|Son of Friedrich Schiermeister and Christiana Ziegler
Friedrich was born on March 4, 1868, at Kijewo (pronounced
Kachuk), Russia. He married Sharlotta Fuhrmann, daughter of Jakob and
Katharina Krieg Fuhrmann, In Russia. Sharlotta was born November 20, 1873,
at Rohrbach, Russia. Friedrich would walk from Rohrbach to Odessa with a
sack to buy groceries. The Schiermeister's and Fuhrmann's left from Odessa
to begin their travel to America together. They traveled through Germany
where it was required of them to bathe and have all their clothing baked in an
oven as a precaution for lice. Here Johann Fuhrmann was detained and
separated from the group because of bad eyes. The others continued on to
Liver pool, England, where Friedrich who carried all the papers discovered he
still had Johann Fuhrmann's papers. However, Johann arrived in Eureka, SD,
before the others because a German citizen helped him and paid his fare.
While in Liverpool Friedrich and Sharlotta's family was separated from the
others because Katie and Bill had sore eyes. The others were allowed to
board the ship taking them to America. that evening a Jew offered for a
fee of $25.00 to get Friedrich and his family on an English freighter to
Winnipeg, Canada.. They boarded the Dommin Line vessel which docked at
Portland, Maine on October 20, 1901. From here they traveled by train to
Winnipeg where they were kept in the hospital for thirty days. After the
quarantine expired they again traveled by train to Eureka, SD, where the
families were reunited. Eureka was a German speaking community and where
the families were reunited. Eureka was a German speaking community and
where the railroad ended. At this time Friedrich bought 2 horses and a
walking plow and rented a farm near Venturia, ND. this being the nearest
land available. They put in one crop which ended in failure in 1902 and
after this found a homestead northwest of Linton, ND. and filed a claim in Sec.
14-134-78. One had day in June 1903 the family consisting of Fred A., John
F., Katie, Bill, Lydia, Jake and baby Emelia moved to the homestead.
All their clothes, dishes, beds and belongings were loaded on a hayrack,
tethered the milk cow on back, the kids climbed on top of the hay and Sharlotta
manned the team. This was quite a distance from Venturia, past Linton and
another 21 miles NW to the homestead. At noon Sharlotta made a meal of
mehl (flour) soup and bread. She built a bonfire, browned the flour in
lard, milked the cow and added milk to the pan making a gravy. They dipped
their bread in it and ate heartily from one big round pan. Other family
members helped drive the cattle and brood sow, who collapsed and died just
before reaching her destination. At the homestead site they lived in a
tent while building the two room sod house. They cut and peeled logs from
the Missouri River and constructed the house with sod, brush, straw and mud.
The sod was cut about 4-5 inches thick with a plow and Fred A. used a spade to
cut it into 12 inch squares which were stacked putting a straw/clay mud mixture
between each square holding the layers of sod together. The inside and
outside walls were plastered with a mixture of clay and straw and then
whitewashed. The dirt floor was kept smooth by sealing it with a clay mud.
They build two rooms eight feet high. One side was for the animals and the
other side was for the family to live in. they used trees to lay across
the top for a roof which was also sealed off with branches, sod, clay and a mud
manure mixture. The spot picked for the homestead was in the bend of the
nearby Horsehead Creek, where the soil looked rich. There was so much work
to be done yet. They had land to break, buildings to construct, fences to
build and try to survive. In the midst of this they still found time to
worship. Church services were held in the Reimer house for a long time.
Families gathered on Sunday at the Reimer's to worship and socialize. Mrs.
Reimer graciously served everyone their own stuffed squab before they left for
home. Later church services were moved to the Reimer school house.
Since everyone living in the area at that time was Lutheran the school house was
packed for worship services. Gustav Reimer was a good reader and he would
read from the "Preaching Book" and infrequently a pastor would come to the area
to administer communion, baptisms and perform marriages. Life was full and
roots were being established in their new home and life in America.