Minot State University Gallery, Minot, North Dakota
Weigum Shaw's Family Rug
Rag rugs covered many families' cold floors here on the Dakota
prairie. Women saved scraps of fabric and would trade them with
their neighbors for an attractive color array.
Strips were braided and stitched together with strong thread
to form the rug. Carol remembered it only being used on Sundays.
On other days, the rug was in a closet where she found it long
after the home had been abandoned.
Katherina Deringer Mack's Shawl
This shawl was brought from the Kutschurgan colonies of South
Russia (today near Odessa, Ukraine) in 1914 by Katherina Deringer
Mack of Karlsruhe, North Dakota.
These shawls were used for dress, when riding in the sled on
Sundays or to go visiting. This black fringed double-weave woolen
winter shoulder shawl or lap shawl, has rust and dark green plaid
This was given to the collection by Theresa Mack Wald of Grand
Forks, North Dakota.
Ralph Ruff's "Bowtie" Quilt
This quilt was made especially for Ralph Ruff of Vacaville,
California, by his grandmother Katharina (Rieker) Kiesz in 1934.
Katharina was born in the village of Bergdorf and was married
to Wilhlem Kiesz. Ralph's mother was six months old when her family
came to America on the ship Red Star. Katharina's family
first settled at Bowdle, SD. They later moved to Ritzville, south
of Spokane, Washington, in the early 1900s.
After the death of Ralph's mother, Christina (Kiesz) Ruff, he
was raised by Grandmother and Grandfather Kiesz. Grandmother Kiesz
wanted Ralph to have a blanket that was just for him, so she saved
scraps of material, perhaps from old clothing, feed and flour
sacks. She sewed every stitch and Ralph, at age 9, helped to thread
most of the needles. It was her special gift to him. He presented
the quilt to the Germans from Russia Heritage Collection in February
Lillian Knittel Hoffmann's Doily
Lillian crocheted this doily with size 10 crochet thread in
1996 from a pattern called "Spider Doily".
She learned to crochet when she was 11 years old by watching
over her mother's shoulder. She was born eight miles south of
Goodrich and was raised near Wing and Arena, North Dakota. Lillian
lived in Esmond, North Dakota; Pinehurst, Idaho; and Santa Clara,
California, before returning to live in Harvey in 1981.
Hilda Kusler Hodgins' Shawl
During the nineteenth century, these black woolen shawls with
elegantly knotted silk-fringe were highly cherished by all fashionable
German ladies, especially for dress to church worship.
This particular silk-fringed black woolen shawl was purchased
by Karl Kusler in 1910 when revisiting his birth village of Worms
[Beresan District], Ukraine (South Russia) located about 80 miles
northeast of the city of Odessa. Karl's youngest daughter Hilda
Kusler Hodgins of Glückstal heritage and formerly of Beulah, North
Dakota, donated this family textile treasure in 1994.
Ethnic Bessarabian costumed-dolls made by Elvera Reuer, native
of Arzis, Bessarabia, living in Mesa, Arizona.
Salomina (Sommerfeld) Unrath's Blanket
Vi Schielke of Beulah, North Dakota, presented her grandmother
Salomina's canapee blanket to the collection on March 31, 1996.
Salomina was born in 1888 at the Bessarabian German village of
Paris, South Russia. As a newlywed, she immigrated to America
in 1908 and raised seven children.
The blanket was passed down through the maternal side of the
family from Salomia to her youngest daughter, Clara Unrath Kruckenberg.
Clara presented the blanket to her daughter, Vi Kruckenberg Schielke.
Vi remembers seeing the blanket carefully preserved in the family
Christina Zweigle Schmidt Schieve's Linen and Embroidery
Linen and cotton embossed floral embroidered pillow shams with
exquisite crocheted lace feature the handwork of Christina Zweigle
Schmidt Schieve, native of Alexanderhilf near Odessa, Ukraine
who settled at Harvey, North Dakota. Christina's daughters are
"family keepers" - Elsie Gimse, author/historian Edna Schieve
Boardman, and Vivian Berg, founding members of the Landsleute
Chapter of the Germans from Russia Heritage Society, Minot, North