused everything to to be left to Todd and daughter Michaela.

This year I am doing better, health wise,  not so I am able to do everything without help but my family is always here for me. I  don’t know what I would do without them.

Our home is almost all decorated on the inside.

I have always decorated our home on the inside and helped with the outside as well, Anthony and I would work together with the tree decorating and other decorating outside, when the children were young. Later they were out there helping. I always enjoyed helping with this task.

This will be my second year without my husband, Anthony, I miss him just as much if not more than I did last year. That will never change, the love I feel for him is still just as strong. With him here I  enjoyed getting our home ready more for this special time of the year. We got engaged on Christmas Eve 1964.

Our children and grandchildren miss him terribly still. Anthony  was our rock. The void he left in our lives is undescribable!

We have been forced to sojourn on without him, no one is ever ready to do this it’s a never ending hurting loss. Losing a husband, father and grandfather. Oh, we say we are fine, or ok, but all we want to say is , I miss him and will never be ok or fine I still hurt, I still love him, I miss him being here, I miss his smile, his laugh, his love, his understanding what we feel. We just miss him,  he is in our hearts, in our minds, in our thoughts everyday every night every minute!

Ginger (LaRocque) Poitra Class of (1965)

I  would like to thank you Gary for getting our class together, which helped us getting to know each other.

I would also like to say that I am happy to have gotten to know people from other classes, thank you other classes for that chance as well.

Life is to short and I for one am sorry for not being closer to all of you throughout all the years, years that have been wasted even while we were in school.

I have found that I could have been a close friend to so many. Now here we are our lives coming to an end here on earth.

I am happy I can still say to you all I am so very glad that you all were in my life for the time we did know each and everyone.

Thank you all so much from the bottom of my heart.

I want to say to the families of the classmates who are gone to be with our Lord that I am sorry for not having to get to know them. I have at least gotten to know them through you all.


T’was Magic
Posting from Vickie Metcalfe (’70):  Bottineau, ND

 Gary and Dunseith Friends,

The snow is upon us here below the foothills of the Turtle Mountains As the  local radio I am currently tuned to, plays Country interspersed with Christmas music. I catch myself recalling past December’s. Magical times!

As a wee child I lived with my family in a small two bedroom house. (The original was built by John Randin or Bill Childs) There was no running water. Water had to be drawn from the well and carried  up the hill to the house by dad or mom. The drinking water was in a communal drinking bucket  with a big dipper  located over the wood box in the entry room In the early darkness of the morning, Mom  and dad  got up first, fired up the wood stove and put the coffee on. They would take a cuppa before dad went out the door to the barn south of the house.

The  house was heated  sparingly; oil burner in the living room and a 1/2 wood 1/2 electric cook stove in the kitchen. We girls would wake in chilly rooms, get up,  run and look to see if  Jack Frost came in the night and painted the windows.

Mom  always bought a ‘real’ evergreen tree in town.  She set it  to thaw in the big entry way, After it had thawed and was set up in the living room, She began to pulled out  a box of treasured ornaments from a high closet shelf. We’d  spend a whole afternoon decorating it.. I loved throwing the silver glittering icicle  stuff up high in to the top.

The Sears Roebuck and Montgomery Ward Christmas catalogs, by the this time in December  were  quite worn.

Wish books was  our  family’s favorite winter reading.

Mom made  many loaves of homemade bread each week.  She used Dakota Maid Flour purchased at Hosmer Store or Bedard’s Red Owl.   She always preferred cake yeast she purchased from Herman Martinson at  the Snow White Bakery.

Mom would slice the bread on an oak cutting board, never throwing away a crumb.

What of the crumbs?

She would gather crumbs, and scatter them outside the door on the packed snow for the birds.  Birds were waiting,  gathered in the trees. Flew down and feasted.

Mom would  peela  huge kettle of potatoes after putting a pot roast in the oven.


My family had agrarian roots.  Potatoes and meat about every  main meal! By mid morning the kitchen was  wonderfully  wood heat, toasty warm with tantalizing smells. Whenever the kitchen got too warm mom would open the back door……..which had no screen.

On this fine December morning. Without warning, lying into the open back door, through the kitchen, through the dining room and through to the far east corner of the living room. A flock of chickadees!  We  followed watching in amazement as they settled onto the Christmas tree amid the colourful lites,  silver tinsel, decorations and the angel. Mom said,  “Leave them be.

They birds sang in unison,   “chick-a -dee.” CHICK-A-DEE, CHICK-A-DEE

After a time,  they rose up as one, in a bunch and flew out the the rooms through the door from whence they came.

T’was God’s MAGIC!

I wish you all a moment like……. this  is  the season.


Vickie Leona Metcalfe 12/6/2017


Blog (655) posted on December 17, 2009

Adrian Mongeon:
Reply from Margaret Seim Lawston (54): Citrus Heights, CA
Hi Folks, I get up each morning looking forward to reading the blog. In answer to Gary Metcalfe, Adrian Mongeon’s Dad, Pete Mongeon was my Mom’s Uncle and I remember him well .He was a nice Great Uncle, but it was his wife Anna who I knew better. She and my Grandma Ingrid Seim loved to get together and talk and argue local Democratic politics. At time things got pretty heated. One with a Norwegian accent and one with a French accent.
Andrew Bergan Picture:
Reply from Jan Bergan Evans (66): MONTICELLO, MN
Gary who sent the pictures of Andrew Bergan? This would have been my dad Claytons grandfather Wonderful
Jan, Mary Eurich Knutson (62) provided those pictures.
Pritchard/Bergan Pictures:
Reply from Dale Pritchard (63): Leesville, LA
Good Morning Mary (and Gary),I have the picture of them outside the log building but can’t find it
right now. Those were the good old days? I don’t think so! I think
the picture was probably taken in 1912, buy more likely 1913 because my
dad was born April 22, 1911. I have heard two versions about the
building, one was a cabin (whose?) and one was a smoke house. Take your
pick. I had never seen the “Rough Riders” picture. Interesting. Sorry
I missed you when I was home last month. It was going to be then or not
at all.


Dale, It is very early morning here for me too in the PI, 12:15 AM, as I received your message that just came across my screen. The difference is that it’s Wednesday morning for you folks and Thursday morning for me. It’s about time for me to call it a day. Gary
Bill Fassett CD:
Message from Susan Fassett Martin (65): Spearfish SD
Paula made me a cd of Dad singing and playing his guitar. She could probably get copies to anyone that would like one, Dad sang a lot of what he called plumb pitiful songs, because someone was always dying in them. He also knew a lot of railroad songs, as he worked on the railroad in Montana before the war. I have a lot of history if anyone is interested. Dad wrote all his memories along with the history and pictures. I wish I had payed more attention when I was younger.I remember Minda Haagenson, Dick Rybacek, and there are so many other colorful characters from the Turtle Mt area. Love to hear the memories. Merry Christmas to all and may God bless you in the new year.

Hugs, Susan

Dick Johnson’s (68) reply to Colette Hosmer (64): Dunseith, ND.
Gary and Friends,In reply to Colette Hosmer’s question. Your Dad’s Jeep could very
well be a ’54. They didn’t change the looks much from ’47-’60. I
remember him driving his Jeep and also Lucien Bedard driving a brown one
that was nearly identical except for the color. They both hunted ducks
up by our farm and were frequently seen going or coming in the Jeeps. I
think your dad had a big black lab that retrieved ducks for him, if I
remember right. They and the Lamoureux brothers and Dale Gottbreht had a
favorite spot between Horseshoe Lake and Sucker Lake on a little hill
where the bluebills would fly over. There is still shotgun shell brass
on the ground there. The shells were paper with a brass base so the
paper is long gone, but I constantly find brass whenever I walk in that
area. There was a common courtesy of stopping in at the farm to tell
Grandpa that they would like to hunt ducks. Many times they would come
back with a couple cleaned ducks or some other small token of gratitude
for letting them hunt on the land. I remember them giving Grandpa some
Prince Albert tobacco once and he was very grateful for their gesture.
He never expected anything in return, but this really showed their
honest gratitude.

I do remember the old sleeping bags. I still have one that is goose
down and is stamped U.S. on the front. Mom ordered it from the ‘Sioux
Falls Army- Navy Store’ and I first used it in 1960 to go to camp in
Minnesota. I have used it many times and once slept in it in Wyoming up
on Black Mountain around 9000 ft. I wore all my clothes but was actually
not cold, although we were told later that the temperature was way below
zero that night. We were hunting elk in the Bighorn Mountains in
November.We hung a tarp over a pole between two trees and made a
makeshift tent, but no heat. It gets cold up that high on a clear night.
That old sleeping bag did its job! Thanks, Colette, for the interesting
insight on your camping adventures! Good memory! Thanks Gary!


SmieaHaimour-Himour (67):

Reply from Claudette McLeod (80): Dunseith, ND.
Thanks, Eileen and Dick for the info, I was young but for some reason or another, I always remembered her. Thanks to you as well Gary for all you do. I would also like to wish everyone a Very Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year..
Claudette McLeod
Claudette, you are so welcome. Smiea was very sincere when she said she remembers you and would love to hear from you. She would love to hear from any of the Dunseith Alumni. Her phone number is (403) 556-1799. Smiea seems to be a very sharp gal and with her act well together too. Gary
George Albert & Smiea Haimour-Himour (67):
Reply from Ely Eller Robert (74): Everett, WA.
Hi Gary……

George Albert is my grandfather, Samia is my step-aunt. Two years after my real grand mother Agnes was killed in a car accident in Oct of 1960, Grandpa went back to the old country, as he called, Syria and found a new wife. Her name was Fatima. Samia is her daughter from a prior marriage. When Grandpa brought Fatima, or “Sittie” as we called her, that was Grandma in Syrian, she brought Samia over here with her. Samia was only in her teens hen she came here to the United States. She enrolled in Dunseith Hight School & Graduated, but I’m not sure what year. She went to college, I think, for a short time, then got married to a guy from Calgary, Albert. She moved there with him and had 4 children.
It is so weird, she just happened to call me this morning. By the way, Thanks Gary, she told me she had got my phone number from you. I hadn’t hear from her since Grandpa died in 1979, so I guess that would be 30 years ago. She lives in Grand Forks, British Columbia. She said she just retired from nursing and that she has 6 wonderful grand children.
Since my Mother was an only child, Samia is the only Aunt I knew, on my Mother’s side. And her Mother was the only Grand Mother that I ever knew as well!
Thanks Again….
Ivy Eller Robert (74)
Ivy, We can thank Eileen Brudwick for finding your connection to the George Albert Family and bringing it to my attention. I had not yet received LeaRae Parrill Espe’s message posted below, when I called Samiea. I had no idea of your relationship. I was surprised when I read what Eileen send me with the next posting below. This is how I knew your relationship with Samiea when I called her. Samiea was very surprised that I knew you when I mentioned your name. She did not waist any time calling you that is for sure. LeaRae mentions, in her letter posted below, Smiea being a little older when she graduated with their class of 67. From what Smiea told me that is absolutely correct. Smiea said she was placed in a grade level based on the English skills she had coming to this country in I think 1961. Smiea told me she is currently 65 years old. I think most of the class of 67 folks are currently about 60 years old.
Folks, We are so fortunate to have Eileen Brudwick, Mike’s wife, on our distribution list. Mike and Neola are first cousins. Eileen has a big percentage of the Rolette & Bottineau county folks, with all their relationships, in her genealogy data base. What she doesn’t have she finds. She’s got search engines that can find a whole lot of info for whatever it is she is searching for. If Eileen can not find something, it probably can not be found. Thank you Eileen for all that you have provided and do for us. We truly do appreciate you. Gary
Eileen Brudwick’s reply: Fargo, ND.
I guess I have an incorrect spelling for Smiea’s maiden name. I haven’t been able to locate anything further about her, and to be honest, I didn’t document my information about the Albert family, so have no idea where I located the information about Fatima & her daughter, Smiea.
George & Agnes (Warren) Albert’s daughter, Emma Albert married, Herman Eller, and they have a daughter, Ivy (Eller) Rober’t. She married Russell Rober’t.
Smiea Haimour-Himour (67):
Reply from LeaRae Parrill Espe (67): Bottineau, ND.
Dear Gary,Dick is correct about Smiea- she is the step daughter of George Albert. She
came with her mother from Lebanon and was 18 when she joined our class in
8th grade. She wanted to get an American education and four years later she
graduated with us at age 22 or 23. She was married right out of high
school! Her husband was also named Haimour, but as she explained to me in
2007 one of the families took a different spelling. When I spoke with her
by telephone she seemed quite happy to hear from me and said that a new
grandchild was expected so she couldn’t consider coming to the reunion.

George Albert’s first wife was killed in a car accident, I believe on the
hill coming from San Haven to town. I believe Charlene came upon that
accident. (Maybe I have that wrong??) Anyway George’s daughter Emma was
married to Mr. Eller, can’t remember his first name. My mother remembers
Emma Albert attending Dunseith HS when she did, but she was not in her grade
and I believe mom said she didn’t graduate from there. I believe the Ellers
had four daughters Carol, Bonnie, Julie and Ivy. Bonnie died of colon
cancer less than a month before my brother Clark in 2006. Julie Dahl lives
near Bottineau and was a cook’s helper at Bottineau HS, not sure if she is
still working this year. One of Julie’s nieces named Jody Eller stayed with
her and went to HS in Bottineau. Julie was not in touch with Smiea. I’m not
sure where Carol and Ivy live, but they may be on your email distribution
list. I believe all those girls are younger than I am.

At that time before the reunion, I thought maybe I could get a lead on
Smiea’s whereabouts from Ronnie Hassen who owned the Golden Rule in Rolla.
I can’t remember just how I got her number, but I had to call a few times
before I caught her at home. I talked to her son on one call. If she has
email I would like to have it.

Whenever I talk about growing up in Dunseith, I mentioned that we had such a
melting pot compared to say Bottineau. With the Cubans at San Haven,
several store keepers from the Muslim countries of Syria and Lebanon (Sy
Kadrie, Emil Hassen, and KC Sine) plus the Hassen Murrey and George Albert
families, plus Native Americans, all blending in with the Norwegians, French
and a few Germans and British Isle people we truly had diversity.

I remember we would ask Smiea about her religion and she brought her Koran
and told us a few things.

Later, LeaRae PS Please add Terry and I to the reunion list. Also
our belated sympathy to Bernadette on the death of her brother. It sounds
like there are great and deep rooted traditions in the Philippines.
Hopefully, it is a way to bring the families close. Take care.

LeaRae, Thank you so much for your sympathy of Jose’s passing. I have added you and Terry to the master reunion list.
No one can deny the diversity we had at Dunseith High School. You have summed it up so well and Vickie Metcalfe too, in prior messages.