Sebastian and Magdalena (Pfaff) Hopfauf Homestead
Near St. Anthony and Flasher, North Dakota

Photographs by Irene Frohlich Rankin, Bismarck, North Dakota, June 26, 2003

Text written by Dianne Frohlich Hopfauf, Flasher, North Dakota

Sebastian Hopfauf, born in former Catholic German village of Karlsruhe, Beresan District, South Russia (today near Odessa, Ukraine) on Sept. 15, 1854, the son of Peter and Magdalena (Ressler) Hopfauf married Magdalena Pfaff born May 23, 1858 in Karlsruhe, S. Russia, the daughter of Joseph and Anna Maria (Hopfner) Pfaff.

Sebastian and his family moved to a small village of Samuduske. In 1903 they decided to immigrate to America. Sebastian, Magdalena and their ten children arrived in America on Oct. 20, 1903. Their oldest son, Philip was sent back to Russia as he was found to have Trachoma. They spent the winter of 1903 in Mandan, ND. On July 4, 1904 they came to their homestead which was located (NW 1/4 28-136-83) which was about ten miles SW of St. Anthony, ND or 15 miles NE of Flasher, ND.

The ten children they brought with them were:

The Ten Hopfauf children   Their spouces
Philip Winschel (1880+1943) married Barbara Winschel
Eva Friesz (1882+1972) married Liborius Friesz
Anna (1883+1933) married Martin Winschel
Pauline (1885+1949) married Joseph Babel
Stanislaus (1888+1963)

married Emilia Leingang (Deceased)

2nd wife: Wilhelmina (Barth) Buckhardt

Katherine (1890+1918) married Alvenius Helbling
Perpetua (1891+1971)

married Karl Renner

2nd husband: Emil Ferderer

Peter (1895-1964) married Mathilda Kautzman
John (1897+1975) married Wilhelmina Hellman
Mathilda (1901+1985) married Louie Schafer

Philip came back to America in 1904. He applied for a homestead on the quarter adjoining his father's homestead.

The home of Sebastian was finished by Sept of 1904. They started to break land in the spring of 1905. Magdalena wanted a summer kitchen and as the men were busy breaking the sod. She started to build the building herself. She built part of the east wall of what was to become the summer Kitchen / granary. That particular wall stood well over 90 years. They also built a small lean-to onto the west side of the house, made of tall grass for shelter for their animals. All buildings on the farm are built of prairie field stone.

In 1905 they took the sod roof off the house and replaced it with a regular shingled roof. They also put a wood floor into the kitchen of the house. A 30 foot rock barn was also built southwest of the house. It caved in the 1930s.

In 1906, they built an additional room onto the east side of the house. They also built a root cellar. It was made with a dome roof and rocked out entrance. Sebastian built it by building forms and then laying sandstone which he obtained from land northwest of their own homestead. He then hammered stones in like chisels between the rocks to form the dome. After a few days he removed the forms. A layer of dirt was then put over the top. The root cellar still stands today without one rock having fallen down. An awesome sight.

Each year thereafter they added barns on to the west side of the house. One can walk from inside the house into the barns, never having to go out into the elements.

The big rock barn was constructed in 1912 with the east lean-to added in 1913 and the west lean-to in 1914. In the years of 1916, 17 and 1918, they removed the old plank and sod roofs on the long barns and built the walls two feet higher and added the present roofs.

Sebastian died May 24, 1919 at the age of 65. After his death his son John took over the farm. He married Wilhelmina Hellman from Glen Ullin in 1921. His mother Magdalena lived with them until 1936 when she moved to Mandan, ND. She died Jan 7, 1949 at the age of 90.

John and Wilhelmina raised a family of nine children:

Rose (1921+2001) married Joseph Helbling
Ann (1923- married Ralph Frank
Jacob (1924+1999) married Margaret Ferderer
Ralph (1927+1983)  
Veronica (1927-

Josephine (1931+1990) married Alphonce Stein
Hildagard (1932-

married Maynard Klos

Richard (1935-
Joseph (1936+1991) married Dianne Frohlich

In 1969, John sold his land to his son's Jacob, Richard and Joseph. Joseph married Dianne Frohlich in 1963. They lived in the rock house until 1966 when they moved a mobile home to the farm. They raised five children. Joseph and Richard farmed the land until Joseph's death in 1991.

Their children:

Brendan (1964+1987)  
Blaine (1966- married Tammy Schwede
James (1967-  
Bonnie (1968- married Robert Miller
Brianne (1984-  

In the fall of 1991, James Hopfauf moved back to the farm where he and Dianne now farm the land together. James is the 4th generation of Hopfauf’s to work the land.

Looking north view of big rock barn, built in 1912, with side lean-to's added on in 1913 and 1914. Rock house built in 1904 (looking north). The last room on the right side built in 1906.
Back side of the long house/barns. The west end of the barns of the long house/barns.
View looking north at the long house/barns. Inside view of the first summer kitchen/granaries.
View of the large rock barn and long house/barns, looking to the northwest. View of the house, first summer kitchen and smaller summer kitchen built in the 1930s.
View of the west side of the first summer kitchen/granaries built in 1905. Doorway on the farther side was the entrance to the summer kitchen. Other three doors led to small grain storage and a small shop. View showing logs above the doorway. This is the way the roofs were first built.
Inside view of summer kitchen/granary. End wall was where the summer kitchen was located. The chimney still can be seen. Part of the wall on the right side of the picture was the wall that Magdalena built by herself. South end of summer kitchen/granary.
View looking northwest of long house/barns. North end of summer kitchen showing entrance to the summer kitchen.


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