W.B. Siebert Papers, 1903-1913, 1917-1924, 1935, 1937
Primary Creator: Siebert, William B. (1876-1958)
Extent: 0.25 Linear Feet
"W.B. Siebert, American born in New York City and reared in Vermillion County, Illinois, was a farm laborer in Benton County, Indiana, and traveled to Oklahoma in 1901 seeking a homestead. He came to Kandiyohi County, Minnesota, in 1903; later he went to the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota and registered for a homestead.
William B. Siebert was born April 28, 1876, in New York City of German-Irish parents. His wife, Louise E. Wanner, was born at Spillville, Iowa, on March 30, 1882. Her parents were Swiss-German and had come from Zurich, Switzerland. They were married November 23, 1904, at Willmar, Minnesota. After the wedding they came by train to Bottineau, North Dakota, and spent the next year with her two brothers, George and Henry Wanner. At the depot at Willmar, Minnesota, Mr. Siebert met a Negro who wanted to sell his claim to the S1/2 of SW1/4 and the S1/2 of Section 24, Roosevelt Township. On impulse, he bought the claim for $50, sight unseen.
In 1905 after the crops were seeded at Bottineau, he came over by wagon and mule team and spent some time on his claim. He broke some land for next year's crop and hauled lumber from Kenmare with the mules to build a house. An interesting incident he liked to tell was on the trip after lumber when he was crossing what is now called the Tolley flats driving thought water. When about half way across, the mules refused to go any further. With a lot of persuading, with tongue and wip, he got them going again. In the spring of 1906, he brought his wife and baby daughter over and this became their home.
The school district was organized prior to our coming to our claim, In 1906 a Sunday School was organized at the Joslyn Schoolhouse near the old Joslyn Post Office Site. This was organized by Ernest O'Neal, a homesteader in Grassland Township. Church services held there first by Rev. John Morange, a Methodist minister from Grano, North Dakota. Later, after Greene was started, both church and Sunday School moved to Greene.
The first summer on our homestead we went to Mohall to get our supplies. This was 17 miles away. By so doing we didn't have to ford the Mouse River. We sometimes went to Kenmare which was 21 miles away with our team of horses. We were on our homestead when the Wheat Line of the Soo Line was constructed and saw the starting of the towns of Grano and Tolley, which then became our trading points. They were equal distance from our home. In 1909 Greene was founded by the late M.O. hall within a mile of our homestead, Here our children attended grade school. The first teacher was Miss Mabel Kuhn. The school was wrongly closed in 1933 when the government bought up all the valley land.
We raised a family of nine children; Katherine(Mrs. Math Schoomer); Bertha( Mrs. Peter Essler); Lester at Tolley; Ruth(Mrs. Walter Erdman); Alice( Mrs. Phil Halverson); Irene; Louis; Luella; and William, Jr., who have since left home.
With good crop yields, good health and good neighbors and some crop failures we still have faith in Renville County. The Sieberts celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary July 11, 1954, at the Messiah Lutheran Church and Greene, North Dakota.
The whole family took an active part in school and community affairs. Mr. Siebert was active in organizing the Farmers Elevator Company of Greene and other early associations.
William Siebert died December 21, 1958, and his wife on Decemeber 19, 1966."
Source: Renville County History, 1901-1976. pages 729-730. 1976.
Access Restrictions: Open for inspection under the rules and regulations of the Elwyn B. Robinson Department of Special Collections.
Acquisition Method: Donation; acquisition records are unavailable
Preferred Citation: (Description of Item). W.B. Siebert Papers. OGLMC 211, Box #, Folder #. Elwyn B. Robinson Department of Special Collections, Chester Fritz Library, University of North Dakota.
Processing Information: Finding aid migrated to Archon in May 2013.
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