Sebastian and Magdalena (Pfaff) Hopfauf Homestead
Near St. Anthony and Flasher, North Dakota
Photographs by Irene Frohlich Rankin, Bismarck,
North Dakota, June 26, 2003
Text written by Dianne Frohlich Hopfauf, Flasher,
Sebastian Hopfauf, born in former Catholic German village of Karlsruhe,
Beresan District, South Russia (today near Odessa, Ukraine) on Sept.
15, 1854, the son of Peter and Magdalena (Ressler) Hopfauf married
Magdalena Pfaff born May 23, 1858 in Karlsruhe, S. Russia, the daughter
of Joseph and Anna Maria (Hopfner) Pfaff.
Sebastian and his family moved to a small village of Samuduske.
In 1903 they decided to immigrate to America. Sebastian, Magdalena
and their ten children arrived in America on Oct. 20, 1903. Their
oldest son, Philip was sent back to Russia as he was found to have
Trachoma. They spent the winter of 1903 in Mandan, ND. On July 4,
1904 they came to their homestead which was located (NW 1/4 28-136-83)
which was about ten miles SW of St. Anthony, ND or 15 miles NE of
The ten children they brought with them were:
|The Ten Hopfauf children
||married Barbara Winschel
||married Liborius Friesz
||married Martin Winschel
||married Joseph Babel
married Emilia Leingang (Deceased)
2nd wife: Wilhelmina (Barth) Buckhardt
||married Alvenius Helbling
married Karl Renner
2nd husband: Emil Ferderer
||married Mathilda Kautzman
||married Wilhelmina Hellman
||married Louie Schafer
Philip came back to America in 1904. He applied for a homestead
on the quarter adjoining his father's homestead.
The home of Sebastian was finished by Sept of 1904. They started
to break land in the spring of 1905. Magdalena wanted a summer kitchen
and as the men were busy breaking the sod. She started to build
the building herself. She built part of the east wall of what was
to become the summer Kitchen / granary. That particular wall stood
well over 90 years. They also built a small lean-to onto the west
side of the house, made of tall grass for shelter for their animals.
All buildings on the farm are built of prairie field stone.
In 1905 they took the sod roof off the house and replaced it with
a regular shingled roof. They also put a wood floor into the kitchen
of the house. A 30 foot rock barn was also built southwest of the
house. It caved in the 1930s.
In 1906, they built an additional room onto the east side of the
house. They also built a root cellar. It was made with a dome roof
and rocked out entrance. Sebastian built it by building forms and
then laying sandstone which he obtained from land northwest of their
own homestead. He then hammered stones in like chisels between the
rocks to form the dome. After a few days he removed the forms. A
layer of dirt was then put over the top. The root cellar still stands
today without one rock having fallen down. An awesome sight.
Each year thereafter they added barns on to the west side of the
house. One can walk from inside the house into the barns, never
having to go out into the elements.
The big rock barn was constructed in 1912 with the east lean-to
added in 1913 and the west lean-to in 1914. In the years of 1916,
17 and 1918, they removed the old plank and sod roofs on the long
barns and built the walls two feet higher and added the present
Sebastian died May 24, 1919 at the age of 65. After his death his
son John took over the farm. He married Wilhelmina Hellman from
Glen Ullin in 1921. His mother Magdalena lived with them until 1936
when she moved to Mandan, ND. She died Jan 7, 1949 at the age of
John and Wilhelmina raised a family of nine children:
||married Joseph Helbling
||married Ralph Frank
||married Margaret Ferderer
||married Alphonce Stein
married Maynard Klos
||married Dianne Frohlich
In 1969, John sold his land to his son's Jacob, Richard and Joseph.
Joseph married Dianne Frohlich in 1963. They lived in the rock house
until 1966 when they moved a mobile home to the farm. They raised
five children. Joseph and Richard farmed the land until Joseph's
death in 1991.
||married Tammy Schwede
||married Robert Miller
In the fall of 1991, James Hopfauf moved back to the farm where
he and Dianne now farm the land together. James is the 4th generation
of Hopfauf’s to work the land.
|Looking north view of big rock barn,
built in 1912, with side lean-to's added on in 1913 and 1914.
||Rock house built in 1904 (looking north).
The last room on the right side built in 1906.
|Back side of the long house/barns.
||The west end of the barns of the long
|View looking north at the long house/barns.
||Inside view of the first summer kitchen/granaries.
|View of the large rock barn and long
house/barns, looking to the northwest.
||View of the house, first summer kitchen
and smaller summer kitchen built in the 1930s.
|View of the west side of the first
summer kitchen/granaries built in 1905. Doorway on the farther
side was the entrance to the summer kitchen. Other three doors
led to small grain storage and a small shop.
||View showing logs above the doorway.
This is the way the roofs were first built.
|Inside view of summer kitchen/granary.
End wall was where the summer kitchen was located. The chimney
still can be seen. Part of the wall on the right side of the
picture was the wall that Magdalena built by herself.
||South end of summer kitchen/granary.
|View looking northwest of long house/barns.
||North end of summer kitchen showing
entrance to the summer kitchen.