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Edelmans Early Settlers

Tobin, Ellen. "Edelmans Early Settlers." Yankton Daily Press and Dakotan, 2 July 1975, 4.


Among German-Russians coming to America and settling in the Yankton area in 1873-74 were the Edelmans and the Oswalds.

Jacob Edelman and his wife, the former Johanna Wiest were born in Rohrback, Russia and came to America when small children along with other Evangelical Black Sea Germans. The couple married Feb. 13, 1885. They homesteaded 20 miles north and a half mile east of Yankton on U.S. 81. The couple had seven daughters and five sons. Only one of these still lives, Mrs. Thomas (Margaretha) Oswald.

Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Edelman were Evangelical Black Sea Germans and were in the first group of German-Russians homesteading 20 miles north of Yankton.  They reached Dakota Territory in 1873 from Rohrbach, Russia.

When the couple died, they were buried in a private burial plot on the homestead it being a common practice to have family cemeteries in rural areas at that time.

Mrs. Margaretha Edelman Oswald, their only surviving daughter, was born on this homestead June 14, 1886. She was married at the same farm but lived on the Oswald homestead a few miles closer to Yankton. She had four children, Walter, Gladys Alice, Geneva and Robert.

It is interesting to note that John Oswald, father of Thomas, was born Dec. 28, 1868 at Worms, Russia and came to America as a lad with the family settling 18 miles north of Yankton and a half mile west of Highway 81. He married Christina Weidenbach born also at Worms June 27, 1867.  They had only one child, Thomas.

The Oswald grandparents are also buried in what is known as the Oswald Cemetery at the Oswald Zion Evangelical Church grounds, 20 miles north of Yankton on the west side of the highway. The Oswald rural school in this area was named after the grandparents.

Thomas Oswald sold the farm in 1944 and moved to Huron where he was employed at the packing plant until his death. His wife has been a resident of the Good Samaritan Center, DeSmet since July 1973.

Of the Oswald descendants, Gladys is now Mrs. Melvin F. Rodgers, Ellendale, N.D. Geneva is Mrs. Harland Danielson, Viborg and Robert is in Huron while Walter lives in Chicago.

Reprinted with permission of the Yankton Daily Press and Dakotan.

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