The South Dakota Germans from Russia Cultural Center

The South Dakota Germans from Russia Cultural Center This page is dedicated to sharing the unique culture and heritage of South Dakota Germans from Russia.
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Planning is now underway for the South Dakota Germans from Russia Cultural Center. This history and research center will be housed on the second floor of the Northern State University Library. Over 5,000 square feet has been set aside, and will include a permanent exhibit telling the story of the Germans from Russia in South Dakota through images, documents, artifacts, and oral history interviews. Rotating exhibitions will highlight specific aspects of the Germans from Russia culture. An extensive monograph collection will also be available to genealogists and researchers. For more information on the South Dakota Germans from Russia Cultural Center, please contact Robert Russell at 605.626.7770 or stop in to LIB105.

As Maundy Thursday comes to a close, thoughts turn to Good Friday and Easter Sunday on the horizon.  My family will part...
04/10/2020

As Maundy Thursday comes to a close, thoughts turn to Good Friday and Easter Sunday on the horizon. My family will partake in noodles and raisins (with Hosmer sausage) for Good Friday dinner.

What are your family's Easter traditions? How do you observe Good Friday? Share if you would like to, and Happy Easter.

Image of a German-Russian family dressed for Easter Dinner. Julius Stangl Collection. Undated.

Like many, we are currently working from home.  During these unique times, we have an opportunity to spend time at home....
04/07/2020

Like many, we are currently working from home. During these unique times, we have an opportunity to spend time at home. I'd like to suggest we use some of this time to look at our family collections.
-Do you have photographs? This would be a great time to identify and label them.
-Do you need to contact a relative who knows the story of that family artifact? It would be a great time to give them a call.
-Do you have items, but no plan in place for their long-term preservation? Now would be a great time to reach out to institutions that may be of assistance.

Even though the SD Germans from Russia Cultural Center is not open, do not hesitate to contact us if we can be of assistance. Instant message here or email at [email protected].

Images: Unidentified images showing the opposite of social distancing. Julius Stangl Collection.

Exhibits for 2020 at the SD Germans from Russia CenterComing Soon:Dakota Scenes:  Postcard images from the Duane Stabler...
01/10/2020

Exhibits for 2020 at the SD Germans from Russia Center

Coming Soon:
Dakota Scenes: Postcard images from the Duane Stabler Collection

Approximately 70 images documenting life in areas of South Dakota home to many Germans from Russia. Images of farm work, small town life, landmark buildings, and Main Street scenes are all included. Most postcards date from the early 1900s-through 1930, and include locations in McPherson, Edmunds, Hutchinson, Brown, Tripp, and Corson Counties.

October 21- November 30, 2020:
Thrift Style - A nationally touring exhibit focused on the reuse and re-purposing of feed sacks and other cloth during the Depression and WWII.

https://eusa.org/exhibition/thrift-style/

More info from the website:
In the 1920s and ‘30s, manufacturers began producing patterned and colored feed sacks to give home seamstresses more options. During World War II, the federal government limited fabric use for individual garments and homemakers were obligated to use thrifty approaches to repurpose what was available to them. As fabrics from feed sacks were not considered a limited resource, women turned to them as an accessible and patriotic option during the war effort. In response, trade organizations and manufacturers promoted the thrifty use of feed sack fabric by publishing how-to brochures and booklets with clothing designs, mending instructions, and other suggestions for restyling clothes.

Merry Christmas from the South Dakota Germans from Russia Cultural Center. We have been very fortunate to have more peop...
12/20/2019

Merry Christmas from the South Dakota Germans from Russia Cultural Center. We have been very fortunate to have more people finding out about the Center, and supporting the things going on here. We have much to look forward next year in the way of exhibits and events. Thank you for liking and following our page. We look forward to sharing more information and interacting with you in the coming year.

Illustrations - Luke Chapter 2, from a recently donated 1888 German language Bible and two Christmas hymns from Sounds from Zion, a 1911 German/English hymn book.

Snow and cold have now settled in here on the Plains.  Winter was a time when early settlers relied on canned foods - mo...
12/06/2019

Snow and cold have now settled in here on the Plains. Winter was a time when early settlers relied on canned foods - mostly those they preserved, but occasionally something commercially produced.

Today, we highlight a seemingly humble part of our collection. This can that formerly held pineapple tells us something about area history, and a little about those who owned it.

The can bears the seal of Jewett Brothers, an Aberdeen, Dakota Territory grocery store and wholesale seller. The Jewett Brothers, Charles and Harvey, ran a wholesale grocery operation in Aberdeen from 1882 until 1888, when they expanded to Sioux Falls. More information on their business can be found here:
https://tinyurl.com/woqqx46/

The can was opened by someone lacking the clean cutting, safe can openers of today. Visitors have commented that the person who opened it was pretty desperate, but it most likely reflects the implement used more than the intention of the opener. Canned goods like pineapple would have been a rare treat to be savored by Dakota Territory residents of the 1880s.

This can is part of the kitchen display in the Center, and was donated by Marvin Hoffer of Montana. Mr. Hoffer is a native of Java, and has been a supporter of the SD GfR Center from its inception. If you would like to donate items, or support the Center, contact Robert Russell at 605.626.7770.

Lawrence: South Dakota’s Hutterite martyrs
11/18/2019
Lawrence: South Dakota’s Hutterite martyrs

Lawrence: South Dakota’s Hutterite martyrs

An NFL quarteback kneels in protest and ends up sidelined, possibly forever. Students walk out of class to express their disgust with school shootings. President Donald Trump is booed at

Happy Veterans Day from the South Dakota Germans from Russia Cultural Center.  Our collection includes interviews with s...
11/11/2019
digitalcollections.northern.edu

Happy Veterans Day from the South Dakota Germans from Russia Cultural Center.

Our collection includes interviews with several veterans, uniforms, scrapbooks, and other records that document the wartime activities of several German from Russia soldiers.
Thank you to all of veterans for your sacrifice on behalf of our country.

If you have ties to the Eureka area, this scrapbook, complied by Anne Froh, may be of interest to you. In it, Anne gathered any news clippings she could find that documented the activities of Eureka area soldiers during WWII.
http://digitalcollections.northern.edu/digital/collection/Eureka/id/615

Although the weather is hindering the progress of many, it is harvest time.  God bless those working hard to bring in th...
10/25/2019

Although the weather is hindering the progress of many, it is harvest time. God bless those working hard to bring in their crops this Fall.

In the linked audio clips, Don Quashnick of Deadwood, SD describes his experiences with farm equipment, and his father's work ethic.
https://sdgfr.org/collections/quaschnick/

Images from the Spiedel Family Collection

Did you know we offer access to over 4,000 fully searchable obituaries from South Dakota?  Simply follow the link below ...
10/09/2019

Did you know we offer access to over 4,000 fully searchable obituaries from South Dakota? Simply follow the link below and use the search box or browse tab at the top of the page.

Additional obituaries are being added daily. Obituaries document a difficult time in a family's life, but are very important to genealogists and other researchers. If you have any obituaries that you would like to share, please email [email protected].

http://digitalcollections.northern.edu/cdm/search/collection/p16707coll8

Are you your family's historian?  Do you have copies of your family history?  The South Dakota Germans from Russia Cultu...
09/27/2019

Are you your family's historian? Do you have copies of your family history? The South Dakota Germans from Russia Cultural Center continues to gather family histories for our general collection.

A great deal of hard work goes into genealogy. Documents created by family historians are great resources for current and future researchers, but are often only available to small groups.

Please consider sharing your family history. It can be published, comb bound, photocopied, or loose pages. If you are unable to donate the item to the collection, consider borrowing it to us for digitization. Items donated are cataloged, and can be located by interested researchers online or on site.

If you are interested in sharing your family history research, or if you have any questions, please instant message this page or contact Robert Russell at [email protected].

Photo of Tripp, South Dakota U.S. Post Office from 1918. In the photograph is J.K. Mayer with his daughter Hulda Mayer. ...
09/18/2019

Photo of Tripp, South Dakota U.S. Post Office from 1918.

In the photograph is J.K. Mayer with his daughter Hulda Mayer. Hulda Mayer married Frederick Ochsner in 1926 they had four children: Armond Jakob, Cleon, Frederick, and Ewald Waldemar (Wally).

Photo provided by Cleon Ochsner

This photo came from the Ochsner Family Germans From Russia Collection.

http://digitalcollections.northern.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/p16707coll12/id/65

The front page of today's Aberdeen American News announced the exciting news.  Starting Summer session of 2020, NSU will...
09/11/2019
Northern to offer online Germans from Russia graduate certificate

The front page of today's Aberdeen American News announced the exciting news. Starting Summer session of 2020, NSU will be offering an online graduate certificate focused on the Germans from Russia. Courses will include aspects of history and culture, with a strong emphasis on translation of GR dialects and handwriting. The digitized materials used by the students will come from the SD Germans from Russia Cultural Center's collections. We look forward to this program, along with the development of an undergraduate certificate in the near future. For more information, contact Robert Russell or Dr. Virginia Lewis at Northern State University.

There are hundreds of documents in the South Dakota Germans From Russia Cultural Center at Northern State University that not too many people in the area can read.

Did you know that Eureka, SD was once central for wheat trade?Description: Black and white photograph with white frame. ...
09/04/2019

Did you know that Eureka, SD was once central for wheat trade?

Description: Black and white photograph with white frame. Below photograph written in blue ink "Wagons loaded with wheat".
Source: Eureka Pioneer Museum

Who remembers eating pickled beets? Check out today's edition of the Aberdeen American News. "Taste: Aberdeen woman reli...
08/27/2019
Taste: Aberdeen woman relishes chance to make pickled beets

Who remembers eating pickled beets? Check out today's edition of the Aberdeen American News. "Taste: Aberdeen woman relishes chance to make pickled beets"

https://www.aberdeennews.com/life/food/taste-aberdeen-woman-relishes-chance-to-make-pickled-beets/article_145f659b-cb4d-5ccb-a180-bebb944cb75e.html?block_id=475371

Marlene Loebs doesn't know how many pints of beets she's helped pickle for St. Mary's Catholic Church during the past 30 years. She knows it's a day she looks forward

We have completed our collection of obituaries. They can be found here: http://digitalcollections.northern.edu/cdm/landi...
08/26/2019
South Dakota Germans From Russia Collection

We have completed our collection of obituaries. They can be found here:

http://digitalcollections.northern.edu/cdm/landingpage/collection/p16707coll8

If you have any thing that you would like to donate to our collection, please feel free to contact [email protected]

This collection includes digital copies of Prairies Magazine (1975-1986), a magazine publised in Ashley, North Dakota. Prairies magazine article topics includ immigration, homesteading, weddings, recipes, wrought-iron cross cemeteries, Lawrence Welk, farming and cooking.

Public school started here in Aberdeen this week and it got us to thinking about the history of education in South Dakot...
08/21/2019

Public school started here in Aberdeen this week and it got us to thinking about the history of education in South Dakota. One room school houses were a major part of the education for early South Dakota settlers. Do you have any stories to share?

Description:
Black and white photograph of students. On newsprint below photograph: "One Room School House. 1914-1915. School Days... The above photo was taken during the 1914-15 school term of Bauer No. 4. The school was located about five miles south of Eureka. Later a new building was built further to the west near the Bowdle Road. Teacher for that term was Frances Simmon s. There were 24 pupils that term. Pictured left to right: They are Miss Simmons, back row: Emma Heckel, Lydia Klundt, Emma Kessler, Martha Thurn, Margaret Eiseman, Christine Nehlich, Rose Heckel and Martha Heckel. Second Row: Lydia Thurn, Bertha Heckel, Albina Weller, Martha Eiseman, Lena Klundt, Lucy Kessler, Rose Kessler, Fred Kessler, William Heckel, and Christ Kessler. Front Row: Adolph Heckel, Henry Weller, Christ Bitz, William Weller, Ernest BItz and Jacob Bitz. Photo Courtesy of The Henry Jundts".

Vest and buttons Germans from Russia Heritage Society Ca. 1990sGlenn and Ruth Overby Collection
08/15/2019

Vest and buttons Germans from Russia Heritage Society
Ca. 1990s
Glenn and Ruth Overby Collection

Photograph of the exterior of the J.M. Schatz Boots and Shoes store, Eureka, SD. Source: Eureka Pioneer Museum
08/07/2019

Photograph of the exterior of the J.M. Schatz Boots and Shoes store, Eureka, SD.

Source: Eureka Pioneer Museum

Don't forget to attend the 2nd Annual South Dakota Chislic Festival at the Freeman Prairie Arboretum, Freeman, SD on Jul...
07/24/2019

Don't forget to attend the 2nd Annual South Dakota Chislic Festival at the Freeman Prairie Arboretum, Freeman, SD
on July 27th

The festival features chislic and craft beer along with a variety of other festival foods.

Check out the Roesch Family GFR Collection online. http://digitalcollections.northern.edu/cdm/landingpage/collection/sdg...
07/17/2019

Check out the Roesch Family GFR Collection online.

http://digitalcollections.northern.edu/cdm/landingpage/collection/sdgfr

This collection was donated by the Roesch family, whose ancestors came to the United States from Russia in 1898 and settled in Roscoe, S.D. The collection includes many letters from family back in Russia, as well as German books, photographs and miscellaneous artifacts. Spanning about 80 years, the collection offers insight into what it was like for people coming to America, as well as the conditions in Russia at the time.

This photograph is taken from the Eureka Pioneer Museum collection. Eureka Class of 1931Description: Back row, left to r...
06/26/2019

This photograph is taken from the Eureka Pioneer Museum collection. Eureka Class of 1931

Description: Back row, left to right: Earl Bauer, Eugene Oster, Byron Berhow, Esther Serr Wolff, Viola Muschler, Florence Papendick, Henry Ehrmann, Evelyn Wenzel Heilman, Gertrude Froelichman, Ray Keisz, Lewis Papendick and Harold Opp. Front Row, Left to right: Katherine Zeller Hahman, Ella Schutz Singer, Erna Kafer Stahl, Verna Mutschler, Frances Bender, and Lillian Kallenberger.

Dr. Ginny Lewis Presentation at the 49th Annual Germans from Russia Heritage Society International Convention.Starting J...
06/06/2019

Dr. Ginny Lewis Presentation at the 49th Annual Germans from Russia Heritage Society International Convention.

Starting July 31st is the 49th Annual Germans from Russia Heritage Society International Convention in Fargo, ND. Northern State University’s own Dr. Ginny Lewis, professor of German, will be presenting at the conference in Fargo, ND. Her presentation, titled “Letters from Bessarabian Refugees to the Pfitzer Family in Java, South Dakota: Desperation Meets Generosity in Post WWII Germany”, will discuss her work translating 20th century Bessarabian refugee letters.

Lewis states:

“I had the honor of translating some hundred or so letters addressed to members of the Pfitzer family in Java, South Dakota, primarily from the years shortly after World War II. The letters, penned predominantly by Bessarabian refugees who’d lost everything as a result of the political forces that wrenched them from their homeland, paint a vivid picture of the traumas and hardships they experienced as pawns in the devastating rivalry between Nazi Germany and the Soviet empire before and during WWII. My presentation will share historical details of the lives of these Bessarabians whose world was turned upside down by Hitler and Stalin’s politics, and the generous response to their plight as German refugees by relatives, whom they often did not even know, in rural South Dakota. My presentation will include challenges posed by the translation process due to the circumstances surrounding the writers’ difficult lives.”

http://sdgfr.org/blog/

Coming soon:49th Annual Germans from Russia Heritage Society International ConventionHosted by the Germans from Russia H...
06/05/2019

Coming soon:

49th Annual Germans from Russia Heritage Society International Convention

Hosted by the Germans from Russia Heritage Society Board of Directors and the Die Deutsche Glieder Chapter, this annual conference includes presentations, a tour of the South Dakota Cultural Heritage Center and more.

Event date: July 31 - August 3, 2019

Location: Holiday Inn Hotel and Convention Center, Fargo, ND

Address

1200 S Jay St
Aberdeen, SD
57401

Telephone

+6056267770

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Our Story

Williams Library, on the campus of Northern State University, is now home to the South Dakota Germans from Russia Cultural Center. This includes a permanent exhibit, housed on the second floor of the library, along with a research center focused on the history of the Germans from Russia and their impact on South Dakota. Publications are available for use within the center, and manuscript and artifact collections are can be requested by researchers. The Center is open anytime the library is, and we look forward to you visiting. For more information on the South Dakota Germans from Russia Cultural Center, please contact Robert Russell at 605.626.7770 or stop in to LIB105.

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Comments

I am a direct descendent of Valentine & Elizabeth Stappler who emigrated to South Dakota as part of the 'Germans from Russia' exodus. In 1907 they settled in the Brown & Edmunds county areas primarily. In 1990, one of my relatives, Ron L Chomyc wrote a book called 'Legacy; a history of the Stappler, Weigel and Kessler families. It is no longer in print & the only copy I know of is at the North Dakota State Library in Fargo. Is anyone familiar with this book?
What do you think?
Can anyone help me decipher this last name? I can see the first is Maria......It is my great grandmother's mother's name and it would be ever so helpful if I could figure out her last name......thanks in advance!
Looking for any info on surnames, Opp (Georg), Esslinger, and Asenbauer (Joseph) in Herried, Campbell Co. Year range 1890-1929.
Can anyone identify this handsome mystery man? We believe he is a descendant of Christoph Kruger & Anna Marie Buerkle who came from Ukraine in 1900 with several children. They settled & homesteaded in Logan County, ND. My cousins & I would love to know who he is. The pic was found in a family photo collection with no name or date.
My friend was hoping that someone might have some information on two German-from-Russia families in South Dakota. I might be spelling the names a little wrong, but the two families he is asking about are Goosen and Kleinsausser. Any information would be appreciated. Thank you.
I found some books while helping my aunt move. One is a song book from the volga, a book called Germania and a German Bible. Treasures!