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Great Grandma Pierce


Debbie Dagen

Junior High Division


On February 26, 1892, my grandma, was born to her Norwegianparents, Mr. and Mrs. Larce Skappel. Grandma was born on a farm near Hallock,Minnesota, which is in Kittson County. The farm on which Grandma was bornis located about ten to fifteen miles east of the Red River.

Grandma was a child of four in her family. This, of course,meant that there were chores to do before pleasure or even eating. Someof the chores consisted of: livestock to feed, cows to milk, water to becarried, eggs to collect, barns and sheds to clean, and the house to cleanall came before anything else.

Grandma met a young Irish gentleman on a farm where sheworked as a kitchen helper and he as a farm hand. In the unforeseen future,this young Irish gentleman was to become Miss Johanna Skappel's husband.

Soon, Johanna Skappel became Mrs. Archie Pierce. AlthoughGrandpa and Grandma spent their honeymoon on the farm, they still had ahappy one.

Later, they moved to Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada, whichhad become a city a few years before. There Grandma gave birth to a son,Harold.

A few years later, Harold became a brother to his onlysister, Mildred. Grandpa and Grandma were both quite proud of their children.

Only nine days after the birth of Mildred, on August 21,1914, Grandpa went into the service.

While Grandpa was in the service, Grandma and the childrenlived by Grandpa's parents in Moose Jaw, until he came home.

Maybe Grandma's prayers weren't heard by God, maybe Godwanted it his way, who knows, but we do know that Grandpa's return nevercame into view. He was in a hospital in some big city somewhere, but neverat home where his wife awaited him.

In 1942, Grandma Pierce moved to a farm near Halma, Minnesota,which is also in Kittson County. There Grandma found herself laboring forseveral domesticated animals. She took care of all the livestock she owned,feeding, aiding, and caring for each.

She lived there for twenty-one years finding several happymoments. For certain uncontrollable difficulties, Grandma moved to anotherplace several miles away leaving many memories behind.

Mildred's death caused much unhappiness to Grandma Pierce.Mildred died from an incurable disease.

In 1963, Grandma moved to a city, Thief River Falls, Minnesotain Pennington County. She lived in a trailer house next to her son, Harold.About seven years later, Grandma moved to another section of Thief RiverFalls where she lives now.

A few years after, Grandma's only son Harold, died. Harold'sdeath was a natural one.

Some of the happiest and exciting days of Grandma's lifewere spent in Kittson County, the northwestern county of Minnesota, locatednext to Pembina County, the northeastern county of North Dakota. When herchildren were young, they presented Grandma with much joy. Yet another excitingmoments of the past lurks in Grandma's mind. That is her honeymoon.

Now that Grandma has grandchildren and great grandchildren,she has even more happy moments in store.

Even though Grandma has eleven grandchildren and twenty-eightgreat grandchildren, she can't always have them around, so instead, shecrochets or embroiders as a pastime to keep her happy.

Grandma's life has been spent mainly on a farm. Caringfor her livestock has become a part of her life. Kittson County has beenher home for a good section of her life time.

Health for Grandma was not so good for a while. Grandmahad high blood pressure, a bad eye by which she could see very little, alongwith other unhealthy conditions.

Now, her health seems to have changed extremely. Insteadof being unhealthy, she is quite healthy. Grandma's moods are even betterthan before. Almost instantaneously Grandma was healthy, well, happy, andvery gay.

Prices have changed tremendously since the time when Grandmawas a young girl.

The world has changed as Grandma sees it. In fact, itschanged a terrible lot. In both good and bad.

By good, I mean transportation, and by bad, I mean pricesand crime. These hold quite a stand in America.

Memories seep in and out of Grandma's mind. Both good andbad, but the good usually always came in more clearly than the bad memories.

Grandma might not go down in history for any great accomplishments,but she'll always be very special and very important to all her friendsand relatives. To me, to you, to everyone, once you get to know my GreatGrandma, you'll want her for your friend.

Right now, Grandma is eighty-three years young, and a verybeautiful person.


Pierce, Johanna, Thief River Falls, MN, Interview, December27, 1974


Pierce, Johanna, Thief River Falls, MN, Interview, December27, 1974