Great Falls, Mont.
September 9, 1986

Dear Alice - The history of Bodeen Family

I will start with my dad & my mother - they homesteaded on a 160 acre farm 5 miles Northwest of Parshall North Dakota - I think my dad lived on the homestead for a while himself a few months between 1913 & 1914.  Maybe 4 - 5 months - then they got married this year 1914 - then my oldest Bro was born Walter Bodeen October 8 - 1915 - then sometime later I was born Clarence A Bodeen December 30, 1916 & then my youngest Bro Allen Bodeen February 12 - 1918 - then it went on till around 1922 when my dad got sick with Brights disease & passed away now I was only 5 years old when this happened - I could be a little off one way or the other but should be close enough then I think it was 1922 the 3rd of November when he passed away I remember it just like yesterday but the dates are hard to remember - the there was a man by the name of Oscar Swenson who lived about 2 miles North West of our home he was a bachelor around 42 years of age & had a nice farm home & full line of machinery & horses - he farmed our farm home for 7 years - then he got sick with cancer of the stomach & throwed up his food after every meal - mother begged him to go to the doctor but wouldn't go right away - till later he finally went to Bismark hospital when they operated on him he was to far gone & couldn't do nothing for him.  Then came home - his Bro & his wife lived in Minneapolis they came to see him & us then he had to have a big sale & sold everything & then they took him back to Minneapolis where he died a few months later - we had a farewell party for him before he left - I have a picture of it my mother & him planned to be married so then we were left only again.  It was hard on us - do you remember any of this - or this mans name Oscar Swenson.  I thought the world of him - I called him my step data - then like I said we had to struggle by our selfs then and in 1934 my oldest Bro left home & went to Montana.  Mother & me, we had 22 head of cattle 10 milk coes.  I raised hogs too, mother raised chickens & turkeys - we shipped are cream to Madan North Dakota in summer months - then in 1940 or 1941 we sold all our cattle & furniture & left the far & went to Montana too & started a new life for our selfs - so we lived on a the farm from 1914 to 1940 or 1941 - now then about my dad again & his Bros & his sister your mother Annie.  I thought they were Born & raised on that farm at Bowbells North Dakota.  Victor Bodeen in his late later years he was in a rest home at Noonan N. D. then he died when he was 81 - Lillian Mogren sent me a clipping out of the paper & it told about all this where they were raised on a farm at Renner, Minnesora - my dad - Victor - Allen & your mother - now I never knew this till I seen this clipping that Lillian sent me when they lieved there in Minnisota that would have to be before the late 1890's & early 1900's.  I have no dates on this.  I'm giving my best estimation on this.  Now then about my mother - my mother was born in Halsingland, Sweden - her real parents died in Sweden - their names - Mr. Ole Nystrom & Mrs Anna Nystrom - mother was born July 15 - 1893 & passed away May 28, 1971 - age 77 years - 10 months - 13 days.  Was laid to rest in Highland Cemetary, lot 827 - section 2-D - city Great Falls - County Cascasde, Montana.  Laid to rest June 1 - 1971 - 2 - P-M.  Now then my oldest Bro passes away September 7 - 1961 - age 46 - at Kalispel Montana - my mother she was adopted by Mr. & Mrs. Risberg in Sweden & they brought her over to this country the U-S when she was 10 years old.  But first they moved to Niobe, N.D. she was around 16 years old then at Niobe.  Now there is some more things that have come to my mind - I never did see my Grampa Bodeen - my mother told me that when they were threshing one time my grandpa Bodeen got killed - he got squahed some how - she didn't know how it happened they were living at the Bowbells farm then - then my Dad had to take over then on the farm & mother said he worked on the rail road too.  Then he had to take over & take care of his mother & Bros & sister.  Now I don't know what year this happened when Grampa Bodeen got killed - I'd say this happened between 1900 & 1911 - maybe dad was 18 years old then & three years more on his dads farm that would make hime 21 years old & thats about the time my Dad met my mother, So then down at Parshall, N.D. the U.S. government opened up that land for young men like my dad to go down there & file for a new homestead under the new homestead act that was in 1912 - then my dad went down there & built the house & barn he would have to be there a few months to get this done - then he came back to be Bowbels * mother & dad got married - so mother said they loaded up the wagon with furniture - dishes - blankets just everthing that they needed - so they went with team of horses & wagon if my memory is right it was 60 miles they had to go.  It was a long ways to go - she told this herself to me, mother- O-K now then Alice - I have to explain this to you about my dad again & his family when they lived at Renner, Minnesota - I would say that my dad was born around before or after 1890 & they lieved there for 10 years - then they opened up that land there at Bowbells, N.D. - for young men to file for a homestead then his folks my granpa - gramma Bodeen moved to the Bowbells farm I;d say around 1900 - they they lieved there 11 years that would make my dad to be 21 years old - then they opened up that land down at Parshall, N.D. in 1912 for where my mother & dad homesteaded - so then he was at that age 21 years old where he could file for a homestead under the homestead act at that time in 1912 - they opened up that land around Bowbells, N.D. much earlier than they did at Parshall, N.D. for young men to file for a homestead - this is how I gather this al up - now then I can't give you the day & month that my dad was born - I think I'm fairly close on this - of what I have said.  So when we came out to Montana then & started a new for ourselves, mother was despondent & she had to go to work too after my dad passed away after he had been with us for 7 years & going through the terrible depression in the 1930-s & dust storms for over 10 years & then too to the loss of our farm home in North-Dak - my oldest Bro & my youngest Bro got married - I never did get married - I just felt it was my duty to stay single & take care of mother - as I never did care to get married as I've seen so much trouble in these marriages.  My mother was under doctor's care for 16 years till she passes away - it would of been to much responsibility for me to get married & raize a family & have my mother too.  I only had 8 grade education & have to do the hardest kind of work - such as construction for 30 years & 25 years on farm & ranch work - retired in 1979 but my health had been good all my life except for minor things like colds & flu.  Now then I was in the C-C-C-Camp during the Roosevelt administartion the year 1934-1935 winter was in the camp at 16 miles out of Brainerd, Minnesota.  Our camp was right by Pelican Lake & then I was in another camp at Millack Lake - the same Winter - the three C-C-C-s stands for the Civilian Conservation Corps.  Now there is some other things I was looking for, but I just can't find them - I would of liked to had this all typed out for you - it would take me to long since I never had no - typing lessons.  Hope this will be alright - Be sure & write me back about this.  I would like to have some pictures of you all - so I can see what you all look like now you & I must be about the same age - & also let me know about my family pictures - I want you to have them - all, free to you - the pictures you send me of all your selfs if you don't want me to keep them I'll send them back.

Clarence Bodeen

So like I said in the first part of my letter I was so yound & small when this all happened with my dad I've done the best I can do.