Kremlin Homesteader Andrew Dees, 1910

This history of Kremlin Homesteader Andrew Dees
was written by Earl C. Winter in 1941:

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Kremlin Homesteader Andrew Dees was among the earliest arriving
Kremlin homesteaders in 1910.

How Would You Like It?

How would you like to work a whole year for one suit of clothes, two pair of socks, a pair of mittens, one pair of shoes, two shirts, and 40 krona ($10.00)?

How would you like to work on a farm from daylight until after dark, hauling manure, milking cows, hauling rocks, and doing all kinds of farm work and when the last bite of your meals was down, up and at it again for $5.00 per month?

How would you like to carry water two miles for your family which was living in a shack with not too much to eat and not too many clothes to put on their backs?

How would you like to dig coal that would hardly burn and carry it two or three miles in a gunny sack or make a deal with your neighbor, who was just as bad off as yourself but had one horse, and give him half the coal to haul it for you those three miles?

How would you like to pick rocks off of a 10 acre field and carry them all the way out to the section line?

How would you like to go three or four hundred miles to get a job so you could earn money to keep your family from starving, and freezing in the winter and then when you come back with a winter grub stake and enough to buy seed and feed to put in a small crop, have the bank, where you had your saving put for safe keeping, go broke and lose all but $24.00 just as winter was starting in and no job in sight?

And how would you like it, after you got in a crop and along came grasshoppers and ate every bit of it, not leaving even the weeds and you had to go out again to look for a job in order to exist on the quarter section that Uncle Sam traded you for $25.00, and let you live on it for three years?

And to make it worse, Uncle Sam was not acting as Santa Clause those days.

Andrew M. Dees

It took a lot of courage and stamina to do it, but it was done by none other than Andrew M. Dees, living six miles south of Kremlin, Montana, near Sage Creek.

Mr. Dees was born in Kongsberg, Norway, on November 19, 1888, and raised on a small farm in Norway. He earned his first money by working for his uncle for $10.00 a year. He came to America in 1906, to Marvin, North Dakota and worked on a farm for $5.00 per month through haying and harvest and got $3.00. He did chores that winter for $15.00 per month.

In 1907 he went to Harvey North Dakota and worked on a farm. He came to Kremlin in 1910 and filed on a homestead six miles south of Kremlin. He went back to Harvey, North Dakota, that year and worked on a dray line for Christian Heggen, for $25.00 per month.

In 1911 he came back to Montana, built a shack and picked and carried the rock off 10 acres of land and in 1912 hired his crop put in. In 1913 he got some more land, broke and put in a crop but the crop was not very good. In 1913 he married Miss Dorothy Lee also from Norway.

Things Begin To Look Up

To them were born eight children. Alvin, married and working for the Havre Motors at Havre; Ella, at home at present, a graduate of Kremlin High School and Kinman Business College of Spokane, Washington, and has formerly been employed at Buttreys as stenographer; Arnold at home, graduated at Kremlin High School in 1940; Richard, Donald, Dorothy, and Norman attending school at Kremlin. [Written in 1941]

In 1914 Mr. Dees got his first cow and from then on increased his herd, having to sell as the crops were short and feed scarce until he finally got the herd up to 50 to 60 head which he has run on school land leased from the state for several years.

In 1915 he started farming with horses and splicing up with his neighbor who had 2 horses, thus making an outfit. Crops were good in 1915 and 1916, and in 1916 he had 4 horses of his own.

Then in 1917-1922 came the dry years and all the farmers went broke and Mr. Dees bought a tractor. 1927 was a good crop and from that year Mr. Dees made his start and has done well since.

He has increased his average, bought more land until now, 1941, owns 1360 acres, rents ¾ for farming and ½ section school land for range for his cattle. He puts about 800 acres in crop and summer-fallows a similar amount each year.

Mr. and Mrs. Dees are respected citizens of this community. They are members of the Lutheran Church in which they take an active part. They take a part in all community activities and are always ready to help with a program for betterment of social life. They may well be proud of the fine family they have raised. Although they went through many hard knocks to do so, they are happy, and do not regret the effort they have made.

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