Jewish Historical Project of N. D. & Homesteading Papers

Skip to first unread message

Nancy Grossman

Oct 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/15/98
In reference to David Snyder's message:

Quoting part of a letter from Susan Dingel, Reference Specialist at the
State Historical Society of North Dakota, dated March 9th, 1996:


The Dakota Jewish History Project never was completed. It seems to have
been a joint project of the Dakota Council of B'nai B'rith and the State
Historical Society of North Dakota. Russell Reid, Superintendent of the
State Historical Society, and Margaret Rose, Librarian, were the State
Historical Society representatives on the project. Margaret Rose seems to
have done a good bit of correspondence on the survey form and on recruiting
possible doctoral or master's student candidates who would be interested in,
qualified for, and able to carry out the research and writing of a history
of the Jews in North Dakota (and at some point, South Dakota was added,
too). It seems that the project got as far as the publishing and sending of
a questionnaire, but that analysis of replies and gathering of other primary
source material never happened. As far as I can tell, no student was
identified who agreed to work on the project, though attempts were made
through several universities and colleges.

From the list of who got sent questionnaires and the list of who got sent
requests for funds, it looks like the project was more focused on former
North Dakota Jews who went to points west of Chicago: Minneapolis, St. Paul,
Milwaukee, California, Washington State. When they had lived in North
Dakota, it seems that most of these people lived in Ashley, Wishek,
Napoleon, Hazleton, Mercer, Grafton, Mott, Garrision, Wing, Grand Forks,
Bowdon, Zap, Wing, Tuttle, Bismarck and Minto--mostly in the western, south
central and eastern parts of the state. A few replies were received from
persons in Chicago and one was from someone who still lived in Devils Lake.


She goes on to list 3 articles in "North Dakota History" which may be of

Dr. Gunther W. Platt, Jewish Colonies at Painted Woods and Devils Lake,
North Dakota History (Vol. 32, No. 1, Jan. 1965): 59-70

Lois Fields Schwartz, Early Jewish Agricultural Colonies in North Dakota,
North Dakota History (Vol. 32, No. 3, Oct. 1965): 217-231

Robert J. Lazar, Jewish Communal Life in Fargo, North Dakota, North Dakota
History (Vol. 36, No. 4, Fall 1969): 347-355

Contact Information:

Susan Dingle, Reference Specialist, Tel. +701-328-2091; Fax No.

Another source of information would be The Jewish Historical Society of the
Upper Midwest in St. Paul, Mn.

The contact information for the Historical Society is as follows:
Contact Person: Linda Schloff, Director
Address: Hamline University, 1536 Hewitt Ave., St. Paul, MN, 55104, USA
Tel: +612-523-2407
Fax: +612-523-2956

If you know the location where your ancestors homesteaded you can get copies
of their Homesteading Files from the National Archives and Records
Administration in Washington D.C. The offices have moved and I don't have
their current address. You will also need to provide a Legal Land
Description (Township & Section No. etc...) which you can get at the local
Office of the Register of Deeds and the Patent Number which you can get from
the Bureau of Land Management, P.O. Box 36800, Billings, Mt. 59107, USA.

Nancy Grossman
Frankfurt/M, Germany

Visit the JewishGen website:

Reply all
Reply to author
0 new messages