In Touch with Prairie Living

February 2010

By Michael M. Miller
Germans from Russia Heritage Collection
North Dakota State University Libraries, Fargo

As I write this February column, I am looking forward to my visit in Minneapolis and meeting our Germans from Russia community, many with Dakota roots.

I will speak to the North Star Chapter of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia and the Germans from Russia Heritage Society, on Saturday, February 20, 2pm at the Berea Lutheran Church, 7538 Emerson Avenue South, Richfield, MN. My presentation is titled: “GRHC - It’s Mission and Goals.” The event is free and open to the public. For further information, go to:

Author and former North Dakota native Debra Marquart will visit NDSU on Thursday, March 4, to give a presentation, visit with students and conduct book signings. She also will make an appearance on Prairie Public Radio’s Hear It Now on Friday, March 5, from 3-4 pm (CST). On March 4 at the NDSU Alumni Center, 7-8 pm, Marquart will read from her work and discuss researching, uncovering and writing about German-Russian history for her memoir, The Horizontal World: Growing Up Wild in the Middle of Nowhere, and for an in-progress roots and travel memoir about her family’s migrations through Ukraine and Siberia, tentatively titled, Somewhere Else This Time Tomorrow: On Geographical Flight and Cultural Amnesia. Marquart, a Napoleon, ND native, received the 2009 Iowa’s Author Award. Her memoir, The Horizontal World, was awarded the 2007 PEN USA Creative Nonfiction Award. The NDSU events are sponsored by the NDSU Libraries, the Institute for Regional Studies and the North Dakota Humanities Council. For more information, visit

The GRHC has available three important new town history books recently published. The Hague, North Dakota Centennial: 1908 - 2008 prepared and edited by Katie (Glatt) Wald, provides historical information and family histories. Articles featured include: The Black Sea Germans in Russia; The Black Sea Germans in North Dakota; Recollections of Early Settlers; Life and Struggles of Our Early Settlers; The Origination of Hague; The First Arrivals; The History of St. Mary’s Church; Prairies Churches; Dutch Settlements in Our Midst and The Holland Settlement.
The GRHC also has available these books: Hague, North Dakota: History of St. Mary’s Catholic Church and the Town of Hague and Hague Area Book II: The Past 100 Years and Its People.

The new book, Timber Lake (South Dakota) and Area Centennial History: 1910 - 2010, is an impressive publication. Like the Hague area, Timber Lake had a large settlement of Germans from Russia who came from the Kutschurgan District villages of South Russia (today near Odessa, Ukraine). The book includes many family histories. Sections include: Timber Lake at a Geological Crossroads; Archaeology: Pieces of the Past; The Legacy of Homesteading: Trial and Triumphs; Timber Lake: Our Hometown for 100 Years; Trail City and Promise Still on the Map; Firesteel: A Prairie Coal Mining Town and Glencross/Germans from Russia: Three Centuries. The GRHC also has available the 75th Diamond Jubilee book for Timber Lake.

The new book, Leola, South Dakota Quasquicentennial: 1884 - 2009, includes many family histories. The book includes these sections: City of Leola, McPherson County; Townships; Businesses; Churches; Organizations; Agriculture; Memories; People of Interest; Alumni; Schools and Celebrations. Contact the GRHC, for further information regarding the Hague, Timber Lake and Leola books. The Leola area was heavily settled by Germans from Russia of the Glueckstal District colonies of South Russia (today in Moldova and southern Ukraine).

For further information about the Germans from Russia Heritage Collection, the Friends of the GRHC, the May 2010 and 2011 Journey to the Homeland Tours and donations to the GRHC (such as family histories), contact Michael M. Miller, The Libraries, NDSU Dept. #2080, PO Box 6050, Fargo, ND 58108-6050 (Telephone: 701-231-8416; Email:; the GRHC website:

February 2010 column for North Dakota and South Dakota newspapers.

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