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Fred Isaak Dubuque Iowa
Christian Isaak 1820- 1912 Came to US in1886 with his 2 sons Gottlieb and Gottfried
Chrsitine Married Wilhelmine Selcho 2 Jun 1844 she died on 7 Mar 1867
He Married Karoline Kuhn on Dec 8 1867 she died 1 Jan 1873
1900 US Census records lists his birth month as Dec and both his parents as born in Germany the following is a biography about Gottlieb Isaak
From Bessarabia to Northern Dakota:
A Family's Journey
The Gottlieb Isaak (1860-1947) Story
Gottliebs father was Christian Isaak (1820-1912) was (Christian's father was (2) Michel Isaak born 1794 in Cremzow Pommeria Germany and died in Kulm Bessarabia and his mother was Elisabeth (Anna Luise) Thum born in 1799 in Togarke Poland and died August 09, 1837 Kulm Bessarabia; Micheal Isaak father was Andreas isaak born 1751 in Brandenberg Germany and died September 20, 1835 in Kulm Bessarabia.
"Christian and Wilhelmina Isaak farmed near the village of Kulm in the Bressarabia region of southern Russia. Christian also did blacksmith work. On
July 16, 1860, their sixth of seven children was bom; they named him Gottlieb.
Between the ages of six and fifteen Gottlieb attended school - German in the
morning, Russian in the afternoon. School ended because he had to help his father
in his work. In 1881 he married Christina Beich, and the two farmed near Kulm
for two years. They moved to Gnadenfelt where they eked out a living on the land
for five years. There the couple had two children. Excited by letters from America
that told of free land and a happier life, and fearing a draft into the Tsar's army,
Gottlieb made the momentous decision: off to America!
In the first part of April 1886,1 and my wife Christina, our children, Mathilda and Otto;my parents, Christian and Wilhelmina Isaak; and my younger brother, Gottfried, decided to go to America. We took along only clothing, bedding, and some money. We traveled by rail to Hamburg, Germany, a trip of three days. At Hamburg we secured passage on a steamship bound for America. It took us twelve days to cross the Atlantic Ocean. The accommodations were bad, the food hardly fit to eat, and the sleeping quarters were musty and had odors. The voyage was a rough one; several storms slowed down the progress of the trip.
We landed in Baltimore, Maryland, the last part of April. We liked the looks of
everything we saw when we landed. We thought that we were very lucky and that this was heaven. The people treated us better than in Russia and were more civilized. The American trains were larger, twice-again as long as the Russian and European trains. The food in America was better and just as cheap in price.
That same night we boarded a train bound for Dakota Territory. At Chicago, Illinois, we changed trains. We went straight to Scotland, Dakota Territory. I, my father Christian and my brother Gottfried slept in the aisles of the train coaches from Baltimore to Scotland in order to make it easier for the women and children, who slept in the seats. Many times the conductors had to step over our bodies in order to walk through the train. The train men did not like this very much, but they did not object because, as they told us, it could not be helped because of our poverty.
We reached Scotland on May 5, 1886. The cost of the trip from our Russian home to
Scotland was about 300 Russian rubles, about $150 in American money. I had 35 cents in
American coin left in my pockets. The trip for all of us was so cheap due to the pass rule the steamship companies and railroads had in effect at that time: all children who accompanied their parents on railroads or on a sea voyage, regardless of age, were allowed to travel free of charge.
At first I did not like the country because I could not speak English, and the country
was strange to me. My older brother, Johann, who had come to America in 1877, had
homesteaded about ten miles west of the Schultz farm. We went to his place next. His farm was fair. The house was constructed of lumber; it was a two-story building. There was a summer kitchen which stood alone. There was plenty of room for everyone.
My brother, Gottfried, got a job on a farm near Parkston. He earned 75 cents a day for working in the harvest fields and helping with the threshing. I was employed on the Johann Leischner farm, located twelve miles east of my brother's homestead. I worked there all summer in the hay-and harvest fields and worked on threshing machines that fall. I also earned 75 cents a day. My parents, wife and two children lived with Johann, making their home in the summer kitchen.
During the winter of 1886-87, we continued to live with Johann. There were heavy falls of snow that winter, many storms; and it was very cold most of the time. I was much colder than I was in winter in Russia. Our social activity during that winter was visiting neighbors and having talkfests with them.
During the first part of May 1887, our family decided to travel northward because there was no more land in the Scotland vicinity to be taken up or bought. I went to a neighbor of my brother, whose name was Daniel Grosz. I borrowed $100 from him to help finance our trip. He said I could pay it back as I saw fit to do so. With the money I had earned in the summer and fall of 1886,1 purchased a team of oxen for $70. I bought a wagon and a plow.
In the company of the Ludwig and Michael Henneberg families, we hired a boxcar at Parkston and loaded our wagons, horses, oxen and farm implements in it. One person was allowed to travel free of charge in the boxcar. Michael wanted to ride the car, so we allowed him to do so. The rest of us traveled in the passenger cars. We families arrived in Ellendale one and one-half days later.
In open wagons drawn by horses and oxen, we began to move west, and in one day
arrived at the homestead of Andrew Schadler, a settler who lived about 35 miles northwest of Ellendale. After remaining the night, the Hennebergs left and traveled south about seven miles where both families took up homesteads and tree claims.
In the first part of June, I and my father went to Hoskins to file for land. I both
homesteaded and filed a tree claim; my father filed just a tree claim....
I built a 16x16 foot sod house on my homestead with the help of my father. My parents intended to live with us. We bought lumber for the walls and roof in Ellendale for $7-lumber for support, because the house was made of lime, clay, and sod. It had one room, five windows and two doors. A year later we added two rooms. We all lived in this house for eight years.
That first year I broke about ten acres of land. With so much available hay on my
homestead and tree claim I thought it would be profitable to make hay that summer. I purchased a hay mower and rake from an implement dealer in Ellendale on credit. I stacked the hay... I made a hay rack, and in the winter of 1886-87 when our food supply got low, I would load a big rackful of hay and take it to Ellendale with my oxen. There I would sell it for $7 to $10 per ton.
I made many tons of hay that summer and fall. In Ellendale I was allowed to sleep in the
mercantile store. In the morning I would buy supplies and return home. That is how I made a living for us in 1887-88.
I also earned money picking buffalo bones. The bones were becoming more scarce with the passing of each month, so I had to cover quite a bit of territory to gather a double wagon box full of bones... I had good crops all the years I was on the farm. My first crop in 1886 yielded about 125 bushels from ten acres... .Profit from sales at 90 cents a bushel helped pay for a new small barn.
In 1896 we decided to build a new house... About half of the house would be homemade from bricks, and my neighbor's land had good clay on it. In the spring, my whole family began work. I plowed up the clay, which had considerable lime mixed in with it. We scraped out the clay with oxen and put it in a pile. We used barrels to haul water from the slough to the pile. We poured the water over the mixture and left it to soften for a day. We hauled straw from my pile and mixed it. in, about half a load .0 mi. one batch. Homemade bricks would not hold together without the straw.
While the bricks, were left to dry and harden for two and one-half months, we harvested and threshed our crop. Then I found , a bricklayer in Kulm, ND, He worked for one week, a. $2 a day We built a six-room, two-story house, three rooms upstairs and three rooms downstairs. The walls were about eighteen inches thick. We bought lumer, plaster, and shingles to completed the. house,in Kulm. We didn't dig a basement, but did make a small cellar
My parents passed away in the new house, father in 1897, mother in 1898. Katherine and I had seven children born on the homestead
Taken from book From Bessarabia to Northern Dakota: A family's Journey, from the way it was, the North Dakota Frontier Expericence Book Four: Germans from Rusiia Settlers, Everett C. Albers and d. Jerome Tweton, Editors The Grass roots Press, Fessenden, ND, c 1999 pp33 -40