Childhood memories living on the farm
From Mary Eurich Knutson (62): Dunseith, ND
hi Gary
So many articles bring up memories. Lloyd mentioned his Dad and Earl
Fassett digging the church basement with horses. Made me think of Dad
when he dug out a cellar under the house down home with the horses. I
was pretty small but I remember the chain snapped and swung back and
wrapped around his legs. He was laid up for quite awhile. I was too
small to remember the details.
I think our place was originally owned by Fred Gottbreht. I wondered
about it at the time Sharon Gottbreht sent in the pictures of that big
barn being moved. He (Gottbreht) apparently built the huge lean to on
the North and West sides later on. There was a curbed well in the west
lean but you couldn’t get enough water to water all the cattle in the
winter time so only the milk cows were water there and the young stock
were taken down to the spring across the road and water dipped by pail
for them. Usually dad would go with the young stock and do the dipping
and Floyd would pump water at the barn. If Dad didn’t dip then Floyd
would and sometimes I had to. I think it was the only job Idid that I
can honestly say I hated. Aside from freezing half to death walking
down there my gloves would get wet and my hands would be so cold and
hurt so bad when they started to warm up. And I was always afraid of
getting knocked into the curbing. When I had to dip they would hold the
cattle at the barn till I was almost to the spring. It would give me
time to get a few buckets of water into the tank. The cattle would come
at a run and be pushing and shoving to get at the water. If the tank
wasn’t froze down they’d move it decreasing the space between me and
the curbing. I couldn’t dip as fast as the men. They could keep a
little water in the tank and keep things a little more stable. On a
normal day we would water twice a day and during real cold spells we’d
hold off till close to noon and only water once a day. When it was
extremely cold the pump at the barn would freeze up and we’d carry
boiling water from the house to pour down down the pump to thaw it out
and get it all primed again. I bet lots of the older people remember
“priming the pump”. When the leather washer rings that helped create
the suction as the pump handle was pumped, bringing up water from the
bottom of the wee, dried out or wore out and shriveled up. The only way
to make them moist and workable again was to pour water down the well
shaft and at the same time pump like crazy until the pump caught the
prime and water started flowing again. Enough of that.
Mary K
Hazel Hiatt Memory:
From Sybil Johnson: Cheyenne, WY.
I remember Hazel Hiatt very well. She use to come over to Bernice’s all the time. I always got a kick out of her, rough, but nice.
Sybil Johnson
Reply from Trish Larson Wild (73): FORT COLLINS, CO
Hi Gary!

I just have to say that I loved the horse story posted by Dick Johnson. I’d be curious to know how your training techniques evolved after that Dick! She must have been scared to death as well as you and your bystander! I have never been kicked in the head and hope I never am. My uncle Jake was kicked in the leg in his 70’s and it broke his femur. He was shoeing somebody else’s horse and didn’t see it coming.

I used a much more gradual approach than you did Dick, when I started my new colts, and was never bucked off in their training, but I did get thrown a few times later, as well as just plain fell off a few times, and recently. In fact, at the moment I have spent the last 2 weeks in an intensive rehab program to heal the sciatic pain I’ve had since getting bucked off my mare last April. Thankfully, it’s coming along nicely and I should be 100% by next week. No doubt it’s a risk every time you get in the saddle, but if you’re like me, you have no choice but to get up and get on again. Yes I’m crazy. Horse Crazy!

Brian Fauske was with me one of those times when I was trying to mellow out a mustang. We had trailered the horses up to the stunning beauty of the Rawah Wilderness for a nice little day ride. Zorro dumped me like a bag of dirt as I was trying to get on his off side. He had been beaten by a previous trainer with a two by four on that side and was very skittish when mounting. Eventually he got used to it and everything else many miles later, although I think the best laugh Brian and I ever had together was when that horse spooked and took off like a bat out of hell. I found myself completely on the other side of the valley, and could hear Brian laughing his head off a mile away. That photo you have posted so many times of me on the black horse was taken by Brian that day. After that photo was taken, we tried to cross the unmelted snow at the top of the Rawah Range and lost the trail. We wandered around those mountains all day long, and finally found our way back by a miracle and a good sense of direction. By the end of the day, the horse was doing much better, and proving himself to be a sturdy, brave and capable trail horse. Zorro was a beautiful black Mustang with Spanish Barb in his genes. The fellow who bought him from me for $500.00 was an older cowboy in his sixties, just getting back into horses. I never heard how it finally worked out for him, but I told him he could bring him back if he didn’t like him and I never heard from him again.
This story isn’t an old time story, but I share it anyway for the horse lovers out there. You can choose to post it or not or hold on to it for awhile, if you think people have had enough of horse stories for now. Thanks to everyone who’s been writing! It’s so fun to read the stories.

Trish Larson Wild ’73
Picture/message from Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND
Gary and Friends,

I was looking at the picture of Louis Schimetz and his horses and something triggered an old memory of their farmstead. One time long ago I was there, probably delivering fuel for Lamoureux Oil Co., and I think they had one of the old horse drawn fuel delivery wagons on the north side of their house and were using it as a tank for heating fuel for the house. I see the buildings are all gone after the big fire a couple years ago and I wondered if the tank and wagon burned too? Mark, do you know where the old rig went? It would be fun to know. We have a similar rig at the museum and there is a bit of history with it. It was used in the Rolette 50th anniversary parade in 1955 and was driven by my uncle Cliff Johnson who was the Standard bulk agent in Rolette at the time. I will include a picture of the ’55 parade. Thanks Gary!


North Dakota Ghost Story
From Aggie Casavant (69): Fort Mill, SC

Hi Gary, Just got this story from a friend of mine in Rochester Minnesota…Hmmmmmmmmmmm?

North Dakota Ghost

This happened about a month ago just outside of Douglas, a little town in the back country of North Dakota . It sounds like an Alfred Hitchcock tale.

This out-of-state traveler was on the side of the road, hitchhiking on a real dark night in the middle of a snow storm. Time passed slowly and no cars went by. It was snowing so hard he could hardly see his hand in front of his face.

Suddenly he saw a car moving slowly, approaching and appearing ghost like in the snow. It slowly and silently crept toward him and stopped. Wanting a ride real bad the guy jumped in the car and closed the door; only then did he realize that there was nobody behind the wheel, and no sound of an engine .

Again the car crept slowly forward and the guy was terrified, too scared to think of jumping out and running. The guy saw that the car was approaching a sharp curve and, still too scared to jump out, he started to pray and began begging for his life; he was sure the ghost car would go off the road and into a nearby lake and he would drown!

But just before the curve, a shadowy figure appeared at the driver’s window and a hand reached in and turned the steering wheel, guiding the car safely around the bend. Then, just as silently, the hand disappeared through the window and the hitchhiker was alone again! Paralyzed with fear, the guy watched the hand reappear every time they reached a curve.

Finally the guy, scared to near death, had all he could take and jumped out of the car and ran and ran, into town, into Garrison. Wet and in shock, he went into a bar and voice quavering, ordered two shots of whiskey, then told everybody about his supernatural experience.

A silence enveloped and everybody got goose bumps when they realized the guy was telling the truth (and was not just some drunk).

About half an hour later two guys walked into the bar and one says to the other, ‘Look Ole, ders dat idiot that rode in our car when we wuz pushin it in the snow.’

Bob Stokes’ Biological sibblings- 1960
I thought I’d share this photo that was recently sent to me of my Dad (Bob Stokes) with his biological brothers and sisters. Their Dad, Carl Petterson, died in 1960. These pictures were taken at that time when the family was all together.
With the death of their mother shortly after dad and Margaret were born, the younger children were adopted, sent to live with neighbors, and sent to live with relatives in Canada. In their adult years they became a very close family.
Dad and Margaret (twins) were separated. Dad was adopted by the Stokes’ and Margaret was sent to Canada to live with relatives. It wasn’t until they were in their later 30’s that they met for the first time. I wasn’t at the train depot in Minot when Margaret arrived, but dad was. I remember that time well. In later years they were all back and forth a lot.
Many of you knew several of dad’s siblings.
Nels & Pete lived in Everett, WA.
Emil & Hans lived in the Bottineau area
Elvina Skoog lived in Cando
Margaret, Dad’s twin sister lived in Moose Jaw SK, Canada
Anna Dahl lived in Bisbee – Arizona in the winters
Olga Hanson Haseldahl lived in Bottineau. She was an aunt to the Morinville siblings
Lilly Gunderson lived east of Bottineau and moved to Arizona in the late 60’s.