Arthur E. & Cleora Reuscher Flegel
Menlo Park, California
Germans from Russia Heritage Collection,
North Dakota State University Libraries, Fargo, copyright 2001,
produced by ROAD Show Productions, Fargo, ND, 81 minutes, DVD
The Germans from Russia Heritage Collection is pleased to present
the first videotape of the Oral History Interview Series: "Arthur
E. & Cleora Reuscher Flegel."
As acknowledgment for his raising the funds and overseeing the
printing of the famous book, The Emigration from Germany to Russia
in the Years 1763-1862, by Dr. Karl Stumpp in 1971, his creation
and development of the obituary and genealogy card files used by
the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, and serving
the organization in various capacities since its inception in 1968,
as well as the president of AHSGR from 1981 to 1984, Arthur E. Flegel
received the International Distinguished Service Award in 1992.
His father was born in Kulm, Bessarabia, and his mother at Lilienfeld,
North Caucaus. Arthur's parents came from the North Caucasus to
North Dakota in 1899 where he was born at Bentley near New Leipzig
in 1917. In 1920, the family left North Dakota and Arthur grew up
in Colorado and Kansas, joined the J.C. Penny Company at Loveland,
CO in 1934, and was transferred by the company to Stockton, CA in
During World War II, Arthur served in the Coastal Artillery Corps
at Ft. Bliss, TX. Following military service, he began the furniture
business and in 1954 he opened his own furniture store in Menlo
Cleora's ancestor, Philipp Reuscher, was one of the initial settlers
Norka on the Volga River in 1766. Her great grandfather immigrated
to the USA in 1875, settled for a time in Ohio, then Nebraska, and
finally Kansas in 1884 as wheat farmers. In 1920, when Cleora was
age two, the family moved to Lodi, CA, to become vineyardists.
Cleora Reuscher met Arthur Flegel at Stockton in 1938, and they
were married in 1940. Their union was blessed with three sons, Robert, an insurance executive;
Mark, president of Flegel's Home Furnishings; and John, an attorney.
Since early youth, Arthur has been absorbed with the question of
why and under what conditions his ancestors migrated from Germany
to Russia. While at times researching his unique history was frustrating,
it was, nevertheless, rewarding and resulted in his amassing a substantial
library on Germans from Russia and East European Germans.
He is a certified genealogist. The obituary
and genealogy files he established have helped countless people
tracing their roots. With his wife, Cleora, he published the Reuscher-Schnell
Kinship book in 1975, and his own Flegel-Pflugrath Kinship
book in 1978. The publication of his compilation of 25,000 names
in a book entitled, "5,000 Families of Kulm, Leipzig, and Tarutino
in Bessarabia: 1814-1940," is in process for completion.
Arthur E. and Cleora Reuscher Flegel were major donors for the
1999 award-winning documentary, The Germans from Russia: Children
of the Steppe, Children of the Prairie.
(left to right): Michael M.
Miller, Cleora Reuscher Flegel & Arthur E. Flegel presented
Prairie Public Broadcasting "Donor's Edition" Germans
from Russia videotape & plaque for their major financial
contribution, Menlo Park, California, 25 February 1999.
Arthur E. & Cleora Reuscher Flegel Interview
DVD is $25.00 plus Shipping & Handling