12/29/2017 (2587)

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

 Gary’s comments.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kaye K. Lystad Kirk

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

Hi Gary,

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Dave Slyter
Class of 70


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy New Year  All and many thanks Gary.

Vickie Metcalfe 12/16/17.


Blog (661) posted on December 24, 2009

Posted on December 24, 2009

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

Question from Sybil Johnson: Cheyenne, WY.

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

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

Gary and Friends,

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

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

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

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

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

Merry Christmas to everyone!


Art & Emeline Pigeon Richard

Emeline Pigeon Richard


12/27/2017 (2586)

10 Year Anniversary of our Dunseith Alumni Blog.


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

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

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


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


Blog (660) posted on December 22, 2009


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

12/22/2017 (2585)

Gary Stokes Posting

Early Christmas this morning at our house.

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

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

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

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


Posting from Ginger LaRocque Poitra (’65):


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

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

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

Guess What!!! They get to be right there with our Lord Jesus! They get to celebrate His birthday right by His side! Aren’t they all so very special!

Let us wish a Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday to our Lord Jesus.

God can you bless us, help us to do all you want us to do everyday.

We all want to see our loved one’s who have gone before us.

Please keep all our families well and everyday,  in whatever their endeavors are over the holidays  and daily. Thank you God. We love you.

Ginger ( LaRocque) Poitra  Class of ’65



Blog (659) posted on December 21, 2009

Posted on December 22, 2009

Thank You:

From Toni Morinville Gredesky (68): Farimount, ND


I just wanted to take a minute and thank everyone who attended the prayer service and funeral for my sister, Bev. It was truly wonderful to see so many family and friends and hear the incredible stories about Bev. She was a loving, generous person who opened her home to all. You could do no better than to have Bev as your sister and friend.

My parents died long before my daughters could get to know them. Megan was with me, and she was so moved to have so many people speak to her about Bev and my parents.

Thanks again to everyone.

Toni Morinville Gredesky

Reply to yesterday’s message:

From Pam Fassett Faust (65): Lilburn, GA

Gary – Isn’t it kinda scary? These kids can access information and can find stuff that we never in our wildest dreams even thought about. When we were “kids”, we played ball, chased each other around, ran the neighborhood, rode our bikes, spent time with friends, annoyed our parents and our friends parents (and were disciplined by them in many cases), and were just kids being kids. The internet is a wonderful thing, but I don’t think it’s best for the children. Kids need to be kids (or maybe that’s just an “old fashioned” way of thought). Since I have no children, maybe I’m just being too paranoid. But I wonder about “the way of the world”, so to speak. Thanks for all you do on this blog. We all appreciate you.


Reply from Mary Eurich Knutson (62): Dunseith, ND.

Hi Gary / Dale

Yes, Dale, I was disappointed that I missed you. Your mom said you walked in about a half hour after I walked out.

Question – If Andrew Bergan was Clayton’s grandfather what was his dad’s name? I had always thought Oscar and Clayton were cousins. Also regarding the cabin on the picture- I thought it could have been a root cellar. That is a garden hoe in Bergan’s hands and it must have been his building as he wouldn’t take the hoe to visit a neighbor.

zI pulled the Bottineau County Atlas to see if I could find anything of interest cause I knew there was a Bergan Lake somewhere out there. I’m sure those Lakes derive their names from the first homesteaders. I found it right north of Peterson Lake. I wonder if that Peterson Lake is where Sam Peterson’s place was only the spelling differs from the name Gary mentioned (Pederson). This is also the case with the Bergan vs Bergen lake. Brian and Carrie Johnson live a little to the NE of Peterson Lake on the north side of the road and it looks like Bergan Lake would be right behind their house. Paulette Efimenko lives right on the west side of Bergan lake. I’ll send more pictures as I run across them. Mary K

Mary, Clayton Bergan’s dad was Louis. Louis, Oscar, Bertha (Erick) Bjornseth & Julia Trent were siblings. In my day, Erick and Bertha lived west and a little north of where you live, several miles east of Salem church. Julia Trent lived in Bottineau. Julia was very well known in the Bottineau community. Julia’s daughter, Barbara Trent Riehm, lives in San Diego, CA. I have included a picture that Barbara sent to me of her with her husband Charles who has now passed on. I am including Barbara with today’s message as well. She may be able to shed some light on some on these things we are talking about. I will also forward her that message with those pictures you sent a while back too.

From your description, the Bergan lake would be the lake that is located just south of the former James Johnson buildings. Melvin Pederson told me the Bergan’s lived on the west end of that lake. My guess would be that is where the lake got it’s name. I have seen Bergan spelled Bergen too. I’m sure it’s all the same family.

I always thought the Pederson family name was spelled Peterson too, until I was putting together the Ackworth Cemetery list. Olaf Pederson (1861-1938), Sam’ dad is buried in Ackworth. I’m assuming he was the original Pioneer of that family. Melvin Pederson told me their family originally lived on the south side the Pederson/Peterson lake. Most maps list that lake with the spelling “Peterson”.

I’m thinking that is probably a spelling error that has been copied over and over.

I just looked at the original homestead listing of Willow lake Township and it lists Olaf Person as the owner of the 1/4 section adjacent to Pederson/Peterson lake. I know that Person is a misspelling. It should be Olaf Pederson. It also lists Louis Bergan as the owner of 1/4 section one mile north of the Ackworth cemetery, now owned by the Fauske’s. Gary

Charles and Barbara Trent Riehm

The following pictures/messages were previously posted with message 207 on August 30, 2008

Picture/Message from Evie Gottbreht Pilkington (65): Irvine, CA

Picture was sent to me today from my cousin’s wife Tangee Brunsell of Bottineau, guess there are free Wondrasek photos at the museum in Bottineau. Rachel Berube’s wedding 1965

Evie Pilkington



Picture/Message from Evie Gottbreht Pilkington (65): Irvine, CA

Hi Gary,

I wanted to share this picture of my Mom and Dad, thought my old friends would enjoy it. This was taken, summer of 1938, in Thorne, ND – my Mom was raised in Thorne. This was the summer before they married. I especially miss them the month of August. Dad died suddenly Aug 29, 1961, 45 years old and Mom died Aug 15, 2005, 88 years old. They produced 8 children, 35 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren and counting……

Thanks Gary


Alma and Dale Gottbreht 1938

Reply from Sandra Zeiler Vandal (62): Elk River, MN

Hi Gary,
I’m up at Nancy Hosmer’s place. She showed me the picture
taken so long ago. The kids names’ are from left to right are
Dawn,Teri, Kelly and Todd. Order of birth, Todd, Dawn, Teri and
Kelly. When Kelly was five, we had Heather. Who knew way back
when we would have twenty grandchildren and one great
grandchild. Mike remembers your Dad having to pull him out of
the ditch, once. I think he had to pull Dad out, too. Folks are
coming to Mn. with us for a few weeks. We will enjoy catching up
on the e-mails. Thanks a lot, Sandra

Pictrue L to R:
Back: Sandra & Mike
Front: Todd, Dawn, Teri & Kelly

12/20/2017 (2584)

Reply from Rod Hiatt (’69): Bottineau, ND


I remember ordering this rifle from a gentleman in Texas who did all the engraving and fancy work for us. I don’t remember who actually won the rifle, but I know at one time it was on display at the Bottineau Courthouse. It was a big money maker for our Rodeo club at the time. The only thing I don’t recall is who the hell is that young guy in the photo using my name?
Hiatt, Rod 2583-1


DHS Classes of ‘55/’56
Reply from Larry Liere (’55):  Devils Lake, ND


Did you ever get 100% on the red names or ?? ?

If you did get 100% I missed the posting somehow so could you please send another copy if you made one.


Gary Stokes’ comments

Larry, No we did not.
Folks, we need some help with this one. Thanks
the names are in order L to R on the Photo.
We’ve only got two left to identify in this photo and the first names of the Tennacore girls.
Folks, We can do this

DHS Classes of ‘55/’56
Back: Viola Hobbs, Barry Shelver, Larry Liere, Bob Hosmer, ??, Darlene Rohrer, Arline Lamoureux, Ann Lamoureux, ??
Front: ?? Tennacore, Bob Dailly, ?? Tennacore, Janice Leonard
Class of 55-56 2570


Blog (658) posted on December 20, 2009

Folks, When Bernadette’s brother passed away, his son, who was living with them on Mindanao, brought his family here. He has a daughter 3 years old and two boys ages 5 & 6. These kids are super bright. They have had limited access to using computers pretty much only being able to watch and observe others while they are on computers. We have two used Acer laptops that we purchased when were back in the states that we have set up for the local kids to use. When we turned these three kids loose on these laptops, they had them fired up and into the internet in a heartbeat including the little 3 year old girl. With her two brothers on the Laptops, Bernadette let her use her computer. She didn’t need any instructions to get into and navigate the internet. She was into her favorite kid site in no time. These 3 kids are teaching their first, second and third degree cousins, who have not shown quite as much interest up until now, in computers. These 3 kids are waiting for me to get up each morning so they can get in the office and on the computers. When they get too noisy, I transfer them, with the computers, to the porch outside. The 6 year old will be in first grade next year. All three of these kids have learned English pretty well and are pretty proficient in reading and writing all of which they have learned from the computers and watching TV. Gary
Pederson Correction:
From Evon Lagerquist (77): Dunseith, ND
Gary, Lowell Pederson is the brother of Melvin’s that lives in Spokane, and Arizona in the winter……..
Evon, Checking my notes from when I talked to Melvin Pederson, your are absolutely correct. I’ll bet your mother, Leola Hiatt Lagerquist, remembers the Pederson family pretty well. When I talked to Bev Handeland Hamnes, cousin to the Pederson siblings, she said Charles’ nick name was Sonny.
Reply from Keith Pladson (66): Stafford, VA
Three comments:First, we didn’t get the high number of 26″, but we did get about 18″ at our house. It ranged between 14 and 20 for the DC area. And yes, it is wet, heavy snow. We have a wide driveway and I did finish shoveling it out. But, now I ache all over even in places I’d forgotten I had. Biggest problem is that even when we get out of our development, we can’t get anywhere because they have yet to plow most side streets, etc. Is the weather in the PI very humid? I personally don’t care for that 40 below stuff anymore, but I also am not crazy for the summer weather we get our here where we get so many hot, humid, sticky days and where if we are lucky it might get down into the low seventies at night. (Many nights it stays in the low eighties – yuk!)

Secondly, we used to go swimming in Peterson Lake every summer when we lived on my Aunt Ester’s place (Note my spelling.). That lake was right on the county line and one mile west of our place. Is that lake named after the family you have been discussing? I always thought if was Peterson, but perhaps I was/am wrong and it’s Pederson Lake. If so, how did that naming come about? For that matter, how about Hartley Lake and Sand Lake? Were they named after early settlers in their respective areas? As an aside, Peterson/Pederson Lake is also the lake where my brother, Clarence, drowned in 1972.

Third, maybe you shouldn’t post the SSNs for people who are deceased. I know they are gone, but with all the problems with identity theft now, why give anyone a leg up? And as far as your readers are concerned, I really don’t think if makes a difference to us if that data block is missing. Just an observation for what it’s worth.

Keith, We have high humidity but not sultering. Our relative humidity is normally about 75%. The evenings are always very nice and comfortable. It gets dark between 5 & 6 o’clock year around. I like never ever having to put on a coat or wearing long sleeves to keep warm.
The good old Pederson Lake. I sure did my share of swimming in that lake too. Yes, that lake was named after the Sam Pederson family we have been discussing the past several days. Melvin Pederson told me they used to live on the south side of the lake, I think probably where we used to go swimming. I remember well when your brother Clarence drowned in Pederson lake. That was such a tragedy. If I remember correctly they found his body near the NW side of the lake? Our swimming beach was on the south side. The lake is pretty small, so he may have swam over to that area.
I am not sure how Boundary, Hartley, Rab & Sand lakes got their names. Boundary and Hartley both run into Canada. Rab I think runs almost to the line. Gary

Christmas Greetings:
Form the Almo Pladson (68) family: Ontario, CA
We’ve been hard at work perfecting our dance moves. Just click on the links below and turn up the volume!
Note: When the site comes up wait a few seconds for the video to start playing do not click on the down load.
Merry Christmas!
Almo, Christie, Wyatt and Hunter
Hip Hop Pladson elves:
Country Pladson elves:
Disco Pladson elves:
Almo, It’s been nearly 45 years since I have seen you, but after seeing you in these Video’s, I sure recognize you as belonging to the Pladson family. These are great video’s. You are all such great Dancers too! Gary
Request posted on the Dunseith Alumni WEB site:http://garystokes.net/default.aspx
From: Tracy Zeiler Fennern
Please add me to your email list. Thanks. Tracy
Tracy, I have added you to our distribution starting with today’s message. I believe your parents are Lyle (61) and Sharon Pearson (62) Zeiler. I’m assuming your were with the class of 82, give or take a year? I think in those years the kids from your area were going to Bottineau? I found an address for you living in Elizabeth, CO. Would that be a good address for you? Thank you so much for this request. Gary
Gottbreht Christmas memories:
From Sharren Gottbreht Shen (59): Everett, WA.
The treasured memories of Christmas past make wonderful reading; thank you Erling for your major contributions and thank you Dick Johnson for the mention of community Christmas concerts that I too recall. The snap of snow and cold would just add to the fun and warmth of family exchange be it gifts of good eats or an item dearly wished for. Grandma Evelyn Gottbreht made the season exceptional for her son Dale and daughter Arla every year. Preparations would start months before with a carefully tended flock of geese. Aunt Arla Gottbreht related this story to me.Dale was about 14 years old and he and the hired hand were left in charge of the home place [Ernie Gottbreht ranch today]. Chester Sager worked for George Sr in 1930; he was age 17, about the right age for gaining wisdom from experience. Evelyn had Elderberry wine newly bottled and set aside in her earthen cellar for the coming season of colds and flu. The wine was still somewhat green but would be excellent by Christmas. Dale suggested to Chester that they might past the afternoon with a sampling of his mom’s wine. After several nips, the boys became both soft and bold. Dale had a 4×10 shotgun and bragged that he could shoot the head off a goose. Grandmas geese had run of the yard and Dale proceeded to behead the entire flock of 10/12 geese. Grandma was beside herself and I am sure the influence of alcohol was weighed and condemned. The pluck and draw event must have stretched far into the night.

A Mrs. Altman had given Mary Louise Tennancour LaFrance, Evelyn’s mother, a Blue Ribbon Cook Book in 1912, according to the inscription on the back cover. Evelyn loved this book and her comments are written on many pages; she has written “Very good” beside the Roast Goose entry. The 1952/55 picture of Evelyn and goose was taken at Arla’s apartment in Grand Forks, ND.

Peace and happy children and grand children around your table! Thanks Gary, Sharron

Dale Gottbreht’s Mother:
Evelyn Gottbreht


12/16/2017 (2583)

Gary/Bernadette Stokes’ 39th Wedding Anniversary

Message from Ginger LaRocque Poitra (’65): Belcourt, ND

Hi Gary and Bernadette,

I would like to wish you both a belated happy anniversary.  For December 3rd. 39 years I believe.

God Bless you both


Gary’s Reply

Thanks Ginger. You are right. We celebrated our 39th Wedding Anniversary on December 3rd. Next year will be our 40th.

Bernadette’s condition has taken a turn for the worse too. For the past month or so she just isn’t snapping back like she normally does. We don’t dare let her walk alone, even in the house, for fear she will lose her balance and fall. Her speech is really affected now too. The dementia is starting to take it’s affects now also.

Rod Hiatt Shows of one-of-a-kind gun
Posting from Neola Kofoid Garbe:  Bottineau & Minot, ND
Hiatt, Rod 2583-1 Hiatt, Rod 2583-2


Reply to Larry Hackman’s (66) Army Basic Training Photo
From Vickie Metcalfe (’70):  Bottineau, ND

Gary & Larry H. and Dunseith friends,

I worked with Ken Torgerson at Central School here in Bottineau for a time a  few years back .

Kenn carried a  warm smile and  was  jovial and kind. to the children and staff.

In his quiet way, he was always a  patriotic  and  proud American Veteran!

May he rest in peace.

Vickie M.


Message to Dick Johnson and Gary Stokes
From Neola Kofoid Garbe:  Bottineau & Minot, ND

Hi Guys,

Because I’m moving to a different apartment, I’m looking through boxes and boxes of paper items: saving some/shredding some/throwing some.  I found this postcard. I have no idea why I have it.  As you can see, it was mailed to Miss Clara Johnson from G. A.  I thought Scott Wagar might be interested in using it for his “Nostalgia” photo in the Courant.  I’d appreciate any info you can tell me about this picture, which I’ll pass on to Scott. 

My memory isn’t worth a hoot these days, so I don’t remember if I’ve heard you, Dick, are related to MISS Clara Johnson.  Do either of you know who G. A. might have been?




Dick Johnson’s Reply

 Neola and Gary,

    Clara Johnson was my Grandma Myrtle Johnson Olson’s older sister and was married to Albert Berg, the parents of Alvin, Martin, Amanda, and Arla Berg.  This is sure an interesting part of family and Ackworth Community  history.  I’ll attach a couple pictures of the Bergs from long ago.

Ackworth-1 Ackworth-2

                                    Dick Johnson’s Photos of the Berg Family

Neola’s reply to Gary Stokes

 You are right about who Clara was; Martin Berg’s mother.  I know their farm was a little west of Sander Johnson’s grocery/milk store.  I stayed with Martin/Alice when they lived on the “James Johnson Place”;  sometimes we would go to Sander’s in the evening/get ice cream.  Martin used to scare me by saying Sander might take out his glass eye.  I wasn’t very old at this time–before Carol was born–so I wasn’t looking forward to this. LOL



Bakken Name associated with the Bottineau Area
Reply From Dale Pritchard (’63):  Leesville, LA


As far as you know, is the “Bakken” name ssociated with the Bottineau area?

Also, I came across the following obituary while doing some genealogy research.  I was looking for a Lois I. Roberts in Mississippi/Louisiana and Google gave me Lois Jean Roberts instead.  Lois was probably a 1961 graduate of Bottineau High School and was apparently married the first time to a Leland Henderson with a second marriage to Jesse Bert Roberts. I don’t know where either marriage took place, whether in the Bottineau area, the Seattle area, or somewhere else.  She apparently moved to Seattle when she was about 33 years old.  Does any know her, or know of her?


23 Feb 1943 – 18 May 2014

Lois Jean Robert died peacefully in her home in Marysville, Washington on December 25th, 2014.  She was born in Bottineau, North Dakota in 1943.  She moved to the Seattle area in 1976.  She was an amazing woman with an amazing laugh and love of life.  In lieu of flowers, please consider making a contribution to Providence Hospice of Snohomish County.  Lois is survived by her loving and devoted husband, Jesse Bert Roberts, her children Leland Henderson, Jerry Henderson, Lissa Knox and Pam Cope as well as her step children Dan Roberts and sherine Gardiner; her mother Carol Gessner, sister Lynn Gessner and many grandchildren and great grandchildren.  Bert would like to thank all the family and friends for the incredible support they provided over the last year.  Services will be held at the Quil Ceda Creek Ward, 5212 7th Ave. NE in Marysville on January 10th at 1pm.

Published in The Seattle Times on Jan 4, 2015

Thanks, Dale Pritchard


Blog (657) posted on December 19, 2009

Posted on December 19, 2009

Albert & Eller families:

Reply from Ivy Eller Rober’t (74): Everett, WA.

My Mom and Dad were Herman & Emma Eller. Dad was married to Laura Azure Eller first, she died after giving birth to a son named Thomas. He was pre-mature, 3 months early. He died when he was a week old. Laura had gotten a sever infection, complications from the birth. She died 3 weeks after Thomas did. They are buried at St. Anthony’s Church Cemetery, approximately 5 miles east of Dunseith, along with Rose, who died when she was nine. Laura & Dad had 9 children together, Gladys, Leonard, Herman Jr., Elizabeth, Leo, Margaret, Richard, Rose & Thomas. A couple of years after Laura’s death, Dad married my mother Emma Albert (Father: George Albert, Mother: Agnes Warren Albert). She was the only child. Mom & Dad had four girls, Julie Eller Dahl, Carol Eller Djarlais, Bonnie, & me (Ivy). Mom died in 1976 and a couple of years later, Dad married Georgaleen (I don’ recall her last name). Dad died in 1984 and “Georgie” died a few years later. They are buried in the ST. John Cemetery. Of the 13 children Dad had, there are only 7 of us still living. I am the youngest of the bunch. It’s funny, when most of then were alive, we haven’t ever been all in the same place at the same time.
Smiea is my Mom’s step-sister. Grandpa had went back to Syria to find a new wife a couple of years after Grandma had died in a car accident on the San Hill. It was actually right at the entrance where the gulf course is now. Grandpa’s ‘new wife’ was Fatima. Smiea is her daughter. Grandpa died in 1979. Him, Grandma, & Mom are all buried together at Riverside Cemetery. Fatima died about 3 years ago, according to Smiea and is buried some where in Canada near where she lives. I lost touch with Smiea & Grandma (Fatima) after Grandpa had died. To tell the truth, I had spoke to her almost a year ago for a few minutes, then again, less than a week ago. I haven’t really gotten caught up with her on her life yet. I plan on going to visit her next summer. She lives in Grand Forks, British Columbia. (I think) I do have her number & will call for directions.
I hope this answers some of the question about my family…….

I want to wish everyone a very MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR……….be safe everyone!

Alumni Reunion in May:

Reply/Requests from Cheryl Haagenson (71): Dunseith, ND.

First of all “Merry Christmas”I hope everyone has a safe and blessed Holiday. Let’s start looking for photos so that we can bring a boat load of them to the “Get together” in May.
Add Janet Haagenson Sedlacek and Bernd Sedlacek. Thanks Gary
Cheryl Haagenson

Cheryl, I have added Janet and Bernd to the master reunion list. I have posted the latest updated copy of those planning to attend the reunion at the bottom of this message. Gary


Beverly Lynn Azure
(February 23, 1956 – December 6, 2009) 

Sign Guest Book|


Mass Of The Christian Burial was held for Beverly Azure, age 56 of Dunseith, on Saturday at 10:00 A.M. in the St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Dunseith. Burial was in the St. Louis Cemetery also in Dunseith. The Celebrant for the Mass was the Reverend Father Jeff Eppler S.O.L.T. Special music was provided by Monica Nadeau. Honorary bearers were Floyd Dion, Arnold Morgan, Craig Richards, Duane Morinville, Ken Marmon and Jerry Gredesky. Casket Bearers were Darren Opstedal, Bill Krause, Dale Juntunen, Kent Cote, Lyle Olson and Paul Messner.

Beverly Azure, a daughter of Joe and Frances (Hanson) Morinville, was born in Bottineau on February 23, 1953. She was reared in Dunseith and graduated from Dunseith High School in 1972. On August 16, 1980 she was married to Clarence Azure at Dunseith. Following their marriage, they lived in various places such as, Manheim, Germany, Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Fort Knox, Kentucky. She was a homemaker until 1992 when they moved back to Dunseith. Bev worked at the TMC for several years. She most recently worked at the Log House in Dunseith.

Bev enjoyed beading, painting, and spending time with her family. She also enjoyed going to concerts and gardening. She taught Sunday school for several years and was an active member of the St. Michael’s The Archangel Parish in Dunseith.

Beverly passed away on Sunday, December 6, 2009 in a Minot hospital.

She is survived by her husband, Clarence of Dunseith; daughters, Shonda and her husband Matthew Campbell of Minot and Shannon Azure and her special friend Steve Catalano of Grand Forks; sons Cody Azure and his wife Diana, and Jason Azure both of Grand Forks; a grandson, Chris Scott of Minot; sisters, Debbie Marmon of Miles City MT and Toni Gredesky of Fairmount, ND; a brother, Duane Morinville of Dunseith.

Beverly was preceded in death by her grandparents and parents.

Replies from Gary Metcalfe (57): Forsyth, MO

Reply to Gary Stokes

Gary, it is coming back to me now, Sam Pederson was married to Jennie Handland’s sister, who must have died young and left four or five children. The ones I remember were Charles, Lowell and Paul. Charles with the curly hair was Jennie’s favorite.

To Margaret Seim Lawson

Now the story makes more sense. My dad said Eva was working on Edwin’s attitude, so she said “EDWAA, Be a good boy or you won’t be able to go see Uncle Pete.” Another one was that Pete told my dad that he exactly the same name as a very famous baseball player. He said, “My name is Pete Mosho and his name is Joe Dimosho.” For those who don’t understand French very well, the ball player was Joe DiMaggio!!

Thanks everyone. Sue and I will be gone for the next week or so. Hope all of you have a Merry Christmas and wonderful family memories of Christmas 2009. Gary Metcalfe

Story from Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND

Gary and Friends,

There is a cute movie that usually plays every Christmas Day. It’s
called ‘A Christmas Story’ and is about a kid named Ralphie who wants a
BB gun for Christmas. My BB gun story is not as good when it gets to the
ending. George and Lela Cota were working at the Peace Garden in the mid
50s and one time when we were visiting them at the caretaker’s
residence, George brought out an old BB gun that had been his son,
Gary’s, and gave it to me. I was about 6 at the time. He told Mom that
it wouldn’t shoot BBs any more but still made the noise. It was a Daisy
with a wooden stock and I was really proud of it. My grandparents lived
upstairs in our house in Dunseith and sometimes Grandma would keep an
eye on my cousins and me. One day this was the case and my cousin Doug
Warcup and I were out in the yard playing with my prize BB gun when he
asked if he could shoot it? He cocked it and aimed it and just before he
pulled the trigger, I noticed he had the lever down. This is a NO-NO
with those old guns. I said, “NO”—Bang! The lever slammed shut on his
fingers when the gun fired and put a small cut on his finger. He did
what any 5 year old would do, ran to Grandma screaming about his finger.
She did what any grandma would do, asking what happened? He said , “The
BB gun did it”. She did what most grandmas would do and assumed he had
been shot. I tried to explain but she called my grandpa up at the Garden
Tap (he was the owner) and told him I shot Doug with that damn gun. I
remember Grandpa came walking briskly down the alley and as I was trying
to explain what happened, he grabbed my BB gun and whacked it on the
ground a couple times until it flew in two pieces and then threw it in
the garbage barrel and headed back to work. That was the worst feeling I
had ever had up until that time. Everything went from bad to worse and
none of the people involved did anything they shouldn’t have done, given
the circumstances. Obviously it is burned into my memory because of the
way it all went wrong for me that day. I lost my prize possession over a
mistake. Ralphie gets his gun—I lose mine. His story is better! Thanks


Correction to yesterday’s message from Lee Stickland (64): Dickinson, ND


I do stand corrected. The lady on the far right of the picture re:Oscar and Sylvia is indeed Ellie Striker. Yes, the third from the right is my Grand mother. Sorry.

I have many memories of Lee and of Erman Striker, whom are barely visible on this picture. They must not have had the digital camera with this day. Lee

Wm. Striker & his children on his 81st Birthday, 1943

L to R: Georgia, Gladys Brill, Della Lockhart, Lee, Vernie, Erman, Mae Stickland,

Cora Lockhart & Ellen

12/11/2017 (2582)

Dave Wurgler Condolences
From Vickie Metcalfe (’70):  Bottineau, ND

Gary and Dunseith Friends,

I also am saddened to read of the passing of Dave Wurgler. For the past number of years I have taken my dogs to Rugby Veterinary. Once , I  stopped for fuel  at Tesoro  before leaving Rugby. There was a guy who recognized my  last name on the cheque blank. He introduced himself as Dave Wurgler. He was a pleasant person who’d visit a bit  about news read on  the Dunseith blog. inquire and  share and  reminiscence.

I extend sympathy to his family.



Dave Wurgler Condolences
From Marlys Hiatt (’71):  Dunseith, ND

I am so sorry to hear of David Wurgler’s passing.  I will be keeping his family in my thoughts and prayers.  Special condolences to Peggy and Joan.

Marlys Hiatt


Dave Wurgler Condolences
From Bob Lykins (60’s DHS Teacher):  Hutto, TX


Sorry to learn about David.  I remember him well as that tosseled hair kid who always seemed to have that pleasant, friendly smile.  Around me he was always very quiet.  As I recall he was a pretty decent athlete as well.  My heartfelt condolences to the family.

Bob Lykins


Dave Wurgler Condolences and Memories
From Ginger LaRocque Poitra (’65):  Belcourt, ND

After retiring he worked at Tesoro station there in Rugby for a time. We enjoyed visiting with him a bit on our stops. Always friendly.

Yes he did have a growth spurt, I think he never looked older, always the same.

I  missed not seeing him to visit with when he no longer worked at Tesoro. I did occasionally see him as we drove by his home, if he would be outside his home doing something in his garage.

Now I will miss him forever in my lifetime.

It is so sad.

My condolences to his wife and family. May God bless you and keep you so you will all be able to get through this very trying time.

Ginger Poitra Class of 1965


Dave Wurgler memories
Posted by Allen Richard (’65):  Midland, MI

So sorry to hear about Dave.  Mom, Dad, Stephanie and I used to stop at the corner every Saturday night on our way home— even before the Wurgler’s took it  over.  We were not BEST friends,  But we were always darned good friends, all the way back around 30 years ago when I last gassed up at his station.  Ant all the smack talk about MOPARS and Chevys.

RIP, Dave.  I am very sad.

Allen.  :-(

Dave Wurgler’s Granddaughter ‘Miss Teen Super Model USA 2011’
Posting from Ken Striker (Striker Historian): Dayton OH

David Wurgler…his granddaughter Rachael Allickson was Miss Teen Super Model USA 2011.  She was d/o Kevin and Teri Allickson of Rugby This from your blog 2 Aug 2011.  Kevin has ties back to Wm Elmer Striker.


Basic Training 1969;  B Company 2nd Battalion 2nd  Brigade, Ft. Lewis, Washington
Posting form Larry Hackman (’66):  Bismarck, ND


I saw Kenn Torgerson of Bottineau, name under the (death notices) in yesterday’s paper, it brought back memories of our time at Ft. Lewis, Washington.

It is sad that there have been so many family members and friends passing.  My condolences to all their families.

I have included a picture of Kenn and my basic training company.

Most of these fellows are from North Dakota.  I Had their names written on the back of the photo but not where they were from, so the towns shown with the names are from memory.  We look kind of rumpled and the shine is gone from our boots as they just had us low crawling through the saw dust pits (pits a couple  100 ft. square surrounded by power poles “seemed a lot longer and maybe were” and then filled with saw dust) and then ran us back to the barracks for this photo.  The drill sergeants usually had every trainee crawl through these saw dust pits until everyone was exhausted, while they stood on the edge  visiting or planning our day of running and doing push-ups (I wish I was in that good of shape now).  A Drill Sergeant would  occasionally stop visiting and run out into the pit and kick some trainees butt because he had it too high in the air, after all you wouldn’t want to get your donkey shot off..


Basic Training 1969;  B Company 2nd Battalion 2nd  Brigade, Ft. Lewis, Washington

Moto – B-2-2 When the going gets tough, the tough gets going.

Lt. to Rt. – top to bottom

top. Bear@ Jamestown, ND, Kunkel, Miller @ Mohall, Merrill, R. Torgerson, Cassidy, Hoff, McCabe @ Steel,ND, Washington @ Chicago, Carlson.

  1. Congalton, Blue Earth, La Rocque @ Dunseith,ND, Huber @ Westhope, ND, Rusin, Smith, Randish @ Mohall, ND, Mazich, Dunlap
  2. Prouty @ St John, ND, Bartschi, Adams, Kitzman @ Towner, ND, Sims, Davies, Padilla @ Puerto Rico, Campaigne, Castiglione, Maschoff
  3. Kreitinger, Weidner, Grzekowiak, Lykken, Hackman @ Dunseith, ND, Schulz, Dodge, Jones, Drill Sargeant Mandez – asshole.
  4. Sison @ Philippines, Klopfenstein @ Chicago, Jacobson, Curry, Kaufman, Barmoen, K. Torgerson @ Bottineau, ND.

Maybe a few of these fellows will be recognized and we will find out where they are now.




Blog (656) posted on December 18, 2009

Posted on December 18, 2009

Thank you From the Azure Family:

The Azure family would like to thank all of Bev’s friends and family for
being so supportive in our time of need. And also to those who sent kind
words, cards, and prayers not only while mom was in the hospital but also
at her wake and funeral. Also a special thank you to those who followed
Bev’s last wishes and to those who have brought figts and helped at the
luncheon and dinner. We are very thankful and appreciative for all your
kindness and friendship.

Sincerely with great thanks-
The Azure Family

From Dianne Rober’t Johnson (76): Rolla, ND.


Thank you for doing all the postings in E-mail, it’s nice to read about the old days & any current news. I for one, really enjoy your daily postings.

Wishing you (& to everyone) a “Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year”.

Dianne Johnson

Reply to LeaRae Parrill & Ivy Eller:

From Ele Dietrich Slyter (69): Dunseith, ND.

Wasn’t George Albert’s daughter, Emma, married to Herman Eller? And if I am not mistaken, Herman may have had another wife before Emma. I think, and Bonnie correct me if I am wrong, that Leonard Eller, who lives near Rolla, is Herman’s son.


Reply from Eileen Brudwick: Fargo, ND.

Thank you very much for the compliment, Gary!!  It’s nice to know some of you feel I’m so great!! 


Eileen, You are so welcome. Gary

Reply from Roger & Connie Zorn Landsverk: Bottineau, ND

Hi Gary,

How are things @ the Stokes’ .I was reading the Dunseith news & By reading it I gathered you guys had alot of fun in high school.We had alot of fun during our high school days. My sister Linda, myself & one of my friends like to date some of the Forestry guys. We partied alot. We drank alot of wine. It’s a miracle none of us got picked-up for DUI’S. We were good girls during the week but sometimes naughty on the week-ends.

I talked to Evon Lagerquist last-evening & she explained to where the Stokes lived in the hills on the Ackworth road. Please excuse my spelling. I’ve been up in that country in the summer time & it’s very pretty.

take care


Folks, Connie’s dad was Leo Zorn. She is a cousin the Sharon, Myron and Marlys.

Willow Lake Road.

Folks, I am posting this picture for reference to several email messages that are posted with today’s message.

This picture, of the willow lake road, was taken on top of the Ackworth Cemetery Hill looking south. The Cemetery is to right and our former yard, the Bob Stokes farm, is to the left from where this picture was taken. Bottineau County is one mile to the west (right) on the road at the bottom of the hill. Highway 43 is one mile south from the intersection. The trees that can be seen farthest south in this picture are adjacent to Highway 43. The original site of the Ackworth School was a half mile east (left) from the intersection. In 1981 the school was moved and is now located 1/8 east from the intersection behind the trees on the left. Gary

Note: Clarence Hagen owned 3 quarters of the section of land to the south and west of the interestion. The other quarter was the Pederson place. Elmer Lindberg’s farm and property, in Bottineau county, was adjacent to the west of this section. Elmer’s sister was Alice McKay.

Sam Pederson family reply:

From Luella (Boardman 49) & Ralph Bjornseth: Bottineau, ND.

Hi Gary!

You asked about Paul Pederson. He was married to Marlene Rude (Kenneth Rude’s Sister). They are divorced and Ralph thinks he is either in South Dakota or Montana. Sam Pederson’s children were Oscar (deceased), Eileen (don’t know if she is still living), Melvin, Paul and probably 2 other boys. Ralph hears from Melvin every year at Christmas time. He lives in Spokane. Mrs. Sam Pederson was a sister of Jennie Handland so any of the Handland girls could tell you the history of that family. Ralph remembers Sam as being a very big man. They evidently moved around a lot and had moved out to Washington. He came back here at one time and worked for Carris Vandel. Ralph thinks he was working for Carris when he died. I hope this answers a few of the questions.


Follow up reply from Luella:


We talked to Glen Rude this noon and he said Paul died about 10 years ago. He doesn’t remember where he was living at the time or where he is burried. Another boy in that family was Lowell and Ralph thinks he is still living. That is all for now.


Folks, The Sam Pederson Farm was located 3/4 mile west (right) and on the south side of the road from the interesection at the bottom of the hill in the picture above. The Jacob Bjornseth farm now owned by Ralph & Luella is located 1 3/4 miles west on the north side of the road from the interesection in the picture. That is where Ralph was born and raised.

Luella, This answers a whole bunch of question for me and I know others too. I had no idea that Mrs. Sam Pederson was a sister of Jennie Handland’s. I have her daughters Beverly, Muriel & Lorraine in my records, but they do not have email addresses. I found Melvin Pederson’s phone number in Spokane. I will call him in the morning, my time, before sending this message out. Thank you so much Luella and Ralph for this info. We’d love to hear more from the rest of you that knew the Pederson family too. This is one bit of history that will be captured and recorded that could have been lost. Thank you Gary Metcalfe for bringing this family to light. Gary

Pritchard Picture & the Thompson Place:

Repy from Marlys Hiatt (71): Dunseith, ND.

Hi Gary,

I really enjoyed the information on the blog today. I do have a couple of
questions and a little more information. Is the little boy in the picture
with the cabin identified as Robert Pritchard the same Robert Pritchard
that lived down the road from your family and across the lake from my
family? Dorthy Pritchard’s husband? If it is then it is pretty amazing to
me to see the person I thought of as an older man when he was just a
toddler. I guess we all start out that way.

Also about the Thompson place. Was that the land straight north of where
we grew up. If I am remembering right it was the land where my father,
Norman Hiatt, would put his stock cows for summer pasture. Every so often
we would all go up to take a head count to make sure all the cattle were
okay. There were times we had to walk through the pasture to find them
all. I remember being quit young and walking with grandma Margie when we
came upon some old buildings that had not been lived in for quite a while.
Grandma Margie told me that was the house where Ella (Thompson) Pladson
had lived when she was a little girl. Grandma then went on to tell me
about what hard working and good little girls Ella and her sister were.
If I remember the story right Ella’s mother was handicap and unable to
make bread so she would tell the little girls how to do it and they had to
stand on chairs in order to make the bread because they were so little.
My memory is a long way from being reliable so if I Have this wrong please
let me and all the other readers know. In my minds eye I can still see
how the buildings looked and remember how special my grandma thought those
little Thompson girls were. Would this then be where boundary lake is
located? I remember hearing my father talk about boundary lake but I do
recall knowing exactly where it was.

There is a story that occurred which I know to be true. It happened in
the spring and we were on that family outing to check the cattle in the
North pasture or as it was sometimes referred to as the Thompson place.
As Vickie and I were walking through the woods I got tired and sat down
for awhile and got more that a little rest. As some of you might have
already guessed – wood ticks.

Some questions came up about Paul Pederson. I believe this is the same
man that worked for my dad, Norman Hiatt. This was before I can remember
but I heard many stories about him all of which were good. I believe my
parents thought a lot of him. The last time I remember seeing him was at
my cousins wedding in Montana. I do remember going to see his baby girl
that was named Marla but I do not remember his wife’s name or the name of
his in-law’s. I do think they were from the Metigoshe area and I believe
that Marla still lives in Bottineau but I do not know her last name. I
don’t think that marriage lasted very long.

As Dick always says – any additions or corrections to this information is
always welcome. As I think about this I am aware of how foggy some of my
memories are.

Folks, Norman & Irene Hiatt, Marlys’ folks, lived 7/8 of a mile east (left) from the intersection in the picture above. The Thompson place that Marlys talks about in her message was located a mile or so north of their place. The Robert Pritchard farm was located 3/4 of a mile to the south of the intersection in the picture above. Evon Lagerquist is currently living on that place.

Marlys, you are absolutely right, that was the Thompson place located a mile or so north of your place. There are no roads other than for field roads to that area. Because there were no roads I was never back in that area. I left ND before the snowmobile days too or I would have probably explored that area in the winter on snowmobiles. Folks will have to correct me if I’m wrong, but I think, as you mentioned, that is where Ella Thompson Pladson and Esther Thompson Tangen were born and raised? Their mother was a sister to my grandfather Frank Stokes. Rab Lake is the lake in that area. Boundary lake is located a little farther west in Bottineau County. The willow lake road, going thru some fields, ends on the Canadian line. From that point, on the line, Rab lake is about one mile east, Hartley lake is located about 1 mile west and boundary lake about 2 miles west. Folks please correct me if I’m wrong.

That is the Robert Pritchard that you knew in those pictures that Mary Eurich Knutson posted yesterday.

Pritchard/Pladson relationship:

Reply from Keith Pladson (66): Stafford, VA

This is in response to Dale Pritchard’s and Mary Knutson’s recent comments and a comment from from Dale several months ago.

Dale, several months ago you mentioned to Gary Stokes, that you weren’t clear on the connections between my family (and Gary’s) and yours. I think Mary has helped to clear that up. If I remember correctly, Ida Thompson was my Mom’s Aunt on her Dad’s side. So that makes my Mom, Ella, a first cousin to your Dad, Robert (and of course Mary’s Mom, Winifred). The biggest difference was age. Since my Mom was born in March of 1923, she was 12 years younger than your Dad. I believe your Dad and my Mom’s oldest sister, Ester, were the same age. I’m not sure what the age difference was between Mary’s Mom and my Mom, but I think it was somewhat less. Interestingly, my Mom was quite close to your older sister Shirley. My siblings and I saw Shirley and her family several times while we were growing up. And Shirley continued to visit Mom often in Bottineau after my Dad, Eldon, died. That, of course, was all through my Grandfather’s family the Thompsons.

Gary Stokes’ connection to my family was through my Grandmother’s (Mom’s Mother’s) side — the Stokes’. My Mom’s Uncle, Frank Stokes, adopted Gary’s Dad, Robert.

Thank you Mary for bringing this up. Very interesting stuff.

Finally, a question to my classmate, Janet Bergan Evans. Does this mean that your ancestors lived in or near the Ackworth community?

Thanks Mary for bringing this up — very interesting.

Folks, The Eldon Pladson family, Keith’s family, moved to Keith’s mother’s sister place in about 1962, located several hundred feet to the right half way up the hill from the intersection in the above picture. Esther Tangen, sister to Keith’s mother Ella, owned that property. That property was formerly owned by Keith and my Great Grandfather, William Stokes.

Keith, you explained the relationships well. I will take a stab at answering what I know about the Bergan family. Do you remember Oscar Bergan. He and Sylvia lived several miles north and west of your place when your family lived on the Zieman place west of Salem church. Oscar was an uncle to Janet Bergan’s dad. Mrs. Erick Bjornseth, Bertha, was also a sister to Oscar and Janet’s grandfather. Erick and Bertha Bjornseth lived about 1/2 mile north of #43, 2 miles or so from the Rolette/Bottineau county line. They lived west of Sander Johnson’s. That’s all I know about the Bergan family. Janet or some of the others can maybe fill us in with the history of where the Bergan’s were raised. It must have been in that general area. Gary

Reply form Lee Stickland (65): Dickinson, ND


I see my grandmother, Mae Striker Stickland to the extreme right on this picture of Sylvia and Oscar. I recall being at Oscar and Sylvia about 50 years ago, when I was 13. So 50 minus 13 would make me 37 now ? Or have I lost my touch with numbers ?

Thanks so much for YOUR informational blog which I read in its entirety each day. Lee

Lee I have reposted that message. This is perfect timing with the Bergan family being mentioned in today’s blog. Gary

Previously posted:

Subject: (471) Dunseith Alumni..
Date: Thursday, May 28, 2009, 12:24 AM

Striker/Bergan pictures & Striker History provided by Ken Striker: Dayton OH

Wm. Striker & his children on his 81st Birthday, 1943

L to R: Georgia, Gladys Brill, Della Lockhart, Lee, Vernie, Erman, Mae Stickland, Cora Lockhart & Ellen

Gary’s comments

I think this picture was taken of Oscar & Sylvia on their golden anniversary in 1979? I’m kind of thinking they had their celebration at the Christian Center at Lake Metigoshe. This is exactly the way I remember them. They were a great couple. They had no children. Oscar was a brother to Clayton Bergan’s father. Sylvia Lockhart Bergan’s mother was a Striker. Oscar & Sylvia lived a few miles east of Lake Metigoshe and several miles north of #43. They lived close to Bernard Kavlie and Lars Sivertson. John & Pat Frykman are currently living in that area too. Gary

Oscar & Sylvia Bergan

12/07/2017 (2581)

David Wurgler, 71, Rugby, died Tuesday at a Rugby medical center.

(Anderson Funeral Home, Rugby)


I was so saddened and so shocked to hear of Dave’s passing. I will post more details and his obituary when they become available.

Dave was with the DHS Class of 1964, one year ahead of me. I remember him so well from our high school days. He was always very short for his age, but from what I understand had a growth spurt after HS. The last I saw Dave was in 1965. The past 10 years we have exchanged a number of email messages, but we were never able to connect seeing one another during this time.

Dave was well like and popular in our HS days. I know the same followed him through life too. He will be missed. We extend our condolences to all of his family.


Dave Wurgler: DHS Class of 1964
Wurgler, Dave 2581 Wurgler, Dave 2581-1


Past memories and the present

Posting from Ginger LaRocque Poitra (’65): Belcourt, ND

Hi everyone!,

I would guess everyone is readying themselves for Christmas. A special time , a busy time of the year. Getting ready for family get togethers with the people we care and love most.

I know that my son Todd and I have been very consumed in decorating. For the children. Grandchildren,  great-grandchildren.

The past years my inability to do things for myself has caused everything to to be left to Todd and daughter Michaela.

This year I am doing better, health wise,  not so I am able to do everything without help but my family is always here for me. I  don’t know what I would do without them.

Our home is almost all decorated on the inside.

I have always decorated our home on the inside and helped with the outside as well, Anthony and I would work together with the tree decorating and other decorating outside, when the children were young. Later they were out there helping. I always enjoyed helping with this task.

This will be my second year without my husband, Anthony, I miss him just as much if not more than I did last year. That will never change, the love I feel for him is still just as strong. With him here I  enjoyed getting our home ready more for this special time of the year. We got engaged on Christmas Eve 1964.

Our children and grandchildren miss him terribly still. Anthony  was our rock. The void he left in our lives is undescribable!

We have been forced to sojourn on without him, no one is ever ready to do this it’s a never ending hurting loss. Losing a husband, father and grandfather. Oh, we say we are fine, or ok, but all we want to say is , I miss him and will never be ok or fine I still hurt, I still love him, I miss him being here, I miss his smile, his laugh, his love, his understanding what we feel. We just miss him,  he is in our hearts, in our minds, in our thoughts everyday every night every minute!

Ginger (LaRocque) Poitra Class of (1965)

I  would like to thank you Gary for getting our class together, which helped us getting to know each other.

I would also like to say that I am happy to have gotten to know people from other classes, thank you other classes for that chance as well.

Life is to short and I for one am sorry for not being closer to all of you throughout all the years, years that have been wasted even while we were in school.

I have found that I could have been a close friend to so many. Now here we are our lives coming to an end here on earth.

I am happy I can still say to you all I am so very glad that you all were in my life for the time we did know each and everyone.

Thank you all so much from the bottom of my heart.

I want to say to the families of the classmates who are gone to be with our Lord that I am sorry for not having to get to know them. I have at least gotten to know them through you all.


T’was Magic
Posting from Vickie Metcalfe (’70):  Bottineau, ND

 Gary and Dunseith Friends,

The snow is upon us here below the foothills of the Turtle Mountains As the  local radio I am currently tuned to, plays Country interspersed with Christmas music. I catch myself recalling past December’s. Magical times!

As a wee child I lived with my family in a small two bedroom house. (The original was built by John Randin or Bill Childs) There was no running water. Water had to be drawn from the well and carried  up the hill to the house by dad or mom. The drinking water was in a communal drinking bucket  with a big dipper  located over the wood box in the entry room In the early darkness of the morning, Mom  and dad  got up first, fired up the wood stove and put the coffee on. They would take a cuppa before dad went out the door to the barn south of the house.

The  house was heated  sparingly; oil burner in the living room and a 1/2 wood 1/2 electric cook stove in the kitchen. We girls would wake in chilly rooms, get up,  run and look to see if  Jack Frost came in the night and painted the windows.

Mom  always bought a ‘real’ evergreen tree in town.  She set it  to thaw in the big entry way, After it had thawed and was set up in the living room, She began to pulled out  a box of treasured ornaments from a high closet shelf. We’d  spend a whole afternoon decorating it.. I loved throwing the silver glittering icicle  stuff up high in to the top.

The Sears Roebuck and Montgomery Ward Christmas catalogs, by the this time in December  were  quite worn.

Wish books was  our  family’s favorite winter reading.

Mom made  many loaves of homemade bread each week.  She used Dakota Maid Flour purchased at Hosmer Store or Bedard’s Red Owl.   She always preferred cake yeast she purchased from Herman Martinson at  the Snow White Bakery.

Mom would slice the bread on an oak cutting board, never throwing away a crumb.

What of the crumbs?

She would gather crumbs, and scatter them outside the door on the packed snow for the birds.  Birds were waiting,  gathered in the trees. Flew down and feasted.

Mom would  peela  huge kettle of potatoes after putting a pot roast in the oven.


My family had agrarian roots.  Potatoes and meat about every  main meal! By mid morning the kitchen was  wonderfully  wood heat, toasty warm with tantalizing smells. Whenever the kitchen got too warm mom would open the back door……..which had no screen.

On this fine December morning. Without warning, lying into the open back door, through the kitchen, through the dining room and through to the far east corner of the living room. A flock of chickadees!  We  followed watching in amazement as they settled onto the Christmas tree amid the colourful lites,  silver tinsel, decorations and the angel. Mom said,  “Leave them be.

They birds sang in unison,   “chick-a -dee.” CHICK-A-DEE, CHICK-A-DEE

After a time,  they rose up as one, in a bunch and flew out the the rooms through the door from whence they came.

T’was God’s MAGIC!

I wish you all a moment like……. this  is  the season.


Vickie Leona Metcalfe 12/6/2017


Blog (655) posted on December 17, 2009

Adrian Mongeon:
Reply from Margaret Seim Lawston (54): Citrus Heights, CA
Hi Folks, I get up each morning looking forward to reading the blog. In answer to Gary Metcalfe, Adrian Mongeon’s Dad, Pete Mongeon was my Mom’s Uncle and I remember him well .He was a nice Great Uncle, but it was his wife Anna who I knew better. She and my Grandma Ingrid Seim loved to get together and talk and argue local Democratic politics. At time things got pretty heated. One with a Norwegian accent and one with a French accent.
Andrew Bergan Picture:
Reply from Jan Bergan Evans (66): MONTICELLO, MN
Gary who sent the pictures of Andrew Bergan? This would have been my dad Claytons grandfather Wonderful
Jan, Mary Eurich Knutson (62) provided those pictures.
Pritchard/Bergan Pictures:
Reply from Dale Pritchard (63): Leesville, LA
Good Morning Mary (and Gary),I have the picture of them outside the log building but can’t find it
right now. Those were the good old days? I don’t think so! I think
the picture was probably taken in 1912, buy more likely 1913 because my
dad was born April 22, 1911. I have heard two versions about the
building, one was a cabin (whose?) and one was a smoke house. Take your
pick. I had never seen the “Rough Riders” picture. Interesting. Sorry
I missed you when I was home last month. It was going to be then or not
at all.


Dale, It is very early morning here for me too in the PI, 12:15 AM, as I received your message that just came across my screen. The difference is that it’s Wednesday morning for you folks and Thursday morning for me. It’s about time for me to call it a day. Gary
Bill Fassett CD:
Message from Susan Fassett Martin (65): Spearfish SD
Paula made me a cd of Dad singing and playing his guitar. She could probably get copies to anyone that would like one, Dad sang a lot of what he called plumb pitiful songs, because someone was always dying in them. He also knew a lot of railroad songs, as he worked on the railroad in Montana before the war. I have a lot of history if anyone is interested. Dad wrote all his memories along with the history and pictures. I wish I had payed more attention when I was younger.I remember Minda Haagenson, Dick Rybacek, and there are so many other colorful characters from the Turtle Mt area. Love to hear the memories. Merry Christmas to all and may God bless you in the new year.

Hugs, Susan

Dick Johnson’s (68) reply to Colette Hosmer (64): Dunseith, ND.
Gary and Friends,In reply to Colette Hosmer’s question. Your Dad’s Jeep could very
well be a ’54. They didn’t change the looks much from ’47-’60. I
remember him driving his Jeep and also Lucien Bedard driving a brown one
that was nearly identical except for the color. They both hunted ducks
up by our farm and were frequently seen going or coming in the Jeeps. I
think your dad had a big black lab that retrieved ducks for him, if I
remember right. They and the Lamoureux brothers and Dale Gottbreht had a
favorite spot between Horseshoe Lake and Sucker Lake on a little hill
where the bluebills would fly over. There is still shotgun shell brass
on the ground there. The shells were paper with a brass base so the
paper is long gone, but I constantly find brass whenever I walk in that
area. There was a common courtesy of stopping in at the farm to tell
Grandpa that they would like to hunt ducks. Many times they would come
back with a couple cleaned ducks or some other small token of gratitude
for letting them hunt on the land. I remember them giving Grandpa some
Prince Albert tobacco once and he was very grateful for their gesture.
He never expected anything in return, but this really showed their
honest gratitude.

I do remember the old sleeping bags. I still have one that is goose
down and is stamped U.S. on the front. Mom ordered it from the ‘Sioux
Falls Army- Navy Store’ and I first used it in 1960 to go to camp in
Minnesota. I have used it many times and once slept in it in Wyoming up
on Black Mountain around 9000 ft. I wore all my clothes but was actually
not cold, although we were told later that the temperature was way below
zero that night. We were hunting elk in the Bighorn Mountains in
November.We hung a tarp over a pole between two trees and made a
makeshift tent, but no heat. It gets cold up that high on a clear night.
That old sleeping bag did its job! Thanks, Colette, for the interesting
insight on your camping adventures! Good memory! Thanks Gary!


SmieaHaimour-Himour (67):

Reply from Claudette McLeod (80): Dunseith, ND.
Thanks, Eileen and Dick for the info, I was young but for some reason or another, I always remembered her. Thanks to you as well Gary for all you do. I would also like to wish everyone a Very Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year..
Claudette McLeod
Claudette, you are so welcome. Smiea was very sincere when she said she remembers you and would love to hear from you. She would love to hear from any of the Dunseith Alumni. Her phone number is (403) 556-1799. Smiea seems to be a very sharp gal and with her act well together too. Gary
George Albert & Smiea Haimour-Himour (67):
Reply from Ely Eller Robert (74): Everett, WA.
Hi Gary……

George Albert is my grandfather, Samia is my step-aunt. Two years after my real grand mother Agnes was killed in a car accident in Oct of 1960, Grandpa went back to the old country, as he called, Syria and found a new wife. Her name was Fatima. Samia is her daughter from a prior marriage. When Grandpa brought Fatima, or “Sittie” as we called her, that was Grandma in Syrian, she brought Samia over here with her. Samia was only in her teens hen she came here to the United States. She enrolled in Dunseith Hight School & Graduated, but I’m not sure what year. She went to college, I think, for a short time, then got married to a guy from Calgary, Albert. She moved there with him and had 4 children.
It is so weird, she just happened to call me this morning. By the way, Thanks Gary, she told me she had got my phone number from you. I hadn’t hear from her since Grandpa died in 1979, so I guess that would be 30 years ago. She lives in Grand Forks, British Columbia. She said she just retired from nursing and that she has 6 wonderful grand children.
Since my Mother was an only child, Samia is the only Aunt I knew, on my Mother’s side. And her Mother was the only Grand Mother that I ever knew as well!
Thanks Again….
Ivy Eller Robert (74)
Ivy, We can thank Eileen Brudwick for finding your connection to the George Albert Family and bringing it to my attention. I had not yet received LeaRae Parrill Espe’s message posted below, when I called Samiea. I had no idea of your relationship. I was surprised when I read what Eileen send me with the next posting below. This is how I knew your relationship with Samiea when I called her. Samiea was very surprised that I knew you when I mentioned your name. She did not waist any time calling you that is for sure. LeaRae mentions, in her letter posted below, Smiea being a little older when she graduated with their class of 67. From what Smiea told me that is absolutely correct. Smiea said she was placed in a grade level based on the English skills she had coming to this country in I think 1961. Smiea told me she is currently 65 years old. I think most of the class of 67 folks are currently about 60 years old.
Folks, We are so fortunate to have Eileen Brudwick, Mike’s wife, on our distribution list. Mike and Neola are first cousins. Eileen has a big percentage of the Rolette & Bottineau county folks, with all their relationships, in her genealogy data base. What she doesn’t have she finds. She’s got search engines that can find a whole lot of info for whatever it is she is searching for. If Eileen can not find something, it probably can not be found. Thank you Eileen for all that you have provided and do for us. We truly do appreciate you. Gary
Eileen Brudwick’s reply: Fargo, ND.
I guess I have an incorrect spelling for Smiea’s maiden name. I haven’t been able to locate anything further about her, and to be honest, I didn’t document my information about the Albert family, so have no idea where I located the information about Fatima & her daughter, Smiea.
George & Agnes (Warren) Albert’s daughter, Emma Albert married, Herman Eller, and they have a daughter, Ivy (Eller) Rober’t. She married Russell Rober’t.
Smiea Haimour-Himour (67):
Reply from LeaRae Parrill Espe (67): Bottineau, ND.
Dear Gary,Dick is correct about Smiea- she is the step daughter of George Albert. She
came with her mother from Lebanon and was 18 when she joined our class in
8th grade. She wanted to get an American education and four years later she
graduated with us at age 22 or 23. She was married right out of high
school! Her husband was also named Haimour, but as she explained to me in
2007 one of the families took a different spelling. When I spoke with her
by telephone she seemed quite happy to hear from me and said that a new
grandchild was expected so she couldn’t consider coming to the reunion.

George Albert’s first wife was killed in a car accident, I believe on the
hill coming from San Haven to town. I believe Charlene came upon that
accident. (Maybe I have that wrong??) Anyway George’s daughter Emma was
married to Mr. Eller, can’t remember his first name. My mother remembers
Emma Albert attending Dunseith HS when she did, but she was not in her grade
and I believe mom said she didn’t graduate from there. I believe the Ellers
had four daughters Carol, Bonnie, Julie and Ivy. Bonnie died of colon
cancer less than a month before my brother Clark in 2006. Julie Dahl lives
near Bottineau and was a cook’s helper at Bottineau HS, not sure if she is
still working this year. One of Julie’s nieces named Jody Eller stayed with
her and went to HS in Bottineau. Julie was not in touch with Smiea. I’m not
sure where Carol and Ivy live, but they may be on your email distribution
list. I believe all those girls are younger than I am.

At that time before the reunion, I thought maybe I could get a lead on
Smiea’s whereabouts from Ronnie Hassen who owned the Golden Rule in Rolla.
I can’t remember just how I got her number, but I had to call a few times
before I caught her at home. I talked to her son on one call. If she has
email I would like to have it.

Whenever I talk about growing up in Dunseith, I mentioned that we had such a
melting pot compared to say Bottineau. With the Cubans at San Haven,
several store keepers from the Muslim countries of Syria and Lebanon (Sy
Kadrie, Emil Hassen, and KC Sine) plus the Hassen Murrey and George Albert
families, plus Native Americans, all blending in with the Norwegians, French
and a few Germans and British Isle people we truly had diversity.

I remember we would ask Smiea about her religion and she brought her Koran
and told us a few things.

Later, LeaRae PS Please add Terry and I to the reunion list. Also
our belated sympathy to Bernadette on the death of her brother. It sounds
like there are great and deep rooted traditions in the Philippines.
Hopefully, it is a way to bring the families close. Take care.

LeaRae, Thank you so much for your sympathy of Jose’s passing. I have added you and Terry to the master reunion list.
No one can deny the diversity we had at Dunseith High School. You have summed it up so well and Vickie Metcalfe too, in prior messages.

12/05/2017 (2580)


I don’t have any posting for today, so I will go will just go with continue with the previous postings. Today’s is From December 16, 2009

This picture of Stubby and Elwood Fauske with Bernadette and me is a treasure. Our families have always been close friends from before Stubby and my Dad’s childhood years too.


Blog (654) posted on December 16, 2009

Posted on December 16, 2009

Reply from Erling Landsverk (44): Portage, WI

Hi Gary and All the Great Dunseith Alumni folks

I heard Bonnie Awalt Houle Christmas message this morning and I simply had to thank her for her eloquent way of describing everyone’s attachment to the members of the Alumni, and to all the wonderful people within the area as well. Thank you Bonnie. If I may, I would like to add a Merry Christmas greeting of my own. I feel very fortunate to have lived with and known so many great people such as the Awalt family. Naturally Gary, you and your wife Bernadette are also included in this wish even though you don’t have to shovel snow this Christmas. Have a super New year everyone Erling Landsverk

Reply from Colette Hosmer (64): Santa Fe, NM

Thanks, Dick, for the information about the green and red boat trailer. We spent many summer vacations at North Thomas while using that trailer as a table/buffet. Mom served “thousands” of fried perch from it. She also converted wooden orange and apple crates from the store to use as camp cupboards. All five of us used to sleep in a heavy canvas tent — Mom and Dad on one side of the pole and we three girls on the other — in big cotton & canvas sleeping bags … remember those? Another wooden orange crate used to separate us and also held a coleman lantern. We bought big blocks of lake ice kept in sawdust from a Ukranian man on the way to the lake for our cooler — 25 cents.

The days of camping pre- Gortex. I think the red Jeep was a ’54 — am I right, Dick?

I read this blog in China — I fly home tomorrow after six weeks here.

Colette, It’s great hearing from you. Having not heard from you in a while, I kind of figured you were out of country. I’m assuming you have another art project that you are working with over in China? Gary

Reply from Gary Metcalfe (57): Forsyth, MO

Reply to Mongeon Family

I certainly wanted to recognize Adrian Mongeon before his passing. I knew that he was a real war hero, but like most of that generation, they did not want to talk about it anyway. His dad, Pete, was a pretty amazing guy. I think Margaret Seim could vouch for that.

To Gary Stokes

What ever happened to Paul Peterson from your neck of the woods? He used to herd cattle for Johnny Myer.

I think the Fassett girls are still sitting on some good family history. Just once I saw how your dad could enjoy a good party. It was a wedding. With that deep voice and those plumb pitiful songs. By the way, “All Around The Water Tank” is one of my favorites. How about a copy of one of his tapes?

Thanks for keeping the BLOG going everybody. Gary Metcalfe

Gary M, First off I second your comment thanking everyone for keeping this Blog going. It’s everyone’s input that has kept this going nearly two years now. There has been a lot of Dunseith history reveled in the past two years and we’ve got it all saved.

You asked me about Paul Pederson. I’m assuming Paul is Sam’s son. The Pederson’s lived 3/4 mile west of us. They moved from there when I was 4 or 5 years old. I do not remember any of the Pederson family. I heard lots of talk of them though. Dad farmed their land for several years and then Norman Hiatt purchased the land. I’m not sure if Jim, Marlys, Vickie & Lorie still have that quarter or not. Sam and his father are both buried in Ackworth. There is no history of the Pederson family that I can find anywhere. I’m hoping some of our Ackworth readers, a little senior to me, can fill us in on what they remember of the Sam Pederson family. How many children were in that family? I never heard much mentioned about Sam’s wife. I’m wondering if she pasted on early in life? She is not buried in Ackworth. Gary

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

Hi Gary,

I’ve been waiting for someone to send a video like Pete and Verena’s. I really enjoy watching them. Last year/year before, I received several of them, including one from Eileen.

I was surprised to learn when I clicked on the arrow, the video actually played–I was hoping it would, but wouldn’t have bet money on it. 


Smiea Haimour (67)

Reply from Eileen Brudwick: Fargo, ND.

Reply from Erling Landsverk (44): joannanderling@charter.net Portage, WI

Hi Gary and All the Great Dunseith Alumni folks

I heard Bonnie Awalt Houle Christmas message this morning and I simply had to thank her for her eloquent way of describing everyone’s attachment to the members of the Alumni, and to all the wonderful people within the area as well. Thank you Bonnie. If I may, I would like to add a Merry Christmas greeting of my own. I feel very fortunate to have lived with and known so many great people such as the Awalt family. Naturally Gary, you and your wife Bernadette are also included in this wish even though you don’t have to shovel snow this Christmas. Have a super New year everyone Erling Landsverk

Reply from Colette Hosmer (64): colettehosmer@gmail.com Santa Fe, NM

Thanks, Dick, for the information about the green and red boat trailer. We spent many summer vacations at North Thomas while using that trailer as a table/buffet. Mom served “thousands” of fried perch from it. She also converted wooden orange and apple crates from the store to use as camp cupboards. All five of us used to sleep in a heavy canvas tent — Mom and Dad on one side of the pole and we three girls on the other — in big cotton & canvas sleeping bags … remember those? Another wooden orange crate used to separate us and also held a coleman lantern. We bought big blocks of lake ice kept in sawdust from a Ukranian man on the way to the lake for our cooler — 25 cents.

The days of camping pre- Gortex. I think the red Jeep was a ’54 — am I right, Dick?

I read this blog in China — I fly home tomorrow after six weeks here.

Colette, It’s great hearing from you. Having not heard from you in a while, I kind of figured you were out of country. I’m assuming you have another art project that you are working with over in China? Gary

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

Reply to Mongeon Family

I certainly wanted to recognize Adrian Mongeon before his passing. I knew that he was a real war hero, but like most of that generation, they did not want to talk about it anyway. His dad, Pete, was a pretty amazing guy. I think Margaret Seim could vouch for that.

To Gary Stokes

What ever happened to Paul Peterson from your neck of the woods? He used to herd cattle for Johnny Myer.

I think the Fassett girls are still sitting on some good family history. Just once I saw how your dad could enjoy a good party. It was a wedding. With that deep voice and those plumb pitiful songs. By the way, “All Around The Water Tank” is one of my favorites. How about a copy of one of his tapes?

Thanks for keeping the BLOG going everybody. Gary Metcalfe

Gary M, First off I second your comment thanking everyone for keeping this Blog going. It’s everyone’s input that has kept this going nearly two years now. There has been a lot of Dunseith history reveled in the past two years and we’ve got it all saved.

You asked me about Paul Pederson. I’m assuming Paul is Sam’s son. The Pederson’s lived 3/4 mile west of us. They moved from there when I was 4 or 5 years old. I do not remember any of the Pederson family. I heard lots of talk of them though. Dad farmed their land for several years and then Norman Hiatt purchased the land. I’m not sure if Jim, Marlys, Vickie & Lorie still have that quarter or not. Sam and his father are both buried in Ackworth. There is no history of the Pederson family that I can find anywhere. I’m hoping some of our Ackworth readers, a little senior to me, can fill us in on what they remember of the Sam Pederson family. How many children were in that family? I never heard much mentioned about Sam’s wife. I’m wondering if she pasted on early in life? She is not buried in Ackworth. Gary

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

Hi Gary,

I’ve been waiting for someone to send a video like Pete and Verena’s. I really enjoy watching them. Last year/year before, I received several of them, including one from Eileen.

I was surprised to learn when I clicked on the arrow, the video actually played–I was hoping it would, but wouldn’t have bet money on it. 


Smiea Haimour (67)

Reply from Eileen Brudwick: Fargo, ND.

Hi Gary,

I have the answer for Claudette regarding George Albert’s wife. Apparently they married. Her name was Fatima (Heymour) Albert. George died 23 August 1978 in British Columbia, Canada, and is buried at the Riverside Cemetary, Dunseith, Rolette County, North Dakota where his 1st wife, Agnes (Warren) Albert is buried. Agnes died, 9 October 1960. I found Fatima’s Social Security information.

Social Security Death Index

Name: Fatima Albert SSN: 502-86-0514 Last Residence: 953 (U.S. Consulate) Born: 20 Jan 1911 Died: 11 Jan 2007 State (Year) SSN issued: North Dakota (1974)

Apparently Fatima had a daughter, Smiea Heymour with her 1st husband, who I do not know his name. Fatima & Smiea Heymour were both born in Syria. This is all I know about them.


Smiea Haimour (67)

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


I think Claudette is asking about Smiea Haimour (67). The last I
heard she was married and living in Alberta, Canada. Don’t know anything
about her life after high school. She was George Albert’s stepdaughter,
daughter of his second wife. I think she came from Lebanon or Syria and
went to school with us for a couple years. She once told us she was 22
years old when we were about 16. George Albert’s first wife died in a
car wreck. She was related to Ellers. I thinks she was Ivy Eller’s
grandmother, if I remember correctly. Don’t quote me on this one though,
I might be all wrong.


Dick and Eileen, Thank you both for the information you provided about Smiea. LeaRae Parrill actually located Smiea when we were putting the class of 67 together. She provided her contact info to me at that time. I just called Smiea. She does not have email yet. She has her computer still in the box. She said she is going to unpack her computer and get on line. She still has the 67 class list that I sent her via snail mail. She remembers everyone well. Claudette, she remembers you very well and was asking for your phone number of which I don’t have. She then asked for your email address. She said she was going to send a message to you via her daughter. I have pasted her address and phone number below. She’d love to hear from any of you. Gary.



440846th Ave

Olds, AB, CanadaT48H1A2

(403) 556-1799

No email

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

Hi Gary

Here’s some pictures I thought some of your viewers might find interesting. Willliam Pritchard’s homestead was on the west side of Boundary Lake. I think Bernard and Betty Kavli wound up with that place and now I think Lars Sivertson or his son owns it. Notice the sod roof on the building. If the picture doesn’t copy real good and anybody wants one – let me know I’ll mail one out to anybody.

Ida Thompson (to become William Pritchard’s wife) home-

steaded on the east side of Boundary by the Canadian Border and after they married they apparently chose to keep her homestead as their home place.

Oh, and add Karen Larson to your Blog list. She sent these pictures for me. One of these days I’ll send a few pictures to see if anybody can identify the people for me. Thanks.


Mary K

Mary, Karen Larson, Wesley Schneider’s Step daughter, does wonderful work and provides a great services to the Bottineau community with her store. She is the owner of the Spectrum Store located on main street. She has scanned stuff for me several times with my visits back to the area. It’s always a pleasure visiting her and her friendly staff.

Karen, It is a pleasure adding you to our daily distribution. Vickie Metcalfe keeps us posted with Wesley and your mother. Gary


From Neola Kofoid Garbe: Minot & Bottineau, ND.


If you go to this web site, www.LetsSayThanks.com you can pick out a

thank you card and Xerox will print it and it will be sent to a soldier

that is currently serving in Iraq. You can’t pick out who gets it, but

it will go to a member of the armed services.

How AMAZING it would be if we could get everyone we know to send one!!!

It is FREE and it only takes a second.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the soldiers received a bunch of these?

Whether you are for or against the war, our soldiers over there need to

know we are behind them.

This takes just 10 seconds and it’s a wonderful way to say thank you.

Please take the time and please take the time to pass it on for others

to do. We can never say enough thank you’s.