Lefor, ND

Lefor, ND

Stark County
Inhabited as of 5-07

Lefor, ND is a very small town in the southwestern part of the state, about 20 miles southeast of Dickinson. Founded in 1890 and named for the first postmaster, a German Hungarian named Adam Lefor, it reached a peak population of 224 in 1930.

Lefor has also been known by the names Schnellreich and Saint Elizabeth.

Contemporary Lefor is now home to a couple dozen residents and many abandoned structures. Several friendly townspeople came out to chat during our visit to Lefor.


Photos by Troy and Rat
All content copyright SonicTremorMedia.com

138 thoughts on “Lefor, ND

  1. My Dad, Ed Mayer, was born in Lefor in 1927. He was always very fond of this little town and had many great memories. In July 2008 I placed some of his ashes next to his Grandfather in St. Elizabeth’s Cemetery and some of his ashes on the hill overlooking the Mayer homestead. I was honored to do this for him. I came back in Sept. 2009 to show my brother and some cousins around the place. We all had a great time and plan to come back in the near future. Thanks for posting these picks and keeping the memory of Lefor alive.

  2. That’s quite some church for a little town. Bruce B.I imagine they still use Gregory Hall for church functions, since it is still listed as an active parish for I think the Bismark Diocese.
    By the way love the site.

  3. My dad grew up in Richardton, ND, which I think is in the same county as Lefor.I He has a copy of a Lefor Cookbook that was put out when the town was more alive, so to speak. This is a great website! Thank you for taking the time to document these beautiful places!

    1. Hi Karen,

      I am from Richardton, and yes, Lefor is in the same county. I own a copy of the cookbook you mention, and use it regularly. I am fond of some of the recipes, which assume the reader knows much about the craft of cooking. It might say, for example, “continue kneading until done.”

      One small addition. Mr. Lefor, and my ancestors the Kilzer’s, would be dismayed if they were identified as “Hungarians.” They identified themselves as German Hungarians, and, indeed, their native tongue was German.

      1. my grandfather was born in Lefor, my grandmother was born in Richardton. my cusion just took over the schuld ranch in Richardton after my uncle passed. I too have the cook book and know for a fact my grandparents would be upset to hear them called “hungarians” they are “Germans from Hungry” or “German Hungarians” or “German” never “Hungarian”

      2. My great great grandfather Adam Lefor (married to Marianna Kungel) established the town and my grandmother Bertha Lefor (Her father was Adam Lefor married to Elizabeth Shaffer) now passed grew up there. Adam Lefor Sr. had 14 children. My mother Anita Becker was born in Dickenson. I have many old pictures and a story my grandmother wrote about their settlement there. I also have the Lefor cookbook. Now as the youngest child of my family and all grandparents and father passed I have been trying to put together my history. Thank you for this site.

        1. Jennifer Scholes,
          My great grand father was Michael Raschko, father of Mike Raschko who married Adam Lefor’s daughter Catherine.
          Michael’s daughter Catherine married Chris Becker in Lefor. Could he be related to your mother?

          My father, Lester Grimm, once said one way or another we were related to almost everyone in Lefor.

          Mike Grimm
          grimm.michael at gmail dot com

          1. Mike,
            Yes my mother is related. Catherine Lefor Roschko was her aunt and my great aunt. She grew up with the Roschko’s. My mother’s father (my grandfather) Anthony J. Becker was married to Bertha Lefor Becker. My mother married Paul R. Riley. My grandfather had multiple siblings and I would have to look into those details more but I do have some. My grandmother Bertha passed in 1990 and my grandfather Anthony Becker passed in 1994 both in Oregon. I have quite a bit of info on the family and have been trying to keep it alive. I am the last on this side of the family to do so. I am the youngest member of the family from Anita L. (Becker) Riley and Paul R. Riley’s children. I can share more info when I have more time.
            Portland Oregon

          2. Regarding the Lefor State Bank.

            One of the stories that Adam Lefor’s (Mike Raschko) son-in-law used to tell was about 100 dollar bills.
            According to Mike, every time a 100 dollar bill came into the bank Mr. Lefor would purchase it from the bank and place it in the vault. When he had collected enough bills to reach from the door of the vault to the front door of the bank it was time to retire.

            Mike Grimm
            grimm.michael @ gmail dot com

        2. Bonsoir Jennifer,
          I presume you are Jennifer RILEY as this is how I know you in the list of the Lefor family.
          I would be so much interested in the notes your grandmother wrote about her settlement in ND; is it possible for you to send me a copy ?
          Thanks in advance
          Daniel Hilaire, Bordeaux France

          1. Hello Daniel,
            Yes I am Jennifer Riley Scholes. My mother was Anita LaMae Becker daughter of Bertha (Lefor) Becker and Anthony J. Becker. Bertha was Catherine (Lefor) Raschko sister. I have a small booklet that my grandmother Bertha documented on some of the Lefor history and some family tree information. The tree is not completely current due to my grandmother’s passing in 1990. I am happy to share with you and anything that you might have to share.
            Portland Oregon USA

        3. I believe Marianna Kungel was my great, great grandmother’s sister. (Anna Kungle Schneider). When Anna Schneider and her husband Peter immigrated to Lefor, they listed their destination as brother in law Adam Lefor. If you could confirm this, that would be great!

  4. I was baptized in St. Elizabeth’s Church. My grandfather, Ludwig Krumenacker, Jr. had a general store in Lefor way back there. The building is gone now but I have fond memories of it and the summer I spent on the Philip Hollinger farm.

    My maternal great-grandparents Philip and Theresa (Schroeder) Weber are buried in St. Elizabeth’s cemetery.

    I, too…have the Lefor cookbook and use it regularly.

    1. My mother gave me a copy of the Lefor cookbook back in the 80’s. I lost it but have recently been able to order another copy. I love those recipes from lots of people who are probably my relatives too! I would love to visit Lefor to look at what’s left of my roots too!

      1. I have a very used(it looks like it too)copy of this cookbook my mom gave me in the 80’s as well! Adam Lefor was my great-great uncle!!

      2. My Grandmother was Catherine Lefor Seeberger and at one of our family reunions we visited the town of Lefor and the church.. It is an awesome place and the cemetery with all the pictures is amazing. I would love to have a copy of the Lefor Cookbook.. Can you give me the info to order one.. Thanks Sharon Seeberger Wetsch

        1. Bonjour Sharon,
          I try to collect as much genealogical data as possible about LEFORs, as they all are my cousins originated from Arracourt, a small village in France.
          Could you please tell me who are the parents of your Grandmother Catherine LEFOR.
          Of course, when I’ll have connected her to the LEFOR family, I give you all details about this “german” family who was… french! (as many other families in ND)
          A bientôt

        2. I was at that reunion as well. My husband Dale Boespflug is also a grandson of Catherine Seeberger Lefor. Fond memories of the town and church. Great grandfather Lefor built the beautiful alter out of wooden apple boxes made to look like marble!!!!

          I also own and use the Lefor cookbook!
          Pam Boespflug

    2. I have the Lefor cook book too. My grand parents were Wenzel and Helena Weber. Philip was related to my dad Philip Weber.

    3. I stumbled across this website while researching Ludwig Krumenacker Jr. I believe he is my great grandfather. If you have any information that you are willing to share with me please respond. Thanks

    4. My grandfather (Ludwig’s son) took us to Lefor a couple of years before he died. We went out to a sod house where Grandpa said he was born. I love the photo I have of my grandfather and father in that house!

  5. The founder of Lefor, Adam Lefor was my great grandfather.
    Yes that church is huge and I remember as an altar boy at times when that church was packed.
    Great pics and site. Thanks for the memories.

      1. Saw your reply and was wondering if we were related. My fathers family is from Lefor.
        My grandfathers name was Antone Rech and grandmother Barbara Kordic. My dad was Joe and he had 8 siblings. Gary

    1. Can someone tell me where Adam Lefor Sr 1846-1927 and Marianna Kungel Lefor 1848-1918 died and are buried? They were my 2nd great grandparents.

      1. Diana – Your Great Grandparents are buried in St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Cemetery in Lefor, ND. I have a picture of their headstone if you would like it. I just need your email address and I’ll send it to you.

  6. Lefor, Holds a very special place in my heart. I use to spend the summers up there working with my grand dad. I cant wait to go back. Gods country.

  7. My dear German mother, born in North Dakota, bought me and my sisters this cookbook back in the 1980’s. I used it all the time as many of the recipes were from my relatives. Sadly, the cookbook became lost in moving. Happily, I’ve just found this site and am ordering another copy. I think it cost $5.00 or $7.00 all those years ago. It is priceless to me. Thank you friends.

    1. I am trying to get a Lefor Cookbook also. My daughter-in-law was at our home browsing through my Lefor Cookbook and was so interested in trying some of the recipes. Please send me a name and address where I can buy one for her Thank you

      1. I received a Lefor cookbook many years ago from my mother. The address found in my cookbook for ordering one is

        Mrs. Joe Jordan
        Box 55
        Lefor, ND 58641

        I do not know if this is the currently used address for reordering a cookbook, but it’s the only help I can provide.

  8. Did you know that Lefor is the area that most german hungarians came to. My great great grandparents came to the Lefor area in 1898. The Scholz family. I am descended from mostly garman hungarian and am a recearcher of my family tree. David Dryer has alot of interesting things on the internet about the german hungarians. They are actually called danube swabians/ Banaters. They were excellent farmers and made what North Dakota is today, the foodbasket of the world. Lefor plays a large part of our history and should be preserved. It was built to be a town like in the old country. Austria-hungary. Thank you for the wonderful pictures

  9. I have two Grandfathers buried in Lefor, Aundrus Herold and Christian Schaeffer. My Mother and Father were born in/near Lefor. We are danube swabians. Anyone called them Hungarian would be correctted real fast. I was raised in Gladstone and remember the intense baseball and basketball games with Lefor. I think Lefor was still upset about losing the railroad to Glandstone. If one has time visit the cemetery next to St. Liz, lots of north dakota history buried there a number of Herolds some who came in 1895.. Great web-site, Thank you very much

  10. My great-grandparents, Kilzers/Roths, came from Deustche Bentschek, in present day Romania, and though they were called German-Hungarians by outsiders, they considered themselves only German. My mother said her parents used to refer to other “German-Hungarians” as being “Swabish” or Svovish; I cannot now remember how she pronounced it, but I think she said “Schvovish” when she spoke the word. This was a shortening of Danube Swabian, I think.

    I know that there were ethic opinions held by the first immigrants toward “German Russians. Mom said that her grandparents considered German Russians a coarse, boorish, and a bit crude lot. She said her grandparents reviled the “foul” habit German-Russians had of chewing sunflower seeds and spitting the shells out. (I love sunflower seeds in the shell!) She also said that another thing her grandparents found boorish was “loud colors” worn by the Germans from Russia. She and I both would laugh at this because for us in following generations, these two “races” of Germans were nearly identical, though their cultures differed slightly.
    I hope no one of German-Russian descent who reads this takes offense at what I mentioned, for these were the thoughts of my ancestors, and I do not myself hold them to be true at all.

    1. My grandmother had the same sentiments about the “Roosians” as she would say!! I as well do not hold any of these same sentiments!! I stumbled across my grandmothers name in the GRHC data base. The Germans from Russia!! She’d have a fit!! She was HUNGARIAN!!! My grandmother was Elizabeth Hagel Miller.

    2. Yep that is true, I remember hearing that my great grandmother didn’t like her sons new wife because she was German Russin, not German Hungarian. She was always worried that her family would steal the farm or do something bad. LOL

    3. My grandfather was John Roth He lived 10 Miles south of Mott. his father was Martin Roth who is buried at St. Stephens Catholic Church between Richardton and Mott. His youngest daughter Elisibetha married a Kilzer. I am looking for information for a family tree. Please contact me. James L. Roth

      1. Bonjour James,
        I know Martin ROTH married to Katharina KIRCHNER.
        Is he your Ggrandfather ?
        He is supposed to arrive ND in 1892.
        I’ll do my best to help you building your family tree.
        You can write me at :
        Daniel, Bordeaux

  11. The Barbie’s/Barbier’s came over with some of the Lefor’s in June 1898 on the Dresden. The Barbie’s settled South of Richardton near St. Stephen’s parish. My family has maintained the connection to the Lefor family of Lefor to this day.
    The Hungarians and German speaking people’s did not mix. Often these populations were not purely German either. Some of them come from Belgium and France as well as Germany.
    I would love to get my hands on a copy of the Lefor cookbook.
    My grandmother a Weisbeck came from a German from Russia family. She spoke a different dialect of German so she and my Grandfather Barbie could not communicate in German so easily.

    1. Hi Valerie,

      I grew up on a farm very near St. Stephan’s church, on the land homesteaded by my grandfather, Peter Kilzer. You are correct about German Russians and German Hungarians and their dialectal differences. Many of the German Hungarians from Deutsche Bentschek who setteled south of Richardton may have had ancestors themselves from the Alsace Lorainne area bordering France and Germany.

  12. I stumbled across this website and felt it necessary to chip in. My mother’s maiden name is Lefor, her mother was a Blasy. My father’s mother was Marian Kilzer, who grew up on the farm across the creek from St. Stephen’s Church. There is a German-Hungarian museum in Regent, which is about 20 minutes south of Lefor. I found it interesting that one ofthe guides at the museum, who was a German Russian, got to know more about the Schwabe ethnicity than many of the German Hungarians. Some of the relatives used to complain that the German-Russian polkas were too fast, that the Schwabe polkas were the only correct speed. There was a Thomas Lefor family reunion a few years back, complete with paprikash and kiffels for the main meal (absolutely no leftovers after the meal, which filled Gregory Hall).

    1. For the short time my family lived in Lefor back in 1950, we have wonderful memories of it. Jim, I was at your parent’s wedding, along with my parents and sister. We drove there from Chicago for the occassion. My parents, Nick and Paulina (Lena) would visit there with your grandparents and they would vist us in Chicago. My Mom is 101 now and still remembers the “Lefor” times.

  13. Guess what? I stumbled across this today and I, too, HAVE the COOK BOOK titled “WHAT’s COOKIN’ in LEFOR” given to me by Eleanor Schmidt in 1990, who is my father’s first cousin. Eleanor’s father and my grandmother are Banat Germans mentioned in Monsignor George P. Aberle’s book “Pioneers and Their Sons” given to me by my Freer grandparents. Cousin Eleanor sent the cookbook after a visit with my favorite Sour Cream Raisin pie in her penmanship on a NOTES after page 216. Living on the farm you never tossed sour cream. You found a use for all leftovers!! I remember as very small child going to my uncle’s wedding at that St Elizabeth church in Lefor. All the comments were great reading today.

  14. Althought it is sad to see how Lefor (and my own hometown) have deteriorated over the years, I am pleased that those of Banater German ethnicity keep their heritage alive. I grew up in eastern Montana in a town not unlike Lefor except our’s was “Rooshun”. One of the first Masses I served as a boy was the funeral Mass of Frances Herold Weinschrott who was from Gladstone, North Dakota. She used to grow flowers for the altar of St Anthony church where I had my first holy communion. I lived in Germany for 12 years and speak Hoch Deutsch fluently. St Elizabeth Church looks like it would be beautiful inside. I wonder whether there is Mass there on Sundays?

  15. My Dad, Eugene F. Martin was the first person to be babtized in the St. Elizabeth Church. He was born on December 31, 1929 and babtized shortly after. His Mother was Rose Lefor married to Nick Martin and farmed just outside of Lefor. We have many fond memories and stories about Lefor and visit as often as we can.

  16. my grandpa was raised in the lefor area his name was joe pechtl and my grandma worked at the cheese plant and also worked on the farm. i know the farm house is still up the last time i was out in that area.

  17. they lived between lefor and regent along the 30 mile creek. if anybody knows this farm and where it is please let me know! i think the welch family bought the farm from them.

    1. Ifound my grandparents farm they were neighbors with the Kellers and Hipsachs and schneiders and welsches and Sellers. Nothing left but old trees and a pile of rubble where the house was.They have 3 grain bins and a large shop or shed now. I dont know who ownes it now? Its in between lefor and regent on 54th st. right after the bridge crossing the 30 mile creek. If you know who ownes the land please let me know!! Is thier any oil activity out in that area???

      1. DARYL,

  18. My mother lives in Lefor, last i heard. Her name is Karen Homestead, and she is in her seventies and lives just down the street from the church (according to MapQuest) on 184th St. Tho we haven’t spoken in years (religious differences) i was wondering if anyone knows of her and her situation. She apparently works for a buffalo ranch in the area, name unknown. Thanks

  19. i buried my mom few days after chirstmas this year…
    what religion would prevent you from talking to your mom for so long?none ive heard of.
    this website is often about connections,yours sounds like one that needs to be made

  20. Have the Lefor cookbook…from my mom..a Wieglenda..recently applied for a US passport..my moms record of birth..Lefor,ND Jeff Minot

  21. My great-great grandmother Pauline Weber was from Lefor North Dakota she was married to Nikolaus Ertl that went missing in Black Eagle Montana around 1925. His disapperance has been a mistery for many years. It was rumored that his remains were found near the Anaconda mines (possibly murdered) but was also rumored to be seen in Wisconsin. We have never know the truth of his disappearance. Their children were Nick, Johnny, Kay, George, Hank, and Mary. She later married John Lefor of Lefor, North Dakota. If anyone has had family members pass down stories of this family it would be great to hear from you. Kendra

    1. I am the granddaughter of Pauline Lefor. My dad was George A. Ertl who passed away in 1998. I have the most loving memories of her and the wonderful soup she always had on the stove cooking..

    2. I am just finding this information because my grandfather was John Ertl, son of Pauline and Nikolaus Ertl. John Ertl (d. 1974) married Barbara Peters (95yo) and have lived in Sacramento Ca since the early 1920’s. From the sounds of it, you have explained why we don’t have much history of the Ertl side. We are doing a road trip this summer to take Grandma Ertl to N.Dakota to see her hometown. Finding a piece of our past was nice. Thank you.

      Gregory Ertl Sacramento, Ca

  22. My grandparents were George & Teresa Lefor. My grandparents had the Lefor Mail Route. If any of you lived in the area in the 60’s, 70’s & early 80’s you knew them well. I attended the Lefor grade school for a few weeks when my parents moved from Dickinson to Bismarck. Some of my fondest childhood memories were spending time in Lefor. In the summer my brother & I would spend most of our summer break there playing and exploring the abandoned buildings with our cousins the Roers. (Sorry if the spelling isn’t correct) In the winter months we would spend almost every weekend there being towed behind the snowmobile on an old car hood. One or two weeks a year my three cousins would join us from Washington and my other cousins from a farm just outside of Lefor. When we all were together, there wasn’t anything better. My mother, aunt, and uncle all grew up there. (Gerie, Yvone, & Ted) They all three went to school at the church before the grade school was built. My uncle Ted Lefor & his wife Gwen still have the Lefor route and look after the lots that I still own in town. Ted & Gwen now live in Gladstone. If any of you know Ted Lefor give him a call. He isn’t doing very well, his health is failing and has been in and out of the hospital. I try to get back to Lefor at least once every year or two. It’s sad to see that the population has dwindeled down to only a few.
    This was truely a place where everyone new there neighbor, doors were left unlocked, keys were left in the ignition, and people looked out for one another.
    A proud decendant of German Hungarian grandparents.
    Craig Davies

    1. When i was a curious tot id ask my mother Rose how she got so strong she would say from growing u on “the farm!” oh and from walking to school uphill to school at Saint Elizabeths in blizzarding winter storms ha ha i sure miss her her last name was Hollinger and she later married Dick Baar from Glagstone…Wow I too have the Lefor cook book….Can we TALK about paprikash!!!! I actually didnt know the recipe was in the cook book but boy i have such fond memories of family all of us enjoyinf meals together paprikash and warm buttered homemade bread ..GOD BLESS ALL!!! Renee Baar

      1. RENEE

        1. My mom was born in Lefor, Gloria Sigl, parents were Phil and Pauline(Lowas) Sigl, German Hungarian related to Lefors, Mayers, Bayers, Schneiders, etc. basically all of Lefor. My mom still makes paprikosh and engimoch, love it still!!! My grandfathers family came from Banat Germany as well!!!

          1. Hi John! My name is Holly. My grandfather Charles Lowas was one of Pauline’s brothers. It’s nice to come across other Lowas’ : )

      2. Renee, my mom was visiting me here in Denver and for some reason I did a google search for Lefor and stumbled upon this. My father is Eugene Hollinger so I guess that makes us cousins. I think we only met a few times, if that, since we lived in Portland, Oregon. My mom says she has the cookbook too. I have to scan it when I visit her this Christmas. I remember the paprikash so well! I also remember grandma Bette Hollinger (maiden name Beyer I think) coming to visit and taking over the kitchen. She would do goulash with dumplings and lots of apple and rhubarb strudel. I have never made it to Lefor but my husband has family in Mandan not too far away. Maybe we need a roadtrip.

    2. Craig,
      I knew your grandparents well,spent much time in their home. Yvonne is one of my very good friends,as childhood friends and as adults. I have gone to visit Ted, his benefit was a huge success. Yvonne & i spent a day together in Lefor just this summer ,having lunch with a Schneider friend at the old rectory.We went to visit the Cemetery and say a prayer for our deceased parents.I also had a short visit with your mom this summer.

      Nice reading your page, Craig.

  23. I’m from Banat (Velika Greda).We fled from Banat right after the war (1947),landed in Austria,France and 1953 in Canada. My ancestors came from Loraine in 1770 but spoke German at the time.I would like to know from where did Adam Lefor come from originally ,Zichidorf or
    Georgshausen or?Thank you.

    1. Adam Adir LEFOR was born on January 17, 1881 in Ernsthausen.
      But it’s true that the LEFOR family originally came from Arracourt, in Lorraine (now part of France); two brothers, Jean and Claude arrived in Vienna in 1770 and then were sent to Triebswetter; they didn’t speak at all german but only french; but in Banat most newcomers were speaking german and even the french speakers finally turned speaking german.
      Daniel HILAIRE (one of your cousins from France)

      1. Daniel,thanks for the informations.It happens that my father Bernhart Lefor was also born in Ersthausen in 1913 so did my grandfather Nikolaus Lefor in1888 and his father.
        I also have a document originating from Vienna listing that Lefor Johann and his family (4)
        were registered in Vienna 01.Oct.1770 from Lothringen and Lefor Claudius and his family(5) registered 20. April 1770 from “Deutschlothringen” and arriving about a month later in “Beschönova” Banat.( I don’t know where that is.)That’s why I taught they spoke German.I suppose They are Jean et Claude!
        I really would appreciate to know where you got your source.
        Merci , je parle Français.

      2. I have Lefor ancestors on both of my parents’ side. On my mother’s side there is a Claude Lefort, born in Arracourt in 1734, married to Jeanne Ge’Rardin, born in Lorraine. Both died in Triebswetter.

        On my father’s side, there is a Claudius Lefort, born in Alsace-Lorraine, about 1752, married to Katarina LaFleur, also from Alsace-Lorraine. They were married July 1, 1777. They were both in Triebswetter and had a child there, Johann Claudius Lefort born in Triebswetter On January 31, 1786.

        My parents are Nick and Paulina (Lena) Feit. My father was born in the Chicago area but was raised in Triebswetter till he was 21. He married my mother and they moved to the Chicago in 1931. In 1950 one of my father’s relatives somehow discovered the town of Lefor and the fact that we were a distant realtive of the Lefors that lived there. We visited there in 1950, bought one of the local taverns which also had a dance hall connected to it. When we first moved there, we stayed with the Jack Lefor family. We also visited the Lincoln Lefor family, who lived in Benton Harbor, Michigan, which wasn’t too far from from Chicago. We only stayed there for several months and then moved back to Chicago. My mother (now 101 yrs. old) is still in contact with Caroline Lefor (Mrs. Victor Lefor) from whom she received the Lefor Cookbook many years ago. We went back to visit Lefor several times over the years and have many fond memories of Lefor.

        Daniel, please contact me with any more information you may have on the Lefors who moved to Triebswetter.

  24. My Grandparents had an LP record of the St. Elizabeth choir. My parents were married in St. Elizabeth, and 3 siblings were laid to rest in the cemetery.

    1. Jim,
      Do you know the whereabouts of the LP record of the St. Elizabeth Choir? I’m told that our Grandfather actually composed some of the organ music used during mass at St. Elizabeth’s. Call me if you get this message.

      Jim Schiwal
      (404) 402-2047

  25. Yes, we have roots in Banat as well. My great-grandfather Nicholas Letang settled here with his wife Magdalena (Meyer) Letang. She is buried in the cemetery by the church; was killed by a horse in 1906. My grandmother Anna Letang Them was born in Lefor in February, 1904. She would talk about not being able to go down to the creek alone because there were still isolated stories about Indian attacks. She and many of her siblings, plus my great-grandfather and his second wife Katherine, went to Mansfield, Ohio, where I was born in 1950. If anyone has relatives yet in Lefor & any of the names I’ve mentioned sound familiar, drop me a note. Sandra Miller-Louden

    1. Bonjour Sandra,
      Etienne LETANG and his wife Marie Elisabeth GRIMON went to Banat in 1770; they were from Dieuze and Puzieux, in Lorraine, now France.
      Two of their sons lived in Saint-Hubert (Banat) and they could be your ancestors; I studied this family and, may be, I can connect your grandmother Anna if you know a bit more about her (birth, parents ?)
      Some LETANG’s were connected to LEFOR’s such as Nicolaus LEFORT who married Elisabeth LETANG in Saint-Hubert, on October 1833.
      Daniel HILAIRE, Bordeaux, France

    2. Hi My name is Jim and I live in Ashland. I have long heard stories about a distant relative connected with the founding of Lefor, North Dakota. I believe Thems are in our family tree. I would be interested in communicating with you.

  26. I grew up in Lefor. Went to school in the church building and the grade school when it was built. Both of my parents are buried there as well as grandparents, uncles and aunts. My dad is Michael Reindel and my mom is Regina Herold Reindel. My dad’s mom was a Wotrang. My mom’s parents were Michael and Magdalena Dassinger Herold. I remember going to dances at the St Joe’s Verein Hall which was by the grade school and is no longer standing. The bar was in the basement and the bathrooms were outhouses. I remember having the bowling alley opened for us to bowl as part of gym class. Of course we had to set up the pins ourselves. I also have the Lefor Cookbook as well as my children. My last copy says it is in its 17th printing. An amazing cookbook. We were related to some of the Lefor’s through marriage and I do remember George Lefor. I grew up west of town and our address was actually Dickinson but really grew up in Lefor.
    I have a brother who still lives on the homestead and cousins that live in Lefor across the street from Gregory Hall.

    1. Hi Cheryl,
      I try to build the Lefor history report including connected families.
      Could you tell me precisely how your family was connected to Lefor’s?
      Hope to see you next July in Lefor
      Daniel (danielhilaire@hotmail.com)
      Bordeaux, France

      1. I am a shirt tail relation to Harry Lefor. My dad was second cousin to Harry’s wife Dorothy Bayer. My sister Bernnie, brothers Dale and Cary will probably be at the reunion in July but I don’t thinl I will be. How are you related to the Lefors?

  27. , I am Mike Reindels oldest , Cheryls Lenharts eldest sister, One of the pictures above is Mike and Magdelena Herold home. Spent many days and nights there while attending grade school. Dan linster and I were the last to celebrate a wedding dance at the St Joes Verein Hall. There were several anniversays and other celebrations before it was closed.
    Lefor has alot of great memories. I beleive next year will be another all school reunion. My husbands 50th. I also have the Lefor cookbook and am on my second one. That has to be the most traveled cookbook in the world.
    Ted Lefor was my classmate .

  28. I think the Lefor cookbook really gets around! I received it in 1998 as a wedding gift and it is my absolute favourite go-to recipe book.

  29. I, too, use the Lefor cookbook regularly and just love it. My Grammie Schneider ( everyone knew Anna Schneider as ‘Grammie’) began my cooking education in Lefor when I was just a little kid. I had great times there in the summers and remember ‘helping’ Norbert milk the cows, then bringing Grammie home a jar of fresh, warm cream.
    Great site! Thanks.

    1. My great grandmother was Anna Schneider Hagel and I am guessing that your grandfather was a descendant of her father Peter Schneider?

    2. I also have several Anna Schneiders in my family. My mother named me after her grandmother Anna Reiner Schneider. Anna and her husband John were Banat immigrants that came to Lefor around 1895 . My grandmother Margaret Schneider was born there,and my mother Nancy and her siblings were born in Dickenson. Peter Schneider and his Wife Anna Kungle Schneider were my Great Great grandparents. I know several Schneider’s are buried in Saint Elizabeth Cemetery, and I hope to visit sometime.

  30. I know a John and Mary schneider any relation? MY grandparents were Rose and Joe Pechtl and My Greatgrandpa is Tony Pechtl on my grandpas side and my grandmas side his name was Dominick Morel.

  31. For all those Lefors forfathers came from Josefsdorf – Joseffalva/Banat they can contact:
    Werner Weissmüller, Eichendorffweg 52, 88348 Bad Saulgau – Germany
    Pleas enclose international reply-coupons as stamps.

  32. My parents John Herold and Pauline Kaufman Herold were both born and raised around Lefor. My grandparents were Mike and Magdalena Dassinger Herold and John and Mary Becker Kaufman. Both of my parents joined the St. Elizabeth’s choir as teenagers and were on the recorded album. My dad still lives on the homeplace where he was born and he will be 85 this summer. My great grandparents, Peter and Katarina Herold provided one of the bells in the church tower and they are still rung occasionally.

    The church does still have Sunday Mass, they alternate times with St. Mary’s church of New England, ND, my dad still leads the congregation in song, but now rather than from the loft, from a pew.

    My Mom has a great German Hungarian dessert in the Lefor cookbook, called malai. Still a family favorite, even into the current generation, she passed away in 2011, otherwise she could answer a ton of questions about who is who, she had a wonderful gift and memory for doing that.

    My oldest brother and his wife live in Lefor, I am a first cousin to Cheryl Lenhart.

  33. My grandparents, Joseph and Mary Wagendorf Pechtl are on the church record ,married in 1901.
    My grandmother’s diary mentions the church was a sod building. Could you tell me the date the big church
    was completed.

    All of their 8 children were born in the surrounding area eventually settling in New England 1924.
    I was born there in 1938,my parents were John and Leota McGuire Pechtl

    I enjoyed reading all the posted notes. I also love all the German/Hungarian food.

  34. I was born and raised in Lefor, my parents were George and Louise (Martin) Kirschenheiter.I was the third oldest in the family there were8 of us.I have a lot of fond memories of Lefor, attended all 12 years of school there, graduated in 1971 we were the largest graduation class at Lefor High School.The church is so beautiful and I have the records of the church choir, shed a tear or two, cause I know I hear my mothers voice ( Louise), that choir was absolutely the best. The Lefor cookbook is one everyone needs, I do make the strudel cheese and pumpkin When my Uncle Nick Martin comes for a visit I make the pumpkin, that is his favorite. Great place to grow up

  35. Hello, I do not know much about my family. I know that my great-grandfathers name is Jon Dana Lefor and My grandfather is Jon ? Lefor. My grandfather moved to Alaska from the Tacoma/Puyallup area in Washington between 1960-1970. My great-grandfather played the trumpet and was in a band. They passed between 2003-2005? I know absolutely nothing about the Lefor side of my family. If you know anything or know anyone who does that would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

    1. Bonjour Katie,
      I imagine you GGF was John LEFOR born 1882 and died 1967 Sacramento; he was playing in the band in Lefor.
      His son John D. LEFOR was born 1911 and married to Esterbelle VAN ORMAN; they had 3 kids born between 1937 and 1947.
      Is that right ?
      If so, you can contact me and I’ll give you all informations from you french origins.

  36. The last of the Ludwig and Barbara (Weber) Krumenacker’s 13 “children,” my Aunt Helen (Krumenacker) Kriehn passed away in Sacramento, California on 10/18/2013 at the age of 94.

    Reading the various comments bring back many fond memories of Lefor. I remember the beautiful, blonde Gloria Sigl (I believe she had a brother Harvey) and another beauty Rosalind Hollinger Barr. We were all related somehow. It seems everybody in Lefor was related actually. My Dad, John…was Dorothy Lefor’s godfather. My godfather was Frank (married to Theresa Krumenacker) Sigl.

    I still have a few old photos taken in and around Lefor perhaps as far back as the 1920’s, or earlier…it’s hard to tell as some are not dated. Will try and post them soon.

  37. Hi Daniel,
    Adam Lefor was my 2nd Great Grandfather. His son Joseph Hironimus was my Great Grandfather, Anna E was my Grandmother and John Michael Morgenthaler was my Father. I have a copy of your listing of the French Lefor family. It starts with Jehan L’Homel and ends with your name. I am confused about the generation of Rose Geoffroy and Francois Schmit. Were these married cousins? I live in West Linn Oregon USA.
    Diana Morgenthaler Graham

    1. Bonsoir Bonnie,
      Your grandfather, Johann KAUFMANN was born on April 24, 1896 in Setschan, Banat;
      He was the granson of Maria LEFOR born in 1851 in Ernsthausen.
      Maria was the grandaughter of Nicolaus LEFORT born on October 5, 1783 in Trienswetter.
      And Nicolaus was one of the grandsons of Jean LEFORT & Marguerite CONTAL from Arracourt, in Lorraine, now in France.
      If you are interested in more details, you can contact me :
      Daniel Hilaire, Bordeaux, France.

    2. Bonsoir Diana,

      Sorry to answer you so late! But I don’t visit this website very often.

      Yes, Rose Geoffroy and Francois SCHMIT were distant cousins; the granfathers of their grandfathers were brothers.
      That’s why you find me twice on this chart explaining how I am a cousin of many many families in Lefor, including yours.

      Don’t hesitate to contact me directly

      Daniel, Bordeaux, France

  38. Oh My, This blog is so cool. My godparents are Ted and Yvonne Lefor. My grandparents lived directly across the street from the church. The house they lived in burnt down at some point along the way. The cemetery holds many of my relatives. I played basketball (remember getting beat badly) at the school back in the late 1960’s or early 1970’s. We drive through Lefor every two years when we visit ND. I would love to know the church schedule, and schedules for any other events that occur in Lefor, so I could bring my mother to them.

  39. I grew up on a farm about 10 miles SE of Lefor as a German-Hungarian (Link/Kilzer) – German-Russian (Jahner/Binstock) hybrid. My folks moved off the home place to join us in Bismarck a few years back but brothers and I still get back to the area on hunting trips,

    Went to church at St. Stephen’s country church and school in Richardton. St. Elizebeth alway provided a secondary mass option for us (ex. Saturday evenings or later Sunday morning). Can still hear the birds singing, crickets chirping, and cows mooing as cheese factory aromas wafted in during long, hot summer Catholic services. Lots of memories of wedding dances at KC Hall perfecting the polka and St. Elizebeth church fairs cavorting with our neighbor Lefor kids (Jordan, Grundhauser, Pechtl, Barr, Cherney). My wife’s father (Ray Sigl) was also born and raised near Lefor (north, halfway to Gladstone)… thus the Lefor blood still pumps pretty prevalent in my kids’ veins.

    My tattered Lefor cookbook is still hanging in there!!

    1. Bonsoir Greg,

      Are you a grandson of Ann GION?
      GION (GUYON or GUYOT) is an old french family arrived in Banat from Lorraine. Ancestors are known from 1650.
      If you are interested you can contact me directly

      Daniel, Bordeaux, France.

  40. Was wondering if a history was ever published for this town? I find that in the years before West Plains Electric Cooperative (now Roughrider Electric) added this town to their system, there was an isolated light plant that served this town (operational as of 1946).

    1. I have since found that Peter Bayer applied for and received permission from the ND Public Service Commission in late 1941 to install a light plant and which was replaced by service from West Plains Electric Cooperative in 1949.

      I still would like to know under what name Mr. Bayer operated this plant.

  41. Bonjour Sharon,
    As a french cousin of the LEFOR(T) family, I try to take care of the LEFOR family tree.
    I cannot find you grandmother Catherine in my records; could you tell me the names of her parents, please.
    Of course, I can send you a copy of this family tree if you are interested to see it.
    Daniel, Bordeaux, France

  42. I arrived to this site after seeing that Lefor has the highest Hungarian population in the US and was wondering what kind of place it is. I am a Hungarian, living in Hungary but visiting the US time to time and thought it might be a good weekend program to visit the place. I see many of the visitors commented that the founders of the town were not actually Hungarians but German Hungarians and many of those people would correct anyone who called them Hungarian. It makes this place even more interesting to me as 30% of the population still record themselves as Hungarians in the census, not Germans. Either they are Hungarian Hungarians or have very close emotional bonds to Hungary. Either way, an interesting place to visit.
    Could any of you help me where to start? Do you know if there is anyone there still speaking Hungarian?
    Many thanks
    zoltan dot nagy at freemail dot hu

  43. I was wondering If Peter & Eva Schorsh are Buried in the Catholic Cemetery In Lefor, There daughter was Elisabeth Schorsh Roth she is buried in Mott who was my Grandmother. Peter had eight children. I think Peter had something like a drug store in Hungary but farmed near Lefor.

  44. Amazing photos! I would love to visit Lefor someday and see where my German Hungarian ancestors first settled in America. My dad, Leo Dobitz (son of Anton “Tony” Dobitz”) was born in Dickinson – not far from Lefor. If any one else has any Dobitz blood in their ancestry, I’d love to swap information. It seems we Dobitzes all descend from Josef and Katharina (Pechtl) Dobitz. Eager to find out more about them and the origin of the Dobitz surname.

    If anyone would like to share information, please join the Dobitz Family Genealogy Group on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/dobitzfamilygenealogy/.

  45. Jennifer,

    My mothers family, Kolling,, Biel, Anton, Lech families were from Lefor area. I would like to know how to receive copy of your notes from your grandmother. The whole German-Hungarian history intrigues me. I love family history. Thanks much

  46. I am looking for information on William Heidecker who was married to Magdelena Gertner in Hungry. They had 8 children and are buried in St. Elizabeth Cemetery. I am also interested in the Hagel family where Anna married a William Heidecker. I believe this William is William and Magdelena son.

    1. Hi Amy, I am a direct descendant of of the Heideckers and Hagels. My grandmother was Frieda Hagel Heidecker and my grandfather is Paul Heidecker a some of William. Please feel free to contact me at justme78660@yahoo.com and maybe we can share some information 🙂

  47. My grandmother Margaret Schneider’s brother,John Schneider married a Margaret Lefor around 1925 or so. I don’t know much about them, but I would love to find out more. I haven’t been able to turn up much about the Schneider’s in Lefor. I know they owned a farm, as some of the rights to the land are stilled owned today by my family . If anyone knows anything I would love to hear it.

  48. My husband was David Lowas. His parents were John J. Lowas and Mary Schneider Lowas, who were born in Lefor. John and Margaret Lefor Schneider were his aunt and uncle. They married February 1, 1927. We had been successful in doing some research on family. We visited Lefor in 1998 and attended a school reunion.There is still Schneider family members living in North Dakota.
    Best wishes, Yvonne Lowas

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