Interview with Jacob Schilling (JS)
Bowdle, South Dakota
Conducted by Betty Maier (BM)
6 August, 1998, Bowdle, South Dakota
Transcription by Acacia Jonas
Editing and proofreading by Jane Trygg
BM: It’s a pleasure to have
with us today, Jacob Schilling and we are in Bowdle, South Dakota.
We brought with us some of his relatives from Wishek, North Dakota.
The two ladies that are with us; one is Ida Meidinger and her
maiden name was Schilling and Christina Otmar and she was a Schilling.
The two ladies are sisters and both live in Wishek. They came
with us today to do the interview with Jacob. The first thing
we are going to ask is your name, birth date and where you were
JS: Do I have to answer that?
JS: I was born about 16 miles southwest
of Wishek, North Dakota on my folks’ first homestead, September
BM: What were your mother and father’s
JS: Johann and Rosina and her maiden
name was Kessler.
BM: They homesteaded near Wishek?
JS: Near Wishek. Yeah.
BM: You said your father was born
JS: Gluckstel 18
BM: And your mother?
JS: Also in Gluckstel 20
BM: So do you know when they came
JS: Yeah...no, no. They were born
BM: Both your parents died and
where are they buried?
JS: In Hosmer, South Dakota.
BM: In what cemetery?
JS: St. John’s Lutheran Cemetery.
Wait a minute that’s ours. I think 26
BM: The Hosmer Lutheran Cemetery?
JS: Hosmer Lutheran Cemetery...make
it that way.
BM: Do you remember when your father
JS: December 8, 1872.
BM: Do you remember when your mother
JS: June 18, 1873.
BM: How many brothers and sisters
did you have?
JS: I have got five sisters and
two brothers. They are all gone except one, Maggie is still living.
That is the picture up there.
BM: Can you name them; from the
JS: The two oldest ones died in
infancy. I knew how they died but I just can’t remember;
it was in just a few days that they died. It was Rosina on August,
date I don’t know. The next was Katarina and she was born
February 12, 1900, the same as my wife except my wife was ten
BM: And the next one after Rosina
JS: Yep, I was born September 8,
1901. Then Christina was born May 2, 1900. Magdalena was born
September 15, 1907. Rosina was the youngest; she was born on December
BM: Is Rosina still living?
BM: Which one is living yet?
JS: See the oldest was Rosina being
she died so early then they also named the youngest one Rosina,
IM or CO: Magdalena is still living.
JS: She’s in the nursing
BM: How old is she now, Christina.
JS: She’s in a wheel chair.
BM: No, how old is she?
JS: Oh how old? She is born 1907;
she is just six years and a week younger than I am.
BM: So she is almost 90 years old
JS: Six years. She’s younger.
BM: Do you remember what year your
parents came to America?
BM: What year?
JS: May 12, 1898 they came to Eureka.
BM: How did they get over here
from Russia? Did they come on a ship?
JS: They came from horse and wagon
up to the railroad town there 67. From there they went on train
up to the German border. First in Russia then in Germany to that
German sea port.
BM: Bremerton? No.
IM or CO: 71
BM: That’s all right. We’ll
ad that later if we find out or you remember.
JS: Humberg, Germany from there
they went to New York.
BM: Then from New York they came
JS: Train, yeah. Now can I put
a funny thing in?
BM: You go ahead.
JS: When they asked where they
wanted to go in the English language they said, “The higher
77, then they went. Then the German guy came and said well what
do you mean 77-80.
BM: And that was the end of the
JS: And then the Gott’s,
Aunt and Uncle Joseph Gott, picked them up there. Then they were
around here all there lives. Of course from North Dakota down
to South Dakota and then over to Hosmer in the retirement. Mother
passed away in the Aberdeen hospital. My youngest sister lived
in Aberdeen and she was with her the few weeks or so. Then they
put her in a hospital and there she passed away. She’s buried
in the Hosmer Lutheran Cemetery.
BM: Do you remember what year she
BM: And your father, when did he
JS: April 1, 1938.
BM: So he died quite a bit earlier
and she was a widow for quite a well.
JS: Yes, for quite awhile.
BM: Do you remember anything as
JS: Childhood? Well the first thing
I remember was in South Dakota, I can’t remember anything
from North Dakota.
BM: How old were you?
JS: Well it was in the fall of
1903 when they moved down here. 98-99. Then they sold out. So
he sold that homestead to Mr. Kasman 100 and a fellow named Sprenger.
There was nothing on it but an old dilapidated barn and house
built out of sod. That was full of bed bugs. My dad was a very
particular 106. Then in the spring, Christina was born in 1904
then we started making an adobe house. Do you know what adobe
JS: We made it, me, my dad and
mother. We made blocks that year.
JS: Yeah, mud bricks. 111
BM: Do you remember how they made
those mud bricks?
JS: You bet. They were made; I
was just a little nut, so my dad, two horses and I mixed the mud.
One of us pumped the water at that kind of way with two wooden
buckets and a roll on top. The cellar valve beside and a great
mud hole beside it; she bucketed water out and dumped it in there.
When me, my dad and the two horses went around trimmed that mud
up and there was some straw mixed in for fiber to hold the blocks
together. 120 So we mixed out and put it on a pile so it kind
of sticky for a few days. Then they took them and put them in
these molds. Molds that were 12 inches wide and 24 inches long
and about 6 inches this way. 125 They were so darn heavy. They
put up the house. Well that was that, and it was up there until
1909. Then my dad was not satisfied we had one quarter of land
way down about 2 miles and we had some other relative up in Glen
Ulin, North Dakota, Schillings, also cousins to my dad. They communicated
to each other by letters. Up in Glen Ulin they got 135 and that
kind of interested my dad. He was going to intentionally go up
there selling this. When he told that to Uncle Gobb and Aunt Christina,
sister and brother-in-law, they didn’t want him to leave
here. They made him a deal to trade some land to a different farm,
so we got closer to this other that we already discussed. I still
have that piece of land. So we made a trade and we moved a mile
southeast where I still have the land. So we went along and as
BM: Built a house?
JS: Down on the other farm he built
a house. The house in 1913 and the barn in 1922.
BM: What year is that tractor?
JS: That was a 150 and I think
I bought it in 1920. The truck I bought it before, it was a Ford
truck. That windmill back there is a power windmill that’s
one to grind feed. This one up in front is the pumper and the
well. The well is 252 feet deep.
BM: Wow, you had to go along ways.
JS: Yeah, we had shallow water
but it was quick sand 155. Soapstone it was about 6 feet 6 and
under this was blue clay. If you get on that stuff you couldn’t
stand on it you would go right on through it. Some called it chalkstone.
When it got out in the air it dried like lye, but when it’s
wet it’s just like quicksand.
Man: How big was the adobe house
that you built up there?
JS: Two rooms, kitchen and front
room. 163 The front room had a wooden floor put in. The other
room, the kitchen, was clay.
BM: Just dirt.
JS: Clay, it was a mixture of yellow
clay and sand. Instead of wiping it or scrubbing it 170
BM: They smeared it until it was
smooth and hard again.
Man: Now how many children lived
in that two room house?
JS: I, Christian and Magdalena
was born there in 1907 and in 1909 we moved down to this farm.
IM or CO: 174-176
JS: I stayed on it and moved.
IM or CO: None of your brothers
wanted to farm, you were the only one.
BM: Do you remember what section
JS: Section 7 the northeast corner
of section 7 12473.
BM: Thank you. That document, the
exact location and the exact farm I sort of like that.
JS: That out there 181-183. I was
born in McIntosh County, but where Howard Kasman lives.
IM or CO: South of Howard’s
place. Howard lives a little ways this way from where you lived.
JS: Ya, I was on the hill in an
adobe rock house where I was born. It was made out of mud and
stone. Native North Dakota rocks there, it was that house where
I was born.
BM: That’s alright it’s
documented by homestead. Now, when did you get married and who
did you marry?
JS: I got married September 4,
1927 to Lydia Martel also called Eisenbeis because they raised
her. She was adopted by them in 1916 and she was raised by them
until I got her. She was a little young yet but I was alone and
I needed somebody.
BM: So she was raised and adopted
JS: Jacob H. Eisenbeis. She was
born October 12, 1910 and my second oldest sister was born February
BM: I don’t know how you
can remember all those dates. Did you have a family?
JS: Ya, I had three boys. Two boys
BM: What were there names?
JS: Cornelius was the oldest, Roland
was the second he passed away many years ago, and Arnold is the
youngest he’s 57 teaching school all his life in 209
BM: What does your oldest son do?
JS: He’s kind of retired
and he’s got a shop he’s running, selling chainsaws
and garden equipment. He calls it a small engine shop.
BM: Where does he live?
JS: In Santa Rosa, New Mexico.
BM: He’s a ways away from
JS: Ya, Ya, 1100 miles.
IM or CO: In Lehr your wife was
JS: Ya, see that’s when they
came over they first settled 219, but John 219-221 and then from
here they went to Lehr, North Dakota and there they homesteaded.
That’s were my wife was born and her twin brother, Gus Martel,
from Bismarck. That’s my brother-in law.
Man: So they homesteaded in the
Lehr, North Dakota area.
JS: Ya, my wife’s folks.
BM: Do you recall if your parents
received letters from Russia.
JS: Yes, oh yes, quite regular.
See there was still my mother’s relation, brother and folks
were over there 1911 and then they came over. There was always
continuous letters. They had this 233 newspaper called 234 and
that was very precious. They had those articles called correspondence.
BM: So kept up through that then.
JS: Yeah they put them in the paper
so the rest of the people could read them. They kept continuous
contact through mail.
BM: Did they get homesick after
they moved here.
JS: My father said if I could afford
it but he only had $35 left. He would have turned around and went
back, but he had no more money.
BM: So they had to stay here.
JS: Ya, had to stay. After he had
came over 246-249 he didn’t like it there he wanted to go
farther west to Glen Ulin 252. So there is another story when
they came over here. There were three cousins; George Schilling
Sr. he already had many children, then Christian Schilling 257
and so they went around here but it was all taken up so they went
down to the hills to 261. There was a funny story. Old lady George
Schilling had many children, when they found a decent place they
were first because they were oldest. Then she always told us that
the son 268-269. Then there was Christoph the next oldest and
my dad was always pushed to the side to the tail end. Then my
dad got disgusted and went home and told Uncle Joseph what they
did and that he’s not satisfied the way this is run. He
had his horses to go down there and 274. Then Joseph said “I
tell you what 275, he wants to go out west and sell his claim.
So lets go up there and see if you like it. It takes $135 for
280 and if you like it you pay that and you have a place. The
heck with them.” So they went up there and he liked it and
liked the neighbors. He bought it or gave them part of the release
and they moved up there on the farm. He they had hired out to
the Gobb’s for 286 Kessler, laborers and then of course
Gobb’s gave them the horses to find a place. There was nothing
out here. There was a piece out here about 6 miles and was nothing
but a big hill and a water hole. So down there was there land
to pick up. That’s why I got up there. My first sister was
born here in August. Then they went up there in 1900 and my other
sister was born February 12. In 1910 my wife was born in Lehr,
BM: So you have spoken German all
JS: I spoke German till 1943 all
my life, ya. Dumb as a goose. See this place out here was in the
corner of the county. I got very little schooling. Then the house
was all German all the time. Surrounding neighbors on the other
side was the Catholic people that spoke 307-309. To the north
was the Lutherans. See there was some kind of missionaries from
different denominations coming through there. So first of all
Lutherans and Catholics. 315-319. There were very few Lutherans
and Catholics left. My children are Cathlolics, Mennonites, Presbyterian,
and Baptists. None of them got my religion.
BM: Do they speak German?
JS: They all speak American.
BM: They all speak English.
JS: All English, ya.
BM: They don’t speak any
JS: There was one girl from my
grandchildren that took up the real German in school.
BM: But your sons didn’t
JS: No, 328-330 What was the question?
BM: Did your sons learn to speak
German in your home from you and your wife?
JS: Not even to us. When we moved
in here. 334-339 We started talking English and if we got stuck
we talked German again. The question was what I spoke.
JS: I spoke German at Swedish German
all my life until I moved here in 1943 and there for awhile.
BM: Did your wife speak the same
JS: Same dialect. She was adopted
by Eisenbeis’ and they were from the same village and we
spoke the same language. When we got married until we got here.
I just told you the story about our youngest kid. Then when he
went to school about a few weeks then he never spoke a word German
anymore. Up to this day when he comes and visits he speaks English.
His wife was part German part Scandinavian. I think it was Norwegian
or Swede, I don’t know, but one her native countries speak
the English language fluently and so do their children. Arnold’s
oldest girl or oldest boy’s wife took up German in school
and then said it’s unnecessary because no one talks it so
what’s the use. She took German, the real German, in school.
BM: Can you say something in German
like a prayer or table grace or something like that to put on
JS: My father’s prayer and
my prayer was 368-370. That was in German in English it is: Come
Lord Jesus be our guest and let this food to us be blest. Thanks
to the Lord for his good and his mercy forever. That’s the
prayer we have in our church now. See I belong to this church
up there, the Wisconsin Synod, but I grew up in the 375 Synod;
The Lutheran German, all German. No here have an English language
we speak and preach.
BM: When did they switch from German
to English in the church services?
JS: There’s another story
coming. We had German, I was baptized German, confirmed German,
and I was married German all in the 383 Synod. Then when the First
World War came, you probably know about that, we didn’t
dare talk nor have German churches. Later on, all of a sudden
they got a spree and they wanted to be German. My oldest son is
confirmed in German and English. Here were some English people
and they wanted an English church. Well they hee-haa’d around
and I was a deacon. I told some of the older fellas, “We
should start English.” You know what some of the older fellas
said, 400. Do you understand that? 401-473
BM: So did they finally go into
the English language then?
JS: Ya, they were in the English
language. In the 477 not it’s the American Senate, they
always change. So I went over and 479-481. The next day the Pastor
from over there came over here and said we’ll take you in.
So next Sunday I went up there. Within a week I was a member there.
I was glad because there were three Lutheran Churches in town.
BM: There are three Lutheran churches
JS: Ya and none of them are worth
anything. So they took me in and within a year they put me in
as a Deacon for a year. I had to be Deacon for the Germans. I
was Deacon until all the Germans were gone. Now I am a member
of the Wisconsin Synod.
BM: Is there still three Lutheran
JS: No, this was years ago. Until
BM: So there is only one Lutheran
JS: They all speak the English
BM: But there is still three here
BM: I don’t know how they
can financially survive?
JS: That’s pretty tough.
Then we had German and I was Deacon for 12 years in succession.
I was only to be 2 years then they put me in for 3 years. 518
after she passed away then there was a 520-532.
BM: Chris did you have a question?
Chris: Yeah before we get to far
away from the schools. When you started school how old were you?
JS: About eight years. 537-544.
The next year I went up there for a few months at that time. I
think when spring came I had to stay home and work. 549-555 END
OF SIDE 1
JS: B000-B009. After the corn and
everything was done, my dad had the idea I should go the Eureka
College. They had a nine month school term. We got up there and
the lowest was seventh grade and then from there it was kind of
semi-high school or something like that. So I couldn’t talk,
all I could read was a little primary. I had good people there.
I had a teacher there a middle-aged lady, I’d say. B013.
She was a crippled lady but a very nice person. So I had to write
articles and so on and so forth. I done what I could but couldn’t
B016-B018. She explained everything in English and German to me
and started me out. Also, our teacher was English and never spoke
German but was very kind to me. By God, I made the seventh grade,
but when spring comes along B-021
Chris: Where was this college at?
JS: Eureka College. It’s
vacant now. It used to be a nursing home. B023-B024 It was built
as a German Lutheran College. You should know about it.
Ladies: Ya. I remember it. Ya.
Chris: Now you said someplace earlier
that you went to an auto mechanic school in Aberdeen?
JS: Ya, I was 25 years old already.
Ladies: After he had gone to college.
JS: See when I was 21 years old,
my sisters got married and I stayed at home. My dad gave me ¼
share of the crop, the grain crop, wheat, hogs and cattle or whatever
was sold. I got a ¼ share of the cash crop and saved a
little money. The first thing I wanted was Ford truck. See I was
going to buy me a car, but my dad said buy a truck and you can
always have the car. Just tell us and you can have the car when
you want it. I bought a truck.
Chris: That was 19....
JS: That was in nineteen hundred
and...well I was 21 years I got the ¼ share of the crop.
The first year I bought the Ford truck for $600-$700. The next
year I bought a Ford tractor because I was intending to farm.
Then later on I had a notion that I should know something about
this machinery. First thing I wanted to be when I was a child
was a blacksmith. I didn’t like farming or animals. I was
more of mechanic than animal man. So that’s what that was.
Then when I was old enough and had a little money of my own, that
was around 1925 I think, I went to Aberdeen for 12 weeks for mechanical
school. I took up mechanics, welding and so on. Then I went home
and worked on the farm again. Then my sweetheart got old enough
to give hands. On September 4, 1927 we got married. Then we spoke
German all the time. She was just a neighbor and we grew up together.
BM: Can you spell her last name
BM: No her other one, her give
BM: Christine can you help us?
CO: Where you living in Hosmer
at the time you got married?
JS: No at home.
CO: You were living on the farm.
Was it near Hosmer?
JS: Nine miles north and Two miles
west from here
CO: Your sweetheart lived down
here too, then? She was from Lehr before.
JS: She was born in Lehr. In March
1916 Eisenbies had no children.
CO: She was born in Lehr and then
moved down here?
JS: Ya, as I told you before when
they came over they always went to some relatives. See Fred the
oldest brother was born here seven miles west of Hosmer or about
a half mile east of Eureka B080. There was some trees there and
a little ways over there was a little farm B081-B082 That’s
the where the oldest, my father-in-law Fred, was born. Fred and
my sister Maggie were baptized one Sunday. Then they moved up
to North Dakota. They went up there to Lehr to where the twins,
Lydia and Gustav, were born. His name was different. They were
born February 12, 1910 and the mother died in the fall. B089-B093
Then there was Amelia, who was younger than the twins, and Emily,
her name was Magdalene before her mother passed away. Then there
was Ted, who’s name was Henry at home. See Mrs. Sandmar
and my mother-in-law were sisters, Wahls. So she took care of
them children and that Christ Sandmar, always called shorty, were
childless. So the sister took care of her sister’s youngest
babies. So the Sandmar’s adopted them and baptized them.
He’s a Martel. Then B106-B113. Gust, twin brother, is still
living in Bismarck. He took them both down and B114-B116. Ya,
that’s they way it happened.
JS: Gust wasn’t adopted and
was kind of homeless. Frank Ost adopted him and already had a
full family. Then he married a neighbor girl over to the west,
The interviewee has requested to delete or erase a part of this
BM: Did you dance?
BM: Did you have barn dances or
anything like that?
BM: When you were growing up do
you remember any particular games that you played?
JS: Baseball. We had a baseball
team there. I was too young it was all the older ones. After I
grew up there was not enough interest anymore.
Chris: How did you travel in your
younger days? Did you have your own saddle horse?
JS: No, my dad didn’t believe
in those things in those days. I had a saddle that I could use.
When I got old enough I used the car.
Chris: What kind of animals did
you have on your farm?
JS: We were mostly grain farmers,
we had cattle and hogs. We had tough luck one year in Cholera
was so bad. B164-B166
Chris: Now did your parents raise
JS: A few. I raised a few more
when I was for myself.
Chris: When did you say you bought
your first tractor?
JS: That was about 1922-23.
Chris: Up in till that time you
were farming with horses?
JS: We had 16 horses, three four
horse teams. When I was for myself I had six horses to start with
and that Ford tractor. My dad had a Titan tractor. I broke almost
a quarter of land with that tractor. Years ago people always went
around with hand plows to sloughs and so. I remember B184-B187.
When we went over there he took me along, because I was the oldest
boy. I walked along the B189, I done that just for curiosity and
it worked pretty well. I knew I was tired and was a mile and a
half from the farm. A mile and a half from this farm northeast.
Chris: How long did it take you
to break those 80 acres?
JS: Oh boy, three years.
Chris: Three years.
JS: B203-B204 I think we worked
on that three years, three springs.
Chris: What was the first crop
you put in the new sod?
JS: Flax, always flax. The next
year we’d disk it pretty good and put it in wheat. B208-B211
Chris: Did your mother have a big
JS: Oh ya, B212
Chris: When you broke new land
and things like that did you always have a B214?
JS: A what?
JS: Oh, B215-B219
Chris: What did you raise in that
JS: B221, Oh mostly B222-B233
Chris: How big did your watermelons
Ladies: Did you eat those?
Ladies: Oh ya.
JS: See the B234 had to be cooked,
they were most like the pumpkins and squash and stuff.
Chris: Did your watermelons grow
JS: They got about so.
Chris: The size of a basketball
JS: Not by us here.
Lady: They were just good to pickle.
JS: Ya, not like the ones we got
in the store here. Not quite that big.
Lady: They were better watermelons
when they were put in a barrel and pickled.
JS: B244, How do they stay that
JS: Or putting up.
JS: Pickling, that’s the
Chris: Now did your mother also
JS: Oh, you bet!
Chris: What did your mother prepare
JS: Well we butchered about four
two hundred pigs when our family was together.
BM: Did you make your own sausage?
Lady: Did you make your own sausage?
JS: Oh sausage. Oh ya, ya.
Lady: Did you make B259, too?
JS: They made it once and sold
it to us.
JS: Our folks, they didn’t
like it themselves and we didn’t like it or whatever.
Chris: B263-B265 did your parents
ever butcher beef?
JS: Ya. There was a deal between
us, Gotts, and my uncle Fred Schilling that butchered a pig and
beef and then divided it up. One year B268-B269. Later on when
the families got bigger then each one butchered a smaller B272.
See when there was B273. But later on that was no popular any
more so each one butchered a smaller one.
Chris: Now you were saying that
you butchered about four, two hundred pound hogs every year and
that was just for your family.
Chris: Now did you butcher them
all at one time or how did you butcher them?
JS: Ya. They were mostly not so
much meat as for fat. B281 and then some other trimmings that
was fried or B283.
BM: How did you use that fat then?
Did you make soap?
JS: Some of it. See there was everything
from the intestines fat and there some kind of B288 that was used
for soap, ya. They made their own soap. The good fat where they
ate lard, B291-B294. Sometimes after the family got smaller after
B294-B295. We ourselves, my family, butchered two.
Chris: Did your mother do a lot
of canning of chickens and pork? Was that all canned or was a
lot of it salted?
JS: Ya, in the early days. Towards
later days it was all canned most of it. See in the olden days
a lot of it got old and stale and the dogs wouldn’t touch
some of it that was left. The later years a lot of canning was
done. We ate it my Lydia and I and did all canning. I think towards
last we didn’t even salt it any. Years ago my dad did salt
it every single time.
Lady: And how in the granaries
in the summertime you went out and cut a piece off and went in
and cooked it.
JS: It was salted and then it was
taken out and smoked. Then it was like you said.
Chris: What kind of wood did you
use to smoke your meat with?
JS: In the early days on the either
farm I don’t know, but on this farmstead there was some
B316 from the house east. We put a wood frame around the chimney
and smoked it through the one stove. See there was a heating stove
in the build with wood. It went out through the chimney and there
it served as a smoking.
Lady: But you used wood.
JS: Wood and B323. No B234.
JS: Corncobs and wood, ya for smoking.
We used to make a lot of fuel in there too. B326-B328.
Chris: Now we’re taking about
B328 for heating fuel. Did you prepare that in anyway or did you
go and pick it out of the pastures?
JS: That was B331-B33. That was
prepared and was a job and a half.
Chris: Ok, how did you do that?
JS: We put it in wind rolls. See
it was the horse manure and the cow manure. You know how that
is naturally. In the spring when the raining weather came along
we forked that over and put a B337-B338. So we put it out and
spread a layer B341. Then they put six or eight horses on there
and they went around and around and around. Maybe you know about
it don’t you?
Chris: Oh ya, I know about it.
JS: Done it too?
BM: So when the horses went around
and around it mixed it?
JS: To mix it ya. See as I said.
The horse manure didn’t make any good B248 so they got mixed
up and we spread these wind rolls. See in the winter time we hauled
it out in wind rolls. Then in the spring when it thaws up and
the rain came along then we forked it over into a B352.
BM: Then after the horses got done
walking over it what was the next step?
JS: We waited until it was nice
firm. Then the next step we spread it out.
Lady: No, no, no. First you put
on the B355.
JS: Some, we didn’t have
Ladies: Oh you didn’t have
JS: We kept all the horses on there
until it was like that.
Ladies: We used the B356-B363
Chris: And that was what called
JS: That or the Russian lignite
BM: I just have a couple more questions
that I want to close with. What member of the family do you remember
the best? Do you have a person in the family that you remembered?
JS: You mean that we were close
to? That was Maggie we were the closest. As she grew up she was
mostly outside. Christina was the cook in the house with mother.
BM: And Maggie was outside.
JS: She was the tomboy. She could
ride. I remember one time when we got caught in the hail storm
and we went out on the horses. Each one was out and had four horses.
I was eating and she was drinking. So all of a sudden the great
big was down and the quarter that was right behind the hill was
a nice flat piece. I put flax in there. She was on front of me.
All of a sudden on the hill a cloud came over, so I hollered to
her to unhitch we have to get home. We unhitched and our horses
were trained in riding. We barely got home and there was a hail
storm. The folks were in Bowdle doing shopping like years ago.
Everything was knocked down. Flax was used in the early days.
Ya, we always worked in the field. Christina never worked in the
field. She was in the house until she married.
BM: So people who impacted in your
life. Who did the disciplining in your home? Was it your mother
or your father when you needed to be corrected?
JS: B415-B419. I was kind of mean
with animals. He several times gave me a good licking. The other
story years ago being you grew up on a farm. The chickens were
out. You know how. Then there were rotten eggs. After the time
was over, the scene was over; we went back there and went right
B432. She gave it to me to throw it against that stone. I could
tell how they were rotten B436. See some years they had more and
some years they had less. That year B439-B447. Then I went in
the chicken coop and that old sod house I told you about. Dad
made that into a chicken coop when we had that new one done. So
I was about eight or nine years old. I wasn’t satisfied
with this because it was too much fun. So I went to the chicken
coop and took them out of the nest and through them into the center
of the chicken coop. In the evening when mother went and got her
eggs, see that was her income for groceries, she came out and
there was all that gook. She knew what happened so my mother took
off and took off for the hill. B459-B464. At ninety seven years
old I still remember that. I was a boy at that time.
Chris: That will teach you to break
BM: Well is there something else
that you’d like to talk about; Ida, Christine. Jake is there
something that we have missed that you’d like to..?
Chris: How did you celebrate Christmas?
JS: Oh about the same as still
today. We recited and memorized bible verses. Christmas Eve B476-B482.
Chris: Now that you are retired
what kind of hobbies do you have? You’re saying your 90+
years old, what have you.....
JS: I have B485
Chris: Did you ever make these
iron crosses for the cemeteries?
JS: No, B491 I have seen them made
and there were some in our cemetery. There were some in the catholic
Chris: But you never made any?
JS: No, I never made any of them.
I mostly did in the spring time welding of broken parts. The spring
work B500-B509. I wasn’t so good then I practiced it on
the farm. Here there was not much B513. Whatever came along. I
worked for $60 a month and B517. Then another guy came along and
offered me $160, I worked cheap. I went in there for learning
the trade. He also wanted to sell me the shop but I didn’t
want to buy it, because the farmers started doing the welding
themselves and the plows came with throw a way blades. Then all
there was section work and transforms. I didn’t trust myself
so I didn’t buy it. Then he sold it to another fella, he
retired. It was John Ost; it was the son to this Ost that had
my brother-in-law adopted.
BM: Do you have an electric welder
here or do you have another one?
JS: Ya, I had an electric welder.
I built some B539. I took a little International tractor and took
that around and put haystacks around.
Chris: We’ll finish up here.
What do you plan on doing for the next forty years?
JS: I only have three left. I don’t
know what the good Lord is going to do with me. Whether he puts
me in a good place or bad.
Chris: Well it has been a pleasure
talking to you folks and I’ll let Betty close with her comments.
BM: I don’t have any more
comments, but I sure really appreciate the interview. It had gone
one two hours.
JS: We could up and have supper