An Ancestral Farm
This is a family page. Pictured above would be my mother’s parents, her grandfather, and an aunt and uncle. The pictures were taken in the summer of 1907 (see NOTE at end of this post). Ferd and Rosa had been in LaMoure County ND, Henrietta Township, for two years, having moved west from Hazel Green Township, Grant Co, Wisconsin, near Dubuque IA. They were the first of their two families, Busch and Berning to migrate from the home ground. It had to be an adventurous time, in all the ways that word can be used.
Recently I sent around to family a number of files including historical information about the family. They are presented here, for posterity, accessible as long as this blog has an existence.
The entire collection, including almost 1000 photographs, are in collection 11082 at the North Dakota Historical Society in Bismarck ND.
The summary history of the family (all multi-page pdf’s):
Family timeline, etc:Busch-Berning Family compiled Nov. 13, 2018
Impressions of the family on various topics: Busch-Bern by DB001 and Busch-Bern (2) by DB002
Maps from Germany to North Dakota: Busch-Bern Maps by DB003
Busch photo index at ND Historical Society as of Nov. 2018: Busch photo NDHS Oct 7, 2018 Rev
POSTNOTE Dec. 2: Found were some additional memories about the farm recorded by Vincent and Art Busch, Dick Bernard and Ron Pinkney in late 1999 early 2000. (The second attachment is only a single page, completing Ron Pinkneys.) Busch Farm Memories001 and Busch Farm Memories (2)002 Memories as recorded by family were transcribed exactly as given.
The first pages of Busch Farm Memories are Vincents recollections of farming with horses. Some years ago, Vince’s counsin, Melvin Berning, wrote a very interesting commentary on plowing with horses. Here.
NOTE: The photos which lead this post were found at the Busch farm and quite likely were taken by a professional photographer. Every picture has its own story. These may have more than most, though unstated.
New residents in ND in early 1907 were Wilhelm’s daughter Christina, and Rosa’s brother August Berning who had married in Nov. 1906 and moved to Berlin in early 1907. Sometime in 1907 they had a son, Irwin, who died at 6 months. No birth or death date is known. By the time of the photo they were probably living less than a mile from Busch’s. Irwin may have recently been born, possibly occasioning a visit by his grandfather Wilhelm to both rural families.
While North Dakota was in boom times in 1907, conditions were not the best. In 1993, Anita Cranfield, Bernings 12th child, born 1925, recalled: “I believe Irene, Lillian and Cecilia [the 2nd, 3rd and 4th children] were actually born at the Busch farm in Wisconsin…I would guess that losing their first child Irwin made my parents very wary of having the children so far from doctors. Turned out right because when Rose was born Dad delivered her and then the doctor got there.” (Pioneers p. 174, in the collection of ND Historical Society)
It is very unlikely that Grandma Busch came from Wisconsin on this trip. Someone needed to be back at the farm; and she had her own health problems, possibly asthma, the same kind of ailment which ultimately caused her daughter, Christina, to die at 64 in 1950.
It is easy to romanticize the rural life of pioneers. It could be and often was a very harsh and unforgiving life. There are many stories.