Jacob J. Landsiedel Family of Ashley

Jacob J. Landsiedel, born in Russia in 1900, journeyed to America as an infant, eventually settling in North Dakota. Growing up on a homestead, he witnessed the transformation from oxen to modern machinery. In 1938, he married Emelia Schilling, continuing to farm the land passed down through generations. The Landsiedels, deeply connected to their community and church, faced challenges like prairie fires and floods with resilience. Eventually moving to Ashley, they built a modern home while maintaining their farming roots. Their family, a blend of tradition and progress, remains a testament to their enduring legacy.

Jacob J. Landsiedel is the son of Jacob and Elizabeth, nee Reiling, Landsiedel. His grandparents were Henry and Rose, nee Miller, Landsiedel.

Mr. and Mrs. Henry Landsiedel were early emigrants from Russia. Mr. Landsiedel was born in Russia and Mrs. Landsiedel in Germany. In 1898, they came to America where they settled in the Tripp, South Dakota area. After a few years there they came north to McIntosh County, North Dakota and filed on land northeast of Ashley. They left the farm in 1908, selling it to their son Jacob and established a home in Ashley. Evidently they enjoyed pioneer life, for in 1917 they took up a homestead in Canada, moved there and developed a good farm. Mr. Landsiedel died in 1924. His wife preceded him, passing away in 1919.

Jacob Landsiedel was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Landsiedel. He was born May 8, 1874 and his wife, Elizabeth, was born July 15, 1877. In 1900, with a month-old baby son they started for the “new country” and after many days of travel reached Tripp, South Dakota where his father was located. There was no land available for homesteading, but Mr. Landsiedel secured work on the section and remained in Tripp for about two years. At that time he took his family to McIntosh County, North Dakota and filed on land near his father’s claim, about thirteen miles northeast of Ashley. A sod house was built and the task of improving the prairie farmland was accomplished without the help of much machinery. In 1908 he bought his father’s place and moved there. In 1915 Mrs. Landsiedel died at the age of thirty-eight. Mr. Landsiedel continued farming and kept his home. In 1916 he married Elizabeth Wolf. They moved to Ashley in 1936. He died in 1939 and she makes her home in Ashley at the present time.

Jacob J Landsiedel and wife
Jacob J Landsiedel and wife, Emelia Schilling

Jacob J. Landsiedel is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Landsiedel and was born in Russia June 22, 1900. Before he was a year old he had made the long journey from Russia to America and thence on to Tripp, South Dakota. When his parents moved to North Dakota in 1902 he accompanied them to their new home northeast of Ashley. He grew up on the homestead and helped along with the work and learned to farm. He can tell many interesting happenings of the early days. Fortunately, they had several nearby neighbors with whom they visited when not too busy with their work, thus they did not get too lonely. One neighbor lived but one-half mile away.

Good progress had been made in McIntosh County since the first settlers came in the early 1880’s. The slow oxen used for farm work had been replaced by horses and better machinery was available. Mr. Landsiedel remembers well the old walking plows and the threshing machines, also the horse-drawn buggy which transported them to school, church and town. Most of the crops raised were wheat, flax and barley and many had good herds of cattle. One occasion he remembers is a prairie fire which came from the direction of Lehr, North Dakota. The prairies and farm land were covered with dry grass and weeds, making good fuel for a fire. It came toward their home which was a sod house and burned right over the house, doing no harm. Fire-breaks had been plowed around the hay stacks but the fire jumped them and some hay was destroyed. Nearly all farmers had good gardens and raised their yearly supply of potatoes, carrots, cabbage, etc. Vegetables were not on sale in the stores at that time. Many had root cellars where the winter supplies were stored. About the only fruit through the winter was apples. In the fall these were often shipped in carload lots and people went to the train and bought them by the barrel. There were no refrigerated cars then so supplies which were bought before freeze-up time had to last through the winter. When warm weather came oranges, lemons and bananas were frequently available for those who wished to buy them. The first school which Mr. Landsiedel attended was located about two miles from his home. Their first car was bought in 1925 and was a Model T Ford.

After Mr. Landsiedel’s parents moved to Ashley in 1936, he continued to live on the farm. He was the third generation to operate that farm.

In 1938 he married Emelia Schilling, born June 10, 1917 in McIntosh County, daughter of John and Christina, nee Schlepp, Schilling. The church which they attended was the Rosenfield. Here they continued to worship until about 1946 when the church was closed. This was necessary because during the drought years of the 1930’s so many families had been forced to give up their land and had moved away. There were too few left to support the church, so it was closed. The family then drove to Ashley and joined the Baptist church, and are still members there. The old church building was moved away, but the cemetery remains. Mr. Landsiedel’s parents are buried there.

Mr. Landsiedel will always remember the winter of 1943 when the snow was so deep and heavy, and the flood conditions which followed in the spring. One nice day in March the sun came out bright and very warm. The snow started to melt and before nightfall the sloughs had filled to overflowing and the farm yard and buildings were flooded, except for the house and one granary. The house cellar was full, though as much as possible was removed. Time was too short and so much damage was caused. The cattle had to be moved from the barn, also the ten new calves. Where to put them was the question. The cows were left outside. They were used to being milked in the barn and didn’t like this new procedure. The calves were put in the granary which was the only available place. With all this water around the real hardship was that there was no water to drink. The well along with everything else was under water. This was the first time since they lived on the place that any such flood had occurred. Finally things settled back to normal and living and work went on as usual. In the fall they moved to, and later bought, another farm near by. Mr. Landsiedel served as a school board member for twelve years. For many years Mrs. Landsiedel had extra work, too, as she funished room and board and did laundry for the teacher. For these services she received $15.00 per month at first and later somewhat more. At one time, school was conducted in the Landsiedel home.

In 1959, Mr. and Mrs. Jacob J. Landsiedel built a modern home in Ashley and reside there at the present time. They continue to operate their farm. They have four daughters: Mavis, married to Marvin Schock; Violet, married to Bruce Frisch; Luella, married to Duane Schauer; and Gaylene, living at home. They have three grandchildren: Twila Schock, Neal Frisch and Shannon Schauer.


Diamond Jubilee Historical Book Committee (Ashley, N.D.); Ashley diamond jubilee, Ashley, North Dakota : June 19-20-21, 1963, 1888-1963; Fargo, North Dakota : Richtman’s Printing, 1963.

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