The Early Life of
Clarence E. Knudson

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The following is a wonderful interview of Clarence E. Knudson by his niece, Joyce Lester Pond. Joyce did the interviews in 1985 or 1986, that would have been after his wife, Ina, had died. Joyce typed the transcript in 1992. We are pleased to be able to now provide it to the larger family audience on this website. Thanks to Joyce for this good work!

Clarence was born on July 2, 1905, and died July 14, 1992. He was raised on a farm near Manvel, just north of Grand Forks, North Dakota, and next to the Red River of the North which divides Minnesota and North Dakota.

See the Family Tree Page for the names details of individuals discussed here.

You may also be interested in The Post Office Career of Clarence E. Knudson.

Oral History -- Clarence E. Knudson

By Joyce Lester Pond

(Joyce Lester Pond is the niece of Clarence Knudson and the daughter of Clarence's sister, Agnes Knudson Lester. So when Joyce refers to "Mother" she means Agnes. When she refers to Gpa or Grandpa she means Clarence's father, Edward Knudson. When Clarence refers to his father he means Edward Knudson and to his mother he means Julia Vigen Knudson. Family relations sure get complicated in a hurry!) )

I began this oral history of the Knudson family in 1985 or 1986. The following is a transcription of my two or three interviews with Clarence. Sometimes I have typed it verbatim and sometimes unnecessary parts have been omtted.

Joyce: So--I had written down, Clarence, when we talked before that Clarence was seven and Mother was six when you started country school and it was one and three fourths mile. and Miss Monley was the teacher. It was a one room school with two outhouses--one for the boys and one for the girls.

Clarence: The outhouses were one on each side of the barn There was a barn in the back for the horses. They weren't doing that when I went to school except on occasion.

Joyce: Grandpa brought you and Mother didn't he?

Clarence: Yes, if the weather was bad. Otherwise we walked.

Joyce: What do you remember about the walks?

Clarence: Nothing unusual except that we'd meet other children along the way. Mostly the Devine kids. The road was along the field and part of it was a graded road with ditches. We started in 1912.

Joyce: Were there cars then?

Clarence: There were a few cars in 1912 but I don't remember it. My first recollection of cars is in 1916 when Henry Ford put out a cheaper car. In 1917 cars were being well sold. What we called the graded roads were good roads except when it rained. They'd get rutted. Horse drawn scrappers were used.

Joyce: I remember going to the farm with my folks and being fascinated by the tall weeds growing by the side of the road. Mud must have been a problem on the farm. I remember being fasclnated by the big clumps of mud in the vestibule.

Joyce: What did you and Mother do in the Winter? Did you go sledding a lot?

Clarence; Yes, of course we had sleds and we had home made skiis. Dad made them out of oak. He'd put one end of them in a barrel of water and then they could be bent. He did that for the skis & for the sleds. My Dad was inclined to make everything that he could. He started on forty acres -mostly woods. The land was full of stumps and bushes. Dad had a breaking plow. Everything was matted with roots. He seeded on that the first year so of course the crop was poor. The next year the roots were looser so we picked the roots out, shook out the dirt, and put them on what we called stone boats. A sled pulled by horses. We also used the wagon .We'd pile them down by the river and after a few years they were dry enough to burn. Dad cleared five acres a year. Dad was one of the last pioneers. The community was well settled by then. We moved out there in 1910. He was a regular pioneer. I have since come to realize that it was a foolish thing to do. But he was from the old school, you know, the idea was to get on the land. My Dad was born in 1876, so he was 34 years old when he bought this land. He had seen the land developed since he was a little boy. They needed large families in those days to work on the farms and to take care of their old age. There were no old peoples' homes. Very few people could earn enough to retire like people are retiring today. Most of the old people retired on the farm and the kids took over. They continued to live on the farm with very little money. The kids needed the income. That's the way it was. My Dad had the same idea that you had to have a big family with plenty of workers around. . ... My Dad was the type of fellow that thought you worked hard and saved your money. Don't take any chances. When you earn a dime you put it where you won't lose it. So he never took advantage of opportunities. He could have been an independently wealthy man. He bought thirty acres from an old Norwegian that he knew so then he had 70 acres. The Norwegians seemed to follow him out there. The Aakers-Grandma Aaker, and John, her husband and Andrew and Ole Aaker and a man by the name of Ben Dranke, an old friend from way back. And when he decided to leave Dad did buy his land. He had a mortgage on it. He probably paid 60 dollars an acre for it. As time went along, there were hard times then too, the first one that came to Dad was a man named Caldwell and he wanted to sell Dad 40 acres. I think that it's the land that Marlys owns now. He wanted to sell Dad this piece. Dad wouldn't buy it. too conservative. Two years or so later on, Middleton, the hardware dealer, had to take back 95 acres from a farmer that couldn't pay for it. Middleton had all kinds of money so he would loan money. The land was a mile west of Dad's place. Middleton thought that Dad was a good farmer and wanted to sell the 95 acres for 50 dollars They used to have what they called crop payments. Nothing down, you sold or bought your land on crop payments. You'd pay half the crop on the principal each year. But my Dad wouldn't take a chance on it. The land was by the Moray stream right on the banks there, no better land.

Joyce: Did Grandpa ever realize that he should have not been so afraid? Did he ever admit it?

Clarence: I don't remember ever talking about it. He could have bought Walter Nagel's farm right across the road. Nagel had 100 acres of good land. Nagel never had a good crop. He wasn't out in the field when he should. Didn't get his crops in on time and didn't farm so that he controled the weeds.

Joyce: Mother said that you folks were settled in an Irish Catholic community. Mother said that you folks must have been real "odd balls" out there. There must have been a lot of prejudice.

Clarence: Well, of course, it affected us terrifically, I guess. The kids were rough on us. They made fun of us. We could read English so we must have been able to speak English. The Norwegians deserve credit for adopting English. Ina's grandma never learned to speak English. Mrs. Heglund. Grandma Aaker learned to speak English but not well. Many of the old women never learned to speak English but the younger people did.

Joyce: Do you remember the kids at school picking fights with you and Mother?

Clarence: Well, a little bit. They were particularly rough on me the first year. I don't think that Agnes was picked on. Well, we were Norwegians and probably didn't speak real good English. We were Lutherans=that was terrible you know. My Mother and Dad never were able to assimilate into the community. Dad did more than Mother because he was involved in exchanging work and going to the store all the time. Mother had very few friends in the neighborhood. But she did have some friends. Mrs. Walter Nagel was her friend and they visited back and forth. Nagels were German Catholics. Most of them down there were Irish Catholics- Murphys and Doyles and Donahues-all Irish Catholics. The first year or two I had quite a time. The boys picked on me alot. Some of the Donahues were half ignoramous--couldn't learn to read. I remember that Mother used to send lefse to school with us. and we had to quit that. They made so much fun of us. I can still remember this Phil Donahue made real fun of the lefse. I know how you make the lefse, he said. You sweep all the dust into the corner and make it out of that. Crazy. So I grew up too with this problem of the Irish Catholics were not sociable with us Norwegians. As time went on, there were more Norwegians, our relatives, the Aakers. The Aakers bought the Devine farm, Grandma Aaker and her husband, John, Dad's younger brother Halver Aaker. He died out there and is buried at Middlegrove. He was about thirty when he died. Ole Aaker bought a farm about two miles north of there. So their kids went to another school. Then there was Drang Halverson who was married to Dad's half sister Emma. They had two children. One was Deaf and Dumb, you know. The girl, Elva and Gilbert Halverson, they went to school there.

Joyce: How many kids were in the school, Clarence?

Clarence: It was a fairly big school, between twenty and thirty, maybe about 25, I guess. Miss Monley was the teacher. We always had a program in the Fall. We used to start school in the Fall and then we'd go to school for two or three months, missing many days in between. Then we'd go to school until the weather and roads were so bad that Dad didn't want to take us. And then we wouldn't go to school all winter. Then when the weather got better, maybe March, why then we'd start school again.

Joyce: You didn't go in the dead of winter?

Clarence: Not the first few years. We couldn't walk and he didn't have time to take us. Sometimes the neighbors-- The Devines who moved onto the land where the Aakers had been would drive. They would alternate, one week the Devines would drive and the next week Dad would.

Joyce: Car Pool.

Clarence: Car Pool. Horse Pool. Wagon Pool.

Joyce: What did you kids do all winter?

Clarence: Play outside and ski - play inside - teasng each other and lots of reading.

Joyce: I remember how much fun Julian was. He loved to tease me. I was very fond of him. I remember Joel playing the guitar and Grandpa playing the fife and the fiddle. I remember eating mush, the old irons and the curling iron on the stove. The pail of water and the dipper. I remember once when Helen was washing Joel's hair--giggling and teasing.

Clarence: There were all kinds of June berries in the yard. Mother used to can up to 100 quarts of June berries.

Joyce: Grandma was really an outstanding lady, wasn't she Clarence?

Clarence: As a rule she was an easy going person. She could be angry at us too when we didn't do our chores - bringing in wood, trimming the lamp wicks, carrying in water, etc. She was, of course, a wonderful Mother. Mother was certainly a loving person. I can't imagine the other women that I knew around there being as kind and helpful as Mother was. She was born to be a Mother. I always said that Ina was born to be a Grandma.

Joyce: It's interesting to try to know your parents as people and not just as your parents.

Clarence: You're right on that. We looked at Mother the way we felt about her and not the way she was, maybe. I remember when Mother died. When I was teaching school in the first years the apron strings weren't cut, you might say. I'd come home on Friday nights and stay until Sunday night. They'd want to hear my news. I'd volunteer to tell them and I'd keep them spell bound for an hour or two. Of course, when Mother was gone I couldn't do that any more. There wasn't the desire to impress my Dad like I had my Mother. I felt more at ease with Mother and wanted to tell Mother things.

Joyce: You were special as the oldest child.

Clarence: They say that. I never looked at it that way until lately you might say. Your Mother said that I got to go With Dad and see things and do things and she didn't get to do that. Your Mother and I did many chores together as the two oldest. Josephine was the most out going of all the girls. She was really terrific. Your Mother found an old school newspaper in Dad's trunk after he died. Jo was in everything in school. Her boys said, "That would be my Mother." She's a lovely person. She's always been out going and full of life.

Joyce: When Duane was here he asked about how his folks left here. He had the feeling that they left under some tension. Mother said that Grandpa felt that Ray should have done more to help out on the farm.

Clarence: There's no doubt about it that Dad thought that Ray should have helped out. But I don't think that that was everything. Ray had no job and sponged a little and then all of a sudden he started drinking a little. I don't know how much. I hate to even say this. We had given them a little portable phonograph for their wedding, Ina and I, and he had taken that phonograph and sold it to somebody for five or ten dollars and then went on a spree. Ray came home drunk they say and Dad met him in the hall. I didn't see this but it was what I was told. But anyway Dad said something to him and Ray had taken a poke at him. And that was that part of it. As time went along, Ray's father wrote to him and said that he'd try to get him a school out there. He left and did get a school job. Later he wrote to Jo and said she had to come out there. He needed her to take care of him. This is when Mother and Jo were taking care of Grandma when she was dying.

Joyce: We're having treats that Jean had brought and talk about the Norwegian custom of soaking sugar lumps in coffee. Who took care of the garden?

Clarence: We all helped but Dad was in charge of it. We made money from the garden--almost a truck garden. Grandma helped but she had the babies to take care of. Agnes and I were the oldest so naturally we were out there more than anyone. We had a lot of cabbage plants maybe 300 plants. Dad raised the plants. He built what we called a hot house about six feet long and about the length of a window pane. He laid a window on the box and the sun shone down there. We put manure in there, probably horse manure, and then dirt on top, and then planted the seeds in there. I don't remember if he covered it at night or not. It was along side the house.

Joyce: Did Grandma have flowers?

Clarence: She had some flowers. In the garden there were all kinds of onions, radishes, and lettuce and carrots and beets. We always raised kolaribi for some reason. We always had rutabagas, turnips, plenty of tomatos, green beans. Potatoes were out in the field. We had cucumbers and squash and watermelon and muskmelons. They were small. They were pretty good. We ate them right out of the garden--hot. The root cellar was under the living room. We stored the seed potatoes there. Dad always seeded an acre of onions to sell in the Fall. He sold a lot of the larger produce right out of the farm. We always had an acre or so of beans--Navy beans. We'd pick the junk out in the winter evenings, all sitting around the kitchen table. We disliked this job but we knew it had to be done. There was always good conversation around the table. Mother would bake beans and she made a lot of soups. We raised dried peas, too. Mother would make pea soup and sometimes she'd make bean and pea soup. She was a good cook. We always had pies and cakes.

Joyce: How did you take your baths?

Clarence: We had a wash tub. Mother put it down by the warm stove and would bathe the kids one by one.

End of First Tape. The second tape begins at the top of the page, right hand column.

North Dakota

The farm on which Clarence grew up is indicated by the black dot north of Grand Forks, near Manvel, North Dakota.

Second Tape

This is transcribed from the second tape of the interview with Clarence Knudson by Joyce Lester Pond. The typing was done by Diane Knudson Aakhus Easton, Clarence's daughter.

Clarence: I remember alot of things that happened when I was five years old, you know, but not about the baths, but let's say when I was in grade school or high school, we heated a big dishpan with water and took it upstairs and took it right there, the boys and the girls went in their rooms.

Joyce: About the crops that Gpa grew, we knew about the garden and the beans and we knew he grew sugar beets because he got those awards, you know, and potatoes.

Clarence: Yes, three or four acres of potatoes.

Joyce: Wheat?

Clarence: Yes, wheat, barley and oats for the horses, and we had corn .. Dad raised seed corn so he always tried to have nice corn, and then we husked the corn and he would save it for seed. And towards spring or during the winter he would start selling it and everybody knew that he had seed com and they would come and buy it. Usually about 100 bushels and he got from 3 to 5 dollars a bushel for it. Three dollars the first years and then later he got 5 dollars a bushel.

Joyce: In those days did they have fertilizer?

Clarence: No, the only fertilizer they used was the manure they accumulated from the barn and we all hauled that out on the land.

Joyce: They also did not have pesticides or grasshopper controls or all those chemicals.

Clarence: No, they had what they call Paris Green to kill the potato bugs.

Joyce: Farming was really different then, plowing with horses, everything done with horse drawn in those early years.

Clarence: Yes, until about 1918 all farmers used horses, but then in 1917 or 1918 there got to be Ford tracters and then there was another manufacturer, Sampson, built a tractor and they were reliable enough and cheap enough so the farmers could buy them and used them for plowing. Gasoline motors. My Dad never owned a tractor and so I never rode a tractor out on the farm. The boys started buying them, when Clifford and Theodore got old enough to farm. They did not want to farm with the horses, and everybody was starting to buy tractors.

Joyce: I don't know if we talked about this expression "So Help Me, Torge''? Was that Josephine that made that up? Who was Torge? Was that Torge Dranke?

Clarence: Yes.

Joyce: We talked about you kids doing alot of reading during the winter. when you were on the farm. Do you remember the names of some of the books that you or Mother would have read?

Clarence: Probably, I can't remember what the girls read .. Nancy Drew books, if they were out then. But the boys read "The Rover Boys" - "The Rover Boys and Their Airplane" - "The Rover Boys and their Automobile" and then there were the Alger books .. Horatio Alger books. I read alot of them and then some similar books. And then we read "Beautiful Jo" and other books of that type.

Joyce: Oh, I loved that book, I read that book out there, too.

Clarence: There were some books of sermons, too. And a few religious books too, and of course, the bible was there too, but we did not read alot in the bible, you know.

Joyce: Mother had this dumb book of poetry and I remember some of them. One of them was about "John went to the garden swing, leaving the wood for his Mother to bring." I was upset by those poems. Do you remember those poems?

Clarence: I do not remember reading them, Or if I did they did not impress me that much.

Joyce: You and Mother and Ellen and Jo, what was your attitude about the little kids? It seems to me that one time my Mother said she was in charge of helping Clifford. His legs would ache when he was a kid, and Mother would rub his legs to help him. Did you have certain assignments to help with the younger children? Did you feel disgusted with having to take care of the baby or anything like that? It would be normal if you would in any family.

Clarence: I am sure we were, but I can't exactly remember it you know, but there was alot of taking care of children, you know, we had to take care of the children. We did help alot. The babies we were called to help with alot but not at a certain time every day. Maybe the girls did more of that. There was alot of girl's work and boy's work. At the same time, I don't know what Agnes or Ellen would say about this, but I suppose they would deny it maybe, but I can remember doing alot of girl's work, washing dishes, especially in the morning, we had to go to school and we had to get the separator, that blame separator was alot of washing and work, we hated that, you know.

Joyce: And it smelled too, that funny milk smell.

Clarence: Yes, it did, and I don't know why I had to wash so many dishes. I was the oldest. It took at least two of us to do the dishes. Agnes and I had to do alot of dishes. This is what was going on at that time.

Joyce: Church and Confirmation .. you and Mother were confirmed at Middle Grove and you read for the minister and all that. Were you confirmed in Norwegian?

Clarence: Agnes and I were confirmed in English. Most of them were confirmed in Norwegian.

Joyce: Were the services in English or Norwegian?

Clarence: There was a transitition period and the services were always in Norwegian but the English speaking people started complaining that their children were not learning Norwegian and they could not understand it and they started the agitation for English services and so then they had it so that there was one Sunday in English and then next Sunday in Norwegian for a while and then eventually they went to all in English.

Joyce: Who was the minister who confirmed you and Mother?

Clarence: O.T. Ness

Joyce: Oh yes, he married Mother and Dad too, and baptized me. Did he bury Grandma too?

Clarence: He did not marry your Mother and Dad. They were married down in Oklahoma someplace.

Joyce: Oh yes, it was Oklahoma City. Did he marry Gma and Gpa then?

Clarence: No, O.T. Ness came out to the Manvel church about the time we moved out there, maybe the year before or so. He baptized many of the children, Josephine, for instance, would have been baptized by Ness. I don't know if he married anyone or not. There was a habit back at that time, the young people or some of them were married in Manvel but ... There was alot of prejudice at that time.

Joyce: Tell me about you and Mother's high school days. You graduated together didn't you?

Clarence: Yes, in 1923.

Joyce: Did you miss alot of high school or did you go more regularly than to the country school because you had missed alot of country school and Ellen said too, that you missed alot of country school?

Clarence: No, I think we went pretty regularly to high school.

Joyce: And how did you and Mother get there?

Clarence: We had a Horse and buggy.

Joyce: Were you able to drive it in and take the girls in, you all went together, I suppose?

Clarence: It was a two seater buggy.

Joyce: You and Mother and Jo and Ellen too.

Clarence: There were up to six of us .. three in the front seat and three in the back. So there would have been I and Agnes and Ellen and Josephine, Theodore and Clifford. Now of course, Clifford was not with us. But he was there the last year. We drove to Manvel with the horse and buggy and we put the horse in E.G. Bouley's barn, the storekeeper's barn, pretty nearly everyone had a barn in those days, he did not have anything in it in those days, so we put the horse in the stall there.

Joyce: It was his daughter that was a friend of my Mother's. What was her flrst name?

Clarence: Marian.

Joyce: Marian Bonley. Is she still l1ving?

Clarence: Yes, she is but she has arthritis so bad I heard that she can't get around very much.

Joyce: Where does she live?

Clarence: I think it is around the Brainerd area, Cross Lake. We saw Marian and her husband once when we were in Texas one winter. Someone told us that they were in Texas, maybe your mother, and we looked them up, they came over to our trailer to visit us. She was an awfully nice girl.

Joyce: Yes, Mother was always fond of her. Was there enough kids in the Manvel school then and did you have time to socialize with other boys or some friends outside the family?

Clarence: We had to go home right after school and so all the socializing there was, had to be done during the day from 9 to 4.

Joyce: And there were so few of you.

Clarence: There were about 20 or 25 in high school, I think. Some were 9th graders, some 10th .. There were 7 of us that graduated together.

Joyce: Do you remember who they were besides you and Mother?

Clarence: One was Marian Donley, one was Ethel Brown, one was Clarence Lindsey, Faery was his last name.

Joyce: Was that a popular name in those days, Clarence? Seven people and two Clarences?

Clarence: Yes, it was more popular than today. It is not popular today. I never heard a Clarence baptized today. There were many back in those days. I have a cousin, Clarence, and a second cousin who is named Clarence.

Joyce: It is not particularly a Norwegian name?

Clarence: I don't know where they got it.

Joyce: Of course, Agnes is not at all poplular. Not now.

Clarence: Not now. It isn't is it? Clarence and Agnes are about equal now.

Joyce: What were your feelings and impressions during the Depression? In 1929 Mother was married and you were married, were you?

Clarence: I was married in 1931.

Joyce: I was born in 1929. Mother was married in 1928. They were married on Jan. 9.

Clarence: You know, I thought of it last Sunday after church, Joyce, that it was the day your Mother died, the 16th. Four years ago. March.

Joyce: I know things were really hard for you during the depression, weren't they?

Clarence: Yes, they were awfully hard.

Joyce: My parents were living in Grand Forks. Then they were travelling around with me when I was little. I was the smallest baby to have ever been in Yellowstone Park. It could have been in the summer or the fall of that year. I have pictures of me when I was walking. Dad got a job in Grand Forks.

Clarence: It got hard to sell the pictures or if they sold the pictures, then the people did not have the money to buy the pictures.

Joyce: Then Daddy sold candy and cars.

Clarence: I was looking at some old papers here the other day and I came across a bill of sale from my 1932 Chevrolet and your Dad had sold it to me .. and your Dad's name was on the bill of sale. I wonder if they didn't come back to G.F. about 1930. We were married in 1931.

Joyce: I think I was about 2 yrs. old when they came back. Was Mother at your wedding?

Clarence: We did not have a wedding. We just went and got married, like so many & your folks, we just went to a minister and got married. So there was nobody at our wedding.

Joyce: Your Mother of course, was.. did Gma and Gpa, were they there?

Clarence: No, we just went and got married.

Joyce: Who was left on the farm, Josephine, had she left home at that time? 1929.

Clarence: No, she was still at home.

Joyce: Jo was still at home, you and Mother were the first ones to leave.

Clarence: I left home in 1929 too, when I started working in the post office. Until then I was home and gone and coming back again. But in 1929, May, I got a job at the post office. I don't remember who was home then.

Clarence: Cameron?

Joyce: Tameron.

Clarence: He lives in Portland, Oregon.

Joyce: Have you heard how Laura is?

Clarence: Yes, I was out there about a week ago. She is getting better. She is improved alot. She still uses a wheelchair. She does not plan on going home again. She is talking about moving to Grand Forks. She has written for information.

Clarence: I am trying to find information on when your folks came to G.F.

Joyce: I remember we lived in the Laine Apts. I remember when Gpa came and visited Mother and me. I was the first grandchild. I remember he opened up his coin purse and he had such old hands, and then he would give me a nickel or a dime. I remember buying candy then Mother has told me that when Josephine had Duane he was a little tiny baby and he was premature and he weighed 3 lbs. or 5 lbs. and they came to our apt. with us & Mother took care of her for awhile and she was washing Duane and you know Mother, scrub, scrub and she even scrubbed a little bit of his skin off and she never told Josephine. Mother took care of them for awhile. Then we lived across from Marion Stern in the second floor. Then Sterns kept Marion Stern out of school for a year so we could start school together. she was 7 and I was 6. But then of course. Marion and I couldn't go together much longer because my folks built the house.

Then World War II.. you just barely missed being drafted. My Dad too. How old were you when the war broke out .. 1941..

Clarence: I would have been 36 then.

Joyce: You escaped the draft then.

Clarence: I don't remember who they were drafting then, I think they were drafting quite a bit younger men.

Joyce: They were drafting 18 yr. old boys. They were getting higher and higher ages and then what they used those poeple for .. the ones that were not so healthy, they used them for when they did not think they would survive. They sent in the expendable ones first. Daddy never had to go either. Mother said very often she went to bed early because it was the only way to keep warm. Everything was rationed wasn't it? Sugar, gas, oil, meat. What were you doing in World War II, Clarence?

Clarence: I started in the Postal Inspection Service in 1940 and when the draft in 1941 came along I was in Hillsdale, Mich. and I registered for the draft.

Joyce: I remember visiting you once, Mother and me and Dad, when you were in Ironwood and do you remember when we went out on this big boat on the lake and it got stormy and I got scared.

Clarence: And Ina got scared too.

Joyce: It was a nice visit. When did Gpa quit farming? Or retire from farming? Clifford bought the farm from Gpa?

Clarence: I don't know when he quit farming. Mother died in 1936, November of 1936. He was on the farm several years after that. Still on the farm when I went in the inspection service. I can't remember when it was. You can find out when he sold the farm to Clifford. And Clifford might remember if he moved off then.

Joyce: Clarence, did you think of something to say that Josephine had remembered?

Clarence: Yes, she read this book "From This Valley" about people that lived across the river there and she thought it was so interesting. She wrote an incident that happened in her life regarding what activity there was between the Minnesota and North Dakota people, you know, and she said that they used to go over (North Dakota people) alot particularly to the Peterson's when they had Ladies' Aid doings and it was a big community event and they visited and ate and talked and had a good time. And she said all the Irish Catholics around there used to go over there to these parties .. and this night it was to be Ladies' Aid at the Petersons and she was going with the Nagel girls over to this party. So she went over to Leslie Nagle and they went down to the river and they used a boat to go back and forth .. and they used the boat and attended the party and had a good time. These were Lutheran Ladies' Aid. But the Catholics went too. And when they came back after the party, they discovered that someone had taken the boat and they could not get back across the river. Nagle's hired man had gone with them to row them over and row them back home again because they did not think they could handle this situation. Nagle's hired man had taken off his clothes and swam across the river and got the boat and brought it back over and got them all back home again. But this all took alot of time and Josephine was scared to death to come home and it was 2 a.m. in the morning and I was really scared but the folks were not mad, she said. Maybe she was in high school at that time. Josephine practically ran the school when she was in high school.

Joyce: I don't remember her or Ellen either. I suppose she was gone to college when I came back. Mother was the first one married.

Clarence: Jo was probably married when she was going to school in Mayville. When Mother was sick in 1936 Jo was thru school by that time and they couldn't get jobs, there were no jobs at this time. Ray's father wrote that he could get a school for Ray and he went home and then Ray wrote to Jo and told her to come out there and even tho Mother was dying, Jo felt she had to go.

Joyce: Duane was there too, Duane was about 4 years old. Where was he?

Clarence: That's a good question. He must have been there with his mother, before Gma died, and he went to Washington with his Mother.

END OF TAPE. Transcribed July, 1992.

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