Wednesday, July 13, 2016

GLENN ARTHUR CHRISTOPHER




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Glenn was born Jan 7, 1904 on a small farm 9 1/2 miles north of  Medina, North Dakota. He was the first of eleven children born to 
      Carl and Inga (Olsen)Christopher. 






Later the family moved to their home in Peterson Township, often called the "Christopher Camp." He attended early education in the rual school in Peterson Township and later in Medina.  




Winters in North Dakota were brutal as this story from brother Ken explains:




"The one room school house was about 1 mile from the Christopher place. The kids walked to school most days. In the winter it was so cold and snowy, sometimes they had to hold their arms in between the barred wires so they wouldn't get lost. North Dakota winters were so cold that when the kids walked to school, the oldest one would walk backwards and watch all the noses of the little kids. As soon as he saw something turning white he would grab some snow and put on it as protection from frost bite. It was always pretty chilly in the winter. It was -30 or -40 sometimes but the wind always made it colder than that."



Chrsitopher Camp Peterson Township 1916 Glenn on the front fender with the family dog




Carl often wrote about Glenn in the Peterson Township section of the
 Medina Citizen Newspaper:




When Carl took Inga to Rochester Minnesota to the Mayo Clinic for treatment for her in the fall of 1917, Glenn was left in charge of their place for weeks.  He was only 13 at the time.  
Glenn and Roy






 Glenn was a member of the North Dakota Army National Guard,
Company H, 164th Infantry Regiment from June 13, 1925 to June 12, 1928. Some of that time was served at Camp Grafton, 1927.

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He worked on the farm until 1931 when he carried mail for the Star Route. He put heated bricks in the mail wagon in the winter to keep warm. Sometimes he stayed overnight with someone at the end of his route because it was too cold to come back home at night. He held that position through the 30's which is the main reason he made it through the depression years when many farmers and townspeople didn't make it.


He moved into Medina in 1932 and on August 18, 1935 he married Edna Gieseke, (born 8/5/1904-Fairfield, Minnesota) at the English Lutheran Church of Medina. They lived in a small 2 room house which Glenn added on to as the family grew.




Gieseke and Christopher families were neighbors and enjoyed many social activities in the area.  The Peterson Township neighbors often
got together on Sunday afternoons for pot luck dinners followed by card games through the evening.

Daughter Janet remembers: 

"Glenn and Edna knew each other well from school events such as dances.   Glenn was dependable, serious, quiet and shy.  So shy that when the engagment ring they had ordered arrive, he simply left it 
in the Gieseke mailbox during his regular mail route. Edna attended a seamstress school in Jamestown and used her skills throughout her life taking in sewing for the townspeople.  She and Glenn worked together on a drapery business.  She would make the drapes and Glenn would hang them.  Glenn was quite the perfectionist so their reputation grew and practially everyone in town got their drapes from them. Together they made it through the difficult time of the 30's."







Glenn was quite the mechanic even building his own car and he could do just about anything in woodworking.  He added cupboards here and there in their house as Edna needed them.  He build on a bedroom and bathroom to their home.  Glenn was employed at Reule Implement Company for a while and later became a manager of the Feton Lumber Company for 35 years. He was active in community affairs and served on the Medina School Board, the Medina Fire Department and was a member of the Medina Lions Club.  He also served on the church board of the English Lutheran Church. 




Glenn raised his family in Medina.  He loved Medina history and was a principle member of the Medina Historical Committee.  He preserved the weekly issues of the local newspaper, the Medina Citizen, which was published from 1905 through 1920 and again from 1929-1934. The 75th anniversary of Medina was celebrated in the town in June of 1974. Using the Medina Citizen newspaper articles that were saved by Glenn, plus photos and biographies that were contributed by the community a memorial book was published. Inside the book, Glenn wrote the "History of Medina," and helped put together many of the articles and photographs featured.

The following dedication was written inside the front cover of the memorial publication, Diamond Jubilee:

"Deeply grateful to GLENN CHRISTOPHER, we dedicate to him this book.  It was his foresight to save and preserve the early history of Medina so that we can again, relive the experiences of our pioneers and preserve their hardships, joys and accomplishments."  

website where this publication can be found: http://digitalhorizonsonline.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/ndsl-books/id/11003/rec/25






Glenns parents moved to Pequot Lakes, Minnesota in December of 
1933 and the children were left to manage the farm. Glenn had
the mail route so he stayed in Medina and continued to work. 
Glenn's brothers moved to Arlee, Montana around 1934-5.  Three brothers died in the 40's: Vernon, Clifford, and Roy. Lester moved
to Missoula, then Anaconda, Montana.  Bob moved to Missoula, 
then back to Arlee, Lauren raised his family in Arlee. Ken raised 
his family in Arlee, then moved to Polson. Don raised his family in Missoula and Arlee. Their sister, Ruth married A.G Skofstad of 
Medina and raised her family in Polson Montana.  Sister Doris 
married A. Paul of Arlee and raised her family there. 


Glenn Lauren Lester Ken Bob and Don in 1949


Glenn  Lauren  Lester  Ken  Bob  Don

Glenn and Edna had three children: Janet, Mark, and Paul.











Glenn, Edna, Mark, Janet and Paul










Glenn and Edna moved to a second house in Medina raised their family there and when their children grew up they stayed within the state. Glenn taught his sons and grandsons woodworking and mechanical skills.   
Glenn with grandson Peter
Glenn eith Karna and Eric
with Eric Sarah Wes and Rus









 May 31, 1984, Glenn passed away in Medina, North Dakota. Edna passed away Nov. 10, 2001. 
Glenn and Edna




Mark  Janet  Paul




Their three children's families:


1)Janet Ruth 8-25-37, md  7-20-59  William Well : 4 children:

Janet and Bill in front
Russell, Sarah, Martin and Wesley in back


Wesley Harold 9-16-60, md. 6-8-85 Patricia Olson,
      Alexander Ryan, 9-14-90
      Anna Kathryn, 9-3-93

Martin Christopher 3-31-62, md. 10-29-85 Lisa Curtis;
      Allison Jane 6-10-90
      Catherine Anne 10-13-94

Russell Clifton 12-21-65 md.8-20-88 Michelle Klose
     Christopher William 6-l3-94
     Morgan Michele 4-3-99

Sarah Ruth 3-3-71 md. 5-24-93 Marti Sunderlin,
     Maxwell William 7-16-00
     Isabelle Ruth 10-23-03


   2) Mark Glenn 1-15-42, md 8-17-63 Sharon Schmidt 2 children:



Sharon and Mark

  

Karna Glynn 8-26-68 
     Ellie Crosby 7-17- 94
     Taylor Crosby 1-13-98



Eric 3-9-71 md 10-15-2005 to Jeanne Zimniewicz 



Karna
Eric and Jeanne




3) Paul Gary 3- 4-45 md 8-20-66 Susan Heiberg, 3 children
        md Jane Elaine Carlson 3-5-2005
   

Adam Paul 7-31-71,
    Jaden Paul 2-10-02
    Ashton Matthew 6-18-03
    Nolan Joseph 3-17-08

Matthew Glenn 6-26-73


    Peter Joseph 3-20-77, md 5-31-2008 Jill Anderson
     Lily Grace 2/12/10
     Tyler 2/-2-13


Nolan  ,Ashton Adam and Jaden



Matt with friend Holly



Peter  Jill  Lily and Tyler


GLENN AND EDNA'S GRANDCHILDREN:


Sarah Karna Wes
Adam Pete Eric  Middle row
Marty Russ Matt back row
     

Son Mark's reflections of his Dad: 

“Dad provided the total Christopher family with a valuable record of our family during the days of our life in Medina. All the brothers and sisters of the Christopher family were born in Medina and after some very tough times the family moved on and only mom and dad chose to spend their entire lives in the place of their birth. Dad decided to dedicate a huge amount of time collecting everything he could find and protecting the information which has resulted in him becoming recognized as the historian of Medina. We are all thankful for his efforts.

We often wondered why it took so long for mom and dad to decide to get married since they were neighbors from their childhood days. We are really glad they did finally decide to marry and raise their family in Medina. Since we kids were all born after dad was thirty years old, our knowledge of his first 30 years are from records and shared stories from all his brothers and sisters.
Dad was born in 1904 and spent his first 30 years trying to be a farmer but hard times forced this decision to change. For a few years he was a rural mail carrier and then worked nearly 13 years as a mechanic for an implement dealer and then accumulated extensive knowledge in mechanics and woodworking which he passed on to Paul and I.

Dad managed a lumberyard for another 24 years. So dad was a very quite man. He was often known for what he did not say rather than what he did say. He was however a wonderful teacher and he taught us as he allowed us to work with him in almost everything he did. I have thousands of memories of Dad as we worked together. It was fun and I looked forward to tagging along with him in almost everything he did, So as I thought I was learning work skills when in fact I was learning life skills. I am forever thankful for this.

Dad made things he and his family needed. Since money was always tight in our family we often made things we needed. Mom was a seamstress, dad had outstanding skills mechanically and wonderful woodworking and carpenter skills. So he built a car, he made my bicycle, he made a motor scooter, we made several boats, he made our furniture, rebuilt several houses, and of course had a huge garden, making use of those farming skills.

I was a challenge for our parents as I did not follow the rules well. My sister and brother were significantly less challenging I am sure. It is interesting that Dad never once used traditional disciplining techniques on me but he influenced me by the example he set on a daily basis. Interesting parenting approach.

Dad was a sharing contributor to his church, his community, the school and of course always open to helping his neighbors. 

Music was a key part of our family. Before TV we supplied our evening entertainment by making family music. I heard Dad played in some local bands but he never let us know much about it. His fiddle was always close and mom provide some piano input. All us kids were encouraged to be in the band, the church choir and take advantage of every music opportunity that may come along.


This was one great man. Father, teacher and wonderful example for all of us. We miss him.”





                                                                                                                    

Son Paul's reflections of his Dad:

"My time of memory was all when dad was in the lumber yard and we lived in the house that he was constantly fixing and improving.  He was a respected man in the community because of his assistance when people had a need, his skill in the lumber business and carpentry, his involvement in church, and his self- appointed role as community historian.

Dad taught me a great many things about keeping my bike in good shape, about home repair and about working with customers.  As I grew older he often got odd jobs around town for Mark and me to do.  Some of these were beyond my ability but he provided the support needed.  One early job was to help an old man build on to his house.  I didn't have building skills at that time but recalled him telling me what to do first and then each evening getting my report and telling me what to do the next day.

I respect his involvement in our church.  We never missed a Sunday but he also was a volunteer custodian and we often helped with keeping the building clean.  He never talked about his personal faith but found his service in support.

Without ever saying so I always felt that dads teaching method was to show us once how to do something and then assuming we could handle it in the future.  Without realizing it when young, it was very affirming and also taught us to think for ourselves and figure things out.

My most significant reflection of dad was that he was a gentle man.  He was gently in his support and discipline of growing kids.  Mom was firm and if she ever said, "Ask your dad" when we want to use the car or something, we knew we had a yes from him before even asking.  His gentleness was far more significant than just in family discipline.  As I grew to be a man and found myself working with many men and women in my occupation, I grew to profoundly respect him for his gentle nature and to realize that gentleness was often a gift that many men did not possess or were afraid to explore given the society expectations and the idea that men should be anything but gentle.  lf I were to put one sentence on his tombstone it would be: "He was a gentle man.""




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Anyone wanting to add addition memories/stories about Glenn, send them to me at lana.rankin@yahoo.com and I will add them in the next updated blog post.  

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

ROBERT NORMAN CHRISTOPHER

























   BOB CHRISTOPHER
Robert Norman Christopher was born March 29, 1921 in Medina, North Dakota. He was the 9th child born at home to Inga Lydia (Olsen) and Carl Christopher. Glenn Arthur, Bob's oldest brother was 17 at the time; Alfred Clifford, was 14, Roy Willard, was 11; Ruth Lillian, was 9; Lauren Ivan, and Lester Carl, were 7. Kenneth Orvin, was 5; Otto Vernon,  was 2. After Bob two more children joined the family: Doris Esther, and Donald Edwin.
Bob was raised on a small farm just outside of Medina, North Dakota in Peterson Township. Around 12 years old he had a job as a sheep herder for about a month. He was off by himself with just a dog and gun guarding the sheep. When Les and Lauren picked him up, he got paid so much that he had money hanging out of every pocket. Around 1933, when Vernon, Bob and Doris and Don were the only children left at home, Carl sold the homestead and lived on the Olsen Family Homestead in Minnesota for a while. Bob remembers going to high school with the Evans boys at Pequot Lakes. Then in 1936, they moved to Arlee, Montana where Lauren, Lester and Ken had settled. Bob attended Arlee High School. He was the manager of the basketball team and was proud to earn an Athletic Letter. He had lots of friends and enjoyed life.


When Bob was only 15, he was in a motorcycle accident at the Missoula County Fairgrounds.  His friend driving the motorcycle was killed and Bob's leg was damaged so severely, it had to be amputated. He wore a leg prosthesis for the rest of his life, but very few people knew he wore it. His swaggered walk was typical cowboy and went right along with the cowboy hat he always wore, and added to his character and charm.



 Bob met Beulah Winner (1921-)
 at high school and they were married 
July 25, 1939. They divorced later in 1944. They had two sons, 
Robert Carl (1940-1944) and 
Bob with Bobby
Harry Eugene (1943-2011) . 


Gene




Bob was in Richmond, California during WWII to work at the Kaiser shipyard. 
Bob was a supervisor of a welding crew. One of his biggest disappointments in
life that he could not be in the military and go to the Philippines with some of
his friends, because he was an amputee.

When the war ended, he returned to Arlee. In 1945 he became a
driver/salesman for Eddy's Bakery. He drove the Arlee to Polson route. 





Bob and his siblings were all together after the memorial service for his mother
 who passed away in 1949. 
      Bob



Glenn, Lauren, Lester, Ken,m Bob and Don






Bob met Juanita Roberts (Mary Juanita Mace, b. April 25, 1925) through Ellen Morin. Ellen was a co-worker at the Missoulian, where Juanita worked, and her husband Alvin had known Bob since high school. They were married October 14, 1950. 




Juanita's daughter, Brenda,  Bob and Juanita lived in Arlee for a while, but shortly thereafter moved to Missoula when Bob's delivery route changed to the Missoula- Drummond-Pillipsburg area.



He ended up delivering far more than just bread. He took bank deposits for most of the businesses in Drummond to the Phillipsburg Bank. He delivered turkeys to stores who had ordered them form a local grower. He even took laundry/dry cleaning from Missoula to Drummond and Phillpsburg customers. He did favors for everyone and in return everyone appreciated him and gave him free breakfasts, candy, turkeys and all sorts of gifts from the various merchants.





Jill Marie joined the family in March 16, 1955. Gene stayed part time with them and part time with his mother. They attended Missoula schools. Bob was offered to change routes again in 1972. This time it was to the Thompson Falls area. He wanted that route so he could move back to Arlee. He had bought property there several years before and had been spending weekends raising horses and farming the land. He was now free to pursue his dream of raising and breeding quarter horses. The kids loved being on the ranch.












He retired from Eddy's Bakery after 32 years of service, but he never retired or ever became tired of working on his ranch. Bob loved talking to his brothers and often told tales of his childhood and adventures they had growing up together. 


Lauren, Bob and Ken in back, Lester and Glenn in front







Glen, Ruth, Lauren, Lester, Ken and Bob
















































Bob enjoyed family reunions whenever he could and always made relatives 
and visitors to his ranch feel welcome and right at home.  Bob was involved
in Arlee's community in many ways, such as delivering meals from the Arlee
Senior Center for 12 years.


Bob and Ken at Arlee War Memorial

Juanita, Bob with Goldie Indreland and Blondie Rasmussen



Gene grew up and married Beverly Shelton in 1942. 
They lived in Hermiston Oregon and had two sons: Robert and Terrance 
and later six grandchildren: 




                                                                             
Robert with Aunts Jill and Brenda and grandmother Juanita







                                                                                   
Terrance with cousins Dawn Wahl and Resena Christopher




                                                                           
Gene and Beverly with grandkids







Brenda married John Beers in 1965 and they had three sons: 
Brian, Christopher and Gary and later two grandaughters, Breanna and 
Blakeley, daughters of Brian and Elizabeth:

John, Elizabeth wife of Brian, Brian in back
Gary, Brenda with Blakeley,  and Chris with Breanna


Jill married Michael Spieker in 1978 and they had two girls, 
Amy and Angela.


Jilll, Angela and Amy

Bob, Juanita, Jill, and Anglea




 Juanita and Bob shared 54 years enjoying their children, their grandchildren, their Montana home near Arlee and the comfort of each other. Bob always had a dry sense of humor and a smile a mile wide. He was admired and loved by all who knew him.  Bob was 83 years old when he passed away on Thursday, Dec. 9, 2004 in Missoula, Montana. 


MOST CHRISTOPHER COUSINS STILL PICTURE UNCLE BOB THIS WAY, WEARING IN HIS FAITHFUL BROWN STETSON HAT. 












Anyone wanting to add photos or stories to this post can email
 them to me at  lana.rankin@yahoo.com and I will add them on the next update of this blog.