Way It Was: The North Dakota Frontier Experience: Germans from Russia
Review by Vi Kruckenberg Schielke, Beulah, North Dakota
Tweton, D. Jerome and Everett C. Albers. The Way it Was: The North Dakota Frontier Experience: Germans from Russia Settlers. Fessenden, North Dakota: Grass Roots Press, 1999.
Vi Kruckenberg Schielke is a life member of Germans from Russia
Heritage Society and has served on the GRHS Board of Directors for
nine years in the past and continues to serve on their various committees.
Vi is co-author of Mercer County Cemetery Index published
in 1990. She is also a self-taught family genealogist and has contributed
to many published articles and family history books.
This book is 103 pages of family histories of the Germans from
Russia taken from the WPA interviews during the late 1930s. These
eighteen interviews are not just interviews as the editors took
the liberty to recast them back to first person story forms. They
did an excellent job as I read each story with interest. I felt
like I was in the room visiting with that family. The book also
includes pictures and maps.
These families settled in ten North Dakota counties including:
Wells County - Gottfried Kurtz family; Pierce County - the Balzar
Thomas and the Max Keller families; Morton County - the Philip Mosbrucker
and the Morris Weisgarber families; McIntosh County -the Gottlieb
Isaak and the Johann Miller families; Logan County -the Johann Gutschmidt
family; Foster County - the August Leitner family; Emmons County
- the Franz and Johannes Baumgartner, Jakob Fischer, and August
Flegel families; Dickey County - the Simon Hille, Christian Maier,
and John Sperling families; Cavalier County - the Spenst family.
All these counties and families makes up a diverse collection of
where they came from in Russia and their religions. All have stories
to use any images from the GRHC website may be requested
by contacting Michael