Man Discovers That He's About to Become 100
Brown, Katie. "Man Discovers That He's About to Become 100." Bismarck Tribune, 30 January 2006.
A Bismarck man lost a whole year a little more than a month ago.
Leo Goll, Sr. was set to celebrate his 99th birthday next month,
December, when his niece stumbled upon family information that verified
that Goll will actually be 100 Feb. 19.
"My niece got ahold of the Bible my folks had," Goll
said as he looked
through old family photos. "All the children were listed, and
it said I
was born in 1906 instead of 1907."
Goll lives with his daughter, Arlis Jochim. Jochim said there were
birth certificate records when her father was born in Martin. She
only record her family had of his age was a document that said he
baptized in 1907, so she assumed her father was born that year.
"It turns out they must have waited a year to baptize him,"
The Bible belonged to Goll's parents, German immigrants, who brought
family Bible with them when they immigrated to the United States
Bessarabia, Russia. The Bible had been passed down to family members
through the years in a box of various items, but no one bothered
through the box.
Finally, in December, the family decided to look.
"It doesn't feel that good to find out you're a year older,"
laughing. "I would've much rather found out I was a year younger."
Jochim said around 25 years ago, one of Goll's older sisters mentioned
that she thought her brother might be a year older than he thought.
said they never looked into it, and Goll seemed to have no interest
finding out what his real birth year was.
Goll married Emma Helfenstein on Christmas Day 1931. They farmed
and then moved to the Bismarck area in the 1970s.
The Golls moved in with their daughter in 1995, after Emma Goll
stroke. She died in 2000. Jochim said her father gets around well
in relatively good health.
Since finding the Bible, Jochim said it has been easier to keep
family history, since many important dates are written inside. She
memory book for her father complete with family history and many
Goll looked an old yellowing photo of the sod house he was born
"It was attached to the barn and the chicken coop," he
said. "If we wanted
breakfast in the morning, we walked into the barn and got milk and
into the chicken coop and got the eggs."
Jochim said there is only one thing to do now that her father is
"When we found out he'd be 100, my kids said we had to have
a big party,"
she said. Most of his three children, eight grandchildren, six
great-grandchildren and six great-great-grandchildren will be there
Reprinted with permission of the Bismarck Tribune.