Memoirs of Father Anthony Kopp

Book review by Vi Kruckenberg Schielke,

Kopp, Father Anthony. Memoir’s of Father Anthony Kopp. North Dakota State University Libraries, Germans from Russia Heritage Collection, Fargo, North Dakota, 1999.

Vi Kruckenberg Schielke is a life member of Germans from Russia Heritage Society and has served on the GRHS Board of Directors for nine years in the past and continues to serve on their various committees. She is co-author of the Mercer County Cemetery Index published in 1990. She also is a self-taught family genealogist and has contributed to many published articles and family history books.

This book is 143 pages of the memories of Father Anthony Kopp who was born in 1891 in Krasna, Bessarabia. It begins with the sharing of his early family history of Poland to Bessarabia to the Crimea to their journey to America in 1894.

The Kopp family came to North Dakota and settled about 50 miles north of Eureka, South Dakota, west of Strasburg, Emmons County, North Dakota. The struggles with building their home, food, finding good drinking water and a church were their first needs that needed to be fulfilled. Later came schools and better homes. The early struggles are told in honest, factual and plain language as the Kopp family struggles daily to improve their lives. The move to Harvey, North Dakota, in 1897 and then in 1908 the move to Richardton, North Dakota.

The hardships of the homesteader comes out loud and clear. The remoteness of their farms rather than their dorfs in Bessarabia. The need for the occasional visitor, stranger or not was always welcome to share their simple food and home.

The growth of Anthony Kopp includes his schooling, farm work, and school work which went hand in hand daily for years. He shares his struggles at Richardton, and then to the seminary at St. Paul, Minnesota. His churches and his simple life gives us insight into another German Russian who endures much to live his life of faith to serve others.

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