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Oster Family, Beulah/Hazen area, North Dakota

By Shelley Marie Oster Myatt, Anchorage, Alaska


When I was a little girl, my grandmother told me many stories of growing up on the plains of North Dakota (five miles from their nearest neighbor). She also repeated some stories she remembered her mother telling her. She also made wonderful kase kuchen, blachinda, and fleischkeuchle for which she gave me recipes. I also loved my Dad's favorite cookies (Oatmeal-Date Cookies).

I met many relatives on family trips to North and South Dakota in the 50's and 60's - most were still around Beulah and Hazen where my Dad grew up. I have really appreciated learning about my grandfather's family from Victor Knell's "Yesterdays and Today: An Oster History." When my dad passed away in 2005 and I was helping my mother find some legal papers, we came across a letter from someone who was researching my grandmother's family. However, the letter was misplaced and I do not recall the name of the lady who sent it. I am submitting the following limited information that do I have in the hope that someone may have some stories or other information to help me to better know the Kraft side of the family:

The earliest information I remember from Grandma's stories was that my great, great grandfather Kraft was from Germany, but went to Russia as a member of Catherine the Great's army. When he married my great, great grandmother, he was disinherited. (My grandmother never explained whether it had to do with religion or social issues - I am sure she thought I was too young to understand--but I have often wondered why this might have occurred.) In any case, one of the sons was John Kraft who married Cathrin Almer (or maybe Katherina Allmer) in Russia before immigrating to the United States around 1900. Before they left Russia, they had a daughter named Pauline who later married Edward Lennick (one of their daughters was Edna-married to Herbert Christain Rasch Oct. 1 1939; Pauline and Edward's sons were Otto M. and Oscar E. Lennick).

According to my Dad's sister, the Kraft family may have immigrated on the same ship as the Johann Oster family, the Dornbeshker. My Aunt Jan does recall that Grandfather John Kraft worked on a cattle ship for passage, that his wife came over in steerage and their second child was born on this trip (Lydia, who was married Otto Lennick--brother of Edward Lennick).

My grandmother, Emma Kraft was born May 11, 1908 in Otter Creek, Oliver County, ND. Grandma also had a younger sister and brother, Bertha and John. I recall Grandma telling me that her dad died when she was quite young and that her mother remarried. I do not know what his name was or if there were any more children born of this subsequent marriage.

Grandma married Fred Christian Oster (b. May 12, 1904 in Manhaven, Mercer, ND to John Oster and Rosina Foudt Oster). They had three children: Reuben John Oster, Donald Oster, and Janice Oster (Samuels). While my Dad was away in the army during WW II, my grandparents relocated to Gladstone, Oregon (near Portland).

Shelley Marie Oster Myatt
Anchorage, Alaska

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