Andrew Kerzman

Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Kerzman

Andrew W. Kerzman was born in 1889 at Marshall, Minnesota. In 1903, he moved to Coleharbor with his widowed mother and eight brothers and sisters. The next spring, the family moved by wagons and teams to Blackwater Township; Andrew was fifteen years old at the time. Later, they moved to a homestead claim in Deepwater Township, in McLean County, North Dakota, where they built a house and barn.

Four years later, in 1908, a fire destroyed their home and all of their belongings when to of his brothers, Freddie and George, tried to hustle a fire in the cook stove by throwing kerosene over the coals. A flash fire resulted, and the entire house was engulfed in flames. Freddie lost his life in the fire, and George was badly burned.

The following year, a sister, Marie, died of diphtheria, and George passed away in 1912.

In January of 1913, Andrew married Mathilda Swanson, who had come to Deepwater Township from Etrick, Wisconsin. She was a schoolteacher, and taught for four or more years at the Fines School prior to her marriage. While teaching, she lived with the family of James Shea.

After their marriage, they lived for a while with his mother; then, in 1914, they moved to the Reservation land. When the Coal Lands were opened for homesteading, they tried for a homestead but where not luck enough to have a number, so Mr. Kerzman bought a relinquishment, moving his shack from the Reservation land to this property, where they lived until 1924. Their claim was near Oscar Johnson’s claim.

Hard times came, however, and Andrew lost his claim. He was forced to move his family back to Reservation land in 1924. They lived there until 1937, when they moved to the Boden place in the Emmet community. His wife, Mathilda, passed away in 1941.

In 1943, he bought a farm known as the Sherwood place in Roseglen Township, and farmed there with his son, Elmer, until 1956, when he retired.

When the Golden Jubilee book was published in 1967, Andrew had spent seven winters in Arizona with his daughter, Mae, and her family, and the rest of the time with other family members in North Dakota. He was 78 years old in 1967.

Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Kerzman were the parents of four boys and one girl: Roy, Leo, Arthur, Elmer, and Mae.