Haymarsh, North Dakota

Haymarsh, North Dakota

Haymarsh is a rural community near Glen Ullin, North Dakota, about 50 miles west of Mandan.  It was originally founded in 1890.  The community, a cluster of three or four homes and nearby farmsteads, surrounds St. Clement Catholic Church and the former school of the same name.

During our visit to Haymarsh, just as we were getting ready to leave, some young people rode up on an ATV, followed by the Priest on another ATV.  As he rode by, wearing his collar, I thought to myself, “Now there’s something you don’t see everyday.”  It turns out they were having mass that day and they invited us to join them. Unfortunately we had too far to drive that day and did not have the time.  We left them with some of our postcards and wished them well.

Haymarsh, North Dakota

Haymarsh, North Dakota

Haymarsh, North Dakota

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Haymarsh, North Dakota

Haymarsh, North Dakota

Haymarsh, North Dakota

Russ Mancl uploaded the video below to YouTube with the following description: Sister Jeanne d’ Arc Kilwein, SCSC, remembers St. Clement School in Haymarsh, North Dakota. The Holy Cross Sisters staffed and managed the school for 44 years.

Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC

Troy Larson is an author, photographer, gentleman adventurer (debatable) from Fargo, North Dakota, and co-founder of Ghosts of North Dakota.

29 thoughts on “Haymarsh, North Dakota

  1. My paternal great-great-great grandfather Clemens Wehri came to this area with his children when he was in his 60s. He brought the wood for the original church which eventually burned. This church is the third incarnation of St. Clement’s. His homestead is west of the church, as well as his son’s. My dad’s other grandparents also lived just up the road from the church, and five generations of my family are buried there. If you would like additional information about St. Clement’s Church and School I would be happy to compile it for you. My mom collected an extensive history of the families of this area.

    1. Just in case you aren’t subscribed to this thread and don’t see it, I am writing this comment. Please see the comment from Annette Branson. She meant to respond to your comment, but wrote a comment to the main post instead of in-response to your comment.

  2. Hi I too am a Great Great Great Granddaughter of Clemens I am off the Branch of Frank and Josephine Wehri. i would love to get together with you and share history we have. Which of the three son or two daughters branch do you come from?

    1. Hi Annette! My branch is Frank and Josephine also! My dad’s grandma was Amalie Wehri Morman. She was married to Charlie Morman. My mom did a pretty good history of Charlie and Amalie’s family if you are interested. And Ron, who commented below, is a HUGE wealth of information.. I would love to visit with you sometime-please contact me at valimor@dvl.midco.net.

  3. Hello Valerie and Annette. As Val knows I am a Great Grandson of Clemens Wehri. I grew up just 5 miles Northwest of the church in the 1942 to 1959 era. Thanks to Ghosts of North Dakota for dedicating a part of the site to Haymarsh. I was actively involved in researching the history for a number of years and have recently taken a break from that task but still have a deep interest and would love to hear from any that would like info about the area and some of the history or share their family history.

    To the authors of this site, I have a lot of information as well as a video I did some time ago with photo’s of the church, some of the first settlers (courtesy of Valerie) and some of the people I grew up with. It is available if there is any interest.

    1. Hi Ron,

      I am the daughter of Rita Nagel (Henry) and Ray Nagel, who are two of the four children for Louie Nagel (son of Simon) and Balbina Geitzen. I believe you know Ray and his wife Shirley, as they would frequently visit Amos Geitzen of the Ideal Farm.

      Are you the one who trains the Clydesdales’?

      I would absolutely love any information you have to share, I too have complied a family tree – but it’s easy to get it wrong on the internet these days – especially with the size of this family. And my favorite part is the conflicting memories of my mother and her siblings! HA!

      You can reach me at karynhenry@msn.com (or through Ray and Shirley). This is such a wonderful treat I have stumbled across. Thank you for your dedicated efforts.

      Karyn Henry
      Mercer Island, WA

    2. my great grandmother Katharina Koch and George Meininger got married at Haymarsh in 1906. Katharina had 4 children with her when she came to America from Hungary. The children’s names are:Nicholas, Mathias (my grandfather), Magdalena and Katharina. We know the children went to a Catholic school. Was it at Haymarsh? Do any records exist? I was told that “all the records were lost in a fire”. Whatever happened to Katharina? it seems that after the marriage, she disappeared. I know my grandfather went to live with a family, last name of Tavis. family members have said he was adopted, but on census records it states hiredman. (at the age of 14 or younger–it is said he ran away at the age of 17)
      Any help would be so greatly appreciated.
      thank-you,
      Fran

      1. I do know that the original church and the second church built there both were lost to fire, so it is entirely possible the records were lost. I will do some investigating and let you know what I find.

        Yes, the school is at the same site as the church.

        1. I just read through your post again. My paternal grandmother’s maiden name was Tavis. They were more in the Glen Ullin area. I will also look in those records to see if I can find any information for you about your grandpa.

    3. Ron are you related to Joyce Sebastian Praus? She was my coworker. She used to tell stories about going to school at Haymarsh.
      Mary Lou

  4. My step grandfather was the son of Simon James Nagel and Catharina Josephine Wehri. I have spent since 1990 working in original U.S. and German parish records to trace the family history from North Dakota, to Ohio, back to Germany – the Nagel family in Walsheim, Bayern, Germany; the Raumacher’s in Radheim, Hessen, Germany, the Wehri family in Dinklage, Oldenburg, Germany, and the Trenkamp family in Lohne, Oldenburg, Germany. If you would be interested in seeing the information and add information that you might have, I have shared it on familysearch.org community tree located at http://www.familysearch.org > Family Tree. Viewing the tree does require you to set up a familysearch account, but it is free and you are not contacted or under any obligation. Simon James Nagel’s ID # is KC63-ZHS.

    1. Hi Tamra,

      I grew up just east of haymarsh. My grandpa is Cletus Wehri. This is awesome that you have started this. I checked out the website and i will definitely be adding to it. I am going to pass this on to the rest of the family. Every 3 years we have a family reunion and we always have mass at St. Clements church. Then we take a drive around haymarsh and visit all the farmsteads of all the wehri’s. This is the year we are having the reunion at the end of June. If you would love to visit more about or family history here is my email. dmwahus@hotmail.com

    2. Wow-thank you for sharing your information!! I will be checking it out soon. I have gotten the Wehris back to Dinklage, but don’t have much on the Trenkamps.

  5. My mother’s family is from Haymarsh. She was a Quintus (parents Norbert and Veronica) who had a farm just NE of Haymarsh if I’m not mistaken. They moved to Glen Ullin in the made/late 60s selling the farm to a Wehri. I visited Haymarsh in January 2015 when the weather was warmer (and no snow). The place town looks the same as these photos.

  6. Also, you guys should check out New Hradec, ND. It is NW of Dickinson on your way to South Heart. My great-great grandfather, last name Buresh, helped found the town in the late 1800s-early 1900s.

    1. My mother grew up In New Hradec and was married in the church. She was a Rambousek. it is also a very neat little town. My uncle just had his 60th birthday bash out there in the community center. It is always a good time and fun to go back to these small towns.

  7. I have no connection to Haymarsh. But I love this site and am systematically working my way through it. There are a few “ghosts” that I am familiar with here in McKenzie County – some not featured but there are only so many days in a year!!
    I just want to say that I do read the comments and I just love how they connect old friends and families and how willing most are to share the information they have. Keep it up, folks. The old timers with the memories are fast fading away from us. Write down everything you remember you ever heard!!! You never know what trivial clue will give someone the connection they are looking for!

    Keep up the good work, Everyone!

  8. If you are interested in learning more about the church, the ND State Library has a copy of Mary Gietzen’s book, “1887-1987, 100 years of faith, St. Clement’s Church, Haymarsh, North Dakota”, which is full of . My father and his older brothers (Beierlein) attended the boarding school school here, which was before the rural public schoolhouses were constructed in this area.

  9. Hello, I grew up in Bogota, Colombia and the school I went to was founded by benedictine monks from Assumption Abbey in Richardton. Father Francis Wehri (grandson of Frank) was our rector for close to 50 years. He just retired and in his honor we are writing a book about the history of the school through his incredible life. I have been tasked to write the initial chapters about the history of the Benedictines, the Abbey, the Germans from Russia, etc.. I visited Haymash last September with Father Francis, while he at the Abbey. We drove out on a Sunday towards Hebron and then on to show us the farm where he grew up (only the barns are left, the house was sold and moved several miles north). We then went to Haymarsh and visited the church St Clements and he even played the organ! We then visited his brother who still lives in Glen Ullin. I would love to be able to include the history of the Wehrli Family in my chapters! Would that be possible? Could someone send me some information on them? Thank you in advance.

    1. I wish I would have seen your post last year! The house was moved to the town where I grew up-the owners haven’t changed anything except taking out a stairwell to put in a bathroom. They even have some original wallpaper.

      I just read that Father Francis passed away-what a wonderful man he was. When my dad passed away in 2011 he happened to be visiting, so he made the effort to take time out of his travels to co-officiate the funeral with my cousin Father David Morman. The world will be a little dimmer without Father Francis.

  10. Hi everyone,

    I am Eileen Wehri Bolstad daughter of Frank and Kathryn Wehri and the youngest sister of Fr. Francis.
    I am delighted to see the comment from Gustavo. I actually taught music at San Carlos in Primaro.
    I have a copy of Eight Days A Week. Unfortunately my Spanish is very elementary so I read the pictures.
    Feel blessed to have met Fr. Manuel and Br. Fabio while at Richardton for the memorial mass of our dear brother.
    Hope to hear more comments.

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