Mr. Dan Morgan:
Message/Memories from Brenda Hoffman (68): Greenville, SC
Dear Mr. Morgan,
I so remember what a wonderful teacher you were. Of course, I had a bit of a crush on you at the time, but you probably knew that and handled it gracefully as you did so many other issues ….and teaching as a whole. Your ability to instill pride and an interest in learning were so important to those of us who were your students. Thank you Mr. Morgan.

My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Brenda Hoffman class of 1968

Mr. Dan Morgan:

Message/Memories From Aime Casavant (66): Jamestown, ND
I was sorry to hear about Dan Morgan’s illness. Although I did not
have him as a teacher, I did have one experience that to me, spoke to
the essence of his character. When his name was spoken by my younger
brothers and sisters, it was always with great respect.

My experience. Several of the Casavant’s served in Vietnam, the first
being my brother Joe. I was home on furlough in the summer of 1968
for several weeks before leaving for Vietnam. Visiting around
Dunseith with Lee Struck and several other friends, we went to the
( Dunseith Community Center? Legion?) to find some older person I
wanted to say “hi” to. I was 20 years old. We were stopped at the
door, asked to provide our ID’s and I explained I was not yet 21, did
not intend to drink anything, but only wanted to speak with an older
couple there. The person at the door, diligently doing his duty would
not let me in. Dan Morgan, by chance was close enough to observe this.

Dan Morgan knew several of the Casavant’s had served in Vietnam. He,
sprang up and quickly came to us and politely informed the door man –
“anyone who is serving his country has the right to socialize and have
a drink with the people he is protecting and any Vietnam Veteran can
have a drink here, I don’t care how old he is.” He sort of had that
natural, affirmative voice. Gee, I barely knew him, I was not 21 yet
and I had not yet served in Vietnam. Then he said ” And I want the
honor of buying him the first drink.” Wow! I did not have him for a
teacher but in that moment, I just felt very good and thought I had
just experienced the “essence” of this man that my brothers and
sisters spoke so highly of.

Thank you Dan- one does not always know when they provide one with
these positive, lifetime experiences. To me – it is in this, that
for life on earth, we live on forever. Although you were not my
teacher in the classroom, you left an impression that on several
occasions, I followed myself in life and the response was always the
same, a positive one , as it was that evening in Dunseith many years

Aime Casavant

Basketball games with the Canadian’s
Memories from Bob Lykins (Teather): Hutto, TX
Referencing Dick Johnson’s comments about playing basketball against the Boissevain businessmen. I was a part of a few of those games. There would be two every year and would be held usually in the fall when the Boissevain fellows were getting into condition to hit the ice for their hockey season. They would come to Dunseith to play a game and we would go up there for a game. I remember one time we went to play in their gym that was so small the spectators were seated partially on the playing floor. Besides myself there was Gene Hepper, Bob Jury, Dennis Espe, and Dan Morgan from the faculty with Lowell Leonard and others from the community. As I recall, we almost lost that game as we could not buy a bucket and everything they threw up went in. It was a bit embarrassing but I must confess that the Boissevain boys were good athletes and had improved in their basketball skills a great deal by this time. All was forgotten after the game as we headed for the local “watering hole.” I don’t know what it is like today but, in those days, women were not allowed into the pub portion of the establishment. So, they had built a wall separating the pub from the restaurant side, where women were allowed, and ran the bar through a hole in the wall. The Canadians were such great hosts. No matter how quickly we cleared out of the gym by the time we got to the pub the Boissevain guys were already there seated around the tables leaving empty chairs between them so we had to sit between them and socialize. We always had great fun. Unfortunately, our evenings were always cut short in that we had to race for the border before 12:00 midnight as the port closed at that time and we did not wish to get trapped north of the line. Wonderful memories of wonderful times with great people.
Bob Lykins
Margaret Pigeon Fox being added to our Distribution:
Request from Allen Richard (65): Midland, MI
Bobby Pigeon’s sister Margret (Pigeon) Fox would like to join the blog.
Her e-mail is
Dean, Ken, Curtis, Alva, Bob and Beverly graduated from DHS. Margret, Renee and Lori – the youngest three attended Rolette after district lines were redrawn in 1960. Before that all of Russell TWP. was part of the Dunseith district. I recall it was quite a battle. I think the only families that stayed at Dunseith were the Aamodts, Bae Pigeon, Neameyers, Roland Mongeon and the Casavants. They thought the distance on the bus to Rolette was too far.
Margaret, It’s my pleasure to add you to our distribution. What class were you with when you attended Dunseith? Also for our records, where are you living now? Gary


Reply from Gary Metcalfe (57): Forsyth, MO


To Bob Pigeon


I think it is worth mentioning that Bob Pigeon is also a twin and he could walk almost as well on his hands as on his arches. I could be wrong but I think Beverly was his twin and then came Alva.

We had a guy earlier than Bob Pigeon that was more of a Fonz than the real Fonz. His name was Floyd Hill, a pal to Carlye Nelson, only son of Bud Hill, cousin to Kenny Hill. He out Fonzed the Fonz. Floyd had one cool 57 Ford.

Larry Hackman if your mystery man wasn’t Big Iron Kalk, the only guy that I could image would fit that scene, might have been ROBARGE. I think you owe us a clue, sounds like he was before his time.

Gary Metcalfe
Christmas Card:
From Cecile Gouin Craig (61): Windsor, CO
Thank you Cecile for this lovely card. It actually arrived a week ago, but I just got down to the FPO office to pick it up. With “Oslo, Norway 7/09”, written on the card, I’m assuming you and Keith were on a trip to Norway? Gary
Craig & Cecile Gouin Craig


Philippine & SE Asian Vacation tours:
The Philippine and SE Asian Vacation tours that Bernadette and I put together can be customize to your liking. Tour packages to countries and cities in SE Asia, from the Philippines, are very reasonably priced. With us living here, we feel this is an opportunity we can offer those of you wishing to visit this part of the world at a very reduced rate, customized to your liking. We are not collecting any commissions or fees from any one doing this. This is something we have chosen to do with absolutely no profits or kick backs. Please click on the Dunseith Alumni link below to see the latest updated info for these tour packages. We’d love your company too. Gary
Dan Morgan:
Reply from Bob Lykins (Teacher): Hutto, TX

Sorry to learn that Dan Morgan is not well. He and I began teaching in Dunseith at about the same time (1962) and I recall him being a rather quiet, thoughtful individual with a winning smile. He had a tendency to be a calming influence in any storm. I wish he and his family the very best.
Bob Lykins
Dan Morgan:
Reply from Toni Morinville Gredesky (68): Farimount, ND
My prayers are with Dan Morgan and his family as they go through this challenging battle. I consider myself so fortunate to have had Dan for a teacher. He and Dennis Espe were two of the best teachers I had. They were such positive influences during our junior high years. My friends and I spent a lot of time in their little office correcting papers for them. I have evoked their names so many times over the years in my high school English classroom. I have often told the story of the day President Kennedy was assassinated. We were in the big assembly room when the announcement came over the intercom that the President had been shot. Somehow two or three of us girls asked Mr. Morgan and Mr. Espe if we could sit in their office and listen to the radio. We were all sitting in their listening when we heard that the President had died.
These two men were both master teachers and knew what it meant to use a “teachable moment.” They had high expectations for our achievement and treated us as whole human beings. I know that they were very influential in my decision to become a teacher myself.
Toni Morinville Gredesky
Randy Davis (Deceased)
Reply form Denise Lajimodiere: Moorhead, MN.
For Mark Schimetz,

Randy Davis is my first cousin. His mother was Theresa Lajimodiere Davis, my father Leo’s sister. Randy’s brother is Kenny Davis, his Belcourt gas station/off sale is called LaDot’s, after a nickname he acquired in high school.

Denise Lajimodiere

Reply from Larry Liere(55): Mesa, AZ & Devils Lake, ND
Thanks Janice I had the same question a week ago (blog 1-23-10). I had a gut feeling that some of my 2nd. grade class would be on the 1955 footbal team. I was worried that the class of 55 had a beer bust and they all became ineligible to play sports. I hope some boys from the class of 55 will reply to this and send in a picture of the 1955 team! Larry Liere

Reply from Janice Leonard Workman (55): Auburn, WA
Gary, I think that football picture is from 1956, instead of 1955. Of the boys that were in the class of 1955,Barry Shelver, Gordon Neameyer, Wally Hiatt, Marlin Williams, Dennis Brennan somebody must have played football and surely Gary Woodford would have been team manager????? Janice Leonard Workman 


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

Thanks to Mona for the info on the Dunseith Independent Team. Maybe
the name was just ‘Dunseith’ on the warm up jackets and the red color is
what confused me, knowing that Dunseith was always blue and white.
Thanks for the reply. I did watch Chuck Johnson play independent
basketball in the old city hall. They usually played on Sunday
afternoons, if I remember right. Les Greener was before my time but I
heard lots about him from Dad. The ‘Harlem Stars’ came to Dunseith once
too and played in the city hall. Some of the players were originally
with the Harlem Globe Trotters and then joined up with knock off teams.
Some of the craziest basketball games were the ones the Dunseith
Businessmen played against the Boissevain Businessmen. The Canadians had
never played basketball before and would run with the ball and
hopelessly try to dribble—we were rolling on the floor laughing. The
laughing changed places though when the Dunseith guys had to put on
skates and play hockey in Bossevain! Those guys could skate circles
around the Dunseith guys and the Canadian folks nearly died laughing!
Dad took me up to one game and I felt sorry for our guys!

The Randy Davis that passed away is not the son of Joyce Poitra Davis
Fandrick. This Randy is from Belcourt and is the brother to Ken Davis.
Mark Schimetz was trying to remember Kenny’s nickname—LaDot. He has
the c-store and lounge in Belcourt that is called ‘LaDots’.

Thanks to Mary Eurich Knutson for the remarkable pictures! I was
thinking about an earlier one that had Bergan, Pritchard, and very
young Bob Pritchard by a log building. Dale Pritchard said it could be a
cabin or smokehouse. My grandpa had a similar short log building with a
dirt covered roof and kept ice blocks from the lake, packed in sawdust
from his old mill. The building stayed cold enough to keep ice for the
ice box nearly until the next fall. I have his old ice saw and a couple
large sets of his ice tongs. Everything was hard work for the folks in
those days. Thanks again Mary, and Gary!


Dan Morin House fire:
From Vickie Metcalfe (68): Bottineau, ND.


Gary and Friends,


The following information came in an e-mail this morning provided by a source at Benchmark who works with Dan Morin.

“Dan Morin and his family lost their home in a fire Tuesday night. Dan and Punky and their granddaughter were living with his mother-in-law. They will be able to salvage very little from the remains of the home and have been provided temporary living quarters at the Casino and will soon be moving to a two bedroom home. Their most immediate need is clothing. The family is in need of all things for the home. Furnishings including beds, kitchen items – tableware, cooking utensils, etc.

Dan works at Benchmark in Dunseith. His wife is “Punky” Parisien the daughter of Tootsie Delorme. Toosie, although past retirement age continues to work, I think with head start. Toosie’s mother was the first Mrs. Ralph Poitra, Toosie’s uncle was Alcide Lajimodiere. Punky is also the sister of my classmate, Carole Ann Parisien Lavallie (widow of Andrew Lavalle).

I am so relieved and thankful to hear this family did not suffer any burn injuries, despite the devastation of a home fire in the sub zero North Dakota weather this past week. Vickie Metcalfe


If anyone would like to contribute to this family please contact Dan’s supervisor
John Hardy
Logistics Supervisor
19 2nd ST SE
Dunseith, ND 58329
701 244 6878 (tel)

Great snow Pictures – Click on the link below:
From Ellen Graff Myrick (58): Grand Forks, ND.
These pictures show snow collected in southwestern N. Dakota. Even though it’s not about your realtives can you post on the email.




Reply to personal message in reference to picture below

From Keith Pladson (66): Stafford, VA
Just a couple of comments on your email, Gary. First, the photo in question has to have been taken in 1937, 38 or possibly early 39 as Mom looks to have been around 15 or so. Since she was born in 1923, that would give us a year of 1938 – which is why I said in my earlier response that is was probably 1938. Thus, there is no way it could be Frank Stokes in the photo. Second, I don’t recall Jim Cain being called Jimmy. And as far as tracking him down, that would lead you to his grave. Jim died a few years ago. He was married and he and his family lived in Western Tenn. Finally, I’m sure it was just a slip on your part, but in your first paragraph below, you say that Rebecca (Reba) was the daughter of “Frank” and Fanny. I assume you meant “William” and Fanny.

One further comment: I’m well aware of where Reba lived as we also later lived there. I believe that is where Mom and Dad lived when I was born and though I don’t have any memory of the place, both my Brother, Floyd and my Sister, Florence do. And yes, Mom always referred to her Aunt as Aunt “Reba.”

Keith, Rebecca (Reba) Stokes Rendahl was the daughter of William & Fanny Stokes. Yes, I remember well my folks referring to her as Reba too.
Folks, This is another one of the pictures that Mary Eruich Knutson sent. I held off a day posting this while we got the identities of the folks in the picture correctly identified. Between Mary, Keith Pladson, John Tangen and myself; I think we finely figured out the correct identities of those in the picture.
I remember well, as a kid, seeing Reba Stokes Rendahl’s old house sitting on the county line, on the south side of road, below the Rendahl hill on Highway #43 also known as the Peace Garden Road. Common Sence would tell us that is how the Rendahl hill got it’s name. I’m sure Rendahl church was named after this family too? Willaim Stokes, My great Grandfather, had 2 daughters, Reba Rendahl & Alice Thompson and one son Frank Stokes.
William Stokes was 91 years old when he died in 1946. He was in his mid 80’s in this picture.

Standing L to R: William Stokes, Esther Thompson Tangen, Ulysses Thompson,
Rebecca Stokes Rendahl, Lillian Thompson Cain, Ella Thompson Pladson & Lester Cain
Sitting in Wheel chair: Alice Stokes Thompson holding Jimmy Cain
Bertha Kittleson’s passing
Posted by Vickie Metcalfe (68): Bottineau, ND.
BERTHA KITTLESON, 86, Bottineau, died Thursday in a Minot nursing
home. Funeral Tuesday, 2 p.m., First Lutheran Church, Bottineau.
Prayer service Monday, 7 p.m., Nero Funeral Home, Bottineau.
Visitation Monday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Tuesday, 10 a.m. to noon,
in the funeral home.

Gary, This was posted in the Minot Daily today January 29, 2010.

Bertha is fondly remembered. As, a honest hard working classy
country lady, friend, excellent school cook, grandmother and great
grandmother to many, and former country school teacher in Rolette
and Bottineau County.
Vickie Metcalfe

Bertha’s Obit is now posted on Nero’s Web site too. I have pasted a copy below. Gary

Bertha Kittleson
(May 28, 1923 – January 28, 2010)

Sign Guest Book | Send Private Condolences
Send Flowers

BERTHA IRENE KITTLESON Bertha Kittleson, age 86 of Bottineau, died Thursday at a Minot nursing home. Funeral services will be held on Tuesday at 2:00 P.M. in the First Lutheran Church in Bottineau. Burial will be in the Salem Cemetery of rural Bottineau. Visitation will be Monday beginning at 10:00 A.M. until 9:00 and Tuesday 9:00 until noon in the Nero Funeral Home in Bottineau. A prayer service will be held on Monday at 7:00 P.M. in the Funeral Home.

Bertha Irene Kittleson, a daughter of Ivar and Regina (Haugen) Peterson, was born on May 28, 1923 in her home in the Turtle Mountains north of Bottineau. She was reared and educated near her home. She was confirmed in the Salem Lutheran Church of rural Bottineau. Bertha attended Minot State and received her teaching degree. She then taught at the Happy Hill School in Homan Township for two years and then at the Strong School in Rolette County. On June 16, 1946 she was married to Milan Kittleson at Bottineau. She returned to Bottineau County and taught at Whittering #1 until 1950. Bertha remained home to raise her children and help on the farm until 1971 when she began working at the Bottineau Public school as a cook. She retired in 1977 and helped Milan on the farm. Milan passed away on June 20, 1999. In the fall of 2009 she moved to Minot where she has resided since.

She was a member of the First Lutheran Church in Bottineau. Bertha was also a member of a quilting club and was a Mission Aide member.

Bertha is survived by 5 daughters, Ann (Harold) Roseneau of Willow City, Connie (Charles) Tollefson of Surrey, Judy (John) Slater of Minot, Marla (Carl) Lee of Bottineau, and Penny (Edwin) Krumweide of Sarles; 4 sons, Donny (Darlene) Kittleson, Ted ( Kathy), Kittleson, Jamie (Kandis) Kittleson all of Bottineau and Terry ( Marilyn) Kittleson of Minot; a daughter-in-law, Lori Kittleson of Bottineau; 27 grandchildren; 37 great-grandchildren and 2 great-great-grandchildren;

She was preceded indeath by her parents, two sons Dennis and Larry; brothers, Pete Peterson and Oscar Peterson; a sister, Dorothy Peterson.

Arrangements are with the Nero Funeral Home of Bottineau. Friends may sigh the online register at www.nerofuineralhome.net


From Wendy Strietzel, Dorothy Eurich Strietzel’s (75) Daughter: Minot, ND.


I received this e-mail from a friend and thought you might like to share it with all of the North Dakotans you blog to every day.


> > North Dakota
> >
> > Leave it to Jeff Foxworthyto talk about our beloved state!!
> > The funny part is……it’s all true…every bit of it!!

> > Only in North Dakota !!
> > For those of you who do not know, Jeff
> > Foxworthy’s in-laws live in Kief, North Dakota .
> >
> > According to Jeff Foxworthy:
> > If you’re proud that your region makes the national news at least 96
> > times each year because it’s the hottest or the coldest spot
> > in the nation,
> >
> > You might live in Fargo, North Dakota .
> >
> > If your dad’s suntan stops at a line curving around
> > the middle of his forehead,
> >
> > You might live in Butte, North Dakota.
> >
> > If you have worn shorts and a parka at the same time,
> > You might live in Benedict, North Dakota.
> >
> > If your town has an equal number of bars and churches,
> >
> > You might live in Drake, North Dakota .
> >
> > If you have had a lengthy telephone conversation with
> > someone who dialed a wrong number,
> >
> > You might live in Sawyer, North Dakota .
> >

> >
> > ‘Vacation’ means going east or west on I -94for the weekend…
> >
> >
> > If you measure distance in hours,
> >
> > You might live anywhere in North Dakota .
> >
> > If you know several people who have hit a deer more than once,
> >
> > You might live in Bergan, North Dakota.
> >
> > If you often switch from ‘Heat’ to ‘A/C’ in the same day and back again,
> >
> > You might live in ,Bismarck, North Dakota .
> >
> > If you can drive 65 mph through 2 feet of snow
> > during a raging blizzard, without flinching,
> >
> > You might live in Minot, North Dakota .
> >
> > If you see people wearing camouflage at social events (including weddings),
> >
> > You might live in Velva, North Dakota

> > If you install security lights on your house and garage and leave both unlocked,
> >
> > You might live in Harvey, North Dakota.
> >
> > If you carry jumper cables in your car and your girlfriend knows how to use them,
> >
> > You might live in Grand Forks, North Dakota .
> >
> > If driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow,
> >
> > You might live in anywhere, North Dakota.
> >
> > If you know all 4 seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter and road construction,
> >
> > You might live in Washburn, North Dakota .
> >
> > If your idea of creative landscaping is a statue of a deer next to your blue spruce,
> >
> > You might live in Butte, North Dakota.
> >
> > If Going Down South” means South Dakota ,
> >
> > You might live in Steele, North Dakota .
> >
> > If a brat is something you eat,
> >
> > You might live in McClusky, North Dakoya .
> >
> > If your idea of going out to eat is a tail gate party every Friday,
> >
> > You might live in Garrison, North Dakota .
> >
> > If you have more miles on your snow blower than your car;
> >
> > You might live in Mandan, North Dakota.
> >
> > If you find Zero degrees degrees to be ‘a little chilly’,
> >
> > You might live in Williston, North Dakota .
> >
> > *If you actually understand these jokes, and you forward them to
> > all your North Dakota friends — you might just live inNorth Dakota



Reply from Jim Metcalfe: AZ.

Hi Gary, About the Dunseith independent baseball team from the early ’50’s. I was the catcher in 1953 and we were the Dunseith Gardners. Junior Melmar was the playing manager and we had great times and good parties afterward.
Jim Metcalfe, I attended Dunseith HS in 1949-50 but graduated from Rollan in ’52. (Gary’s brother)
Reply from Janice Leonard Workman (55): Auburn, WA
Gary, I think that football picture is from 1956, instead of 1955. Of the boys that were in the class of 1955, Barry Shelver, Gordon Neameyer, Wally Hiatt, Marlin Williams, Dennis Brennan somebody must have played football and surely Gary Woodford would have been team manager????? Janice Leonard Workman  


Dan Morgan:
Reply Lola Metcalfe Vanorny (68): Dunseith, ND.

We are saddened to hear Dan Morgan is not well– he was one of the best teachers I ever had. He maintained great discipline and yet was very personable. He and his family are in our prayers!-Lola Metcalfe Vanorny

ps- Ole Bursinger was one of the finest persons I ever met-

Dan Morgan:
Reply from Cheryl Haagenson (71): Dunseith, ND.

Hi Gary, I was saddened to hear the news of Mr. Dan Morgan by a post by Mrs. Ardis Horner ( Bakken) I am sure that Mr. Morgan has put up a valiant battle. I recall him as our principal when the class of ’71 was in junior high. I am not as good as the others in our circle to tell a story. I simply know that Mr. Morgan cared about our education. He cared that we behaved, at least that is what I remember and that is what I believe. I would like to thank him for that and wish God’s strength to all his family at this very difficult time.
Cheryl Haagenson
Cheryl, You comment that you can not tell a story like some of the rest, but most have a hard time matching your sense of humor. We truly enjoyed your sense of humor on the cruise as well as your singing and you just being you. We truly enjoyed the great person that you are. Gary
Jeanmarie Abrahamson (65): Denver, CO
Message from Doyle Abrahamson (68): Aurora, CO


Yesterday my sister, Jeanmarie went into surgery so she can do what is called PD dialysis. She will have to wait about 45 days to heal up before they start her on this new dialysis. She will be able to do PD dialysis at home four times a day.

The surgery went well and I took her home last night.


Jeanmarie, I am so glad that you will be able to do your dialysis at home. We know these are not easy times for you. Hang in there. We have not forgotten you. Take care, Gary

Dunseith Ball teams:
Reply from Mona Dionne Johnson (48): Lake Metigoshe, ND.
Dick: The Dunseith team at the time – late 40’s/early 50’s, just went
by “Dunseith Independents”, as most of the small towns around did. Some
of the larger cities, like Bismarck had names like the “Bismarck
Phanthoms” which we played and beat . Dunseith played the Harlem
Globetrotters, and some other colored teams, and they really drew the
crowds. One colored team they played in Dunseith and the team played
them again that same week-end in Willow City. They really drew the
crowds – of course Les Greener drew crowds to watch and also some pick
up teams back home from college on break, who “thought” they could best
him, but they just embarrassed themselves in the process. That in
itself was fun to watch. Paul McCloud and Chuck were fun to watch in
their ball handling, especially when the team thought that Devils Lake
deserved to be shown how to play ball short of fellows.
Seems one year they would only let VFW guys play in the tournament –
that left Darrel Fassett, Leo Murray, and Chuck sitting on the sidelines
and — left Dunseith with only 6-7 players, and Devils Lake wouldn’t
agree to give them more fouls, so they ended up playing with only four
guys and lost. The next year the rules were changed and all could
play. In the tournament, Dunseith was playing Devils Lake, and we were
ahead. Our team convinced the coach, Kenny Morgan to let Paul McCloud
and Chuck Johnson play alone against the Devils Lake team. At that
time, the rule during the last few minutes of the game was if you got
fouled, you took a foul shot and then took the ball out at half court.
Well these two ball handlers were passing it through their legs, past
their ears, etc. and would get fouled and go throught it all over
again. Pretty soon, the Devils Lake team got so mad they one by one
went and sat down on their bench, and the game pretty much ended. So
goes it, when you take advantage in sports rather than be sportsman
like in setting up the game — it may come back to taunt you. Those
independent games were fun to watch and many followed the team when
they went to Canada and to other towns.
Mona Dionne Johnson ’48
Message from DeAnn Gottbreht posted on her Carringbridge site: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/deanngottbreht

Hello everyone from Rochester, Mn. I got done with my appointments for the day about an hour ago and am back at the hotel resting before we head out to supper. So far the appointments have all went really well. Yesterday we met with my medical oncologist and went over my cancer treatment plan for the future. What it looks like is surgery tomorrow, followed by a few weeks of recovery and then start a different type of chemo for a couple of weeks. Then break for a couple of weeks from the chemo, deliver the baby, recover from the birth for a few weeks and go back to chemo. We would do around 12 rounds of that chemo and then recover a little and start around 6 weeks of radiation treatments. Well that is about the jest of the plan so far. It is up for change.

Yesterday we also met with the OB here that will be monitoring throughout the surgery and weekend after. He was a very great doctor and very informative. He deals with about 3 pregnant patients a year that have cancer so he had a great deal of experience with it. It was all very reassuring. I also received a steroid shot yesterday and today to help speed up the development of the lungs of the baby just in case I could end up in labor from the surgery.

We met with my surgeon this morning and went over all that. I will be heading to the hospital about 6 tomorrow morning for some pre-op and then surgery around 9 or 10. Surgery will take 2 to 3 hours and then I will be in the hospital for 1 or 2 nights. They will be monitoring the baby throughout all of this and he will be the biggest deciding factor on how long I stay in the hospital.

We also met with a doctor in the genetics department today. There is a blood test they can send away to do that will show if I am a genetic carrier of breast cancer. If I am they can test my parents and find which side of they family it came from. Those of you in my extended family reading this can certainly e-mail on your thoughts of this testing. My e-mail is over on the right of this page. I have not done the test yet.The screening tests are only done at one lab in the country and it can be quite expensive if insurance won’t cover it. No matter what I hope all of you women out there are doing at the least self-breast exams. If you think something seems at all a little odd don’t wait. If I would have waited to do something and not got it checked I probably would have been very sick or dead before I made the age 40 mammogram requirements. Please take your health seriously!

What more can I say. Tonight will be a stressful night but I and ready for the next step and tomorrow I will take it. I appreciate all of your support and caring. It really means a lot. I feels so great to know I have so many people in my life who love and care about me. Take Care Everyone!

Love, DeAnn

Reply from Cheryl Larson Dakin (71): BEDFORD, TX
Hi Everyone:
I always get a kick out of poems about North Dakota because people here in Texas don’t have a clue about how cold it actually gets and that people can still function in that type of weather. I kept a little poem on my desk for a long time (with a picure of a snowstorm in May 2008 when we were there). It says: It’s Winter in North Dakota and the gentle breezes blow
30 miles an hour at twenty-five below.
Oh how I love North Dakota when the snow’s up to your butt;
You take a breath of winter and your nose gets frozen shut.
Yes, the weather here is wonderful so I guess I’ll hang around.
I could never leave North Dakota ’cause I’m frozen to the ground!
Hi to Susan in Alvarado. We’re in the Hurst Euless Bedford area.
Cheryl Larson Dakin
P S. It’s also fun to bring back sample crops (wheat, canola, soy beans, sunflowers) to show these city-slickers. They were especially amazed at the canola.
Randy Davis Condolences:
From Mark Schimetz (70): Rolette, ND.
The Randy DAVIS in the obituary, was a good friend of mine, his older brother Ken ran the Redman Gas Station years ago in Belcourt, he know operates and possibly owns the bar and take out at Belcourt. Just cannot think of the name of it. Randy had a beautiful flathead Harley tricycle. We did a lot of riding, in years past. He would often be called up to sing as he had a wonderful voice, He sounded like the lead singer of Alabama, well, after a few drinks any. lol, we had a lot of fun, Randy will be sorely missed by many as he was a very likeable person and oved his music. My Condolences to his family.
Message & Pictures:
From Mary Eurich Knutson (62): Dunseith, ND.

Hi Gary

Well we survived anaother winter storm in ND. We got about a foot or more of snow in the hills. I didn’t move from Friday till mid morning Tuesday. The county truck came through and opened roads and the blade came yesterday and winged open the roads really good. Sure can get the job done better and faster than 40 – 50 years ago. Maintainers are 10 times bigger and I don’t remember trucks way back when.

Made me remember a storm we had in about 1964 or 1965.It was a terrible blizzard and I was stranded at the San and Bud was stranded in Bottineau and the kids were at my folks. I don’t remember how long it lasted but as soon as highway 5 was open Bud came from Bottineau and picked me up and we went for the kids. Old number 5 was blocked but we could get as far as Chester Hill’s on the Willow Lake road where we called Dean Parrill and he came with snowmobile and picked us up and we went to Dad’s and got the kids and the cream can was full so we loaded that on the sled to take to the creamery for Dad. Bud and the kids road the sled hanging onto the cream can and we made it back to the car ok. We left the cream off with Minnie Alvin and went on home. Keith Pladson was staying with us that winter and when we got home the water was froze up at the barn The pump was in the cellar and the cellar had a dirt floor and he had been working between the barn and the cellar to get the water working. What a mess. Mud from the cellar door to the kitchen door. I can’t remember how long it took to get the water going again but they finally did.

Do you remember that Keith?

You can tell we’re getting old we enjoy spending more time in the past than looking to the future.


Pictures: I don’t know who the kids are by the hayrack. I doubt if anybody can tell me either. Notice the wheels on the hayrack and are those caps Canadian?


The people sitting on the rocks are identified as Stokes, Oscar Rendahl’s and daughter and Ulysses and wife. That’s not a real specific identification. I think theres some not accounted for. Wasn’t Ulysses killed over at old Kelvin or in the little praire area. He backed into the propeller of his airplane.


The picture with the 2 girls and the little guy are Eleanor Awalt and Marshall and the girl ??? Schwabe. Maybe Bonnie or Lloyd could fill in the gaps on that one.


The people on the stairs, again, are F. Stokes and Ulysses and I can’t find the picture and can’t remember who they are but I do think it was taken in Oregon.


The baby in the photo with the old phonograph is Esther Thompson Tangen. Must be almost 100 years old.

Just thought you’d enjoy. Thanks Mary K

Mary, These are some very precious photos to me. This is the first picture I ever remember seeing of my Grandfather, Frank Stokes. He died in 1932. Dad was 16 years old at the time. That’s a neat picture of your mother, Winifred. with all her brothers too. I’ll bet the Awalt siblings will figure out who the Schwade girl is too. I have heard of this Engalls family, in the picture below, being related to Laura Engalls Wilder too. I think this Engalls family is related to the Thompson’s, but I’m not sure how? Thank you Mary, Gary


Eleanor Awalt and Marshall and the girl ??? Schwabe







L to R: Frank Stokes, Ulysses Thompson, Keith Ingalls and either his wife or sister.


Somehow this family is tied in with Laura Ingalls Wilder but it carries off into another branch





William & Ida Thompson Pritchard’s children:


L to R: Robert, John, Lincoln, Corbin, Winifred and Norman




Esther Thompson Tangen




I don’t know who the kids are by the hayrack. I doubt if anybody can tell me either.
Notice the wheels on the hayrack and are those caps Canadian?



Randy Davis and the Davis Family:

Posted by Eileen Brudwick: Fargo, ND.


Hi Gary,
I have a Randy Davis, and his mother is Irene Joyce Poitra Davis Fandrick. I don’t have Randy’s father’s name, however I do know Irene “Joyce” married Elmer James Fandrick. Elmer died 1 October 2002 at Dunseith. Irene “Joyce” is Elmer’s 2nd wife as well.

Joyce works as a LPN at San Haven and the Dunseith Nursing Home. Son, Rocky Davis, married Bernadette Gladue and works at Turtle Mountain Mfg. Alen Lee Davis is employed by the Department of Justice in Washington, D. C. Randy Davis works on an oil rig in Gillette, WY., area. Roxanne Davis and Crystal Fandrich are at home; Donna Fandrich is in nursing school in Bottineau. Joyce has foster children: Linda, Courtny, Deland, Peter, Misty.
Apparently, according to her mother’s obituary, Joyce remarried again to a Mr. Dumont. I have no information of him either. More information below;
Source: Prairie Past and Mountain Memories, A History of Dunseith, N. Dak, 1882-1982, page 195
Ernest and Beatrice Poitra
Ernest Poitra was born in 1907 to Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Poitra and was married in 1930 to Beatrice Decoteau, daughter of Pete Decoteau’s of Belcourt. Ernest has farmed all his life but he recalls that during the depression he rode horseback for 14 miles one way to work with pick and shovel on a WPA project for $2.00 an hour. In later years, Ernest and Beatrice were both employed at San Haven. They are now retired from outside employment but still are farmers. They had two children: Joyce and James.
Joyce is now married to Jim Fandrich of Turtle Lake, an independent trucker and farmer. Joyce works as a LPN at San Haven and the Dunseith Nursing Home. Son, Rocky Davis, married Bernadette Gladue and works at Turtle Mountain Mfg. Alen Lee Davis is employed by the Department of Justice in Washington, D. C. Randy Davis works on an oil rig in Gillette, WY., area. Roxanne Davis and Crystal Fandrich are at home; Donna Fandrich is in nursing school in Bottineau. Joyce has foster children: Linda, Courtny, Deland, Peter, Misty.
James Poitra married Bernice Morin, daughter of Emil Morin of Dunseith and was killed in a car accident near Bismarck in 1973 while working on a construction project in that area. Bernice now works at the Dunseith Day School. Their children are: LaVonne, a student at Wahpeton SS; Berry, Lee, Karen, Sherry, James Jr., and Tommy Joe.
Beatrice Poitra – Minot Daily News – (Mar/6/2008)
Thursday, March 06, 2008
Beatrice Poitra
Oct. 28, 1913-March 3, 2008
DUNSEITH – Beatrice Deliah Poitra, 94, Dunseith, died Monday, March 3, 2008, in a Dunseith nursing home.
She was born Oct. 28, 1913, to Pete and Zelda DeCoteau in Belcourt. She married Ernest Poitra May 4, 1930, in Dunseith.
Survivors: daughters, Joyce Dumont and Cecelia Delorme, both Dunseith, Stella LaFountain, Belcourt; sons, Alex, Belcourt, David, South Dakota; numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren.
Funeral: Saturday, 10 a.m., St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church, Dunseith.
Burial: St. Louis Catholic Cemetery, Dunseith, in the spring.
Rosary service: Friday, 8 p.m., in the church.
Visitation: Friday, beginning at 4 p.m., in the church. (Elick Funeral Home, Rolla)
Posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe: Minot & Bottineau, ND.






Dan Morgan former principle in hospice care: Edgeley, ND
From Ardys Bakken Horner (Teacher): Detroit Lakes, MN.
Gary what a beautiful office to work from….continue to enjoy the news, esp like photo of Orvin Hagen…a dear man.
We heard that Dan Morgan former principal and instructor at DHS is on Hospice care, he and Judy read your blog. Ardys Bakken Horner
Alice Vandal Leonard’s reply to the football picture: Minot, ND
From Neola Kofoid Garbe: Minot & Bottineau, ND.

Hi Gary,


I sent the “football” picture to Alice Leonard. Here is her reply: Thanks, Neola: My brother-in-law is Duane Woodford, #3, also in the front with bro Lowell Leonard. Duane is married to my sister Grace and they live in Winston-Salem, NC. All is well here and we’re keeping warm. Alice

Iver Loe and Softball memories:
From Kenny Nerpel (65): Rugby, ND.

In post 694 Larry Liere asked about Iver Lo. He at one time owned the
Gambles Store in Dunseith. In the early 1940’s my Mom worked there. They
had a hardware department and I think they also sold furniture. She worked
there briefly before she traveled to Portland, Oregon to work as a welder
during the war. Later, I think the store was owned by the Anderson family.
The photo of Dunseith’s south main street cleared up some the fog for me
about the businesses there. I knew that there was a barber shop and a
restaurant on that end of town but I couldn’t remember much about them. How
could I forget Hank the Barber and the Gateway Café. Every two weeks,
whether it was needed or not, I stopped in at Hank’s for a haircut and if
I’m not mistaken Mrs. Hackman worked at the Gateway.

Larry Hackman’s softball memories also brought back some memories for me. I
played on a team in the late sixties that also traveled to Canada to play
some of the fast pitch teams there. I remember most of the players. The
infield was Bill Grimme at first base, Allen Houle at second, and Jim Berube
third. I was the weak link at shortstop. The catcher was Eddie McCloud and
the pitcher was the legendary Leonard McCloud. We made at least two trips
to Canada and although we had some pretty good hitters I don’t think we got
a hit in any of the games we played there. We were used to the slow pitch
stuff and some of the pitchers in fast pitch softball can throw the ball
underhanded as fast as baseball pitchers and they are about 30 ft closer.
Not too many of us managed to get the bats off of our shoulders.

The highlight of those years was the tournament in Rolla. The final game was
played under the lights and one year we advanced to the finals and played
the Dunseith J.C. team for the championship. The only player I remember for
sure that played on that team was John Morgan. I remember him because I
happened to overhear some trash talking between him and Jim Berube. He was
telling Jim that all they had to do to beat us was to hit the ball hard at
the shortstop. Jim made a halfhearted attempt to defend me, but that is
basically what happened. I don’t know if it was the playing under the
lights or if the trash talking had the intended effect. I was getting hard
shots hit at me all night and Jim couldn’t pick up enough of the ricochets
to bail me out. Social activities (banquets and such) for the team
generally took place at the country home of Garrett Myers, located somewhere
along the gravel pit road north of town. I think we were much more adept at
partying than we were at softball. Great memories!


Ole Bursinger:
Reply from Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND
Gary and Friends,

Thanks to Gary Metcalfe for the insight on Ole Bursinger’s life. He
was quite a guy. I can still hear him playing ‘Rubber Dolly’ on his
fiddle and singing ‘Little Footprints in the Snow’. You mentioned how he
liked Hank Williams. He also liked old Jimmy Rogers songs. Ole was
really lost after Glenice (Granny) passed away. He spent hours every day
just driving around in his pickup for no reason. It was sad to see. He
was pretty much one of a kind. Thanks to BOTH Garys !


Wrong Randy Davis:
Correction from Evon Lagerquist (77): Dunseith, ND.
Gary, I don’t think that this is the Randy Davis from our class of ’77 in Dunseith. Seems a little bit older than the rest of us and I don’t believe those were his parent’s names. I know his mom’s name is Joyce…..
Evon, I for sure didn’t do the math with this one. The Randy Davis from your class would be about 8 years younger. Thank you so much for this correction. Gary
School Memorabilia:
Reply from Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND
Gary and Friends,

During all my school years, I had John Boguslawski for a constant
pal and cohort. We were at each others places nearly every day and he
and I were always doing mechanical things with cars and motorcycles.
John came along to the farm and worked with me when I needed help.
Another thing that we did was help his dad, Eddie Boguslawski, do things
at the school. We hauled out discarded junk and piled coal and other
jobs. One time we were told to clean out the storage area under the old
concrete bleachers in the old gym. To many of you, this was the area
under the temporary typing room that was built over the bleachers. In
the boxes we were hauling out, I found the old leather football helmets
we just saw in the picture of the ’55 football team. There was also a
box of basketball jerseys and trunks that Dad said were from the
independent basketball team that was from Dunseith in the late ’40s and
early ’50s. The jerseys were red and white and had a name on them. I
have tried to remember that team name for years, but can’t come up with
it. I was wondering if Mona Dionne Johnson or ANYONE else can remember
the name of this team? I think Virgil Vanorny and Chuck Johnson were
both on the team. The name wasn’t the ‘Dragons’ and that’s what puzzled
me when I opened the box. We hauled nearly everything up to the old dump
ground and gave it a toss. Also included in the haul were the band
uniforms we saw in the band picture from 1956. I kept one band cap, one
football helmet, and a box full of old papers and letters dated back to
the ’20s. Everything else got buried in the trash. This was in the mid
’60s and I still have all the stuff! There was also many feet of steam
pipes under the bleachers and they were wrapped with asbestos. The
system was changed so they told us to clean up the pipes and then take
them out. John and I cut the wrap off with linoleum knives and ripped
the covering off with our bare hands. It was so dusty from the asbestos
and dust that we could hardly see each other with the light on! They
always talk about Mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos! If that’s the
case—we didn’t even have a mask and would cough until we gagged, but
never quit until we were done. Wouldn’t OSHA and the EPA love this
deal?? Thanks Gary!


Dick, You are right. Mesothelioma is a rare cancer caused by exposure to Asbestos. It’s an abdominal cancer that is virtually 100% fatal within a few months of detection. Asbestos was very prevalent in the insulation materials aboard the naval ships I worked on. Until 1970, there were few controls. Following my apprenticeship in the Pipe covering and insulation trade in 1974, I became an instructor in the Shipyard for asbestos controls. With my knowledge of the asbestos trade and controls, I was hired into the Production Scheduling department of the shipyard in 1978. I was a supervisor in the Scheduling department when I retired in December 2003. Prior to being inducted into the Service, from Feb 1967 to June 1968, I worked in the asbestos trade with few controls. When I returned to the Shipyard following my active duty service in 1971, there were many controls. I have minimal plural thickening of the lungs as a result of having been exposed to asbestos. I have never smoked, so my chances are 85% greater than those that smoked, for not having asbestos related problems. Gary
Allen Richard (65) birthday:
Reply from Nathan Richard (2000): Fort Greeley, AK

In regards to my fathers birthday. Some may know about his illustrious ’74
Dodge charger. This summer we went home to North Dakota and met with dad in
Minneapolis. He drove the old car to see us as we spent a couple days in
town. I had the great opportunity to take a few pictures of all of us
together. The best part however, became a gift I gave him for his birthday
this year. All in all the picture turned out great in the form of a 24″ x
36″ print. I am attaching a small sampling.

Nathan A. Richard



Ulysses & Clara Stokes Thompson

Photo from Mary Eurich Knutson (62):


Folks, I received 7 old photo’s from Mary Eurich Knutson. Karen Larson at Spectrum scanned them for her and sent them to me with a note not to publish until Mary gets in touch with me. Since this one is labeled and I know the picture, I will post this one today and wait for Mary’s reply before posting the rest.


Clara Stokes Thompson was my great Aunt. Ulysses and Clara were the parents of Ella (Eldon) Pladson, Esther (Edmar) Tangen & Lillian Bergstrom. Lillian is living Wisconsin. Ella and Esther are deceased.


Mary Eurich’s grandmother, Ida Pritchard, was a sister to Ulysses Thompson.


Ulysses & Clara Stokes Thompson homesteaded about a mile or so north of the Ackworth Cemetery on the east side of the road. When you turn west into Fauske’s from the Willow Lake road, I believe the Ulysses Thompson homestead was to the east of that turn? If not, it was in that general area.


Mary, These are some great pictures. This is the first picture I have ever seen of Ulysses & Clara Thompson. Their names were mentioned many times in my growing up years too. If Lillian does not have a copy of this, I’m sure she’d love to have a one. I’m sure Keith Pladson or John Tangen can touch base with her on this and get a copy to her.


Thank you Mary. I’m excited to see the labeling on the rest of the photo’s you sent too. Gary.



Ivy Eller Robert (74): Everett, WA
Susan Malaterre Johnson (69): Alvarado, TX
Hi Gary…….
I got this from Susan Malaterre Johnson, who lives in Texas. I though it would be great to share it with others that have experienced the great North Dakota weather…………
Ivy Robert


Floridians turn on the heat.
People in North Dakota plant gardens.


Californians shiver uncontrollably.

People in North Dakota sunbathe.


Italian & English cars won’t start.

People in North Dakota drive with the windows down.


Georgians don coats, thermal underwear, gloves, and wool hats.

People in North Dakota throw on a flannel shirt.


New York landlords finally turn up the heat.

People in North Dakota have the last cookout before it gets cold.


People in Miami all die.

North Dakotans close the windows.


Californians fly away to Mexico .

People in North Dakota start looking for their winter coats.


Hollywood disintegrates.

The Girl Scouts in North Dakota are selling cookies door to door.


Washington DC runs out of hot air.

People in North Dakota let the dogs sleep indoors.


Santa Claus abandons the North Pole.

North Dakotans get upset because they can’t start the snowmobile.


ALL atomic motion stops.

People in North Dakota start saying”Cold enough fer ya?”


Hell freezes over.

North Dakota public schools will open 2 hours late.


Bobby Pigion (57):
Reply from Colette Hosmer (64): Santa Fe, NM
Hi Gary,

Just wanted to tell you that I received a nice note from Bobby
Pigeon. He IS the one living in Columbia, South Carolina. It’s
always surprising when I realize that someone who never actually
shares a comment on your blog is still present — reading it every
day. That is somehow beyond amazing … I love knowing that all of
us are silently connected to one another every day.


PS. I also love it when you share something about your life in Cebu
in with us. We are all enriched when we are exposed to cultures
other than our own.



From Bob Pigeon(57): COLUMBIA, SC


Kenneth Pigeon is in the 1955 football picture. I’m sorry if I confused things. Since I’ve already erased that e-mail, I would like to see it again with all of the names. I remembered the faces but could not remember the names.

Thank you for all that you do because you’ve helped bring back fond memories of the past.

Bob Pigeon

Bob, I have reposted the football picture with all the correct names near the bottom of this message. Thanks and it’s great hearing from you. Gary
Ted Brodek:
Reply from Carmen Leonard Richard: Rolette, ND.
Ted Brodek was the photographer at our wedding back in 1954. He drove out to the Thorne church where we were married, and then drove to my parents farm where the reception was held, took lots of pictures and only charged us $10. Isn’t that unreal ? As I remember , he had been a patient at San Haven, and then was a photographer for the Dunseith news paper.
Reply to Allen Richard (65):
From Colette Hosmer (64): Santa Fe, NM
Hi Cousin,

Happy Birthday, Allen. You’ll always be younger than I am (though not by much!).

Reply to Allen Richard (65):
From Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND.
Gary and Friends,

Good detective work there Allen. I had no idea that Curtis and
Kenneth Pigeon were twins. I knew they were brothers but not twins.
Thanks! Curtis called me a few years ago about old cars. I think he was
living in Utah or Nevada, or somewhere like that, at the time. We never
got together on a deal and then just a short while later I heard he had
died. Small world! Thanks Gary!


Joe Link and George Gottbreht Story:
From Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND.
Gary and Friends,

I have a story that Sharron Gottbreht Shen might find amusing. When
I was in the lower grades in the old white school, I witnessed my very
first fist fight. It happened one day when we were all out for recess.
Two older guys, probably early high school age, stripped down to their
white T shirts and mixed it up over by the basketball court. The
combatants were Joe Link and George Gottbreht. I have no idea what the
disagreement was about but they smacked each other a few times before
Mr. Conroy and Mr. Jerstad arrived and ended the confrontation. They
both had a few scuffs and one got a bloody nose, although I don’t
remember which. I wonder if George remembers what they were fighting
about? Growing up in old Dunseith, I might have seen a couple more
scraps if my memory serves me right! Saturday nights were usually good
for a round or two uptown! We used to cruise Main street and watch for
fights. The wildest fights were the women after they had been in the bar
for an hour or two. ‘Cat fights’ were nasty although there was
another name (politically incorrect) that these were referred to back
then! Thanks Gary!

Reply from Allen Richard (65): Midland, MI


Thanks, Gary–I was doing my best to forget today–even blocked a move by my staff to take me to lunch–I have another meeting. Never fear–I planted a “bug” on one of them!


Only have one question–who the hell is the good lookin dark haired guy with Clinton?????? — Oh — sorry– I dug the picture out of a box in the basement. It was me in ’94 at a meeting at the White house. The woman in the background was my boss at National Farmers Union.




Randy Davis (77) Passed away:

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




As you know, I include mailing addresses along with many obituaries, so people can send cards to the family. I found this address for Christy Davis.


Christy Davis

PO Box ??

13 Third St W

Dunseith, ND 58329


Randy Davis

PO Box 733

Belcourt, ND 58316


Ole Bersinger:
Memories from Gary Metcalfe (57): Forsyth, MO
Musings from Gary Metcalfe…..I am writing this story about a guy who got a lot out of his music. For the new people on the blog, we have already talked about Ole Bersinger. Ole had a better than average story to tell. So here goes, the first time I remember seeing Ole, he was backed up to the ice cream cooler at Kelvin Store along with his wife and a couple of kids. Ole was in new territory for him. This was in the hayday of Kelvin the five years that Mac Williams ran the store. Mac was buying cream, selling groceries and beer like crazy. I guarantee if oak trees were killed by too much urine, that old oak tree by the corner of the bar would be dead! Just about everybody east of the highway went to Rolla, including Ole. Ole was so far back in the woods they had to pump daylight back to him.
Now Ole was an orphan, a German kid, raised by Norweigans for which he seemed thankful. The first year he was married he told me they lived on carrots! When Ole went to Seattle in the 40’s, I am not sure it worked out for him like it did for most of the people who made that move. He told me he had gone to work out in a gym in Bremerton and that big black guy put welts from boxing, all over him. So he turned to the fiddle, lonesome for home, he learned to play.
So here he is back in North Dakota, he must have heard about Peterson’s Hall, south of Kelvin. He met old Max Peterson and his boys and Ole became a celebrity. Ole really thought he was Ole Hank Williams himself, he said when it came to Country Western, none of them compared to Hank. I’ll bet if Ole had not learned to play that fiddle, I would have missed out on three or four of the best working years of my life. He had an absolute love of life and we had a hoot. He had a high respect for our working partner, Robert Rivard. Ole called him “Rhubarb”.
Alan Campbell told me once we don’t all necessarily get to do what we like to do. Ole would have said, “I did!”
Because of the hard times Ole is in the same class as Alcide Lajimodiere….all heart…genuine.
Gary Metcalfe

Orvin Hagen: (701) 428-3125 Kindred, ND.
Folks, We got this lovely Christmas card from Orvin Yesterday. Orvin did not have our FPO address, so he mailed it to our local address. With the Christmas rush it took 5 1/2 weeks to arrive, but we got it. As you can see, at 88 years old, Orvin is still very much into flowers with all his flower gardens. I called Orvin this morning his time. It’s just like old times talking with Orvin. Orvin is very much involved with community affairs and the church. He doesn’t drive at night, but folks pick him up to take him to different events after dark. He attends lots of functions at the school. Orvin told me that when he was about 10 years old he lived with his grandparents for several years. They spoke only Norwegian, so of coarse he had to learn the language of which he has never forgotten.
Orvin would very much like to attend the Dunseith reunion in May, but he has no way of getting there. It’s too far for him to drive. Linda Gardner is picking him up for the Turtle Mountain Country School reunion in July. Orvin lives in Kindred, ND., near Fargo. Gary
Gottbreht Family picture label
From Sharron Gottbreh Shen (59): Everett, WA.
You Gary and the readers may smile when I tell you that the Gottbreht girls are all dressed in outfits sewed by Mom. The fabric was some weird green from drapes that Sister Rose reserved for her friend Alma. Very frugal partnership there! The boys had store bought awful western the girls suffered Sears Roebuck envy. Mom had an old pedal Singer and did all parenting and seamstress work with such care.

L-R Dale Gottbreht with Ernie on foot stool; EJ and Sharron on floor; George on stairs; baby Marc on armrest; then Alma with shy Evie at her side. Don’t tell EJ, Evie, that I posted this picture!


L-R Dale Gottbreht with Ernie on foot stool; EJ and Sharron on floor;
George on stairs; baby Marc on armrest; then Alma with shy Evie at her side

Football picture Identification:

From Bob Pigeon(57): COLUMBIA, SC


Please resend the photo of the 1955 football team with a correction. Kenneth Pigeon was mistaken for Curtis Pigeon. Also, please thank Larry for sending it in.

Bob Pigeon


Back: Coach Ray Stark, Marvin Aamodt, James Robillard, Vince Kalk, David Lo,
Gerald Anderson, Larry Shirk and Coach Lincoln Jerstad.
Middle: Lowell Williams, DuWayne Lang, Dennis Espe, Don Conroy, Kenneth Pigeon, Bob Pigeon.
Front: Val Bott, Bob Lagerquist, Lowell Leonard, Curt Halvorson, Mick Kester, Duane Woodford.
All rights reserved


Happy Birthday Allen Richard (65):
Folks, Today, January 26th, is Allen Richard’s birthday. We won’t tell his age, but we all know he was born after 1946 and before 1948, the same as the majority of those of us from the class of 65. It’s so hard to believe that we have grandchildren and some great grandchildren too. These daily blogs make me feel so young.
Happy Birthday Allen. Enjoy. I’ll be catching up to you in July. That SS check is nice too. It all comes with age. Gary
Dorothy Pritchard celebrated her 97th Birthday: activitynd@yahoo.com
Folks, Dorothy Pritchard celebrated her 97th birthday yesterday, Jan. 25th. The picture below was taken last year.
Dorothy, I got rushed yesterday and forgot to make note of your Birthday. I am hoping you had an enjoyable birthday. Did Darald send a cake like he normally does for you birthday? Yes Dorothy, you have a few years behind you, but you are still going strong in spirit and mind. You may not move as quickly as you once did, but again, that comes with age. I hope I’m doing half as well you are when I reach your age. I intended to get there too. I sent you a card too, of which I know has not arrived yet. Gary
Folks, Dorothy gets all these daily messages. The hospital staff prints them all out for her. I have pasted her email address above. You can send her a message using the email address posted above. Just print “Attention Dorothy Pritchard” in the subject line and she will get your message.
Reply From Ruby Krause: Dunseith, ND.
Thank you for the birthday wishes. When I approached the entrance to my church–Peace Lutheran–I notiaced the entire congregation had assembled in the narthex. I thought maybe the heat was off, but when I opened the doors, they all burst onto a “happy Birthday” song! It seems Peggy Espe had seen the greeting on your blog, so she arranged the serenade. So you are responsible for two
School Cooks – Stella Schimetz:
Reply from Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND.
Gary and Friends,

LeaRae told of the wonderful cooks at the school in Dunseith. We had
lunch for hundreds of kids that two or three cooks made on a couple four
burner stoves under the stairway. This is the most amazing part to me.
It seems nearly impossible. I think these older women were used to
preparing meals for large families and also must have known how to
‘time’ the preparation in order to get that much food out in that little
space. One thing I am personally grateful for was how Stella Schimetz
knew that our son, David, couldn’t eat some things because he would get
sick. On the days she was serving any of these items, she would make up
a plate of something that David could eat without a problem.This of
course was years later. She is a queen, as far as our family is
concerned. Dave always used to go and hug Stella whenever he saw her,
even years later. He grew out of his allergies to certain foods and now
can live on gut bomb hamburgers and whatever liquids available it seems!
We remain forever grateful to Stella for her wonderful extra help.
Thanks Gary!


Turtle Mountain Country School Reunion:
Reply form Linda Gardner: Vienna, VA
Hi Gary – The $42 for the Country School Reunion includes registration, happy hour appetizers (cash bar) and a buffet dinner (supper). Let me know if anyone has other questions.
Brodek Family & Pictures:
From Sharron Gottbreht Shen (59): Everett, WA.

The Brodek family became our neighbors just north across the street from former Link home about 1948. Ted and Tessie Brodek were married in Dunseith about 1943, Alice Tennancour Evans was a witness. Ted and Tessie may have met while he was a patient at San Haven. I think their oldest, Ronnie, was about the same age as Ernie born 1946; Yvonne, Vonnie or Sissy was born about ’49. This great couple actually trusted me to babysit their children! I was probably 10 going on 7! These dear people would try to wake me when they returned home, put my boots on for me and set me out the door. I would wake the next morning at home without a clue as to how I got there.

Ted did WITH THE DUNSEITH REPORTER – TMS for a few years, very polished job. Then on to Rugby for a short time before moving to Pontiac, MI. Ted died in ’70s. I gather that Tessie later remarried since her name change in Mom’s address book is Tessie Meade, 580 Grand, Cold Water, MI. We had no reply from Tessie after 2001 and I tried to find Ron without success. His last known residence was Mesa, AZ. I know Tessie and children returned to Dunseith a few times when Ron and Yvonne young adults. George may have more info.

Someone was always snapping pictures around our home but quality photographs were rare. Ted changed that with the addition of his classy work – we treasured his priceless work then and today. Tessie often tinted sepia or black and white portraits. Maybe Evie will scan her’s when she was about age 3. The scans attached are Ted’s work.








This has to be the Gottbreht family.That sure looks like Evie on the far right. I believe Ernie is the


little boy on the far left. Sharron, can we get you to correctly identify everyone. Thanks, Gary



Football Picture:

Rely from Allen Richard (65): Midland, MI

I checked with Margret (Pigeon) Fox on this–


The Pigeon brothers in the football picture are Bobby and Kenneth. Curtis and Kenneth were fraternal twins. Curtis didn’t play that much football. Curtis passed away a few years ago and Ken farms west of Thorne.


Curtis worked for Dad one summer.


Allen Richard


Back: Coach Ray Stark, Marvin Aamodt, James Robillard, Vince Kalk, David Lo,
Gerald Anderson, Larry Shirk and Coach Lincoln Jerstad.
Middle: Lowell Williams, DuWayne Lang, Dennis Espe, Don Conroy, Kenneth Pigeon, Bob Pigeon.
Front: Val Bott, Bob Lagerquist, Lowell Leonard, Curt Halvorson, Mick Kester, Duane Woodford.


Bobby Pigeon:
Reply from Colette Hosmer (64): Santa Fe, NM
My sister, Jan (four years ahead of me in school) “went steady” with Bobby Pigeon for a few years. I possessed all the adoration of a younger sister and thought Bobby was the coolest guy imaginable. Dick is right, Bobby was “cool” twenty years before the Fonz. Anyone know where he is now?


Thanks, Colette

Colette, We have a Robert Pigeon, living in Columbia, SC on our distribution that graduated in 1957. Is this the same gentleman? Gary



Hot Lunch progam – Mrs. Knutson & Stella Schmitz:

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


I believe the “Hot Lunch” Program was started in Dunseith the fall of 1955 with Mrs. Knutson as the first cook. This was my first grade year and we did have to bring our lunch for a couple of weeks in September before the program got rolling. As far as I know she didn’t have any helpers at first, but eventually Mabel Aamodt was hired to help especially with desserts. I remember the teachers helping dish up food. I remember the 100 pound bags of potatoes sitting in that little kitchen and I believe Mrs. Knutson peeled the potatoes and kept them in water overnight. For some reason I remember the scene of mom (Mildred Parrill) and I down in the kitchen and Mrs. Knutson sitting there peeling. Now that I think about it, I suppose she would go down and visit in Norwegian as that was mom’s first language.
This was also my mother’s first year of teaching in town and she had 37 of us in first grade. The second grade class had only a little over 20 students. I wonder how many ate hot lunch.
Mrs. Knutson moved back to Norway in 1966. All of her children still lived there. I don’t know if she cooked up to the time she left. She was a great cook and was replaced by an even greater cook Stella Schmitz. We Dunseith kids and teachers didn’t know how good we had it until we tasted hot lunch in other places. Example: You should have seen Deverde Nicklaus (who taught math in Bottineau after he taught in Dunseith)- he just shook his head in disbelief. He said the two best cooks were his wife (He had to say that!) and Stella.
By the way, the price was 20 cents a meal and remained at that price until at least 1975.
Basement Cafeteria – Reply to Ron Longie:
From Sharon Longie Dana (73):MIssoula MT.
I remember that basement cafeteria……its where I got chocolate milk for the first time. You took me to my first day of school there. You probably don’t remember that Ronnie. I do it was a big day for me, my older cousin took me to school.
Sharon Longie Dana (73)




Paper Route – Doc Stickland:

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


Gary and Friends,

Thanks to all the folks for commenting on the last few entries. It
really helps when those who know the details write in and fill in the
blanks. In Lee Stickland’s posting he made mention of he and his
brothers doing the paper route. I remember it well. Darrell, or ‘Doc’ as
we called him, had the job of delivering the Minot Daily News. One time
I mentioned that I wouldn’t mind having a paper route to make a few
bucks. Doc was quite the businessman. I guess he actually introduced me
to the world of subcontracting. He said that the route was actually in
his name but that the Minot Daily allowed him to have a substitute so he
would let me run the route and I could get the dollar a day payment for
delivering. That’s correct one (1) dollar a day. I did it for a long
time until one of our other buddies told me Doc got $1.50 a day! He was
getting $.50 for holding the contract, so to speak. That’s business!
Even for 12 year olds, it was a smart move. I bet Doc did well in his
future business ventures! The only real added benefit was that sometimes
the person who dropped off the papers at the post office miscounted and
had up to three extra papers. These were ours to sell for a dime each. I
figured out how and where to get the best price out of these extras. I
would go into the bars–Woodford’s, Corner Bar, or the Garden Tap and
ask the guys at the bar if they would like to buy a paper to help me
out? Lots of times they would say, “Sure kid” and throw me a quarter or
more. That was the gravy! Most times though they had the right number of
papers and we got no gravy! Live and learn! Thanks Gary!




Brodecks Family:

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


Toni Morinville mentioned Brodecks. Yvonne Brodeck started first grade with me in 1955. I believe it was Mrs. Conroy who stopped into the room the first day and said to mom , “Oh, you have twins!” about Yvonne and I. Yvonne’s dad was the editor of the Dunseith Journal which would naturally include taking pictures for the paper. Brodecks moved to Rugby part way through that school year. I believe Mr. Brodeck went to work for Frank Hornstein at the Rugby paper. I wonder how long they stayed in Rugby and what has happened to them since. Were there other children in the Brodeck family? Were they in Dunseith very long? Who remembers?
Was that the end of the Dunseith Journal? My mother said that when she was in HS a fellow by the name of Ardis Bailey ran the paper. He married one of their favorite teachers, Miss Hannah Jevne after mom’s sophomore year. They moved to Hazen. This Bailey was not related to the other Baileys from Dunseith as far as mom knows.
Turtle Mountain Country School Reunion:
Posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe: Bottineau & Minot, ND.
I think you’ve mentioned the Turtle Mountain Country School Reunion; here’s a clipping about it from today’s Minot Daily. I’m sending this to my Bottineau list/Kramer list/Brudwick list/other lists, too. As you know, many of my relatives (Brudwick’s/Kofoid’s/Haakenson’s/others) attended country schools in the Turtle Mts.
This is another great reuion that I’d dearly love to attend. Linda sent this to me earlier for posting too. Linda will be picking up Orvin Hagen on her way to this reunion too.
Linda, Can you tell us what all is included with the $42 registration fee? Thanks, Gary

Corner Bar Fire:

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


Gary and Friends,

Looking at the picture postcard of Main street stirs so many
memories it’s amazing. I remember the night the Corner Bar burned. Henry
LaCroix had owned and run the bar for many years. When it burned though,
I think Orlan Fuchs was the owner. He was the manager for sure, I do
know that. Dad got me up real early to go up to the Crystal Cafe for
breakfast so we could head up here to the farm to work. When we got up
on Main street we could see the commotion down by the bar so drove on
down a block to see what was up. The building was still standing but was
completely gutted by the fire. Orlan was inside looking around and
trying to see what was left. As we were standing just inside the front
door, I noticed a $20 bill on the floor. We looked further and found
more money scattered between the till and the front door. It was all
black from the smoke but was still recognizable as bills. They figured
that someone had entered through the plank covered opening in the
sidewalk on the north side of the building and then left through the
front door. The plank covered opening was there for unloading kegs and
other heavy things, according to Orlan. I never heard if it was ever
determined if the fire was a cover up for a burglary or not, but it sure
looked that way! I would have to take a wild guess as to when this was
because I really don’t remember the year. Probably mid to late 60s, but
that is just a guess. Maybe someone else has a date on this fire. Thanks






Bottineau Lutheran church Class of 58 confirmation picture:

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




I happened to see this picture and thought your readers might enjoy seeing it. Two of Abe Nelson’s daughters (EdnaMae and Vonnie) are in the picture, as is your cousin, Jean Hanson. I KNEW you wouldn’t recognize Jean if I didn’t mention her. Ha!


I should have been in this confirmation class, but I attended a few classes at the beginning of confirmation and then quit. I was confirmed with the Class of ’58.


Marlys Nelson was a cousin of EdnaMae/Vonnie. She was Lloyd Nelson’s sister. As you know, Lloyd owned a grocery store in Bottineau for many years. Marlys passed away many years ago.



Neola, Our readers know many of these folks. My first cousin and also the Morinville siblings first cousin, Jean Pladson, is pretty well know thru out the area. Yes, I would have recognized Jean in a heart beat in this photo. I’ll never forget the time that Jean visited our house shortly after she and Duane were married. Mom’s cousin and her husband from Niagara had stopped in for a visit on one of their Sunday drives when Jean came. When Jean was in the kitchen visiting with the ladies, Richard, Mom’s cousin’s husband, make the comment that Jean was one of the prettiest gals he had ever seen with her beautiful blond hair and blue eyes. I think her bubbly and friendly personality added a lot to the equation too. Jean was quite young when Duane swept her of her feet. Gary

Back row: EdnaMae Nelson, Loueen Brandvold, Jean Hanson, Vonnie Nelson,
Lynne Bergman, Marlys Nelson
Front row: Bob Vinje, Leonell Grimestad, Peter Lilligard, Dennis Monson,
Pastor Estrem


Another old picture. :)
Back row: Jean Pladson, Miss Vikan, Beverly Lemieux
Front row: Marlys Nelson, EdnaMae Nelson, Neola Kofoid, Margaret Wicken.
I seem to have made sure I had enough room! LOL!




Happy Birthday Ruby Krause:
Folks; Today, January 24th, is Ruby Krause’s birthday. Ruby is a former Dunseith School teacher & Librarian. She was hired into the Dunseith School system in 1971. She was the School Librarian in 1982 when the Dunseith centennial book was published. She was with the Dunseith Schools for a number of years. Ruby currently lives in Dunseith.
Ruby, We wish you a very happy birthday. This is your special day, so enjoy it to the fullest. Gary
Dunseith Main Street Picture:
Reply from Dave Wurgler (64): Rugby, ND.
Gary: To Dick Johnson about the post card of main street of Dunseith. When I first saw the picture and started to identify the cars I also thought that might have been dads 57 chev, as ole Hank Johnson was his barber, but if you look up the street in front of the Security State Bank you will notice which I think is a 60 chev-biscayne which could also be dads because he traded the 57 chev in 1960 for the coppertone 60 chev-biscayne and he also done all his personal and business banking at the bank. Kind of interesting. Take everyone and God Bless and a healthy and Happy New Year. Dave Wurgler (64).
Lajimodiere Family:
Reply from Denice Lajimodiere: Moorhead, MN.
Gary M.

Yes, my family is related to Julie Lajimodiere. We are descendant from her brother Joseph, his son Modeste, his son, Benjamin, my father Leo. Modeste and Louis Riel were first cousins. The Riel Rebellion split many familes in half, some for it and some were ‘royalists.’ Grandpa Ben refused to speak of Riel or the rebellion – were they royalists?? Our family originally fled to Pembina, Wallhalla, St. Joseph area after the rebellion to avoid prosecution. We are not sure where Joseph is buried. Some say with Riel, others say at St. Joseph church. I will go looking for him. Modeste brought us to Dunseith, and grandpa Ben to Belcourt. My father consideres Dunseith our family home, and we are mostly buried there. We have kept the original Lajimodiere spelling, as it is now Lagimodiere in Winnipeg – the priests at St. Boniface decided that the name will be spelled consistenly with a ‘g.’
I learned more about the Rebellion from my mother’s grandfathers and great uncles, the Plantes. Their grandfather, Francois Azure, fought with Riel at Batoche and I have recorded some wonderful oral stories from them about the battle, along with buffalo hunting stories and run ins with the Sioux. I have extensive files on our families geneology – I just have to sift through them to try and find Alcide’s mom. I’m now the ‘elder’ of the Belcourt Lajimodiere’s, sadly. I’m really a ‘baby elder,’ aye. But I know I need to keep our family’s story alive.

Denise Lajimodiere

School cook lady Identified:
Reply from Ron Longie (65): Yakima WA




The lady from Norway if I remember right was MRS Knudson, she was the cook when I used to eat in the “Old White School” basement.


School cook lady Identified:
Reply from Marge Landsverk Fish (57): Horicon, WI
Ted Brodeck ?:
Question from Toni Morinville Gredesky (68): Farimount, ND
A recent picture that was posted had the name Brodeck on it. I’m wondering if anyone remembers Ted Brodeck and his family. He was a photographer who lived in Dunseith for a while. I think when they left Dunseith they moved to Rugby. I don’t remember his wife’s name, but they had a daughter named Sissy, I believe. He and my Dad were friends. Ted was probably responsible for getting my Dad interested in photography. Just wondering if anyone can add more about them.
Toni Morinville Gredesky
Reply From Lee Stickland (64): Dickinson, ND.

Gary and Dick,
I nearly covet YOUR memories; both YOU, Gary and YOU, Dick.
I do not recall any of the things that YOU and others are so well-versed in.
Guess I was too busy, either trying to reduce my time for the 100/220 yard dash, or Jim Evans and I attempting to make a hole in the defense of the opponent so that Dave Shelver, John Leonard or Bill Henry could make some yardage.
Each of the three (3) Stickland boys, Darrel (Doc) and Dean and I had paper routes with 72 Minot Daily News, (I walked to Theresa Kriegs, north of town to deliver a paper each day). She was in the nursing home when I was administrator at Dunseith from Spetember of 1975 to February of 1977. Each of us had the privilege of working in Hosmers’ Store or the Red Owl,;stocking, meat cutting and floor and bldg maintenance.
I also began to be able to drive a vehicle in at 7:30 am, grind the valves, replace guides and reinstall the head by noon. I worked for Alvin Moe at the Corner Garage. Age 12 is when I began mechanics and keeping the books for the garage.
There was so much to be learned in Dunseith when I was a kid. Just needed to
“keep YOUR hat on straight”.
I see that it may be raining now in Cebu. I was in San Diego for four (4) days. Wore a dark long-sleeved shirt with black pants. It was above +70 degrees. By the time I walked to and from the Ramada to the Roadhouse BBQ establishment, I needed dry clothes and another shower.
Eric, my son, took me to Target where I bought a white short-sleeved shirt and white pants. Pants were of quality for $6.48. Eric’s wife, Kim took me back the next night to buy 2 more outfits and the price had increased, considerably.
Questions about the 1955 football team
From Larry Liere (55): Mesa, AZ & Devils Lake, ND
We had 3.25″ of rain in the last three days with wind up to 50MPH here in Mesa. I guess this was more rain then they had all last year. It was needed.
So far one death from the storm. A six year old boy was washed away from his family when their pick-up got stuck in the flooded road.
I remember the name Iver Lo. Would that be David Lo’s Dad? If so what did Iver do for a living because I am sure he was a good friend of my Dad.
Was this an 11, 8, or 6 man football team? Are we sure it is the 1955 team? I was thinking more of my 2nd. grade class would have been on the team.
I noted the old leather football helmets. This team was lucking they had face protection. Our team in Devils Lake only had one face mask. I played
end with a broken nose. I guess there were even 9 man teams back in the old days. Thanks for any information you can give. LARRY
Football Photo ID:
Reply from Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND.
Gary and Friends,

Thanks to Karen Woodford Olson for supplying the names of the guys in
the football picture. I think the guy next to Bobby Pigeon is Curt
Pigeon. Bobby is the guy that reminds me of the ‘Fonz’ on Happy Days. I
guess it’s the other way around as Bobby was cool twenty years before
the TV show came around. The football helmets on the ground are the same
ones we hauled from the school to the dump ground and one of which I
still have. Thanks Gary!


Back: Coach Ray Stark, Marvin Aamodt, James Robillard, Vince Kalk, David Lo,
Gerald Anderson, Larry Shirk and Coach Lincoln Jerstad.
Middle: Lowell Williams, DuWayne Lang, Dennis Espe, Don Conroy, Curt Pigeon, Bob Pigeon.
Front: Val Bott, Bob Lagerquist, Lowell Leonard, Curt Halvorson, Mick Kester, Duane Woodford.


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


This is in response to Floyd Dion’s posting from today about the Renault car bodied snowplane. It is from nearly two years ago but might be something interesting for the folks. Thanks Gary!


——– Original Message ——–

Subject: Snowplanes
Date: Sun, 11 May 2008
From: Dick Johnson
To: Gary Stokes
Gary and Friends

Reading Floyd’s and Tim’s comments about snowplanes really caught my
attention! Although they were abandoned from use in the late sixties,
some have survived. State laws prohibiting hunting from a moving vehicle
basically brought about their demise. The other factor was the invention
of the snowmobile which kind of took the place of the snowplane for snow
travel. I always liked these homemade machines and about 15 years ago I
found two of them that were for sale, so I made a deal and bought them.
I was invited to a snowplane rally in 1995 at Tolna, ND, where other
guys with this same interest were gathered. We had a cross country ride
for many miles and then a chili feed and refreshments on our return. It
was one of the most nostalgic and fun days I have had for many years. We
formed a group we called the Prairie Snowplaners and have had rallies,
annually, up until the last two years when there hasn’t been enough
snow. Since then I have bought several more snowplanes and parts. If any
one is interested, I have a couple VHS tapes from past rallies I would
Floyd wrote about the Renault car body they used for one sled. John
Boguslawski and I asked Curt Halvorson what he was going to do with the
chassis, [ engine, transmission, and steering, etc. ], Curt gave it to
us! We came up to our farm and got a Model T frame off a discarded hay
rack and built a “dune buggy”. We actually scared ourselves once and
THEN built a rollcage. We painted it pastel yellow with house paint and
had quite a rig! Floyd, if I remember correctly, didn’t you break some
ribs or something while hunting in the Renault-bodied snowplane? I seem
to remember something about that, could be wrong! I have attached a
couple pictures taken of my snowplane taken at one of the rallies.
Thanks Gary!




Folks, Bernadette and I attended a nice wedding yesterday. The couple is from our bowling league. He is from Norway and of coarse she from here, Cebu, PI. This couple has been living together nearly two years now. They had a baby several months ago. There is a little age difference in this couple though. He is 59 and she just had her 22nd birthday. In spite of the age difference, they are a nice looking couple. Of coarse with him being Norwegian, they couldn’t be anything else but. Those Norwegian accents sure bring back some good memories of my dad’s relatives. The demeanors of the Norwegian’s that we have met here, so resembles that of the Norwegian’s I was raised around.
Another point of interest. Last week I posted the activity of our Website with a comment that the visits have been steadily increasing. Brenda Hoffman replied with a personal message that she feels there are folks following our messages that have just stumbled upon us browsing the Net. I never gave that any thought, but she may be right. It’s wonderful if there are. We’d like to hear from some of you folks that have found us with your browsing. Gary

Reply to Larry Shirk (58):

From Jim Robillard (58): WILLISTON, ND


Hi Larry good hearing from you. That is a great picture of our football team. The best dang team on both sides of Willow Creek.

I also enjoyed seeing the picture of Dunseith main street with all the old cars parked on the street. Its pretty near how I remember Dunseith.


A note to Gary Stokes; Gary I would like to thank you for this great service you provide for the Dunseith Alumni I read this Blog every day and enjoy The stories.


Snowplane reply:
From Floyd Dion (45): Dunseith, ND.
Hi Gary
Dick was saying that the Pigeon’s had a Volkswaagen body for a snowplane, Harvey Halvorson had one with a French Renault coupe body , it had a door in the roof so we could shoot out of it, but it was too heavy too, Curt Halvorson and I built one for Harvey, and we had a lot of fun with it. I remember someone (don’t remember who) had a leaky gas tank and took it out to Jim Coleman’s to have it welded, they emtyed the tank and Jim put a hose in the gas tank and the other end on the car exhaust pipe and started the car and begin to weld the tank,ant it did not blow up.
Those snowplanes were a lot of fun
Reply from Gary Metcalfe (57): Forsyth, MO

Reply to Larry Hackman

That is a good story about Egbert, Larry. That is what I called him too, his dad called him Donerd. I am sure most people thought I was being funny when I said that Ade was a man amongst men when he was young. That is what my dad called him, Ade. According to Ade, he was a ladies man to the highest degree, so I guess Donald had a real hard act to follow. You should read Ade’s history in the BIG BOOK.


I have given a lot of thought about what made those old pioneers stand taller than those who came later. I realize they were much more wise to the world having come from cities and towns out east and overseas.


I was thinking about Charles and Marvin Lindberg. I thought they lived near Rose Lake somewhere. Ethel Dubois is their sister. So I looked up their parents’ story, Pete Lindberg was a twin to Ben Lindberg. Cooney McKay’s father-in-law. I loved the way Ben handled the situation when a fellow came into their house party with a gun threatening to shoot everybody. Ben took him outside, straightened him out, then had him come back in for the evening festivities. With people like that they could get by with only one cop in the area those earlier years.

I got off the track. Pete was known as a singer and a man who could keep up to two binders shocking grain. The man that had enough crop to warrant two binders working was my great grandfather, Hans Svingen down at Overly. He was my Grandma Evans father. Hans had two brothers who were pastors and one of them performed the wedding for Ben Lindberg. There was also evidence that Ben met his wife at the home of Andrew Bergen up on the Canadian border.


I have a couple things I would like to find out about the Hillside area, one is who Alcide’s mother was???

Denise tells me that old Modeste Lajimodeir had 21 kids and three wives. I think the “e” on the end of his first name changed the meaning of it. I think he was the most prolific of the whole area. His quarter of land sat between Vance Bailey’s home place and Louis Bergan’s, give or take.


I guarantee Donald was a good worker. He worked for Cliff Gilles.


I am sure when Denise finds time to research that large addition to Rolette County it could prove interesting. I am pretty sure it was one of her relatives that was prominent in Manitoba politics. Most have heard of Louis Riel and Julie Lajimodeir was his mother. Louis was well educated and charismatic.

Gary Metcalfe




Message from DeAnn Gottbreht. DeAnn’s parents are Ernie Gottbreht and Brenda Hill.

Posted on her CarringBridge Website:http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/deanngottbreht


We had a excellent turnout for my benefit up in Portal yesterday! I want to thank all of the great people who brought soup, sandwiches, dessert, and everyone who worked so hard putting it on. It was sure nice to have so much family there. Patrick parents came over along with Grandma, Mom and Bryant, My Dad and Cheryl, and Blake and Michelle. Lots of people came over from work along with some of the people that work up on the Canadian side and local friends as well. I am so thankful for all the people who donated money there and by mail. Thank You all for your generous support! Patrick and I sure appreciate it. Just saying thank you seems like hardly enough but it is the best I can do for now.

We are leaving for Mayo Tuesday morning. It is snowing steady right now with 4-5 inches by morning and a blizzard by Sunday so I pray that the weather man is right and that the storm will end by some time Monday. I will see my Oncologist, my Surgeon, Baby Doctor, and a few others on Wednesday and Thursday with surgery tentatively scheduled for Friday the 29th as long as all my appointments go well. And before you ask YES this is safe for the baby as long as I am monitored and my blood pressure and oxygen stay normal. I would not choose to do something I know would hurt my baby! Please keep us both in your prayers as we take this next step. It is pretty scary for me but necessary and I am comforted having it done in a place as excellent as the Mayo Clinic. Take care everyone. I will try to keep you updated on my progress.




Alex Pedie:

From Neola Kofoid Garbe: Bottineau & Minot, ND


I think you/someone asked who Alex Pedie is. He’s the husband of Dianne Pedie, who taught school in Dunseith.
Art Rude Sr. recovering.
From Art Rude (71): Bismarck, ND
Great job as always! I thought I should fill you in, and I know you will share it with the group. Dad (Art Rude Sr.) has had a real tough fall and winter. Late August he fell off his bike (age 86) and had to be taken to the hospital. I don’t think it was the fall. I understand in talking to him, and a couple of other people who saw him that day, he had been quite upset, and I think he had a mini stroke. The reason I say that is, although they gave him a series of tests, and said he didn’t qualify as a “stroke”, it sure seems as if he lost oxygen to the brain for a while, because Dad has never been so confused.
After a couple of days in the hospital, he went to the Dunseith Community Nursing home for 3 weeks. As he was doing much better, he was out living in his apartment, but we had to move him to a situation where he wouldn’t be alone. Anyway, December 18th I called as usual on the way to work, and Dad wasn’t there, he had been hauled away by ambulance shortly before I called. He was eventually hauled to Minot, where they opened him up to clean out a “hematoma” (I think that’s the appropriate term) around his defibrilator, and they said they cleaned out enough blood clot to make a softball. He had to have fallen
or taken quite a blow for that to happen. Dad has had a defibrilator for almost 20 years, and a pacemaker as well.
So now he is in the Dunseith home. He has lost a lot of his mobility (Dad always walked, and liked to walk with a very vigorous step, so it was difficult to see him walk like Tim Conway) although he is making improvements. I just talked to him on the phone, and Eldon Moors (our neighbor from the hills, who moved in since many of you have left. He bought the Lawrence Wenstad place on the county line.) had stopped in, and he kept saying how much he enjoyed the visit. So that’s the point Gary, I know there are many people still in Dunseith, and around Dunseith who remember Dad, so stop in and say hi, I’m sure he would appreciate it. You probably remember how he likes to visit, and catch up with people, so if you are in town with a few extra minutes . . .
I’ll enclose a picture we took at Christmas break, when more of the family could make it up to enjoy the hills, and see Dad. I spent most of the semester break up in the cabin, so I got to see Dad almost everyday, but he sleeps a lot now.
Thanks Gary.
Art Rude
PS. In the picture, from left to right, is my daughter Hannah, her fiance Brad Wickie, Dad, my wife Grace with grandson Gavin, and myself. I’d appreciate it if you refer to Dad as Art Sr. which is a title of respect. By the way Gary, I like being Art Rude, but hated being called “Junior” (I think that’s why Pete Mellmer left town). That’s one of the things I like about Bismarck, I don’t have to be junior any more, you would think at age 56 you could leave that childhood moniker behind.

Peace and Power, Art Thanks for checking out Art Rude Productions, webpage address: www.artrude.com call and leave a message anytime at 800-XRT-RUDE
Art, Thank you so much for this update and info about your dad. I am glad to here that he is recovering well. Please keep us posted. This is a great photo of all of you. Gary
L To R: Hannah Rude, Brad Wickie, Art Rude Sr., Grace Rude W/Gavin & Art Rude.
Mel Kuhn (70):
Reply from Larry Hackman (66): Bismarck, ND
Just a few items that I have rolling around inside the old cranium that I thought I would put out there. Maybe someone has a answer or two.
I wish I would have known about old Mel having problems? I would have went up and hooked him up to a trickle charger. We could have probably saved him some gas money. Glad to here you are is doing fine Mel. Hang in there old buddy, there is life to be lived.
Folks, I neglected to include Larry’s Attachment when I posted his message several days ago. I hate it when that happens. Larry, I apologize. I have pasted your attachment below. Gary

Rambling Rumblings


Does anyone have pictures to post of the swimming area at the east end of Lake Shutte that show the sand beach, dock, and diving board that was built and used during the 50s? Remember how we use to go catch mud-puppies with our bare hands, in the northeast corner of the lake.We would carry the mud-puppies back to the beach and throw them at the girls to make them run and scream? The good old days.



Anyone remember the cook that use to make them scaloped potatoes that were served to us about once a week ( or maybe it was once every two weeks – it was often) in the lunch rooms in the basement of the old wood two story school house in Dunseith?If I remember correctly; when she retired, her and her husband sold their home in Dunseith and moved back to Norway.Jim Enno, who had a auto body repair shop on the south edge of town, bought their home?I remember them scaloped potatoes and would like a copy of the recipe if anyone has it and could post that.Remember when you came down the stairs into the basement, you had your lunch ticket punched, then you had to make a sharp right or left turn, went around either corner, picked up your tray and selected your butter, or peanut butter sandwich; (take as many as you want) from the plastic baskets with the towel over the top of the sandwichs.Next stop was the window to the kitchen where they handed you your plate or brown bowl of scaloped potatoes.You had to develope a taste for them scaloped potatoes.I guess I did cuz I would like to taste them again.Anyone have the recipe?



Did Kenny Nerpel move to Rugby?


A while back I wrote about some of the happenings that happened to some of the old people in our lives.I tried to make them entertaining and funny.I thought we should laugh at some of these situations now, because as we all know, we will be encountering some of these type happenings.So, be prepared to laugh when it happens to you, cuz it an’t gonna do much good to cry!The reason I brought this up again I thought a few would write about some of the happenings in their lives.Which a few have! Thank You.


There were a couple of particular stories I knew of, that happened to a mother-in-law and brother-in-law of a (65er) class member, that I was sure would write and give us the scoop.So Joe, “Joe is kind of a generic name so I don’t think anyone is going to figure out who I’m talking about. Joe this lady told me she was up-town in Rugby doing some shopping.She was driving home from shopping, thinking about her garden.Her and her husband always grow a beautiful, productive garden.Joe, I’m sure you have eaten a lot of vegetables from that garden?Your mother-in-law says she is coming down the street from up-town, hits the button for the garage door to open.She pulls into the driveway, the garage door is almost all the way open, and then she don’t remember anything until she opens her eyes.There she is sitting in her car, in the back yard looking at her beautiful garden.She said, she remembers driving along thinking about her garden before she entered the garage, but she never intended to drive directly through the back wall of her garage to get there.She does not remember going through the wall.Funny?You be the judge.



Joe, It always seemed to me that if something happened in high school that was funny, it usually involved a member of your family, and I don’t think it had anything to do with the amount of you guys roaming the halls.It always seemed that your family was happy and always ready to have some fun.This story is about your brother-in-law Joey.I know there are a million stories about Joey.I’m just going to tell just one.you can tell the other stories if you want too.According to Joey’s mother, Joey parked his antique auto on the street.Now you have to think about this.What some people consider to be an antique, other people consider to be an eye-sore or junk.The decision is purely in the eye of the beholder.Now this car is sitting there, and hadn’t been moved for months.Someone finally made up a sign and placed it on the antique car.The sign said one word, (FREE).A couple boys came along from Devils Lake and saw this sign.They thought they struck gold (a free old corvette).They went up to the door, rang the door bell, and asked Joey’s mom if it was OK for them to take the car.She said, you can’t take that car, it’s an antique, and belongs to my son Joey.They explained about the free sign on the car.She told them, that it is worth a lot of money and was not free.Poor boys!


A few days later somone had moved the vehicle and parked it in the alley behind the house, the sign had been removed.Joe I hope you don’t end up sleeping on the couch because of this story?


I and my wife were over visiting my brother Henry (65er) and was telling him and his wife about the above story.We were sitting in his living room.His wife jumps up and points across the street at an antique auto.Apparently the conversation had struck a nerve?She didn’t actually call it a antique.She was basiclly telling my brother to make up a sign and put it on that car.Henry being a calm guy said, why don’t we just call the police dept. and see what they do firstHe said, they made the call, explained that the car had been sitting there forever, and the next day it was towed.So simple!Personally I preferred the sign method.



The old building, located behind the building that was used as, Richards Variety Store, or Berg’s Electric and TV repair, or Sutton’s Used Auto Parts Store, or Morinvilles Grocery Store, which was located across the street from the Crystal Cafe? Does anyone remember what it was used for originally?I remember Orvile Sutton using it as a auto repair shop, and I think it was torn down after that.Itlooked like it could of been someones house at one time?



Bill (65er) do you remember the guy who kept rabbits in the building or garages located just at the north end of the Commercial Hotel.I know when we first moved to town we had a lot of pet rabbits that we brought with us from the farm.We didn’t bring them all but just what we had cages for. The rest we just released on the farm.Anyway this gentleman came over and offered to buy them rabbits. Us kids knowing about all that candy in them stores up-town, immediately sold the rabbits to him.Then when we ran out of money convinced Dad to take us back up to the farm to recapture the rest.It took a couple of trips but I think we got most of them.Did that fellow keep and sell rabbits for pets or for food or both?I remember he had a lot of rabbits.



My sympathy to all thoughs that have lost loved!

I hope and pray that you are doing well!


Remember; Laugh and the whole world laughs with you!


Football Photo ID’s:
From Karen Woodford Olson (59): Marana, Az & Bemidji, Mn
The folks in the football picture are as follows:
Back row Coach Ray Stark, Marvin Aamodt, James Robillard, Vince Kalk, David Lo, Gerald Anderson, Larry Shirk and Coach Lincoln Jerstad. Middle row Lowell Williams, DuWayne Lang, Dennis Espe, Don Conroy, Ray? Pigeon, Bob Pigeon. Front row Val Bott, Bob Lagerquist, Lowell Leonard, Curt Halvorson, Mick Kester, Duane Woodford.
Hope my memory is correct. Thank you for all of your work. Karen Woodford Olson
Back: Coach Ray Stark, Marvin Aamodt, James Robillard, Vince Kalk, David Lo, Gerald Anderson, Larry Shirk and Coach Lincoln Jerstad.
Middle: Lowell Williams, DuWayne Lang, Dennis Espe, Don Conroy, Ray? Pigeon, Bob Pigeon.
Front: Val Bott, Bob Lagerquist, Lowell Leonard, Curt Halvorson, Mick Kester, Duane Woodford.
Main Street Photo:
Reply from Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND.



With the posting of Bernard Morin/ Rod Armentrout’s postcard of Dunseith’s Main street, there are a couple things shown that I never in my life expected to see again. First, the car on the right is the old Nash belonging to Hank Johnson, the barber. It’s the one Marvin Kalk bought for $25. that I told about in blog message 156. The next car is a ’57 Chevy. John Wurgler had one like it and so did Zike Boguslawski. The car in front of the Althea theater is Leonard Cote’s ’59 Merc four door hard top. Eddie Bogus bought the Merc from Leonard and big John Bogus and I made a few wild trips to Rugby and Bottineau in that sled! The old Merc had a monster engine and really flew. It also had a fuel pump on top of the front part of the engine and if it got hot it ‘vapor locked’ and the car died. We had an old rag wrapped around the fuel pump and when it started having it’s fits, we would open the hood and poor cold water (or beer–what a waste) on the rag and away we went! My guess of the year the picture was taken is around 1963-64. I think Marvin bought Hank’s Nash in about ’64-’65. Hank still owned it when the picture was taken, obviously, as it’s still sitting in front of the barber shop. Thanks Bernard, Rod, and Gary!


——– Original Message posted with message 156 ——–

Subject: Marvin’s car
Wed, 09 Jul 2008 22:01:31 -0500
From: Dick Johnson <djcars@srt.com>
To: Gary Stokes <gws123456@gmail.com>
Gary and Friends, There was a barber in Dunseith by the name of Hank Johnson. We called him 'Hank the Barber', and he had a shop two doors south of the Althea theater. This is not the Hank Johnson from Willow Lake, but another guy. Anyway, for years he drove an old 1950 Nash four door car that resembled an inverted bathtub! It was dark green and ugly, real ugly. In those days Nash thought it was cool to be able to lay the front seat down and make the car into a bed, maybe for camping, who knows! Hank decided to sell his old Nash and buy a newer car so Marvin Kalk went down and bought it for $25, if I remember right. It didn't like to start real well but he seemed to get it going most of the time, one way or another! One night a bunch of us were cruising town in Marvin's Nash and we noticed he had a stick holding the rear of the driver's seat up! Someone asked what it was for and Marvin said the latch was broken so the seat fell back to the bed position. He dropped us off by Fortune Berube's house and we were standing by the car talking to Marvin, who was still in his car. Bill Berube had tied a rope to the stick that was holding the seat up and had secretly dropped it out the rear window. We asked Marvin if he could make the old Nash burn rubber? He revved it up and dropped the clutch and sure enough it squealed the tires and took off to the east! Billy gave the rope a pull and poor Marvin fell over backward in the seat and lost his grip on the steering wheel! The car veered to the left and jumped the curb, heading for Knute Landsverk's garage! Marvin sat back up just in time to turn the wheel and miss the garage, but instead of hitting the brakes he just kept going and drove clear across the vacant lot south of Landsverk's and then bounced back over that curb and drove off like nothing happened! We went from being scared to laughing hysterically in just a few seconds! I remember thinking, if he would have hit that garage we would have all been in BIG trouble! But we pulled off another one! Thanks Gary! Dick


Reply from Keith Pladson (66): thepladsons@hotmail.com Stafford, VA
I found this interesting.

But, first a little background. My neighbor, Dave Humphrey, four houses down the street, asked me a few years ago if I would be interested in helping to collect food for the needy. Since I was retired and had the time, I said yes. So now every Tuesday, he and I (and in the summertime two other retired neighbors also) collect food from several grocery markets. (This consists of things that are reaching there shelf life or the containers are damaged, etc., and that would otherwise be thrown in the garbage – cereals, canned goods, breads, pies, milk, eggs, meats, etc.) The operation was set up several years ago by a guy who had made quite a bit of money in life and wanted to give back so he rented a warehouse and bought a truck and got a local pastor to run the warehouse. It’s called Warehouse Ministries. So on Tuesdays, we drive down from where we live to Fredericksburg, VA to get the big truck and then go from store to store to collect before returning to the warehouse to off load. This also gives us a lot of time to just talk about anything and everything of interest.

Anyway, this past Tuesday I was driving and Dave pulled something out of a folder he had brought with him. He then asked me if I wanted to hear something funny and he started reading what he’d pulled out of his folder: “Dear Sirs: We’re writing this letter to you today because we want to help you get your money out of your Model T. It’s still as good a car…”

Does that ring a bell? Remember your 681 posting?

Dave is originally from the Boston, Mass. area and knows nothing about Bottineau or Maxbass, ND. But through the wonders of the information highway, e.g. the internet, he had somehow gotten a copy of that same post card you posted. Do we live in a small world or what?

Thanks Gary for what you do.
Keith (66)

Keith, This is so interesting. This card, pasted below, has to be on the internet somewhere. I first received it from Sharron Gottbreht Shen that I posted with message 387, I then received it from Bill Hosmer posted with message 404. Then several weeks ago Allen Richard sent it to me again that I posted with message 681.
This card is for sure making it’s rounds all thru the whole country. Last week, out of the blue, a friend of mine originally from Bremerton, WA sent this card out to 50 plus folks that he sends forwards to everyday. I am on his list. He has no idea that I am from ND, Let alone Dunseith/Bottineau. Do any of you know who actually has this card?
This story even gets better with this friend of mines daily forwards. Last week one of his forwards was of the deer feeding on the Snow mobile trail near Lake Metigoshe. I remembered seeing that same picture in the Bottineau paper last year. My friend sent it as a joke with the message folks couldn’t ride their snow mobiles because of the deer. This guy had no clue where this picture was taken. I did a ‘reply all’ to that picture too, explaining the picture and where it was taken. The next day I got a message from Jerry Olson, originally from Souris, letting me know he recognized that photo too. My reply to that picture had been forwarded him. He could not believe his eyes. Jerry is currently living in Bremerton, WA. His sister is Nadine Little, also known as the “Cake Lady” in Bottineau. His family owned the John Deere dealership in Bottineau. Gary




Reply to Mel Kuhn:
From Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND
Gary and Friends,

Ol’ Mel Kuhn didn’t listen to me well enough when he was buying
parts. I told him all my engines are equipped with two shafts. The first
one is in the engine and the second one is in the warranty! Mel always
asks,” What’s new?” I always tell him that nothing is new—-everything
is used or rebuilt around here. Besides that, you can’t get many
Cadillac parts to fit an old worn out Stud–ebaker! How about that, Mel
Kuhn?!! Thanks Gary!


Picgeon boys & snowplane stories:
From Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND
Gary and Friends,

As long as the snowplane reminiscing is fresh, there are a couple
more memories I could throw in. I was out at Pigeon’s farm one time and
looked at one of the snowplanes they were working on. Gary had rigged an
old double barrel shotgun under the dash and pointing forward through a
hole in the nose. He had sawed off the stock to a pistol grip and then
soldered two rods to the barrels. On top of these rods he had welded
circles so that when you lined up the circles, through the windshield
and had a fox or coyote in both circles, you pulled the trigger! I
remember how he couldn’t stop giggling while I was checking it out. He
was quite the inventor!

Another snowplane they built was made with a Volkswagen Bug body. It
turned out to be way too heavy and got stuck every time they hit deep
snow. That one went in the junk, I think. They also chased fox and
coyotes with cars when there was no snow. They took a pretty nice 1950
Lincoln four door and cut the top off so they could stand up and shoot.
Russell told me he was driving once and Gary stood up in the back seat
to shoot at a fox just when Russell hit a washout in the tall grass. The
car made a wild bounce and threw Gary up in the air. When he came back
down he was laying on the trunk lid with just his heels holding him from
falling off! They were both laughing when they were telling me about it.
I’m sure stories could be written about the episodes of the Pigeon boys!
Thanks Gary!


1955 DHS Football picture:
From Larry Shirk (58): Naperville, IL
Gary: Read your blog daily and came across this picture of the 1955
Dunseith football team. The folks might enjoy naming the players.

Larry Shirk, Class of 58

Larry, I will repost when we have all those in this picture identified. This is a great picture! Thanks, Gary
Dunseith Main Street Picture:
From Bernard Morin (76):Dunseith, ND
Hi Gary, I was visiting with Rod and Marlene Armentrout recently and came across this post card that Marlene had in a photo album. It has no date and hasn’t been used. Just thought it might be something you could put in the blog. Also could you add Marc Pigeon to the May reunion, he is a “75” graduate. At the current time he doesn’t have Internet access.

Thanks. Bernard




Eldon Hiatt & John Kofoid Picture:
From Neola Kofoid Garbe: Bottineau & Minot, ND.
I happened to see this clipping when I was looking for something else. I may/may not have sent it before.
Neola, This is a great picture. Eldon Hiatt is the son of Walter & Julia Hiatt. He was also a brother to Freddie and Wallace. Eldon was living in Renton, WA. I’m not sure of his fate at the moment? I’m sure his many nieces and nephew’s on our distribution can fill us in with more info about Eldon. Gary


Dennis Haakenson’s Haflinger Horses:
From Vivian Clark: Bottineau, ND.
I received these pictures from Vivian (Mrs. Dave – deceased) Clark. These pictures are from Scott Wager, the editor of the Bottineau Courant. Scott ran a great article about Dennis (Hawkeye) Haakenson and his Haflinger horses in the January 5th edition of the Courant.
Dennis and Sharon Haakenson live in the hills a few miles north of the golf course on the Lake Road. Dennis built the covered cutter that the horses are hitched to. He’s got all the comforts inside his cutter with a wood stove and all.
Dennis’ mother was Mabel (Arnie) Kofoid Haakenson. Being a Kofoid, she was a cousin to my dad and also Neola’s Dad, Johnny. The highlight of our family reunions is going to Dennis and Sharon’s for a wagon ride thru the back woods with Dennis and his Haflinger team.
Sharon is cousin to Sandy (Rick) Gottbreth too.





Mel Kuhn (70):
Reply from Larry Hackman (66): Bismarck, ND
Just a few items that I have rolling around inside the old cranium that I thought I would put out there. Maybe someone has a answer or two.
I wish I would have known about old Mel having problems? I would have went up and hooked him up to a trickle charger. We could have probably saved him some gas money. Glad to here you are is doing fine Mel. Hang in there old buddy, there is life to be lived.
DeAnn Gottbreht, Dughter of Ernie Gottbreht & Brenda Hill, has been diagnosed with Breast Cancer:
Posted by Verena Gillis: Dunseith, ND
Gary, would you please post this on the blog? I know this is Super Bowl
Sunday but we will be quite finished with everything before 5:00.
Thank you-Verena :) PS-currently working on vender bids for the reunion meal.
Reply from Barbara Tent (Bergan) Riehm: San Diego, CA.
Yes – thank you for adding me to your distribution list. You do such a great job – time consuming I know, but we all do appreciate all the hard work.
Folks, Barbara was a first Cousin to Clayton Bergan. Oscar Bergan was her uncle. Alfred Bjornseth was her first cousin too.
Barbara, In my growing up days I really didn’t know you, but Oscar and Sylvia Bergan mentioned you often. I felt as though I knew you well thru them. My dad knew your mother, Julia Bergan Trent, pretty well too. Gary
Snow Planes:
Reply from Allen Richard (65): Midland, MI
Wow– Does that bring back the 60’s!!! Gary Pigeon had one with a 125 hp Lycoming (sp?) We were over run with jack rabbits back then and there was a bounty. Gary’s plane had a “pop top” and he would ride shotgun and I would drive. It was way more fun than I ever had on a snowmobile — (I won’t talk about a few trips to Metegoshe :-)) Anyway, Gary had a two ton truck load of rabbits at the end of the season. We got 45 in a couple hours one afternoon–and quit. There was no more room in the plane for either of us.
Gary went to Canada with a note pad and came back and built a prop machine that would cut props from a laminated block of wood. That was kind of important since the ejected shotgun shells sometimes went into the prop and knocked the leading edge off. Major vibration. We would take a vice grip and break off a similar sized piece form the other side of the prop so we wouldn’t trash the engine on the way home.
I recall one day when we were heading home from town on the soil bank when Gary told me to put my foot in it. John Bedard was next to us on highway 3 in the 60 Pontiac he had– we went side by side until I had to let off because I ran out of “road.” I never did ask John how fast we were going, but it was one of my quicker trips home!
One “snow planer” mounted a mower sickle to the front of his so he could slice through barbed wire fences–I took his name in vain a few times when I “fixed fence” in the spring.
It all begs the question–why am I still alive to write this????????

Snow Planes:

Reply from Susan Fassett Martin (65): Spearfish SD
#1 is Bernard Morin and the Harley Davidson guy is Travis metcalfe (married to my cousin Debbie Armentrout)
Snow Plane folks identification:
From Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND.

It appears I overlooked listing the guys in the snowplane picture.

L-R Bernard Morin, Roger Humphries, Travis Metcalfe, and Gib Donovan.
Bernard is from here and the other three are from Arizona. Travis is
originally from here and is the son of Emil and Ann Metcalfe and is the
only brother of Elaine and the late Kathy and Janice. Thanks Gary!


L-R: Bernard Morin, Roger Humphries, Travis Metcalfe, and Gib Donovan

The following postings are posted by
Neola Kofoid Garbe: Minot & Bottineau, ND.


Lester and Marian lived for a number years on Lester’s home place located several miles NW of the Ackworth cemetery. Lester’s dad, James Johnson, was a brother to Sander, Eddie, Mrs. Jacob Bjornseth & Mrs. Art Bjornseth. I must be getting old because I remember all those folks all so well. Gary





Reply from Vickie Hiatt LaFontaine (73): Grafton, ND
I smiled so over the red hats picture. When my mother-in-law Lillian LaFontaine was @ the Bottineau nursing home I gave her one of my red hats. Come on Ladies 50 and over grab a red hat, laugh, and dont give a darn what anybody thinks. If younger then 50 grab a pink hat and do the same. I hope everyone reading is having a blessed winter season. Vickie Hiatt LaFontaine
Message/Request from Pam Wenstad Lane (78): Dunseith, ND.
Hi Gary,
Is it to late to sign up for the reunion? I hope not. Don Wenstad would like to be signed in. He is from the class of “66” and lives in Overly. Thanks for everything you do. I can’t imagine how much time you take out of your day to keep everyone in contact with each other. I don’t know many of the people , but its nice to be in a close and Proud relationship of people.
Thank You, Pam Lane “78”
Pam, I have added your brother Don to the reunion list. I will be posting an updated copy tomorrow. Gary

Email address change:

From Michael (59) & Jan LaCroix Kester (59): Fargo, ND
Hi Gary! My e-mail is now: Thank you.
Email address change:
From Marshall Awalt (51):
After fighting this computer thing for so long we just got a new E-mail address. Please make the change.
Thanks for every thing.
Have a great day Marshall
Reply from Barbara Trent Riehm: San Diego, CA
Thanks for sending the pictures of your wife and you. Looks like you live in beautiful green surroundings. It is finally raining here in southern california – we have needed it so badly. Really enjoy watch it come down.
I had a lovely visit in Montana with my family – all on ice however. I was so careful walking to and from cars and homes not wanting to fall. Then on my last night there fell down some stairs inside my daughter’s home. Landed on my left shoulder and arm. Thanks goodness I didn’t break anything,but was one armed for awhile. Still bothers me some but I golfed last Saturday !!!
Happy New Year to you. I always look forwad to your e-mails.
Barbara Riehm
Barbara, I know this was a personal reply, but with you being related to the Bergan’s and some of the Bjornseth’s I’d like to share your reply with our readers. I’m sure many others know you too. I know many folks remember your mother, Julia Bergan Trent. She was pretty well known in the Bottineau community. With this reply, I have added you to our distribution list. Please let me know if that is OK. Gary
Picture from Neola Kofoid Garbe: Bottineau & Minot, ND.
As you can see, this is “yours truly”. It appears I’m talking–what a surprise!! Neola
Neola, This is beautiful picture! You look absolutely wonderful! You are good for another 70. Gary

Replies to Picture below:


Reply from Roger & Connie Zorn Landsverk: Bottineau, ND


How fun to look @ the photos on the Dunseith alumni.

I know Ina Johnson. She does well of her age. She’s out driving yet & does well!!I knew her brother Maurice & his wife Adeline & children. I know their daughter Karen the best. I think they have one boy living yet but not quite sure (Terry)? I know Janice ( Kersten) Bjornseth & her parents.

Is Virgil Rude a brother to Glen Rude?? I know a little bit. I visited his mom when working as a home health nurse.

I knew all the Red Hat Ladies pictured with Alice Kuhn. They are all deceased but Alice.

I had a nice visit with Marie Lafromboise on Monday afternoon. She had been to her brother,s funeral in the morning

take care Connie & roger

Connie; Virgil and Glen Rude are first cousins. They are double first cousins. Viola Bjornseth, Virgil’s, mother and Gladys Bjornseth, Glen’s mother were sisters. They were also sisters to Ralph Bjornseth. Viola and Gladys married Twins, Alfred & Albert Rude. Glen’s brother, LaVerne is married to Carrole Fauske.
Reply from Mel Kuhn (70): Saint John, ND.
Howdy Gary,
A big thanks to Neola for the picture of my Mom. It feels good to be back home reading your daily mailings. The week before Christmas I was in Bismarck for a regular doctor’s visit and I flunked my stress test. An appointment was set up for me for last Wed. the 13th. to checkout some suspected blockages. They went in and found 2 and put in 2 stints, everything went well until I got put into a room and I crashed. A heart attack and 2 more stints and I’m back at home. Total 4 stints. Now this story just leads up to what happened back in “95” when I had a heart attack and a by-pass done. What I’m thinking is that I should have sprung for all new parts last time instead of going with the used Ford parts from Dick Johnson. He says no warranty, what do you think?
Mel Kuhn [70]
Mel, Since we had not heard from you in a while, I was wondering what happened to you. I am sorry to hear of your heart attack. You were in the right place when you had it. I am hoping those 4 stints will do the trick forever. I’ll bet you are feeling better now too.
Speaking of Dick and used car parts, I recently got in touch with Kenny Pederson. Kenny and I were confirmed together in Nordland. His parents were Fern and Oliver Pederson. When I mentioned Dick Johnson’s name to him, he said “I know Dick. We’ve done a lot of horse trading.” I’m not sure if it was Kenny or Dick that told me Dick had bought a whole bunch of ‘Model – A’ ford car parts from Kenny. It was like a grab box with a collection of what ever. So I know Dick has a collection of car parts and a nice collection of old classic cars too.Gary
Reply from Vickie Metcalfe (70: Bottineau, ND.
Alice (Cote) Kuhn (Mel Kuhns mom) is still living, in the photo shes
across the table from my mother. They both were from Dunseith area.
My mother moved to St. Andrews on her birthday, 3 years ago, where
she lived until she passed away two years ago. Vickie
Reply from Neola Kofoid Garbe: Bottineau & Minot, ND.

Hi Gary,


When I took the picture of the “red hat” ladies, the only one I knew at that time, was Mrs. Block. She was (has now passed away) from the Gardena area. I met her/her daughter/sons “way back” when I was in high school. When I saw the picture today, because of your newsletters, I recognized the names Metcalfe/Kuhn. I didn’t realize this was Vickie’s mother. Actually, at the time this picture was taken, I didn’t know Vickie, either. I recognize the Juntunen name because of Linda Juntunen.



Gary and Friends,

This past Sunday, I had some old and new friends up here at my place
for a nostalgic afternoon. Nostalgic for me, but new and exciting for
them. Travis Metcalfe and a couple buddys from Mesa, AZ and Bernard
Morin from Dunseith came up and took turns driving my old snowplane
around on Horseshoe Lake. Trav had asked me several times if there would
be a rally where he could get to see a snowplane in action. We haven’t
had a snowplane rally for two years so I just got the old beast going
and turned them loose here on the lake. They were up for a couple days
and were also ice fishing on Carpenter Lake and visiting friends and
family. I took a few pictures for the rest of you to see. Thanks Gary!


Dick, These are great Pictures! Which of the four are Travis Metcalfe (76) and Bernard Morin (76): Gary








Johnson picture:
From Neola Kofoid Garbe: Bottineau & Minot, ND.




This was taken at Ina Johnson Jensen’s 90th birthday party. I don’t know how many of the girls your readers know, but I’m assuming they would know Ralph/Luella’s daughter–Luella provided the information.




Again, the world is so small. Ralph/Luella’s daughter is married to Brian Kersten. Brian is from the Gardena/Kramer area. I was his third and fourth grade teacher when I taught in Kramer, 1961-1963. Brian/Janice live in the Max, ND area. Karen Johnson was in my Sunday School Class of five-year-olds MANY years ago at First Lutheran in Bottineau.




Thanks to Luella Boardman Bjornseith for identifying these ladies.








The girls are from left to right: Janice Bjornseth Kersten (our daughter) with the striped shirt), Karen Johnson (Maurice Johnson’s daughter); Amber Kirkeby Hedstrom (Adeline Johnson’s daughter) & Mavis Gronneberg Siem (Sylvia Johnson Gronneberg’s daughter). All four cousin’s daughters. and they are all nearly the same age. Amber is just a little younger than the other girls. The picture turned out real good.

Virgil Rude:


From Neola Kofoid Garbe: Bottineau & Minot, ND.


Note: Virgil is also a cousin to the gal’s pictured above, thru his grandparents, Jacob and Cora Johnson Bjornseth.
Gary, I’m sending this update on Virgil’s health, with his permission to include it in your newsletter.
I am almost back to my previous health except I tire easily.
I will be working at the college again in couple weeks, but will only
see 7 students. Gerry (Virgil’s wife–also a retired teacher)and I are again
doing some work with the National Assessments. We are doing a pilot
program on testing with computers in 5 schools. Bottineau is one of them.
Folks, Many of you know Virgil Rude. He is the son of Alfred and Viola Bjornseth Rude. They lived about 3 miles east of Lake Metigoshe on the south side of highway 43. Virgil is recovering from a stroke. He was an educator/administor in the Minot school system for years. He is also a retired Senior Officer from the ND National Guard.
Virgil Rude

Dorothy Block, Charlotte Metcalfe, Betty Juntunen, Alice Kuhn Picture

From Neola Kofoid Garbe: Bottineau & Minot, ND.


Hi Gary,



Have I shared this picture with you?




One day I was visiting


at Good Samaritan in 2005, they were having “Red Hat” Day. I had my camera with me, so I took many pictures of the ladies/gentleman who were attending the event.






Neola, I have never seen this picture before. Another Jewel to be treasured.
I’m not sure about Dorothy Block & Betty Juntunen, but the other two I am.
Charlotte (Lottie) is Vickie’s mother and Alice Kuhn is Mel’s mother.
Thank you Neola, Gary
Added Metigoshe Pickup sinking picture posted yesterday:
From Ele Dietrich Slyter (69): Dunseith, ND.
Here, I hope I did things right, is another picture to add to the Metigoshe pickup file.
Thank you for all your hard work and sticking with us through all these emails.






With today’s posting of the Pickup truck breaking thru the ice in the middle of Lake Metigoshe, I have included a lot of my relatives and friends with today’s message that are not normally on our distribution. For you folks, I thought this would be of interest to you as well. Those stories and pictures are near the bottom of this message.
Dorothy Pritchard’s 97th Birthday:
Previously posted with message 676 on 1/5/10
Note: Folks this is just a reminder of this message that was previously posted. With this being a suprise, again, I will delete this posting with Dorothy’s copy today. Let’s make Dorothy’s day.

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 Pritchard 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
Marie Graber:
Posting from Neola Kofoid Garbe: Bottineau & Minot, ND.

Hi Gary,


I think someone mentioned Marie Graber awhile ago, and I said there was a Mrs. Graber who lived across the hall from Mom. It is Marie. If someone would like to send a note to her, they can send it to this email address. I’ll print it and give it to Marie the next time I visit Mom. I’ll be in Bottineau until about January 25th and then back again about a week later.



Neola, Marie is a sister to Willie Lafromboise, who recently passed away. Gary
Dunseith Baseball stories from the 60’s:
From Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND.
Gary and Friends,

Larry’s story of the baseball in the park got me thinking of a few
stories from that same field. I remember watching Don Egbert playing in
a game and what happened to him is still real clear in my mind. Don was
up to bat and was wearing the normal batters hardhat for those days. It
was just about like a baseball cap and had no ear and side protection
like the newer ones have. There was a fast pitcher and he whipped one in
that caught Don right on the left temple. Don dropped like he had been
shot! I helped butcher here at the farm and saw how animals drop so this
made me think he was a goner! The coaches game on the run and both teams
ran to the plate but poor Don just laid there for a minute or two.
Pretty soon he started to move and got up and stumbled over to the
bench, much to my relief. In another game a couple years later there was
a car parked directly behind the catcher and a foul ball went over the
back fence and came down on the roof of the car. The guy in the car
backed out of the spot and headed for a safer spot along the west fence.
Ernie Gottbreht came driving in, in his dad’s copper colored ’60 Olds,
and saw the perfect spot to park–right behind the catcher. He hadn’t
even shut the car off when a high foul ball came down over the fence and
landed right in the middle of that big windshield. There was a ‘spider’
from top to bottom and both ways to the side. It seems I didn’t really
understand all the terms Ernie was muttering about the mishap!

There was another time when there were several teams of softball
players made up of local guys who played in the evenings. Lots of us
kids would walk or ride bikes down behind the city park to watch. I
remember a game when Bobby Pigeon was playing in the outfield. He was a
guy who looked like the ‘Fonz’ on the TV show called ‘Happy Days’. He
had his hair combed back and was wearing a white T shirt and we thought
he was cool! Someone hit a high fly over the snow fence and Bobby took
off toward the fence and jumped it and caught the ball. The people were
blowing their car horns like crazy for this amazing feat. A few innings
later there was another high fly over the fence and my old buddy Lowell
Leonard took off to catch it like Bobby Pigeon had done. He jumped the
fence but only got one foot over and landed straddling the fence—not
good! He pulled the fence over and landed on the ground in agony. I
still remember how he pulled his leg off the fence and let the fence
stand back up and then had to lay behind it while all the people were
blowing their horns and laughing! Poor Lowell!

One more memory of baseball. In a Babe Ruth game in the park, Don
Mongeon was pitching for Dunseith. He was a good fast pitcher and put
out lots of batters. He wound up and sent in a fast pitch and the big
guy batting hit a line drive right back to Don’s knee cap! It hurt
everyone that saw it, including Don! Thanks Gary!



Pickup truck breaks thru the Ice in the middle of Lake Metigoshe:
Folks, I received all of the pictures pasted below of this incident from Neola Kofoid Garbe, Dick Johnson & LeaRae Parrill Espe. When I first saw these pictures I did not think this was for real, but it is and this did happen. What a genius recovery. I’ll have to say the ND folks were pretty cleaver with this rescue. It’s a wonder this did not make national news. I’m curious as to the extent of damage to the pickup? I’m hoping to get that feed back.
I remember back in my days, up in the hills, folks used to drive on the lakes all the time in the winter months. I never remember hearing of any vehicles going through the ice. I know Lester Johnson used to drive the Bottineau School bus across Bergan Lake when he got snowed in to the east. Since he lived right by the lake, I’m sure he did not have any kids on the bus crossing the lake. This has been a cold winter too. The ice should be pretty thick, I’d think.
From Neola Kofoid Garbe: Bottineau & Minot, ND.
This email was forwarded to me; Chad is not my brother-in-law. :) ng

These are pictures from Lake Metigoshe over by
Larson Marine. My brother-in-law Chad dived under the ice
to hook the pickup up to lift it out of the lake.


The pickup fell through the ice about two weeks ago. It was 364 yards off shore
and the ice was too thin to pull it out so we ran ropes under the ice
for over 1000 feet and dragged it to shore and cut a bigger
hole close to shore and pulled it out. I helped cut holes, run
rope and dive under the ice and hook the ropes and straps to
the pickup. What a great day. It went really well, something
that not everyone gets to experience. Hope you enjoy the
Reply from Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND.
This pickup went through the ice by Masonic Island. It appears they brought it out in front of Larson Marine, which is next door to our place. They had a diver go down and hook a rope on to it and take it to another hole in the ice near the shore. They pulled it along the bottom and then cut a hole near the shore and lifted it out. I heard about it going in but didn’t hear when they got it out.

I understand it is Chad Driscol from Sherwood. He is married to Dana Feland from that area and is originally from Australia. My brother-in-law knew he was called to dive for the search. This is according to him though so I hope it’s correct.


Reply from LeaRae Parrill Espe (67): Bottineau, ND
We heard the guy who drove the pickup in the lake works for Larry Tooke. Larry bought Merle Allard’s business which was selling and putting up steel buildings. There was alot of talk about fines for pollution if they left the pickup in the lake. It was supposedly going to be very costly to get it out. No one was hurt.. Maybe the Metigoshe Mirror will have more.
If we get anything else I’ll let you know.
Yes Vickie will know if it is Chad Miller, but he works in Bismarck for the State Health Dept. , Environmental Division and so does my son Brady. Brady is pretty sure the Health Dept was not involved with the incident.















Going thru some pictures I noticed this one taken on mothers day 2009 that I thought I’d share with you. It’s a nice picture of Bernadette. I also thought I’d include the one of me so you can see where all these daily messages are originated from.



Cebu, Philippines – Mothers day 2009

Gary & Bernadette Stokes




Cebu, Philippines – 2009


Gary Stokes




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.


Reply to Personal message:
From Jackie Peterson Hanson: St. John, ND.
Yes, I’m a teacher for Belcourt schools. I teach the visually impaired
students from preschool through high school. I live with my husband, Tim
in St.John and taught there for the first twenty years of my career, first
in elementary and later high school English. Yep, I’ve been to college
four times. I’m planning on retiring at the end of this school term.
Email address change
From Dan McKay (69): Mooreton, ND
Gary and All,
Just enjoying our 30 degree weather here in SE North Dakota. Thats above zero too!!
Our IT department has, after four years, finally recognized us as being part of Masonite so my new e-mail address is:
dmckay@masonite.com. Thanks, Dan
Dan, The ole thermometer dipped all the way down to 75F last night here in the PI. It’s the coldest I have seen it here in the 6 plus years that we have lived here. These folks are cold. Gary
Confirmation Picture Date:
From Harley Oppenboen (51) Colorado Springs, CO


Gary, the date on the back of the confirmation picture is Nov. 18 1945.
I am the left most boy, Paul Lovaas is next to me.
Harley Oppeboen


Confirmation Picture Identification:


From Mona Dionne Johnson (48): Lake Metigoshe, ND
Next to Delores Hiatt is Marlene Molgard. After Ione Haberstad, is
Doraine Haberstad .
First row – Marlene Tooke – I think.
Middle boy is Paul Lovaas.
Mona Johnson, ’48

Mona Johnson ’48


Confirmation Picture Identification:


From Gary Morgan (54): GARRISON, ND
Gary & All,

I’m pretty sure that the girl between Delores Hiatt and Bernice Olson in the Confirmation picture is Marlene Molgard.






Confirmation Picture Identification:
From Murl Watkins Hill (50): Dunseith, ND.
Gary, The names of the Confirmation class: Delores Hiatt, Marlene Molgard Sanders, Bernice Olson Johnson, Shirley Olson Warcup,
Iona Habberstad Nelson, Dorraine Habberstad Worral, Murl Watkins Hill, Marlene Tooke Fugere,Harlan Oppeboen,
Paul Lovaas, Gordon Peterson (?), Minnie Mary Mckay Merrill. I can find the date later. Thanks , Murl




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)


Pictures from Allen Richard (65): Midland, MI



Me and my favorite/only babysitter– Rochelle Pigeon — Pigeon Store in the background







Olynda, me, Ydola Pigeon, grandman Pigeon holding Stephaine. In our “living room” — sitting on the sofa– actually the cot Floyd Richard Slept on during the 6 + years her and Dad farmed together.



Below — me, Uncle Floyd, and Stephanie– late 1952







The Bae Pigeon kids— Need I say more? :-) Below– Ormal “Red” Kester late 1930’s



Man could he reload ammo–his reloads ran through my .270 Remington auto and jammed less than 10% as often as factory loads!












From Neola Kofoid Garbe: Bottineau & Minot, ND.



Hi Gary,



Perhaps Kelsey is related to some of your readers.



Thanks to you, Vickie, others who have commented on my contributions to your newsletters. I thoroughly enjoy being able to contribute to your newsletters. I’m grateful I seem to have so many pictures/articles/etc. you can use. :)



As you know, I enjoy your newsletters tremendously, even though I don’t know all the people mentioned. The old pictures are wonderful/the stories are interesting/your pictures and descriptions of your life in the Philippines are delightful/etc.



Thanks for all you do. :)









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


Willie Laframboise

(November 10, 1919 – January 10, 2010)

Sign Guest Book | Send Private Condolences
Send Flowers

WILLIE LAFRAMBOISE Mass of the Christian burial for Willie Laframboise, age 90 of Dunseith was held on Monday at 10:00 A.M. in the St. Michael the Archangel Church in Dunseith. Officiating at the service was the Reverend Father Jeff Eppler S.O.L.T. Special music was provided by Troy DeCoteau and Cheryl Haagenson. Casket bearers were Randy Norquay Jr., Donovan “Duck” Charbonneau, Louis DeCoteau, Alfred DeCoteau, Todd Laframboise, Rick Laframboise, Dennis Baker and Clarence Laframboise. The Honorary Pallbearers are all friends and family in Rugby, ND.

Willie Laframboise was born November 10, 1919 to Noe and Florida (Cote) Laframboise, in Russell Township at his grandfather’s farm. They moved to various places in his childhood, until his grandfather bought 120 acres in the san hills. He lived here during his school years. He went to Poplar Grove until he graduated the eighth grade in 1933. Then they moved to Dunseith where he met his wife Deloris Baker. They married on August 17, 1959. They had three loving children. They also took many children in to their home to raise during their years together. Willie worked on the Air Base building houses. He worked for various farmers in the area; one that he helped put all the water lines in Souris. He worked for the civil engineers putting in many missile sites in the state. He finished his career at the San Haven state hospital where he worked for 18 years, until he became blind. Willie enjoyed working on cars, ford trucks, fishing, gardening, carpentry work, spending time with family, playing cards, watching grandchildren at powwows, watching old westerns, cooking for his family, and eating his wife’s fry bread

He passed away on Sunday, January 10, 2010 in a Rugby hospital after a long illness.

Willie is survived by daughters Cheryl (Randy) Norquay, Laurie (David) Laframboise, Mary (Peewee) Lockwood, Susie (Dwight) DeCoteau all of Dunseith; Joanne DeCoteau of Belcourt. Sons Willie (Penny) Laframboise of Dunseith, Darrell (Peggy) DeCoteau, Daniel DeCoteau and Patrick DeCoteau all of Flandreau, SD; Ambrose ( Kelly) DeCoteau of Sisseton, SD; 25 grandchildren; 45 great- grandchildren; 3 great-great grandchildren; Brother Paul Laframboise and sisters Emeline Counts and Marie Graber of Bottineau.

He is preceded in death by both his parents, his wife Deloris, Brothers Felix, Leo, Arthur and Sister Cecelia.

Neola’s comment: Everett and Emeline LaFromboise Counts are on page 141 in the Bottineau Centennial Book. Emeline’s daughter, Darlene Skaaden is deceased.
There is a Mrs. Graber who lives across the hall from my mother at Good Samaritan in Bottineau. I don’t know if it is Marie. I should have paid more attention to her “first” name.





Folks, I had the camera in hand yesterday when I was up by our garage and snapped this photo. These boys and several others are frequently seen playing in the Neighborhood just as you see them here with no clothes. They are looking thru the fence into the school yard. I’d say they are about 4 & 5 years old. They are getting kind of old to be running around the neighborhood with no clothes. They are not phased in the least. I don’t know these kids, but I’m guessing they just don’t have clothes to put on. I understand their mother gambles with what little money they have. Gary




Consolacion, Cebu Philippines




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




Alma & Curtis Halvorson:
Photo posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe: Bottineau & Minot, ND.



Hi Gary,



I think this picture of Alma/Curtis came from Leland Kofoid, Robert and Thelma Slyter Kofoid’s son, after his sister, Karine, passed away. Or maybe Karine’s son, Bryan, sent it after his mother died. Both Leland and Bryan sent pictures to me.



I don’t know if you are aware Alma Halvorson/her siblings were cousins of Thelma Slyter Kofoid (also Leona Slyter Johnson, who was married to Milford Johnson. Milford/Leona’s oldest son is married to my good friend, Gayle Shryack. Their younger son, Ronnie, owns “Cowboys”, a lounge in Bottineau. Their middle son, Jerry, died when the tractor he was driving tipped over; this happened the summer after Jerry/I had been in the 9th grade.), Alma’s/Thelma’s mothers were sisters, daughters of Sivert Berg (Page 190 in the Centennial Book). I’m assuming Alma and Thelma corresponded with each other, and Alma sent this picture to Thelma.



Alma Christianson Halvorson and Clarence Christianson were siblings. My aunt, Alvina Brudwick, was married to Clarence. When Clarence/Alvina were married, I learned to know the Christianson’s and Halvorson’s. Thelma Slyter was married to my uncle, Robert Kofoid. Robert/Thelma’s children were my cousins and also cousins to the Christianson’s. And I end up with “everyone’s” pictures. LOL!! The world is so small.



ANYWAY, I thought perhaps you can use this picture of Alma.





Neola, this is another great photo.
Folks, I talked to Denise a while back. She and Curt do not have email at the present time. If some of you Dunseith folks can provide them with a copy of this photo it would be great. Thanks, Gary


Alma & Curt Halvorson


All rights reserved


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

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)



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.

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.





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


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


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 Book| Send 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.


All rights reserved


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


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)

Sign Guest Book | Send 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 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





MountainCountrySchoolReunionRegistration Form







Country School




Number of Participants



Checks should be made payable to Linda Gardner and mailed with the registration form to the address above by June 1, 2010.

Registration will begin at 3 PM; Social Hour 4-6:30 PM and dinner will be served from 6:30 – 8 PM.

If you are interested in helping organize this event, have memorabilia to share at this event, or have questions, please contact Linda at:







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.
All rights reserved


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


View Guest BookFlowers & GiftsSign Guest Book


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.





All rights reserved


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, 2010

POSTED: 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


Elaine Stokes Memories:
Reply from Marlys Hiatt (71): Dunseith, ND

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.
Updated Dunseith Alumni Email List
Folks, I have attached an Excel file of the Master Dunseith Alumni Email list. It’s listed with both a Name sort and a Class sort. After opening, Just klick on the desired sort tab at the bottom left of your screen.
I do not post email lists or addresses on this Website. Please get in touch with me if you’d like a copy of the Dunseith Alumni Email list. Just click on the “Contact Us” tab on the upper left of this screen.


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


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, 2009

POSTED: January 1, 2010

The 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!


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:



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@NASA: Party 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?friend> Blue 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.