Peace Garden/Horse stories
Folks, I received a very nice, well written message with a story of memories from her childhood days and of coarse her love for horses, from Trish Larson wild. In this story she speaks of the Metcalfe Farm just south of the Peace Garden. I believe this would be the Jim Metcalfe Farm where Pattie currently lives. I will be posting this tomorrow. Gary
Ed Milligan & Henry Sunderland Photo:
Reply from Bill Hosmer (48): Tucson, AZ
Gary, some have thought it might be me in the picture. Was not there for that event, and that guy is better looking than I ever was. Thanks for what you do and how you do it. Bill Hosmer
Thanks Bill.
Folks, Don Hosmer has been identified in this photo. He and Jess do not have email and I think they may be in Nevada for the winter months. If there was a way Don could see this picture, I’m sure he could shed some light on it.
The military officer looks like an Army guy with the rank of LTC. To me he looks like he may be National Guard. If he is National Guard, with the LTC rank, I think he would have been in a higher head quarters above the Bottineau branch. I’m not sure where that would have been, but I know many of you folks do. Gary
Simeon Grenier, Ed Milligan, ??, Military man, Henry Sunderland, ??, ??, Don Hosmer
Ed Milligan & Henry Sunderland Photo:
Reply from Allen Richard (65): Midland, MI
To Joe Johnson– Frankly I never even noticed the ‘Bird! I was only going by the thought that Ed’s hair was darker in the picture than it was when I took classes from him in 65-67. But that could have been just the lighting back in the day. I think one of Ed’s last ‘Birds was actually one of the 4 door models with “suicide rear doors.
Reply from Sharon Zorn Gerdes (62): Windsor, CO

Oh my gosh now I really feel like a show off. Believe me I am not any big deal, but I do thank you for your kind words. What a surprise to see the nice comment from my little sister. ok, I promise to not write again for months. sharon gerdes

Sharon, We love hearing from you. You are an inspiration to so many of us. We most certainly look forward to your contributions. Gary



Wesley Schnieder visit – Music:

Posted by Vickie Metcalfe (70): Bottineau, ND


Gary and friends,


The boys and I went across the street this afternoon to see how Wes is healing. The Schneder’s were listening a vinyl record playing, Eddie Arnold. Such a smooth mellow relaxing voice.


When Wes was a child he learned to play the accordion, as well as the violin, by ear. Both were instruments the family had in their home. His sisters, who were all proficient piano players often accompanied the Schnieder brothers.


But it was in the “Big White School House, Wes, got his first break, ahem, “gig” playing solo for each elementary class room. Mr. Schneider his bus driver, told the teacher that, “Wesley, a 5th grader, could play the accordion.” And so, it came to be every Friday, Wes took his instrument to school. The students would make a request. The most unusual came from little Edna Tooke who raised her hand and said, “Play Wes, play, “Sweet Home Sweet!”


Of course, the school room rang with the laughter of children, but Wes cheerfully complied with “Home Sweet Home.”


Wes embarked on playing other events as well. The last time he played his violin,was at a dance. The barracks at the Peace Garden were moved to a make a dance hall. And Wes got into playing at a dance.


After the dance, he left his fiddle behind. The next weekend came,he went to play his fiddle. It was not where he’d left it, some how it had disappeared! Wes said, “He rather liked that fiddle too, it didn’t screech like his big brother’s which he’d learned to play on.”


Later. Vickie
Unidentified photo posted by Neola yesterday – The Demery Family
Identifications from Judy Allery Azure (65): Wahpeton, ND



The picture is of John and Mae (Davis) Demery family of Belcourt, ND


From left to right its Doris, Mae, John and Paula

second row is Ricky, John and Tim


Information provied by Keith LeBeau



Thanks Judy, By the way, I still have that Ten dollar bill in my drawer that you sent me for the 2007 Christmas class of 65 gift exchange that was orchestrated by Bill Grimme. Gary
The Demery Family:
Top L to R: Doris, Mae, John & Paula
Bottom L to R: Ricky, John & Tim

Schimetz Sled Team:
Picture posted by Mark Schimetz (70): Rolette, ND

Speaking of hay rides, here is the sled Louis would take the kids for rides on in the winter. He had nice harness sets for a pair of blacks, draft horses. I took the picture, of Dad Reid and Bryan Schimetz getting ready for a trip to Town
Gottbreht history (Turtle Mountains):
Postings from Sharren Gottbreht Shen (59): Everett, WA
Hello again Vickie Metcalfe and Gary,

If you find the Frank story too long, too personal, I can certainly post other brief messages about these pictures. The one of Carpennter School is much larger but I would have to reduce the size with a different photo copier than what I have. The date for the School photo is 1909. Home photo is about the same time. I have hopes that someone, perhaps an Abrahamson might know of the place. Annie’s photo is perhaps 1902, year of her marriage to Frank.

Thanks, Sharron


Frank Gottbreht Story:


Frank Gottbreht was the 3rd of 5 children born to John Sebastian Gottbreht and Frances Eckers. Frank birth place was Marysville, MO where the family lived briefly before moving across the state line into Braddyville, IO. There was a subscription school there and all the children received some elementary schooling, but I do not believe Frank could read or write. The extensive investments and property there were sold for venture capitol 1882/83 to be used in Dakota Territory. Frank was to go along with his parents and labor to establish their new farm in Jewell County, KA 1886.

Although Frank and Annie had their own farm, it seemed to Annie that Frank’s father would pressure and interfere in their day to day life. Although promised that she would continue in her Methodist faith, they tried to persuade her to convert. This made Annie deeply unhappy. It was only the discovery that she was pregnant that dissuaded her from divorce. I doubt Frank could or did fully explain his plan [father’s plan] to pioneer in Dakota. Ultimately, her years there in Holmes Twp proved beyond endurance. A week or so after Annie ran Frank off their place, neighbors notified his brother at The Mill that the livestock would perish and to come sort things out. Wm sent George! I cannot think that George went alone, so let‘s say that Fred and John went along. Annie had barricaded the home and held them off with a shotgun. No way would she deal with a Gottbreht! Ultimately, Wm sent Alzear [surname escapes me just now] as peacemaker; he had a meat market in Mylo by 1950, but perhaps worked for Wm at this time. Alzear described Wm’s offer: if Annie would leave, then Wm would pay her the cash value of the homestead; plus Alzear would escort her and the children back to Kansas and buy her a home of equal value in Kansas. The crisis passed. This totaled $1800 – 1913.

Why relate these events? I think it speaks to the character of Wm, and to justice and mercy. I think it might be said that they did not fully appreciate the bleak existence of Annie with a partner who was incapable of achieving a better life for her and their four children. After viewing the picture posted by Vickie, I cannot but think that the crimes committed in the NW corner of Rolette County in 1906 and 1907 influenced her behavior and choice.

And as Hank mentioned, Frank sure could milk cows! He could and did work from dawn till dark at whatever task his brother William directed. In 1982, both Charles Watkins and Arla Gottbreht recalled Frank’s amazing woodpiles: careful lengths in huge concentric piles. Frank was among the town labor force that cleared acres and acres of scrub that would become today’s’ Peace Garden. William makes careful note in the mammoth Mill ledger of his brother’s honorable work/product ratio. Today, the Abrahamson family owns the Frank homestead in section 15. Sonny Ruff, Frank’s grandson, tells me the 1904 house where John Sebastian and Frances Gottbreht are pictured, was that of Frank and Annie about 1910. Their chairs look like the work of their Lockhart neighbors just to the west in Holmes Twp.


Vickie Metcalfe’s Reply to Sharron:
Wow! This story sent chills up and down my spine.
I find your label of “the woman of sorrow” is so correct in my estimation. When I recall hearing the story that Bertha walked the floor night and day, her son was born. Then, she died. Pioneer life was hard on women.
I asked my cousin Larry, one time,long after both our dad’s were gone. Was there more to the story about Lilly’s death?” He in a hushed voice replied,”Telling me, His dad said, as a child he was told, it was something so bad they were told to not talk about it.” I can’t ask Larry. i could ask Eleanor, who is a year younger than my dad, living in a nursing home in Rugby.
Annie Gottbreht left the area in what year?
The wedding photo shows a more robust beautiful woman.
That photo I sent on the blog she looks thin and worn and fragile..
I know the man in the photo is my granddad. I’ve seen his wedding photo about 1889 he had a full head of hair. The lady to the right doesn’t look like his first wife Bertha. Looking at the photo it looked like the house he and Rose built after the first house burned in about 1916.
Boy oh boy. Too bad it isn’t summer or my car would be whipping down the road to Rolla looking at the school records. I made copies up through 1914 when I was there in August. I was trying to establish a time line for Lilly. It said she attended school for about 10 days. But the year was not listed it had a jumble of many years together. I’d take a look at the Carpenter school records and the land tax records to find out where the Gottbrehts lived.
Now the Office of School Supt sounds soon to be closing, the only day they are open is TH.
Bottineau county’s office was closed, this fall the supt retired to part time.
Last summer for 3 days I hauted the county supt. and treasurers office. Perhapsin my next life I’ll return as a researcher, I like the mystery of it and putting together pieces.
So, you’d like me to go get a good copy of the photo?
Tomorrow, I’m on my was to Towner for a school in service, perhaps over the next weekend.
Later. Vickie
Follow up reply from Vickie:
I’m sorry Sharon, I seem to be reading these commuications backwards.
Looks to me you are right about years. I know Grandpa is the man. And you are pretty sure of Anne Gottbreht. Well now the mystery is unfolding.
Lilly died August 1907. She and Uncle Bill were attending school I did find their school records.
Emil Hugh b . July 15, 1908.
Their mother Bertha died in 1908,
The remaining 4 children left after their mothers funeral with relatives.
I think Lilly and her mother were both buried at lake Schutte Cemetery then the graves were moved.
Uncle Lucky born in July 1911
( Uncle Bill came back from the Red River Valley, Auntie Christina’s ,he said Lucky was crawling on the floor)
Annie returned to Kansas in 1913.
Jim born on January 1914
Archie born on December 1915
Emil, 1920
Leona 1921,
Cliff, 1923,
Jean 1929
Well, I need to put this away for tonight. tomorrow we Bottineau teachers, ride a bus to Towner for inservice. Like a kid I need to be sure I have my clothes out. Thanks for unraveling this mystery photo. Vickie



Annie Case Gottbreht






John Sebastian and Frances Gottbreht





Carpernter School 1910

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