Pioneer Family

Lacher, Marion. "Pioneer Family." Prairies 7, no. 7: June/July 1984, 23-35.

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This is a picture-story of the Lacher family, one of the early pioneer families in the Zeeland and Venturia area.

The photographs, some very old, depict a way of life that is no more. Illnesses like diphtheria raged across the land, taking its deadly toll. Voluminous dresses, necklaces with crosses hanging from women’s necks, both rich and poor harvests with antiquated machinery, such is all shown in the faces and persons of the following photos.

Weddings and happiness, death and mourning, all were part of the life that awaited the Lachers, and other families like them, because they were the vanguards of a new civilization in McIntosh County. They struggled. But they prospered too.

Sebastian Lacher was born in October 1834 in Kandel, Russia. He died in 1906 in Zeeland, North Dakota, a whole new world form that of his European birthplace. Packed in between those years was an extraordinary lifetime of uprooting, adventure, adjustments, new customs, a new country.

Sebastian was married four times. He married Rosalia Schweitzer, who was born in 1856 in Strassburg, Russia, the daughter of Marcus and Mariana Schweitzer. Rosalia was his third wife, and she died on March 28, 1905. Sebastian and Rosalia had five children: George, Anton, Anna, Mary, and Agnes. One child died. When they emigrated to McIntosh County, they were staunch members of St. John Catholic Church in Zeeland.

Sebastian’s first wife was Eva Breinister. They had three children: John, Phillip, and Scholastica. Several years later, after Eva had died, Sebastian married Margaret Frison. He and his second wife, Eva [Margaret], had two children: Sebastian and Anna Mary. Anna Mary died.

After Rosalia’s death, Sebastian married Margaretta Joachim of Strasburg, North Dakota, in the later part of 1905. Margaretta was the grandmother to Annie Joachim (Mrs. Paul) Lacher.

Sebastian and Rosalia Lacher’s graves are at St. John’s Cemetery in rural Zeeland. They had farmed near Venturia. The came to America in 1886, and as family members have expressed it, “they went through very hard times.”

Anton Lacher was born on August 10, 1882 in Kandel, Russia. He died on December 16, 1924 at Venturia, North Dakota. He married Barbara Geffre in 1902 at Leola, South Dakota. Barbara was born on February 2, 1885 in Russia and died on February 7, 1956 at Mandan, North Dakota.

Anton and Barbara farmed eight miles west of Venturia. Anton was also a tax assessor, taught rural school, and was an interpreter during court sessions when he would translate from the German language to English. They were members of St. John Catholic Church, and, later, of St. Andrew’s Catholic Church in Zeeland.

Anton died four days after their youngest daughter, Rosalia, was born. Barbara was a very courageous woman, trusting in the Lord to guide her through difficult times. For example, she carried on the family farm with her oldest sons, Sebastian, Peter, Paul, George, and Anton. In the fall of 1946, she moved to Zeeland. In her later years, Barbara was a resident of the Mandan nursing home.

Barbara and Anton had three sons in World War II. Anton Jr. was in the U.S. Army and was a member of a fight control sector of the Mediterranean Allied Coastal Air Force. He was awarded the Army Good Conduct Medal.

Rochus was in the U.S. Army. While in Germany, he was wounded and received the Purple Heart.

Pius was also in the Army, serving from December 19, 1945 to June 17, 1946. He was with Company C, 115th Infantry Training Battalion, 78th Regiment, Infantry Replacement Training Center at Camp Joseph T. Robinson, Arkansas.

Anton and Barbara had 16 children. They were all born at Venturia.

The children were:
-Theresa Lacher, born on December 2, 1904. She married Jake Braunagle, and died on June 15, 1945 at Bismarck. Jake died on May 24, 1952. They had six children: Barbara Getz, Wendelin, Alex, Angeline Harron, Elizabeth Seuferer, and James.

-Sebastian Lacher was born on March 16, 1906. He married Elizabeth Scherr. Sebastian died on March 21, 1952 at Aberdeen. They farmed near Venturia, and later operated a grocery store at Zeeland, called Lacher’s Grocery Store. After Sebastian died, Elizabeth married Endelin Fischer. She lives in Bismarck and Wendelin at St.Vincent’s Nursing Home in Bismarck. Sebastian and Elizabeth had one daughter, Barbara. Barbara married Adam Tschosik. They farmed the Anton Lacher homestead, and had six children: Arlowine Klein (Arlowine and Frank have two children, Steve and Michael), Kathleen Volk (Kathleen and Melvin have one child, Donovan), Sharon Schmidkunz (Sharon and Dean have one child, Dean Austin, Jr.) Terry married Faye Johner (they have two children, Tara and Adam), Glenn, and Dennis.

-Peter Lacher was born on August 27, 1907. He had no family. He farmed near Venturia and died on May 31, 1957 at Leola.

-Paul Lacher was born on October 16, 1908. He married Annie Joachim. They had two children, Anton and Alice. Annie and her children, Anton and Alice died in a tragic fire when their home burned in 1935. Paul later married Mary Gabriel. They had four children: Anthony, Eugene, Margie, and Linda. Paul died on May 27, 1955 at Eureka. They farmed near Zeeland.

-George Lacher was born on December 22, 1909. He married Mary Gisi. They had no children. Mary had two children prior, Louise and Mary Theresa. George died in Aberdeen on February 17, 1957.

-Katie Lacher was born on August 14, 1911. She died a little more than a year later on October 14, 1912 at Venturia.

-Katharina Lacher was born on February 16, 1913. She lived at Leola, and worked at the Leola Drug Store for 27 years. She died November 24, 1982 at Minneapolis.

-Anton Lacher was born on May 9, 1914. He married Tillie Geffre. They had nine children: Barbara Ann Harp, Richard, Ralph, Rose, Cochrane, Gladys, Marlene, James, Sharon, and Cynthia. Anton retired. They live in Tacoma, Washington.

-Michael Lacher was born on August 20, 1915. He married Mary Hardy. They lived in Aberdeen, and had seven children: Willard, Betty Feist, Leonard, Curtis, Michael, Dennis, and Donald. Michael died on November 9, 1962. Mary died on August 18, 1972, both in Aberdeen.

-Barbara A. Lacher was born on December 16. She died on September 27, 1917 at Venturia.

-Rochus Lacher (also known as Roy) was born on March 22, 1918. He married Frances Fix. They farmed at Onaka, South Dakota, and had three children: James and Marian. Frank died on August 22, 1971 at Onaka. Roy died on January 31, 1984 at Minneapolis. Frances now resides in Aberdeen.

-Barbara Lacher was born on June 30, 1919. She married Frank Jund. They had one son, Francis, and lived in Zeeland. Barbara died on October 22, 1969 in Ashley. Frank died on August 25, 1979 in Ashley. Barbara was previously married to Gust Hardy; they had one daughter, Agnes Scherr. Gust died at Hosmer, South Dakota, in 1941

-Frank Lacher was born on September 3, 1920. He married Frances Hoffman. They have three children: Wayne, Kathy Hertz, and Harley. Frank and Frances farm near Venturia.

-Pius Lacher was born on November 21, 1921. He married Mary Hulm. They have 11 children: Marian Schumacher, Juliana Ziegler, David, Gerald, Harold, Pius, Allan, Brenda, Beverly Klym, Rhonda, and Michele.

-Lawrence Lacher was born on September 16, 1923. He married Marion Weber Vefik. They have one son, Larry Alan. They reside in Ashley. Lawrence is a custodian at the Ashley public school. Marion was previously married to Abraham Vefik; they had two children, Ray and Ann Shipley.

-Rosalia Lacher (also known as Rose) was born on December 12, 1924. She married John Dietz. They are retired, and live at Linton. They have two children, Frances Crash and Anthony.

Permission to use any images from the GRHC website may be requested by contacting Michael M. Miller