Interview with Theresa (Eisenzimmer)
Conducted by Mary Jaeger Marando (MM)
September 13, 1999, Browersville, Minnesota
Transcription by Mary Jaeger Marando
Editing and proofreading by Lena Paris
MM: Do you know
for instance where your mother and dad are buried and are they
here in Browersville?
Kuntz with her daughter,
Kuntz and Mary Jaeger
Marando, Crown Point, Indiana
MM: Do you know the cemetery or
TK: Catholic cemetery.
MM: Do you know when your mother
and father got married, and where?
TK: I know I was 23 years old when they got married
in Mannheim, Russia I imagine.
TK: My dad was from Selz and my mother was from
MM: Do you know when they came to the United States?
TK: They must have come around 1909 because I was
MM: You were born in the United States.
MM: Were there other children?
TK: When they came over.
MM: Before they came over.
TK: Before they came over there was Agnes, Mary,
Rose and Eva.
MM: Do you know how they traveled into this country?
We know they took a ship.
TK: Yes, I don't know if they came to Baltimore
or New York.
MM: Did they ever tell you how they came to Devils
TK: By train.
MM: Then they stayed in Devils Lake.
TK: Her brother John Shiele was already in Devils
Lake, and her father was here too, I think.
MM: Did they leave anyone behind in Russia that
you know of?
MM: The whole family came.
TK: The whole family came.
MM: And they settled or homesteaded or farmed.
TK: No, they lived in town.
MM: They lived in Devils Lake.
TK: My dad just went to work for the railroad right
MM: Do you know when any of our ancestors left Germany
and went to Russia?
MM: Your not sure about that. Do you remember any
stories that your mother or father or grandfather told about the
German villages in Russia?
MM: You can't remember any. Did your grandparents
talk about, and did you know your grandparents?
TK: Only my grandfather.
MM: You did know your grandfather.
TK: Grandfather Raymond Schiele yes, oh yes I knew
MM: And what did grandfather Schiele do here in
the United States?
TK: When he was in the United States - besides reading
the Bible, the Holy books and preaching when the priest was not
there. He was called on quite often for the different societies
to tell them about the lives of the Saints.
MM: What were the names of the societies?
TK: They had the Ambrosia Society which was German and the St.
Anne for the women which was German. And, of course, the other
societies were English.
MM: Now Grandfather Schiele did he live in Devils
TK: Yes, he was janitor for the church of St. Joseph
in Devils Lake.
MM: And he lived there throughout his life. Do you
know when he died?
TK: It's in our book.
MM: It's in the book but he stayed in Devils Lake
all of his life.
TK: No, he didn't toward the end when he couldn't
work anymore he lived a lot with us.
TK: In fact they were shipwrecked coming to this
country. Eva was the one that worked for the priests. She was
in the water so long she got a water worm in her ear and became
deaf and kinda lame on one side, and that's how she worked all
her life for the priests.
MM: Do you recall anymore about the shipwreck?
TK: They were on the ocean three days I heard on
this island until they were picked up.
MM: Do you know what year that was?
TK: No response or a nod.
MM: Do you recall if any of that story was in any
TK: I wouldn't know about that. Raymond died in
Karlsruhe, North Dakota February 28, 1937 at the age of 86.
MM: That is correct and that is what you know.
TK: Yes, I've got a picture of his tombstone someplace.
MM: And where is he buried?
TK: Karlsruhe, North Dakota.
MM: I was there and I will go back and take another
TK: He went to his daughters the last few years,
because they figured he was having trouble with his store, people
TK: So he thought if he stayed there he could do
light chores like - testing cream, talking to German people etc.
MM: Let's take a little pause right now.
(counter at 54 but not sure I started at O at the
Theresa lets continue with some of your childhood
memories. What language did you speak at home?
TK: Both German and English.
MM: Did all the family members speak German?
MM: From the oldest to the youngest.
MM: Do you know what they called the dialect, and
did they ever say what dialect it might have been in German or
did they learn it later?
TK: Pretty much, no dialect, I thought it was High
German. Grandma could talk High German and so could I and pa,
but only when we talked to the priests.
MM: Only when you spoke with priests you talked the High German.
TK: The High German. Once a year they had to come
down for chicken dinner in the fall.
MM: What are they called in German?
TK: I cannot spell it.
MM: Do you still--
TK: My mother would say hen.
MM: Do you still speak German today with anyone?
TK: There is nobody to talk German to.
MM: Did you teach your children German?
TK: No, they can understand "dumbcopf." No, the oldest
daughter could understand a lot, but the oldest boy took German
in college, wanting to be a chemist he has a doctor's degree in
MM: And what was his name?
TK: Urban Edward had to learn German because they
claim the smartest chemists were German; so he had to learn the
German language to read and write it.
TK: He also belonged to the German choir there at
MM: Where is St. Thomas?
TK: In St. Paul.
MM: When you were a child did you have chore duties?
TK: Yes, we always had chores--wash dishes and clean
house. We had a couple cows, and a cow stepped on my mother's
foot then I had to learn how to milk.
MM: So you did learn how to milk.
TK: I did learn how to milk. She got arthritis pretty
bad in her arm and I learned how to make bread. We all had chores
to do, and all the girls always had something to do.
MM: When you were disciplined for something you
might have done wrong, how did your parents discipline you?
TK: Just scolding.
MM: You were never sent to your room like we do
TK: We didn't have enough rooms. We had one bedroom
that all the girls shared, and by the time I came along a couple
of the older ones were married.
MM: Do you have fond memories of the home you lived
TK: Oh yes.
MM: Is it still there?
TK: No, a highway went through it; so a few years
before they moved the house out.
MM: How about school memories, and did you get any
TK: I finished the 8th grade.
MM: Great! And where was that?
TK: St. Mary's Academy in Devils Lake, North Dakota.
MM: What year did you graduate or did you finish?
TK: I finished with honors - I even skipped 6th
and 7th grade.
MM: That's wonderful to know.
TK: I was in there maybe six weeks something like
that, and then I was promoted to the 7th grade.
TK: I wish that thing wasn't on--
MM: Go ahead, we can cut some of this out and we're
going to review.
TK: I wanted to quit school in the 6th grade no
matter how I studied. The Next day she never asked what was in
the book; I got so I bawled. I wanted to quit school because it
wasn't in the book no matter how many. Dad said 10 o'clock was
bedtime and that's it for the kids. My parents wouldn't let me
quit school. After about six weeks or so she put me into the 7th
grade if I could keep up with the class or not. She says, "now
you know why I was so hard on you", but you know no matter
what I studied in the book she never asked what I had studied.
MM: Do you know or remember her name? (Sister Akquin)
TK: No, I think she quit. Either she left the order
there and went to a different order but anyway I can't really
remember. You know it's funny, but I can't remember some of their
names. I can remember Oliver and Akquin, but some of them--I think
it was Sister Eugene but I am not positive.
MM: What were the years when you were in school?
TK: Well I suppose I started when I was six.
MM: Now when you were in school were they speaking
English or did they speak German?
MM: All English.
TK: All English.
MM: Were there other students of other nationalities
in school or were they mostly German?
TK: Oh no, we had all nationalities; we even had
a couple that were Lutheran that were going to the parochial school.
MM: Do you have any special childhood memories to
share with us?
TK: No, all I can remember is walking to school
a mile and a half every morning and going back.
MM: Did you do things along the way when you walked
TK: In the wintertime we had a great big shepherd
dog that my mother hitched to a sled and we sat on it and the
dog took us to school. When it was time to come home she hitched
him to the sled, and told him to get the kids. Later we had to
get rid of the dog because he couldn't stand Indians. If an Indian
went by on the highway the dog went wild.
MM: My goodness!
TK: Anybody except an Indian, he couldn't stand
them, so we had to give the dog to a farmer who said, "That
was the best cattle dog he ever had." He would say, "Go
get the cattle" and the dog would go. I said it was used
to hearing "Go get the kids."
MM: So he just went out an got the kids.
TK: It was just a beautiful dog.
MM: Did you have any other pets as a child?
TK: Yes, we had a little rat terrier and a canary.
MM: Do you remember any games that you played as
a young child; some old-time games?
TK: We played ball.
MM: Like baseball.
TK: Yes, run sheep run and hide and seek the same
as everybody else.
MM: Were there baseball teams amongst the kids in
MM: Not like today where you have little league
TK: No, we more or less just played with the girls.
If we got into a fight with the boys we had to fight our own battles
and we could do it too.
MM: Well you had no brothers.
TK: That's it, we had to stand our own grounds.
MM: Now for religion, you always went to the Catholic
TK: Catholic, right.
MM: Sundays and all the holidays.
TK: Right, and all every time at school too.
MM: In your days in Devils Lake there was, of course,
an organized church right there in the city.
MM: What was the name of the church?
TK: St. Joseph Church.
MM: The one that is there today.
TK: I just heard that they just done a refinishing
job on it.
MM: It’s beautiful.
TK: That's what I heard and have you seen it lately?
TK: I was told I should go and see it.
MM: Yes, you should take a ride up there.
TK: The one from Minot stopped in there and she
thought it’s beautiful as they had redone it. I am well
acquainted with that church; as I had to go and dust every Saturday
MM: That was another chore of yours - from the school.
TK: No, my grandfather was janitor at the church,
and every Saturday morning we went and helped dust the church.
We'd scrub the halls in the meeting halls in the basement.
MM: So your grandpa Raymond was the janitor at the
TK: That's right.
MM: Do you recall for how many years?
TK: As far as I know from the time he got to America
until he was too old and retired.
MM: I've never heard that from anyone - that is
TK: When he was sick and was just a kid, I fired
that furnace and watched those gauges. My dad showed me what I
had to watch, and when I had to let out the steam.
MM: So they had a boiler system.
TK: Yes, it’s a big church.
MM: That is a big church.
TK: Sometimes you'd walk in there in the morning
and they'd ship a casket in overnight on the train in those days.
Didn't know it was going to be there and you'd unlock the doors
go in and took a double. I never opened one, but one day my sister
Eva, the oldest one, had to see who it was. I wouldn't open them,
but she did to see, not me.
MM: When the train came in they would leave the
casket in the church.
MM: They had no funeral home.
TK: They had a funeral home but evidently they were
done up either in Southam or Crary, but they would be shipped
into Devils Lake in order to be buried from the church.
MM: In church what language did they use at Mass?
TK: English. They had German sermons every Sunday
morning from 10 am to 10:30 a.m. They would have a German sermon
for those that wanted to go in and listen. If they didn't want
to go in they didn't have to, but then at 10:30 a.m. the regular
high Mass would start and that would be in English.
MM: Did your father and grandfather prefer the German?
TK: Grandfather preferred all German.
MM: He preferred all German, and could he speak
TK: I don't think he ever did, if he did I never
heard it, because one young priest came from the cloister, newly
ordained was giving grandpa a hard time. He said, "there
were seven commandments of the church." Grandpa said there
are six. There are seven, there's a new one. There are seven commandments
of the church; now do you know the seventh commandment of the
church and he kept this up for several weeks. Whether he found
that, you always have your nose in the books which is true--always
reading. But grandpa says there are six and you know there are
only six. The priest said, "no there's seven they made a
new one." Finally, grandpa got tired of it and said, "I
know the seventh one but I know you don't know it, otherwise you
wouldn't be asking me all the time." I know it, but I know
you don't. He said, "I'm going to tell you what it is anyway."
You shouldn't try to make a fool out of an old man. And you know
something, he never came back to bother him anymore.
MM: Do you remember the priest’s name?
TK: No, he was there just temporary, newly ordained.
They couldn't put anything over on him as far as reading scripture
or the lives of the saints. He was always reading that was his
MM: Did he read you stories as a child?
TK: We heard a lot of those stories, and even learned
night prayers all in German.
MM: Can you say one for me?
TK: I will.
MM: Let me make sure the tapes running.
TK: Because this one just went to Germany. The women
from Germany never heard it before and they thought it was pretty.
(I cannot transcribe 274-278)
MM: I don't know what you said, but I thank you
it sounds beautiful. Can you say it in English?
TK: I'll try. Now I want to go to sleep, fourteen
angels my guard to keep, two to my head, two to my feet, two to
my right side, two to my left, two to wake me, two to cover me,
two to lead me to heaven. I was translating one day for her daughter
who works for Fishers Landing by East Grand Forks. These German
women were in there from Germany, and she told them this translated
in English and that I taught it to her, but in German which she
can't speak. They took it down, they are going back and they never
heard such pretty night prayer in German, and are taking it back
MM: That is just beautiful and I hope I hear real
well to translate it.
TK: We even had a prayer station. Instead of saying
stations just say the whole thing in a prayer.
MM: In a prayer, can you do that--we'd love to have
it on tape?
TK: Vi--I cannot translate (303 © 329)-- Now
that's when he died that the earth got dark and all the bells
on earth stopped ringing. Everything was dark when he died. Instead
of saying the stations you say that prayer. Did you understand
any of it?
MM: No, do you understand a little of it?
TK: Now you see when we prayed we didn't pray in
our German; we prayed in the priest’s language the way they
talked and the way they prayed.
MM: In German but this is not what they would be
saying. Holidays and festivals, I've heard that names days were
very important--more than birthdays.
TK: Yes they were.
MM: What did you do in your little family you know--with
seven girls and how did that work in your family?
TK: We didn't celebrate birthdays at all. Name day
the older people celebrated name day whenever anyone’s name
came up, all the neighbors came to celebrate that night.
MM: On that night, they didn't wait for the weekend.
TK: No, they came on the day of name day, but they
were all working people so when it hit 10 o'clock they'd all go
home. But they would sit around and they'd sing and sometimes
one of them would play an accordion or violin, and then they would
dance around the kitchen floor a few times or so and they'd sing.
MM: As children did you get to do that for your--or
was that an adult event?
TK: That was just adults that would do that.
MM: So as children you really didn't have a birthday
party or a name day party, like we know it today?
TK: Mom baked a cake and that was it. There was
MM: How about Christmas?
TK: We always celebrated Christmas and always had
a Christmas tree.
MM: Did you have any special foods that you ate
on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?
TK: Well, that I don't remember whether we did or
not. Food was always plentiful in our house.
MM: Now I don't know the words - Belzenickel
TK: Belzenickel. They took some old furry coat turned
inside out or old trimmed oxen or whatever. It was the homeliest
looking coat they could find turned inside out; they'd dye it
and crawl around like he was a bear. This would scare the kids.
I got scared and crawled under the bed when they came with Christkindel.
One dressed as a donkey and one as the Christkindel and they would
give you your toys. Once in a while they would bring this Belzenickel
in and, of course, he would try to scare the kids and take their
toys away that they got for Christmas from the Christkindel. One
year I crawled under the bed and he was coming after me - I discovered
it was the neighbor.
MM: Did they come around Christmas Day?
TK: No, the came Christmas Eve. A few years later
I happen to go along and be one of those that brought the Christkindel
from door-to-door, and they'd be ringing the bell, and whoever
wanted to let them in to give the kids their gifts they would
bring them in. They'd have Christkindel instead of a Santa Claus.
MM: Were you ever a Christkindel?
TK: No, I wasn't a Christkindel, but I was leading
her or the donkey one or the other and putting things together
making Christkindel garments. In fact, I made her a doll one time
that was dressed like a Christkindel.
MM: Do you have it?
TK: Yes, in my Christmas stuff. Did you ever see
TK: Well, you take a girl who was dressed in a long
white dress. She'd be all in white and then you take a man's white
hat and you cover it. You'd sew all different colored long ribbons
all the way around the hat on the edge. The crown of the hat and
brim would all be covered with tinsel. After the ribbons were
sewed on you would hang tinsel around this which was a veil, a
lace curtain that went around. And the ribbons were sewed onto
that, and tinsel draped around it which was very glamorous looking.
MM: When did that end, and do you recall maybe in
TK: They still had them one year when we lived in--so
I would have been six or seven years old the year would be about
MM: So in 1934 they still had them.
TK: They still had one that year because when they
came in they happened to come in the back door that year for some
reason or other - it was closer to where they lived. I know the
youngest one of mine, William, ran into the bedroom. (like mother
like son) Well, I only went when the Belzenickel came, not the
Christkindel. Of course, they had one that was made up like a
donkey. It had a wooden head with a clapper; he would open his
mouth and would try to get the candy or cookies out of the kids'
bags. And, of course, they hadn't said one word, they gave the
Christkindel a bunch of reeds and she was supposed to hit the
kids when they were mean or pick them up and lick them. One year
my sister, Mary, was with Christkindel and, of course, I knew
her because she was in her regular and she said, "give her
a licken because she couldn't lick me." She was going to
have me picked up, and I just grabbed the chair and held it and
when they tried to scratch they gave up. They weren't going to
MM: They should have known better--you were too
TK: I was strong.
MM: You had to stoke that furnace, probably take
TK: And rang the church bells; that was hard not
ringing the church bells. But tolling for a funeral pulling that
rope down I'd have to hang on for dear life; so it wouldn't bong.
That was hard.
MM: And that was at St. Joseph.
MM: How about Easter?
TK: We had lots of fun dying Easter eggs.
MM: You did dye eggs. How was it done, and what
did you use for coloring?
TK: We bought the stuff.
MM: When your family members were married, did you
have a wedding reception like we know it today?
MM: What festivities did you have?
TK: We had a big dinner and then they danced and
MM: Did they rent a hall or did they use--
TK: In our home we had a big kitchen, and they took
everything out and they danced. They pulled a cook car into the
yard to do the cooking.
MM: Into the yard, I heard about a cook car just
the other day. I didn't know about a cook car. Did they give the
bride and groom money and did they have money dances?
TK: They did give money to the bride and groom when
they danced with them.
MM: They did have a special dance.
MM: Did wedding guests sing songs in German?
TK: Most of the time.
MM: All your sisters, their spouses and yourself.
TK: The two younger ones didn't because they were
married in Grand Forks, and I wasn't at their wedding.
MM: The two youngest.
MM: But all the other five--
TK: The older ones I really don't remember much
of them, but I remember Rose and her wedding, but the others I
don't. They got married in Grand Forks while I was in Devils Lake;
so I didn't see much of them.
MM: But the other weddings in town were all kind
of the same.
TK: All about the same. Some of then just went to
church and got married and left, and didn't have any celebration,
but the majority of them had their wedding dinners at home.
MM: What about a shivery?
TK: We didn't have a shivery, but they usually came
and tried to steal the bride and make the man pay to get her back.
It was just a game.
MM: What foods and drinks were there and was alcohol served?
TK: There was prohibition and my dad did not drink,
but somebody came and did bring a gallon of moonshine to the wedding.
MM: Your wedding.
TK: There was no drinking. The chief of police was
there and I danced with him, and he squeezed $5.00 into my hand.
In those days $5.00 was a lot of money.
MM: Who was chief of police at that time?
TK: Pete Timble, a great big tall heavy set guy.
He and his girlfriend came to the wedding. They weren't invited
but they came.
MM: Maybe he brought the moonshine.
TK: No, somebody from out west came and with a gallon
of moonshine, because my dad was a teetotaller; he didn't believe
in it and didn't smoke either.
MM: Did they get away with it then, and did everybody
have a little bit of the moonshine?
TK: Yes, they did.
MM: So he didn't stop it even though he didn't like
TK: No, and the cop knew it, but he didn't because
he knew the family and knew they weren't the dealers.
MM: What was the normal dress for that time, and
was it the long white dresses like we have now?
TK: Not really, I wore a short dress about mid calf
MM: Did you make your dress?
TK: No, I bought it. The veil was kind of embroidered
and also bought.
MM: Did your husband have a big bow, and what did
they call it?
TK: A corsage.
MM: That is the wedding picture up there over to
the -- and when did you get married?
TK: At 27 years of age.
MM: You were kind of a modern bride, and what a beautiful head
TK: Seventy years ago, seventy-two now.
MM: Did anyone in your family play musical instruments?
TK: We had an organ and we played around on it.
MM: You had an organ in the home?
MM: But you learned on your own, nobody actually
TK: No, we didn't take lessons.
MM: And no one knew how to play as far as you know.
TK: Yes. ??? Pretty good.
MM: Did your mom or dad play the organ?
TK: No, they loved music and loved to sing.
MM: So in the winter did you sit around and play.
Did Eva play?
TK: Yes, she played. We had a thing you put on the
keyboard then we had the music that we could follow and play;
so we all had a chance at it. We all fiddled with it.
MM: Do you have a favorite song?
TK: Then later on we had a piano. When we were married
we got a piano. Eva has the piano now.
MM: Do you play?
TK: I took lessons, but lately I haven't played
MM: But you have a musical background.
TK: I raised a family instead, and when somebody
was sleeping you didn't play the piano.
MM: Do you have a favorite song in German or English,
and could you sing us a little?
TK: I don't sing anymore because I'm too short of
MM: But you did sing?
MM: And you had favorite German songs that you sang.
TK: Yes, I belonged to the German church choir.
MM: At St. Josephs?
TK: Yes, I sang at stations and, of course, we sang
the latin for benediction. If they got together with a bunch of
relatives all you heard all night were German songs. Old fashioned
German songs they danced to.
MM: And you were laying upstairs with your ear to
TK: She speaks German, I cannot translate (671-673)
remember that (676 tape out) think I missed the song --maybe go
to the small tape and see if it is on
------------------------side two 678-----------------------------------
MM: How about superstitions, and did they have superstition?
TK: No, we weren't taught any of that - to be scared
MM: They sometimes called it the Brauche, folk medicine
where a lady in town who healed with herbs.
TK: No, but I do know one which would have been
a cousin of my husbands who had a little boy when he was born
that his whole forehead was black. The doctors wouldn't do anything
about it; they said the couldn't remove the birthmark. It was
hideous. So and old lady told them that if they had a woman that
has her first baby to take the afterbirth and put it across the
forehead with three holy names that birthmark will go away. The
woman across the street had her first born child, and they took
the afterbirth and put it on the birthmark that disappeared completely.
MM: That's the story now that you heard. Joseph
Kurtz is the boys name they took the birthmark off.
TK: Yes, K.U.R.T.Z.
MM: Who was the lady that suggested that?
TK: I don't know who the lady was who suggested
MM: But in Devils Lake.
TK: Yes, in Devils Lake.
MM: Do you know what year that was?
TK: I know it was a Stephan girl, but she was a
Stephan before she was married. I don't even know what her married
name was, but when she had her first baby that was the afterbirth
MM: And it worked.
TK: It worked, and there was another old one they
had, but it doesn't make for nice reading. You know little children
do get worms, and they said the child had worms. You take an oak
board and get it nice and warm then using a flannel diaper set
the baby on it and all of the worms will go into the wood. I tried
it and it worked and that was the end. No more worms after that.
I told that to one of the ladies; in fact the one that was here
yesterday. She said, "I wish you had told us that years and
years ago." She had six or eight children and everyone of
her children had it she said, "they spent more money for
medicine." My oldest boy had it and that's what I done--it
came from an old lady. You sometimes think they are wives tales,
but it worked.
MM: They were called Brauche.
TK: Yes, Brauche.
MM: The lady was given that title.
TK: No, I didn't know anybody that had that title.
We had a neighbor lady, and my hands were full of warts and she
said next time there is a new moon you come on over and I'll get
rid of those for you. Now I forgot about it, but they called me
and she took me out and just put my hands out, and put three holy
names over them. I don't know what else she said, but about a
week or two later I never had a wart on my hands.
MM: So they did work.
TK: but they always had to use the three holy names
and it worked. I know aunt Nellie knows the kid to whom it was
done, and there wasn't a scar left on his forehead. The doctors
wouldn't touch it.
MM: Do you know any other stories about things like
TK: Those I know that worked. I had a ringworm on
my hand and my godmother saw it one day when I was in the store
and she said, "Just a minute you have a ringworm there."
She got out a thimble and turned it three times around with the
three holy names, and after a few days I didn't have that ringworm
MM: Is there one you eat the flesh or do not eat the flesh of
TK: Yes, German (756) first one was don't, but I
can't remember the first part.
MM: Maybe later you'll think of it.
TK: I used to know it.
MM: And you used to say it, do it?
TK: I never done it but I heard a lot of it that
was done, and I knew what the saying was because my mother-in-law
used it on my husband's leg with a ringworm one time and it worked.
MM: How about family values? What family member
do you best remember, or who was special to you?
TK: I remember my grandfather because he was special
to us, and his sister who used to come and stay with us quite
MM: And who was that?
TK: Well, her married name was Burchard. Her first
name was Nellie and she was a sister to Grandpa Schiele.
MM: But she was Nellie Burchard.
TK: Well yes, that was her married name. Her husband
was dead at the time.
MM: Do you know his name?
TK: All I knew it was Burchard.
MM: But she lived in Devils Lake.
TK: No, she lived on the farm with her son.
MM: And where was the farm?
TK: Around Southam someplace, but she used to come
and stay with us and was always sitting and making braided rugs
with old clothes by tearing strips and braiding rugs.
MM: Did the grandfather have any more sisters or
TK: That's the only one that I got to know.
MM: That you ever heard of.
TK: In fact her son, in later years, lived right
through the alley from me. It took me years before I ever knew
that he was a son to her.
MM: What was his name?
TK: Frank Burchard. There were two Frank Burkhards
in that town.
MM: Who did Frank marry?
TK: I don't know who his first wife was, and I don't
know what the second wife's name was.
MM: But they lived near you when you were married?
TK: Right across the alley from us. Aunt Theresa's
brother was also a Frank Burchard; they were two different families.
MM: Who was Aunt Theresa?
TK: She was the wife of my mother's brother, John
Schiele. You know John Schiele my mother's brother married Theresa
MM: So this John Schiele was married to a Theresa
TK: She was my godmother.
MM: Where were you married?
TK: St. Josephs in Devils Lake.
MM: Did any women homestead that you know of? Did
women in your time work outside the home?
TK: Some went out and did housework, but that's
about it as far as the German women were concerned, but most just
stayed home and raised families. They all had big gardens in the
MM: Did they can?
TK: Oh yes.
MM: Did they smoke their meats, even in town?
TK: Yes, in fact my father when they lived in Grand
Forks smoked the hams and cured them for the butcher who had a
meat market and grocery store on Washington Avenue on University.
MM: So your grandfather was the supplier of smoked
TK: No, my father did that for George Kuntz. He
just did it for the butchers private family. The butcher smoked
hams but he wanted some for Easter and asked my dad to cure ham
MM: Do you have anybody who smokes hams? How about
German foods, do you remember any favorite German food that your
mother might have made?
TK: My mother did a lot of fancy cooking, but we
never really gave them names--we ate it. When it came to baking,
she was a wonderful cook and wonderful bake.
MM: Do you cook like her today or did you?
TK: Well some, but I sorta got used to what my husband
wanted. He liked the way she cooked because when he first moved
to Grand Forks he stayed with them. He always said she--