Reply from Jim Metcalfe: AZ.

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love, DeAnn

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

Hi Gary

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

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

Do you remember that Keith?

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


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


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


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


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


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

Just thought you’d enjoy. Thanks Mary K

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


Eleanor Awalt and Marshall and the girl ??? Schwabe







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


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





William & Ida Thompson Pritchard’s children:


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




Esther Thompson Tangen




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



Randy Davis and the Davis Family:

Posted by Eileen Brudwick: Fargo, ND.


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

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