Graf - Buck Family Heritage:
Family Photographs and Memories of Streeter, North Dakota
Germans from Russia Heritage Collection, North Dakota State University
Fargo, North Dakota, 2005, 183 pages, softcover
The Germans from Russia Heritage Collection is pleased to announce
publication of this important book, Graf - Buck Family Heritage. In
July of 2001, David, Katherine and Philip Westine donated to the Germans
from Russia Heritage Collection from the estate of their mother, Gertrude
Buck Westine, what is now the archival "Ludwig, Jr. and Christina
Graf Buck Collection." After reviewing this valuable gift including
the family history, photographs, recipes and letters, the idea of
a publication was developed which became reality with this book. The
book is dedicated in memory of Dr. David Westine.
Family portrait of
Theobald "Teddy" Graf and Fredericka Enztminger
Graf with Rose, Arthur "Teddy" and Minna Italia (without Mary), Streeter, North Dakota. Circa
Photo taken in
1875 in Odessa, Ukraine (South Russia) relating to the Buck
Wedding portrait of Karl
Hirning and Dorothea "Dora" Buck. Circa 1913.
The book includes these sections: 1) Family Commentaries; 2) Buck
Family including the Ancestral Tree of Ludwig Buck, Jr. and Family
Photographs; 3) Graf Family including the Ancestral Tree of John
Graf, Jr. and Family Photographs; 4) Adolph and Wilhelmina Buck
Graf including collected photographs, Tanta's Recipes, and the Mittleider
Letters; and 5) Recipes and Photographs of Katherine Etalene Graf
Knalson. There is a detailed index for the book.
Phyllis Knalson Bancroft writes: "Helping compile this book
of heritage flooded me with memories, both mine and those recalled
and told by my cousins. I especially remember the women with awe:
the aunts and "Tantas." Great Aunt "Tanta,"
the matriarch of Streeter, was my grandma's sister, Wilhelmina (Minnie)
Buck-Graf. This book has been both a point of curiosity and a labor
of love. I could selfishly think of this publication as "Mama's
Book" or "Katie's Book," but it is truly a story
of all the Graf-Buck women. Their indomitable spirit infused their
children with courage, energy, a strong work ethic, and a value
of education. These qualities to us third and fourth generation
Americans confirm a sense of pride in our German-Russian heritage."
Patsy Knalson Ramberg writes: "My earliest memories of family
are that we were Germans from Russia who settled in Streeter. The
family was reluctant to tell any more about the family than that.
As time passed, my mother, Katie, began to become curious about
the people who came before, even those who stayed in Russia. She
kept in especially close contact with her brothers and sisters.
She was the ninth of 12 children. The family become Americanized
largely through education. Four of the sons and at least two of
the daughters were educated beyond high school. They became a minister,
a banker, a farmer, aviators, and teachers."
Philip Westine writes: "I have always known that music and
education were extremely important in the Buck family. Six of my
grandparents' seven children earned college diplomas and all were
musically talented. I was five years old when I took my first piano
lesson from Aunt Martha. I still play the piano and am thankful
for my mother's (Gertrude) and Martha's insistent encouragement.
As I got older, I enjoyed walking or riding my uncle's chrome bicycle,
all around Streeter, seeing yards and gardens with older women tending
them in "Babushka" scarves and long, black dresses."
Katherine Westine writes: "As a child, I loved the Old World
feeling of things in my grandmother's and aunts' houses: the "feather
beds," the "plachts" (woven blankets with dark and
deep colors), the old Edison phonograph with the many cylinders,
and especially the food (Strudel, Kaese Knopf, Kuchen, and sausage).
My grandmother would always spoil us by letting us eat a bit of
the dough before the Strudels were put into the kettle."
The book's section, "The Story Told by the Mittleider Letters,"
were written in Blumenfeld (Caucasus) within a short period (1929-1930).
They revel tragedy of the Russian German farmers in the Soviet
Union in a most dramatic sequence.
Recipes of Wilhelmina "Minnie" Buck published in the
book include: Pickled Cherries, Chocolate Pie, Date Pudding, Rhubarb
Wine, Dandelion Wine, Grape Juice, Carrot Pudding, Farmer's Fruit
Cake, Spice Cake, Raisin Cake, Sour Milk Cookies, Sour Cream Cookies,
Donut Balls, Anise Cookies and Leb Kuchen.
The section, "Germans from Russia Recipes," are produced
exactly as Katie Graf Knalson jotted them down on recipe cards.
Recipes include: For Buns, Kuchen, Christmas Bread, Gra'mama's Cookies
(Herrschen Salz), Stroodle, Kaese Knoepfla and Halupsi.
portrait of Buck family relatives. Photographer is Gottlieb
Lang, Friedenstal, Bessarabia. Circa 1906-1911.
Interior of the Graf and Buck dry goods
store at Streeter owned by Adolf Buck. Circa 1908.
J. Wentz house and fenced yard in Streeter, North Dakota.
Standing in front of the house are mother Margaretha Graf
Wentz (Christina Graf Buck's sister) and her three daughters.