It might be interesting to know something about the state of Minnesota in which our forebears, the Pribula's and Myerchin's, chose to settle.
Minnesota became a state on May 11, 1858, with Henry H. Sibley as the first governor. At that time, the population was one hundred fifty thousand. It was the thirty-second state to enter the union.
The name "Minnesota" comes from the Sioux Indian words meaning, "Sky Tinted Waters". Minnesota is nick-named the "Gopher State" because so many gophers live on its prairies. The state bird is the common Loon, and the state flower is the pink and white Lady Slipper. St Paul is the capitol.
Fur traders were among those first attracted to Minnesota, because of the abundance of fur bearing animals in the state. Thick forests of tall pines brought the lumber jacks from Maine, Michigan and Wisconsin. Miners came to dig deposits of iron ore, and the fertile soil attracted farmers from the eastern states and Europe. Our families' ancestors were farmers, arriving in Tabor, Minnesota, in 1890. The homestead Act had been passed in 1862, giving one hundred sixty acres of land to anyone wanting it, with the condition that they live on it for five years and make improvements by building homes and planting trees (since the area was open prairie land which was covered by tall grasses).
Railroads had to be built to help farmers get their produce to market. James J Hill is most remembered as a railroad builder. Grain was hauled by horse or mule drawn wagons to small towns which sprang up along the railroads. Roads were no more than trail that were rough and muddy and, many times, impassable. The first of the Fords was invented in 1896, but during the 1890's auto were so new and strange that they were shown in circuses. As they became more popular, the roads were gradually improved.
Every family had to dig their own well to provide water for their livestock and for use in the home. They fought snow storms, grasshoppers and spring floods every year. Wood was cut from the banks of the Red River and hauled by bob sled and horses.
Recreation consisted of barn dances and house parties. Card playing was a favorite pass time for the men. Ladies held quilting bees and feather stripping parties to prepare feathers for their feather ticks. Singing was important to all.
During the Depression of the 1930's many thrifty people lost all of their savings and the national government came to the aid of our state with money for work programs and relief.
Prosperous times make happy people, and the people of Minnesota have had many such times. These were the years when faith and hard work brought profits.
Our state owes its population to lands far beyond the seas. It has every nationality and all races represented within its borders. To countless nations it owes language, literature, religion, learn, family life, and much more. Our forebears brought with them customs, habits, refinements of taste, their artistic natures and their desire for conveniences. They also brought with them love of law and order, their love of religion, and their desire for education. Without these principles, our fore bearers would have had no civilization. Without them, our state would not exist.
Our fore bearers were proud to be American and wanted their children to be the finest kind of Americans, teaching them that they could be anything that they desired to be.
In reviewing our ancestry, we see some of the values, dreams and accomplishments of those who had gone before us and we recognize that, today, we enjoy the fruits of their values, dreams and accomplishments. As it was once said:
"We should so live and labor in our time that what came to us as seed may go to the next generation as blossom, and that which came to us as blossom may go to them as fruit."
Our fore bearers are the roots, we are the branches soon to become the roots. Each generation leaves its mark in history. As the leaves of a tree are bound together by a common source of nourishment, so are the families within these pages held together by a common source of life-giving and enriching principles pass on to them, and in their turn, passed on by them.
You are what you are and you came to be because of those who came before you. As you turn the leaves in this book, you will gain a new identity, a new relationship with the past.
.....Pribula-Myerchin Family History.
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