New book published about a Dakota Pioneer
July 26, 2002
The Germans from Russia Heritage Collection is pleased
to publish this wonderful story including three sketches in color, Johnny Schmidt: Son of
a Dakota Pioneer. Our appreciation is extended to Omar
F. Bose, son of the author, B.A. Bose, for editing the manuscript
and allowing this heartwarming life story to be published by GRHC.
The Bose and twenty-five other families left the village of Heinrichsdorf
in the province of Volhynia, West Ukraine, arriving in the United
States in 1874. This group of German Mennonites then came to Yankton,
Dakota Territory in September, 1874. These new immigrants field
claims in Bon Homme County, northwest of Springfield.
The Introduction states: "Grandfather Benjamin Boese was born
on April 22, 1817, and he died at heinrichsdorf on November 9, 1866,
eight years before Grandmother Marie (Schmidt) Bose with her five
sons and four daughters migrated to America. Grandmother dies in
Bon Homme County in February, 1889, having endured the hardships
of pioneer life as she kept house for her youngest son Abraham,
the father of the writer of these lines and of the series of sketches
for which this will serve as something of historical background."
Omar F. Bose, son of the author, writes in the Editor's Note: To
any family member it is clear that Johnny was Ben himself. And the
family name Schmidt refers to the Boese family. Apparently Dad could
not bring himself to write in the first person singular. Perhaps
he felt that it would be showing too much vanity, and that would
never do. Reading these stories years later, I see them as reflecting
Dad's personality, in some ways apologizing for his shortcomings,
but yet sincerely trying to convey to his children and his grandchildren
some of the events and some of the color of growing up in a pioneer
Some of the sections in the book, B.A. Bose shares include: Johnny
Schmidt's childhood; being born in a log house; his mother; religion;
emphasis on frugality; dealing with Indian neighbors; learning to
read; learning High German; blizzards; country wedding; Christmas;
Easter Days; the dry years; the cream separator; politics; dog's
life on the farm; raising calves and colts; catching gophers; picking
potato bugs; a trip to the Hutterite Colony; Johnny the "Rooshian";
growing up on the farm; horsepower threshing; first automobiles;
the telephone; radio beginnings; prairie fires; a farm elevator;
boarding school; graduation at Freeman, SD; discipline problems;
and wedding in 1911.
Price of the book is $25 plus $4 postage payable to NDSU Library.
Mail to: Germans from Russia Heritage Collection, Johnny Schmidt
Book, NDSU Libraries, PO Box 5599, Fargo, ND 58105-5599.