Fifty Years Post-Graduation

The class of 1965 from Bridgewater High School in Bridgewater, South Dakota, recently held their 50th class reunion.  Of the 32 persons who graduated that year, 23 people returned for this reunion.  What a fun time it was to see classmates and catch up with old times.

Actually, I think we were (and, hopefully, are) a healthy and hearty group.  (Only three members of our class are deceased.)  Our outlook on life was positive and we did not have a sense of entitlement.  We did not feel the world owed us a living. Our class obtained a very good education and, more importantly, we were good citizens.

We shared many memories including one of a spittoon (don’t ask!), tip money, unopened lockers, oversleeping on senior “skip day” … and many others.

Yes, we are a little bit more gray and have gained a few pounds.  But the best comment I heard concerned the picture that was taken at the reunion was: “youngest looking 50 year class in history.”  That may just be true!

For me, the reunion served as a sense of validation of who we were and are.  This early generation of baby boomers (born in 1946 and 1947) has done very well.  Thanks to the community of Bridgewater for providing us with the tools to succeed!

Posted in Memories, South Dakota | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Land of My Fathers

These are images of land the Schwans family owned in Vreschen-Bokel, Germany.   I believe the land came into the family when Diedrich Schwans (my great-great-grandfather) married Anna Aits.  Most likely my great-grandfather John Schwans was born here in 1848 and also my grandfather Fred Schwans in 1872.  The land remained in the family until sometime after 1881 when it was sold.

These photos were taken in September 2011 on our visit to Germany.  Jens and Jane Delger helped us find the parcel of land.  Truly one of the highlights of my genealogy life!

27Land NEtoSE  27Land SWView (2) 27Land SWView +Trees 27Land SWView27Land NMidtoSE

Posted in German Ancestry, Schwans Genealogy | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Boss, Nipp, Naescher, or Schaefers Relatives?

If you are researching descendants of Alois Nipp and Johanna Boss, John and Josephine Naescher, William Naescher and Caroline Nipp, Franciscus (Franz) Schaefers and Helena Leiffel, or John Schaefers and Caroline Nipp, then you may be interested in a Facebook Group I have created.

The name of the group (not surprisingly!) is Boss, Nipp, Naescher, Schaefers Genealogy. To keep the discussion on topic and avoid spam, the group is a closed one. Click the “Join Group” button if these families are your ancestors.

Here is the direct link:

Members of the Boss, Nipp, and Naescher families originated in Liechtenstein and emigrated to eastern Iowa in the early 1850s. Many of them migrated to South Dakota in the 1880s.

The Schaefers family originated from the Holtheim area of Germany. They also settled in eastern Iowa, especially Clayton County, in the 1860s. Descendants still live there as well as many other states, including South Dakota and Oregon.

I have previously blogged about members of these families and a query in the search box on this site will help locate them if you’re interested.

Please join  the discussion on our Facebook group if these are your ancestors!

Posted in ancestry, Boss genealogy, Facebook, Naescher Genealogy, Nipp Genealogy, Schaefers Genealogy | Leave a comment

Photo Mysteries. .. Need Assistance

A few more photos from my cousin, Bob E.  We cannot identify all the members of this family.  Suggestions welcome!

This one MAY be the blended family of John Schaefers (1841-1917) and Nipp relatives.  The woman seated at the far right is Carolyn Schaefers (1891-1983), daughter of John Schaefers and Carolyn Nipp Naescher Schaefers (1958-1893).

Nipp family 1

This photo was identified as “Nipp Cousins.”  Seated center is Johanna “Hannah” Schaefers (1889-1958).  Standing right is her sister Caroline Schaefers (1891-1983).  We do not know the other women in the photo.

Nipp cousins

This one is most likely Frank Schaefers (1872-1952).

Frank Schaefers

Posted in Nipp Genealogy, Schaefers Genealogy | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

John Schaefers Home near Clayton, South Dakota

Readers of my blog may remember the excerpts from the autobiography of Sister Julitta (Mary) Naescher that I posted earlier.  In her writings, S. Julitta recounted her early home life and memories of happy years before the death of her parents at an early age.  Recently Bob E., a second cousin, generously shared these photos of the Schaefers family home which was located just north of Clayton, South Dakota.

S. Julitta painted these first two pictures.  The original painting hung for many years in the living room of my grandparents, John and Leona Schaefers.

Capture 1 Capture2

You can see the vivid and accurate details that S. Julitta captured as evidenced by the photos below.  The persons in these photos are from left: Johanna, John, Caroline, their father John Schaefers, and their brother Frank Schaefers.  The second photo is a close up of the persons in the first photo.

Capture3 Capture4

Posted in Schaefers Genealogy | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Keeping Up With the (Digital) Times

Changes abound:

*typewriters have given way to computers

*landlines are being replaced by cell phones

*videocassettes gave way to DVDs which are being supplemented by online streaming

*and vinyl records, while still available, are becoming rare and were replaced mostly by CDs which are being replacing by mp3 players and online players … and the list goes on.

And then there are, or more accurately, were cameras that had film.  But digital photography  had largely replaced film.  Indeed, there are exceptions to all of these and I experienced  that when cleaning an all too forgotten drawer recently.  I came across a disposable camera.  That’s the kind that used to be quite popular for taking outdoor amateur pictures.  The film was enclosed in a cardboard type of camera which, when all the pictures had been taken, was then returned to have the film developed.  The camera was part of the package and was a single use item.

I had absolutely no idea what was on the film but was surprised and pleased to find these two photos included.   Looking at the photos, it appears they were taken in approximately 1994 or 1995.  The location was Logan Dam in Clark County, South Dakota.  This dam was a WPA project in the 1930s and the idea was water retention.  My husband grew up on a farm very close to this dam and has memories of spending Sunday afternoons fishing and swimming there.  Some of the area around the dam is now covered with prairie grass in middle to late summer.

The developed pictures were very light (probably due to the age of the film) so I scanned a few of them and tried to adjust and “correct” the color but was only marginally successful.

The first photo is of our daughter Naomi and the second is a view of the dam.  (It was a typical windy day in South Dakota.)

Lesson learned:  next time don’t wait twenty years to have a roll of film developed!  Technology almost by-passed me on this one.

Logan Testt 3.tifLogan Test2


Posted in South Dakota, Technology | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Hanson-Johnson Photographs

Nels A Hanson, 1858-1916

Nels A. Hanson, born 17 April 1858 Katslosa Parish, Malmohus Ian, Sweden Died 19 October 1916 Lily, Day, South Dakota

John B (Bryngelsson) Johnson and Johanna (Larson) Johnson 2

John B. (Bryngelsson) Johnson, born 11 November 1836 Eggvena Parish, Sweden; Died 1 June 1898, York Township, Day, Lily, South Dakota Johanna (Larson) Johnson, born 1 June 1836 Eggvena Parish, Sweden; Died 4 January 1906, Lily, Day, South Dakota

Andrew Hanson and Bertha (Persdotter) Hanson 2

Andrew Hanson, born 24 November 1826 Lomma Parish, Malmohus Ian, Sweden; died 15 May 1898 Lily, Day, South Dakota Bertha (Persdotter) Hanson, born 16 April 1830 Katslosa Parish, Malmohus, Ian, Sweden; died 4 May 1898 Lily, South Dakota

Anna Mathilda Johnson Hanson, 1868-1932

Anna Mathilda Johnson Hanson, born 16 July 1868 East Union, Carver, Minnesota; died 23 Sept. 1932 Lily, Day, South Dakota

John B. (Bryngelsson) Johnson and Johanna (Larson) Johnson were the parents of Anna Mathilda Johnson (wife of Nels Hanson).

Andrew Hanson and Bertha (Persdotter) Hanson were the parents of Nels Hanson.






















Posted in Hanson Family, Swedish Ancestry, Uncategorized | 1 Comment