The Aamoths


Recollections of the Aamoths
by John R. Aamoth's son, Milton R. Aamoth

The article which I am going to write is going to be very hard to compose, as nearly fifty years have gone by since the start of what I am going to write about. So please excuse some mistakes in dates and spellings of people's names.

Mom, Dad and I moved to Roseglen from Makoti in 1917. I was then five years old, but can definitely remember this ride, but not who drove, on a spring seat atop a high side and high wheel wagon being drawn by four horses. In the wagon was our furniture and household goods.

The first I could see of Roseglen were several buildings and stacks of lumber where Dad's shop was to be. Our two-room house, which was sixty or more feet north of the shop, was finished, but the shop was just begun. Only the outside timber sills were laid.

After this building was finished, it was fifty feet wide by one hundred feet long, with a sloping roof with a four- or five-foot drop toward the north. The south side, which was the high wall, was to the front of the building. There was a partition through the center of this building, with a large sliding door. The east half, being fifty feet square, was the combination repair, blacksmith and, later, also the welding shop. The west half was office, parts room, and storage room. The office and parts room was about twenty square feet, built on the west side of the center partition, and next to the front of the building. There was a basement under the office where, in later years, the 110-volt Delco light plant and battery charging room was located. There was a raised platform with a gas pump in front of the office and parts room. There was a large sliding door for entrance to the workshop on the south wall, and also a large door on the west wall for entrance to the storage room.

At this time there were, as I can remember, only three other buildings a hundred or more feet west of the shop. These were a grocery and dry-goods store and, south of this, a bank building with a shed close to the rear, or west side of the building. Now, in sequence, I'll try to name the places as they were built.

Joe Woods built a pool hall north of the store, and his home dwelling was just to the east of our house, and was the only tar paper covered house in town.

Next, a lumber yard was built between our shop and the store, and a two-story house was built to the north of our house, where people lived who worked in the store.

A school building was built about a block south of the bank. This is where I went to the second through the eighth grades of grammar school.

Several small buildings or granaries were moved in and assembled into one building between the store and pool hall. We moved into this building and Mom operated it as an eating and rooming house. Later, W.G. Conners and his wife rented the front bedroom, where they lived, but they ate with us. He was a banker and both he and his wife worked at the bank.

About that time, Clarence Olson came from Ryder and built a combination dry-goods, grocery, and living quarters building just to the south of the bank. Then, when Amund Bosman began farming, he bought our house by the garage and moved it about a quarter mile west of the stores. Dad  had a large two-story house built on our original home site. Bill Deleen, a cashier at the bank, built a house east and across the road from the school building. A community hall was built across the road and east of C.A. Olsen's store.

As I stated before, a light plant was installed in Dad's office basement and, from this source, the town was electrified. Dad wired the buildings and strung the supply power lines and installed the street lights.

By this time, Roseglen was a busy little town, especially on Saturdays until quite late at night. During springs work and harvest time, I can remember my Dad starting to work at four or five in the morning, and working until nine or ten in the evenings. During springs work, especially, there would be sharpened or repaired plow shares laid out in groups all over the shop floor,  hardly leaving room to walk. There were also many other pieces of equipment that he worked on. Dad worked hard and put in long hours to help the farmers with their equipment repairs, but at time he would go on his drinking spree. During this time, it was a big worry for Mom and me, as we never knew where he would go or when he would return. However, when it was over, he was his normal, busy and precise self again.

We were very happy living in Roseglen, as it was in a very good farming area, and wherever we went, we were always treated equal to relatives, and I know Mom and Dad treated visitors in the same manner. It was a completely different type of living than of today's mad rush of go… go. We usually went somewhere during summer vacation, but most activities included various kinds of parties at homes or the hall that furnished something for people to do, and I remember Mom, Dad and I enjoyed these types of get-togethers very much.

I have been occupied in mechanical type work for over twenty-five years now, but I have never come into contact with anyone who was as adapted to doing things as well as my Dad could. He would always cease whatever he was doing to help or explain things to me. I used to spend a lot of time around the shop and was always trying to make one thing or another. One thing I shall always remember is that I was taught to finish what I had started as Dad did not like a quitter, and disliked very much things that were not done right. And even now, I still consider his standards of right or wrong, as to his and other people's work, as being very close to perfect.

Both Mom and Dad have now passed away, and perhaps we will not visit North Dakota very soon, but when we do we will plan to visit Roseglen.

For ten years, I have been employed by the City of Stockton as maintenance mechanic, and we are very busy making a comfortable life for ourselves here. Our son, Gerald, who is now thirty-one, is Design Engineer for Lockheed Air Craft, living in Santa Clara, California. Norma, now twenty-seven, is married and lives in Maryland. Our third child, Elynor, is now eleven and a half years old, so she helps keep us in a younger frame of mind.

Now if any of you folks come through here, just look us up in the phone book, give us a call, and we will get together. By the way, it's the first private name in the phone book out here. Alma B. or Milton R. Aamoth.

Wishing you all the very best in your Fiftieth Anniversary, and also the years to come.

John R. Aamoth's son, Milton R . Aamoth
Stockton, California