The Family

THE OLDTIMERS; As stated earlier I never knew my Grandfather Jim but I remember grandma Ida well. She lived with the Kluvers in the house on Main Street in Minot where Trinity Hospital is now. A trip to Minot almost always involved stopping in at her house where often she and I would end up in a card game. This home was also the site for many holiday and family gatherings, and of course I remember the great food. My grandparents Charlie and Anna Swanson had both come from Sweden and after some time near Sawyer and a short experiment in Oregon purchased the Charles Kelly farm North of Burlington in the Souris valley. Their children Arthur and twin daughters Mabel and May attended the nearby Muir school and later the Graham school. They rode horses to school, and often the teachers stayed at their home. They attended high school in Minot graduating from Minot High. They stayed in Minot during the week and often came home on the Soo Line train and were met at Burlington and taken home by wagon or sleigh. Chas farmed there through most of the 30's and turned the farm over to his son Art in 1940, and later rented it out. My father farmed it for a time in the 40's and on Anna's death it was sold. Chas farmed strictly with horses and never had a tractor. He did buy cars however. One day he left word for the children that he had bought a Model T car and didn't know how to drive it and they were to pick it up and bring it back to the farm. Of course they didn't drive either so the trip back with Art as driver was exciting. Chas later bought a Model A which he left to me on his death and that was my first car. Art graduated from UND in engineering in 1923 and was working for USDA before his retirement. His wife was Marion and they have a son Jim and two daughters Bea and Alice. May taught school near Des Lacs and later married Art Boschert. My mother was working in the First State Bank in Burlington when she met my father and they were married in 1924 in St Paul. May was living there at the time and Mabel and her parents had gone to visit and Geo had gone there with a shipment of cattle. George had been previously married to Myrtle Hogy and Myrtle and their young daughter died from complicatins of the WW1 era flu. She must have enjoyed playing piano and we still have much of her sheet music from the early 1900s. In later years when something unexplainable happened in the house it was often lightly attributed to Myrtle's ghost.

Chas (Charlie) was in the barn milking when a tornado tore the whole roof off the barn and luckily he was not hurt. I remember the rebuilding--a real barn raising with all the neighbors helping the the women serving meals. We visited the Swanson farm regularly and I do remember when the adults wanted to play cards in the evening they would give me a little glass of beer which Charlie made and kept in the cellar. Of course the result was I would fall asleep and they would have a peaceful evening. Anna was a very good cook and I remember her Swedish deserts. I often stayed with them in their home in Burlington after they retired. I remember being there for Sunday dinner on Dec 7th 1941 when news of Pearl Harbour came over the radio.

We spent many summer fishing vacations with Aunt May and Uncle Art Boschert at various lakes in MN. Also spent many a Christmas at their home in St Paul, and of course they would come to visit us at the farm. The Christmas trips were usually by car, but I did make one trip alone. Grandma Swanson put me on the Soo Line passenger train in Burlington and provided me with a big lunch. The train pulled into the station in Minot and down the aisle came my Aunt Carrie with another big lunch for the trip. Other passengers were laughing at my spending the whole trip eating lunch. Art was a RR mail worker and would sort mail in the mail cars as the train worked it's way from St Paul westward. His run was normally to Jamestown ND and back. At the time I thought that would be a really neat job.

The other members of the prior generation I was closest to was Aunt Carrie and Uncle Henry Kluver. Aunt Carrie was recognized as the first white child born in the area, being the eldest of the Johnson children. She was first married to a Mr Wallace (see mines) and had a son Irving. She operated the telephone office in Burlington and later married Henry Kluver who worked in the bank in Burlington. Henry also had a car dealership for a time and later was a Ward County commissioner for many years. My mother and I were both very sick when I was a baby and I understand it was Carrie who cared for me. The Kluvers were regular visitors to the farm and their home was always open to us in Minot. When my parents were traveling and I was in school in Minot I would stay with the Kluvers. Irving was well know at the time and had gotten the name Speed because of his running ability. He held a record for shortest time around the bases of a ball diamond. He helped my father on the farm briefly and Geo said he never opened a gate--he just jumped them all. Geo also remembered him stringing a rope across the hay loft and attempting tight rope walking. Irving worked in early radio in Bismarck and was involved in promoting early automobiles. He operated a restaurant at the present site of Speedway. Irving wrote at least two books and many magazine articles, and traveled a good deal. We would be invited to Kluvers to hear about his travels to Mexico. His wife was Hinda and they have a daughter Wanda. "Speed" was grand marshal for the parade of the Burlington centennial in 1983.

Uncle Lyle who practiced law with his father later joined the army and went to officers school, and I still have the sword they were given in those days. He was in the service when WW11 started and served on the German front as an artillery observer much of the time. He married Evelyn a lady from Texas who had three daughters and who I have lost track of. After the war he served as attorney with the Veterans Administration and they lived for a time in the Philippines, and spent his last years in Texas. I wrote to Lyle often when he was in the service and I have a souvenir German helmet which he sent to me.

Uncle Harvey had run the bank in Burlington until it closed and also farmed just South of Burlington. I spent a good deal of time in their home as cousin Ken and I were best of pals. Harvey and Elise also had two daughters , Ida and Evelyn and son Harvey Jr. Uncle Rollie was in the lumber business in Canada and the state of Washington, and in later years was involved with my father in two ill fated business ventures. Rollie had served in the army in WW1. He returned to Minot on occasion--always in a Hudson car--and we went to visit his family in Washington and also Montana.

Aunt Effie was married to Dan Conan a large Irishman who did contracting and hauled freight with well handled teams of horses. They lived across the river from the Johnson farm where the Fullers later lived. In one well remembered case Dan volunteered to take all the women home from a Ladies Aid meeting in his horse drawn bob sled wagaon. He deliberately tipped the rig over spilling all his passengers in a jumbled pile in the snow bank. By my time Effie and Dan had moved to the state of WA, where their children still mostly live, but Effie came back to visit often by train.

Click to other links