Woman Celebrates 104th Birthday
Schumacher, Jennifer J. K. "Streeter Woman Celebrates 104th Birthday." Napoleon Homestead, 11 August 1999, 1.
When Matilda (Schlenker) Dockter of Streeter, ND was born, Grover
Cleveland was President of the United States, the Civil War was
30 years old and the Wright Brothers had not taken their first airplane
Matilda recently celebrated her 104th birthday with family and
friends in Streeter.
She was born on July 31, 1895 in South Russia (Klöstitz,
Bessarabia). Her parents were John and Christina Schlenker and they
made their living by farming. When Matilda was 7 years old, she
immigrated to the United States with her parents and 7 brothers
Matilda remembers the 21-day journey across the Atlantic ocean,
"I recall that the ship was very crowded and the weather was very
bad. I also remember that everyone was very sick from the constant
motion of the ship." When Matilda's family arrived in New York,
the two youngest children in the family died and were buried in
New York. The family traveled to Kulm, ND where they stayed with
friends until they were able to build their own sod home near Gackle.
The family grew to include 13 children.
In 1915, Matilda married August Dockter and they also became farmers
and the parents of 7 children. Matilda's husband died in 1954. Matilda
has lived on her own in Streeter up until one year ago when she
moved in with her daughter, Vi Remboldt of Streeter.
Matilda admits to some medical problems but states "I don't want
to mumble or grumble." She is no longer able to do her long time
hobbies of quilting or making braid rugs, but she does enjoy visiting
and attends church every Sunday.
When asked about the secrets to her longevity, Matilda states,
"I always worked hard and kept moving." Matilda is looking forward
to turning 105 years old so she can say that she lived in 3 different
Reprinted with permission of the Napoleon Homestead, Napoleon,