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Katherina Aipperspach Thurn (KT)

Interviewed by Carol Just Halverson (CH)

Wishek, North Dakota, 16, February 1992

Transcription by Amanda Swenson and Marcie Franklund
Editing by Linda Haag


CH: I am here in Wishek, North Dakota at the home of Katherina Aipperspach Thurn. I am going to tell you a little bit about myself, (talking to Katherina) I grew up in Berlin. You know who my mother and dad are.

KT: Helen and Julius.

CH: Helen and Julius, my mother and dad, and I am the youngest of five and so by the time I was growing up, my older brothers sort of run the farm, and my folk's would come back to McIntosh County to visit relatives, and so I would come with and when you are the youngest, you learn to be a good listener, because everybody else talks, and I was always fascinated with all the history of my relatives and the German-Russian people, and I was especially fascinated with my dad's mother and dad because I would look at the beautiful portrait of her and dad would say, "That is your grandmother", and I would look at her, and as a little girl, and I would think, "Well, she can't be a grandma, because she doesn't have white hair and she doesn't have an apron and she's not all cuddly and nice, she looks so young and pretty," but I understood why I didn't see her much because I didn't see my Grandma Dockter real often either. I've always been really interested in her and in learning about her, and so that is sort of the basis then for my doing genealogy research and learning about the relatives and the German-Russian people, and I remember visiting St. Andrew's Church when I was little, and knowing that it was very different than my church at LaMoure because number one it was in German, and the men sat on the right and the women sat on the left and I always thought it was just a wonderful place to come and visit and wish that I could live there and I could go to that church, and so it has been a life-long desire to learn more, but because I grew up and went away and went to college and got married and got a job. I live in Minneapolis, so I don't get to visit very often.

So, when my mother mentioned that my dad's cousin Katy Thurn lived here, I said, "Oh my, I have never met her, can I come and talk to her?" Now, I know your sister Clara, but I have never had an opportunity to sit down one on one, to talk to her, but I know that you are older than Clara, and probably you will know more.

KT: No, not older.

CH: Some people choose not to remember a lot, or it isn't important to them, and then some people do remember a lot, and often older children can remember more, like you would, so I am interested in you and how you grew up and I am interested in your mother, because I know she was a Brocket (SP), and I am very interested in knowing and understanding how she was trained, how she learned, what it was she did and so forth.
KT: [35] She was born in Russia.

CH: Yes. She was born in Rußland. Did she ever talk about life in Russia?

KT: No.

CH: She was maybe, let's see, they came in 84, and she was born in 77, and so she was about 7 or 8, and I wondered if she ever remembered anything about life in Russia.

KT: [39].

CH: So, she didn't volunteer any information, and you didn't ask?

KT: No.

CH: Now, did she ever talk about life and the pioneer here, and what it was like? I know that, I have a copy of an interview that she gave in 1936 to a historical data society field-worker, who was interviewing pioneers. She talked then about how she and her brother Adam would roam the prairie and pick buffalo bones.

KT: [43].

CH: So, she did talk about that?

KT: [45].

CH: [45] knowledge. That's right. That was considered the first crop. Did she talk about those early years, what it was like to break the sod, or build the houses?

KT: [49]. [49]. [51].

CH: Do you remember your grandparents? Adam and [51], your grandparents?

KT: Oh yes.

CH: What were they like?

KT: They were pretty. Yes, they were pretty. I don't have a picture here, but I had a picture in [54].

CH: You know they are in good hands. Were they quiet, or did they talk a lot?
KT: [56], when [56] were 19 or 21. [57], [57] I should make her some quilts [58] and I would sew them together in 2 nights, she needed them, she had to go to Bismarck because she needed surgery, [59] she never came back anymore, when she came back she was [59].

CH: She had the surgery?

KT: Yes.

CH: What was the surgery for?

KT: I don't know, but she had diabetes, awful.

CH: Then your grandpa lived a few more years in Zeeland?

KT: Yes. [63].

CH: Did he live alone?

KT: No, he got married again.

CH: Oh, he did?

KT: [64].

CH: Really? Who was it?

KT: I don't even know, but Clara knows, she was there more than I.

CH: I see. When you say that your grandparents were pretty people, did you mean that they were attractive?

KT: Yes.

CH: Do you remember a sense of humor, or were they happy, or were they [68]? (Sentence unfinished here)

KT: [69], not very much, [69] cheese, not very much. They would go out [71] for supper, [71], they couldn't make it out there, [71]. [71]. [73]. [?] from here to Jamestown, [75], that's all they could get.

CH: So, that was your father and his brother. Why did they go there? Was there a chance to get a job?

KT: Yes, it was a chance to get a job.

CH: Was your grandmother a good cook?

KT: Oh yah. [78] kuchen [78] [81].

CH: You were one of the older girls, were you expected to help your parents, or your mother?

KT: [83]. [85]. [85].

CH: Did your mother make your dress?

KT: Yes, she made the dress.

KT: [87] wedding. [86]. The shirt and the pants and everything. [87] [88].

CH: What about your own household, I am going to ask this question, because my dad's father used to tell me that he remembered [90], my mother's father, Henry Dockert (SP) used to tell me that my dad's mother, Katherina Meidinger Just, had a very fun sense of humor, and that she laughed a lot and that she had a pretty voice. Was your mother like that?

KT: My mother was most [94].

CH: How about Lydia, was she like that?

KT: I don't know.

CH: Lydia [95], [95]

KT: [96], they had too much children; they had too much work to do.

CH: It was hard work wasn't it?

KT: Yes.

CH: Can you tell me about Katherina and Karl's (SP) wedding?

KT: All that I know, I have to go to the neighbors and [99].

CH: You were only 5 years old?

KT: Yes. [100].

CH: You know, in the pictures that I have, there is a child; I'll bet that is you.

KT: [103], Mother's folk's, [104] [103], I was long-haired.

CH: You're the little girl in that picture! It's on my wall. On the back it say's Katherina and [105] Adam and Lydia, and then it's Adam and then there is a little girl and then there is Magdalena. So that is you.

KT: [107] something. My mother's [108].

CH: No, she's not on there.

KT: She never had her picture taken; the only picture was [108].

CH: This is the only picture you have of your mother?

KT: [110].

KT: [111], and her sisters all [111], [112].

CH: Isn't that interesting. Why would her [112] stay so dark?

KT: [112].

CH: Well, yours are white and very pretty also, but you know, my dad [117] (Sentence wasn't finished here)

CH: No, I like your hair, and I would like mine to be that white and pretty someday.

KT: [115].

CH: Do you remember the party after the wedding?

KT: [117] very much.

CH: I have pictures of the Katherina and Karl's (SP) wedding. There are the cooks in front of the [119] cake. The men have the big aprons on, and there is a picture of Karl (SP) and Katherina in front of the bar in the front of the building, and then there is a picture of the horses and buggies, either coming home, or going to the wedding.

KT: [123].

CH: And all over the horses there are flowers hanging from the bridles of the horses, and my dad said that they were dapple grey horses; it must have been your grandpa's best team. The wedding was at St. Andrew's church. Do you remember going to the wedding?

KT: I don't remember very much, but I know [127] church. [128] there.

CH: Oh, but the wedding itself was in the big church.
KT: [129] that little church was [129].

CH: Oh, you remember that? According to the church records, it was the first wedding in the big church, and it was in June, so there must have been prairie flowers, or [131].

CH: Now, the picture I have of her, she is wearing a [132] of [132] and then there was a veil that came down through [133]. I wonder whatever happened to her head piece.

KT: [134].

CH: Well, I have seen them where they frame them. They used to hang them on the wall. I have found one photograph of the inside of her house, but I didn't see it on the wall, so I don't know if she ever saved it.

KT: [138]. [139].

CH: Was that at the first house, or at the other [139]?

KT: I am not sure.

CH: Do you remember when she had her children? Did your mother ever deliver any of the babies; was she ever the mid-wife for any of her children?

KT: She was [143], but not [143]. [?], [144]. Oh, that was easy. [146], and then they went home, but it was [147] at that time.

CH: When Edwin was born?

KT: Yes. [149], [148], mother couldn't hardly take it. [149].

CH: So, was your mother there, when Edwin was born?

KT: No, they went home. [151].

CH: Was the baby early?

KT: I think it was born at the right time, but she was so sick.

CH: How did that affect your mother? Did she talk about it?

KT: No.

CH: There were 9 children, and then in 1923, when there was the epidemic, there were 3 of them that died. Were you living in South Dakota then, when that happened?

KT: [158].
CH: When Katherina and Eva and Elizabeth and Karl died, (Sentence ended here) [159]

KT: We were [159].

CH: Oh, you lived there? Tell me what that was like. Do you remember?

KT: It was [160], nobody can go in [160] sickness, I am not through with the children. But my sister was standing there, [162] hired girl, [162], and then she got sick and began to throw up, [162] take her home. [164].

CH: Why do you say that?

KT: [165].

CH: Were you there when they died?

KT: No, I was at home [166] again.

CH: If I remember right, Karl died first and then in 2 days, one of the girls died, and then within 2 weeks, 2 more of them died.

KT: Yes. [169].

CH: Karl's sister and her 3 sons, [170] also died that same [170].

CH: When we worshiped at St. Andrew's today, I thought about how many funerals have been in that church over the years.

KT: [176].

CH: When you married, did you come back to McIntosh County to live?

KT: Yes.

CH: Did you live on the farm where Herman lives now?

KT: Yes.

CH: That was your farm. So, you raised your children at St. Andrew's church?

KT: Yes, and also at the [180] school. [181].

CH: Your daughter?

KT: Yes.

CH: So, it was just Herman and Alma?

KT: Yes. Three.

CH: Oh, there were three?

KT: Yes, [184].

CH: Oh.

KT: One was about 8 months old, [185].

CH: What was it called?

KT: [186]

CH: Oh, appendicitis. At 8 months?

KT: Yes. [188]. [188].

CH: It must have either burst, or twisted or something.

KT: He was only 8 months old, just beginning to walk.

CH: Your daughter was an adult when she died?

KT: She was killed.

CH: In an automobile accident?

KT: Yes.

CH: Now, mother said that her children came to live with you?

KT: Yes.

CH: So, you got to raise 2 more children?

KT: Yes. [198] 2 or 3 years and then somebody stepped in and [199] [200]. [202].

CH: I guess so. We can't live in the past.

KT: She was in California. When she comes, she comes here. [205].

CH: How many years did you live on your farm?

KT: [208].

CH: And you were married?

KT: [209].

CH: Well, that was 30 years that you lived on the farm?

KT: [210].

CH: Yes, that was about 32 years. When did your husband die?

KT: I think it is about 12 years now.

CH: Did you come back up from South Dakota when Katherina was buried?

KT: I was already living up here then.

CH: Was your mother able to come to the funeral?

KT: Oh yes. [220]. [223].

CH: Well, it was in November then.

KT: It was quite nice yet. [226]. [229].

CH: Was he your first one, the one that died at 8 months old?

KT: Yes. [233]. [234].

CH: Did they live on your farm?

KT: Yes.

CH: So you lived with them?

KT: Yes. [236] [239].

CH: I have forgotten. What was your father-in-laws name?

KT: [241].

CH: What was his wife's name?

KT: [242].

CH: That's right. Were they married in Russia?

KT: Yes. [243].

CH: Isn't that interesting that your grandparents and your husband's parents came together from Russia?

CH: Did your mother talk about the ship voyage, what it was like?

KT: Not much. It was quite long to get here.

CH: She didn't get seasick or anything?

KT: No, some did I know, and aunt got really sick, and she was pregnant too.

CH: A lot of women were pregnant on the ship and a lot of them were very sick. As close as I can understand it, the trip from [254] to America, involved taking a horse and buggy or something to get to Odessa and then they boarded a train that would take them to Hamburg, Germany, and then they would wait until they could get on a ship, and so there were, like apartment houses or settlement houses where they could stay until you get on a ship.

I have found the ship document, and she and [260] Adam are listed for your grandparents, and then the [262] Meidinger and his wife, and I believe that they had at least one child, I think Andrew was there, and then Kristoff (SP) Just and his wife, and they had 1 baby then, Karl (SP), but it wasn't my Karl (SP), because that baby died in South Dakota. Then they had another child on January 1, 1885, and that was my grandpa. Then there was George Just, he wasn't married, and then there were the Thurn brothers, Fredrick (SP) was one of them and then the other one was Johans (SP). They all came together on this ship. It got to New York.

KT: [271].

CH: Yah, I have the [272]. Yes, there sure is, they did a wonderful job.

CH: And there was no Ellis Island then. They were brought on the Island of Manhattan, and then they would somehow have enough English language so that they could get on the train, and the train came as far as Meno (SP). As far as I can tell, there was a Melhop (SP), and it would have been Katherina Thurn Meidinger's sister that would have been there, and they came to the [285] and Meno area, in 1873, that was about 10 years before, and then they stayed there and they bought their oxen and bought their wagons and boards to make a roof for their sod houses.

KT: [289] too.

CH: Were you?
CH: They ordered a cook stove that was delivered later, and then they loaded everything on a train and went to Ipswich. Then at Ipswich, your grandma and your mom and [293] Adam, and all the other women and their children stayed with someone by the name of Meidinger at Ipswich, and I don't who that was.

KT: [296] much attention to at that time.

CH: Then the men came to McIntosh County and Ashley was not Ashley then, but the land office was at Hoskis (SP), and the men would go there and look at the [300] map, and I am sure what they needed was to find an area close enough to water and where all 5 families could homestead close together.

KT: [304], over the winter.

CH: Oh, I see.

KT: [306].

CH: Was this before they came to McIntosh County?

KT: I think so.

CH: Did your mother ever talk about what it was like, when you were a little girl?

KT: No.

CH: Did she ever talk about the family that died, like she had a sister who was about 18 who died, and then there was a younger brother and sister in 1900 that died.

KT: Never talked about it.

CH: Well, I found the death certificate and it was some kind of an epidemic and I think it was smallpox.

KT: It was some kind of sickness.

CH: It was a very hard life for your grandma and grandpa.

KT: [317]. [317] girls, and 3 boys. 16 children.

CH: Your grandma and grandpa Meidinger?

KT: No, my mother and my dad had 16 children.

CH: Oh, I guess I didn't count that many, but I think you are right. But only 3 boys?

KT: Yes. 3 boys. [322].

CH: Was your mother very young when she married? I have never found a record of when she was married?

KT: I know [328] [329] which year. There must be records here, I must have some papers.

CH: I think your mother was already married when those 3 children died in the epidemic, so then there was only [332] Adam, and Katherina and Lydia left, because those other 3 children died. So in total, there were 7 children that Adam and [335] had.

KT: [340] [342] [345], I think she must be now 96 or 97 years ago.

CH: The woman who lived in here before?

KT: Yes.

CH: This is a very nice apartment. Are you happy here?

KT: [348], it is good enough for me.

CH: What? It's not a lot to keep clean.

KT: [351].

CH: Housecleaning doesn't take you too long now, and you don't have to cook anymore.

KT: Oh yah, I cook myself.

CH: Even now.

KT: Yah.

CH: Where do you cook?

KT: In that room over there.

CH: I'll have to look.

KT: [355] table too.

CH: Oh, I didn't realize that you had a little kitchen here.

KT: My son made me a little table. I don't have to carry in to the other room to eat.

CH: Oh, yes.

KT: [360] the table.

CH: You even have a little landscaping out here, and now you need a little bird feeder or something, so you can watch the birds.

KT: I had one, but I [364] [365], I don't know what they did with it. It was [367].

CH: Well, I hope they bring it out there again.

KT: [369] made last year.

CH: When Karl and Katherina were married, was there any maid of honor or best man.

KT: I don't know that. [374].

CH: Tell me what she was like.

KT: She was always good to me when I was there, and she was good to the children. [379].

CH: I am sure they were. 9 children, that's a lot of children.

KT: [382]. [383].

CH: They went to Fredon(SP) to church, so did your family go to Fredon?

KT: No, [386].

CH: Oh, at St. Andrew's?

KT: Yah. [388]. [389].

CH: None at all?

KT: [395] [396]. [397]. There was so much work [398] for the hens.

CH: Somebody had to raise the chickens, and work in the garden and do the canning and help with the sausage making and help with the butchering.

KT: [401] once a year, that's not so bad.

CH: How about harvest time, did you go out and help with that?

KT: Oh yes, [404].
CH: I do yah.

KT: [405] it was my job. [406]. [406] got the same job that I got again.

CH: That's hard work, and then you still came home to make the meals?

KT: Yes.

CH: Feed the chickens and milk the cows.

KT: Yes.

CH: I admire the fact that you worked very hard at that. Do you remember Karl?

KT: Oh yah.

CH: What was he like?

KT: [412].

CH: Why do you say that?

KT: [414]. [415] some Meidinger. [416].

CH: Uncle Karl? That's what you called him, or Karl [416]? Was sick all that winter, before he died?

KT: He was quite long sick.

CH: My dad is sure that he had smallpox.

KT: I don't know what it was, but he lost a lot of blood. I know that.

CH: As I understand it, that day that he got so very sick, he had been sick in bed and 4 children had diphtheria and Jacob Just was over there helping with the chores, and it was so cold, it had been a very blizzard winter. I am sure by that time you were married? Yah that was 1923.

KT: 1921, it was nice [435], it was cold, but the sun was [436].

CH: It was 1922-23, that winter, so it was the year after, when Karl and the children got diphtheria, and from what I understand, having asked a lot of people questions, there were nearly out of coal, and he had decided that he had to go to Zeeland and get coal, (didn't finish talking here) [445]

KT: [443] [447] [449].
CH: Russian lignite, that's the nickname that they gave it. Well, from what I understand, Karl (SP) hitched the team and it was 18 miles to Zeeland and he went to get coal, and he should not have gone, because he was still so sick, and Katherina didn't want him to go, you know how stubborn men can be.

KT: [458].

CH: So, he went and Henry Dockter (SP) helped him load the coal. He did get home, but he was so sick that he had to go back to bed. He never did get well.

KT: [464].

CH: It wasn't very long, as understand it.

KT: [466], my sister was there, then I was there, [467] and he was gone. [469]
[473].

CH: [473]?

KT: Yes. [475] it wasn't there anymore.

CH: Usually, my dad goes out there at least in time for Memorial Day and cleans them up a little.

KT: [479]

CH: St. Andrew's was such a nice church, such a clean, and their cemetery, and I love to go there and visit.

KT: [483].

CH: Do you remember being at the funeral, when Karl died?

KT: I was there, but I can't remember much about it. [488], [492].

CH: All 3 boys, my dad was (interruption here) 494

KT: [494]

CH: Emery who?

KT: Just.

CH: Oh, Emily was there helping?

KT: [499] Just children died.
CH: Yes. Edwin, Julius and (interruption here) [502]

KT: [504], I think it was Karl's (SP) brother.

CH: Yah. [506] is his daughter.

KT: It was [507] daughter.

CH: She died also of diphtheria?

KT: When she got another baby, then he was [509].

CH: That's right.

KT: There was a fire around their kitchen, they were in sleeping, [513] and they were all burnt up.

CH: Oh no. But they survived?

KT: Yes. [517].

CH: Well, I'll have to look next time.

KT: [521].

CH: Oh, now I remember where young Kristoff (SP) homestead was, that's right.

KT: [524] my husband [524].

CH: That's right, [526], yah.

CH: She was a nice looking woman; I've seen pictures of her.

KT: [529] everybody.

CH: Was she?

KT: Yes.

CH: Well, when Karl died, was his funeral the same day as one of the little girls?

KT: [537].

CH: Oh, so their funeral was together?

KT: Yes.
CH: What about Christina and Karl (SP), they died pretty close together too?

KT: [542] was there [542] [543] pictures.

CH: That's right, she [543] St. Andrew's.

CH: Did anybody worry about what would happen to Karl and Katherina's children?

KT: I don't know. [548].

End of side 1 Start side 2
Counter set at 000

CH: Katherina's household was a very happy household?

KT: [02].

CH: They really loved one another and that their children, it was a happy time. I really appreciate that because my dad was 9 when his father died and he was sick with diphtheria, but he survived and so when he got well, here he had lost his father and [06] and a year later or so, his mother remarried and then within a short time she died giving birth, and so by the time he was 11, the household as he knew it, was gone. It would never be that way again.

KT: [09].

CH: You can never replace the dynamics of those 2 people, and I remember interviewing Rose Just, who then married Andrew Shauer (SP) later, she told me that Karl and Katherina were a real unusual couple, in that they were very close and that they were very affectionate to one another and they really were a team, they got along real well, and that there was a lot of humor, and she also told me that she was there when Karl died. She and Andrew were sitting vigil in the bedroom, and Katherina was so distressed, because Dr. [18] had told her that he wouldn't live. So you can imagine that she had these 4 very sick children and then a husband, her life mate, the person that she had been married to for 16-17 years, and with whom she wanted to spend the rest of her life with, and he was telling her that Karl wasn't going to live, so Rose told me this story that Katherina was so upset, that she came into the bedroom and she just wept and wept, and she told Karl that he couldn't die because she needed him, and that he had to get well. And then Rose told me that he took her hand and whispered to her and he told her that he would take some with him.

KT: [29].

CH: Did she? She was a wonderful woman. I have very happy memories of Aunt Alvina.

KT: [32], I think just one day or two and then she died. [34], and then she lay down again and the next day she was gone.

CH: I came to stay with her in March, and then she died in April. And my mother and dad took very good care of her at night. My dad lost his mother at such a young age. Alvina was his other mother. It was very hard on him, when she got sick.

KT: [39] [40], Ida Meidinger [40].

CH: Well, she was a happy woman; I have very happy memories of her. Do you think she was like her mother?

KT: No.

CH: How was she different from her mother?

KT: [42].

CH: Do you know anybody that was like Katherina?

KT: Mary was more like her mother.

CH: How so?

KT: [44].

CH: Yah, I liked her a lot. I think what I liked about her is that she liked everybody else.

KT: [46] to everybody too.

CH: Yah. What I liked about Marie [47], when I started doing my family history research, she would always be interested in what I was doing and anything I learned, and she was very happy when I named my daughter after her mother, and she made sure that I got, well, I have a crocheted bed that she had, that she thought her mother might have made it and she wanted me to have it and my little girl. She would send a note every now and then, that she thought it was so very nice that I wanted to do these things. It isn't that Aunt Alvina didn't have a lot of love for people, but Aunt Marie would demonstrate that love, or that concern.

KT: [55] loved each other.

CH: It was very hard on Marie when [56].

KT: [56].

CH: Wasn't that just amazing. I mean, none of us were ready for that. It is hard to believe.

CH: Did you know Edwin Thurn?

KT: Oh yes.

CH: Does he remind you of his mom or his dad?

KT: [59] he was just born.

CH: Well, you know how you inherit certain traits and so forth,

KT: Oh yah, [60] pictures.

CH: Oh. His son and I are good friends. Edwin has a very nice son, his name is Don.

CH: Did you know Kristoff's (SP) wife, Christina?

KT: Yes. [66].

CH: Who was a cousin to him?

KT: To my husband.

CH: Oh yes, did you know Karl's sister, Christina?

KT: Oh, yes.

CH: What was she like?

KT: She was nice too.

CH: Was she?

KT: [69], [71].

CH: Well, everyone was a lot healthier then, because they walked. What was Christina like?

KT: She was pretty too. She was good to everybody. Like Alvina, she [74].

CH: Yah, I did interview Alvina before she died. In [75].

KT: Yah, my sister was out there too. [76], she said, "Nobody comes to see her."

CH: By the time I visited Alvina, her memory was getting pretty bad, and her hearing was almost gone. She must have had a lot of ear infections or something as a child, because her nerve hearing was bad.

CH: Now, your hearing is excellent. I want to hear as well as you do when I am
90.

KT: Yes, my ears are good. But my legs are no good; my legs don't want to go.

CH: Gee, they don't transplant legs, do they?

KT: [85]. [86].

CH: What did women do when they got together? Christina and Katherina and your mother, did they compare recipe's or talk about their children or what?

KT: A lot about sewing stuff.

CH: How about gardens, did they share seeds and things like that?

KT: [90]. [92].

CH: Were the women able to get together very often?

KT: [96], Christmas once in a while, but not much. They would bring [97] candy and nuts, peanuts and apples.

CH: Did your mother get to town very often?

KT: No, [102] to town. [103].

CH: So, you had to raise everything you needed in your garden, and raise your own meat. Was there much meat in the diet?

KT: [105]. Well, they butchered every year. There was more chicken.

CH: Would most of the butchering be made into sausage?

KT: Yes.

CH: How else would you keep the meat?

KT: We had no place or nothing. Just in the winter time, that's the only time. We had to smoke it.

CH: You're parents had a smoke-house?

KT: Yes.

CH: Did every farm have a smoke-house?

KT: I don't know that. [110]. They must be.

CH: Those little girls that died, Eva, Katherina and Elizabeth, do you remember them?

KT: No.

CH: They were real sick. When you got there to help take care of the family, (interruption in sentence here) [116]

CH: How did Katherina do all that?

KT: [118] [119].

CH: Dad said that they put a quarantine sign up. Dr. [119] put a quarantine sign up, but he said everybody came anyway.

KT: [121] [123].

CH: Now, can you translate that for me? What you just said.

KT: [124] they take the child from the [124] they take it out the window to put it in the grave.

CH: Why?

KT: [125].

CH: Oh.

KT: That was scary. [127]. [128].

CH: So, they took that baby right to the cemetery?

KT: [132].

CH: Over the years, I have interviewed so many people, and I didn't tape them all, and I don't remember who tells me what, except that I think it was Jacob Just who told me that he went to town to get a coffin for Karl (SP), and he got a phone call there, to bring another one for the little girl. That's why I thought that their funerals were together.

KT: [138].

CH: Well, no, I have the dates in my book, but I didn't bring them with me.

CH: Why was Uncle Karl (SP) different? I mean, what was it about him that you liked so well?

KT: He was just most kind.

CH: Oh, I see.

KT: He would get somebody to care for the children.

CH: Did he tease you, or bring candy?

KT: No, there was no candy at that time. Only orange or apple.

CH: Do you think it was just because he smiled, or was happy-go-lucky?

KT: [146].

CH: Well, that's very interesting, when I was a little girl and my cousins, who are a lot younger than I am, would come to our farm at Berlin, my dad was one of the favorite uncles, because he would give them baby lambs, or he would give them coins, he would be good to them, and I know that my younger cousin's [149], loved to come and stay with my aunt, because she was so good to them. So, I just wondered what it was about Karl (SP) and Katherina that you liked so well. Sometimes it is hard to describe. It is just a feeling, and you can't describe it.

CH: Well, if you happen to remember anything about that, you can still tell me. I am going to ask you about your mom. Do you know who your mom learned Browga (SP) from?

KT: I don't remember. They learned everything at home.

CH: So, you think that her mother was a Browga (SP)?

KT: My mother was crocheting a lot. [159].

CH: So she really liked hand work? But where did she get this talent for healing people, for curing illnesses.

KT: I don't know.

CH: Did a lot of people come to your home, for her help?

KT: [163]. [164].

CH: O.k. Now, you have to tell me what you said, because I only understand a few words of German, so when you say it in a sentence, I am lost.

KT: [166] [168].

CH: Oh. Can you remember any kinds of illnesses that your mother could cure?

KT: She could heal rash, but she couldn't [175].

CH: So then did she send them to someone else that she might know that would know how to heal that?

KT: She just did it herself.

CH: Oh, she did? Did she grow certain herbs or something that would help them?

KT: She had a book that she used. A lot of stuff in there.

CH: Was this book in German?

KT: Yes.

CH: Was it a book that someone had given her?

KT: I don't know.

CH: Do you know where the book is?

KT: No, not now anymore. [182], didn't know where it was, it was gone.

CH: She never talked about where she learned how to do this?

KT: No.

CH: Did you ever see her do it?

KT: No.

CH: So, she wouldn't have anyone else around when she would do this?

KT: Well, my oldest sister, [187] [188].

CH: Well, it is a real gift to be able to do that. Not everyone has that talent, and as I understand about Browga (SP), a person who has that talent, always gives credit to the Triune God, you never take credit yourself, so when they are doing this healing, you say a prayer, and their are different prayers for different types of healing, and you would always say a prayer to the "Father, Son, and Holy Ghost." Did you ever see your mother do any of this?

KT: I think she goes over to the bedroom to do it.

CH: So, she would take her patients to the bedroom and treat them? And she never talked about it?

KT: No.

CH: Besides rashes, were there other things that she did?

KT: She would take out little [200] and sore muscles.

CH: Arthritis, or pink-eye, or something like that?

KT: Yes, she could help with pink-eye.

CH: She could help with pink-eye. What would she do?

KT: I don't know. She would take them in the bedroom and you wouldn't see.

CH: She must have done some healing on you children, I mean children get sick.

KT: [205] [206].

CH: That means that she had the gift of touch. Some people do the art of massage, that's another form of Browga (SP), where they are able to massage, and reduce the inflammation from arthritis, or to heal a broken bone or something, they can set it just so, do you know if she did anything like that?

KT: I don't know. We would never look in when she was doing something.

CH: Do you know if she taught anyone else to do this?

KT: No, I don't think so. [214].

CH: Maybe we should talk to Clara about this. Maybe this summer when she's back, I could give her this [216].

CH: When she was performing Browga (SP), was it something that was kept very quiet, or was it something that she would talk about, how would she get referrals of her patients, would someone in the neighborhood say, "Oh, you have a rash, you should go see [222]."

KT: Yes, sometimes. [223].

CH: I wonder where she learned it. If it was from her mother, because your mother (interruption here, someone else talking) [226].

KT: [227] [228].

CH: What was [227] like?

KT: [228] [231] [232].

CH: So, her mind isn't good enough?

KT: Oh, her mind is good.

CH: So, I could go in and interview her?

KT: Her mother did [234].

CH: So, her mother also did [234]?

KT: Yes.

CH: Did your mother and her mother know each other?

KT: Oh yes. [237] _____Russia [238] [239].

CH: Katherina, there was a Wright who was your husband's grandmother.

KT: [244] Meidinger.

CH: No, it would have been your husband's grandmother.

KT: [246]. [246].

CH: There is a Wright in my genealogy and I am trying to remember where she is. I don't have that information with me. What I want to say is Katherina Wright Thurn.

KT: [250]. [251].

CH: Who was she married to?

KT: [252].

CH: That's Katherina Wright [252], the one that is here in the home. O.k. And it was her mother who was the [?]?

KT: [255]. [256].

CH: Was your mother one of those who could help with children?

KT: Yes.

CH: What sort of things would she do?

KT: I don't know, but I know that [258] and go into the bedroom and [259].

CH: Where did she get her salves?

KT: She sent for them.

CH: Did she grow any of her own herbs and things like that?

KT: [264]. [264].

CH: Is your older sister still living?

KT: Oh yes. [267]. [271].

CH: Can you tell me about your Grandpa Adam and Grandma Magdalena's farm? Your mother's parents farm.

KT: (Silence here) 275.

CH: When I told you I had wedding pictures, there is [276], which I assume was the first house, and then there is a frame house, a wood house.

KT: [278] house.

CH: Oh, it was that big? I can't tell on the pictures. Were there any trees?

KT: No. [281].

CH: But there were trees in the yard? I noticed there was a big building, it looked like a barn, and I suppose there was a corral or a [283] for the cows.

KT: [284] a new house, [285].

CH: Oh, your grandpa, or young Adam?

KT: The young Adam.

CH: [284], he didn't live on the same farm, he had his own homestead.

KT: He was staying at his house.

CH: Oh, he did?

KT: When Grandma died, then he married and [289] died again, and then [290].

CH: So, then he came back to live with [290] Adam?

KT: Yes.

CH: So that woman he was married to, that didn't last very long, she died?

KT: Yes.

CH: So, then he moved out of Zeeland and came to live with them?

KT: Yes.

CH: I have a picture of him and [293] Adam and Dora and the children. So, he came back to live with them. I'll bet it felt good to come back to the farm.

KT: He spent a lot of time out [296], [296].

CH: [296]?

KT: Yes. [297].

CH: That's how my dad is. I remember he would like to just get [298] in the car, and he would drive and look at the crops and so forth.

KT: [300].

CH: Well, my dad of course drove a car.

KT: [301]. [304]. [305].

CH: And they raised Edwin, didn't they?

KT: Yes. [304]. The day he was born? Yes, [308].

CH: Alvina couldn't take care of the babies.

KT: Just seems like there was one there and then another one come, [310].

CH: No, there were six left, with Alvina. Mary was about 4 years old, when her mother died. She shouldn't have had that baby.

KT: [316].

CH: Edwin?

KT: Eddy, yah.

CH: He's healthy and he is retired now, Don [319], but he is working, he takes tickets or does something like that. It is a real easy job. And then he does something else. I think he has heart trouble. I don't know about diabetes. I don't think Don said that, but his dad has some heart trouble.

KT: [330]. [332].

CH: When Alvina was young, you said she came over to see you a lot? What did you do, did you make quilts, or do embroidery, or did you talk and giggle or what?

KT: [336], kind of stuff that they do now.

CH: You must have had small children at that time when she came to visit you?

KT: Oh yes. [339]. And then you had a lot of kids that would stay there when they went to confirmation school, they were at our house all of the time.

CH: Oh, they were?

KT: [344]. [345].

CH: Tell me about Reverend [345]. He was there forever and ever. What was he like?

KT: He was good. [347].

CH: He was there a long time, and then he left, and then he came back again. Why did he come back?

KT: He liked it here. [350], [351].

CH: Was he married?

KT: No, he never was married.

CH: So, who made his meals, or did he take care of himself?

KT: [353].

CH: So then did he stay at St. Andrew's until he died?

KT: No, he went down to Aberdeen. [357]. [359]. [363], [365].

CH: Do you remember Dr. [367]?

KT: Yes.

CH: Was he a good man?

KT: Sure. He was good.

CH: Now, he wasn't a German, how did he fit in?

KT: I don't know. [369]. [371].

CH: Did he deliver your children?

KT: [373], [376].

CH: Oh my!

KT: [378].

CH: So, Dr. [378] delivered those two?

KT: No, [379] Ashley [380].

CH: So, that was the doctor also? So, you didn't have a midwife deliver your children?

KT: No, [381] wouldn't help anything either. His mother was there [382]. [383].

CH: Well, you are very nice to give me some of your time. Thank you, I appreciate it. If you think of anything that you think I should know and I am interested in anything, so get in touch with me.


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