Category Archives: Midwest

Carl Carlson

My grandfather was born in Sweden and came to America with his wife near the turn of the 20th century. He was known on the East side of St. Paul, Minnesota as “Coffee Carlson” because he delivered coffee to various places throughout that part of town. He married Beda Wilhelmina Rudeen, but there is very little written about them. They ... Read More »

John Adolph Youngquist

Johannes Hokannson was a religious man, an itinerate preacher in Sweden. His wife, Cecilia came from a wealthy family. Cecelia’s family helped her and her children considerably, but even so Grandpa said they were poor in Sweden. The state church disapproved of such preachers in Sweden; hence, he left with his wife Cecelia, and the six youngest of their seven ... Read More »

Hans Christian Vinther and Ida Frederikka Otilia Sturve Vinther

Hans (1846 – 1908) was born in Denmark and immigrated to Illinois in the early 1870’s. Probably he left to avoid being drafted into Bismark’s German army. A short time later, he and a close friend, Martin Nelson moved to Texas. Then Hans sent for his German fiancée, Ida, (1852 – 1931) to join him. Hans’ brother Jorgen Theodor Vinther ... Read More »

Christian Juergen Alpers

Christian Juergen Alpers completed a course of study to become a Lutheran pastor in Hermansburg, Germany and then, in 1875, immigrated to an area southwest of New Prague, Minnesota where about fifteen German Lutheran families had settled in the mid 1850’s. The school was one of several institutions sponsored by German mission societies, and the graduates were sent to locations ... Read More »

Morris Edmond Kraus

My grandfather, Morris Edmond Kraus, emigrated to America in 1881, presumably to escape conscription into the army of the Kaiser. His home was a village, Barendorf, that is near the town, Schonberg, in Saxony. He came to Ohio to live with an uncle, John Pentzel, who had arrived about 10 years earlier. Through relatives Morris obtained a job in a ... Read More »

George H. Northcott

George H. Northcott was my grandfather. He came to Detroit, Michigan in 1919 from London, Ontario, Canada. He was a mechanical engineer and led a group of engineers who designed and built the London Port Stanley Railroad. He also worked on the great fleet of the ore boats that plied the Great Lakes. (My father was born in Duluth, Minnesota.) ... Read More »

Doris Stoddart McDonald

Doris Stoddart McDonald was born in 1907 in the small town of Colchester, Ontario, just outside of London. Her maternal grandparents were from Devon and her father was the first in his family to emigrate from England to Canada. She always – from the time she was a little girl – wanted to be a nurse. After high school she ... Read More »

Millie Lueck MacInnis: Salvation Army Captain

“You are all arrested, come along,” declared Officer Pete Walsh of the Butte, Montana police force. In the midst of a heavy snowstorm, Captain Millie Lick (Lueck) and her six fellow Salvation Army soldiers were taken down to the city’s barracks on charges that their marching and singing in the streets was disturbing the peace. As it turned out, the complaint ... Read More »

Rivka Lifschitz – the odyssey

Bob Rosenzweig shared with me the story of his grandma’s harrowing journey from Bobroisk, Russia, to Osaka, Japan, to Seattle, WA, and finally to Detroit, MI. His grandma’s name was Rivka Lifschitz. Rivka was born around 1896 in Russia. Her husband, oldest daughter, and oldest son had gone first from Russia to Detroit, MI in 1911. It was around 1914 ... Read More »

Phillip & Bessie Espar

Bessie and Phillip Espar were born in a small Yiddish town of Olizarka, Russia. They married young and had three children; Meyer, Ruth, and Sadie (the interviewee). Meyer and Ruth were born in Russia and Sadie was born in the U.S. Phillip was known to be spoiled and high-spirited, and was always ready for a fistfight. He was apprenticed by ... Read More »

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