Walter Essig will be 100 years old on October 31, 2007
at Walter ssig's 100th birthday on October 31, 2007 at Bismarck,
North Dakota. Walter Essig sitting with his Children (left
to right): Kay, argaret, Robert and James.
Text prepared by Margaret Aman Freeman, Redondo Beach, California,
longtime colleague and friend of Walter and Alice Riedlinger Essig
When contacted this week, Walter said that he seemed to be able
to do nothing about his age or the length of his life, so he is
relaxing and just allowing it to take its course.
He was born on the Essig family homestead, went to high school
in McClusky, ND, and had an office job (banking, and he also taught
school) when he and Alice were married in 1931. Then he took over
the farm from his parents and his parents lived with them while
At the age of 14, he found his first arrowhead on the old Indian
Trail between Bismarck and Devils Lake, and then later found many
things lost as the Indians traveled that route. He was aware of
railroad routes as they were built to service the farmers, adding
he did not know much about them because his work never had anything
to do with the railroads.
When he and Alice moved to Bismarck, having sold their farm to
buy their house, they both became very involved with the Germans
from Russia. Alice donated her services in the office for the early
years, where she personally annotated her own copies of Jubilee
Books and many obituaries by listing several earlier generations.
Walt recalls that as a labor of pleasure for them both.
Walt and Alice had four children: Bob, Jim, Kay Bennett, and Margaret
Pretzer. They were married for 66 years before Alice's death in
1997. Walter's descendants include 13 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren,
and 4 great-great-grandchildren.
Walter maintains he is just a plain North Dakota dirt farmer, adding
that there was nothing special, just an enjoyable life, farming
the North Dakota dirt.
Happy Birthday, Walter Essig!
If you wish to send birthday greetings, the address is:
1453 12th Street North
Bismarck, ND 58501.