Friedrich Schiermeister
Son of Friedrich Schiermeister and Christiana Ziegler Schiermeister

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.



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