Descendants of Christian J. and Sophia Albrecht Gather in Linton
"Descendants of Christian J. and Sophia Albrecht Gather in Linton." Emmons County Record, 24 June 2004.
Descendants of Christian J. and Sophia Albrecht gather in Linton Christian J. Albrecht ("CJ") was born June 18, 1890, in Gluckstal, South Russia. Sophia Heinrich, one of 16 children, was born Aug. 8, 1896, in Wilhelmstahl, South Russia. The couple met in South Dakota where their parents lived. They were married in Mound City, S.D., on Jan. 4, 1914. Their first child was born Nov. 8, 1914. They moved to Temvik in 1917.
CJ Albrecht, as he was called, opened a drayline and creamery in Temvik. Sophia basically took care of the cream, milk and eggs when the surrounding farmers brought their products to be sold. She would candle the eggs while the farmers waited around for their egg money. CJ and Sophia soon had a family of five children. One child died during the early 1900 flu epidemic.
In the early years of married life, CJ was the pitcher on the local baseball team. Many Sundays were spent away from home playing baseball, which was his most enjoyable pastime.
Before long, a branch line of the Northern Pacific Railroad went through Temvik. CJ was kept busy at this time delivering goods to the train and picking up goods to be delivered—done, of course, by horse and the dray wagon.
It didn’t take too many years before the town had a telephone office, a railroad station, elevators to market the grain grown in the area and a mill to grind wheat into flour. At this time in history, Temvik also had a pool hall, a school, a couple of churches, a meat market and a grocery store.
When the creamery and drayline disappeared, a pioneer-type hotel with a postal service station became a busy place in town. Later, the old creamery became the post office and mail deliveries were started to rural areas.
During these earlier days, CJ became the owner of the first car, which was designed as part buggy and part automobile.
One recollection of the Albrecht children from that time was that Linton got one of those newfangled movie theaters. On Wednesday nights, black and white still movies were shown there. CJ would provide transportation for whoever wanted to attend the movie and however many would fit into their automobile. The little car would be loaded to the hilt, and one child of CJ’s would be allowed to go along to the movie. When the car traveled down the gravel road east of Temvik, everyone in the car would have to get out and push it up the hill. With this car around town and soon others, a gas station and repair shop appeared. Soon Temvik grew to have its own bank, hardware/lumber store and a second general store. Temvik was now quite a prosperous town on the prairie. One reason for its growth was the rich farmland surrounding Temvik.
As CJ and Sophia’s family continued to grow, he moved his family to the Harwood farm northeast of town. The Browns were their nearest neighbors. Here the children attended a rural school. Dorothy Brown was one of their teachers and later a Miss Larvick taught in their school. After many years, the family moved back into Temvik and pastured their animals in a large pasture on the edge of town. Hobos used to ride the train boxcars. Many times they got off the train and spent a few days in or around town, sometimes sleeping behind or in the Albrecht’s barn.
Gypsy caravans used to come through the area frequently from early spring until fall. When the gypsies were spotted on the road leading to town, the stores, bank and business establishments would lock their doors, if they had time. Often the gypsy people would get their supply of milk by going uninvited into the pasture and milking part of CJ’s herd.
In those days, when storms appeared in the sky and it looked like a tornado might strike the area, the basement of the bank became the safe refuge until the storm passed by.
The Albrecht family continued to grow, so CJ again relocated his family, this time to be full-time farmers. This move was to the Muckler farm east of Temvik. Now the family, and that meant everyone old enough to work, farmed hundreds of acres of land, milked a large number of cows, raised a herd of beef cattle, horses, hogs and every kind of poultry. They planted and harvested all kinds of farm produce, irrigating with water from an excellent well, which still operates to this day.
Hundreds of jars of garden produce, beef, poultry and pork products were canned to feed this large family. However, there were always enough garden produce and Sophia’s beautiful homegrown flowers to share with friends and relatives.
During the years on the Muckler farm, the children attended the Temvik School.
In 1947 when most of CJ’s and Sophia’s family had grown up and left home, they again moved into Temvik with the four youngest children, Ruth, Chrissie, Reinie and Arnie.
In 1949 the Albrechts moved to Bismarck. CJ passed away on January 22, 1955.
On February 11, 1961, Sophia married John Banek in Bismarck. He passed away in 1968. On June 11, 1971 she married John J. Albright. They resided in Linton. John passed away on April 16, 1985, and Sophia died on July 16, 1985.
All her life Sophia was well known for her great German foods, including kuchen. Earlier in life, she sewed all the clothes for her 17 family members.
In her sunset years she devoted her sewing talent to needlework and jewelry creations. She produced hundreds of masterpieces of knitted, crocheted and embroidered works. She made many quilts. Sophia’s creations can be seen in her descendant’s homes today.
Throughout the Albrechts’ lifetime, they had a strong faith in God. This carried them through in their journey to the USA and many other struggles of which the most difficult was losing son, Albert, in World War II on the Normandy Beach.
CJ and Sophia have a total of 259 descendants, which include 15 children, 46 grandchildren, 167 great-grandchildren and 92 great-great-grandchildren.
CJ’s and Sophia’s children, in order of birth, are:
Martha (deceased)—Married Bill Job, Linton; 8 children, 21 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren.
David (deceased)—Married June Landis, Minot; 5 daughters, 17 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren.
Emma—Married Emanuel Kiemele (deceased), Minot; 3 children, 6 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
Walter—Born July 27, 1918; died (flu) November 17, 1918.
Helen—Married Luther McHattie (deceased), Longview, Wash.; 2 sons, 4
Albert—Killed in World War II on Normandy Beach.
Alma—Born June 8, 1923; died October 23, 1923 (flu).
John (deceased)—Married Eileen Holter, Lowland, Colo.; 4 children, 10
grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren.
Pauline—Married Rieno Witikko (deceased); married Harry Anderson
(deceased), Minot; 3 children, 4 grandchildren and 2
Mathilda "Tillie" (deceased)—Married Milton Banek, Bismarck; 2
children, 4 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren.
Irene—Born February 3, 1930; died April, 1932 (heart failure).
Ruth—Married Neil Witikko (both deceased), Glenwood, Minn.; 9 children,
16 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren.
Christine "Chrissie"—Married Clem Wirtz, Mandan; 2 daughters, 6
grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren.
Reinhold "Reinie"—Married Marie Brigl, Bismarck; 4 children, 10
grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren.
Arnold "Arnie"—Married Marlene Herran, Kokomo, Ind.; 4 children and 8
Attending the June 12 Albrecht Reunion at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Linton were daughters Emma Kiemele, Helen McHattie, Pauline Anderson, Chrissie Wirtz and daughters-in-law Marie and Marlene Albrecht.
About 65 direct descendants were in attendance and 26 guests, which included 9 cousins of Sophia’s and also friends of the Albrechts from the Temvik/Linton area.
The reunion, which was hosted by the oldest grandchild, Verda (Job) Tschritter and husband, Reuben, of West Fargo, began at the Temvik Cemetery where family gathered to honor the memory of those who have passed on.
Pauline Anderson displayed a beautiful memorial display, engraved with the deceased family members’ names.
Attendees then drove around Temvik to have a glimpse of the former town. Photo stops were enjoyed along the way.
The group continued on to the Knights of Columbus Hall in Linton. Here there was a public open house, which was followed by a delicious catered family dinner. The family time was opened by Kenneth Kiemele, son of Emma, with remarks and a prayer of thanksgiving for the Albrecht legacy. Nine of CJ’s and Sophia’s family groups were present. Each family group was presented, and updates were given on their family members. Also, there was a photo and memory display table for each of the family groups.
Don Job, Martha’s son, gave the dinner blessing. Matt Walstad, Reinie’s son, blessed everyone’s heart with two solos, "The Lord’s Prayer" and "I Come to the Garden Alone," singing some of the music in the German language.
A special time was given to honor Albert, who gave his life in World War II and all family members who had served in the military service. Jessie Walstad, also Reinie’s son, who had just returned from Iraq, was also honored during the program.
Memories were shared throughout the day. Those attending the reunion enjoyed a great day of renewal and fellowship.
The family decided to repeat the Albrecht Reunion every two years. In 2006, the reunion will be held in Bismarck, with the Reinhold Albrecht family as hosts.
This article was contributed by Verda Tschritter who lives in West Fargo with her husband, Reuben. Information was gathered from CJ’s and Sophia’s living daughters.
Reprinted with permission of the Emmons County Record.